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Old 03-30-2014, 08:14 PM   #1
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random ideas that need experienced input.

Hello all I'm brand new to the board it took awhile figuring out why I couldn't register...but got that all sorted out now (obviously ). First off I have no bus yet. I'm still in the planning and saving stage, and my plans for the future school bus are for me and my family, all 6 of us to be able to go to rabbit shows and various trips comfortably. Ok so here are a few of my ideas, I started looking at different appliances and then looked at the prices of new ones . New appliances are pretty much a last resort, so I started looking for RV salvage yards and ran across a salvage auction website and some mostly complete RV's were going for like 1500-2500. when I say complete I just mean all the pieces are present just not always in the right place . Would it be feasible to get one like that and just use all the plumbing and tanks and bits and pieces to put in a bus? Or are most of those things to old to be re used? also I notice that not many of the school bus conversions incorporate generators. Is this because mounting them on the exterior is difficult? I'm a machinist and a welder so I'm hoping I can figure it out . Well that's not all of my ideas but I don't want to be overwhelming or disorganized in my exuberance to be here with to much info at one time. Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:13 PM   #2
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Re: random ideas that need experienced input.

Personally I'd be more comfortable finding an old travel trailer locally that I could have a good look at before buying. Several Skoolie members have salvaged equipment from old RVs so it's certainly a viable option.

Lots of conversions have on board generators. A bus with belly bins is a great choice if you plan to carry one full time.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:51 PM   #3
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Re: random ideas that need experienced input.

i toyed for a long time with the idea of using a camper for a donor. i actually had one and sold it. my reason for building a bus was to get away from the stick and staple finish of campers.

if you are sure you are going to use the all the appliances.... its a good source

or it can be a real expensive smoke detector.... if that's the only piece that ends up in your build.

just depends on what you are making
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:27 PM   #4
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Re: random ideas that need experienced input.

Thanks guys I thought so. I was planning to refinish any old appliances so I wouldn't have the sticks and staples feel. And as soon as I typed that about lacking generators I came across "the best home yet" conversion. After I have had some coffee (I work nights) i will be back to ask about the feasibility of my solar plans.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:16 PM   #5
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Re: random ideas that need experienced input.

Ok I can think now. Every time I see a discussion on solar panels it goes way above my head people are saying things like calculate your draw and convert the amps to watts and all of that, since I don't get that like pretty much any of it i prescribe to the go big or go home philosophy. I'm thinking maybe 800-900 amp hrs using 6v golf cart batteries with quite a few pv cells on my roof and maybe installing a second alternator to help charge in route. being that I live in central Texas and will be traveling for the most part 300-400 miles in any direction I think my sunlight each day should be pretty high. Again I know nothing about electrical calculations..... alg.? sure geometry? sure basic trig? yup that's pretty easy wich is why I feel like an idiot for not being able to figure it out its like I'm missing a variable some where and I'm betting as all ways I'm over thinking it. So my question is will it work? I keep reading that most solar controllers can't handle more than 30 amp input if put say 800 watts of pv on the roof I would be at what? 62ish amps? and if I use a secondary alternator do I have to feed it through an invertor to a 3 stage 120v charger , or can I hook it directly to the battery bank without burning them out prematurely. Thank you for your patience with me lol

edited: fixing spell check mistakes! its watts not whats
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:25 PM   #6
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Re: random ideas that need experienced input.

Tex,

Read this:

http://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/the- ... -puzzle-2/

Once you've studied and understand this and his other postings, you'll KNOW what your setup should be to best serve your unique needs.
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Old 03-31-2014, 02:52 PM   #7
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Re: random ideas that need experienced input.

Thanks Locutus, I will try to read it at work tonight as long as I don't get to busy wich were are pretty slow right now so I'm hoping i have time. Working in a corporate machine shop has its advantages!
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Old 03-31-2014, 10:28 PM   #8
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Re: random ideas that need experienced input.

I'm in the middle of reading it right now that is thus far the most informative and basic terms thing I have read. I have gotten more out of that write up than any three before. Thank you for that very helpfull
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Old 04-05-2014, 04:49 AM   #9
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Re: random ideas that need experienced input.

Next idle thought. How hard would it be to ad 400 gallons of fuel capacity to a bus? I'm toying with the idea of trying WVO and the "big trip" on my bucket list is going to the Red Wood National forest in northern California. I did the math and it would take roughly 400-500 gallons of fuel depending on MPG I'm not going to have room (or patience and time) to collect filter and store en route. I'm thinking collect it and store it on the bus in the weeks preceding the trip...if its viable. Also I have read quite a bit that WVO can be detrimental to seals and what not due to the acids in the animal fats found in it. Any one with long term experience find this to be true?
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Old 04-05-2014, 06:45 AM   #10
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Re: random ideas that need experienced input.

Depending on how heavy you build your bus, the extra 4000 pounds of fuel may or may not matter.

The extra 4000 pounds will realy slow you down on the hills. If you have a little 5.9 Cummins, you may be doing 20kmh up the hills, and mountains.

Go read http://journeytoforever.org/biodiesel_make.html

Nat
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