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Old 12-04-2013, 10:39 PM   #1
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Skoolie explores the rockies

Hi,

We would like to convert a 40ft bus..
Our plan is to chase the powder in the rockies, for a few months in the states but mostly in Canada.
Can we just drive into Canada, or do we need a special license there ... We will only visit, and won't become residents.

We are planning to drive everything on veggie oil, does anybody have experience with this in freezing temperatures, is mixing with 10% diesel enough?

Have you experienced a boarder crossing into Canada with a schoolie?

Have you got experience with driving with a 40ft bus in the snowy mountains?
Are there any safety regulations? Seatbelts? How many people in the bus?

Thanks heaps for helping out..

Val
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Old 12-05-2013, 10:59 AM   #2
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Re: Skoolie explores the rockies

I suggest you do thorough research on veggie oil fuel especially if you will be using it in the winter... otherwise you may find yourself stranded. This website is not the place to do that research though, find a forum dedicated to that topic. Good luck!
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Old 12-05-2013, 12:06 PM   #3
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Re: Skoolie explores the rockies

Unless you keep a big enough generator to keep everything heated using electricity, the cold will win. In order to keep it cost effective, the generator would need to run off the veggie oil. Generators only last so long.

I have researched the death out of this topic. It would take $10,000 to get set up properly.

Cheap air cooled diesel Generators like this one only last around 6 to 10,000 hours.
Cost $1500. At 24 hours a day. It will last 250 days. At 150 days of skiing a year, you get 1.75 years of use.
http://www.generatorsales.com/order/038 ... age=D03883

Good quality water cooled Perkins powered diesel Generators like this one last 30,000 hours.
Cost $5000. At 24 hours a day, it will last 1250 days. At 150 days of skiing a year, you get 8.3 years of use.
http://www.generatorsales.com/order/Per ... page=P6125

They both need .5 gal of fuel a hour to put out the heat you would need. So if you go for a 7 day trip, 7 daysx24 hours=168/2=84 gallons of fuel just for the Generator. Depending on how long your trips are, you may need 200 gallons of storage.

WVO will shorten the life of any diesel Generators by 25% to 50%. If you brew it into biodiesel, they will last as long, or longer than if run off dino diesel.

You would need to brew it before heading out, or have a heated trailer for brewing|handling the stinky stuff.

The good new is, setting it all up like this keeps your whole bus toasty warm. Heated engine, WVO/biodiesel tanks, waste tanks, fresh water tanks, ect.

Nat
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Old 12-07-2013, 12:27 AM   #4
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Re: Skoolie explores the rockies

Nat - are you talking about heating the WVO fuel 24/7 or heating the bus/occupants or both?

The buses I've seen using WVO had a split fuel system - using dino diesel initially to start the engine and warm up the WVO tank enough that the veggie oil will flow properly in the diesel fuel system, then switching over to the (now warm) WVO tank for the rest of the trip, then switching back to dino diesel again just before shutting off the engine so the veggie oil doesn't congeal when the fuel system cools down. That system wouldn't need a genny to heat the fuel.

I've read that it's possible to mix dino diesel and processed WVO in a non-split system but no idea what proportions are best or how it would work in cold weather. Getting free fuel is very attractive but it's also a big, messy hassle to process the veggie oil where ever you are and particularly on the road. The equipment takes up a lot of precious space too.
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Old 12-07-2013, 11:39 AM   #5
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Re: Skoolie explores the rockies

I'm talking about heating the entire bus, fuel, and WVO 24/7 when the bus is being used.

Ultra low sulfur diesel gels on its own at -30 C therefor has no ability to keep WVO from gelling.

Trying to start the bus cold, using cold diesel, then trying to use engine coolant to heat your WVO will be almost imposable. The bigger your WVO storage tanks, the harder this will be. Bottom line, your engine will not produce enough heat to get the job done. You would have to leave your bus running at 1200 RPM all day to keep up. Diesel engines are to efficient at idle to make any amount of coolant heat. Also running WVO at idle clogs up your engine and leads to failures.

I have brainstormed with the other fuels, propane, wood ect. However it always comes back to needing electricity to power fans, or pumps or something to move the heat. So in the end, we may as well just run a generator and use electricity to heat everything. Far cheaper, safer, simpler, and more modular than propane and wood.

Setting up a system the way I'm implying will allow you to enjoy the slopes and return everynight to warm and cozy. Try to monkey rig it up, and you will enjoy your days in the cold, fighting with every system on your bus failing from cold.

Nat

PS it's -43 C here right now. The heat in my tool shed never gets turned off all winter. If it fails, it takes days to get it all thawed out.
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:07 PM   #6
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Re: Skoolie explores the rockies

Thanks Nat for all your info, I'll do some research about all the things you mentioned.
But just to be sure... Basically even our plan to run on solar panels connected to generator, maybe wind energy and a stove wouldn't work enough?
Sucks, we hoped to just keep it simple and ecological..
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Old 12-07-2013, 02:52 PM   #7
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Re: Skoolie explores the rockies

Another question, how can you make a generator work 24/7? Does some need to be in the bus all the time?
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Old 12-07-2013, 04:48 PM   #8
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Re: Skoolie explores the rockies

Battery's, low sun of winter, no sun due to mountains, and cold don't mix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Letsbenomads
Another question, how can you make a generator work 24/7? Does some need to be in the bus all the time?
I don't quite understand your question. Was the question how to make it last, keep it warm, or weather it needs to be permanently mounted to the bus.

The cheap air cooled generator could be left portable. It weighs less than 200 pounds.

The Perkins generator would need to be permanently bolted to the bus. It weighs around 400 pounds.

Bolting your generator to your bus is a good theft deterrent.

Nat
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Old 12-08-2013, 10:39 AM   #9
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Re: Skoolie explores the rockies

My question was how a generator is able to work 24 hours non stop when a bus is standing still?
And I am not too technical, but I would like to know you think that my idea is possible or not with the expensive generator?
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Old 12-08-2013, 12:17 PM   #10
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Re: Skoolie explores the rockies

Quote:
Originally Posted by Letsbenomads
My question was how a generator is able to work 24 hours non stop when a bus is standing still?
And I am not too technical, but I would like to know you think that my idea is possible or not with the expensive generator?
Water cooled diesel generators are able to run continuous, 24/7 just like the engine in you bus, or car. As long as you have a big enough fuel tank, and a clean air filter, they just run until shut down. Running a diesel continuous is better then short stops and starts. 90% of engine wear is in the first 30 seconds the engine is started.

Yes you could set up a simple, functional, warm system using the Perkins generator I posted. That site also has the best price on the net.

One more plus to using electricity over any other fuel is cost of the appliances. Electric hot water heater $200, propane $450. Install cost of the propane unit is 3 times higher, due to venting ect. Cook stoves, heating units, ect all cost less than 50% of gas models.

Nat
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