This is our OFFICIAL INTRODUCTORY POST.
First, we hope everyone had a great week, and is rocking their Skoolie's to the best of their ability.
We are Diver and Driver, the newest addition to the Skoolie family! We bought a 2003 ICCO 78 passenger flat nose bus to convert. Diver is a world re-known Master Scuba Diver Trainer/Instructor/Program Director at multiple Tampa Bay area colleges. She has been featured in a few, growing very quickly, news articles and segments throughout the World. She recently set up 47 locations across the planet to simultaneously remove litter from waterfront properties. Local Fox news covered a Dive Against Debris she orchestrated to clean out trash and plastic bead necklaces from Gasparilla, an event that takes place every year where they throw beads....and miss a whole lot which lands in the Ocean. She is an amazing and incredibly intelligent woman who pushes me to be better every single day. I am Driver. I was hurt in a car accident, that I did not cause/has made this process a little more fun than I wanted, in May. I helped a start-up business grow to be the best in the entire Tampa Bay area through old fashion soliciting and hard work with my clients. The reviews for my ex-company are littered with my name in them on Home Advisor, Yelp, and Google. After becoming injured, I could no longer perform this job, but I took my marketing and sales skills to business consulting for other start-up businesses/businesses in need of help. I approach business consulting with a different approach, which leads to a much lower cost with maximum quality. There is more about our plan in this post while we travel. We both care heavily about the environment and our carbon footprint, and after everything is perfect on the bus, the next project for her will be a Veggie Oil Conversion involving a heat-exchange and such. We love playing music, and we have rigged Diver's electric piano to fit perfectly above storage, so Diver can still play and sing. We have an awesome interface that is tiny that we use and works perfect. We have also built an instrument closet for our banjo, two ukes, and 3 guitars. We are both very friendly/laid back individuals, who loves chatting.
We have been on different threads in Skoolie, and we totally forgot to do our official post since we figured everything out. We have nearly all supplies set up for our Skoolie. Shelly is a 78 passenger flat nose 2003 ICCO with a big ol cummins engine, starting to second guess this but was told by owner it was the bigger cummins/need to check the block for the stamps, with a 5 speed electronic Allison transmission. She shifts like butter, transmission doesn't slip at all, and the motor with the turbo is a total boss. We bought it from a wonderful individual in Cape Coral. It broke down due to a very leaky lower radiator hose at midnight in a Walmart parking lot. Driver rigged a hose we had by cutting the lower in multiple diameters and clamping them together over a fresh hose that didn't fit. We then drove 130 miles flawlessly home.
Today we finished the Skeleton of the bus, as Driver calls it. Next is wiring, plumbing, then walls/insulation.
Tankless Water Heater:
We bought a propane heated 2D battery tankless water heater that had great reviews. We are Eco-Conscious people, and this water heater uses 1.2gpm, and comes with the shower head attached. It is also able to be used as a camping water heater. Wild where technology is right now.
We have a 42 gallon fresh water tank stored under the master bed, and we will have a 30 gallon grey water tank mounted underneath the bus attached to the frame sitting on a metal sheet, meant for AC condensers usually. The water tank under our bed acts also as a backup system for my pup to keep cool in case the AC goes out without it alerting me on my phone. 42 gallons of water stays cool for a long when in shade/climate controlled-ish area. His 'area' with his blankets and toys will be right next to it, so he will know where to go to keep cool in an emergency. Yes, he is incredibly smart and trained heavily.
We picked up a huge double sink with faucet combo from RESTORE BY HABITAT FOR HUMANITY for very a great price, $80. An amazing organization that helps less fortunate build and improve their homes. This store is in the Tampa Bay Area. Check them out, but they are international so look for a store near you. They had SOOOOO much home improvement stuff for SOOOOOOO cheap. You can also donate on their site.
We bought the Natures Compost Toilet. We was going to do it ourselves, but this is my home and want a very official feeling that I know is built with some of the best quality items. I will say, $1000 for a toilet hurts. lol We could have made the toilet for much less, but as I said, I like the professional level the toilet brings....for waste.
We have an amazing guy helping me out with the electrical. He has a skoolie with a less powerful set up. We decided on a 24V system because it is safer than running 12V with that much wattage/amps. Follow my Solar post to see what he, JS, is talking about. We can't thank him enough, AND everyone else who is helping. This process has been so much easier after posting here. We also had a friend come inspect the bus that does home audio. My friend helped me go through the INSANE wiring that is hooked up with this bus. Every wire will be labeled by the time him and I are done.
We will be posting exactly who these AMAZING people are WITH THEIR PERMISSION. Most likely this post will be updated Monday with their information if they approve.
We bought 6 x 340w p17 SunPower solar panels. This company and this product have amazing reviews. They have shading technology that shuts down cells, not entire rows. Bought it from an extremely nice wholesale guy. If you are in the Tampa Bay area, I just have to ask the guy if it is okay to give his number out lol He does it out of his home. Has all licenses needed to be a seller. Very official guy. Gets solar panels from construction companies that don't need them for projects. They were brand new never installed for $150. They go for $110 on sale, but were sold out online, and we'd have to pay for taxes and shipping. We are mounting them on the roof by welding a frame up there, then attaching brackets to the panels themselves. We are looking into a WORM GEAR system so we can raise the solar panels in areas that are further from the Equator. We are in Florida right now on the coast, so the Sun is easy to come by here. The solar panels with be in series and parallel to have like 24vish to the control and X amount of amps. Forgot the number. Will update.
We bought 4 x 200AH 12V Apex batteries. This is due to a WORST CASE SCENARIO for my electrical system. We will have 2 in series and 2 in parallel to make 24V. We have a worst case of 366 amp hours a day, which is about 8800 watts. That is full blasting AC for 8 hours of the day along with all outlets being used to charge laptops, phones, mini fridge use, gas alarm, water pump, coffee, etc. These averaged $271 per battery plus tax. Shipping cost me $330 for 4. This was still less than anywhere we could find even with the shipping costs. Also, this brand is highly rated. The batteries will be in a battery box that I'm picking up from the junkyard, then mounted underneath the bus on a similar platform as an AC condenser sits on outside homes. Then we are getting nice and thick steel and big ol' bolts to drill through a portion of the frame of the bus, non vital part. It will sit under there nice and cozy. We are concerned about the gases it slowly releases, so that aided in our decision for the location being outside and vented.
EPEVER AN TYPE Mppt 60A Solar Charge Controller is the one we bought. It was $250-ish. The AN Type goes one step further and has a safety shut off/down. We have a pup, so we are extremely concerned for the short periods of time we will not be on the bus and the pup's safety. We have taken extreme measures to ensure my pup's safety. We have ip attached cameras and sensors for my electrical system that go to my phone. It will IMMEDIATELY notify me when things are going past the safety settings OR approaching safety alarms. It will be rare that the pup is alone. He has made my life more joyful than I could have ever imagined.
3000w/9000w low frequency pure sine inverter is the one we got. Low Frequency is the way to go. It has a great life span on it, and it is safer from what we researched/was told. We reached out to a very awesome helpful guy on Skoolie, and he helped me with all this. This cost us about $550 for the inverter.
We have our outlets and AC systems running through this with appropriate 15A and 20A breakers.
This powers everything else for us like lights, etc.
I, Driver, build and tune my cars. I have a 88 mustang 4cyl turbo convertible that I built and tuned. I have a 03 zx3 focus turbo I built and tuned. Tuning for a conservative tune has increased my power, longevity, and mpg for both those vehicles drastically. I outrun modern cars all day in autocross and drag while getting 28mpg when I leave the track. I know the stories of Cummins motors, and I have worked on a 5.7L. This is the bigger Cummins with 200 hp and 800 torque. I got about 11 mpg on the way home, and the tune should increase that even further.
Electrical Diagnostics Install:
This has been a project in the making for a long time for all of my, Driver, vehicles. The tune and all sensors I am getting will be routed to a touch screen laptop I have, that will be mounted right next to me at the Drivers seat. I upgraded out of that laptop, and thought this would be PERFECT for the bus. That means all my brake sensors, aftermarket water temperature sensor, aftermarket tire sensors, solar electrical equipment, climate temperature Bluetooth, etc. will be able to be controlled from this console I am designing when powered on. It will be powered by the outlet that is on ONLY when the bus is on. I do not want it on all the time. I'll get real time MPG with this as well, and being familiar with tuning, I can adjust accordingly after the initial tune to my specific needs. It is a hub control station while I drive. Very excited to show this off to you all.
ANY and ALL feedback is appreciated. Good, Bad, or Ugly, feedback is always wanted.
Thank you all! We are launching our social media site/website this weekend. We have been filming and taking photos like crazy.
ALSO, I, Driver, do start-up business consulting. I also LOVE cooking. I have been testing out a food cart menu on my GF and guests lol My GF is a program director for a scuba diving program at a couple Tampa Bay Area Colleges, so when we are spreading that to other colleges, it is generally a $100 for a 30 day food license. So, I'll be doing that everywhere we go!
Thank you all for being so supportive! I am using this thread to update the progress as a whole.