Originally Posted by bapos
I guess I am wondering how you guys survive going down the road with no generators to power theses? Granted my bus is still in the cocoon phase but there is no way in HELL that I would attempt to travel in my local with out AC's and generator?
I'm scratching my head with exactly the same question. Most of the reports here seem to be stationary use sometimes with shade involved. That's a much easier proposition for air conditioning.
My only bus air conditioning experience was basically a failure. It was in a 35 ft Blue bird skoolie with 5.9L front engine. All glass except the windshield was tinted with a Solar Gard product; it is wonderful stuff and did a remarkable job of blocking heat in addition to tempering the visible light. For mock-up purposes I used some OSB sheeting and mounted one 6000 BTU air conditioner in a window near the front and another near the rear. Yes, it was dreadfully redneck, but I tried to console myself by saying that it's okay for an experiment to be kludgy so long as I promise to re-do it nicely if things work out. I intended to power them with a Honda EU2000 generator mounted on the trailer hitch at the tail. Testing at home in the driveway demonstrated that this genny could run both units, but road testing showed otherwise..
Our trip was late in July with outdoor temperature around 98 F. We caught the heat of full afternoon sun plus more heat from the front engine rising through the floor. My family were riding in a pair of booths formed by flipping the front bench on each side to face backward; the front A/C blew into this area. We didn't get far before finding that the genny wouldn't run both A/C units after all; maybe their power consumption or at least start-up current was higher because the day was hotter than it was in my pre-trip testing. Who knows. So we ran only the front. My wife reports that the temperature in the immediate area around that unit was tolerable but not quite pleasant. Just a few feet away in the driver's seat I couldn't figure out what she was talking about
: I was melting! We drove eastward so at least I was in the shade of the roof but still it was unpleasant. In the end the EU2000 wouldn't reliably keep even the one unit running and we surrendered to opening most of the windows; sunset couldn't come soon enough!
Things I learned: the front engine contributed LOTS of heat to the bus. Even tinted, there was plenty of glass and abundant solar heat gain. The yellow walls and roof did their part to transmit heat too. That 6000 BTU A/C was no match for all that heat gain, and I suppose there was plenty of air exchange that didn't help things either.
What to do better? I've dumped that bus and found another with rear engine and white paint, and I plan to remove most of its windows and liberally apply insulation. Bus-kote or similar on the roof. All that will reduce the heat gain, but I still don't know what I'm going to do for the cooler. May have to partition the space so that a much smaller area is used while driving and cool just that. May have to get another EU2000 or some other larger generator. Might try some scheme where a compressor has dual clutches to be driven by the engine or an electric motor, or maybe independent compressors connected to engine and electric motor. Might put together some kind of evaporative cooler and hope for the best. We'll be doing some experiments this summer.