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Old 10-25-2016, 03:30 AM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Darrington, Wa.
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Engine: DT 466ci 250hp, International
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Air conditioning sizing

Who has a well insulated bus and has spent time in 100f and can report there air conditioning unit size and how well it kept up with its asked cooling temp.

Does any one know what size BTU the units are on the factory school bus. how well do they work. I have never been on a school bus with A/C.

Since I have cut my bus into parts I plan on using two portable units with the dual hoses. I'm thinking of just going with one that is twice as big. I'm only dealing with 88 sqft and 192 sqft.
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Old 10-25-2016, 03:37 AM   #2
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This one looks like it would do the trick. lots of out put plus a dehumidifier for the moist parts of the country. Much less than a mini spit system and i don't have part of it outside under the bus getting weathered. If your going to run a gen set it really makes no difference which unit size you run its all going to do about the same GPH.

Whynter Eco-Friendly 13,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner-ARC-131GD - The Home Depot
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Old 10-25-2016, 03:52 AM   #3
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Chassis: International, 643 transmission
Engine: DT 466ci 250hp, International
Rated Cap: 86 screaming Monsters
This is a better option and better price. 1100 watts at 12k BTU or 1 ton of cooling. Its rated for 400 sq ft.

Whynter 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Dual Hose w/ Remote ARC-12SD 12K AC 891207001965 | eBay
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:09 AM   #4
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theres a huge difference between road A/C and parked A/C..

a full size school bus will likely be running 90,000 BTU plus of A/C (2 units).. a short bus will run 40-50k..

BUT!. that is road A/C.. it is designed like a car to cool it down fast after it has sat in the sun all day, it is designed to overcome the body heat of 65+ kids all sardined together, it is designed to overcome the inevitable large amounts of engine heat. (conventional and FE)....

in my own opinion I think you should have a dashboard A/C as well as a parked A/C.. but thats just me.. and its all different depending on the bus when it comes to staying cool on the road.. older busses with bigger dog-houses (DT-466) produce a lot more heat into the cabin than say a non doghouse bus like a T-444E conventional..

staying cool on the road means being vigilant about sealing up the engine heat as much as you can, removing or adding the capanility to close the negative pressure roof vents on the bus.... and having decent road A/C..

obviously parked A/C is all about insulation and either removing, replacing, or improving the windows (tinted), RV windows vs bus windows, less windows, etc..

it is also about how you plan to camp.. is your bus going to sit in the sun all day with No A/C turned on where it gets up to 100+ inside and you want to cool it down quickly? or are you going to be shaded and have shore power where you can keep it cool all day?

I know of one person who's bus came with road A/C.. instead of ripping it out like most do, they use it after the bus has sat all day... they get back to their campsite, start the engine up on high idle for 30 minutes or so and let that 100,000 BTU system cool the bus down.. then they kill the engine and switch to their generator with 2 camper A/C which easily maintain the temperature alone ..

calculate your heat load.. are you using a house-style frig that blows its heat int othe bus? or one that vents the heat out.. or maybe have 2 frig's? are you cooking alot? running alot of electronics like TV's and stereos that make heat? incandesant lights? lots of people and dogs? all that is partially responsible for heat..

if it were *ME* I would have 2 13k btu rooftops on a standard 11 row conventional bus for parked A/C.. and id have road A/C for the road.. (as it is im on the road most of the time so I do have road A/C in both busses)..

im a road A/C guy.. done alot of it, but I'll let others comment about how much you need to keep a full size bus cool in reality...
-Christopher
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:49 AM   #5
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I only use a/c when parked. On the road I open the windows and roof hatches and just deal with it. A little air movement and its not so bad. I've got roughly 4" of insulation in my floor and 3 1/2" everywhere else. I also reduced the number of windows in my bus. I did 100+ degrees with high humidity everywhere from New York to Ohio to Missouri to Kansas this summer. I have a single 12k btu window style a/c mounted on the back wall of my full size bus. When it is 100 degrees at mid day the a/c doesn't cycle off very often but I can maintain a comfy 75 degrees inside, even lower if I use a fan to circulate the air from back to front or vice versa.
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:20 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
theres a huge difference between road A/C and parked A/C..

a full size school bus will likely be running 90,000 BTU plus of A/C (2 units).. a short bus will run 40-50k..

BUT!. that is road A/C.. it is designed like a car to cool it down fast after it has sat in the sun all day, it is designed to overcome the body heat of 65+ kids all sardined together, it is designed to overcome the inevitable large amounts of engine heat. (conventional and FE)....

in my own opinion I think you should have a dashboard A/C as well as a parked A/C.. but thats just me.. and its all different depending on the bus when it comes to staying cool on the road.. older busses with bigger dog-houses (DT-466) produce a lot more heat into the cabin than say a non doghouse bus like a T-444E conventional..

staying cool on the road means being vigilant about sealing up the engine heat as much as you can, removing or adding the capanility to close the negative pressure roof vents on the bus.... and having decent road A/C..

obviously parked A/C is all about insulation and either removing, replacing, or improving the windows (tinted), RV windows vs bus windows, less windows, etc..

it is also about how you plan to camp.. is your bus going to sit in the sun all day with No A/C turned on where it gets up to 100+ inside and you want to cool it down quickly? or are you going to be shaded and have shore power where you can keep it cool all day?

I know of one person who's bus came with road A/C.. instead of ripping it out like most do, they use it after the bus has sat all day... they get back to their campsite, start the engine up on high idle for 30 minutes or so and let that 100,000 BTU system cool the bus down.. then they kill the engine and switch to their generator with 2 camper A/C which easily maintain the temperature alone ..

calculate your heat load.. are you using a house-style frig that blows its heat int othe bus? or one that vents the heat out.. or maybe have 2 frig's? are you cooking alot? running alot of electronics like TV's and stereos that make heat? incandesant lights? lots of people and dogs? all that is partially responsible for heat..

if it were *ME* I would have 2 13k btu rooftops on a standard 11 row conventional bus for parked A/C.. and id have road A/C for the road.. (as it is im on the road most of the time so I do have road A/C in both busses)..

im a road A/C guy.. done alot of it, but I'll let others comment about how much you need to keep a full size bus cool in reality...
-Christopher
Road ac/ parked ac? Are you talking overhead units? Run one from engine and the other from battery bank or shore power?

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Old 10-25-2016, 08:43 PM   #7
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road ac= engine drivin. parked is the units you install in the roof or walls that you plug in. i have engine drivin units, when im at a standstill one will freeze you out but when im driving i have to run both because the air is leaking out/in so bad. hope to fix that with a new door and sealed up windows.
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Old 10-25-2016, 08:47 PM   #8
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road ac= engine drivin. parked is the units you install in the roof or walls that you plug in. i have engine drivin units, when im at a standstill one will freeze you out but when im driving i have to run both because the air is leaking out/in so bad. hope to fix that with a new door and sealed up windows.
The motor has an AC unit on it? No kidding..

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Old 10-25-2016, 09:42 PM   #9
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Join Date: May 2009
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Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
If you have a bus that came with air conditioning that's your road AC, it is very much like a regular car air conditioner , you'll have a belt driven compressor or 2 under the hood, this type of AC will only function when the bus engine is running.

In the old motor home days it was referred to as dash AC. Up until recently full sized school bus dashboards weren't equipped to handle air conditioning .. I think it was superior experimented in the 70s with refrigerating the defroster to help with steamed windows.. it never caught on, though the drivers used it in hot weather as about of a cooler for the driver area..

Most road AC in buses consists of a skirt or under body condenser and one or more evaporators mounted in the ceiling or at each end of the bus...

When driving they will freeze you out but no good at a campsite as there is no way to run them without running the bus engine..

To another post about a leaky bus.. yes better door and windo will help but make sure your engine area has a sealed from your cabin and decommission the passive roof vents and also make sure your outside air / recirc function on your main driver console works.. or in hot weather cover your outside air intake.. and make sure your heater valves are off.. at that point your air cond stands a chance going down the road...

School busses weren't really built for long highway trips.. once town the oversized air units have no trouble as you aren't making tons of engine heat and aren't forcing outside air into the bus at 65 MPH
Christopher
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Old 10-26-2016, 07:07 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
If you have a bus that came with air conditioning that's your road AC, it is very much like a regular car air conditioner , you'll have a belt driven compressor or 2 under the hood, this type of AC will only function when the bus engine is running.

In the old motor home days it was referred to as dash AC. Up until recently full sized school bus dashboards weren't equipped to handle air conditioning .. I think it was superior experimented in the 70s with refrigerating the defroster to help with steamed windows.. it never caught on, though the drivers used it in hot weather as about of a cooler for the driver area..

Most road AC in buses consists of a skirt or under body condenser and one or more evaporators mounted in the ceiling or at each end of the bus...

When driving they will freeze you out but no good at a campsite as there is no way to run them without running the bus engine..

To another post about a leaky bus.. yes better door and windo will help but make sure your engine area has a sealed from your cabin and decommission the passive roof vents and also make sure your outside air / recirc function on your main driver console works.. or in hot weather cover your outside air intake.. and make sure your heater valves are off.. at that point your air cond stands a chance going down the road...

School busses weren't really built for long highway trips.. once town the oversized air units have no trouble as you aren't making tons of engine heat and aren't forcing outside air into the bus at 65 MPH
Christopher
I have no experience with diesel anything, but gas engines i spent my fair share under a hood.

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