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Old 02-06-2018, 10:29 AM   #661
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im all about protecting condensor coils... one thing I know for a fact is that the copper tubes in these units are THIN.. I also know that the fins bend EASILY... bent fins = reduced airflow..

an automobile A/C condensor doesnt have ultra thin fins extending beyind the tubes.. notice they are slightly beefier fins as well. the pipes on the aluminum condensor of a car are also considerably thicker as well...

like I mentioend you dont want to restrict airflow but you do want to protect it somewhat.. your fan is fine the way it is.. those fans arew designed to clog up with snow and ice and still not be damaged..

-Christopher

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Old 02-06-2018, 02:45 PM   #662
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one thing to think about in regards to diurability, is that somewhereinusa has had his minisplits for I believe a couple years.. I dont believe he has tried to run them whikle driving... (everyone knows how I feel about having bus A/C for the road and Parked A/C for being parked)... but they have held up through the perils of road vibration and such. and work well when he is camping..

dont beat yourself up over choosing minisplits vs rooftop A/C's.. alot of skoolie building is uncharted territory.. minisplits sure seem like the perfect thing for what you want to do with your bus.. and your installation thus far sure looks solid to me.

-Christopher
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:56 PM   #663
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one thing to think about in regards to diurability, is that somewhereinusa has had his minisplits for I believe a couple years.. I dont believe he has tried to run them whikle driving... (everyone knows how I feel about having bus A/C for the road and Parked A/C for being parked)... but they have held up through the perils of road vibration and such. and work well when he is camping..

dont beat yourself up over choosing minisplits vs rooftop A/C's.. alot of skoolie building is uncharted territory.. minisplits sure seem like the perfect thing for what you want to do with your bus.. and your installation thus far sure looks solid to me.

-Christopher


Thanks Christopher! That does help, and I have been actually very fortunate in many ways. Friends online and in person have helped so much! And so many more of my fears have proven to be false than those that have borne out.

The simple truth is that I’m just trying to fight battles on too many fronts at once. My build is going well, just slower than I would like.

I actually am not totally familiar with your AC philosophy. Are you advocating for an engine driven system for on the road? Do you think my 13,500 btu rooftop unit would be any more reliable when driving than the splits?

I was hoping to run the splits while driving. Bad idea I guess? Has anyone here tried it?


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Old 02-06-2018, 11:02 PM   #664
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So here is my next hurdle. The back unit is ready to go, but I need to address where the front one will hang. I got as far as a design and a little wiring work tonight.


Design:


Fresh work area:


Wiring extended and relocated to area new cable chase will be.



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Old 02-07-2018, 09:02 AM   #665
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i totally advocate road A/C for the road.. in an RE bus you are a little better off as the engine heat is produced in the back., but in an FE bus there is a ton of heat generated under that doghouse and its gonna get inside.. niot to mention that huge glass area in front.. when parked you can curtain off the windshield and side windows to block down on the sunload.. but while driving you need that open.. busses naturally have air pressure pushed against the glass and mirrors cause vacuums against the sides.. so you have air getting in and out while in the freeway... this eats into the ability of the A/C to cool...

a stock 14 row school bus will have close to 130,000 BTU of A/C in it.. now granted it is full of windows and doesnt have good insulation.. however in hot summer driving into the sun. you still need quite a bit of A/C to cool it..

as for running a minisplit om the highway... success all depends on what kind of airflow happens underneath the bus.. the fans on them have protection against being bound up with snow and over-current protection.. so if the airflow is such that the outdoor fan is taking air in the face it may shut-down and throw an error code.. (thats what mine do.. ) theres only one way to find out which is go down the highway and turn one on.. yours are mounted sideways which is a toss up as to how the air will flow.. good thing is its not too hard to alter the airflow under the bus. with some sheet metal shields if need-be.. the air flows in the back of the unit and out the front.

I dont believe the units will get damaged by trying them out.

-Christopher
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Old 02-07-2018, 11:05 PM   #666
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i totally advocate road A/C for the road.. in an RE bus you are a little better off as the engine heat is produced in the back., but in an FE bus there is a ton of heat generated under that doghouse and its gonna get inside.. niot to mention that huge glass area in front.. when parked you can curtain off the windshield and side windows to block down on the sunload.. but while driving you need that open.. busses naturally have air pressure pushed against the glass and mirrors cause vacuums against the sides.. so you have air getting in and out while in the freeway... this eats into the ability of the A/C to cool...

a stock 14 row school bus will have close to 130,000 BTU of A/C in it.. now granted it is full of windows and doesnt have good insulation.. however in hot summer driving into the sun. you still need quite a bit of A/C to cool it..

as for running a minisplit om the highway... success all depends on what kind of airflow happens underneath the bus.. the fans on them have protection against being bound up with snow and over-current protection.. so if the airflow is such that the outdoor fan is taking air in the face it may shut-down and throw an error code.. (thats what mine do.. ) theres only one way to find out which is go down the highway and turn one on.. yours are mounted sideways which is a toss up as to how the air will flow.. good thing is its not too hard to alter the airflow under the bus. with some sheet metal shields if need-be.. the air flows in the back of the unit and out the front.

I dont believe the units will get damaged by trying them out.

-Christopher


Thanks very much! Very helpful. I will give the thing a try and see how it goes once I ‘m fully installed. As you say, airflow could be redirected if need be. I suppose a simple test would be to mount a camera and record while driving and see which way the fan free-wheels. If it spins forward or even only a little backwards it seems like there’s a good chance the airflow would be ok.


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Old 02-07-2018, 11:07 PM   #667
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Small update. Got some AC 3/4” plywood and fitted it for the middle panel where the unit will hang. Feeling optimistic that this will work pretty easily and be quite sturdy.


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Old 02-08-2018, 01:21 AM   #668
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Small update. Got some AC 3/4” plywood and fitted it for the middle panel where the unit will hang. Feeling optimistic that this will work pretty easily and be quite sturdy.
If the plywood doesn't hold the A/C while going down the road, you'll be the FIRST to know.

Is it me, or does that plywood have some spiffy grain to it?
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Old 02-08-2018, 08:36 AM   #669
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Thanks very much! Very helpful. I will give the thing a try and see how it goes once I ‘m fully installed. As you say, airflow could be redirected if need be. I suppose a simple test would be to mount a camera and record while driving and see which way the fan free-wheels. If it spins forward or even only a little backwards it seems like there’s a good chance the airflow would be ok.


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great idea on the camera.. drive the bus in different scenerios.. behind a semi.. semi behind you, passing a semi, cross wind..

if the fan only spins a little we can hope that there isnt a wall of air both behind and in front of the unit.. and at that point you just run it and drive it and see how it goes..

skirt mounted A/C road units pull the air in from the skirt and exhaust it underneath the bus.. their fans are high RPM.. designed to overcome high pressures.. minisplit fans are high volume low pressure fans.. they max out somewhere around 900 RPM at their highest. the little temp sensor on the back of the coil seems to be the biggest contributor to the outdoor fan speed.. then there are 2 coil temp sensors outside.. since underneath a bus is pretty warm im guessing that fan will want to trend higher than lower which is good..

im loving watching this come together!!! remember to leave yourself access to get to the lines and wire as you set your indoor unit. im assuming you will route the lines inside the header panel, then come down through the bottom somewhere near the dash? that 90 will be tight, just use a tubing bender (dont freehand it).. esp the larger line.

line-hide will dress it up nicely
-Christopher
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:50 AM   #670
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great idea on the camera.. drive the bus in different scenerios.. behind a semi.. semi behind you, passing a semi, cross wind..

if the fan only spins a little we can hope that there isnt a wall of air both behind and in front of the unit.. and at that point you just run it and drive it and see how it goes..

skirt mounted A/C road units pull the air in from the skirt and exhaust it underneath the bus.. their fans are high RPM.. designed to overcome high pressures.. minisplit fans are high volume low pressure fans.. they max out somewhere around 900 RPM at their highest. the little temp sensor on the back of the coil seems to be the biggest contributor to the outdoor fan speed.. then there are 2 coil temp sensors outside.. since underneath a bus is pretty warm im guessing that fan will want to trend higher than lower which is good..

im loving watching this come together!!! remember to leave yourself access to get to the lines and wire as you set your indoor unit. im assuming you will route the lines inside the header panel, then come down through the bottom somewhere near the dash? that 90 will be tight, just use a tubing bender (dont freehand it).. esp the larger line.

line-hide will dress it up nicely
-Christopher
I'm debating on surface mounting the line set vs. having them inside the panel. Pros and cons each way. Looks better if they are hidden but everything else better if not. Already decided that in the rear I need to surface mount because the alternative was to bring the bulkhead panel 3 more inches out into the space which was easily too big of a con to justify the improved simplicity of hiding the lines.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:55 AM   #671
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What do you all think of hardware cloth to protect the outdoor units? 1/2" or 1/4" grid are readily available. I've used the stuff before for other things and it is rigid enough to hold a shape and plenty strong enough to block most things that would threaten. Galvanized to prevent rust. I've used outdoors and seems like resilient stuff. I think they also make a rubber dipped version for additional corrosion resistance3.

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Blue-Hawk-A...encing/4780957
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:58 AM   #672
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If the plywood doesn't hold the A/C while going down the road, you'll be the FIRST to know.

Is it me, or does that plywood have some spiffy grain to it?
I do like it! It's been sitting in my garage for 3 years so it's nice to find a good use for it! It'll be painted but still nice to see good quality wood! I think I'm going to need to still back it with a 2x4 to minimize vibration. Will work on all the next steps tonight...
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Old 02-08-2018, 01:37 PM   #673
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when you say sirfacew mount, you mean surface mount on the poutside of the bus? I wouldnt do that on the front.. thats just anothger place for water to leak into the bus...
-Christopher
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Old 02-08-2018, 02:13 PM   #674
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when you say sirfacew mount, you mean surface mount on the poutside of the bus? I wouldnt do that on the front.. thats just anothger place for water to leak into the bus...
-Christopher


Oh I see. No. The lines can come out of the side or the back of the air handler. If I come out of the back they will hide inside the panel but have a tight turn at the wall. If I come out the side, the lines are never in the wall and are just exposed (on the surface), necessitating some sort of trim or chase to look finished.


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Old 02-08-2018, 03:01 PM   #675
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oh I get it.. duh.. inside and not out the rear.. that makes perfect sense to do actually..

this is what I use to hide lines.. (it also makes great air ducting too.. )

https://www.diversitech.com/feature-product-line

-Christopher
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Old 02-08-2018, 06:39 PM   #676
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oh I get it.. duh.. inside and not out the rear.. that makes perfect sense to do actually..

this is what I use to hide lines.. (it also makes great air ducting too.. )

https://www.diversitech.com/feature-product-line

-Christopher


Looks amazing! Where do you source yours from?


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Old 02-08-2018, 07:37 PM   #677
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Find your local HVAC supplier and most should have samples of what they stock hanging on a wall somewhere in the store. If they don't it's because they specialize in one type.
If you don't like it then find others close to you.
Look up line set covers on the computer and you might be able to cut out dealer cost.
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:17 PM   #678
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Router pocket to help accommodate door valve handle/thickness.



Fitting in the right side panel.

Removable 1x4 will cover cable path below unit and side panels will be removable.

Also looks like I can hide my line set inside the panel no problem.

I added 2x4 and 2x2 to the back of the center panel and rigidity and vibration resistance increased dramatically.

Coming together a piece at a time.


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Old 02-08-2018, 11:23 PM   #679
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"Coming together a piece at a time."

That's how these things get done. Keep it up!
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Old 02-09-2018, 05:27 PM   #680
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Some parts temporary some parts final. I’m pretty close to getting ready to install the lines in this one.


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