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Old 09-26-2017, 01:40 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34
Year: 1990
Engine: 6.0L 366 Chevy Big Block
Rated Cap: 47
AC while driving

I have seen alot of people use window units to cool their skoolies. Makes sense cost wise and be able to pull up to any walmart and replace it if it is broken.

While driving down the road how do you power these ?

Battery bank with a large inverter?
---> Pure or modified sine wave?Does it matter for AC

A generator ?

A second alternator supplying a battery bank to a inverter ?Alternator to inverter directly ?

I guess I am just looking for some clarification on how some of you accomplish the solution of mobile AC in older buses.

Thanks in advance for any help

Arod
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Old 09-26-2017, 02:01 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,102
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
its trough to cool a front engine bus without using engine-driven air conditioning.. a forum member here wit ha rear engine bus is succesfully cooling his bus on the road using 2 mini splits.. he has insulated abd BUS-KOTED his bus... floors are super insulated, bus was original factory A/C(he took it out) and he BUS-KOTEd the roof and he stays cool with the minisplits. he runs his generator.

I myself am a big fan of installing engine-driven A/C if you dont have it and are front engine.. its not uncommon for the factory A/C on a full length bus to be 100,000 BTU or more from the factory.. of course you will be insulating, maybe deleting some windows, and such so you probably wont need near that big. but 40,000 BTU isnt out of the question...
-Christopher
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Old 09-26-2017, 04:12 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 17
I was also looking in to air conditioning when shore power wasn't available. I found that it requires a lot of power. I decided to stick to using A/C when I have shore power.

You can check the power requirements by looking at the amps the air conditioner draws. Amps times 120v = watts. Inverters are typically rated for peak watts, how much they can supply for a short burst. A 2000w inverter may only supply 1000w of continuous power. You'd need a big inverter. Take your watts, divide by 12v to get amps you will pull from the battery. This will be lower than real life. The inverter will eat some power. Take the amps times how many hours you want to run it and you'll have your amp-hours or ah. That will let you know the battery bank size.

I started looking at this for when I'm driving. I'm not this good of a diesel mechanic yet tho
Cat | Air Conditioning Kits | Caterpillar
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Old 09-26-2017, 06:01 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Iowa
Posts: 34
Year: 1990
Engine: 6.0L 366 Chevy Big Block
Rated Cap: 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by SilverSchooler View Post
I was also looking in to air conditioning when shore power wasn't available. I found that it requires a lot of power. I decided to stick to using A/C when I have shore power.

You can check the power requirements by looking at the amps the air conditioner draws. Amps times 120v = watts. Inverters are typically rated for peak watts, how much they can supply for a short burst. A 2000w inverter may only supply 1000w of continuous power. You'd need a big inverter. Take your watts, divide by 12v to get amps you will pull from the battery. This will be lower than real life. The inverter will eat some power. Take the amps times how many hours you want to run it and you'll have your amp-hours or ah. That will let you know the battery bank size.

I started looking at this for when I'm driving. I'm not this good of a diesel mechanic yet tho
Cat | Air Conditioning Kits | Caterpillar
Yea that's what I wss curious about how people accomplish it . I would think you would easily need a 3000 watt inverter to power a small ac unit .

Yea that cat ac would be real slick for cat owners. However one thing to consider is that the cab of those machines is alot smaller than a bus . Would need to wall and insulate the drivers area probably . Those ac units on those machines do blown really cold for the space and I often found myself freezing .

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Old 09-26-2017, 09:22 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 12,102
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
theres no comparison to the cab of a digger which is stationary and a moving bus which is often negatively pressurized, sucking heat into the driver area from the engine (unless its a rear engine)..

my bluebird has a 45,000 BTU system in it.. nice insulated white roof, tinted windows, and no doghouse (flat floor). and while I dont sweat on 95 degree days, I dont shiver either.. if I had about 60,000 BTU id be nice N cold.. and thats in a 6 window short bus..

my DEV bus has 65,000 BTU A/C and its not insulated and non-tinted windows.. and a doghouse for a DT-360.. I hgave built custom dash air that blows nice cold air right on me up front.. and on super hot days its a bit warm in the bus.. im not bad in the driver seat because I have ice cold vents on me. ..

rear engine busses have a LOT cooler driver areas and you can get away with smaller A?C.. esp if you are well insulated..

some of the long front engine busses ive been around ie 35-40 footers will often have 120,000 BTU Air-conditioners..

-Christopher
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Old 07-07-2018, 11:58 PM   #6
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Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International
Engine: Navistar DT466 E
Engine driven air conditioning

I own a 28ft front engine school bus, was wondering how to install an engine driven air conditioner to use on the road while driving. I already installed the compressor and the condenser, I have yet to figure out, however, how to install the vent in the cabin. If anyone knows how to install it, a response would be greatly appreciated.
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