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Old 04-05-2017, 08:33 AM   #41
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I've been unsuccessful at finding someone locally that would install a hitch, at least on short notice. So, it became another DIY project.

There are no "fit charts" for an MCI bus so I have to figure these things out as I go. I purchased a universal hitch from eTrailer.com and started to work.

While drilling a hole thru the passenger side frame rail (which is a boxed rail), oil started pouring out.

There are no oil lines running thru the frame rail and no reason for there to be oil inside.

So, I drilled a small hole in the bottom and out came a whole bunch of water followed by a good bit of oil. It was probably less than a quart (both oil and water) but that seemed like a lot when there should not have been any liquid.

I can only guess this was years of buildup in a "pocket" (of sorts). I very happy to have found this - I can imagine hunting for an engine "leak" for the next several years when it was only this pocket slowly weeping.

Always something interesting!!



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Old 04-07-2017, 11:37 AM   #42
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Fairly good progress this past week though it barely shows. Still a fair amount of destruction occurring.

I've been busy building the platform on which the black tank will sit. It needed to be elevated for the necessary plumbing to fit.



The old bus toilet is officially OUT. Left behind is a big hole right beside/over the engine. I drove the bus yesterday with this big hole (and the interior still gutted) and it was LOUD! Like a giant megaphone - echo chamber!





I've got a fairly detailed post, to be published on my blog next week, about my electrical system design. The system is setup fairly typical for most large coaches. I'm running a 24 volt house battery bank in addition to the 24 volt chassis battery bank. This proved to be the easy approach since existing components were already 24 volt.





I don't have the generator or the big battery bank yet but it is on the list.

The major components used are:

Progressive Dynamics 40 amp 24 volt Converter/Charger PD9240-24
Progressive Dynamics Automatic Transfer Switch PD52DCSV (transfer switch #1)
WFCO T57 50 Amp Transfer Switch (transfer switch #2)
Square D 12-Circuit 6-Space 100-Amp Main Lug Load Center (two of them)
WAGAN 5,000W ProLine Power Inverter (24V) WA37444
Victron BMV-700 Battery Monitor
SunPower E20 435 watt solar panels (four of them)
Morningstar TS-MPPT-60 solar charge controller
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Old 04-07-2017, 12:57 PM   #43
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Impressive. I'm very jealous of your basement. You obviously had much higher intentions for a bus build than I did. Nice documentation too.
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Old 04-07-2017, 01:44 PM   #44
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Impressive. I'm very jealous of your basement. You obviously had much higher intentions for a bus build than I did. Nice documentation too.
Thank you Robin! I am trying!

I've been trying to draw up my interior design and have learned to appreciate what the RV designers are able to accomplish. There seems to be no end to moving things around.
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Old 04-09-2017, 08:03 AM   #45
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Yesterday I spent a good bit of time on the sub-floor at the front of coach. The original floor slopes down about six inches and I wanted the entire coach to be on one level.





The holding tanks are also coming along. This photo shows where they will be permanently mounted, I just need to get that done.

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Old 04-09-2017, 08:42 AM   #46
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Very nice JD,
That is a lot of bus.
Is that foam insulation in the wall and ceiling? Are they foamed in place ( glued / stuck to the roof ?)
How large was the original black water tank?

I used to live in a vanhool citybus FE. Always wanted to do that again and then start with something with a basement a up that RE. I hated that driveshaft taking up that much space.

How short do they make these coaches?

Very cool.

Later J
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:26 AM   #47
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Very nice JD,
That is a lot of bus.
Is that foam insulation in the wall and ceiling? Are they foamed in place ( glued / stuck to the roof ?)
How large was the original black water tank?

I used to live in a vanhool citybus FE. Always wanted to do that again and then start with something with a basement a up that RE. I hated that driveshaft taking up that much space.

How short do they make these coaches?

Very cool.

Later J
Thanks Joe! Good questions.

Yeah - it is a behemoth. I'm reminded of that every time I have to walk from one end to the other to get a tool! I should put a pedometer on, bet I'm walking a lot of miles!!

The foam is OEM and glued in place. It is a very tight fit. The problem with it is that the stainless beams are exposed so I suspect the actual insulation value is small. I plan to spray in another inch or two of foam to insure that the beams are covered. Sadly, that will take a good bit of head room.

I would guess the original chemical toilet was about twenty gallons but it is very odd shaped so hard to guess. I haven't even removed the "retention tank" which is mounted next to the engine and from the underside. Should be good fun getting it out!

Yeah, my last RV (Dutch Star) thoroughly converted me to a diesel pusher guy. All that basement space is a wonderful thing - plus all the other things that the RV group likes to argue about.

I think there are a few 40' coaches but, as far as I am aware, most are 45'.

Thanks again!
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Old 04-09-2017, 11:10 AM   #48
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I'm always amazed looking at your build. The outside of the bus looks so pretty that it's a little shock to see bare lumber inside. You're making the coaches look doable for the rest of us.
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:08 AM   #49
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I'm always amazed looking at your build. The outside of the bus looks so pretty that it's a little shock to see bare lumber inside. You're making the coaches look doable for the rest of us.
Thank Robin! I'm always amazed that it doesn't look more "finished" after spending hours and hours working on it!!! I need the bus conversion elves to come put in more time at night while I'm sleeping.
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:53 AM   #50
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I'm always amazed looking at your build. The outside of the bus looks so pretty that it's a little shock to see bare lumber inside. You're making the coaches look doable for the rest of us.
Yes he is. Both him and Offgrid.

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I need the bus conversion elves to come put in more time at night while I'm sleeping.
You and me both.
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Old 04-11-2017, 08:18 AM   #51
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Both him and Offgrid.
Thanks but Offgr1d's Van Hool project is amazing!! If I could do half the job she is doing I would be pleased!
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Old 04-12-2017, 04:32 PM   #52
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BIG - BIG NEWS Today!!!

Here is a photo of Missy running on shore power.



Here is a photo of Missy running on Inverter/Battery power. I added the little red Christmas light (plugged into one of the basement 120V AC outlets) to this photo to really hike up the excitement level!!



I know!! I can imagine everyone is screaming with excitement just like I am!!! Plugging in that first time sure is tough - waiting for the sound of the smoke being let out of expensive electrical components. However; no smoke!!
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Old 04-12-2017, 04:43 PM   #53
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Thanks but Offgr1d's Van Hool project is amazing!! If I could do half the job she is doing I would be pleased!
I like your MCI!
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Old 04-13-2017, 10:08 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
Very nice JD,
That is a lot of bus.
Is that foam insulation in the wall and ceiling? Are they foamed in place ( glued / stuck to the roof ?)
How large was the original black water tank?

I used to live in a vanhool citybus FE. Always wanted to do that again and then start with something with a basement a up that RE. I hated that driveshaft taking up that much space.

How short do they make these coaches?

Very cool.

Later J
You are doing such cool things with your build. It is so interesting to watch! We are ahead of you by a few steps so it's interesting to compare the progress. Also we are so glad to see the words Vanhool somewhere else on this site. We're working on our Van Hool 40' and having a grand ole time just as every skoolie has...lol! Keep up the good work JD. Can't wait to compare builds in the future at a skoolie meetup.

Whims & Wishes - Jean & Marty
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:36 AM   #55
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Thank you Jean & Marty! I am following and learning from your progress!! I am VERY interested to see what you come up with for a pneumatic pocket door as I want one (or two) of them myself.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:03 AM   #56
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It seems like it took a very long time to get here but I've finally made some progress on the floor. The details are over on my blog but here are some photos.

Basically a 2x4 and 2x6 structure with insulation filling the voids and 3/8" plywood on top. Then a layer of 1/4" cork and a layer of 7/16" OSB.









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Old 04-16-2017, 06:24 AM   #57
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I purchased some 5% window tint - the really dark but still see-thru stuff - and did a little testing yesterday. The "test" was really about my ability to apply it. I've installed some tinting before and was unhappy with the results. Nearly the same result this time though the mostly flat and easily accessible window helped a great deal. The thing that was interesting to me was what the camera thought of the difference. The results, to the cameras eye, was just like installing an ND filter. I thought that was kind of telling...

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Old 04-16-2017, 09:07 AM   #58
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I purchased some 5% window tint - the really dark but still see-thru stuff - and did a little testing yesterday. The "test" was really about my ability to apply it. I've installed some tinting before and was unhappy with the results. Nearly the same result this time though the mostly flat and easily accessible window helped a great deal. The thing that was interesting to me was what the camera thought of the difference. The results, to the cameras eye, was just like installing an ND filter. I thought that was kind of telling...

How does it look from outside looking in?
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Old 04-16-2017, 03:25 PM   #59
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How does it look from outside looking in?
Well... hard to quantify. From the outside, during the daylight, it was much harder to make things out on the inside. I had originally thought that the existing window tint was enough but now that I've seen this additional tint installed, I am likely to install it on all windows. The downside, of course, is that the inside of the coach is much darker. That is great when it is super bright/sunny, less great when it is overcast/gray and you'd like that light in. Maybe someday we'll have tint that auto darkens when needed?? Or.. maybe it's here today and I haven't seen it.
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Old 04-16-2017, 04:19 PM   #60
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Well... hard to quantify. From the outside, during the daylight, it was much harder to make things out on the inside. I had originally thought that the existing window tint was enough but now that I've seen this additional tint installed, I am likely to install it on all windows. The downside, of course, is that the inside of the coach is much darker. That is great when it is super bright/sunny, less great when it is overcast/gray and you'd like that light in. Maybe someday we'll have tint that auto darkens when needed?? Or.. maybe it's here today and I haven't seen it.
Interesting point. I did an internet search and found this: http://chameleonfilm2u.com/products/overview

No idea how expensive it will be, but the tech is there.

Loving the conversion btw.
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