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Old 03-22-2024, 08:35 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
Location: NC
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Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC
Engine: T444e Rear Engine
The BareBonesBus

Just got this one mostly ready to camp in about 2 weeks. She is no luxury RV, more of a high(ish) speed tent. I intend on new floors after the summer, but we are part timers, weekend warriors, whatever your term may be, so our main concern is enjoying our time camping and enjoying the bus and project as it develops.

P.S. We are looking to make a logo for the side, and I'm far from a graphic designer. So, if you were to know any site or tools to help us create this logo, that would be great info! Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2024, 08:41 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
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SpeedTent!! love thre name and the concept.. i also like your style. getting out and using your bus helps a lot with how you want to see it work in the future... things you like, dont like, want to do better etc..


often tough to visualize when just thinking baout travelling.. but actually travelling you get a better real-world sense.. build as you go..
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Old 03-22-2024, 08:47 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
SpeedTent!! love thre name and the concept.. i also like your style. getting out and using your bus helps a lot with how you want to see it work in the future... things you like, dont like, want to do better etc..


often tough to visualize when just thinking baout travelling.. but actually travelling you get a better real-world sense.. build as you go..
Thanks! That was our hopes, not to mention I have two young boys that would explode if we started out with an in depth remodel instead of starting the adventure, lol. We are very excited and my wife and I both have summers off, so it is getting ready to get some use!
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Old 03-22-2024, 09:23 AM   #4
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Welcome to the forum!
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Old 03-22-2024, 11:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SourPickle View Post
Thanks! That was our hopes, not to mention I have two young boys that would explode if we started out with an in depth remodel instead of starting the adventure, lol. We are very excited and my wife and I both have summers off, so it is getting ready to get some use!



my BIGGEST advice? dont rip out the factory road air-conditioner!
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Old 03-22-2024, 11:53 AM   #6
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my BIGGEST advice? dont rip out the factory road air-conditioner!
Double that...no triple that!

I just got my factory A/C working and man is is awesome!

A friend of mine ripped hers out and regrets it to this day. Says the roof top A/c just can cut it. She would need three of them and a generator running them while going down the road.
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Old 03-22-2024, 12:23 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
my BIGGEST advice? dont rip out the factory road air-conditioner!
For sure! That was one of the perks that helped us pick this bus. I figure it has to be cheaper to have them and fix them, than add them all together. I haven't really dove into them yet, they blow on all speeds, but the compressors aren't cutting on. Maybe I'll get lucky and just have to add some freon and maybe seal a leak here or there. Fingers crossed.
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Old 03-22-2024, 12:24 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by ewo1 View Post
Double that...no triple that!

I just got my factory A/C working and man is is awesome!

A friend of mine ripped hers out and regrets it to this day. Says the roof top A/c just can cut it. She would need three of them and a generator running them while going down the road.
What did yours need? I am getting ready to travel down that road myself.
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Old 03-22-2024, 12:38 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by SourPickle View Post
For sure! That was one of the perks that helped us pick this bus. I figure it has to be cheaper to have them and fix them, than add them all together. I haven't really dove into them yet, they blow on all speeds, but the compressors aren't cutting on. Maybe I'll get lucky and just have to add some freon and maybe seal a leak here or there. Fingers crossed.



I added A/C to 2 of my busses and rebuilt the unit on the 3rd.. most typically there are O-ring leaks or linesets that have rubber through on the frame someplace.. the lines can be cut and re-spliced...



units that lose their freon have a leak.. refrigerant is not a consumable, meaning it doesnt get "used up" during the normal course of riunning an A/C.. think of it like brake fluid or transmission fluid, engine coolant.. where its there but you dont have to add it (or shouldnt) unless it leaks out somewhere... unlike fuel that gets consumed..



the unit I rebuilt.. it had a slow leak, and someone had obviously been trying stop leak and oil charges, etc as I flushed it out and pulled out a bunch of extra liquids that shouldnt have bene in there.. replaced an outdoor condenser fan... changed all the O-rings and a TxV.. put it back to gether, evacuated it, charged it and havent touched it since.. (other than use it every summer).that was like 2017 or so..

the 2 I added A/C on were projects.. a mixture of procurring and fabricating engine mounts.. (esp for the 1978 Superior where i wanted a completely vintage-looking system.. down to using the same clunky compressor they used in the 1970s)...
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Old 03-22-2024, 02:17 PM   #10
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What did yours need? I am getting ready to travel down that road myself.
My front unit I got super lucky with it. It was only the A/c circuit breaker popped and all we had to do is reset the breaker.

The rear unit was also easy. The line at the compressor looks like it overheated, deformed and just would not seal. Cut the hose about 6 feet back, sliced in a new hose, clamps and a recharge. I also replace the filter on this unit but not on the other as we didn't want to go thru the discharge/reclaim charge process.

In all between parts and labor I spent a total of $330 bucks!
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Old 03-22-2024, 09:55 PM   #11
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hoses

Having worked on a lot of OTR trucks that generate a lot of air conditioning hours I can say that one of the biggest problems I have found is the high pressure hose gets brittle and hard from the high heat generated by compressing the gas. To check for this try bending the hose coming out of the compressor and going to the condenser. If it is hard to bend or you hear crackling like potato chips coming from the inside of the hose it's causing you problems. It will have micro cracks that a sniffer and dye will not detect but soapy water is the best at finding them. I bet that is what was wrong with your hose and it was on the air conditioner that was used the most while going down the road. Cut the hose open after you replace it and you will find the inside is chunking off and getting into your expansion valve, orifice and dryer. Sometimes it is just shredding off as a black powder getting into everything including your compressor because the dryer doesn't stop everything, it looks like a black dye in everything. Cut that dryer apart and see what's in it too.
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Old 03-23-2024, 08:14 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportyrick View Post
Having worked on a lot of OTR trucks that generate a lot of air conditioning hours I can say that one of the biggest problems I have found is the high pressure hose gets brittle and hard from the high heat generated by compressing the gas. To check for this try bending the hose coming out of the compressor and going to the condenser. If it is hard to bend or you hear crackling like potato chips coming from the inside of the hose it's causing you problems. It will have micro cracks that a sniffer and dye will not detect but soapy water is the best at finding them. I bet that is what was wrong with your hose and it was on the air conditioner that was used the most while going down the road. Cut the hose open after you replace it and you will find the inside is chunking off and getting into your expansion valve, orifice and dryer. Sometimes it is just shredding off as a black powder getting into everything including your compressor because the dryer doesn't stop everything, it looks like a black dye in everything. Cut that dryer apart and see what's in it too.

high discharge temperatures are an issue in heavy-idle vehicles.. esp ones with the condenser in front of the rasdiator... hot air recirc (hot engine air from the rad fan comes out from the front of the truck and sucked back in the front during idle).. is a huge culprit of high head pressure.. higher the head pressure means the slower the refrigerant travels, means the discharge line you mention gets hotter as the refrigerant is compressed more (compressing a gas makes it hot)..



modern A/C hoses aim to help with that issue by claiming to remain more resistant to dry rot and heat damage.. ...



the other thing to think about is that I have often found the incorrect refrigerant charge in factory A/C.. believe it or not I more often find them over rather than under-charged.. over-charge will run that discharge temp on the output line from the compressor off the scale.. ive seen em so hot you spray it woith soapy water and it sizzles off like you sprayed water in a hot skillet..



most every factory A/C system has a charge amount listed on a label someplace in the bus.. Trans /AIR and carrier usually writes it in sharpie near the A/C unit fuese panel.. or on a label on the bus battery box..



Trans /AIR is still in business and keeps the VIN of every bus it put a system in and they will gladly help you with parts, charge amounts, etc..



these systems are similar in capacity.. so if you have a 3 fan condenser an EM1 carrier evapoorator and similar line feet(length of hose from compressor to condenser and from condenser to indoor unit) to a friend's bus with a trans /AIR system ..and he has his charge amount.. you can start with a charge close to his... slightly under-charging an R134A system isnt always a bad thing..
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Old 03-23-2024, 12:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportyrick View Post
Having worked on a lot of OTR trucks that generate a lot of air conditioning hours I can say that one of the biggest problems I have found is the high pressure hose gets brittle and hard from the high heat generated by compressing the gas. To check for this try bending the hose coming out of the compressor and going to the condenser. If it is hard to bend or you hear crackling like potato chips coming from the inside of the hose it's causing you problems. It will have micro cracks that a sniffer and dye will not detect but soapy water is the best at finding them. I bet that is what was wrong with your hose and it was on the air conditioner that was used the most while going down the road. Cut the hose open after you replace it and you will find the inside is chunking off and getting into your expansion valve, orifice and dryer. Sometimes it is just shredding off as a black powder getting into everything including your compressor because the dryer doesn't stop everything, it looks like a black dye in everything. Cut that dryer apart and see what's in it too.
This is exactly what happened to my hose. My a/c guy cut it 6 feet back just to make sure we got well past the "Brittle" side of the hose. we blew out the remaining line and replaced the dryer filter too. This happened on the rear unit, the front unit had the blown breaker problem.

This is the hose we used as this is what was installed.

EATON GH001-10WR50

IT IS PRICEY!
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Old 03-25-2024, 09:46 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
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Thanks!

You guys are awesome. I appreciate the help! I have a nice checklist to go by once I break these A/C's open, thanks to you guys!
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Old 03-25-2024, 08:50 PM   #15
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Im with you. My 20 something son was super excited and supportive when I bought my 2007 5 window Shorty (Chevy Express 3500) with 16k original miles back in 2021. He told me I needed to immediately gut it and start making all these Mods to it. I told him, I was going to do just enough to get her into use as a weekend Camper. Glad I gave myself the gift of time. I have a better idea what Id want to do. Still not sure Ill gut and insulate and add a bunch of weight with wood framing and panels. Working full time doesnt leave much time for that type of project. Id rather use my weekends to get out in the bus. With the exception of one summer trip, that got pretty warm and one Spring trip that got pretty cold, we have figured out lots of ways to stay cool or warm in our original Insulation rig.
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Old 03-25-2024, 08:52 PM   #16
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Im with you. My 20 something son was super excited and supportive when I bought my 2007 5 window Shorty (Chevy Express 3500) with 16k original miles back in 2021. He told me I needed to immediately gut it and start making all these Mods to it. I told him, I was going to do just enough to get her into use as a weekend Camper. Glad I gave myself the gift of time. I have a better idea what Id want to do. Still not sure Ill gut and insulate and add a bunch of weight with wood framing and panels. Working full time doesnt leave much time for that type of project. Id rather use my weekends to get out in the bus. With the exception of one summer trip, that got pretty warm and one Spring trip that got pretty cold, we have figured out lots of ways to stay cool or warm in our original Insulation rig.
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Old 03-25-2024, 08:55 PM   #17
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Sorry for the duplicate. Not sure how to delete one
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Old 03-26-2024, 09:30 AM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2024
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Originally Posted by Otravelmom View Post
Im with you. My 20 something son was super excited and supportive when I bought my 2007 5 window Shorty (Chevy Express 3500) with 16k original miles back in 2021. He told me I needed to immediately gut it and start making all these Mods to it. I told him, I was going to do just enough to get her into use as a weekend Camper. Glad I gave myself the gift of time. I have a better idea what Id want to do. Still not sure Ill gut and insulate and add a bunch of weight with wood framing and panels. Working full time doesnt leave much time for that type of project. Id rather use my weekends to get out in the bus. With the exception of one summer trip, that got pretty warm and one Spring trip that got pretty cold, we have figured out lots of ways to stay cool or warm in our original Insulation rig.
The adventure is the best part! We do plan on putting in flooring come fall, but that's mostly just to verify the integrity of the metal underneath. This was a mountain bus so it saw its fair share of snow, ice, and salt. But, like you, we will be part timing, and we have a pretty solid solar generator to run our portable A/C when we are parked. Then our Mr. Buddy heater should take the chill out of the air when its not. That's the plan, for now.
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Old 03-27-2024, 05:48 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Triad, North Carolina
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Welcome to the forum. Your bus is pretty much what i dream/wishing for... Rear engine with handicap lift. I am in a wheel chair. Looking forward to further post about your bus. Do you post photos etc on other mediums.



Billy n NC


ps sending a pm,,
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Old 03-27-2024, 06:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SourPickle View Post
The adventure is the best part! We do plan on putting in flooring come fall, but that's mostly just to verify the integrity of the metal underneath. This was a mountain bus so it saw its fair share of snow, ice, and salt. But, like you, we will be part timing, and we have a pretty solid solar generator to run our portable A/C when we are parked. Then our Mr. Buddy heater should take the chill out of the air when its not. That's the plan, for now.



mister buddy = YUCK! fumes inside and lots of condensation...
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