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Old 07-03-2017, 03:52 PM   #1
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I need air conditioning.

Hello everyone,

I'm in the south, Raleigh, NC to be exact, and I was out driving my bus today. The high was 91, and I was dripping sweat. I have a Blue Bird bookmobile with an Onan generator and two RV roof top A/C units, but the generator uses a gallon of diesel per hour, so running the A/C's while driving is not practical. Has anyone installed a retrofit A/C unit that runs off of the engine, or is there some type of 12v A/C system that I could run independently of my generator? I have also considered installing "factory" A/C because my engine is a 5.9 Cummins diesel. Any input would be appreciated.

Feelin' the heat!
Thanks!
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Old 07-03-2017, 03:57 PM   #2
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My bus has dual air, engine driven with two separate automotive compressors. A bit of a pain to work on but I think it's a good system. If I had to guess I'd say that I use not much more fuel per hour idling the bus, but I do try not to actually do that. If you can consistently find shade, open all your windows, and run a few electric fans.. There's an upper temperature limit to that of course.
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Old 07-03-2017, 04:09 PM   #3
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My bus was getting a little warm driving - when I drive, it does get hot - Florida has been a little hot and humid - but with the vents open, windows down, and some 12v fans - it's not so bad. I added two fans to the front.

I have not figured out a good AC for when driving - but put in a portable LG 10,000 but AC unit for when parked - and a fantastic fan into the roof. It seems to help - but not much when sitting in direct sun. I a still playing with window curtains and reflectix window shades.

And I think I just need to keep drinking a lot of water.
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:18 PM   #4
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I did some low-tech reflectix panels for the windows, with velcro tape holding them up so I can put them up and take them down easy. It does a pretty damn good job, but the sun is a mass of incandescent gas, a gigantic nuclear furnace, where hydrogen is turned into helium at a temperature of millions of degrees. In other words, park in the shade!

We got some cheap insulating and light blocking curtains to split the drivers area off from the "house". Also got a reflectix-stile windshield shade from Camping World. Every little bit helps.
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:32 PM   #5
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I may have an extra carrier ac unit available in a couple months when I get to taking it out. I've taken the inside unit out but still have the compressor and all the exterior stuff to remove. I have two and just plan on keeping the one up front near the driver/passengers. I'm not sure how hard it would be to install in another bus. I'm in southern Alabama.

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Old 07-03-2017, 09:31 PM   #6
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I was sweating like crazy till I put up thermal curtains, the difference is night and day. The windows absolutely suck and as soon as I raise my roof, I'm taking every single one out and putting on some galvanized steel sheets in their place, and spray foaming the crap out of this thing.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:39 AM   #7
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Sweating in the Old Bus

Thanks for all of the input, guys. There doesn't seem to be a simple fix for this. Being that my bus is a bookmobile, I don't have an issue with windows, and it's impossible to stay in the shade while driving. Running vent fans when I drive might be the best idea I have heard. Even having all of my windows open, there is absolutely no air moving through the bus when I drive.

Thanks again.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:54 AM   #8
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I installed custom dashboard A/C in my carpenter bus last summer. I gutted the driver heater console and then installed a heat / cool unit in there and a separate little unit for the left defroster all back into the old heater box.. ducted to the dashboard and it keeps me nice n cool in the saddle... in that bus I also added a rear console unit and ducted the air to a couple seats back there.

I bought the pieces from ProAir LLC. I couldnt do an underdash unit in that bus because it has a doghouse.. if I had a flat nose bluebird or thomas that has all the dash vents already it wouldve been a lot easier..




you have 2 roof airs.. run the genny and run them.. and engine-driven A/C still uses some fuel.. it takes quite a bit of power to spin a large or dual A/C compressors to keep a big bus cool.. I dont know how much per hour on average the extra engine load is.. I do doubt its a gallon per hour..



theres small vents in the kick panel you cant see that I can open up for heat in winter on my feet.. theres 2 A/C vents under the driver window.. a round one to the right of the upper defroster that blows in my face.. theres a round on in the side of that heater box I can blow on my body.. plus all those vents can blow heat too for when its really cold.. or if its cold and raining out, I can run the A/C and heat at same time on that unit so it dehumidifies the air but is still warm... makes the defrogger's job super easy.




-Christopher
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Old 07-06-2017, 06:00 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I installed custom dashboard A/C in my carpenter bus last summer. I gutted the driver heater console and then installed a heat / cool unit in there and a separate little unit for the left defroster all back into the old heater box.. ducted to the dashboard and it keeps me nice n cool in the saddle... in that bus I also added a rear console unit and ducted the air to a couple seats back there.

I bought the pieces from ProAir LLC. I couldnt do an underdash unit in that bus because it has a doghouse.. if I had a flat nose bluebird or thomas that has all the dash vents already it wouldve been a lot easier..




you have 2 roof airs.. run the genny and run them.. and engine-driven A/C still uses some fuel.. it takes quite a bit of power to spin a large or dual A/C compressors to keep a big bus cool.. I dont know how much per hour on average the extra engine load is.. I do doubt its a gallon per hour..



theres small vents in the kick panel you cant see that I can open up for heat in winter on my feet.. theres 2 A/C vents under the driver window.. a round one to the right of the upper defroster that blows in my face.. theres a round on in the side of that heater box I can blow on my body.. plus all those vents can blow heat too for when its really cold.. or if its cold and raining out, I can run the A/C and heat at same time on that unit so it dehumidifies the air but is still warm... makes the defrogger's job super easy.




-Christopher
Thanks for the reply, Christopher. Your installation looks amazing. My bus is a flatnose Bluebird, but the engine is in the front, so it has a doghouse too. My plan is to remove the roof top A/C's and install a mini split in the back of the bus. It's 27' feet long, so I'm worried that it won't push the air all the way to the front, so I was wanting something small that would blow on my face. When I do have the roof top units and the fan going, it works pretty good.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:26 PM   #10
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by going minisplit you are going to likely cut your cooling capacity in half vs the 2 rooftop units.. they do make ductable minisplits. but they are more meant to be installed above a ceiling or below a floor.. (I built my own ductables for in my house but they take wuite a bit of space).. I cant remember what the dash looks like on a flat nose BB to think of what type of evaporator to mount.. but leveraging the existing dash vents if you have them would be a way.. (I did that on my first bus that i no longer have)
-Christopher
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:31 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
by going minisplit you are going to likely cut your cooling capacity in half vs the 2 rooftop units.. they do make ductable minisplits. but they are more meant to be installed above a ceiling or below a floor.. (I built my own ductables for in my house but they take wuite a bit of space).. I cant remember what the dash looks like on a flat nose BB to think of what type of evaporator to mount.. but leveraging the existing dash vents if you have them would be a way.. (I did that on my first bus that i no longer have)
-Christopher
Not sure I understand your reply. I am considering a pair of 12K Btu mini-splits instead of a pair of 12k Btu roof airs.

Looks to me like I will have the same cooling capacity.

Am I missing something??

Thanks
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Old 07-06-2017, 09:38 PM   #12
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oh i thought it was going from 2 roof uinits to 1 single minisplit in the baclk
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Old 07-07-2017, 06:16 PM   #13
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I believe that PNW Steve might have confused our threads. Yes, CadallicKid, we were talking about going from two roof units to one multi-split in the back. Adequate cooling is paramount to me,but I thought if the mini-split had enough BTU's, it wouldn't be a problem. Still, I would have to run my genny during transit. Signed, trying to not sweat while driving!
Thanks again!
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