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Old 10-14-2014, 03:27 PM   #11
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Re: The Queen of Peace

RV rooftop A/C units suck in my humble opinion. I've owned'em and hated'em. Overpriced, poorly built energy suckers for the most part. And you are correct regarding the new generation of energy efficient window units. The 8000 btu I am installing doesn't even kick my little Honda genset off idle in the "economy" mode. If I had a larger bus, I would install two units of around 8 -10K each and only run what I needed. Whether just a balmy day or spectating at Black Rock, with decent insulation you should be covered.

The other big pluses include various mounting options (no big, leaky hole in the roof needed, put it elsewhere)...and...you can stop at any WallyWorld and replace the whole unit for less than what any dealer will charge you just to "look at" a rooftop.

Now...ask me what I REEALLY think.

BTW...I have seen multiple window units turned into ducted basement systems that really kicked butt. Another excellent option if you have bay space (I don't).
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:25 PM   #12
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Re: The Queen of Peace

THAT is an excellent idea. Will the window units run off of an auxiliary battery set up or do you have to have a generator?

I have 3 15,000 BTU roof units in my living room that I am just itching to sell.
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Old 10-14-2014, 04:28 PM   #13
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Re: The Queen of Peace

In fact you just gave me a great idea for building a ducted set up from my 'mechanical/storage/tool shed' room at the back of the bus.
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Old 10-15-2014, 12:02 AM   #14
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Re: The Queen of Peace

All of the A/C's I'm aware of including the new gen, high efficiency units still pull too much of a load for anything but shorepower or a genny for any period of time. And they pull the most on start up. There may be someone out there with a big enough battery bank to make it work but you still have to pump a lot of juice back in to keep it all going. Some people with efficient diesel engines and big alternators even run them off the rigs main motor through an inverter for periods but that's probably burning even more fuel than a small genset.

As good as things have gotten, we still appear to be quite a ways off from solar powered A/C with anything less than a half acre of panels. If anyone out there knows of an alternative...please...share it.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:48 AM   #15
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Re: The Queen of Peace

Au Contraire, Tango!

Right here is a standard, 8,000 BTU unit from LG that sells at the Great Home Depot for around $240.

According to the manufacturer's website, it draws 700 Watts of power, or about 6.5 amps at 120V. See for yourself right here--http://www.lg.com/us/air-conditioners/lg-LW8014ER-window-air-conditioner

That could be easily powered by 3, 295 Watt panels available from here: http://www.lg.com/us/air-conditioners/l ... onditioner

Since you'll only be running A/C when the sun is out, at least up here in CO ;) with 4 panel setup, I can run AC AND charge my batteries! Ain't that purdy?!

My inverter is rated to 2400 watts continuous, but even a cheapo 1k watt unit could probably handle running the AC.

I hate generators with a passion, if ya can't tell And you could most likely get away with running that unit off an inverter tied to the chassis battery/alternator if you wanted, since it would be drawing something like 70 amps. I think most buses alternators are rated quite a bit higher than that, particularly newer models.

Just trying to inspire dreams of comfortable summers!

On that note, has anyone tried to really insulate their buses? Im going for some pretty high R-values, and I just am curious what the real world feel is like. Ive lived in uninsulated buses many times and its brutal. Just curious how noticable the improvement is for different R-values in walls, ceilings, floors, etc. From what I can read, it seems like prioritize the Ceiling, then floor, then walls, for maximum r-value value.
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Old 10-15-2014, 10:19 AM   #16
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Re: The Queen of Peace

Excellent info Charles --- just wish I had room on my roof for more than one dinky panel but that's part of living with a shorty.
But you are cheating...you are a mile closer to the sun than most of us Flatlanders .
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Old 10-15-2014, 04:07 PM   #17
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Re: The Queen of Peace

haha! that's right Tango!

Had to take a bus to the scrapyard today, which is always sad... but, in other news, I got a new hood out of the deal and 2 15' sections of super thick battery cable out of the deal---easily $300 worth of cable here. TAKE THAT, VOLTAGE DROP
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:20 AM   #18
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Re: Queen of Peace -- '82 Int'l Bluebird w/ 20" raise, solar

With help from Chris, the highly skilled and knowledgeable fabricator I've hired, the roof raise is nearly done. We spent 3 hours today putting in the 4 main panels on the driver's side and will get the 4 for the passenger side in tomorrow. Lots of drilling, riveting, and panel adhesive, but the look is really good, Chris has higher standards than I do, which is making things looks waaay better than I was even hoping for.
It's making me think I really gotta shell out some dough to get the tools and supplies to paint it nice to do justice to his metal work
I really like how stock he's kept the structure--right down to having some top hat steel custom made to match the dimensions of the existing frame. Super clean. More pics when I can bring her home.
I'm about 14 days behind schedule, but I'm so pleased with how high quality this is turning out, there's no question it's worth it!
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Old 11-06-2014, 08:53 PM   #19
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Re: Queen of Peace -- '82 Int'l Bluebird w/ 20" raise, solar

I've always been told that you lose most of your heat/ac through the doors and windows. So if you are going to achieve those r values, don't forget the doors and windows, otherwise all that work will be for naught. I'll also have to see you're ac/solar setup to believe it. I think those panels only create that power level 20% of the time. Like noon on a sunny day. I'd guess that you'll need twice that for it to work and that might even be low. You plan on shutting it off at night?
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Old 11-11-2014, 03:18 AM   #20
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Re: Queen of Peace -- '82 Int'l Bluebird w/ 20" raise, solar

Looks like I've got another skeptic in the house!

I'm definitely NOT putting those original windows back in this baby. Ill be using 4-6 (depending on my final layout) insulated, double-pane RV windows which aren't exactly super efficient, but a lot better than single pane, and a LOT better than what I had in there before. The back door will actually have an insulated insert that will slide over its opening during the winter and the front bit of the bus where the stairwell and driver's seat is will be semi-permanently walled off into a cold room. I figure that should help a lot.

Do you have previous solar experience that makes you believe these solar panels operate so inefficiently? Their rated output is what they will make in direct sunlight on a sunny day. In all of my solar experience, I've been surprised how much juice I can actually squeeze from panels and I think there is a lot of lousy info out there ragging on how inefficient solar power is as a practical energy source, but I will say, I've had GREAT results and I'll get a huge kick out of having solar powered AC. I mean man, how sweet is that?
Having an MPPT charge controller helps maximize any less than ideal lighting, and I have every reason to believe that having 1240 watts of solar panel will be waaaaaaaaay more than enough to run a 600-700 watt A/C unit during the hottest part of the day when the sun is out!

Also, the panels on my roof and my rooftop deck will help create a "Safari Roof" to keep that hot sun off my decently-insulated bus. I'm in it to win it!

Of course, the proof will be in the pudding and I haven't seen anyone else do this before. I've done lots of calculations, however, and this should easily work out for me.
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