Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-29-2022, 12:46 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 2
Power System

Hello all,
I plan to buy a short bus in the near future. My question is who can I find to install the power system in the bus? And help with other things during the conversion.

I definitely cannot do it my self and I don't know anyone who can. I am located in MD. I just want to be sure I can have a shop or some other skilled person to Install before I purchase a bus. Thanks

Adb2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2022, 08:43 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
DeMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 933
Coachwork: Integrated Coach Corp.
Chassis: RE-300 42ft
Engine: 466ci
Rated Cap: 90
DIY or Broke

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adb2 View Post
Hello all,
I plan to buy a short bus in the near future. My question is who can I find to install the power system in the bus? And help with other things during the conversion.

I definitely cannot do it my self and I don't know anyone who can. I am located in MD. I just want to be sure I can have a shop or some other skilled person to Install before I purchase a bus. Thanks
Harford Custom Coach Works is in MD.

Most of us design & build our own conversions. The hourly rate for professional Electricians is $100-$200, depending on location & scope of work. The material, is relatively cheap.

I am an Electrician. My ceiling Electrical rough-in cost about $500 in material & consumed 16hrs of labor. Skim through my tutorial, maybe you can do it.

Ceiling: Framing & Electrical Rough-in


I expect to spend 60 hours (or more) completing the 120v AC system. The DC installation will require much more time (100hrs?) and cost approximately $2k (ha, or more) in material, alone.

Commissioning others to build your dream is absolutely possible. It's all just a matter of money.

Fast, cheap, good. Pick two.
__________________
Ceiling: Framing & Electrical Rough-in
Convert Hatch to AC & Roof Patch
Frederick Douglass: "If there is no struggle, there is no progress.Ē
DeMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2022, 10:01 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 48
Year: 1999
Chassis: International Genesis
Engine: Navistar D466
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adb2 View Post
Hello all,
I plan to buy a short bus in the near future. My question is who can I find to install the power system in the bus? And help with other things during the conversion.

I definitely cannot do it my self and I don't know anyone who can. I am located in MD. I just want to be sure I can have a shop or some other skilled person to Install before I purchase a bus. Thanks

DeMac is one of the best out there and his tutorials are really good, as is any advice you get from him. If you take the time to FIRST really learn and educate yourself, you might be surprised at what you can do. Honestly, I think it's better to walk into it *realizing* you don't know and that you need to learn, rather than a lot of guys who go in assuming it isn't that hard and that they can figure it out. It's definitely a lot more complicated that just changing out the dining room light in your house.

That said, there are some small companies that sell the electrical stuff as a kit, then you just wire up your little devices. That takes a lot of the guess work out of the scariest part it and might be a good compromise. This guy is in Pennsylvannia somewhere and sells power kits for vans but you could for sure use it for a bus. https://www.appalachianvans.com/
Delos356 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-29-2022, 05:45 PM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 2
Thank you both so much for your help!
Adb2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2022, 07:26 PM   #5
Almost There
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Pensacola
Posts: 73
Year: 2001
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 71
My wife and I have our Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance. They don’t teach you how to build or wire a dang thing except how to build chords or scales lol. We completed our Skoolie in 1 1/2 years as avid students of YouTube and scowlers of Skoolie.net (thanks everyone!).

As for the electrical side I took on that portion of our project as far as research, education and completing the job with labor help from my wife when I needed an extra set of hands. While I was doing this my wife was becoming a low-key master plumber and tiler (thanks again YouTube and Propex Plumbing).

Our 120v/AC wiring took probably took 20 hours for rough-in as DeMac noted and maybe a cumulative 35-40 hours for getting the outlets installed and secured to the wall. However, completing our 12v system was much shorter in time and in costs than DeMac noted. Working with 12v wires is just easier because the wires are not as large or rigid to manipulate. Furthermore there is only 2 sets of wires for wiring DC appliances compared to 3-4 for wiring AC appliances. I believe DeMac may be completing/referencing a 12v system that includes solar power and the setup that entails?

We do not have a solar panel setup for our conversion, just a combined 12v and 120v (AC/DC) setup. Our 12v(DC) wiring cost was way less than the materials needed for the 120v(AC). Our 12v(DC) system powers our interior lights, MaxAir Fan, Instant Hot Water Heater, Water Pump, Exhaust Fan on AirHead Composting Toilet, and an Exhaust Fan for the cats litter box.

If DeMac is including the cost of a solar setup then price could easily reach into a couple of thousand dollars after the price of the panels and the batteries alone.


Check out our bus on Instagram @PhoebusTheBus for pictures
rydawg3000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2022, 08:34 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
DeMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 933
Coachwork: Integrated Coach Corp.
Chassis: RE-300 42ft
Engine: 466ci
Rated Cap: 90
Fast, Good, Cheap.....

.
.
Doesn't matter how long it takes,
as long as it's perfect.
. - DeMac
.
__________________
Ceiling: Framing & Electrical Rough-in
Convert Hatch to AC & Roof Patch
Frederick Douglass: "If there is no struggle, there is no progress.Ē
DeMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2022, 08:30 AM   #7
Almost There
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Pensacola
Posts: 73
Year: 2001
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
.
.
Doesn't matter how long it takes,
as long as it's perfect.
. - DeMac
.
Yes sir, everybodyís needs are different, with electrical just got to make sure itís 110% safe. Never witnessed an electrical fire, but Iíve heard itís one of the most detrimental.
Thanks for the thanks DeMac
rydawg3000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2022, 09:32 AM   #8
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 172
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird Mini-Bird 24'
Chassis: Chevy P30
Engine: Chevy 6.2L Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydawg3000 View Post
We do not have a solar panel setup for our conversion, just a combined 12v and 120v (AC/DC) setup. Our 12v(DC) wiring cost was way less than the materials needed for the 120v(AC). Our 12v(DC) system powers our interior lights, MaxAir Fan, Instant Hot Water Heater, Water Pump, Exhaust Fan on AirHead Composting Toilet, and an Exhaust Fan for the cats litter box.
You're going to want probably at least two batteries for your 'household' 12V RV stuff. In particular, the hot water heater is an especially high-draw system, so I would also suggest adding some kind of an electrical system crossover, such as a (smart) battery isolator to protect your starting abilities if you ever run them down.
Albatross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2022, 06:30 PM   #9
Almost There
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: Pensacola
Posts: 73
Year: 2001
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 71
We are knowingly living without solar or battery power to store our energy, just rocking shore power, it meets our needs

Our 12v power is produced from an inverter connected to our 120v system :biggrin
rydawg3000 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2022, 06:53 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
TMartineau's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2022
Location: Dade City, FL
Posts: 58
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 32' Two peeps and a Dog!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delos356 View Post
Honestly, I think it's better to walk into it *realizing* you don't know and that you need to learn, rather than a lot of guys who go in assuming it isn't that hard and that they can figure it out. It's definitely a lot more complicated that just changing out the dining room light in your house.
This is everything!
__________________
You can't change the cards you were dealt; just the way you play them.- Randy Pausch
TMartineau is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2022, 12:44 AM   #11
Bus Nut
 
Rwnielsen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Long Beach, CA
Posts: 802
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000, 40' MPV
Engine: 5.9 Cummins/B300 trans
Rated Cap: U/K
Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by rydawg3000 View Post

If DeMac is including the cost of a solar setup then price could easily reach into a couple of thousand dollars after the price of the panels and the batteries alone.
I'm in around $4500 with batteries, 1200w of panels,
BMS's and charge controllers. 400Ah @24v. I'm not done yet.
Rwnielsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2022, 05:36 AM   #12
Bus Nut
 
Dbacks2k4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: Iowa
Posts: 278
Year: 2006
Chassis: IC CE300 (PB105)
Engine: DT466e 7.6L 245hp | Allison 3000PTS
Rated Cap: 66
Just remember that not all codes and best practices for residential electric translate to an RV. E.g. stranded vs solid copper wiring. Goes for either a diy job or if you hire a residential electrician
Dbacks2k4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-18-2022, 08:43 AM   #13
Bus Nut
 
DeMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 933
Coachwork: Integrated Coach Corp.
Chassis: RE-300 42ft
Engine: 466ci
Rated Cap: 90
Residential? The NEC Appies ALL Electrical Installations, Internationally Recognized

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dbacks2k4 View Post
Just remember that not all codes and best practices for residential electric translate to an RV. E.g. stranded vs solid copper wiring. Goes for either a diy job or if you hire a residential electrician
Remember.....
Remember what?
You didn't provide any new info or remind us of any facts.

Let's let everyone know why electricity flows on one wire type, better than the other. (Everywhere in Earth, vehicles are no exception.)

AC current flows across the surface of the wire's diameter. Only the core contains the resistance.

DC current flows homogenously across each of the stranded wire's diameters.

One wire type does not fit both applications.

DC - Stranded
AC - Solid

Read about Skin Effect, Proximity Effect & Lorentz Force, here:
The difference between AC and DC resistance of a conductor

Do the math. Then testify as to what you witnessed.

Rac=Rdc[1+αs+αp]

Rac = The ac resistance of the conductor
Rdc = The dc resistance of the conductor
αs,αp = Skin effect and Proximity effect factor

Being inside of a vehicle is not relevant, other than vehicles have DC batteries instead of 300 mile AC extension cords.

Quality brake & fuel lines are solid, hollow even. A mechanical DT vibrates more than the entire vehicle. Lots of solid (hollow) Copper lines, vibrating with the same frequency as the motor. All of my stranded plug wires vibrate to a different pattern & I replace them every two years.
(Anecdotal evidence sucks, right)
Math, Science, Fact
__________________
Ceiling: Framing & Electrical Rough-in
Convert Hatch to AC & Roof Patch
Frederick Douglass: "If there is no struggle, there is no progress.Ē
DeMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:13 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.