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Old 07-04-2019, 07:02 PM   #1
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Fix factory air or run generator while driving

Iím happy to be directed to another thread as no doubt this has been abundantly answered, a search didnít answer my question.

98 bluebird tc/2000 8.3 Cummins. 2 motor driven compressors, no belts, seized up. Port side underskirt condenser awol just some limp chopped off coolant lines. 2 inside evaporators of unknown conditionality. You can see one behind my noggin in pic.

Installing 2 roof mount ac units and genset in basement for sure.

Just install 1 system (generator and roof mounts)and get rolling, or is there some significant value in restoring the motor driven ac system?Iíd be quite interested in others perspectives who have chosen and had to live with the choice.

The conversion has yet to start, so now is the time to whip me into shape!

Thanks
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:39 PM   #2
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Take into consideration that the bus AC will only work when engine running. If you're camping you'll need another source for AC. Many of us remove the factory AC and replace them with Mini-splits. When deleting the factory AC, if you have front AC, you'll want to keep it for driving.
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Old 07-05-2019, 12:19 PM   #3
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Wish I had an answer for you, but I don't, so here's a bump for what I feel to be a really great question. Quite the conundrum! It sounds like an expensive proposition to get your stock AC back up to being functional. Hope you get some responses from people who know more than me. I'm very curious myself.
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:47 PM   #4
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here;s the thing about it... if you want to be cool while driving fix the Engine driven air conditioning.. here are some numbers for you..


in a stock 35-40 ft school bus they typically run 120,000 - 140,000 BTU of air conditioning for the road...granted its not insulated and is designed for a load of passengers..



that said your little camper A/C is 12,000 BTU... if you can even feel it going down the road I'd be surprised... with 2 of them side by side you might stop the sweat on your brow with the vents pointed in your face...



if you are going to completely gut your bus top to bottom, spray foam, insulate the floors.. seal up the cracks and crevices to the engine compartment and such.. then you can probably cool a rear engine bus with 40,000 - 50,000 BTU on the road..add 10,000-15,000 for a front engine due to engine heat..



so pull one unit out and move the other's evaporator to the front of the bus and you can stay cool and get rid of some of those ugly ceiling units..



if you arent going to completely gut and foam the inside of your bus then I'd surely plan to only travel to places 75 degrees outside.. or fix both systems and stay nice N cool...



for reference, my 6 window bluebird shorty with tinted windows and some extra factory insulation (though not gutted and foamed) has a 45000-50,000 BTU TransAir unit in it.. that i have completely gone over and fully reconditioned.. on days when im driving into the sun and its mid 90s out, I never sweat but I dont freeze either.. it is adequete.. even in that shorty..... granted its completely unconverted stock with seats..

-Christopher
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Old 07-05-2019, 02:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
here;s the thing about it... if you want to be cool while driving fix the Engine driven air conditioning.. here are some numbers for you..


in a stock 35-40 ft school bus they typically run 120,000 - 140,000 BTU of air conditioning for the road...granted its not insulated and is designed for a load of passengers..



that said your little camper A/C is 12,000 BTU... if you can even feel it going down the road I'd be surprised... with 2 of them side by side you might stop the sweat on your brow with the vents pointed in your face...



if you are going to completely gut your bus top to bottom, spray foam, insulate the floors.. seal up the cracks and crevices to the engine compartment and such.. then you can probably cool a rear engine bus with 40,000 - 50,000 BTU on the road..add 10,000-15,000 for a front engine due to engine heat..



so pull one unit out and move the other's evaporator to the front of the bus and you can stay cool and get rid of some of those ugly ceiling units..



if you arent going to completely gut and foam the inside of your bus then I'd surely plan to only travel to places 75 degrees outside.. or fix both systems and stay nice N cool...



for reference, my 6 window bluebird shorty with tinted windows and some extra factory insulation (though not gutted and foamed) has a 45000-50,000 BTU TransAir unit in it.. that i have completely gone over and fully reconditioned.. on days when im driving into the sun and its mid 90s out, I never sweat but I dont freeze either.. it is adequete.. even in that shorty..... granted its completely unconverted stock with seats..

-Christopher
If I'm not mistaken, even with those big BTU numbers the bus system is only designed to drop the temps up to 20* from ambient outside temp.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:27 PM   #6
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If I'm not mistaken, even with those big BTU numbers the bus system is only designed to drop the temps up to 20* from ambient outside temp.

20-25.. but if im cruising along on the freeway where the road temps outside are near 100.. and the traffic is loud and dust-a-flyin.. I'll gladly take the 75-80 degree interior temp with 50 degree air blowing around..

its 2019, I just refuse to go back to 1949 just because its apparently hip to "rough-it" in a skoolie so you can have that extra 3 feet of ceiling space.


I add A/C to everything I get my hands on.. or re-condition it if its there.. even my 1978 Superior is going to get 120,000 BTU of A/C that Looks like it wouldve been factory in 1978
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
here;s the thing about it... if you want to be cool while driving fix the Engine driven air conditioning.. here are some numbers for you..


in a stock 35-40 ft school bus they typically run 120,000 - 140,000 BTU of air conditioning for the road...granted its not insulated and is designed for a load of passengers..



that said your little camper A/C is 12,000 BTU... if you can even feel it going down the road I'd be surprised... with 2 of them side by side you might stop the sweat on your brow with the vents pointed in your face...



if you are going to completely gut your bus top to bottom, spray foam, insulate the floors.. seal up the cracks and crevices to the engine compartment and such.. then you can probably cool a rear engine bus with 40,000 - 50,000 BTU on the road..add 10,000-15,000 for a front engine due to engine heat..



so pull one unit out and move the other's evaporator to the front of the bus and you can stay cool and get rid of some of those ugly ceiling units..



if you arent going to completely gut and foam the inside of your bus then I'd surely plan to only travel to places 75 degrees outside.. or fix both systems and stay nice N cool...



for reference, my 6 window bluebird shorty with tinted windows and some extra factory insulation (though not gutted and foamed) has a 45000-50,000 BTU TransAir unit in it.. that i have completely gone over and fully reconditioned.. on days when im driving into the sun and its mid 90s out, I never sweat but I dont freeze either.. it is adequete.. even in that shorty..... granted its completely unconverted stock with seats..

-Christopher
I'm very glad to see you back on here, man!
I was hoping someone could explain it!
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:23 PM   #8
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20-25.. but if im cruising along on the freeway where the road temps outside are near 100.. and the traffic is loud and dust-a-flyin.. I'll gladly take the 75-80 degree interior temp with 50 degree air blowing around..

its 2019, I just refuse to go back to 1949 just because its apparently hip to "rough-it" in a skoolie so you can have that extra 3 feet of ceiling space.


I add A/C to everything I get my hands on.. or re-condition it if its there.. even my 1978 Superior is going to get 120,000 BTU of A/C that Looks like it wouldve been factory in 1978
I've gotta put some ac in my truck!
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Old 07-05-2019, 06:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
20-25.. but if im cruising along on the freeway where the road temps outside are near 100.. and the traffic is loud and dust-a-flyin.. I'll gladly take the 75-80 degree interior temp with 50 degree air blowing around..

its 2019, I just refuse to go back to 1949 just because its apparently hip to "rough-it" in a skoolie so you can have that extra 3 feet of ceiling space.


I add A/C to everything I get my hands on.. or re-condition it if its there.. even my 1978 Superior is going to get 120,000 BTU of A/C that Looks like it wouldve been factory in 1978
Don't get me wrong, 80 inside when it's 100 outside will be quite comfortable. Not like 80 inside when it's 60 outside.
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:28 PM   #10
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Don't get me wrong, 80 inside when it's 100 outside will be quite comfortable. Not like 80 inside when it's 60 outside.
I'd take either!
I like it around 80 all the time.
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:42 PM   #11
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I'd take either!
I like it around 80 all the time.
That's too hot for all the time, 70-75 I'm good.
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Old 07-05-2019, 11:33 PM   #12
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Iím currently working on adding Engine driven AC to mine. My 2x mini splits donít get the job done when driving. Iíve got the components, and installed the compressor, but still a lot of work to do. Iím only using one of two condensers that I have if you want one.
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Old 07-06-2019, 02:08 PM   #13
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Ok- the water is still murky.... my take away thanks to the quality advice. Price and repair factory air if possible, move units to front-ish. Add generator and roof units or mini split ( or whatever) for stationary ďquietĒ camping. Cadillackid I appreciate your quality thoughtful response. Iíll keep track of financials so if itís of interest people can see the numbers.
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Old 07-06-2019, 03:23 PM   #14
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Ok- the water is still murky.... my take away thanks to the quality advice. Price and repair factory air if possible, move units to front-ish. Add generator and roof units or mini split ( or whatever) for stationary ďquietĒ camping. Cadillackid I appreciate your quality thoughtful response. Iíll keep track of financials so if itís of interest people can see the numbers.



you can likely pull out one whole system abnd move the other one to the front.. or if one is already near the front.. unless you need to cool the complete bus while traveling.. and if you are insulating well, one will do the job on the road..



compressors arent that bad to replace if they are in fact bad.. I recommend if your systems are running ear Mount TM-16 style compressors to use a Sanden SD7H15 Enhanced.. it has a higher output performance curve than the chinese TM-16 / Climaire that are often used on these busses..



https://www.sanden.com/sd7e.html


the 4616 is the standard V-belt drive ear mount.. direct mount means it has 4 bolts that moiunt down from the top..



the belt type A2 is double groove V-belt (you only need to use one).
PV6 is flat serp style 6 groove and the PV8 is an 8 groove flat (serp) style pulley..



I switched to the 4616 in my DEV bus and it pumps much better than the TM-16 al;though now im having to upgrade the condensor as im running head pressure up higher than i like...



one of the reasons I flew to texas last weekend (thank you delta airlines for your free 1st class flight).. to go stash 3 big evaporators and 2 big condensors in a storage unit..till i drive back through in a month.. thank you to a fellow skoolie member for the A/C gear..



-Christopher


EC - best bet is to find a junkyard truck for A/C.. thise trucks came with zero provisions for A/C.. I know because I added factory-style air to one.. I had to start from scratch completely... all the existing heater ductwork and controls and heater box are useless on an A/C'd truck... its all different.. the driver side dash plate does have punch-outs for vents.. the passenger side dash pad can either be replaced, or the wood-grained insert can be separated from it and one from an A/C'd truck with vents, installed..



the compressor is best use an aftermarket bracket kit and a sanden compresor... you'll need a new fan clutch too as a Non-A/C clutch doesnt spin fast enough at start-up and you over-heat the condensor till the truck engine gets warm..

its a project but of course ofr me was worth it..

I add A/C to everything I get ny hands on!
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