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Old 07-27-2019, 06:19 AM   #1
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No room under bus?

What do folks do for transit buses without room under the bus for mounting utilities?

Before I buy I'm trying to figure out where people put water tanks, generators, AC units, when they're converting a low-floor transit bus. There is no room under the bus and no luggage compartments outside.

I think my only option is the emergency exit door. Can I safely mount a generator and AC unit if I built a well vented utility room around that emergency exit?
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:25 AM   #2
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You'll wish you hadn't, unless you get a super quiet genny.
Short of solidly ducting the exhaust to vent out, I see CO poisoning in your future.
Is there no way to build a shelf over the back bumper, tasked to securely give the genny a home..?
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Old 07-27-2019, 06:46 AM   #3
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I figured that was the answer... I'm planning on adding a trailer hitch and I've seen some cool ones that split for a ball mount and a 2" receiver... Reasonable to stick loud appliances out there?
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:18 AM   #4
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I'm not envisioning the hitch set up you're describing. Not sure how you could permanently mount the genny above it, & still be able to hook up to the hitch, unless pretty high up. Either way, your back door'd likely be blocked...
I put a receiver on mine, too; and when not usefully employed with my toad, it makes for a somewhat narrow step up into/outta the E-door.
I have a Honda EU3000i, which will eventually live on a supported rack, left rear corner.
With 5 messed up vertebrae that are currently behaving themselves, I'm not eager to aggravate them by having to move my genny, even if it's only @165#, dry weight.
If you get a loud genset, it'd be good to design a way to easily mount/dismount it, so's to get a little dB distance from it.
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:35 AM   #5
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You've got several decisions to make, and I'll throw another one in. I think HazMatt's advice is very good, if you have a front engine bus.

If you have a rear engine bus, anything towed or on the receiver will get black with soot. And if it's like my BlueBird you will have to move almost anything mounted on the receiver before you can open the engine compartment to do anything.

But on the upside, my BlueBird has tons of room underneath. Between the front and rear axles, the entire area from the frame rails to the body skirts is only occupied by a 60 gallon fuel tank on the right side. So I have tons of room. And I intend to put my bike rack in the front of the bus, where it will stay clean and I can use those funny looking round mirrors to see it hasn't been stolen..
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:49 AM   #6
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Ok, interesting. The bus I'm looking at is a double decker transit bus, it's a diesel pusher. The floor is really low because it's a low bridge model (so it's Street legal in all states)... There's really no space underneath. Boondocking is important to us... As is AC. Not sure if the bus will work with those constraints without some serious creativity.
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:54 AM   #7
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Good points I'd not considered! I guess my prejudice was showing, what with having a dog nose. Not strictly relevant, but I have dog breath, too...

at finding further fisheye functions!simpsons___its_not_batman.jpeg
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:55 AM   #8
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Well, I think serious creativity is very good for the brain. But another concern you will have with boondocking in this bus is ground clearance; there won't be a great deal. So that's another thing you need to think about.

And with a double-decker you will also have height issues and be hitting every branch around. In other areas that might not be such a problem, but here in the rain forest there are lots of branches to hit on every side road. And it appears that the only trimming of those branches is usually done unintentionally by the tallest vehicles. Good luck with that.
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Old 07-27-2019, 09:00 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crisfole View Post
Ok, interesting. The bus I'm looking at is a double decker transit bus, it's a diesel pusher. The floor is really low because it's a low bridge model (so it's Street legal in all states)... There's really no space underneath. Boondocking is important to us... As is AC. Not sure if the bus will work with those constraints without some serious creativity.
I'd think twice about boondocking in a low-floor transit bus. If it's like the ones I used to ride in Chicago, it might not allow you to get down some of the rutted dirt roads we've been boondocking at out west. We considered a transit bus because of the large windows, interior heating system and the awesome interior room (I could do jumping jacks in a transit bus if I wanted to!) but the fact that there's no undercarriage storage was a problem. Also that they ride pretty low and might high-center on hills we encounter while boondocking.
I've heard that people build a raised floor with the utilities, tanks, etc. underneath. That would cut down on your height, but only by a foot or so. A double-decker bus does sound pretty rad, but again, think of low-hanging tree branches when getting into camping spots. It's a matter of trade-offs I suppose, it's doable but you might have to make some concessions on where you're able to take the bus. The plus side is the comfort level while traveling would probably increase significantly......we only travel 250-300 miles at a clip because the noise and comfort level only allow for that much time driving. A transit bus may be different, I dunno.
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:10 PM   #10
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Hmm, when I say boondocking I should probably be saying off-gridding. We don't want to be tied down to shore power is all. (Although we plan on using it when available).

I'm definitely aware of the limitations. Although at 31 ft should be easy enough to find sites that are long enough.

What about building a porch out of the emergency exit and using a portable LP generator? Is that bonkers?
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:20 PM   #11
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Hmm, when I say boondocking I should probably be saying off-gridding. We don't want to be tied down to shore power is all. (Although we plan on using it when available).

I'm definitely aware of the limitations. Although at 31 ft should be easy enough to find sites that are long enough.

What about building a porch out of the emergency exit and using a portable LP generator? Is that bonkers?
Some call parking overnight without hookups "dry camping".

Building a deck of sorts off the back to carry your generator is a fine idea as long as it doesn't limit access to anything important.... On mine it would impede access to the engine hatch.
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Old 07-27-2019, 12:44 PM   #12
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Well, for the bus I'm interested in the exit is in the driver's side, extra skinny. I was thinking more of a big platform that we can lower out, then sliding the generator out onto it. When it's time to leave, we slide the generator back, lift and secure the deck, them close the emergency exit. Like a wheelchair lift without the lift part.

Just trying to figure out if any of this is feasible at all.
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Old 07-27-2019, 01:35 PM   #13
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Ok, found a kinda schematic:



See on the bottom right, the door near the back?

I was hoping to build a platform about the same size as the door and fold it out when parked for the generator and maybe a grill. Probably building that back corner into a garage like thing with room for propane tank and maybe even fresh water.
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Old 07-27-2019, 03:32 PM   #14
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How tall is it?
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Old 07-27-2019, 04:30 PM   #15
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How tall is it?
If that's a 39" tire, it's right around 13' tall.
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:03 PM   #16
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Whole thing is supposed to be 13.5', so great guess!
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Old 07-27-2019, 07:33 PM   #17
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Then you might be able to use something like this:
https://www.ovisonline.com/Heavy-Dut...ides-C191.aspx


I'm looking at ways to pull a chest freezer from underneath a counter so I can have room to open the lid. These things are available in a fairly wide range of load capacity. Mounting a generator on one crossed my mind, but I haven't got there yet.
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Old 07-27-2019, 08:25 PM   #18
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I think low floor is the way to go, obvious I am biassed.
Much more pleasant to get in and out with no stair steps to get up and down. I lived in a " normal " bus for 4 years and steps get old after a while.



Of roading / dirt roading is no problem as long as you know here your wheels are .
See our threads for build and travel accross USA for 4 -1/2 month .
With the pusher there should be space for a small generator next to the engine.



Good luck Johan
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Old 07-27-2019, 10:29 PM   #19
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When I had an idealistic notion to convert a Bristol Lodekka into a sort-of mobile bachelor pad back in the idealistic 1970s when bachelor pads were a big thing, I quickly realized that all the heavy stuff had to go inside in the ground floor (first floor in Yank-speak), then all the upper floor would be a groovy open-plan bedsit. This means that all the tanks, propane, generator, kitchen, loo and shower have to be inside. Putting a generator inside a soundproof enclosure will work well as long as it can cool itself; this pretty much eliminates cheapo air-cooled generators and instead requires one to use a water-cooled RV generator with a remote radiator.

There are plenty of folk in England and elsewhere who've converted double-deckers - YouTube has some videos showing what's possible. There's even a BCM member in N.Carolina who's converting a Daimler Fleetline.

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Old 07-28-2019, 05:23 AM   #20
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Yeah, I knew I had to put all the weight downstairs! How would that vent? CO poisoning is no fun....
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