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Old 05-11-2019, 12:16 PM   #1
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
07 Chevy Express Thomas Minotour AC

Hi,

I have a 2007 Chevy Express-based Thomas Minotour 5 window bus. I am trying to figure out the AC system. Iíd like to remove the bus AC to make room for tanks. Iím trying to determine whatís involved with doing this. Any help from someone who has done this, or decided not to for some reason, would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

Danjo
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:54 PM   #2
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Year: 2007
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Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax
Hello,
I have a 2007 Chevy express short bus and it has a rear AC unit. I'm leaving mine in for now as it still works good. What tanks are you making room for?
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Old 05-11-2019, 07:57 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I just got a 5 window, haven’t even gotten it home yet and friends want AC! I said then give me $600 for a mini split. Many say they are the best Skokie AC option. Of course then I need a generator too.
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Old 05-11-2019, 10:32 PM   #4
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I’m going to be adding fresh and grey water tanks somewhere. I’m also going to (tentatively) shoehorn a black tank in on the very back driver’s side. I was thinking that space where the condenser is now would be good for the propane and (maybe) generator.
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Hi,

I have a 2007 Chevy Express-based Thomas Minotour 5 window bus. I am trying to figure out the AC system. Iíd like to remove the bus AC to make room for tanks. Iím trying to determine whatís involved with doing this. Any help from someone who has done this, or decided not to for some reason, would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

Danjo
Hi all,

So to sort of answer my own question, it depends on the bus. It depends on what the school district ordered. In a nutshell, it can be integrated with the factory ďcabĒ AC, replaced entirely, or run parallel to the factory AC with dual compressors and evaporators.I still havenít figured out which I have. I guess that will come to be known when I replace the turbo. :/


Hereís some good info for Minotour owners. This is the manual that covers Vandalock, AC, interlock and passenger accessory.

http://www.matthewsbuses.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Minotour-Service-Manual-2018.pdf
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Old 05-11-2019, 11:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlawfarmer View Post
I just got a 5 window, havenít even gotten it home yet and friends want AC! I said then give me $600 for a mini split. Many say they are the best Skokie AC option. Of course then I need a generator too.
Yeah, thereís some good hardware there to repurpose. Seems to me that a little motor could drive an additional compressor that drives the same condenser/evaporator. Just spitballing here.
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Old 05-12-2019, 07:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Iím going to be adding fresh and grey water tanks somewhere. Iím also going to (tentatively) shoehorn a black tank in on the very back driverís side. I was thinking that space where the condenser is now would be good for the propane and (maybe) generator.
I'm not sure how much different my Collins is different underneath... But I'm mounting a 27 gallon blackwater tank right behind the fan units (condenser I think?) And then mounting a grey water tank right behind the rear axle. My fresh water tank is going inside I believe... It took me awhile to find that large of a tank shaped like it is. But fingers crossed I hope it all works! They aren't mounted yet!!
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Old 12-23-2020, 12:12 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Hey @Danjo, did you ever get that AC unit out?

Iíve got front and rear on my Chevy Collins 6 window tied to one compressor. Ouch. Local mechanic said heíd love to tinker with the project, but itíd take time and $$$$. Probably best to leave it... except I was so close to getting all of the wiring pulled from the above-driver unit, all but AC removed. Was so looking forward to finally yanking that stuff out.

So, where did you land?

Also, Iím willing to learn and take the time to figure out the AC mechanics on my own, I just want it all OUT of the interior so that I can finish gutting and start moving on design. I just donít want to do it if itís not possible.
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Old 12-23-2020, 12:31 PM   #9
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I didn’t remove the evaporator. Mine mounts on the back wall above the emergency door, so I’m just going to trim around it and make it so I can pull it to service it.

I removed the condenser. That was the easy part. I found a Firestone that reclaimed the refrigerant for $20! Then I traced down the wires, labeled and removed them from the terminal block. I cut all the zip ties and removed the clips holding it to the frame. I disconnected the high and low pressure hoses from the condenser and unbolted it, lowering it down on a floor jack. That last step is better with a second person.

I’m going to put mine back on the opposite side. I’m going to mount the condenser in a few weeks. Still need to work out a hose extension.

After a little trip through the desert in 100+ heat, I decided I’m definitely keeping mine and wish I would have incorporated a mini split into the build too. Since you’re already well on your way to removing it, find someone to recover the refrigerant and then pull it.
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Old 12-23-2020, 05:13 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Aha, thanks for the update!

Iím coming to terms with the reality that I will save at least a couple weeks on this project, and likely a few hundred bucks at minimum, by just keeping the damn thing. Sigh.

I get hung up on the idea that Iíll typically be driving by myself, so Iíll only need front AC, and the rear Carrier unit is a major gas guzzler. I wouldnít put it in park and idle to run the AC by myself, would I? And by would I, I suppose I mean, would you?

(The context is that Iíll mostly be on the north coast of California where AC is a rare and usually unnecessary luxury.)
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Old 12-23-2020, 06:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by veglorde View Post
Aha, thanks for the update!

Iím coming to terms with the reality that I will save at least a couple weeks on this project, and likely a few hundred bucks at minimum, by just keeping the damn thing. Sigh.

I get hung up on the idea that Iíll typically be driving by myself, so Iíll only need front AC, and the rear Carrier unit is a major gas guzzler. I wouldnít put it in park and idle to run the AC by myself, would I? And by would I, I suppose I mean, would you?

(The context is that Iíll mostly be on the north coast of California where AC is a rare and usually unnecessary luxury.)
When itís screaming hot and my dog is melting it seems worth it
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Old 12-23-2020, 06:42 PM   #12
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Have you read the ďDonít Remove Your ACĒ thread?
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Old 12-24-2020, 08:42 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
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I have... Iíve had the good fortune of only ever living in places where AC has never occurred to me, and Iíll be one of the more stationary skoolie dwellers. Alas! The internet wins, I have to keep it.
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