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Old 01-13-2016, 10:48 PM   #111
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 187
Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
I came up with idea for chiller because of chatting with casino central plant technicians and researched high end AC systems for yachts. When I started the yacht research I found small air / water handlers and super compact multi ton chillers with seawater coils.

I thought why can't this be done on a bus?? So I did more research as to how they are made / operate. In this process I put an add on Craigslist for a ac technician to go over my plans for the custom chiller. I came across an awesome young fellow that worked at another casino in the central plant (where the casino chiller systems are)
He looked over what I had planes and was absolutely on board to assist with my project. Many of the components are identical to air based systems in terms of refrigeration. Reason they use chillers in casinos is the water systems handle efficiency much better in terms of heat / cool distribution. Many large format air handling systems are chiller based.

As far as a school bus vs coach? That's all preference and prolly cost decisions. Personally I love highway coaches. I always thought the shape and squareness makes for an easier build out not to mention the ample under floor basement for operational gear / systems. They tend to run a little higher in price to purchase than the skoolie. you should also know a highway coach chassis is built for the million mile club. Usually you can pick up a coach in its half life as this is when they are usually sold and fleets renewed. Mine had 600,000 miles. And still drives like a dream.
Like I said all depends on budget and preference.

I personally did not want to deal with a composting toilet for everyday use. I live in my bus full time and have for 1year already with no issues at all with black water. I wanted as much of a normal home type bathroom experience as possible (a flushing toilet).

I have had no black water issues.

Solar panels is a great idea - they will not keep you completely off grid with that amount of wattage, but will sure save money in generator gas and use of it while boondocking.

Keep up your research! im curious to know what direction you go in.
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:03 PM   #112
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pics of completed coach

Thanks, for the reply. I managed a building with multistack chiller system for cooling and boilers for heating entire building using individual airhandlers and baseboard heaters with zone valves.

Do you have pics of your finished bus?
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Old 01-13-2016, 11:16 PM   #113
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 187
Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
My coach is far from complete - but I will continue to post photos.
Yes I live in it, bed, enough of a kitchen and operational bathroom exist. Prolly because I live in it, I'm expecting it to be a two year project. I'm a year in now - so I'm starting on more finishing work and furniture etc... Most "systems" are complete or planned and tested for more install.
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Old 01-15-2016, 06:24 AM   #114
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 187
Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
I'm on my long week off, so I took another trip to CA. Snapped a pic while in Baker on the drive. Don't remember if I had a full shot of the Hoolie...

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Old 01-16-2016, 12:29 AM   #115
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Location: Pine Lake Alberta
Posts: 3
Year: 1995
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: D-40
Engine: series 60 400hp 6spd Ali
Hello, TALENTED girl. Very impressive build and creative mind. I will be starting mine this spring, and if you feel like coming to glorious Alberta for a few months you could help me lol.

I was just wondering why you wouldn't have the bedroom at the back of the coach instead of the cargo bay. my cargo bays will full of gear such as black & grey tanks, water tanks, generator, propane tank, bbq, cast iron pans & dutch ovens etc. Oh and of course fishing gear. Just my thoughts

As I said before very nice coach and a great do it yourselfer!!
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Old 01-16-2016, 02:10 AM   #116
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 187
Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
I'm not eliminating the back bedroom, I have one as well that will double as and office / music studio with a desk under the bed that can raise. The cargo bays in my rig house all the usual: (generator, black, fresh, grey, propane, inverters - etc.) the cargo sleep bay to me is in addition to the back bed and was the first I could also get up and usable while "construction" goes on upstairs. It's the one place at the moment that doesn't get cluttered with tools!! Lol...
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:50 AM   #117
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Winter Haven, Florida
Posts: 21
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 88 souls
I think the downstairs bedroom is brilliant. Small as it must be, it has to make the whole bus seem much bigger to have that retreat that is not part of the one cavern.

Back when I was considering an old Scenicruiser, which has a split-level interior and taller/wider storage bays than any other bus, I was planning something similar. Access was to be through a "companionway" hatch to the left of the central steps. It would resemble and function like the entrance to the cabin of a large sailboat from the cockpit. The Scenicruiser is the only model suitable for that kind of entrance. Ultimately I decided against because the Scenicruiser (I'm about to get in trouble here) is so unpleasant to look at, as if a bus monster ate a bus and puked out the parts.

Such was my enthusiasm for that design element that I still eyeball the cargo doors of every bus I encounter with the dimensions of a lower bedroom in mind. Now that I have settled on a skoolie I've put the idea aside, but I will try to work some other vertical elements into the design.

Congratulations on your wonderful project. You have certainly set a new standard and will inspire many of us.
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Old 01-18-2016, 03:04 AM   #118
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 187
Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
Thank you! The basement cubby is the one of my favorite modifications to the bus. Making a access hatch to get in the sleeper is amazing to crawl down there just like a boat cabin like you said... Mine is very similar yet my couch will slide over with linear actuators to reveal the opening to the sleeper bay. My other favorite modification is the drop down shower pan in the floor. It make the bathroom and shower feel "normal" and not cramped by any means...

I'll post pics soon, but I actually finished all my drawers in the kitchen cabinets and the induction cooktop drawer units. They work great!!! Just as planned. I still need to do the electrical for the electromagnetic locks to hold the drawers closed and the cooktops open by push of a button. Got sanding and paint work to do tomorrow. Hopefully by tomorrow night I should have them finished with the acrylic coating.
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Old 01-18-2016, 04:28 PM   #119
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Winter Haven, Florida
Posts: 21
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 88 souls
The way you describe it, with the sliding couch revealing the hidden entrance, has almost a 007 technical wizardry to it. Or, in a nerdier vein, the setup evokes the hidden cargo holds in the Millennium Falcon. You'll always know where to go if you get caught in an imperial tractor beam.
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Old 01-18-2016, 05:44 PM   #120
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 187
Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
Yes!!! My bus is fun of beard gizmos - Ha ha - it's my "panic room" too if you wanted to hide for some reason.
I have the linear actuators in now, they are strong!! 225lb force. I still gotta get the 8 250lb ball bearing drawer slides to mount the two custom couches on. Can't wait!!!

Been working on the electromagnets for the kitchen drawers - geez Home Depot no longer sells 4-40 machine screws!!! Bogus...
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