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Old 06-01-2019, 04:01 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina USA
Posts: 12
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas Bloodmobile
Engine: swap in progress -- 12 valve Cummins Diesel
Rated Cap: 87
Lightbulb My Bloodmobile's Electrical System

Hi All,

My Bloodmobile (1990 Thomas) came originally equipped with two (2) 20Kw diesel generators and is wired throughout with florescent lighting (see photo).

The bus has four (4) roof-mounted AC units. (Two have been removed but are being replaced as part of my purchase.)


I THINK I'm in pretty good shape with the existing breaker panel. Do you folks agree?

The man I bought my bus from is removing one of the generators for his own use. My understanding is that the bus came with two to provide redundancy for field operations.

1) I HATE florescent lighting. I work Part-Time at IKEA right now and can purchase some LED lighting (and other things) with very favorable terms.

a) What tips and suggestions do you folks have about removing the florescent lights? Are the old lights worth anything to anybody?

b) How best to incorporate existing IKEA lighting products? Should I buy ceiling fixtures like this one:

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10193300/

or concentrate more on strip lights like those found here:

https://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/c...ighting/36812/

or use some of each? I'll admit a fondness for lamps and indirect lighting. Does anyone have experience using these products in a Skoolie build?

2) What, practically speaking, can a 20Kw diesel generator power? How much fuel does this thing use, and how much will it cost me to use it?

3) What's the best approach for adding & incorporating some solar components to this rig for off-grid/boondock usage? I'd hate to have to listen to a generator all of the time and I'm not crazy about spending $ on fuel.

4) Any particular caveats/warnings I should know about up front?

Thanks for any feedback, ideas, and advice you might have!
Eric
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bloodmobile-RightSide.jpg (48.6 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg LookingForwardHalfwayBack.jpg (30.6 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg BackofTheBus.jpg (71.7 KB, 3 views)
File Type: jpg OriginalBreakersAndGeneratorControls.jpg (83.5 KB, 3 views)
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:36 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Chattanooga, TN
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Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: CAT 3126
20kw is more than enough for nearly anything you should need. I get by pretty well with a 3kw. The main downside is that they will be thirstier at idle or partial load than a smaller unit.
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:42 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Hotzona
Posts: 623
Year: 2003
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: 3800
Engine: Navistar T444e
Rated Cap: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by invictus28 View Post
2) What, practically speaking, can a 20Kw diesel generator power?
Your bus, my bus, and the three other buses that show up wondering what the bright lights are all about

Then again, if you're running those 4 ACs, maybe not

Seriously though, that's the functional equivalent of ~5 30A pedestals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by invictus28 View Post
How much fuel does this thing use, and how much will it cost me to use it?
That was our first ever hard lesson on generators.. you don't want more generator than you can use. It's better to have 2 smaller (or in your case, 5 smaller lol) generators than one large one. Load impacts fuel economy, but not nearly as much as the size of the motor you're pushing. A 2000W load powered by a 2200W generator running close to flat-out is going to save you a lot of gas compared to a 4000W generator running @ 50%.

Maybe use the 20K for an awesome home back-up generator, and find something a bit smaller for the bus? It really depends on your loads though. If you actually plan on running 4 ACs at one time off generator power, it might make sense to keep it. But I'd hate to think of how much fuel that would burn.
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Old 06-01-2019, 04:48 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Charlotte, North Carolina USA
Posts: 12
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas Bloodmobile
Engine: swap in progress -- 12 valve Cummins Diesel
Rated Cap: 87
That's promising. ;)

I was hoping that I could use my bus, in addition to as a portable home & office, as a disaster-recovery resource.

It would make sense, it seems, to plan on installing a secondary (smaller) power generation system (maybe generator or solar w/inverter and batteries) for regular off-grid use.

I guess I'll be fine with a 50 Amp shore-line for not boondock/disaster usage. How available are these sorts of things nationwide?

Thanks for the perspective!

e
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