Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-03-2016, 05:52 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 34
OMG! I bought a bus

2006, 16 passenger, Ford F450 Super Duty 6l diesel (yes, I am seriously considering doing the bulletproof), Type A 5 window. Everything works and I could find only one wet spot. I inspected the bus in the rain after two days of rain. The only problem I found was the rear heat exchange and I intend to remove that anyway. With less than 120,000 miles the engine roars and had no visible leaks or drips. The county that it was used in has concrete roads and so no road salt. All six tires have tread as deep as the nails on my middle finger.

I've talked to my local MVA and my Insurance Agent. My rig will be titled as a bus but registered and insured as an RV.

Phase one will be pretty sparse. I have some simple wooden furniture, a twin bed and a lifetimes collection of camping supplies. Cooking, heating, and light will run on propane. If I can manage it hot water as well. The bus seats are modular and have seat belts. I will be keeping at least two benches facing each other as a dinette. I may turn a third 90 degrees and leave it as more of a couch. For immediate counter space I will be moving an old Harbor freight work bench in and bolting it to the floor. For a toilet I'm going to try a composter. I'm not certain what I want to do for a sink. The simplest is 5 gallon jugs with a hand pump. House batteries are a must, I sleep with a CPAP and have other electronics that I would consider essential. Charging from the running engine and solar seems the best bet.

Phase two will be about insulating and finishing the bus once I've spent some time in it. This is when I would like to decide on refrigeration, mounting the solar panels, and installing the cabinetry. This is also when I hope to bullet proof the 6l diesel. Once I have driven it and lived in it a bit will I decide exactly what else I want to do to it. I have a vintage set of cabinets that I will be using as the base for the interior. In all it's 5 large pieces. The largest cabinet that had a counter top removed will be the base of the bed. A cabinet island with an 18 inch counter top will become the main kitchen. Some of the other cabinets will be installed as well.

The first trip will be soon I hope. I'm shooting for the first of the year. I need to strip off the "School Bus" stuff and probably paint it. I'm hoping for "not a mobile meth lab" look. My carpenter buddy wants the bus seats. I think I have a lead on a non-profit that might remove and take the wheelchair lift as a donation. Curtains and a partition for the cockpit is about the only only really big project to get moving. I'm thinking AZ in January then coming back East via Florida. By then I will know more certainly what I want to do with the bus.

It's the beginning of a great adventure!
Zizzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2016, 07:18 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
AlleyCat67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 737
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
First of all, welcome to the insane asylum!

If you're planning to run a CPAP machine off of house batteries, make sure you set up your battery bank to have plenty of amp hours to ensure it will run all night without killing them. I'm not sure what the power draw is on those but double and triple check your total draw for your essential hardware, then I'd say go at least 1.5x that number. Only reason I don't advise higher is since you said you had a backup charging plan (coach engine) to the solar array. If it weren't for the CPAP it wouldn't be as big of a deal but you don't want to do anything to risk your health so better to go too large than too small.

There are a couple of currently active threads on composting toilets, might want to read through those too.

Sounds like you've thought out your initial phase fairly well.... before fastening anything down though, set everything up like you have it designed if you have everything, otherwise use tape/cardboard mockups, folding tables, etc to simulate it, and live in it for a week or so in your driveway or yard, or in a nearby campground if no other option.... it's easier to move tape and cardboard, or otherwise shuffle things around than it is to have to unbolt everything, move it, and drill new holes and reinstall. The plan that looks good on paper frequently doesn't quite work out in practice... once you have a workable solution that works well, then you can fasten it all down.

Any other questions, there's plenty of threads here that should answer them, and if not just ask, I'm sure someone will know, or know where to find, the answer.

I'm sure others will chime in with their own suggestions/encouragement.

And one more thing, we're a very visual group so we want to see pictures, and plenty of them!
__________________
My bus - Jasmine - External Build Website - YouTube Channel - TN/KY Meetup Group
As a level 1 burglar, Bilbo got a pony when he accompanied the level 60 dwarves on the Smaug the Dragon raid. Those powerlevelers probably invited him solely so he could trigger fellowship attacks for them.
AlleyCat67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2016, 07:36 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
tobeamiss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: NY
Posts: 536
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Welcome and Congratulations!
It DOES sound like you've thought alot of it through and should do well with your conversion
good luck and I'll see you around on the boards!
tobeamiss is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2016, 07:51 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 6,343
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
about 5 years ago I bought a battery from a company which makes portable batteries for CPAP machines... it is 150 Watt-hour and was designed to run the average CPAP machine for 12 hours... that was the average CPAP machine back in 2011 when I got the battery.. I dont use a CPAP I just wanted the battery for running laptops and ipads etc...

when it comes to house batteries, whatever 150 watt-hours translates to would be an average-case scenerio.. and this assumed you were using a CPAP which ran from 12 volts.. obviously if your CPAP is 120 and has to run through an inverter you'll bed more capacity to account for inverter loss..

-Christopher
cadillackid is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2016, 08:08 PM   #5
Bus Nut
 
AlleyCat67's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 737
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
Just out of curiosity I looked up a CPAP battery and the one I happened to click on was rated 5.2 amp hours and said it could run the machine for 14-16 hours so either the machines or the batteries (or more likely, both) have gotten more efficient.

It doesn't appear you have too much to worry about with your battery capacity. A single dedicated pair of the house batteries I'm gonna use (6v, 230ah, 2 in series) would run a machine for ~320 hours (well over a month at 8 hours a night) before hitting 50% DOC.
__________________
My bus - Jasmine - External Build Website - YouTube Channel - TN/KY Meetup Group
As a level 1 burglar, Bilbo got a pony when he accompanied the level 60 dwarves on the Smaug the Dragon raid. Those powerlevelers probably invited him solely so he could trigger fellowship attacks for them.
AlleyCat67 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2016, 10:03 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Carytowncat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 906
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Very excting post, congratulations and welcome! Look forward to seeing pictures.
Carytowncat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2016, 10:40 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Carytowncat's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 906
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Welcome and congrats!
Carytowncat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2016, 08:05 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 34
CPAP - I have the Kill-a-Watt but have not done the readings. These all of a sudden become much more important. To start experimenting with 12v I built an emergency back up for myself. 40ah AGM in a battery box and a 12v power cord for the CPAP. I bought a good Battery Minder planning to need it for larger batteries. There are three settings for the device that dictate how much power it uses, pressure (required), humidifier, heated hose. With just pressure I should be able to run the device for about 3 nights of 7 hours sleep. This would likely damage the battery but would get me through. With the humidifier and heaters running I think it would run for about 4 hours. I will always have this as a back up for everything else. So long as I can charge it to 100% every day I could use this battery for years if I did nothing else with it. The box also works as a nice carrying case for the battery, charger, power cords, alligator clip cables, etc.

Base electric will be 2x12v 150ah, +battery isolator, +AC Battery Minder, +300-ish solar, roof mounts will come in Phase 2. I'm hoping to convert my power tools to battery (Ryobi). I'll have the CPAP back up. I hope to run a fridge/freezer, a cell phone, a lap top, camera, some other rechargeable electronics. Once I've lived with this for a trip I'll decide what to do long term. I do plan to over engineer the charge controller and inverter with the assumption that I will add to this. Phase 3 may even include a small geni.

Visuals - I **** you not I just bought TWO new lenses for my camera so I can take nice pictures on my trip and of the build and I have failed completely to take pictures. Once my rig is delivered on Saturday, the picture taking will commence. I'm thinking I may start build threads both here and Cheap RV Living. I just saw the images draw up with Sketch up. Wow. That may take me a few days.

Composter - Yup. Lots of discussion on this one. Build a structure you are comfy on, do it in a bucket, sprinkle liberally with saw dust/wood ash/clay kitty litter, suck it up and stir occasionally. No cedar. Jug with a screw on lid to keep the liquids and solids separate. Worst case line the bucket with plastic bags. In phase 2 this may get more of a build in with a vent fan. We'll see. I grew up digging cat holes back packing and I've lived with an outhouse.

I've got a number of trips that I've thought out. First is Quartzite in January. I have a buddy in Florida where I can boondock for a while. So-Cal might have some work for me.
Zizzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2016, 08:32 AM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
milkmania's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,213
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Here's a discussion regarding CPAP energy consumption
CPAP Community - View topic - Measured CPAP power consumption
__________________
I once complained I had no shoes....
Until I met a man with no feet
milkmania is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-04-2016, 02:50 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by milkmania View Post
Here's a discussion regarding CPAP energy consumption
CPAP Community - View topic - Measured CPAP power consumption
Thanks. I've gone over several similar threads. Starting point is testing and taking notes based on the Kil-a-watt then calculate based on the common calculations.

I have to google all that sort of thing when I do that sort of math.

Time to start timing and calculating Ah usage for recharging different things.
Zizzer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.