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Old 06-30-2021, 02:50 PM   #21
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Baja often, Oregon frequently
Posts: 206
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Our hot little hands...
Chassis: Ford CF8000 ExpeditionVehicle
Engine: Cummins 505ci mechanical
2003, we converted a 1997 Ford CF8000 commercial truck to our concept of an ExpeditionVehicle.
.
With nearly two decades full-time live-aboard, our rig is constantly evolving.
We use something awhile to determine effectiveness, then modify it or discard it.
.
My suggestion to newer builders:
* avoid believing 'this rig is my forever rig'
You grow and evolve, your vehicle needs change.
Start with small simple modifications.
These may lead to bigger mods... or changing it back.

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Old 07-03-2021, 07:33 PM   #22
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 33
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
This afternoon I removed the 3 wires that connected to the wheelchair lift. I pulled about 26' of hot wire that went from the lift to the front of the bus. The wire connected to an inline breaker under the hood and the breaker had another hot wire that went to the thing I'm pointing at in the included pictures.

I'd like to set up a dc-dc charger and I'm wondering if I could use the same set up to run to a dc-dc charger?

Sorry for the non-technical language lol.
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Old 07-15-2021, 06:22 PM   #23
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Join Date: Jul 2021
Posts: 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWNJ View Post
This afternoon I removed the 3 wires that connected to the wheelchair lift. I pulled about 26' of hot wire that went from the lift to the front of the bus. The wire connected to an inline breaker under the hood and the breaker had another hot wire that went to the thing I'm pointing at in the included pictures.

I'd like to set up a dc-dc charger and I'm wondering if I could use the same set up to run to a dc-dc charger?

Sorry for the non-technical language lol.
Likely yes you can reuse that for your charger. The "thingy" looks like a junction that probably goes to the fuse box and/or alternator/starter where it draws it's power. Assuming the cable is in good condition and your DC-DC charger doesn't draw more power than the cable and breaker can handle you should be golden.
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Old 07-16-2021, 08:57 AM   #24
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: Wamego Ks
Posts: 611
Year: 2007
Chassis: Collins
Engine: 6.6L LMM Duramax
Quote:
Originally Posted by HopGarage View Post
Likely yes you can reuse that for your charger. The "thingy" looks like a junction that probably goes to the fuse box and/or alternator/starter where it draws it's power. Assuming the cable is in good condition and your DC-DC charger doesn't draw more power than the cable and breaker can handle you should be golden.
Agreed. My 2007 has the same "stud" in the same spot as yours. It's is a 12v + feed that fed many different things on my bus. I know one on mine goes back to the glow plug controller because I had to replace a wire to it. Also agree to check cable and make sure you have ample of gauge/size of wire for the load you will be putting on it.
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Old 07-16-2021, 10:11 AM   #25
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,212
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
As you are probably aware, there is likely no fusing/breaker protection in the circuit.

The breaker you found is/was dedicated to the lift only, so the other cables feeding from that hub are hot direct from your positive battery terminal.
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Old 07-18-2021, 02:30 PM   #26
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 33
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Maxxair Deluxe 7500k installed this morning. I've watched so many youtube vids on how to install this thing that I could have done it in my sleep lol.

VT cashed my check recently so the plates should be here any day now.
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Old 07-18-2021, 02:33 PM   #27
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 33
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zen builder View Post
BMWNJ, Thanks for the reply. At the risk of being rude, what did you end up paying for your bus? That's the bus that i am looking for, and would like to get an idea what i need to come up with. Thanks again for your help. jeff
Sorry, I missed this question when you posted. I paid $5,500 for the bus. The seller put 2 new batteries in plus 10 gallons of diesel.
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:00 AM   #28
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 33
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Today is primer day! (And if I dont run out of time I might be able to apply the first coat of paint) I finished prep sanding yesterday. I picked up a hvlp airless sprayer and some rustoleum tractor primer and paint. The bus will be painted white and eventually a 15' run of stained 1x6 will hang the length of the bus under the windows to break the white up a bit.
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Old 07-26-2021, 07:57 PM   #29
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 33
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
5.5 hours of taping. 2 hours of spraying but the primer is done (used 1 gallon for 1 coat). I need to touch up a few spots w a rattle can.

paint is going on tomorrow. applying 2 coats of rostoleum gloss white (2 gallons).
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Old 07-27-2021, 07:55 AM   #30
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Highlands, NC
Posts: 24
Looks good so far. How did the primer lay down? And what did you apply it with? jeff
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Old 07-27-2021, 08:24 AM   #31
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 33
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zen builder View Post
Looks good so far. How did the primer lay down? And what did you apply it with? jeff
it laid down great. I used a HF airless sprayer (avante 100 or something like that). I added mineral spirits to the rustoleum to thin it out a bit so it would spray nice. I'll update later tonight w pics of the white rustoleum paint once im finished spraying.
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Old 07-27-2021, 07:58 PM   #32
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 33
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
2 coats of white paint on. Gotta do a little touching up and put some fresh paint on the bumpers and mirrors.
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Old 07-27-2021, 08:31 PM   #33
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Central Kentucky
Posts: 128
Coachwork: Busless for now
Looks great!! You did a fabulous job!!!
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Old 07-27-2021, 08:38 PM   #34
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Central Kentucky
Posts: 128
Coachwork: Busless for now
You and a couple of others here have convinced me that when I am ready to take the plunge, It will be a Collins van-cutaway with a Chevy chassis/6.6 Duramax. I need the headroom of a Collins shorty, may even still need to raise it 6 inches or so... I am about 6'0.5'. Then the RV roof air unit console sticks down a couple of inches....


Keep posting good stuff for us shorty fans, please!!
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Old 07-27-2021, 09:37 PM   #35
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 33
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentucky Dreaming View Post
You and a couple of others here have convinced me that when I am ready to take the plunge, It will be a Collins van-cutaway with a Chevy chassis/6.6 Duramax. I need the headroom of a Collins shorty, may even still need to raise it 6 inches or so... I am about 6'0.5'. Then the RV roof air unit console sticks down a couple of inches....


Keep posting good stuff for us shorty fans, please!!
Thanks. I'll keep posting my progress.

I went w the Collins HC bus for height reasons plus no wheel wells.

In case anyone is curious about how much primer and paint my bus (24' long) required was 1 gallon of primer (1 coat) and 1.5 gallons of paint ( 2 coats). Both were Rustoleum farm paint from tractor supply. I sprayed it so it was thinned w mineral spirits.
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Old 08-22-2021, 09:29 PM   #36
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 33
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Made a lot of progress w my build over the last week.

Earlier this week I built a queen sized bed platform with a mattress and black out shades from ikea. I also repurposed the whole from the stop sign wires and installed a 15a port that I saw on Skooliana's youtube video.

Today I worked on 12v power. using 2 deep cycle batteries to power maxxair fan, 12v refrigerator and a few charging ports. I also hooked up a battery monitor. I picked up a small armoire that was for sale locally and built a box to raise it. the box houses my 2 batteries and the electrical system. the armoire has a removable bottom so i can easily access the electrical system. I still have to hook up the dc to dc charger.

Does anyone know what the fuse box under the driver seat is for? Has anyone tapped into that box to run their dc to dc activation wire?
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Old 08-28-2021, 12:57 AM   #37
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Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 2
Bus looks great! I’ve had my eye on a 6 window Collins bus as well. I’m going to keep an eye on your thread and learn from all your triumphs!

Cheers!
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Old 08-30-2021, 12:41 AM   #38
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 157
Year: 2009
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 6.6 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: ?
Wow. Great work on that paint job. It really looks quite fab! Very impressive. Congrats.
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Old 09-01-2021, 06:35 AM   #39
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 33
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Just got back from a 250 mile round trip to Worthington State Forest in NJ. The bus kept everyone comfortable and safe from mosquitoes lol.

I do believe I need to replace the transmission though. Prior to leaving I had a local shop do some work to it in addition to changing the ATF fluid (it was very dirty when I bought it and it shifted weird going into 3rd gear). The new fluid fixed the shifting issue but there seems to be a problem w the transmission itself. On the way home from our trip the transmission was howling in 1st and 2nd gear, it sounded like a tornado was about to touch down. I checked the new ATF fluid and it's still red but I was getting some dark streaks on the paper towel.

So I will be calling around this morning to see who can get me in to replace the transmission. The shop I had work done was fine but my bus wasnt a priority since they service fleet vehicles. I have another trip scheduled in a few weeks and don't want to be waiting weeks to get the vehicle back. I might go to the local Chevy dealership and see if they can put a remanufactured 6l90 in and if I have any problems it should be covered under warranty and serviced at any GM dealership should I have problems on the road.

Anyway I thought I'd update this thread and include some build pics.

The cabinet is a small armoire and the countertop is a butcher block kitchen tablet that I found on FB marketplace.

I built a base for the armoire to house the batteries and 12v system.

The tabletop was cut to fit the area dedicated to the kitchen. I also used a vessel sink meant for a bathroom. I went this route so I did not have to cut the tabletop other than a 2" hole for the drain and a 5/8 hole for the tubing on a USB pump (meant for a water cooler jug). For fresh and gray water tanks I'm using 5 gallon water cooler jugs. I'll eventually upgrade this system in the future but for now it works fine.

The bunks are disc-o-bunks with sleeping pads. The main bed is queen size with a mattress from Ikea.

The lighting is USB powered LED rope lights. I went this route because it's only 5w. It's more of a mood lighting and for stronger lighting I went with some battery powered dimmable LED lights from Harbor Freight. I also have directional LED lights from HF over the dinette and countertop.

Im using a Euhomy 12v refrigerator/freezer that I bought of amazon. It worked great on our first trip. We'll see how long it lasts.

I also picked up a Champion 4250 dual fuel inverter generator. It powers my 8k btu window AC unit as well as recharges my batteries no problem. I'm using propane to run it and a 20# tank lasted 14 hours on eco mode. I'm so glad I dont have to mess around w gasoline.

Almost forgot. I'm using black out shades from Ikea. They do a nice job blocking light but they're cheap. I use magnets to hold them up.
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Old 09-21-2021, 09:23 AM   #40
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: NJ
Posts: 33
Year: 2010
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express
Engine: Duramax LMM
Renogy 40a DC to DC charger installed. I reused the 4 awg hot wires from the wheelchair lift to the input side of the charger unit. I swapped out the 90a breaker that was on the bus already for a 60a that Renogy suggest. I had an issue w the unit's green light not turning on but came across a blog post about the same problem and they added a house battery side ground and that also fixed my problem.
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