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Old 01-04-2018, 11:05 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Duncan, South Carolina
Posts: 14
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Chevy Blue Bird
Engine: 3116 Cat
Seats are out, so many options!

Hi guys!!
We purchased our bus on December 31, 2017 (great way to end the year), and have since torn out the seats!
There are so many threads and opinions on how to do, basically everything, it can almost be too much. BUT THAT'S NOT HOLDING US BACK.
Now that the seats are out, we're not quite sure if we are going to keep the rear heater or not, yet. Maybe it's good to keep for now while we're still renovating, then ditch it at the end?
We are also coming up to the quite confusing task of insulation, and what sequence to remove and insulate floor, ceiling, and walls.
One of the main things we're wondering is; how necessary is it to be able to access shore power? We do plan driving a lot (cross-country) and being completely self sufficient with solar and a generator. Our thoughts were this might be something more necessary for people who will be staying in RV parks and staying in one place for a long time? Is this true, or is there something we're missing? Because I'm also sure making the bus shore power accessible is a whole project in itself.

Our bus runs great, was just serviced before being decommissioned as an activity bus. Are there any simple upgrades we can make to increase the longevity of the buses life? We plan on living on it for a while.

I'm sure we'll have many more questions but are loving reading threads and are learning so much!!
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Old 01-04-2018, 12:46 PM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 6,409
Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
Congrats on your purchase.

After reading your post, what comes to mind is something most of us say all the time. Most of us find that our backup plans need backups. You've got your power sources in mind, but you need a backup plan. Even if you don't plan on using grid power it's good to be capable. Generators go down and the sun doesn't always shine. Things can get miserable quick on the odd time that your power plan doesn't work the way it's supposed to work.
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:08 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 26
Year: 1999
Coachwork: International/AmTran
Chassis: 3000 RE
Engine: 7.3 T444E
Rated Cap: 40 Passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by mapletwag View Post
Now that the seats are out, we're not quite sure if we are going to keep the rear heater or not, yet. Maybe it's good to keep for now while we're still renovating, then ditch it at the end?
I'm typing this post as I watch us getting hammered with 2 feet of snow, and I'm thinking what's the rush to get rid of your heaters? I know that you're down South, but I'd wait until the very end (if at all) to get rid of the heaters.
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:42 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
I would suggest getting an oil test. It will tell the tale on many fronts as to engine condition. Cheap insurance. Anyone have a recommendation on who to use?
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:57 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 2,627
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
The cheapest part of the entire electrical system will be adding the facility for shore-power.

It makes little sense not to do it.
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:00 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Kalispell, MT
Posts: 280
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Amtran Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 84
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Originally Posted by Tango View Post
I would suggest getting an oil test. It will tell the tale on many fronts as to engine condition. Cheap insurance. Anyone have a recommendation on who to use?
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:15 PM   #7
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by mapletwag View Post
Hi guys!!
We purchased our bus on December 31, 2017 (great way to end the year), and have since torn out the seats!
There are so many threads and opinions on how to do, basically everything, it can almost be too much. BUT THAT'S NOT HOLDING US BACK.
Now that the seats are out, we're not quite sure if we are going to keep the rear heater or not, yet. Maybe it's good to keep for now while we're still renovating, then ditch it at the end?
We are also coming up to the quite confusing task of insulation, and what sequence to remove and insulate floor, ceiling, and walls.
One of the main things we're wondering is; how necessary is it to be able to access shore power? We do plan driving a lot (cross-country) and being completely self sufficient with solar and a generator. Our thoughts were this might be something more necessary for people who will be staying in RV parks and staying in one place for a long time? Is this true, or is there something we're missing? Because I'm also sure making the bus shore power accessible is a whole project in itself.

Our bus runs great, was just serviced before being decommissioned as an activity bus. Are there any simple upgrades we can make to increase the longevity of the buses life? We plan on living on it for a while.

I'm sure we'll have many more questions but are loving reading threads and are learning so much!!
You use lots more electric energy than you relieze...get a sound understanding of your needs and shore power will probably make more sense

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Old 01-08-2018, 02:17 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Duncan, South Carolina
Posts: 14
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Chevy Blue Bird
Engine: 3116 Cat
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
The cheapest part of the entire electrical system will be adding the facility for shore-power.

It makes little sense not to do it.

What does that entail?
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Old 01-08-2018, 03:06 PM   #9
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 973
Quote:
Originally Posted by mapletwag View Post
What does that entail?
My POV...start here https://youtu.be/gZY4BWEZ4ig

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Old 01-08-2018, 03:40 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,541
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
The cheapest part of the entire electrical system will be adding the facility for shore-power.

It makes little sense not to do it.
Something I've suggested several times is to build the bus for shore power "only." Then, "converting" it to run on a generator is as simple as pull the start cord on the generator and plug in the shore power cord. Solar can work the same way: switch on the inverter and plug in the shore power cord.

The way I see it, shore power is kind of the de-facto baseline to which fancy things like solar/generator/transfer switches can be added. Those additions can happen in the design stage before anything is built, or they can happen down the road when bigger stuff is settled and true electrical needs and use patterns are better understood.

A person could design out the actual shore power cord and plug, but it's just so easy to imagine scenarios in which a person says "I'm glad this is here." that it's worth spending a few dollars and the storage space to have it on hand.
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