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Old 06-07-2011, 05:34 PM   #11
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

All very good points and I have considered them coming in to this. I dont like a lot of windows to be honest. The darker it is.. the cooler it is in my case.

Downsouth..... Sounds like you have the handle on where I am going. Am I hearing you correctly that you only have one 13.5 k unit? This is why I think two would help. I am thinking more on the lines of a 15k in the rear or how every big I can go and make it fit?

I am trying to get those items in place so I knwo how to size the generator that will stay on board full time. I have a 8500 watt unit for now but thats not going to remain there. I am thinking like a 6500 to 8500 unit? Maybe 10k? rather have too much than not enough?

If someone has a line on decent priced windows let me know. I dont mind picking them up here and there. This conversion is not on a time line.

Thanks

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Old 06-07-2011, 11:00 PM   #12
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

Downsouth

Question.... Do you think insulating the side would help? I am curious to hear from people who have setups and seeing what they would do differently? I am planning doing the sides in 3 inch polyiso if it measures out to be possible when i start pulling the inside panels?

The bus will be used for social gatherings, our college homecoming game, maybe an over night stay in a state park here and there. So it will be in some hotter times and cooler times.

I have read the onan 4k is a problematic unit but flad to hear yours is working well. Run it like you stole it!

I dont think my electrical load will be much different that yours to be honest. I dont think as many TVs but that can always change but most of your rig is the same that I have planned for mine. I have been looking at propane generators and the largest ones I have seen are in the 7k power range. So that is what I am targeting. I like to have enough power to not have to worry if we are underpowering them. I plan on probably a 4 battery house setup just to cover the bases. Can one have too much power and options?

The current RV ac system is in the front 1/3 of the bus so I hope it takes care of that end. It sounds like i need to put the biggest one I can fit in the back that will make happen in the back? I saw at Home Depot has some cooling and heating models. I think the biggest one they have is a 10k btu model versus maybe a 15k btu cooling only model. I will have to measure what will fit. Maybe buy one at the end of the season on sale? These are just regular window units so if someone has a bad encounter or can tell me a good reason not to go this way let me know. Here is where I am thinking about putting itů..





Thanks for your input it means a lot.


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Old 06-08-2011, 07:51 AM   #13
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

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Originally Posted by bapos
. . . . . I have been looking at propane generators and the largest ones I have seen are in the 7k power range. . . .
Propane generators come in all sizes. There are also propane kits for converting gasoline generators. The site http://www.propane-generators.com/ sells conversion kits, and also sells new Yamaha generators in smaller sizes pre-converted. Many of the medium sized gennys have engines by Ford or GM, and running these on propane is no different than running a vehicle on it.

When looking for large stationary generators, I find that Cummins/Onan divides their generators into two categories: diesel and spark-ignited. The spark-ignited categry includes gasoline, propane, and natural gas fueled machines. I schedule maintenance on propane gennys from 5 kW up to about 45 kW, and natural gas to 72 kW, but there are bigger ones out there.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:53 AM   #14
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

Redbear

Do you have a generator preference? I am not in love with any brand (I am partial to Honda products but they dont make many models for rvs) so I am wide open to suggestion?


If anyone has some detailed pics and or instructions as to mounting of their power unit in to the bus I am interested. I have the over all idea of what needs to happen. I am just a little confused on how you cool and keep water out of the holding area. I am going to dedicate one of under belly storage boxes for this. Probably the right rear that held the spare tire. I can mod the box or the door in any way. I have all the metal working tools (mig and plasma cutter) to make that happen.


Thanks again for all the info here.

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Old 06-08-2011, 09:16 AM   #15
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

Downsouth,

Took a look at your bus pics last night again. VERY NICE job. You even impressed my wife.... which is a hard thing to do.

I am not a fan of windows period. If I could live in a cave I would be happy. I like it dark and cool period. Not sure if you seen pics of the bus but the windows are alread out and they are skinned but need some more rivits to secure them all the way. So with that in place I am going to insulate from the floor up to where the roof starts to curve up to the roof with about 3 inches (or how ever much I can cram in there) of polyiso. So I am hoping that makes a good difference. I would like to have the windows in place before all of that goes down. As for windows I am thinking about 4 of them (2 on each side) for ventilation on cooler days and possible exits if things get in bad situations.

The camping deal may happen here and there so I have to have that built in. I am not so worried about noise cause I am sure I will be in the same areas you attend. I really see this bus for now being more like a limo to load up and head to events with a group of people and park while we do whatever we do then head home. So being comfortable down the road is important. One design difference is I will need a bathroom and VERY small shower. Not that those influnce power needs but do take up space. Being a former US Navy man I am use to small shower spaces so others will have to experience some of my old world?

Your very right... KISS is the best way to go.

I am open to any and all ideas on AC systems. I dont see the mounting in the back being a huge issue other than maybe having to move the back up camera but that is not a big deal in it all. Like you I am a taller man Im 6'3" so I have the duck thing already in my head. I would love to find a shop that has the inside on that kind of a setup on AC systems and parts? Again no opposed any type of system but from what I gather lots of people have to replace the outside covers (which the current one on top of my bus needs one now.) Im sure over time those ac units have to be replaced and you get a new one when that all happens so if I have one RV and one window unit just means one less I have to worry about.

I am very much looking forward to football.

Again thanks for the input on this subject.


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Old 06-08-2011, 10:19 AM   #16
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

DS

Thanks for the info on the sides. I am going to move forward with that as my plan.

All of the wheel stuff is from the previous owner but I just got out of the commerical truck tire business so I have that end covered. If you have any questions that I can help with on your tires please feel free to ask. The front Aluminum is a LP 24.5 and is probably where I am going to go. There is not a huge difference from the 11r225 so with 2 out of the 6 wheel positions done I just need to get soem Budd 24.5 rear wheels. I dont think I will find some in aluminum cheap so I may have to go with steel for the time being. I am going to check in to see if I can use a super single (wide bade tire) instead of duals. The cost may be too much but one fight at a time.

You never know. Hit me with a PM to see what you have I may be interested and have you ship it?

Yeah Im not real thrilled with dumping as a whole with other peoples waste. But I do know whem Momma is happy it makes my day and world a lot easier. Plus women dont like porta potties so the helps with attracting the proper figures to look at?

Keep up the good work on the bus. Are you done or more stuff coming ?


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Old 06-08-2011, 05:41 PM   #17
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

Just out of curiosity, why don't you go camping? And why only 7 miles? I'm pretty sure the Gamecocks play games farther away than that (I assume you're a SC State Gamecocks fan... SC and "cockabus). I KNOW SC State plays Clemson 's Death Valley (we used to live near Clemson and knew one of the big fundraisers for Clemson) and Auburn (we knew folks in Auburn AL as well). There are some nice public campgrounds in the SC "Golden Corner".
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:50 PM   #18
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

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Redbear

Do you have a generator preference? I am not in love with any brand (I am partial to Honda products but they dont make many models for rvs) so I am wide open to suggestion? . . .
There is no answer right for everyone. I don't want to start a food fight, like the Ford vs. Chevy vs. Chrysler opinions of the 1960's. What is right for a couple camping 2-3 weekends a year, and what is right for a family of 5 living in their bus full-time would probably be totally different.

The correct answer for each user is a balance (or compromise) of:
- Cost of acquisition (free is good, if it works)
- Cost of operation and maintenance (fuel, routine service, breakdown repairs, overhauls)
- Reliability - "mean time between failures"
- Life expectancy (could be measured in years or operating hours)
- Frequency of use
- Type of fuel
- Rated capacity versus expected loads

(Note that the "full time" or "primary power" rating of most gennys is about 2/3 to 3/4 the short-term "standby" rating that is typically published. Try to stay within the "full time" rating when sizing the genny and loads. If in doubt, select the next size larger.)

The generators I oversee are stationary powerplants to back up communications - about 2 dozen 8.5 kW Kohlers, some Onans ranging from antique 3 to 5 kW models up to new ones rated between 65 or 70 kW, plus a couple of other oddball makes thrown in. I assist with but am not responsible for the maintenance on mobile and portable genny units.

The first thing I would say, is that I would prefer any generator that runs at 1800 RPM over a similar generator that runs at 3600 RPM. Except for the small inverter generators that use electronics to generate 60 Hz, the frequency of the AC must be maintained by the engine RPM. A unit that turns half as fast is likely to last more than twice as long. The slow units are most likely to be diesel powered.

Then there is the question of fuel. One consideration is matching the engine fuel supply and plumbing a permanently-mounted generator into the same tank(s), so that you cut down on the types of fuel you carry and handle. Other considerations:

Diesel engines are harder to start cold. Diesel engines have more torque. Diesel fuel can absorb water and grow bacteria if it sits.

Gasoline is readily available, at least for now. Gasoline goes bad fairly rapidly, and will gum up your carburetor, perhaps permanently, if it is not used often. A generator used once per year is asking for trouble, one used every week and refueled should never have a problem.

Liquified Propane never goes bad, but is under pressure and will disappear if you have a leak. Propane can give you quick starts if you can flow enough vapor. The tank(s) need enough surface area to boil off vapor from the "superheated" liquid during a heavy draw. Three 20-lb barbecue tanks in parallel will flow three times more vapor from the combined 60 lbs of liquid than a single 100-lb upright cylinder of the same diameter. There's a reason that big LP tanks lie on their side - more vapor-producing area.

Another trick to overcome flow restrictions is to have two regulators - the regulator at the tank would have a higher pressure than the second regulator at the carburetor. The pressure in the tank (when not drawing vapor) can be 90 to 200 psi, depending on ambient temperature. This pressure prevents any more propane liquid from boiling into vapor until a valve is opened. Operating pressure is measured in water column inches, and is generally less than 2 psi. One suggestion would be a 14-inch pressure regulator at the tank feeding into the fuel lines, followed by the standard (7-inch?) pressure regulator at the generator, not at the tank.

Propane tanks must draw heat from the air to boil some more of the liquid when the existing vapor starts to be drawn off. I have heard of tanks mounted in closed RV compartments in winter drawing enough heat to cause chilling of the water vapor in the surrounding air into ice, freezing the regulator into cutting off the propane vapor flow.

The third thing I would say, is that I like quiet. I don't like to hear fans, blowers, generators, or loud exhausts. So in general for generators, my preference is the quieter, the better.

The fourth consideration is that liquid cooling for a fixed genny would be preferred for evenness of temperature, but the weight savings of air cooling makes a portable generator portable.

Finally, many people have taken generators meant to be portable, and have adapted them to mount semi-permanently in vehicles.

So, my preferences. If I was contracted to equip a tour bus for the Rolling Stones, money no object, but it had better work every time, I would probably pick a liquid-cooled Onan Quiet Diesel. We have had good luck with the three we have, and they are not too obnoxious noise-wise in their special cabinets. But they are "spendy."

For small generators, the attitude is either buy cheap, and toss it if it breaks and can't be fixed, or buy quality and make it last. Some people like their Hondas, some are happier buying half-price knock-offs.

I am in both schools. Even though I hate noise, I am tempted to get one of the Harbor Freight 2-strokes that put out 600 watts for $90 with magazine coupon, just to have a tiny unit to toss around for projects or emergency back up to a primary one.

Next size up, I am leaning toward the pricier Yamaha inverter units over the similar Hondas. They are rated a few db quieter, and most models have cast iron cylinder sleeves for better wear. I am leaning toward a portable unit of about 2 kW pre-converted for "tri-fuel" including propane from the link I posted earlier. This would be for battery charging and light duty, not for running air conditioners. I am of the minimalist, off-grid mentality, and hopefully the genny would be used to back up a solar charger on cloudy days, and not be used to run everything for 16 waking hours per day.

Anything larger would be whatever I could get a killer deal on, whether rebuilding a scrapped unit, or someone getting rid of a used unit at an overly reasonable price. If I were to run air conditioning, I would look at the used market and compare price to condition on available 4 to 12 kW units, and select the most promising compromise.
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Old 06-08-2011, 11:22 PM   #19
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

Redbear

Now thats a reply! Killer info.... on every level.

I respect your thoughts on getting in to the pissing match on the specific units. Like many I think we are always looking for more of what not to get in to versus what to get in to?

Although my bus is gas and wouldnt mind a gas genny I have to follow your advice on the perils of gas units. I have fought this issue on portable work site generators this year so that is why I am leaning to propane units or gas converted to propane ... via your link. I dont mind this as I will have propane onboard for some other needs. So plumbing will not be an issue.

The electrical need on the bus will be as followed....2 AC units, fridge, probably a TV and dvd, and odd and end items that will not demand a huge draw. I am thinking in the 6500 range to 7000? I dont want to go too far over sized but dont want to undersize either?

I have been looking at this unit here.... http://www.electricgeneratorsdirect....860/p5210.html if you dont mind give me the pros and cons of this unit? As I stated before the major quandry I have in my head is how to statically mount this in a side cargo area on my bus and make sure it is properly ventilated? I know some kind of a slotted door is probably needed but is there anything else Im missing? I know water and these units dont mix so Im just worried about water intake when rolling down the road in the rain?

If you can give some guideance here it would be much appreciate.


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