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Old 03-28-2007, 09:30 PM   #11
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I think the underbody tire thing could be replicated easily. Just do something the auto manufacturers still haven't figured out...keep the metal on the lift assembly from contacting the metal on the rim. Otherwise you may well end up with a road salt weld job......way annoying and common here in the salt belt.

You probably could replace your gas engine with a diesel engine on the gennie, but have you priced small diesels lately? I think an old car fuel tank (carbed vehicle-no in tank pump) or even a boat tank would be a cheaper solution. Yeah it's a pain to carry two types of fuel, but I carry propane because fuel oil cooking stoves are $$$. It's a tradeoff and just depends on what is important to you. Don't forget that if you tie into the stock diesel tank you will likely need a fuel pump since the tank will be lower than the gennie. Are you thinking about mounting the gennie under the bus or just toting it around when needed? I just tote mine but would like to build a permanent mount.

Have you ever read about homemade welder build ups? A GM 10SI or better yet, 12SI alternator is a common start point although an externally regulated Ford alternator might be easier. A guy had one out on the trail once and I was WAY impressed. By bypassing the regulator in the 12SI he was able to get 100 amps and 150 volts with a decent enough duty cycle. It might not have been the longest lasting welder ever, but for $20 in an alternator and some chopped jumper cables, it sure was cool. I with I could remember exactly what rod he was using, but I think it might have even been plain old 6013. The really cool thing was that by varying the RPMs and the field voltage he could get 120 volts DC which will run most motors and incandescent bulbs great.

As for wiring...wire it for what you need. A 50 to 30 or 30 to 50 amp adapter is cheap and easy. Just don't overload it. Mine is wired for 20 amp service (regular plug) just because my electrical needs are pretty limited and I haven't had problems with hook ups for that.
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Old 03-29-2007, 12:31 AM   #12
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Books: "How to build low cost motorhomes" by Louis C. McClure -- 2004 edition
edited by Ben Rosander, Has lots of good info on plumbing and wiring and more.
That and many others should be available from:
http://www.rv-busconversions.com/
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:10 AM   #13
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AIR RIDE SEATS….now there’s a dream come true. Awesome luck there GoneCamping. I’m just now starting to make my rounds of the salvage yards in the area…who knows I might get lucky. Too bad you’re so far away I’d have you keep an eye out for some seats needing rehabbed and a good home.

The more I think about it the better I like the idea. I could situate the spare up high under the back end where it’d be relatively easy to get to and out of the way. I had already thought of just winching it up against a rubber buffer to eliminate any tire or rim rub against the undercarriage. Yeah Wayne you’re right about the cost of trying to convert over the generator to diesel…so unless I just happen upon one I’ll probably not mess with it and just carry gasoline for it. I was thinking about building it a permanent mount with a slide out drawer for maintenance and access. It’d have to be fairly heavy duty as the dang thing is heavy. But it should power all my needs if necessary.

I was thinking up just picking up one of the Harbor Freight welders they have some 120v and 220v wire feeds that are pretty cheap. I should be able to run either on off my genny without any problem. Though I would be interested in that $20 alternator welder….hmmmmm.

Talked to an Electrician friend of mind and with a suitable supply of beer he’d be interested in helping me draw up a system that is adaptable for my needs. He’s actually already done something like this for another BIG bus conversion (greyhound size), so that is a plus.

I put in an order for the book you suggested Elliot so that should help. I had a complete copy of The Bus Nut online’s Bus Converters Bible….but lost it when my hard drive bit the dust last November. I’ve managed to download the first nine chapters again and am just waiting for the next batch to become available. I lost a lot of good notes, pic’s and diagrams and such in “the Crash”, next time I’ll remember to burn stuff to cd/dvd instead of trusting IBM! Or better yet just take the hit and print everything out. Oh Well, live and learn.
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Old 03-29-2007, 11:41 AM   #14
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I have at least a million miles in air ride seats, in trucks that bounce like jack hammers,
and I'm not impressed. They tend to bounce up and down too much. That's bad
enough, but when you drive over a big whoop in the road, they bottom out, and
that REALLY hurts. I once installed a stiffer damper ("shock absorber") from a
car suspension on one and that helped a lot. I've also been known to let all the
air out, with a block of wood underneath for height adjustment. My bus sure
doesn't need an air ride seat, and neither did the conventional I had before.
For me, it's all about finding a seat that fits my butt and back.

If you do buy a used air ride seat, you'll want to replace the damper for
sure -- they wear out and the bouncing gets worse.

Your milage may vary, of course.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:52 PM   #15
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I agree with Elliot. All the buses in Nashville's school district have air ride seats and they're not all that wonderful. The conventional buses aren't too bad since you're behind the front wheels. The transit buses are like riding a roller coaster- one moderate bump and "away we go!!" Especially the older buses! The new one's are tolerable - better shock absorbtion- but as much because the foam still has some life in it.

That's why I got a RE bus- longer wheelbase + engine in back= smoother ride. In fact, my bus rides almost as smooth as an Eagle bus I owned. Now I just need to get a seat that's ergonomically correct.
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Old 03-29-2007, 01:54 PM   #16
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Actually my bus doesn't bounce all that much so maybe air rides are a little bit over kill. The idea of bouncing up and down doesn't seem very appealing. A good seat that fits properly would be a great improvement over the stock one. Heck I could get one from a Dodge Caravan minivan and that would work just fine. Simple is better....or at least easier.
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Old 03-30-2007, 12:19 AM   #17
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I like air ride on the axles and on the cabs, not on seats. I usually kept mine cranked up all the way (on large cars and also our rollback) or if I am getting beat up by the road too much, let just enough air out to compress a little on the big potholes. I want to find a good comfy chair with plenty of adjustment for my bus. I drove 1700 miles in 2 days in the factory seat on my bus. My back hurt for 2 more days. Maybe a good used 8 way electric. That's why the forums are so great. Helps you to think your way through an idea before you spend the money. Have fun!
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Old 03-30-2007, 02:12 AM   #18
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Lumbar supports have NO equals. My lumbar support is a small pillow wedged between my back and that rock hard bus seat. It doesn't matter what angle I adjust it to...after 500 miles in a day I'm SORE, nevermind that gross sitting-on-vinyl-in-100%-humidity feeling.
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Old 03-30-2010, 10:34 PM   #19
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Re: Rubber deck matting and other questions?

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I recently salvage some basement storage boxes, the tools needed are A Saws-all several lengths of blades a right angle grinder several thin cut off wheels a big Friggen Chisel, Hammer to match the chisel and the Vocabulary of a Old Crusty Sailor It was a long day.. Robert
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