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Old 10-02-2013, 08:55 AM   #41
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

What fun is there in being sane?

We are toying with the idea of getting some custom bathing suits made up. Guys shorts that say "Get Wet" on the waistband. Bikini's that say "Get Wet" on the cups . We figure a lot of people wont have bathing suits when we show up and some of them might be willing to pay for one to jump in and remember the experience. We wont make much money but it will all go to the diesel fund.

If we actually get this thing done in time, and they actually let us into the tailgate lot at the college, there will be plenty of pictures to post

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Old 10-02-2013, 09:55 AM   #42
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
ya'll are insane

remember pics of chicks in hot tub required
Forget the pics, we want a live feed web cam.
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Old 10-06-2013, 02:24 PM   #43
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

We started framing the hot tub last night. Got about half way done with it. It should be finished within two days.

Also just picked up all the audio equipment. We are going to rewire the entire system tomorrow.

5 days and counting. I'll post pics when the frame is done and the system is in!
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:43 PM   #44
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

I just found this thread....i am currently reading all the posts....i'm sure i'll have a few cents of worthless advice after i'm done reading.....
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Old 10-06-2013, 08:55 PM   #45
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

how very exciting!

here are my thoughts......

i never replaced the floors in any of my buses. Having a jacuzzi means that water will spill all over the floor on occasion. Sometimes, when a light turns red at the wrong time and the jacuzzi is full, it can cause a tsunami that reaches the driver. Good times!

I think that regular pink insulation around the bottom of the jacuzzi is a terrible idea. fiberglass insulation looses most of it's value when it gets wet. plus, i would worry about it creating mold. Insulation is not so important around the jacuzzi.

Heat:
The simplest, most dangerous, least expensive, and very hillbilly method of heating the water is to take the heater core from the rear bus heater and drop it in the jacuzzi while you are driving around. You will heat 400 gallons of water 50 degrees in about an hour. The problem is that it has sharp edges, you have to remove it when the water is up to temperature and it's boiling hot. I tried several variations of heater core jacuzzi heating before i got wise and purchased a plate heat exchanger. Amazon has decent sized ones for under $150.00 You probably want one that's rated for about 150K btu.

http://www.amazon.com/plate-Water-Heat- ... xchanger+1

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Old 10-06-2013, 09:02 PM   #46
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Having a top on the jacuzzi is the best way to trap heat inside. depending on the size of the jacuzzi, a s olid insulated cover may not work well because of space constraints. Anything that keeps the steam inside works. A poly tarp works ok, if you want to spend a few dollars then you can have a custom cover made from vinyl that snaps or otherwise secures in place. In the summer months i did not use a cover. In the winter, i needed a cover because the water vapor produced by the jacuzzi would fog my windshield up so much that i really needed windshield wipers on the inside. Alternatively, i had a full time squeegy girl when/if i used the jacuzzi while driving during the winter.

A cover also significantly reduces the amount of water that sloshes out of the jacuzzi. which brings me to the second problem you will likely face: Water sloshing out of the jacuzzi while driving.

I tried several methods, including various covers, removable baffles, etc. I ended up deciding that the only solution that made sense for me was to remove about half the water before driving. I plumbed in 55 gallon drums behind the jacuzzi to hold this water. I used a small 110 volt pump and a few valves to transfer the water back and forth. For hoses, i have used 1 1/4 ? cheap plastic flexible hose designed for sump pumps and sold at home depot. Later, I used the more expensive flexible pvc hose like the ones your jacuzzi is built from. This type of hose is available at pool stores. I used the same 110 volt pump to run the jacuzzi water through the stock filter, as well as through the heat exchanger.

Over the years, i utilized several pumps. I started with stock jacuzzi pump, but decided it took too much power and forced me to use a big noisy generator. Then i tried 12 volt bilge pumps.



They move a decent amount of water with very little current, but with almost no pressure. Then i began using cheap harbor freight clear water 110 volt pumps.



These worked quite well, but if i were to build another bus, i would use a pump from a boiler like this:

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Old 10-06-2013, 09:13 PM   #47
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

power:

I ultimately decided that fancy high power jets and electric heat were overrated. For me, a cheap 2,000 watt inverter from harbor freight provided all the power i needed to run small jacuzzi pumps and 110 volt florescent blacklights. These are even cheaper today then they were when i was doing buses. I just saw one at harbor freight for about $130.00.



Maybe a generator and high power jacuzzi pumps work well for your application. Another problem i had was the stock pumps loosing their prime when i removed half the water and put it back in. IT was a big pain trying to bleed the air out.

FYI, most jacuzzi's have flexible pvc plumbing going to the jets. This is usually standard pvc sizes and you can use standard pvc glue and fittings if you modify or need to repair things.



That's all i can think of for now.......
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:25 PM   #48
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

just remember, if you do an inverter, mount it near as you can get to the batteries, but up off the floor so it doesn't get wet. I like to screw mine to the side wall just behind the driver. It is also important to use the proper cables to power it. I had the guy at the alternator shop make me cables from 00 welding cable.

I love tek self drilling screws! they rock for skoolie building.
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:34 PM   #49
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitey
What fun is there in being sane?

We figure a lot of people wont have bathing suits when we show up
I had this issue often.......but it usually wasn't a problem! alcohol may have been a factor.....

Towels: people do appreciate dry towels. I often thought about either building a heated towel cabinet, or using one of those large fancy 12 volt plug in coolers for keeping heated towels. But it's just one of many ideas i never actually incorporated into the bus project.

note: if you reverse the polarity on any of these "coolers", they make a heat instead of cold.....although you may have to also swap the negative/positive wires for the little computer sized fan inside, because some fans do not run with reversed polarity.
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Old 10-07-2013, 07:11 AM   #50
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
how very exciting!


Heat:
The simplest, most dangerous, least expensive, and very hillbilly method of heating the water is to take the heater core from the rear bus heater and drop it in the jacuzzi while you are driving around. You will heat 400 gallons of water 50 degrees in about an hour. The problem is that it has sharp edges, you have to remove it when the water is up to temperature and it's boiling hot.

coffee out of nose.....thank you
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Old 10-07-2013, 12:15 PM   #51
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitey
@PDbreske - I went straight from flight


Any tips on what methods we should use to cut the roof?
For cutting straight lines in sheet metal, I like to use a circular saw (the type meant for carpenters) with an abrasive blade on it. I find this method makes much nicer lines than torches or a saws all.
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Old 10-07-2013, 08:47 PM   #52
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Splish Splash, I was taking a bath. You are going to have some fun with your water machine.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:07 PM   #53
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Lapeer! Awesome to hear from you man! I've read every post on every one of your hot tub threads. We learned a lot of stuff to make our life a lot easier. Much thanks.

We have four days left till the debut. So right now we are keeping things simple.

We are using the heater core to heat the tub. Last night we ran it at a 2k RPM idle with the heater core inside and a genny running the tub pump and heater. It raised the tub from 55 degrees to 103 in one hour. I was giggling like a little school girl.

We put a nice audio system in there. THousand dollars worth of equipment in a three thousand dollar bus haha.

I need to pick up a couple extra batteries. I'm not quite sure how to wire the extra ones into the battery bank but I should be able to figure it out.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:17 PM   #54
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitey
We put a nice audio system in there. THousand dollars worth of equipment in a three thousand dollar bus haha.

I need to pick up a couple extra batteries. I'm not quite sure how to wire the extra ones into the battery bank but I should be able to figure it out.
That seems reasonable I have a 7.1 dolby digital system in mine, with 2 12" infinity's in a sealed enclosure. It's fun

Wire the batteries in parallel. That will keep you at 12 volts. Unless you were just meaning where to put them. In that case you're on your own
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Old 10-08-2013, 06:46 PM   #55
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

*edited to remove bad advice about batteries.*

However I think that a single brand new 8d size battery was sufficient for my needs. It is pretty much the same size as three separate group 31 batteries but without all the expense and complexity of multiple batteries in series. You can buy one of these at tractor supply or any alternator shop that sells batteries.

I toyed around with several battery configurations, including: separate battery banks charged from a single alternator, separate banks charged with separate alternators, connecting multiple batteries to the stock
Starting battery, etc.

In the end, what worked best for me was one giant starting battery, 8d size. I did my best to keep the party lights and stereo from running the battery down. In the event that the battery was discharged to the point the bus wouldn't start I would use the generator and a battery charger.

Realistically, anytime I ran the generator for the jacuzzi, I ran the battery charger unless the bus was running.

They sell some pretty nice computer controlled chargers at Walmart. You could go smaller, but I find 40 amps with 100 amp engine starting capacity is a nice compromise between price and function.

Where to connect the charger? I found it most convenient to open the bus electrical panel and connect the red charger lead to one of the large main power leads inside.

One more note.....

If you ever run out of fuel, before doing anything with the fuel system I like to connect the battery charger and let the batteries charge while I work at figuring out how to prime the fuel system. When you get ready to try to start the engine she spins real quick with those freshly charged batteries...at least for the first 30 seconds.
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:10 AM   #56
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Quote:
Others may disagree and think its too dangerous due to hydrogen off gassing, but you can put spare batteries on the floor inside the bus. The most logical place is just behind the driver above the stock bus battery. If off gassing is a concern you could build them into a box that was vented to the outside...
All I'm going to say is batteries produce hydrogen which is very explosive. Batteries do explode. The gas stinks.
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Old 10-09-2013, 12:33 PM   #57
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

I just picked up an 8D battery and a charger, thanks for the tip.

We are gonna be using the heater core idea for the next week or so at least. Lapeer, are you saying that when you use the plate heater you leave it in the tub the whole time? With the coolant lines connected to it?
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Old 10-09-2013, 08:18 PM   #58
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Quote:
Originally Posted by whitey
I just picked up an 8D battery and a charger, thanks for the tip.

We are gonna be using the heater core idea for the next week or so at least. Lapeer, are you saying that when you use the plate heater you leave it in the tub the whole time? With the coolant lines connected to it?
No!

If using a plate heat exchanger I mount it someplace out of the way, usually in front of the jacuzzi near the floor. The exchanger has two sets of ports. One set for engine coolant, and the other set I plumb into the existing jacuzzi jets with a small pump. I think the best pump to use is one from an actual household boiler. In a perfect world this pump can be wired to an aquastat to maintain the proper jacuzzi temperature. In my world I would wire the pump to a switch and manually regulate the temperature. Depending on the flow rate and pressure you may be able to reroute one of your lines going to/from a jet in the jacuzzi and use the stock jacuzzi pump.

Or, for reliable 12 volt heating without running the generator, perhaps one of these 12 volt hot water pumps. I've never used one so I cannot comment on its performance.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B0075J6S3W

Here is a link to a well drawn yet very complex plate heat exchanger diagram: it may help, or it may cause more confusion.

http://www.centralboiler.com/Tech/C330.pdf

Hydrogen sulfide gas: i was wrong, and i gave bad advice earlie about batteries. It's a moot point as it sounds like you are using just one battery, but if others were inclined to mount batteries inside the bus they need to be vented outside for safety reasons. A vent through the floor would be best as hydrogen sulfide is heavier than air. It has an impressivly dangerous flammable range of 4.3-46%.
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:25 AM   #59
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

haha thats what I was figuring. We toyed with the idea of grabbing the plate heat exchanger and plumbing it into the tub much like that PDF shows. At that point the tub wasn't even in the bus and we still werent sure if the heater core idea was going to work. Now that I know the coolant does an amazing job of heating the tub, I will end up picking up a plate heater in the near future.

Progress on the bus is great! The exterior is painted, its a dark gloss green. Eventually we plan on painting it up in an old WW2 bomber theme complete with pin up girls on the nose, aircraft type stencils, and maybe stencil a hottub on the side for every party we go to (like they recorded their bombing runs). That won't get done by saturday.

We framed the whole tub out yesterday and laid down laminate flooring. We have some 3M LED strips that can change to all sorts of different colors and lighting pattern. We picked up some plastic flashing material, glued the lights into the inside and then ran them all along the inside of the bus.

If I had to bring the bus out today it would still be awesome, but here are somethings were are hoping to get done in the next two days:

-Cut a thin rubber mat to shape and staple it down on top of the decking
- Pick up some car cup holders and install them in the decking around the tub using a hole saw
-Build a small enclosure with a removable top to house the heater core for now and the plate heat exchanger in the future
- Install the 8D battery and wire an inverter up
- Another couch/futon. We currently only have one and could use some more seating
- Build a simple bar in the front
- Install the plexi glass window. Its about 7 feet long and 3 feet high. I wanted to get 1/4" plexi but can't find any in the dimensions I need without a special order that won't be done in time. I am going to go with two 1/8" sheets for now, and replace them as they break.

Ill post some pics later today!
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Old 10-10-2013, 08:34 AM   #60
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Wow! Sounds like you guys did an impressive amount of work in a very short period of time.

I can't wait to see photos!
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