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Old 03-21-2011, 05:30 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Portland OR area
Posts: 180
Year: 1983
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Carpenter
Engine: 8.3
Re: Help! I'm new here! Have questions!!!

Well let me ask you, are you DIY kinda people? Can you build basic projects? If your willing to research you do not need the books. It more about imagination and determination to see your dreams for the space come true.

When we planed our layout we used cardboard laid out on the bus floor to visually see what the floor plan would be like.

If you use the search function here on Skoolie you will have more info and a wealth of experience to draw from as folks are nice here, and generally very helpful.
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Old 03-21-2011, 09:38 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,587
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Re: Help! I'm new here! Have questions!!!

I've had the " Shoestring" book and I still own Galey's (it's packed up with all my books). I do have problems with some of Galeys stuff... mostly when he starts the "what if's". He hangs very heavily to the coaches (MCI, Eagles, etc). We really didn't find the books of much use. But we have been in construction since the 70's (David built his first house at the ripe old age of 16... 1972). David has run 2 custom cabinet shops (one while still in high school) and we owned our own cabinet shop. I'm a former Kitchen & Bath Designer (NKBA trained). David spent 15 years remodeling houses before changing professions. I worked with him as a colourist/stylist (we mostly restyled houses), tile setter (Dad was for 50 years), cabinet installer and most anything else. So you might say that we are DIYers. We are the type who will take something and use it to do something else that it wasn't intended to do.
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:02 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,572
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Re: Help! I'm new here! Have questions!!!

A couple of ways you can go with your RV refrigerator.

The usual way is to get an RV refrigerator that runs off AC shore power (when you're bus is plugged into electricity at home or at a camp site) and also runs off propane (there are also three-way reefers - AC, DC and propane). Running on propane requires some very picky venting so many bus converters try to avoid this option. Your bus also needs to be fairly level when running on propane but using it while driving works.

Another option is to use a dorm type reefer and use only AC power, either through shore power or by using an inverter to convert DC from your coach batteries (not from your starting batteries!!) to AC. Reefers are hi-draw appliances so this wouldn't work for long before your batteries go flat.

An option that I'm seriously considering is a powered cooler. These are basicly a big camp cooler with a refrigeration unit built in and run on either AC or DC power. They are chest-type so don't spill out all the cold when you open them and they're much easier on the batteries, though still a high draw. No worries about leveling, either. Dometic has a nice line that can be either set up either as a reefer or a freezer. Search on Dometic CF-110ac for a look.

I'm a big DIY'er myself but my biggest challenge was wrapping my head around DC electrical. An RV usually has both AC and DC and making them play nice together really gave me a headache.
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Old 03-23-2011, 02:48 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,587
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Re: Help! I'm new here! Have questions!!!

We run AC only refrigerator and freeze in the Class C. We can run up to 8 hours without power (just like when the house power goes off during a storm) OR they operate off the generator. to run the rooftop AC unit, we have to run the generator.

You need to read Phred's Poop sheets. Save them, print them off but KEEP THEM!!! I printed them all off. I have a 3" thick binder with all of the sheets in them (it's a lot of paper and printer ink). I also have them bookmarked and saved on the computer as well.

RV's are wired slightly differently than a house if you are wire 50amps (the neutral and ground are NOT bonded). You need to wire like an RV since you will be in campgrounds where they are wired (or supposed to be) the same way.

We use the idiot proof method when hooking into our generator. We have a 30 amp plug on the Class C. We either plug into the generator (wired in a 30 amp receptacle) OR we plug into the shore power at the campground. Hard to mess up that one.

Some folks will use standard solid Romex, others won't. I personally prefer stranded (think heavy duty extension cords... We have several left over from our construction days) but you have to tin the cut end when hooking up to electrical boxes and other connections. David (hubby) doesn't really care but we have hundreds of feet of extension cords PLUS all the stranded wire we pulled out of the Eagle (ANCOR quality stuff!)


http://www.phrannie.org/phredex.html Poop sheets

http://users.cwnet.com/thall/fredhobe.htm Fred Hobe... pro converter of Coaches. good info even though mostly about his MCI. Uses 12/3 extension cords when wiring buses he converts.

http://www.marxrv.com/ RV side of life. Lots of good info.
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Old 03-28-2011, 02:34 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pueblo Co
Posts: 310
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Safe T Liner
Engine: 3208 turbo
Rated Cap: 84
Re: Help! I'm new here! Have questions!!!

Can`t wait to see some pictures - it was fun talking to you and looking at your website. Ya the web is pretty handy these days.

Just the other day my car, a 2001 Volkswagen Passat would not release the key from the ignition after shutting down the engine. First, what a weird problem to encounter and then my next thought was searched the chat rooms and sure enough there it was another poster had had the same problem and fixed it with a couple of good hard slams in to park and sure enough the ignition finally gave up my key and I haven't had any problem since.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:21 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,587
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Re: Help! I'm new here! Have questions!!!

The Bus converters Bible by Dave Galey is now available to read onlline.http://www.busnut.com/conv101.html or rather sections of it depending on the time of year.
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