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Old 04-18-2020, 08:54 PM   #21
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Some mini-splits come with charged refrigerant lines, so all you got to do is hook 'em up. No special refrigerant tools needed.

I'd like someone to layout a solar system that could run one 8 hrs./day. 24/7 would be incredible. I'm a FLA kinda guy but with lithium ion batteries maybe some new things are do-able. It would then seem that putting enough solar on the roof might be an issue. Someone's plan for that would be nice to see.
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Old 04-18-2020, 09:17 PM   #22
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Some mini-splits come with charged refrigerant lines, so all you got to do is hook 'em up. No special refrigerant tools needed.
I don't believe this is correct...

My outdoor unit contained refrigerant- you still have to vacate the air in the lines once they are hooked up or you will contaminate the refrigerant gas, reducing efficiency. Even if there are line sets you can just plug in- if you don't ensure a proper clean vacuum you may corrode what is inside of those lines (with whatever air + moisture made its way in at connection) and cause issues.

There are tools out there to do this work, they tend to cost almost as much as having the work done.

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I'd like someone to layout a solar system that could run one 8 hrs./day.
I can do 8 hours effortlessly. The reason for this is twofold- first, my split is pretty efficient- 9k BTU, 37.5 SEER. They don't even sell these on the east coast, and its well above/beyond California specifications for "High SEER". During winter months, 30F ambient, swinging to 70F inside, I saw an average draw of 500W-700W. I need to test cooling still, but I imagine its not as costly. The second factor that makes this easy is that I have 3kW in panels. When there's sun, there's free AC.

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24/7 would be incredible.
This is what I'm going for. I think I need to at least double my battery bank from 10kWh to 20kWh. Even that will have limits, but it'll get me through two, maybe three days of overcast. Panels are cheap, batteries are expensive. Batteries are going to be the limitation on this for most people, most of the time.
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Old 04-18-2020, 11:51 PM   #23
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I have run across a build on YouTube that the heart of its electrical system was either adapted from or based on the power system of a Nissan Leaf. Very efficient and never lacking for power, even with mini splits, of which the bus has two, according to the owner. I wish I had the link, I think it is called the Broccoli Bus.
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:27 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by bus-bro View Post
Some mini-splits come with charged refrigerant lines, so all you got to do is hook 'em up. No special refrigerant tools needed.

I'd like someone to layout a solar system that could run one 8 hrs./day. 24/7 would be incredible. I'm a FLA kinda guy but with lithium ion batteries maybe some new things are do-able. It would then seem that putting enough solar on the roof might be an issue. Someone's plan for that would be nice to see.
Bus-bro is correct. There is a company call Mr Cool selling DIY mini splits, pre charged lines with quick connect type valves. I purchased from Amazon and installed their 2 ton system in my house almost three years ago and it works amazing heating and cooling my whole house. In the very coldest weather I suppliment with a wood stove.
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Old 04-19-2020, 03:46 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
I have run across a build on YouTube that the heart of its electrical system was either adapted from or based on the power system of a Nissan Leaf. Very efficient and never lacking for power, even with mini splits, of which the bus has two, according to the owner. I wish I had the link, I think it is called the Broccoli Bus.
Here’s a couple interviews

https://m.soundcloud.com/theoffgrids...r-conditioning

https://m.soundcloud.com/theoffgrids...fe-on-the-road

Lots of good advice and cold, hard truth of skoolie conversion for the uninitiated.
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Old 04-19-2020, 05:55 AM   #26
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That is because what others eat won't make you crap. Spend what you want on your bus because that will be all that matters.
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Old 04-19-2020, 05:58 AM   #27
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That's because what others eat won't make you crap. Spend whatever you want or can afford to on your bus because that is all that matters
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Old 04-19-2020, 02:05 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
I have run across a build on YouTube that the heart of its electrical system was either adapted from or based on the power system of a Nissan Leaf. Very efficient and never lacking for power, even with mini splits, of which the bus has two, according to the owner. I wish I had the link, I think it is called the Broccoli Bus.
I saw their build. The Leaf batteries have lots of advantages... in retrospect I may have gone that way over Tesla packs. The way they used their space almost puts my build to shame. I look at roof raises differently now (you avoid lots of problems later)... although I'm still not a fan of the underbay storage due to low ground clearances.



"Never lacking for power"- I doubt they can just forget about electrical usage altogether- powering AC off solar is pretty easy. He had a ~20kWh bank in the video I saw and with two units he'll be out after a day of overcast unless I'm missing something.
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Old 04-19-2020, 09:34 PM   #29
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Quote:
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Hereís a couple interviews

https://m.soundcloud.com/theoffgrids...r-conditioning

https://m.soundcloud.com/theoffgrids...fe-on-the-road

Lots of good advice and cold, hard truth of skoolie conversion for the uninitiated.
Be prepared folks, the first interview is 1 hour and 9 minutes, the second is 1 hour and 29 minutes.
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Old 04-19-2020, 09:35 PM   #30
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Be prepared folks, the first interview is 1 hour and 9 minutes, the second is 1 hour and 29 minutes.
But so good.
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Old 04-19-2020, 10:23 PM   #31
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They are on my tabs for watching after I work through the forum posts for the day.
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Old 04-23-2020, 12:18 AM   #32
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Say... WAIT a minute...
Shay McQuaid - But It Helps.png
If you really ARE this guy, I'm a huge fan, especially the squirrel video LOL....
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Old 04-23-2020, 12:32 AM   #33
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Squirrel video?
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Old 04-23-2020, 01:03 AM   #34
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Squirrel video?
God, this thread is drifting... But it's my own fault, and you asked for it, so here it is...

Local Mechanic "But It Helps" Guy
Customer Reports Strange Noise In Car
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Old 04-23-2020, 01:26 AM   #35
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God, this thread is drifting... But it's my own fault, and you asked for it, so here it is...

Local Mechanic "But It Helps" Guy -- Customer Reports Strange Noise In Car
You didn't have to post the link, but it helps, it did help.


No that is NOT Shay!
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Old 04-23-2020, 02:12 AM   #36
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No that is NOT Shay!
But it would HELP, it WOULD help...

Perhaps Shay is simply using one of this guy's pics, but if not, they could be related. LOL
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Old 04-23-2020, 02:35 AM   #37
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But it would HELP, it WOULD help...

Perhaps Shay is simply using one of this guy's pics, but if not, they could be related. LOL

Yeah, yeah, symantics ...


I have met Shay in person right after his roof raise. Not the same guy.
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Old 04-27-2020, 02:46 PM   #38
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I emailed Missy, she found your post and hopes you will contact her with your questions about their work. Her email contact with skoolie.net is fubar.

I met them in February at KnowHOWExpo in Florida. I drove down from NY, rented a camper van, and tried on the nomad life. Loved it! Missy and Jeff of Skoolie Homes are very nice, personable folks, patient with my many questions. They converted a bus got full time travel with their (4? 6?) kids, and are now converting a bus to travel with zero kids. Their book has been helpful, particularly in helping me realize a full size bus was bigger than I needed for my plans. I assume they could put you in touch with clients for references.
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Old 04-27-2020, 02:57 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Caplansail View Post
mailto:info@skoolie-homes.com

I emailed Missy, she found your post and hopes you will contact her with your questions about their work. Her email contact with skoolie.net is fubar.

I met them in February at KnowHOWExpo in Florida. I drove down from NY, rented a camper van, and tried on the nomad life. Loved it! Missy and Jeff of Skoolie Homes are very nice, personable folks, patient with my many questions. They converted a bus got full time travel with their (4? 6?) kids, and are now converting a bus to travel with zero kids. Their book has been helpful, particularly in helping me realize a full size bus was bigger than I needed for my plans. I assume they could put you in touch with clients for references.
They're not very well regarded.
Look at their yelp reviews.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/skoolie-homes-kingsport-2

Quote:
9/3/2019
Don't let Missy & Jeff fool you. They seem like nice people with a legitimate business, however they ripped me off over $50,000! What's worse is that not only did they defraud me out of a ton of money, they never even did the work. In fact, the work they did complete is so horrifyingly rigged & literally dangerous that I've had to pay another bus builder to treat it all out all the way back to bare steel. They caused substantial water damage to my bus, which lead to extensive mold growth & then tried to cover it up by adding a second subfloor over the top of the water damaged one! Because my bus was in no way completed, the $20,000 worth of appliances & fixtures I purchased were basically thrown into the bus in a manner that made by it extremely difficult to see the issues they had caused until my bus was driven away from their property. In all, I'm out over $100,000 now that I've had to pay to take my bus back to base steel & start over. I am not wealthy by any means & I am a widowed mom, just hoping to live a simple affordable a life. These people are the lowest form of human scum, but they portray themselves as caring friends. They completely took advantage of me & were fully aware of my circumstances. They are disgusting people who prey on unsuspecting customers who are playing then good money for inexcusably substandard workmanship. If you don't know if you should believe me, just start looking around the internet... I'm certainly not the only one who has been scammed by Skoolie Homes. Unfortunately when I hired them, there were no internet reviews at all, but as I said, Missy will seem like a sweet kind woman looking out for your best interest, but it's all a lie. I have 300+ photos of the same, recklessly unprofessional work they did on my bus that they charged me over $50,000 for very little work done at all. I have recorded phone calls with Missy & Jeff that prove that everything I say is accurate. I have every correspondence with them..every email, every message, every letter. Don't be a victim of their scam... Avoid Skoolie Homes at all costs
Ask em how "debbie's" 8.3 cummins powered 5 window shorty is coming along.
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Old 04-28-2020, 04:56 PM   #40
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Quote:
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mailto:info@skoolie-homes.com
I emailed Missy, she found your post and hopes you will contact her with your questions about their work. Her email contact with skoolie.net is fubar.
It would likely behoove her and Jeff to correct that so they could share their side of the story on these bad reviews, which I am skeptical of after reading their direct response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
They're not very well regarded.
Look at their yelp reviews.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/skoolie-homes-kingsport-2

Ask em how "debbie's" 8.3 cummins powered 5 window shorty is coming along.

Here is the business owner's reply to that same review:
Quote:
10/25/2019
We strongly dispute that we cheated or defrauded this client. This client was inconsistent with their expectations, slow to respond to requests, repeatedly late on payment and ordering supplies, and refused to sign a contract while also insisting work be completed to meet an unrealistic deadline. These complications resulted in a termination of services leaving her conversion incomplete and at risk for damage due to exposure to the environment which she was sufficiently warned about when she terminated services.

She left her bus on our property for an extended period of time after terminating services and was unresponsive to requests to remove the bus. We stand by the work that we completed for the client and wish that we would have had the opportunity to complete the project. The client agreed to the terms of a refund and to cease services. We believed we had settled this matter completely over a year ago.

We did not cause any damage to the client's property nor do we accept any responsibility for their negligence, especially after issuing several warnings that an unfinished conversion should not be left to the elements. The client was given a refund of $9946.00 for all unfinished services on September 19, 2018 in the form of a cashier's check sent certified mail. We have not heard from the client since.

Ten months later the client began posting negative reviews to online directories. We believed this matter to be resolved as of September 19, 2018. The client has not asked for any further compensation nor have they given us any further opportunity to come to a more agreeable arrangement. We do not feel that we can do anything further to remedy this situation.
So, the business owner's side of the story is that the client refused to sign a contract even after the business owner had apparently begun work on a good faith effort. The client further had unrealistic expectations and refused to make a plan and stick to it, nor would they communicate, even after terminating services and receiving a refund, not even to come get their bus.

At the risk of offending this 'client' if they are a member here, considering all this, the 'client' comes off as a pain-in-the-ass 'Karen' that is lucky they got their bus back at their own leisure, and that the business owner didn't have their bus towed off their property in the interim. I'm surprised they didn't charge them storage in that time. They certainly would have been within their rights to do so. Yet the client wants to smear them a year down the road, after getting a refund AND free storage for their bus? If that is all true, then they owe the business owner an apology, and storage fees, if you ask me -- not to mention damages for defamation.

My father used to say, "Some people would b-tch if you hung them with a new rope." As a former business owner (taxi service), I have had my fair share of people who did not understand what was involved, could care less what my expenses or knowledge were, and seemed to think they knew better than I did. To boot, I was competing with other providers that were charging rates that had not been changed in 10-15 years or more, even when insurance and fuel costs had increased 300-500%. To make up for the low-ball rate, they would take riders a longer route to make up for it, since in the locality in particular, faster is usually longer distance. I charged more per mile so I didn't have to do that. This resulted in a fair amount of riders who:

A) Insisted I was ripping them off with high rates.
B) Insisted I was taking them the long way around. Some of them had actually directed me themselves, then complained about the fare. Others did not know the area and assumed I was in the wrong because I didn't go the same route someone who charged less per mile had taken.
C) Complained about my old 'clunker' (well-equipped, well-maintained 95 Marquis and 98 Safari van, leather and all, I ran these between 2007 and 2013).

Among various other baseless complaints... Some even would argue with me over $2.00 difference on an estimate because someone else had charged them less. You can't please everyone all the time, sometimes you can't please anyone some of the time. My point here is that some people are going to complain no matter what you do.

I deal with these same people driving Uber, and they not only make baseless complaints to try to get a free ride, they give false feedback trying to ruin my rating on the platform (I currently sit at 4.84, even with the false complaints, without their whining I would be at 4.95-5.00). Unfortunately, Uber does nothing to curb these false complaints. But I digress.

Some people go to others to have work done because they don't have the know-how or time to do it themselves. Those who don't have the know-how will then tend to rely on the advice of others who may or may not know what they're talking about, which leads them to assume (correctly or not) that they are being taken to the cleaners. And there is no quicker way to ruin a working relationship with any business.

While I respect EastCoastCB's thoughts on this and their experience in the skoolie community, this is my take on it.

I have read these reviews, as well as the business owners' reply to them. It seems that the negative reviews were either from people that had never dealt with them, or people who just would not make a plan and stick to it. I myself have dealt with people like this, for example, a friend who wanted to fix up an old Buick, and kept talking about how he wanted to do this or do that, letting the car sit for five years or more before I finally told him to sh-t or get off the pot, or it would never get done.

I have also seen situations where people had work done, then decided they wanted to modify it, relying on bad information to make the modification, then try to blame it on the person who did the original work when problems surfaced.

Folks, buses are no different than any other vehicle in that the more they sit, the more problems will surface. You simply can't start cutting one up, then leave it sitting for six months dilly-dallying around and expect no other problems when you finally get around to it. You also can't expect someone else to deliver on getting you what you want if you don't make decisions and stick to them, and communicate what you want.

For example, I have an uncle who is notorious for taking the easiest and cheapest route when doing anything, often spending $10.00 jury-rigging to ultimately save $0.10 over doing something the right way, ignoring tried-and-true experience from others that would have saved a lot of time and headache.

Last I visited him, he had built a house on the coast. The house sags in the center because of a central support post that he refused to spend the money to have properly set up, and blames the guy that helped him half-ass the job.

Hence, as a business owner, I can recognize that if you knuckle under to every single complaint regardless of who is at fault, you won't stay in business very long.

While it's remotely possible that the negative reviews shown are entirely deserved, I also see reason not to take them as gospel, having been on the receiving end of such complaints before. Contrary to popular belief, the customer is NOT always right.

I would be interested in hearing both sides of the story on these situations -- then I can make an educated decision for myself when the time comes. But what I see in these negative reviews is people either not wanting to take responsibility for their own negligence in seeing the plan through, or not allowing the business owner to make it right if there was a legitimate issue.
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