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Old 02-20-2018, 11:57 PM   #741
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Finally decided to go ahead and make the proper connections to the inverter/transfer switch.





10/3 SOOW cable is for sure the biggest you can fit thru the oem cable passages.

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Old 02-21-2018, 12:53 AM   #742
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They make excellent accent lighting, but keep some spares around as they have a bad habit of "not lighting" after a while.


Iíve seen that as well. I teach a class on lighting for film and photography and Iím pretty picky about light quality. I searched for a while to find these and am really happy with the color quality of them. I guess time will tell regarding longevity. I think most issues with LEDs comes from heat buildup so ventilation is key.
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Old 02-21-2018, 09:19 PM   #743
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I installed the 50 amp power inlet tonight.



Since the inlet doesnít install with butyl tape it has just some foam backing I decided it would be worth it to spray some primer on the cut metal to head off any rust.



I really like the inlet that I purchased it seems easy to install and robustly made.











So far everything works great. I did a wiring set up with it where I double tapped the ground, neutral, and one hot leg as a permanent feed to my inverter.

It simultaneously feeds a female 50 amp receptacle with (4) single conductor six gage welding wire and my inverter (10/3 SOOW) which in turn charges the house batteries and energizes the 12 V system.

Sorry, this is all super difficult to try to explain. Iíll try to lay out a diagram that shows whatís going on. At the end of the day my goal was to be able to get full 50 amp service into the bus but then to be able to alternately supply both halves of the hot 120 V panel from a single hot leg when Iím on my inverter. The other thing that I had to ensure was that even when shore power went straight to my panel I still was sending power to my inverter so it could charge my house batteries and energize the 12 V system. It would really suck to have my 50 A system up and running but then run my house batteries dead with the fantastic fan or furnace blower.
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:43 PM   #744
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The coves are not properly installed and the lighting is temporary but I just dropped the ribbon in to the channel to see what it might look like.

I have to admit Iím a little bit giddy. Having light in the bus suddenly makes everything totally different.
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Old 02-21-2018, 10:50 PM   #745
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You do nice work. That's a nice way to do the lighting.
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Old 02-22-2018, 12:06 AM   #746
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Ya...love the indirect lighting approach. Lookin' good!
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:39 AM   #747
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I am enjoying reading through this build. You're doing an awesome job, thank you for sharing as it will certainly help me as I get into mine.

Keep up the great work!!

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Old 02-22-2018, 12:24 PM   #748
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Thanks guys! I try. Itís easy to make your work but good in pictures on the Internet. I try to always do good work but thereís definitely some parts of this build I would not want to post online!
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:06 PM   #749
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Got one of the units up and running! I have to say they said that these units were quiet that is an understatement. Itís taking a lot of work to get to this point but I couldnít be happier with how this unit is performing and how the install in general seems to be working out.

The unit is cooling very well and even has features that I didnít realize in addition to being both heat and air conditioning it also has a dehumidifier mode that leaves the ambient temperature the same but removes the moisture from the air. It had not occurred to me that units like this might have that feature but I would see it as being highly desirable in a bus environment where you may have condensation issues.

I did a check to see how much power it was using and Iíll need to do further testing to see how much it uses in various conditions but a while it was running on its initial cool down it was using about 650 W.

I ran it off my house batteries alone for about 5 to 10 minutes and it ran without any issue.

On the other unit we are trying to figure out if thereís a problem with the unit or a problem with the technicians equipment. It holds a nitrogen charge just fine but it went from holding a 600 Ķm vacuum to not even getting below one atmosphere of pressure within the course of just a few minutes. It seems possible that the vacuum pump is just going out. He left it with the nitrogen charge about 200 psi and is going to come back this weekend and see if itís still holding that charge. If it is still holding the charge then will use a different vacuum pump to evacuate the system and then that system should hopefully be ready to run.

The whole bus cools pretty effectively with the single unit but it is noticeably colder at one end of the bus then the other especially while the bus is parked on somewhat of an incline.
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Old 02-22-2018, 01:42 PM   #750
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Does this make any sense? I hope so...
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Old 02-22-2018, 11:50 PM   #751
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Looks good except I would have the right guard pull and cover the middle.

--- John Madden
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:39 AM   #752
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Sweet that you got the AC up and running!!!!!!!! Congrats!!! I love these type units, mine here in Ohio were on heat yesterday. You lucky ducks to be using AC!!

I loved the led lights! I use the philips all over my house. Strip and bulbs. I create complete interior scapes just by changing the colors intensity and location of lights, I can only imagine what you can do in a bus!!!!
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:42 AM   #753
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The coves are not properly installed and the lighting is temporary but I just dropped the ribbon in to the channel to see what it might look like.

I have to admit Iím a little bit giddy. Having light in the bus suddenly makes everything totally different.

What are you using for roof material? How did you get that nice curve above the windows without cracking? Thanks!
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:25 AM   #754
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What are you using for roof material? How did you get that nice curve above the windows without cracking? Thanks!
1/4" thick luan or plywood, bends pretty easily at that thickness.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:41 AM   #755
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What are you using for roof material? How did you get that nice curve above the windows without cracking? Thanks!


It is 1/8Ē luan style panel from Home Depot. If you watch Ian Robinsonís vid blog he made a jig to help curve them. I didnít find that to be very helpful, but with the right technique I was able to bend them by hand fairly easily. There is kind of a trick to it though, itís hard to explain, but you get a feel for eventually.

The most important keys to not breaking it are getting it damp with a spray bottle and letting that sink in for a few minutes before you start the bendand making sure that itís warm. Back in the super cold snap that we had around New Yearís I tried bending some pieces and they just snapped immediately. I had to get everything warmed up and wet before I could bend them into place.
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:02 PM   #756
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Ok, I did it the hard way. I put what I thought was 3/4" ply on my ceiling. That’s the hazards of shopping at Lowes without my glasses. I wanted to be able to attach things to the ceiling and have enough strength there to support whatever I might need in the future. Yeah, overkill maybe. Also if I put partitions up I don't have to hit a rib for it to be a strong attachment.
What I've got is just like a subfloor, half inch insulation followed by 19/32nds ply up the walls and across the ceiling.
I put full sheets right down the middle of the ceiling and it wasn't that hard to get them to bend to the ceiling using a hilift jack to hold them in place. I cut strips for the curve near the wall.
Yeah, I know. This method leaves a relatively ugly unfinished looking bus. It's insulated and has a subfloor throughout, so imagine how easy it would be to attach any aesthetic covering over the ply surfaces or to attach framing.
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Old 02-23-2018, 01:37 PM   #757
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Ok, I did it the hard way. I put what I thought was 3/4" ply on my ceiling. Thatís the hazards of shopping at Lowes without my glasses. I wanted to be able to attach things to the ceiling and have enough strength there to support whatever I might need in the future. Yeah, overkill maybe. Also if I put partitions up I don't have to hit a rib for it to be a strong attachment.
What I've got is just like a subfloor, half inch insulation followed by 19/32nds ply up the walls and across the ceiling.
I put full sheets right down the middle of the ceiling and it wasn't that hard to get them to bend to the ceiling using a hilift jack to hold them in place. I cut strips for the curve near the wall.
Yeah, I know. This method leaves a relatively ugly unfinished looking bus. It's insulated and has a subfloor throughout, so imagine how easy it would be to attach any aesthetic covering over the ply surfaces or to attach framing.


Wow! Well that would sure make some parts of the build much easier! I canít afford to lose any more headroom so I went as thin as possible.
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Old 02-23-2018, 02:52 PM   #758
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Yeah, lucky for me I've shrunk about 2 1/2" over recent years. I never did insulate my floor, and my feet have been cold for a number of months now. I'm likely insulating my floor soon. I'll crouch if I have to. Learn to walk with my knees bent.
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Old 02-24-2018, 10:58 PM   #759
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Wired a couple of 12v switches tonight. They have 3 blades, one of which is ground to allow the indicator light to work and two more for line and load which are interchangeable. It has been fun planning out how to run wiring for DC vs AC. Getting the feel for how the crimping tool works.

I think Iím massively overdoing the wire sizes, but Iíve got the wire...



Turned off. They came in a pack of 15, 3 of each color: red, green, blue.



Both sides lit. Ribbons just temporary.



Fridge arrived yesterday. Fits perfectly where we planned. 7.3 cu/ft. When compressor is running it uses 100 Watts according to my test. Weíll see what the duty cycle is.

I have a very nice 4.5 cu/ft RV fridge that runs off of LP or AC that I need to sell. It came from the camper that I recycled after a tree fell on it. Just a little too small for us. It is a 2015 model year and still sells on Amazon for about $1k. I know I wonít get that for it, but they have value for sure.

Hopefully will get 2nd HVAC unit running tomorrow.
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Old 02-25-2018, 04:13 PM   #760
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I am having too much fun!



Got both hvac units running!

My inverter can run them both on high heat with the fridge going as well.



Off batteries the inverter registered 78%, which converts to 1950 Watts or 16.25 amps @ 120 volts, 162.5 amps @ 12 volts (plus inverter inefficiency)

Then I decided to break out the generator and see how it would do.



Fired up great and in power save mode ran pretty quietly while charging house batteries, running both HVAC units, and running the fridge.

Itís an inverter unit and seems like it is sized well to my needs. It seems like the bigger you go with a generator the less efficient it is at lower output and I didnít want to go through gasoline at too high of a rate. Weíll see how it works once we actually are using it for real but at least in test it seems just about like itís the perfect balance between power and efficiency.

I took a serious look at the dual fuel models, but if I remember correctly propane was going to be significantly more expensive to run the unit from. It didnít seem like it was worth the extra money to be able to run off of an alternate fuel that is more expensive. I can imagine there may be some point in the future when Iíve run out of gasoline but still have propane that I might change my mind about that!

I still have to test from a true colds tart but Iíve tested multiple times the remote control for the generator and it seems to work very well. The inverter and generator both have 15 second delay between start up and transfer of power so the process seems to be smooth every time going from inverter mode from the batteries and transferring over to the generator.

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