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Old 02-14-2019, 12:57 PM   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 8
Year: 2000
Engine: Cummins ISB-190-BUS ENCORE / ISB CM550
Non-RV Conversion in Henrico, VA

Greetings,
I'm a Systems Administrator for Henrico Schools and were in the process of retrofitting a old school bus into a new mobile training center for our department.
While not the typical bus to rv conversion seen here, I've spent hours looking over the information on this site and a lot of it has been very useful.
Some Details about our bus:
Model: Bluebird TC FE 3700
Build Date: 08/16/1999
Engine: Cummins ISB-190-BUS ENCORE / ISB CM550
Trans: Alyson AT545
Rear: 4.44
This bus was a spare an is in surprisingly good shape. We've got big plans for her and will be working with the local specialty center kids to get a lot of the work done.
I'll post pictures below, and ask a couple of questions here:
I found a thread that mentioned that with the 4.44 rear I should in theory be able to raise the governor to 74 without any issues? Does that sound correct? Right now the bus is limited to 52 and that is painfully slow when going cross county. It adds about 20 min to our trip.

Does anyone have any experience hooking up a trailer hitch to the back of a 2000 BB? Were planning on a small storage rack at the rear of the bus to power our generator.

Anyways, here's the "befores" and the proposed new layout. Its basic I know, but were still very excited about the uses for our department.

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Old 02-15-2019, 06:07 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2018
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Year: 2000
Engine: Cummins ISB-190-BUS ENCORE / ISB CM550
Lets try the photos again....

2019-01-29 10.47.57.jpg

2019-01-29 10.48.28.jpg

2019-01-29 10.48.58.jpg

BusDsignOverView.PNG
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Old 02-15-2019, 06:35 AM   #3
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1999
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Welcome!

Honestly man 70+ is a big ask for that bus. Its not gonna enjoy life past 55mph much.
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Old 02-15-2019, 10:46 AM   #4
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Welcome! Sounds like a nice way for a school system to get more use out of an asset it already has.

For a trailer hitch you might look at the Draw-Tite 41990. It is a parts kit that can be welded together for a custom fit. Cost is around $150. You probably have some students in a welding program who could take care of that. However, before you get too far down the road of putting a generator on a hitch-mount rack, consider carefully how much generator you'll need.

I counted 16 PCs plus a server rack in the one illustration. Those alone could easily consume 3 kW. There'll be a few hundred watts of lighting also. Then consider if there's room for 16 trainees there may be as many as 18-20 people in the bus. They give off a lot of heat and water vapor. The bus will end up parked in the sun, too. Air conditioning will have to deal with all of that. I'll bet that two roof-mount A/C aren't enough to do the job.

Definitely get a pro to do an A/C load calculation for you, but just making wild guesses, I think you may need at least 12-15 kW of generator. That'll be large, heavy, and expensive. Rather than using a hitch mount, it might be prudent to build a custom enclosure in the skirt of the bus to conceal and protect it from vandals, thieves, and collisions.
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Old 02-18-2019, 07:11 AM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 8
Year: 2000
Engine: Cummins ISB-190-BUS ENCORE / ISB CM550
Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
For a trailer hitch you might look at the Draw-Tite 41990. It is a parts kit that can be welded together for a custom fit. Cost is around $150. You probably have some students in a welding program who could take care of that.
Thanks for the suggestion! The hitch rack will be installed by either our counties certified welders, or the bus dealer who is painting the bus for us. While the centers have a welding class, they did not want to assume the liability that something gets welded and then falls off at 55MPH on the highway. Something I can 100% agree on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
I counted 16 PCs plus a server rack in the one illustration. Those alone could easily consume 3 kW. There'll be a few hundred watts of lighting also. Then consider if there's room for 16 trainees there may be as many as 18-20 people in the bus. They give off a lot of heat and water vapor. The bus will end up parked in the sun, too. Air conditioning will have to deal with all of that. I'll bet that two roof-mount A/C aren't enough to do the job.

Definitely get a pro to do an A/C load calculation for you, but just making wild guesses, I think you may need at least 12-15 kW of generator. That'll be large, heavy, and expensive. Rather than using a hitch mount, it might be prudent to build a custom enclosure in the skirt of the bus to conceal and protect it from vandals, thieves, and collisions.

So we've got a pretty substantial KW calculation worksheet setup. Current plans have everything sitting at ~9.5KW. The generator we'll be getting is 12KW continuous and 15KW surge. Sadly, were fairly tight in the budget so custom enclosure/mounting is not in the budget this round. There's grant funds in the work that may open up 100K for us, if that happens, then we're going to drop the $$$ to drop a real generator in that pulls off the diesel tanks. Were going to do our best to secure the generator to the basket, but we also know there's always the possibility of someone coming in, cutting through the basket itself and walking away with it.


Current plans call for 2 15,000BTU AC Units. We've had good success with this in the other conversions the district owns, and were hoping with sectioning off the rear 7' of the bus, we'll be even better off. But once again, if the money comes through, its in the plans to add a third unit.
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