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Old 05-21-2011, 06:46 PM   #1
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Dual ACs for the bus

Hey Guys

I am about to post my introduction to my bus comversion here soon but I have been pondering this subject so I thought I would toss it out here and see what the people have to say.

I have a 1983 GMC 66 passenger Ward bus. I am planning on insulating the sides for now but could possibly change my mind as I just got the bus last week. The windows are already off and partially skinned.

There is already a RV ac installed but not 100% sure of its condition or status as a whole. In the event its DOA I will replace it with a 13,500 btu unit... more or less a exchange on that one. I am not sure if that will be enough to cool the bus in the Texas heat in the summers? I was considering putting a home window type unit above the rear exit door for a second unit. Let me know if there is a pro or a con to doing this. Metal work is not an issue as I have all the nice toys to fab up mounting any way possible.

My question is how big of a unit should I look for? I am thinking 12-15k btu unit? I know they make a 24k unit but I think that will be over kill.

I am going to size my generator properly when it comes time to mount on that will stay there full time. I currently have a 8500 watt unit available but Im sure its very loud but will work till we get there.

This is going to be more of a tailgate/party bus so it will have a few people in there moving and parked. This unit will be rarely used in the winter and will mostly be used a weekend warrior rig more than a full timer in any way?

Your thoughts and input would be great appreciated.

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Old 05-25-2011, 03:46 PM   #2
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

My 3/4 length bus has a 15,000BTU AC which is perfect for the Texas heat in the daytime, but freezes us out at night. I bought a 3,500/4,000 watt generator which really struggles with the startup surge of the AC. The generator bogs down the first time I start the AC during the day, but if I shut the AC off and then try to turn it back on soon after, it kills the generator. A friend told me that may be due to pressure built up in the AC compressor making it harder to re-start soon after it has been running. Thats my experience anyway.
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Old 05-25-2011, 03:58 PM   #3
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

Thanks for the reply Dan. I have been looking at your build and I am impressed with your work. Thumbs up fellow Texan.

So knowing what you know do you think a 13k in the front and a 10k in the back would be ok in Texas?


I am planning on a generator in the 6500watt to 8000watt range so I am hoping that will push the to ac's and the fridge when using them going down the road. I would like to think I can get the loads all setup and plug them in to shore power and see how much the power is pulling and size the generator if its needed. I dont think you can ever have too much power when it comes to generators.

I would have to say thats typical Texas. Beat you up during the day and beat you up and night?

I have friends in the AC business Ill run it past them to see what they think about your problem and pass it on?

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:27 PM   #4
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

I really can't offer much advice about air conditioning since I'm not all that knowledgeable in that area. I was just offering up the experience I've had with mine for your consideration. I did come up with a solution to the night-time over-cooling problem as you can see here: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4959&start=225 (scroll to bottom of page).
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Old 05-27-2011, 02:36 PM   #5
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

Dan

The feedback was great just wish others would chime in here. I like pratical results not theory stuff so your answer was very good. I know i can stick a huge unit in there and not question if its enough but Im trying to find out how to not over spend but also to not under spend.

I think your mod was a good one. Not sure why people would want the fan off anyway other than maybe a noise factor? Hell we have to sleep with a box fan in our room year round due to the noise it makes. Guess you just get use to certain things.


Thanks


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Old 05-27-2011, 04:27 PM   #6
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by bapos
... Not sure why people would want the fan off anyway other than maybe a noise factor? Hell we have to sleep with a box fan in our room year round due to the noise it makes. Guess you just get use to certain things...
When sleeping at night I like the constant noise of the fan because I don't become alarmed and wake up when the AC kicks on, and then wonder if something is wrong when it turns off. There is just a continuous hum, and then a subtle background sound when the AC compressor kicks on - just enough to let me know that it is cycling as it should - rather than total silence and then the rather loud sound of the AC kicking on, followed by a sudden silence again when it cycles off.
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:34 PM   #7
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

Bapos,

I am installing two 13.5btu in the escape hatches front and back. Or, possibly one in front and a fantastic fan in the back. Like you, my rig is more of a party rig vs. motorhome. My generator is 5.5kw Onan. I plan on swapping out start capacitors that will help with start up surges. I am insulating my walls and the roof is shaded by a deck. I am hoping one a/c will be sufficient because of the size of the generator(to good a deal to pass up). In my situation I believe it will be(shade, extra insulation, rv windows). The problem with our particular uses will be the more bodies we cram in the bus the more cooling we will need. I am ready to start on the inside of my bus so the ac will be going in soon. We shall seeeeee!

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Old 06-02-2011, 05:42 PM   #8
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

swhite832

Thanks for the reply. You sound like we are doing the same project so keep me informed on how yours is going. I am pretty much going to do the same thing as you are with the shaded deck above as well as the insualted sides, athough I will probably be doing regualr house windows (double paned quaility units) as I do not like a ton of sunlight in my rig. I wish I would leave it the way it is with no windows on the side but the wife is not real hip on that.

I am not sure how many people i will have but I would always prefer to have too much than not enough... when it comes to cooling btus and generator.

Thanks for the info and let me know how your rig is going.


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Old 06-07-2011, 04:41 PM   #9
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by bapos
... athough I will probably be doing regualr house windows (double paned quaility units) as I do not like a ton of sunlight in my rig...
Something to consider is house windows are not tempered glass, so if they shatter during an accident there will be deadly shards of sharp glass flying around the bus rather than the little pebbles produced by broken safety glass from an RV window (or the standard bus windows).
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Old 06-07-2011, 04:58 PM   #10
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Re: Dual ACs for the bus

Not all RV windows are tempered or safety glass. You can order house type windows with safety glass from some companies (up grade option). Also you can buy safety glass from glass shops. I have heard the using the stick on window tint will make the glass conform to "safety" requirements.
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