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Old 03-23-2016, 09:49 PM   #621
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Yes, easily. The knife has an effect where the foam shrinks away from the cut because of escaping gasses. The knife I got from HF has a depth gauge, so you could set it to maybe 1.5" and drag along some parallel lines.

I'll try it out on a chunk and see what happens. There might be enough shrinkage to bend the cuts concave instead of convex.

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Originally Posted by Docsgsxr View Post
Cool idea, think if you were careful enough one could cut lines in the roof insulation so to mold the corners instead of using a circular saw at half the depth of the foam?

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Old 03-24-2016, 06:56 AM   #622
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That sounds good. I know it only $20 bucks, but if it's worth it, it would save me a lot of time and hand strength!
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:53 PM   #623
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Window holes

All the window holes are cut, its a lot of work. I dulled out the nibbler so I rotated the bit 180 degrees.

The rearward windows are in the galley, that's why they are higher.

The little access flap on the driver side under the window will be a downdraft vent for the range, and maybe external gas/electrical/whatever access for the appliances.

Eventually I'll replace the driver window with a less drafty rv version as well, but I want to get the current windows done first.

I went back on my decision to use threaded fasteners and instead I'll be riveting.

When attaching different metals, you have to be careful of galvanic reaction. I will try and mitigate it by sealing the aluminum frame to the bus body with butyl tape, and making sure the steel on the bus is well coated in paint.

For the rivets, I selected a stainless fastener, which I will coat each one with PTFE goop (see pics below). This will eventually, maybe, cause the window frame to act as the sacrificial anode, in like 10-20 years. (Long enough for me!)







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Old 03-27-2016, 02:21 PM   #624
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Thank you for all your sharing and insight, I feel lucky to find a build with a roof rise with so many details progress over a few years. Really puts things into prospective on how much work this really is. Happy I did a marathon read of this thread and look forward to more!
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Old 03-28-2016, 01:02 AM   #625
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Got all the windows installed, now I'm kickin mah feet up for a few minutes. Its cozy in here, raining outside. Eventually I'll insulate that door, but for now its fine. I think in the coming weeks I'll get the kitchen systems built.

Basically, a couple counter height custom metal cabinets with drawers, and a full height full depth pull out pantry. If there were a reason to leave your chair rail in the bus and not destroy it, this would be a compeling reason not to.



I wanted to give you some detail on how I affixed the rv windows without a trim ring.

So, suuuure I suppose you COULD buy some zero depth rings and attach to the skin directly, but it would be a disaster if you had to remove the window later (lots of interior disassembly)

This method isn't as easy as removing the trim ring and popping the frame, but its not bad - just drill some rivets out. Matching up the old holes with a new frame might be hilarious, hopefully I never find out.

I also believe that riveting the frames is a lot stronger, which is befitting of a skoolie.

Note that I didn't use the beauty washers in the final install because I determined that would be dumb on my part.
  • Cut the window hole, these are 3" radius. Try to always cut a little small. On a few I used a flapdisc grinder to enlarge the hole an additional 1/16" or so on a couple.

    After the frame fits flat against skin you are ready to install.
    Mark holes in frame in a pleasing and mechanically sound pattern. Make sure your holes are to the outside edge enough.

    Drill holes in frame, while not on vehicle.

    Place window in hole (now with mounting holes drilled in frame)

    Check alignment around hole so you catch the steel on all sides.

    Using existing frame holes, drill the top and bottom ones through vehicle, and hold window in place with clecos.

    Continue drilling the rest of the windows, adjacent to your last clecos until done. That way alignment is close.

    Pull window out again, and prep window frame with butyl tape. It should cover the entire flange of the frame.

    Prep vehicle side by ensuring paint is clean and defect free. Use some zinc cold galv spray from inside and coat edge of sheet metal and each hole drilled. Let it dry (just a few min)

    Place window in hole with butyl tape, it will stick so make sure its right.
    Reinstall clecos to hold window in place.

    Wait 10 minutes. The clecos will apply pressure to the window frame against the butyl tape, squeezing it out. This ensures a positive seating without gaps. Do not rush.

    After butyl oozes install rivets. I used a sealing/anti galvanic compound swizzled onto each rivet grip. Install rivets.

    If you didn't spring for expensive waterproof rivets, let everything dry up a bit and clean it well (remove excess butyl and rivet sealant) then seal the hole of each rivet with something robust, like sikaflex.



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Old 03-28-2016, 01:05 AM   #626
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I'm glad I could be helpful.

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Thank you for all your sharing and insight, I feel lucky to find a build with a roof rise with so many details progress over a few years. Really puts things into prospective on how much work this really is. Happy I did a marathon read of this thread and look forward to more!
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Old 03-28-2016, 09:20 AM   #627
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I was thinking about a deer guard.


Mad Max Bus!
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Old 03-28-2016, 10:22 AM   #628
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Great info on the windows. When I get to that stage I'll probably go that route almost exactly. Do you think an electric nibbler would do fine? I don't have an air compressor setup at my shop. Also, did you do the nibbling with the panels already on the bus?
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Old 03-28-2016, 12:04 PM   #629
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Yeah, an electric nibbler will be fine. I had to stop on occasion for my tiny air compressor to catch up with the air nibbler. Unless you're really good at planning things, I'd recommend doing it with the panels on the bus.

I can think of several reasons why it might be bad if you did it before hand:

* Shrinkage of the metal after riveting, causing the hole to get too big.
* Loss of sheet strength when hanging, which could cause a crease in the sheet steel when moving it around.
* Final positioning of sheet might cause the hole to be slightly misaligned.

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Originally Posted by RHOMBUS View Post
Great info on the windows. When I get to that stage I'll probably go that route almost exactly. Do you think an electric nibbler would do fine? I don't have an air compressor setup at my shop. Also, did you do the nibbling with the panels already on the bus?
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Old 03-28-2016, 07:44 PM   #630
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Are your windows aluminum or steel? Would the SS rivets react with those if they were steel? as far as coating them on the inside, wouldn't he butyl tape seal the point in between panel and window and rivet?

Picked up 2 of the heat knives. HF had them on sale for ITC members for 14.99!

BTW, where did you get your rivets and what was the cost?
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:00 AM   #631
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Windows are aluminum framed, I bought a bunch of surplus ones off eBay. I've never seen steel framed windows.

You're right, stainless mixed with mild steel would be less reactive than stainless in contact with aluminum but sometimes there's no choice. Next best is to mitigate factors as much as possible, hence the coatings and sealants. Using the butyl tape will cause much less problems than if the aluminum was in direct contact with the steel skin.

I picked up a box of 500 stainless 3/8 rivets with a 1/4-3/8 grip for about 100 bucks from Tacoma Screw in the Seattle area. I'll be using the same rivets to assemble the interior furnished wall panels to the steel framework, and probably most of the cabinetry panels.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Docsgsxr View Post
Are your windows aluminum or steel? Would the SS rivets react with those if they were steel? as far as coating them on the inside, wouldn't he butyl tape seal the point in between panel and window and rivet?

Picked up 2 of the heat knives. HF had them on sale for ITC members for 14.99!

BTW, where did you get your rivets and what was the cost?
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Old 03-29-2016, 02:01 AM   #632
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suddenly, a wild shower stall appeared!

Suddenly, a wild shower stall has appeared!
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Old 04-02-2016, 11:14 PM   #633
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Doesn't look like much but that's a 4.5 inch hole all the way into the basement compartment. Locating that is a big deal because plumbing.

Anyway, framing up a slim steel support box for shower stall, that will dictate kitchen cabinets, etc.

I also pulled the entire frame cover panel in the underbay, there is as much room in there as I had hoped. There was a lot of dirt too.

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Old 04-04-2016, 12:01 PM   #634
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Lithium Batteries - Prismatic LiFePO4

Has anyone had direct (current) (ok yeah terrible joke) experience with lithium battery packs in RV applications? There's a few folks out there like the technomadia folks who have some compelling reasons to spend the money upfront for this.

Between the desiccating dry poop box instead of black tanks, lithium battery systems, direct current 48vdc aircon, and kilowatt solar panel systems, I'm drawing some conclusions that I am swimming FAR outside "normal" RV systems territory.

Just curious to see what folks think about the lithium batteries.

From what I gather:

Not so great:
  • Currently (Q1 2016) batteries are approximately double the cost for similar AH capacity of lead acid.
  • Additional costs of management for charge and thermal regulation apply.

Pretty great:
  • Tolerant to high charge/discharge rates.
  • Larger thermal operation window
  • No mechanical maintenance
  • Far more discharge/charge cycles, like an order of magnitude more. (like 2000 cycles vs 200 cycles)
  • Higher discharge capacity without damage (80 percent vs. 50 percent)
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Old 04-04-2016, 12:30 PM   #635
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Advantage in weight also.
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Old 04-04-2016, 03:28 PM   #636
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temperature seems like the big disadvantage.. I owned a Chevy volt for 2 years.. and more than once the car got so hot that it activated its own Air-conditioner coolant circuit to cool down the batteries.. if charging it also greatly slowed my charging process.. if you are charging via solar efficiently you are likely also in an area that may be warm.. so thermal management is a biggie.. my car also wouldnt run on its batteries if they were below -15f, the car physically wouldnt work until its gas engine warmed up the pack enough to drive....

-Christopher
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:29 PM   #637
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Cool

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temperature seems like the big disadvantage.. I owned a Chevy volt for 2 years.. and more than once the car got so hot that it activated its own Air-conditioner coolant circuit to cool down the batteries.. if charging it also greatly slowed my charging process.. if you are charging via solar efficiently you are likely also in an area that may be warm.. so thermal management is a biggie.. my car also wouldnt run on its batteries if they were below -15f, the car physically wouldnt work until its gas engine warmed up the pack enough to drive....

-Christopher
I think YOU should think about a TESLA!!
[The Tesla 3 just fresh out on the market is prized to sell!]


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Old 04-04-2016, 10:52 PM   #638
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Have you seen the youtube video of people using ecar battery packs for their solar system batteries?
Apparently they tried to make hybrid buses for a while. I'd like to have some of those battery packs.
The Tesla bus. That's what I think of when I look at the warthog photo.
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Old 04-04-2016, 11:09 PM   #639
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some of our city busses are still hybrids.. I dont know who makes those coaches... they have huge batteries on the toprail of the bus.. (same place as the CNG tanks are in the CNG models)...

an E-car battery pack gives you a decent amoutn of power storage (as long as you manage it well)... lithium batteries dont like being fully charged or fully discharged... you would have to put a strict charge management system on to get longevity.. in my chevy volt it had a 16.1 kwh pack.. but they only gave you access to 10.5 kwh... as they only discharged it to 20-25% and charged it up to 80-85% .. theoretically a pack managed in that range can last through 1000s of charge cycles... I can imagine at least 1 or 2 charge cycles per day in an RV environment.. the packs are also heavy.. I have no idea how heavy a converted skoolie is compared to a fully loaded in-service school bus.. but probably there is plenty of extra weight capacity available, so a 1000 lb battery woudnt hurt?

-Christopher
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:48 PM   #640
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I don't think weight will be an issue. I'm contemplating trojan t-105 batteries currently, which are 6 volt batteries. They come as a 225 AH rated battery, and you'd need at least two of them to get to 12 volts. At 62 lbs a piece, they stack up in weight fast.

In order to avoid a more than 50% discharge scenario, I need to "oversize" the battery capacity of lead acid systems, so I'd probably want to acquire 8 of those batteries for a 24 volt pack that is solar optimized, or a 12 volt pack for a plug in recharge optimized system (no solar)

In the end, that amount of lead acid batteries will weigh significantly more than any lithium battery pack of similar physical size.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
some of our city busses are still hybrids.. I dont know who makes those coaches... they have huge batteries on the toprail of the bus.. (same place as the CNG tanks are in the CNG models)...

an E-car battery pack gives you a decent amoutn of power storage (as long as you manage it well)... lithium batteries dont like being fully charged or fully discharged... you would have to put a strict charge management system on to get longevity.. in my chevy volt it had a 16.1 kwh pack.. but they only gave you access to 10.5 kwh... as they only discharged it to 20-25% and charged it up to 80-85% .. theoretically a pack managed in that range can last through 1000s of charge cycles... I can imagine at least 1 or 2 charge cycles per day in an RV environment.. the packs are also heavy.. I have no idea how heavy a converted skoolie is compared to a fully loaded in-service school bus.. but probably there is plenty of extra weight capacity available, so a 1000 lb battery woudnt hurt?

-Christopher
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