Originally Posted by CaptainInsaneo
Detachable panels and cable to run them into the sun while you stay in the shade. Raising your panels off the roof and put a shade cloth between them and your roof and south facing side. Extra insulation.
If you are willing to drop the cash, you could get a small mini-split that will run direct off d/c. This means no transformer and low power loss. Have you been to handy bob's page? I would give it a read if you want good solid solar setup.
There is also this depending on your power production and output:
Build Your Own Walk-In Cooler With Coolbot
Look up some sun orientation methods. If your bus is facing east or west, then your south side facing windows take heat all day. If you face the bus north or south, then you'll get hard sun in the morning on one side and on the other side in the evening... so I would just move it around a bit to find out where the wind and sun work best to keep it cool. Another method would be to take 55 gallon barrels, fill em with liquid, store them under the bus or in the ground, run a pump and a pipe into the bus to a radiator and a fan, then circulate into an empty barrel. reverse when full. Probably have to go kinda deep to get effective cooling in the summer. but you could build it out of junk yard parts/cheap craigslist stuff, but is ultimately a lot of work and not mobile.
you could section off one small section of your bus, and use loads less a/c to keep those dogs cool in that smaller section and if it's well insulated they could stay frosty all day on almost no power.
My current bed section is in the back and over the engine, the engine and tranny will provide thermal mass during the first part of the day, so my bedroom should stay cool if i can keep hot air from seeping in, I used 1 1/2" rigid polystyrene and put that in the ceiling and walls. Some blankets/ other linens could be hung on the windows and used to cover the ceiling to add insulation to one area. I would add a small 5k btu window unit and put it in the bedroom... the only problem there is if your a/c fails. At that juncture I would just leave a fluid curtain they can walk through to get to an area that's not insulated. I built the a/c in the bedroom in the last bus too, just easier to cool one tiny room rather than the whole bus.
good luck, keep those puppies cool.