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Old 09-18-2010, 09:31 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: KANATA
Posts: 30
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B600
Engine: 5.9 Cummins/ 5spd
Rated Cap: 36
Electric system

I've been lurking for a while and am getting ready to start my conversion, still not 100% sure on the electrical however. My bus will be used 99% of the time as a weekend home at the racetrack. Here is what I have and am considering.
6500w remote start genset
120v breaker box
1 starting battery, 2 reserve deep cycle batteries
Xantrex 1800w inverter- provides charge and automatic switchover when shore/gen power connected ... om-hf.aspx
30A surge guard- provides high and low voltage protection. ... a-hardwire
120v under cabinet water heater
120v 4.2 cuft Bar fridge/freezer
120v micro
Rooftop A/C unit w/ heating coil (coleman mach)
Shurflo rv waterpump

Water pump, some interior lighting, and stereo will be about the extent of 12v accessories. Inverter will need to run remainder of interior lights and 120v bar fridge when genset is powered down (overnight, few hours a day). Rooftop A/C cooling/heat unit as well as 120v water heater, and other 120v appliances will only be used when genset is running.

Any experienced converters see in holes/flaws in this plan?
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:19 AM   #2
moerules's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 16
Year: 1983
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: Ford F600
Engine: 370
Re: Electric system

The only thing I can add is that I bought a power converter for a motor home to handle my 110 and 12v power duties just plug it in to gen when its running or to shore power when I can. It has room for 6 110 breakers and 10 12v fuses. I also dont have my generator permantly mounted yet so this works best for me.
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Old 09-19-2010, 12:36 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Upstate NY (Mohawk Valley)
Posts: 1,094
Re: Electric system

Other than the surge protector rating (see below) no obvious flaws, other than you may have to practice power management. You probably can't run the water heater, A/C heat strip, and microwave all at the same time.

I am assuming that you are wiring for a 30-amp shoreline if you are using a 30-amp protector. Remember that "30-amp" RV shorelines are 120 volts, so the capacity is only 3600 watts. The 30-amp surge protector will be undersized if you use it with your 6500 watt genny, unless you are planning not to stress the genny, or have 240 volts from the genny through a 240-volt surge protector (7200 watts).

"50-amp" RV shorelines are 120/240 volts, so they actually provide two 50-amp 120-volt feeds, for a total of 12,000 watts. Just remember your limitations, add up your loads whether on shoreline or generator, and plan accordingly.

If it was me, I would make the water heater propane instead of electric. If you were planning to be at campsites and not racetracks, the electric might be included in the price, while propane refills always costs you extra. RV water heaters usually can use either. Plus, there is the complication of installing an additional system of plumbing, etc. For a race bus, load management may be the simpler choice.

Have fun!
Someone said "Making good decisions comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions." I say there are three kinds of people: those who learn from their mistakes, those who learn from the mistakes of others, and those who never learn.
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Old 09-19-2010, 08:06 PM   #4
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: KANATA
Posts: 30
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B600
Engine: 5.9 Cummins/ 5spd
Rated Cap: 36
Re: Electric system

Some great points, never really thought about the 3600watt rating of the surge protector. For how little the hotwater will be used (morning shower, maybe dishes in the eve), I think power management and the 120v is the simplest way to go. I am staying towards the 120 side of things as I am not installing a stove or anything inside as we have an outside "camp kitchen" setup that we use, really just simple sleeping arrangements and somewhere for my wife/daughter to escape.
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