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Old 12-12-2013, 10:19 PM   #581
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster
If you keep track of inside, and outside temp, how many times and for how long the heater cycles, I can calculate how many BTU per hour your bus is using to stay at set temp.

Nat
Once I get it setup on a thermostat, I will do that. The problem is, it is quite and hard to hear if it is on.

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Old 12-12-2013, 10:58 PM   #582
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmkbailey
Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster
If you keep track of inside, and outside temp, how many times and for how long the heater cycles, I can calculate how many BTU per hour your bus is using to stay at set temp.

Nat
Once I get it setup on a thermostat, I will do that. The problem is, it is quite and hard to hear if it is on.
That's a good thing. Heating is not always that silent.

Nat
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Old 12-13-2013, 07:53 AM   #583
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster
That's a good thing. Heating is not always that silent.

Nat
The heating is quite, but the bus fans are noisy. They run about two minutes before the heater kicks on to re-heat the water. I will have to time the cycle.
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Old 12-14-2013, 09:10 PM   #584
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Got most of my electrical ran today. The frustrating part is this all temporary. This is to get me through my trip next week.

The battery bay is at the bottom of a closet, and this power distribution will be on the wall of that closet.

Before I hook up the batteries I need a ground terminal and 12 VDC terminal.

For the ground side I just welded 5/15 bolts to the support.



For the 12 VDC side I found this nice heavy duty Blue Sea Systems, Busbar, 6 x 5/16, 18 Stud Terminal with cover
http://www.go2marine.com/product/247...-terminal.html
http://www.go2marine.com/product/247...2105-2126.html



I have my six batteries wired up as two sets of three. The exact same size and gauge wire to the ground side and shut off switch. Then a wire from shut off switch to the bus bar.



I also had to mount the shunt for the battery monitor. It uses this to measure the current draw the bus uses,



This shows the thermostat, Xantrex LinkPro battery monitor, power distrubution box and the switch I use to turn on the Wabasto. The LED on the switch glows blue when it's on.



Here is a larger photo showing the charge wizard that runs my battery charger and the shut off switch. Behind the board are the relays that the thermostat turn on to run the fans. The bus fans are loud, but all three only draw 16.6 amps when running. That is about 200W. I still have to move the Wabasto power to the house batteries, just can't find it in the wire mess.



I have a 1000W Xantrex True Sinewave inverter hooked up, the only thing left is the Sure Power 1314 Battery Separator and the cable to the bus battery so I can charge the house battery while driving.

It was nice to have the heat running on a thermostat. It kept it quit comfortable in the bus. Tomorrow I take a break and try to finish insulating. I have so many things I want to get done but only five days before I leave.
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:30 AM   #585
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER



Nat
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Old 12-15-2013, 02:42 AM   #586
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Looks nice for being temporary.
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Old 12-16-2013, 10:27 AM   #587
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Time is running out, I have only three evenings left. I want to take Thursday night off, just to pack for the trip.

While I was waiting for Home Depot to open, decided to use my time and run the cables from the battery separator.



Then crawled in the snow and slush under the bus to figure out where to drill the hole through the floor to tie it into the bus batteries. I drilled a ¾” hole and I have a rubber grommet for the hole to protect the cable.



Sorry for the bad focus

Now back to insulation. This is slow work and I’m starting to get burnt out. I was working on covering the back engine cover and end cap when I discovered I forgot to cover part of the engine cover.



I measured and it is 18" high. I started to look around for a piece and found a spare left over from the sheet I just cut and guess what.



It is 18". Nice to see something work out for me.

I was having a hard time figuring out how to insulate that sharp curve in the roof. I finally decide to keep it simple.



I cut two 7” pieces and the middle is around 3”. Each section is a little different, some 3 ¼” some 3 ½”. I got half way to the front. Not sure if I will get it all finished before I leave. Today I need to finish the electrical.

1) Move the Wabasto to the house battery
2) Run a wire from the ignition to the battery separator.
3) I really need to re-hook up my heated mirrors.

For the Wabasto I decided since I can’t follow the wire harness to the wire distribution panel. Since I can’t figure out which 30 amp circuit runs the heater. I do have the drawing for the Wabasto, so I will cut the power there and hook it up at the wabasto.
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:58 AM   #588
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

You are going to have the best bus of skoolie history. It's looking great. Also I need more detail on bypassing the engine for the webasto. That is genius. As long as it works out in the long run of course. Pure genius.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:43 AM   #589
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Hey ThePimentals, Let me know what other info you need.

So far it working well, I'm running all day to check for any issues and it is working like a champ. I set it for 50 during the day while I'm at work and the thermostat is set to bump the temp to 63 at 4:00. That way it will be warm when I get home from work. When I drive it I go back to the valve and turn it back on. That way the engine now heats the water to keep the bus warm. It took a while for me to get use to the fans starting on their own.

The only issue I see is when it is warm out the Wabasto cycles on more than the fans to keep the water at 170. It is only on for about two minutes. It would be helpful to have a buffer tank to prevent this short cycling.
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:56 AM   #590
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

I got the electrical finished last night. For the Wabasto I found the three red wires that go from the outside connector to the fuse holder. Cut them and wires the Wabasto side up to my distribution panel. Now the whole system runs off the house batteries.

I installed three of the SuperBrightLED “5.5 Watt Round Dome Light LED Fixture with 3 Position Switch”. I like these, you daisy change power to them and can turn them on with the switch at the light. There is a third wire you can run to a switch and use ground to turn on the light. There is a three position switch on the light, Door, Off and On. I can turn them all on with the door switch or one at a time as I need them, also if the door switch is on, I can turn any off. Nice to have flexibility.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:06 AM   #591
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Godspeed on your journey, we are only driving about 1-1/2
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:15 AM   #592
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Boy have I been busy. I did get the Wabasto moved over to the house battery. It pulls 16 amps at startup, then 8 running. When it shuts off the water pump pulls 2 amps. Right now I have it on full time, but I see that as it gets warmer the Wabasto will run when heat is not needed. I’m going to move it over to the thermostat and have it run only when the fans are on. That will also shut down the constant 2 amp draw from the water pump. I will keep it hooked in parallel with the switch so I can turn it on myself, like pre-warming the engine on a cold morning.

I got my composting toilet hooked up. Had to cut a hole in the roof for the vent.



I lined the hole with foil tape to seal it up, don't want toilet fumes in the bus.



Mounting the vent cap was fun. I still had 4” on snow on the roof that is melting. After I kicked it off, I had a wet and cold place to sit.





Here is the vent hooked up to the toilet. All that is left is the power to the fan, and a wall for privacy.

What took most of the night was finishing the mount for the passenger seat and seat belt. I built the rest of the mount on the seat, so I know it would fit. Then welded it to the support I built up front.



I will have to move the seatbelt around. Right now there is about 6" of slack in it when I use it, but for now it will do. I just can't have a large passenger, If you wast is over 46" you are out of luck.



It folds down and is heated, which I have not hooked up yet. ll waiting for the seat swivel, but it may not arrive before I leave.
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Old 12-20-2013, 05:15 PM   #593
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Really enjoying this thread... hope your trip is going well.
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Old 12-20-2013, 07:55 PM   #594
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by thommassey
Really enjoying this thread... hope your trip is going well.
So far not so good. First my battery separator got stuck in the on position, keeping both the bus and house batteries connected. I removed the power form the ignition switch that turns it on and the relay still would not release. I found I had to remove the ground side. I can still use it, I just have to turn it on and off myself.

Then while stopping at a PetSMart to get a refill for Durango I found radiator fluid all under the bus.

Lucky it was a cracked overflow container, not the radiator.

I drove all afternoon and evening and could not find a non-pressurized tank. I went to the truck repair shop that I got my inspection at. They did not have anything that would work, they sent me to a Freight-liner repair shop. Freightliner let me come back into the parts area and hunt something down, but no go. Off to a Ford, Mazda, Advanced Atuo. Finally I found an Auto Zone that had a generic one. My old tank hold about 1 gal, this one is only 2/3 gal. I have to remember not to put back a whole gal of fluid.

So I guess I start my trip tomorrow after I figure out how to install this. Freightliner can get the replacement for me from Thomas when I get back.
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Old 12-20-2013, 09:55 PM   #595
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

good luck...it will work out........just remember....smile and enjoy.....it really could be worse than it is
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:51 PM   #596
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Another day and another break down with the bus. This time self inflected.

Did I mention torrential rain and fog. It was hard to see, did I mention torrential rain. After getting to Wheeling WV, I decided to hit the highway, visibility was too bad for the back roads, we were having torrential rain and fog. I got into Ohio and turned north on HW 77. I decided to pull off the highway and check and see where to stop for the evening and to eat. As I was pulling off there was this guard rail, but what I did not see was how it hooked out about a foot and a half at the end. I caught it with the side of the bus.

Here is the funny part, just as I hit the guard rail I also hit the rumble strips. I was only going 25 and it shook the bus and made a very loud noise. I thought I ripped half the front suspension off the bus. Lucky for me the rain stopped. I crawled around and under the bus but all I could find was that I ripped the rubber piece that seals the plastic cone that covers the front wheel bearings. I also cracked it, but on the end where the rubber fits. I looked but could not find the rubber piece. Right where I'm stopped is the 1 mile sign for the next exit, so I decided to drive the bus there to get it off the highway. That was when I discovered all the noise and vibration was the rumble strip. Because when I got back on the highway it got quite and smooth again. I had a good laugh.

I talked to porkchop for a little while and we decided I could epoxy a piece over the hole and re-fill it with gear oil for now. Got out handy smart phone and behold a Walmart not three miles from me. AN hour latter I was on the road again. I have photos and will upload them when I have a faster internet than my phone.

So what will be the fun tomorrow? I did not know you had to be a MacGyver to own one of these buses.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:56 AM   #597
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Quote:
I did not know you had to be a MacGyver to own one of these buses.
It is not only good but a requirement!! We're talkin' old school here!! Make sure the cap on the bearing seals properly. It's very easy to repair while things are all in the place they need to be. Dealing with burnt out bearings alongside the road somewhere will be another challenge altogether. Running the highway is no place to jury rig anything. Do what you have to do but as soon as possible get it repaired properly.
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Old 12-22-2013, 04:07 PM   #598
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

wmkbailey just pulled out of the drive, We had a great visit, swapping ideas. It's always a treat to see how others are tackling some of the same problems you are facing. Also showing off things you have done to someone who appreciates it.
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Old 12-22-2013, 11:52 PM   #599
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Quote:
Originally Posted by wmkbailey
I will have to move the seatbelt around. Right now there is about 6" of slack in it when I use it, but for now it will do. I just can't have a large passenger, If your waist is over 46" you are out of luck.
I had the same problem with my passenger seat belt. With the retractor attached to the seat the belt was too short for anyone to actually belt in. I ended up attaching the retractor up near the roof which gave us lots of slack. Just test the locking mechanism to make sure it works inverted. Mine works fine.
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Old 12-23-2013, 05:12 PM   #600
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Re: The Journey Visvi 1999 Thomas MVP ER

Well I was driving down the road minding my own business, thinking how nice to be on my second day without bus issues. When I look down and see my air pressure drop below 90 and not rising. I'm almost to where I want to go, so I took it easy and made it.

I open the engine door and right next to the compressor, I have a line that is leaking. I get a new compression fitting and cut it back to good tubing and re-attach it. Man that was a simple fix, but no go.

I call Coachnet and they say the most common issue in this 20 degree temp is the air dryer freezing. So under the bus I go and tack it apart and yes there is ice. I use my heat gun ( lucky my 1000 w inverter can run it) and melt it. Start the bus but only get to about 80 psi. After talking to somewhere, he says that the air dryer has a built in heater. I look at it and the ground wire is hanging in the air.

SO far so good, I will keep a eye on it, if it freezes again, I will replace the air dryer, ti is looking pretty bad.
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