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Old 03-13-2021, 03:06 AM   #21
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Arrow *Diesel generators only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fastlane View Post
...
All of the above while generating electricity* whenever you want while your entire living space is kept at 70°F 24/7.

... and unconstrained capacity for diesel heaters and electric generation* are gravy.
...
*Diesel generators only.

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Old 03-13-2021, 09:05 AM   #22
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A suggestion, keep in mind the extra stopping distance and possible change in handling from the extra weight. Just a thought.
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Old 03-14-2021, 06:48 PM   #23
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The handling would improve with that much added weight in the lower 1/4 so like my truck with a load of steel plates it handles like a indy car ( if you have a decent motor)
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Old 03-14-2021, 10:34 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmoore6856 View Post
The handling would improve with that much added weight in the lower 1/4 so like my truck with a load of steel plates it handles like a indy car ( if you have a decent motor)
The science here being that, to a point, more weight on the tires helps traction, which can actually improve braking. A little more weight on the tires can help keep the wheels from locking up under hard braking, which can actually help braking distance.

And being able to cruise farther without stopping can improve fuel economy as well... Might actually see 1-2 mpg more if you're not having to stop every 300 miles.
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Old 03-15-2021, 03:17 AM   #25
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These are both concepts easy the debate in their math but harder to gauge in real life. Yes weight helps with traction for more effective braking without locking up but it also means that there's more weight to bring to a stop and in this case it's liquid weight which continues to move in spite of the dynamics of the vehicle. Those of us here who have semi truck driving experience often draw on that as reference because it's an extreme version of the same principles at work for a school bus turned skoolie. That bus was designed for a maximum weight of X and the brakes scaled to meet that requirement but when it's empty the brakes are theoretically too effective and without ABS can lock up, increasing braking distance as well as being less controllable and therefore less safe. However, most skoolie builds replace the expected weight of students with interior construction and living comforts so you don't necessarily gain MORE effective braking by adding excessive volume tanks of fuel, water, etc. You do however gain mass that requires stopping dynamic physics and if not careful can inadvertently exceed the safe margins of gross vehicle weight and/or unbalance the rig if not conscientious about the locations of those tanks of moving fluid.

As for the fuel economy aspect, I'm skeptical that being able to go more than 250-300 miles between fuel-ups is going to improve fuel economy. If anything I think the opposite will prove to be the case in the real world that toting around all that excess weight when it's not required will actually have a slightly negative effect on fuel economy. I think I like the idea of having the capacity for long term boondocking but I don't think I'd keep the tanks topped up at all times. Now that the temps are above freezing in my region I've returned to my habit of only fueling one side of the semi because it'll equalize to both tanks anyways and I'm averaging 10.1mpg - which anyone with semi experience will attest is incredible in a big rig! My fuel economy dropped in the winter with more idling and anti-gel additives that have a little impact on economy but still in the high 9s. Most of that is the technology in modern trucks and along with that comes things like truck and trailer ABS as well as automatic central tire inflation to ensure I'm getting the absolute most efficiency and safety while reducing wear. These are things many of us here preach constantly because they add up to longer life, safer rigs and less breakdowns. The only caveat is it takes longer to realize these savings because most skoolies aren't achieving 100k miles a year but the savings are still there in the long term.
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Old 03-15-2021, 07:15 AM   #26
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wow you guys and your 200 gallons of fuel.. must be nice to have room for fuel! my busses only have paltry 35 gallon tanks.. only place I have to add tanks would be behind my axles and im concerned about horrible weight distrbution and swaying if I add weight back there.
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Old 11-16-2021, 07:17 AM   #27
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If I already had my aux tanks and income I would be staying full right now, as 100+ container ships linger for their turn at the Ports of LA and Long Beach.

Not that I want to be driving where people are starving and cold, because food and fuel stopped flowing to grocery stores and gas stations. If the western grid went down, 1000 miles of range would allow nonstop driving in the first 48 hours before the government mobilized their forces to potentially blockade roads to try and contain the hordes.

I like that my idea doesn’t sound so crazy now.
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Old 11-16-2021, 07:44 AM   #28
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Something I didn't see mentioned is axle capacity.

A lot of FE buses are already heavy on the front axle, and adding another 2k lbs of fuel capacity needs to take that into account. Especially if one is already converted. I know my conventional nosed bus has a small 7k lb front axle, and I'll assume that I'd be over weight if I added any additional fuel capacity or weight ahead of the rear axle.
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Old 11-16-2021, 11:25 AM   #29
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Chassis: Ford CF8000 ExpeditionVehicle
Engine: Cummins 505ci mechanical
Rated Cap: Five Heelers
Our rig -- 1996 Ford CF8000 commercial truck converted to our concept of an ExpeditionVehicle.
Cummins 505ci mechanical, Allison 3060.
Across the scale loaded, our 12k front axle carries 8k, our 17k rear-axle carries 6k.
Weighing 14k on a 29,000# GVWR gives a nice seven-ton margin for cargo.
.
2003, it came to us with a factory-installed 50-gallon fuel-tank.
I immediately went to Anderson Brothers heavy-truck dismantlers in Eugene, Oregon.
They had/have piles of dozens of fuel-tanks, some rectangular steel, some tubular aluminum.
.
After measuring my empty frame for a potential 'saddle' tank, I dug a 140-gallon tubular out of the random tossed piles.
I foraged through their accompanying brackets, looking for 'high-n-tight', my way of keeping the tank from rubbing branches on rough tracks... or grounding against stumps or boulders.
.
Our saddle-tank is 22" by about 72" +/-.
I plumbed a 12vdc transfer pump engineered for farmers/ranchers for their bed-mounted transfer-tanks to fuel equipment in the field -- operated through a relay from an unused switch spot on the dash -- to shift fuel from the saddle-tank to the main.
.
Also at Anderson Brothers, I foraged a Racor fuel-filter housing from a wrecked semi-tractor.
This version is capable of mounting different size cartridges based on gallons-per-hour.
At the local-owned family-operated truck-parts store, I chose the medium-large cartridge (the biggest Racor cartridge is probably sixteen inches (16") long, our cartridge is a tenner. And 'yes', we carry a fresh spare.).
.
But... wait!, there is more!
.
After about a decade full-time live-aboard, I fabricated a toy-hauler from a similar commercial chassis.
On the frame of the goose-neck 'poop-deck' platform, I mounted an additional 120-gallon tank.
Fifty plus one-forty plus one-twenty.
.
In theory, Anchorage-to-Acapulco.
.
*****
.
I concur about not fueling in California.
Not registered to vote there, we did not get the opportunity to vote against over a dollar in excise taxes (plus purchase taxes -- a tax on a tax...).
Any of our travel through California is a sprint to get elseplace, we receive little benefit from paying their bureaucrat retirement for them.
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Old 01-25-2022, 03:58 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Booyah45828 View Post
Something I didn't see mentioned is axle capacity.

A lot of FE buses are already heavy on the front axle, and adding another 2k lbs of fuel capacity needs to take that into account. Especially if one is already converted.
I think about this too, as my plan has all my water and fuel tanks between the axels with the idea to put nearly all the static loads in the 8 feet behind the rear axles to counterbalance. I want to turn the rear underbelly into a Jobox as it has the most access, everything I use for my bus gutting venture lives in that section. Im going to have a sandblasting tank (with 300 pounds of sand), gas power washer, gas trimmer, air handling equipment, welding equipment, several toolboxes, mineral oil washing kit, gear, supplies and supporting equipment for all of the above, jockey boxes built between the s-channels for poles and everything long and stick-like, storage for several small totes, four large totes, countless bags, boxes and bottles for consumables and cordless tools. All meticulously packed behind the rear axles for space efficiency and access but not weight efficiency. I may reroute or shorten the exhaust to make space in the rear underbelly, possibly deleting it so it side discharges midship.

I plan(ned?) for the battery bank to be placed directly behind the rear axles in a jockey box, sized for a row of deep cycle batteries. With lithium getting cheaper and cheaper, I could make the box smaller and place it in a rear corner. The generator and batteries could go anywhere, even on opposite ends of the rig with marginal cost increase. My bedroom is a 8x8’ open space with one twin bed, closets over the wheel wheels. All the rear counterweighting will have to be done below the floor.
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Old 01-26-2022, 07:38 AM   #31
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My FE Bluebird Wanderlodge has a 270 gallon fuel tank under the rear.
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Old 02-07-2022, 01:41 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
My FE Bluebird Wanderlodge has a 270 gallon fuel tank under the rear.
Awesome. If these tanks were more common, I would see about installing a junkyard tank and forgoing the multiple front tank setup I have in mind. Since I’m building a steel support structure underneath regardless, it’s worth looking at fabrication costs for a single baffled tank capable of holding 270+ gallons of diesel.

All this time, I’ve been envisioning rotomolded RV tanks as my auxillary diesel tanks, as “diesel is a fuel oil and it doesn’t eat plastics like gasoline does”. I know people store diesel in IBC totes, which are made of a similar density plastic as rotomolded RV tanks. Storage in a outbuilding and dynamic conditions in a vehicle are different of course. Long term, is it safe or even a good idea to use rotomolded RV tanks for diesel? I wouldn’t go more than 50 gallons per tank, and I would use good sense in the compartment construction. I want to keep insurability out of this thread until someone is about to add over 100 gallons to their skoolies fuel capacity.
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Old 02-07-2022, 03:03 AM   #33
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I think most folks out there may not consider the wreck what ifs when considering additional fuel capacity. If something happens to your skoolie that causes a fuel leak, the cost of the environmental cleanup of your leaked fuel (or gas) could be real expensive. If you lose say 300 gallons of diesel near any body of water (including even a drainage ditch) you get to pay for the cleanup. If that leak of fuel can make it to a creek or stream then it complicates matters even more. 100 gallons won't go as far as 300 gallons.


As for me I don't anticipate driving enough miles in a day to take a full tank to empty.
Filling up once per day while traveling would likely be enough for me.


My Crowns have ~95 - 100 gallons of fuel capacity in the main tank and ~15 gallons of gasoline in the "old Crown" and 20 gallons of diesel in the "new Crown" generator tanks. The generator fuel/gas tanks are located in a protected area under the bus behind the front axle, and forward of the engine. They are mounted higher than the front axle.
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Old 02-17-2022, 10:55 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flattracker View Post
I think most folks out there may not consider the wreck what ifs when considering additional fuel capacity. If something happens to your skoolie that causes a fuel leak, the cost of the environmental cleanup of your leaked fuel (or gas) could be real expensive. If you lose say 300 gallons of diesel near any body of water (including even a drainage ditch) you get to pay for the cleanup. If that leak of fuel can make it to a creek or stream then it complicates matters even more. 100 gallons won't go as far as 300 gallons.
Good point. Imagine six figures in environmental cleanup after you’ve lost your home. I’m going to carry some oil absorbent mats and oil eating enzymes just in case.
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Old 03-07-2022, 11:48 PM   #35
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I paid over $5 for a gallon of gas for the first time in my life today, granted it was 91 octane. I’m expecting my first time buying regular gas above $5.00 this year. The cheapest diesel in San Jose, CA is $5.05, with a $1 spread to the most expensive station.

Those that have added semi-truck saddle tanks to their skoolie, can you share if there were any adaptations you had to make to either the tanks or your frame rails to properly install them?
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Old 03-10-2022, 02:19 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inner Love View Post
...cheapest diesel in San Jose, CA is $5.05...added semi-truck saddle tanks to their skoolie, can you share if there were any adaptations you had to make to either the tanks or your frame rails...
.
Back again...
.
a)
Eugene, Oregon.
March 9th, 2022.
The cheap station has diesel -- us$5.09 a gallon (a squidgen over five clams).
.
b)
Our rig -- 1996 Ford CF8000 commercial truck converted to our concept of an ExpeditionVehicle.
.
We added a 140-gallon saddle-tank.
Sorting several piles of discarded tanks at the heavy-truck dismantled (aka 'wrecking-yard'), we foraged first for:
* length, then
* circumference, then
* brackets... we wanted high and tight to the frame.
.
Mounting the brackets required a mag-drill, a specialized portable drill-press with a magnetic base.
.
Warning:
* Many heavy-truck frames are tempered, with labels announcing the dire consequences of welding or drilling.
Avoid weakening your frame with home-made calculations based on some 'rule-of-thumb' you saw on TheWorldWideWeb.
.
We felt confident our short wheel-base was stout enough to not buckle with our modifications.
How?
Our rig came to us as a tandem axle, GVWR of 58,000#, with a frame rated for heavy continuous-duty on/off-road operations.
After dropping an axle -- one of the rears... we are fast learners -- our new GVWR is 29,000#.
.
If your frame lacks these qualities, consult the designers of your vehicle prior to changing its integrity.
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Old 03-10-2022, 10:32 AM   #37
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Engine: CAT 3208 Marine Diesel
Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeMargeInBaja View Post
.
...
Warning:
* Many heavy-truck frames are tempered, with labels announcing the dire consequences of welding or drilling.
Avoid weakening your frame with home-made calculations based on some 'rule-of-thumb' you saw on TheWorldWideWeb.
...
If your frame lacks these qualities, consult the designers of your vehicle prior to changing its integrity.
One possibility to keep it all DIY is to fabricate a thick square tube (overbuilt), around the frame rail and bolt the tank to that. Possibly using reclaimed frame rail [from a scrapped heavy truck], giving me the opportunity to find one slightly larger than my frame rails for less heavy beading work. Open space is needed inside between the "collar" and the frame rail for the bolts, I attached a unannotated diagram showing the "collar". In exchange for pushing out the tanks a couple inches on both sides, you get to install your tanks even higher than it could have been with just the frame rail.

Welding or bolting through my bus frame I don't feel comfortable with my current knowledge and skill.
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Old 12-22-2023, 05:34 PM   #38
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Join Date: Aug 2017
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Year: 1981
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Engine: CAT 3208 Marine Diesel
With the additional fabrication work of mating a ‘high and tight’ semi tank to a smaller truck frame rail, I thought - why not find another tank from a bus junkyard and attach it to the left side frame rail?

I can think of only one issue with this. Things that are fitted forward on a stock fuel tank designed for being only on one side of the vehicle. One thing I thought of is a forward facing rock chip shield. Fabricating and attaching a rock chip shield would still be lighter fabrication than making a adapter “collar” as illustrated in my previous post on this thread.

In the space where the tank would be on the left side, I would have to relocate the battery box and air tanks.

The battery box tray doesn’t slide all the way out as it’s very pitted, so I’ve been thinking about restoring or deleting it anyway.

The air tanks would be relocated into the currently empty volume below the drivers foot petals. A small benefit of having the air tanks closer to the brake pedal would be slightly less pneumatic latency, making the air brakes a little safer. It goes without saying that this is the premier opportunity to rehab the 40 year old tanks and lines.
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