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Old 08-22-2014, 06:05 PM   #1
r_w
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How much AC??

I know the answer is "it depends" but help a noob out.

No bus yet, but it will be a big one--for argument's sake, say 40' with factory white roof, factory insulation and tinted glass and no air-standard Bluebird or Thomas FE. The bus will be used as a family road-trip bus, with 12 people most of the time. Need to stay cool, family vacations make me hot under the collar when it is going well.

I see people saying they get by with 12,000 BTU or less just fine in 100 weather, I see others that have 6 tons of AC and say it isn't enough Anybody have a way to narrow down the choices?

I need a solution that will work while rolling or parked, can run off inverter for at least a few hours (like keep it cool while parked while sightseeing), and can run from a Honda EU2000 or standard extension cord (not RV shore plugs).

I have looked at RV roof units--NO!! I am not adding holes to the roof and I can't add that much height and still park where I want.

I have looked at window shakers mounted like lorna. Putting holes in the front of the bus worries me almost as much as the roof. I looked to inset it in the side like teardrop and popup campers sometimes do. My problem is the startup draw on them limits the size for the generator I already and free power connections at family and friends.

I have looked at mini-splits. DROOL! Problem is the bigger ones with multiple indoor units are 230v and probably COST MORE THAN THE BUS. The outdoor units are also too tall to build into the skirt easily.

I have looked at buying a bus with coach air. The ones with a little kubota or yanmar APU interest me (I could add an alternator to it to charge the house batteries). But those buses go for a LOT more and those systems appear to be really expensive to repair when they break.

Is there any other option I haven't looked at?
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:23 AM   #2
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Re: How much AC??

Check out Las Vegas Bus Sales. They always seem to have school buses for sale with house air.
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Old 08-23-2014, 02:00 PM   #3
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Re: How much AC??

sounds like you got all your bases covered.......

the hardest part of the whole skoolie build (the most time consuming) is making these decisions.....

you need to pick the one that fits your needs best and go with it.....then ignore everything everyone says.

good luck
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Old 08-23-2014, 02:56 PM   #4
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Re: How much AC??

do want to run house air-conditioner when you are driving? if so you will need to run a generator. I have 5000 window in the back, and the 9000 portable in the front, I can run 1 at a time with my generator while driving, if its really hot we put a curtain up at the a/c so the 3 of us can keep cool with the front a/c going , it works ok, when this 9000 packs up ill replace it with a 12000, just to get that extra cooling. its hard to keep a bus cool in the summer heat, if its really hot ill drive at nite when its cooler
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Old 08-23-2014, 04:50 PM   #5
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Re: How much AC??

do a little research into what the campground pedestals offer in relation to what you can run on board.

i dont recall off the top of my head, but its something like :

15 amp connector is for running your power converter

the 30 amp is for running the power converter and 1 AC

the 50 amp is for running the power converter and 2 AC



therefore, your safest power source / wiring should determine your cooling capacity
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:11 PM   #6
r_w
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Re: How much AC??

I don't plan to be in RV parks hardly at all. I will either be at a friend's house with a single 15 amp or free parking along the way.

If money was no object, I would fill the roof with solar and the basement with batteries and run the AC from inverters all the time (even when parked in storage), reality is this will be about 10k total project next year including the bus, with a little more to spend over time. I need a solution that will work well enough off the bat and expand later without throwing away previous work.

My current thought is to size the house batts and inverter for running all the AC for 3-4 hours, add a dual alternator setup to charge them while running, and use my generator to run one unit through the night. Add solar later as I get more money. If that doesn't cut it, I will get a second Honda and a link kit but that is a lot of money I would rather spend on fuel to get somewhere fun.

But I still can't decide on how many BTU.
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Old 08-25-2014, 03:24 PM   #7
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Re: How much AC??

there are many calculators online to determine the number of btu's of heating or cooling needed.

for heating and cooling:
http://www.builditsolar.com/Referenc...s/HeatLoss.htm

for electric loads:
http://www.altestore.com/store/calcu...ad_calculator/

those should be able to give you a starting point for sizing you hvac and powersupply.

if i recall, i sized my furnace to hold 70 degrees in the bus, while its -20 outside.

insulation is your friend and im guessing that the honda 2000 is too small of a gen to help you with AC

good luck
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