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Old 09-24-2019, 09:18 AM   #101
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Yes it feels great to have electric in the bus! We're trying to take a trip in a few weeks, so I'm trying desperately to get some basic amenities into the bus before then. By basic, I mean a bed, closet, cooler (for "refrigeration"), lights, and the MaxxAir fan.

Last night, I ran temporary wires to two of the original bus lights and wired them to the 12V side of the power center. I also temp-wired the fan, and all works so far! I want to get four more lights wired temporarily, and wire in the battery, and that's sufficient for us for the trip we're planning. Hopefully more to come (with pictures) in the near future!

I can say that I like the Posi-Tap connectors for splicing wiring! Pricey little buggers, though, but for needing only 10 of them, I figured the cost was worth trying them. Seems much more secure than the little mash and snap splice things you typically see, though they take up quite a bit of space.

Chris
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Old 09-24-2019, 01:37 PM   #102
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Feedback, AC grounding, and DC grounding to chassis/frame

I'm not done with the electrical, even in its rudimentary form, and so am looking for advise before I wrap up this part of the initial build. I'll probably cross-post in the electrical forum as well. Anyway, please see my diagram for the short term setup - any comments? One obvious omission is grounding to the chassis/frame... see below.

I've read a number of posts here that say the AC circuit should be grounded to the frame of the bus to prevent "hot skin" condition. This makes sense, since any such condition would then be grounded, and should trip a breaker. However, I've seen a few other posts (http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f10/mi...html#post81574 is one example) that indicate a completely floating AC system works as well, I assume by "making sure" there's no way for the AC wires to contact the bus frame. While I don't intend to leave any possible way to energize the skin or frame, I don't see why not grounding is any safer, and plan to run a ground wire from the power center ground bus bar to the frame. Any reasons I shouldn't just ground to the frame?

As for DC grounding to the frame, I'm less clear on this. The house system is isolated from the starting system, and at some point I'd like to install a DC-DC charger or an isolator solenoid for the house battery to charge while driving. Anyway, it sounds like it's still a good practice to connect my negative bus bar to the frame as a chassis ground, just in case something like an antenna or some other item is installed which could make its own ground to the frame otherwise. Again, any reason not to run a ground wire from my negative bus bar (or from the negative battery post) to the vehicle chassis?

Thanks!
Chris
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File Type: jpg Five-Chime-Wiring-15amp.jpg (90.1 KB, 34 views)
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Old 09-25-2019, 10:49 PM   #103
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I'm sure more educated people will chime in regarding the electrical... My dad helped me install my electrical system. It came right out of a camper. So I have the house battery like you do that goes to the DC fuse box after a shutoff switch. It has a power convertor (from the camper) that charges the house battery when the bus is plugged into the 30amp AC system. The camper AC system was a 50 amp box and we converted it to 30 amp. We grounded both AC and DC systems to the steel frame of the bus.

So the DC systems is grounded directly to the frame. But One thing I noticed in a camper is it's all wood so for 12v system you would have to run two wires for everything ( one positive and one ground) with bus that is all steel, you really don't have to. I was torn on which way to go this route. So I've ran grounds on everything but one set of wiring that came in later. I grounded it to the frame and it is a pig tail that I can plug in to run an outdoor sink at tailgates... it still works great, but I think I'll keep running ground wires so hopefully I won't have grounding issues in the future. (When corrosion or rust eventually occurs)

Oh and I don't have a battery monitor, but plan to have one in the future. ( Good call!) I think I want to add a power invertor to convert DC to AC that I can run tv and blue ray player for kids while driving down the road off of the house battery... and I also like your idea of the charging isolator so you can charge the house battery from the alternator on the bus while driving! Let me know when you figure that out...
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Old 09-26-2019, 10:27 AM   #104
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Thanks! I'm getting good feedback already on a similar thread: http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f49/el...ons-28744.html The consensus seems to be to ground both the AC and DC systems as you did.

I've chosen to run positive and negative wires to all my stuff, first to avoid possible ground issues with corrosion as you note, and second because I have very little that I plan to have in the bus. The power center only supports 6 circuits, and I'm only using 3, with plans to use two more at most.

As for a battery monitor, check out this YouTube video: The monitor is now $40, but even at that cost, it seemed like a great investment to make sure I don't kill my house battery!

The charger from the alternator will come sometime next year at the earliest, but I'll post when I go down that road!

Chris
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:36 PM   #105
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More progress. We're looking to take a trip in the near future, so I wanted to button up a few things - we're going with what I think is bare minimum (rudimentary electric, a bed, and seats). First, our power center is live! We have a 100ah AGM battery that replaced one of the two starting batteries (electrically separate now). The power center powers the DC converter, a single 110V outlet, a MaxxAir fan, and the six original bus lights (with replacement LED bulbs).
IMG_20191011_165821325_HDR.jpg
IMG_20191011_165840994.jpg
IMG_20191011_165859544.jpg

Next, we took a very frugal and simple approach to hanging curtains - 1/2" EMT conduit. This won't be permanent, but was quick, sturdy, and inexpensive!
IMG_20191011_165925154.jpg

Finally, the bedroom is done enough. The closet has walls, hanger rods, and the doors easily open and close.
IMG_20191011_170016183.jpg

The bed is sitting on 2x4 slats to keep air circulating underneath and prevent mold. To keep the slats in place side to side, I screwed spacer 2x4's between where the slats will be. In the center support, I used leftover kitchen table leaf pins to keep the boards from sliding front to back.
IMG_20191011_170131004.jpg
IMG_20191011_170145698.jpg

We have a better mattress, but for now, we need to transport some older foam cushions, so we're putting them under our mattress.
IMG_20191011_165956785.jpg

It feels amazing to have something useable in the bus currently, even if none of the walls, ceiling, floor, etc. are done. It'll be a good test to see how the bus does driving, etc. Progress!!

Chris
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Old 10-11-2019, 07:47 PM   #106
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Originally Posted by farok View Post
More progress. We're looking to take a trip in the near future, so I wanted to button up a few things - we're going with what I think is bare minimum (rudimentary electric, a bed, and seats). First, our power center is live! We have a 100ah AGM battery that replaced one of the two starting batteries (electrically separate now). The power center powers the DC converter, a single 110V outlet, a MaxxAir fan, and the six original bus lights (with replacement LED bulbs).
Attachment 38461
Attachment 38462
Attachment 38463

Next, we took a very frugal and simple approach to hanging curtains - 1/2" EMT conduit. This won't be permanent, but was quick, sturdy, and inexpensive!
Attachment 38464

Finally, the bedroom is done enough. The closet has walls, hanger rods, and the doors easily open and close.
Attachment 38465

The bed is sitting on 2x4 slats to keep air circulating underneath and prevent mold. To keep the slats in place side to side, I screwed spacer 2x4's between where the slats will be. In the center support, I used leftover kitchen table leaf pins to keep the boards from sliding front to back.
Attachment 38466
Attachment 38467

We have a better mattress, but for now, we need to transport some older foam cushions, so we're putting them under our mattress.
Attachment 38468

It feels amazing to have something useable in the bus currently, even if none of the walls, ceiling, floor, etc. are done. It'll be a good test to see how the bus does driving, etc. Progress!!

Chris
excited? ..................
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Old 10-11-2019, 08:57 PM   #107
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I am sure it fills you with a sense of accomplishment! Congratulations on having a functional setup, even if it is a temporary proof-of-concept. I bet you will discover all sorts of changes you WANT to make as well as those you HAVE TO make. It is all part of the fun.
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Old 10-12-2019, 06:14 AM   #108
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Thanks, all! Yes, I'm excited, Sleddgracer... Also, looking forward to see how you build out your new bus! It'll be interesting to see what we keep, what we change, etc., as well.

Chris
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:21 AM   #109
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Looking great!!! We've had so much fun in our bus that is just minimal right now! It's breaths new life into the project! I hope you enjoy it on your trip!

I really like your closet idea. I'm wondering if I'll have room to incorporate something like that. Keep up the good work!
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:45 AM   #110
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Thanks, all! Yes, I'm excited, Sleddgracer... Also, looking forward to see how you build out your new bus! It'll be interesting to see what we keep, what we change, etc., as well.

Chris

........................................... ................
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:43 PM   #111
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........................................... ................
Seems I'm not the only one excited about their bus!!

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Old 10-12-2019, 09:00 PM   #112
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Seems I'm not the only one excited about their bus!!



............................................ .
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Old 10-12-2019, 10:50 PM   #113
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I really like your closet. Good luck on your trip.....wishing you blue skies, no mechanical issues , and great MPGs.
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:31 AM   #114
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I like the wishing great mpg's...
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Old 10-13-2019, 10:56 AM   #115
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" great mpg's.." What's that old saying? You can wish in one hand and fill the tank with the other or something like that. Good luck on the MPG anyway!
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Old 10-13-2019, 11:59 AM   #116
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Thanks - I really hope to get over 10mpg on the highway. I got 9.5 running around town with it. A diesel it is not...

As for the closet, the back side is basically a wall to hang all our wires and hoses, accessible from the handicap door. Possibly our folding chairs as well - we have 2-3" of space between the wall and door.

Chris
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Old 10-18-2019, 07:57 PM   #117
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The last week has seen some good progress. Nothing picture-worthy, but a friend at church teaches welding, and so he welded (not his students) my hitch onto the rear of the bus. The receiver sticks out of an appropriately-sized hole in the bumper about 1/2", with room behind to put the pin in. The frame will fall apart before the hitch comes off the frame! It's very solid.

Today, my dad helped me finish up the cruise control add-on for the bus, as well! It took nearly all day, as the kit didn't have the right adapter for the throttle body, and we had to come up with an alternative. That, and working on a dog-house motor, and not having enough room to get in under the dash easily, made for a long day. However, it's done, and it works beautifully!

Anyway, this is what I ended up going with - it was one of the most expensive things I've bought for the bus so far, but will be WELL worth it.
https://www.thecruisecontrolstore.co...-with-v6-only/

Also, this is the hitch we installed - almost a perfect fit, other than needing to cut a small section out of the bumper attachment bracket (which actually wasn't doing anything anyway):
https://www.draw-tite.com/products/t...Li13Jp63vOcso=

Chris
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Old 10-18-2019, 08:41 PM   #118
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farok View Post
The last week has seen some good progress. Nothing picture-worthy, but a friend at church teaches welding, and so he welded (not his students) my hitch onto the rear of the bus. The receiver sticks out of an appropriately-sized hole in the bumper about 1/2", with room behind to put the pin in. The frame will fall apart before the hitch comes off the frame! It's very solid.

Today, my dad helped me finish up the cruise control add-on for the bus, as well! It took nearly all day, as the kit didn't have the right adapter for the throttle body, and we had to come up with an alternative. That, and working on a dog-house motor, and not having enough room to get in under the dash easily, made for a long day. However, it's done, and it works beautifully!

Anyway, this is what I ended up going with - it was one of the most expensive things I've bought for the bus so far, but will be WELL worth it.
https://www.thecruisecontrolstore.co...-with-v6-only/

Also, this is the hitch we installed - almost a perfect fit, other than needing to cut a small section out of the bumper attachment bracket (which actually wasn't doing anything anyway):
https://www.draw-tite.com/products/t...Li13Jp63vOcso=

Chris
Pics of your hitch? Sounds like how I did mine, strong, clean, cheap.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:12 PM   #119
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I always think about the one time I need to get out fast, is that the kind of latch you want try and open in a panic?
Upon first glace I liked this latch and thought it was a great solution. But I see what you mean because that is a concern of mine since I'll be using a wood stove. What do you recommend over this style? Never mind I see what you went to and love it even more!
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:14 PM   #120
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Progress! The front "landing" was removed, and the floor was prepped, Ospho-ed, and the first coat of primer is on! If all goes well, I may get the second coat on Thursday, and the subfloor over the weekend. Time and availability will tell...

Chris
Whats under that flat floor section? Another floor with wheel wells?
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