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Old 04-06-2010, 02:27 PM   #21
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird PT36

Okay guys here is an update on what we did. Basically I kept the same design that someone had hacked together before. Cut the old stuff off and welded on a new receiver tube and punched holes in some gussets to hold the safety chains.

Took my first trip with the setup this weekend and it worked wonderful.









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Old 04-06-2010, 02:31 PM   #22
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird PT36

Had my first experience in staying overnight at a Walmart this weekend. I stopped at a Walmart near where I was going at first because this the maiden voyage and I knew I would have forgotten things and second because I was unsure of the condition of the Rest Stop just before the exit of my destination.

As I was contemplating on leaving the lot a couple pulling a travel trailer pulled up next to me and I had a chat with them. They stay at Walmarts all the time and basically said if you stay out of the way they are almost always okay with it. As we were in a good spot I spent some time cleaning up the clutter the in the bus and went to bed. The only negative to staying in the parking lot was not using the generator (didn't really need it anyways) and the noise from the hooligans doing donuts in the parking lot.

I think I would still prefer to stay at a rest stop but there are Walmarts everywhere and you can run inside for supplies.
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Old 04-06-2010, 06:06 PM   #23
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird PT36

We prefer Sam's Clubs over WalMarts. We stayed at both on our trip from NC to NM then from NM to TX. We didn't run our generator because it's right under our bed (at the head). Semi's run their motors all night long. If your generator is a quiet one (you can hold a normal conversation standing next to it while it's running), then I cannot see any reason why you couldn't run the generator all night. We didn't but we did run it a few hours in the evening because we needed to keep the freezer food frozen (we brought hot dogs/sausages out with us because we had leftover stock... we sell hot dogs/sausages/bbq). And we would watch DVD's before going to bed. There are no hard and fast rules for wallydocking but http://www.escapees.com/Boondocking.asp has a pdf Good Neighbour policy letter to give you some tips on wallydocking in any parking lot.
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Old 05-01-2010, 09:20 AM   #24
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird PT36

hey Steve,nice wanderlodge!
I own a wanderlodge forum,www.wanderlodgeownersgroup.com ,if you need any help come on over and the guys will help you out.
Looks like your bird was a twin bed model thats been converted to a big bed.
The PTs (pusher,tag ) birds had the tag to help support the 6v93 detroit diesel engine,plus it adds braking power and stops the front to back pitching motion that you get on some roads.
Its a tag axle, with single wheels on the back.

Let me know if I can help,randy@randydupree.com
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Old 05-26-2010, 01:36 PM   #25
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird PT36

I'm getting work done on the bus so I need to try to start taking more pictures.

Here is a cabinet full of trouble. Behind a door in the engine bay near the battery bank is two DC converters and a Rediline Generator.

Converters supply your bus with 12v power and charge your batteries when you are connected to shore power or a generator. The Rediline Generator is an interesting device that is similar (but maybe better) to an inverter. http://www.rediline.com/ It uses a 12v motor to spin an ac generator (just like your gas powered version) to supply AC power to appliances when you are on the road or not connected to an AC source. It is a true sine wave generator and this one is 1600 watts with a 2500 watt surge.

The converters are not putting out enough power to keep the batteries charged and they are not smart so they could cook them. The Rediline is not running at all. I will either need to do a bunch of troubleshooting or replace them.

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Old 05-27-2010, 10:52 AM   #26
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird PT36

Took the redi-line out last night but could not get it to do anything. I will just replace it with a 1500w true sine wave inverter.

Also removed the converters last night and one is putting out 11.3v and the other 7.8v. Both of the original converters were 50 amp models.

Getting the Intelli Power Converter 12 Volt, 80 AMP to replace the two 50 amp converters. Might buy and install a second 80 amp in the future for more power/backup.
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Old 05-27-2010, 04:07 PM   #27
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird PT36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve
...Getting the Intelli Power Converter 12 Volt, 80 AMP to replace the two 50 amp converters. Might buy and install a second 80 amp in the future for more power/backup.
That is a good converter. I just got the 70 Amp version and it is a GREAT converter. Automatically changes modes depending on the battery condition and power demands. I have seen others that seem to 'cycle' back and forth between charge mode and storage mode every few seconds when there is a few lights on which makes them go bright, then dim, then bright, etc. Very annoying. The Intelli Power converters don't seem to do this. I won't mention which brand it was that I saw cycling because the guys who make the 55 amp WFCO units might get mad at me. Just remember, the 80 amp unit needs to be wired up for 20 amp 110V service to supply it, it has the 20 amp plug on it already. I know the 70 amp unit can draw up to 1250 watts when the demand is high, not sure what the 80 amp unit draws, not to mention the draw of running TWO 80 amp units!!! What on earth could you be using that requires 160 amps of 12V power? A Welder? Forget the heavy gauge wire, you would need to run solid copper buss bars on your setup!
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Old 05-28-2010, 08:52 AM   #28
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird PT36

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Originally Posted by Steve
. . . . . The Rediline Generator is an interesting device that is similar (but maybe better) to an inverter. http://www.rediline.com/ It uses a 12v motor to spin an ac generator (just like your gas powered version) to supply AC power to appliances when you are on the road or not connected to an AC source. It is a true sine wave generator and this one is 1600 watts with a 2500 watt surge. . . .
We call those "dynamotors," though I guess Redline will sell more to the general public by calling it a "generator." They were quite common inside the tube-type radio transmitters for fire trucks and police cars made before the 1960s. The ones still in service (rural fire departments) when I got into the business were usually 6 volts DC in, 600 volts DC out to the plates of the amplifier tubes.

Radios were well hidden in the older fire trucks. I would often hit the mike button to listen for the solenoid clunk and the dynamotor spooling up to determine which compartment to access to make repairs.

I doubt that a dynamotor is "better" than a modern inverter. It will be less efficient, since there is mechanical friction using up some of the battery power to turn the shaft. Also, despite the fact that the output really will absolutely be "pure sine," the frequency may be off. Depending on the windings, the shaft must turn EXACTLY 3600 rpm or some sub-multiple of 3600 in order to maintain 60 Hz. I'm sure it will bog down momentarily when a load is applied, and overspeed when the load is removed, just like a cheap or older generator. A modern solid-state inverter should be able to adjust within a fraction of a second, not several seconds.
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. . . I won't mention which brand it was that I saw cycling because the guys who make the 55 amp WFCO units might get mad at me.
No worries - the 'guys' who make the "World Friendship Company" converters probably can't read English.
The importers at Cheng USA might be another story. (Disclaimer: The WFCO converter in our camper seems to work fine, but we only use it to charge up the battery at home before heading out to boondock.)
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:04 PM   #29
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird PT36

Just get a 1500W inverter/charger. It'll do both functions, take a bunch less space, and be more efficient than what you've got there. Bump up to 2000W and the chargers are around 120A. Let me know if you need specification help...that's what I do for my day job.
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Old 05-28-2010, 01:20 PM   #30
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Re: 1985 Blue Bird PT36

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greeper
Just get a 1500W inverter/charger. It'll do both functions,
That redi-line was not driving the AC power to the bus, just the power to the electric curtains and the ice maker! An inverter/charger would not make sense in this application. If I ever find an easy way to add an inverter to power the entire bus then I would look into an inverter/charger/transfer switch.

I will be using one of the circuits that powered the electric curtains to power the satellite dish, tv, and antenna so that is why I have ordered a true sine wave inverter to replace the redi-line.
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