Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-10-2021, 02:39 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Canada
Posts: 15
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Electrical Help

Hi, everyone

I live in Alberta, Canada, where there doesn't seem to be anyone professional willing to help set up electrical and solar in our skoolie build. We haven't even started demo or anything yet, but I have my Sketchup 3D design, and I wanted to have a plumbing and electrical circuit planned out and ready to go before we even remove the first rivet.
Can any of this be planned out and done properly on our own? Electrical is 1000% complicated to me, and I don't understand all the lingo and terms. It's overwhelming and I wish I had some sort of "electrical for dummies" guide for wiring up a school bus.
Has anyone done it without much electrical know-how?

Thanks

TheOwlSpirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2021, 10:46 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Bear Gerschafer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Posts: 223
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466 / MD3060
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOwlSpirit View Post
Hi, everyone



I live in Alberta, Canada, where there doesn't seem to be anyone professional willing to help set up electrical and solar in our skoolie build. We haven't even started demo or anything yet, but I have my Sketchup 3D design, and I wanted to have a plumbing and electrical circuit planned out and ready to go before we even remove the first rivet.

Can any of this be planned out and done properly on our own? Electrical is 1000% complicated to me, and I don't understand all the lingo and terms. It's overwhelming and I wish I had some sort of "electrical for dummies" guide for wiring up a school bus.

Has anyone done it without much electrical know-how?



Thanks
I knew absolutely nothing when I started our build. We have fully functional electricity with 1000w of solar and approx 375ah battery bank!

You can do it!!!

I used explorist.life guides and faroutride.com explanations along with Will Prowse YouTube videos to get me through.
Kells & Jay (youtubers) have the most straight forward install video i could find, he actually shows his setup and talks about the install a bit.

Again, you can do this! Just read a bunch, find a diagram that works for your needs and buy the parts it requires.
I probably could have saved some $$ parting it out individually, but with no prior knowledge I felt confident buying the explorist.life parts list.
Bear Gerschafer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2021, 11:25 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2,449
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Thereís a guy named Will Prowse on YouTube that will help you with basics. Thereís some on here that donít agree with him in some respects, but he will run through all the basic equipment and how itís connected. For a few bucks, he even has schematics for simple systems. Once you have a little knowledge from him, thereís forum members here that can help you with specific questions.
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2021, 06:59 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Location: Canada
Posts: 15
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Thanks for the encouragement! All of those resources have been teaching me a lot.
How did you calculate your daily usage? A lot of the stuff we want for our skoolie we don't have yet/haven't even picked out yet, so we don't know how to calculate for those holes.
TheOwlSpirit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2021, 11:30 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2,449
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
You need to write your electricity budget. It is the sum of your daily electricity usage. It is best done in a spreadsheet format where each line looks like

Device, Wattage x Hours Used/Day, = WattHours/Day

You then sum these up to get total Watt-hours per day.

The wattage of a device is always listed on the label. You can also get it on a device’s spec sheet.

For 120 Volt devices that will require an inverter to change the voltage from 12 - 120 volts, you’ll need to add the conversion cost of about 15%

It’s hard to figure the energy usage of a fridge. I think it’s something like 10 hours per day, maybe 12.
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-15-2021, 01:33 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
shaymcquaid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Just south of Dallas.
Posts: 169
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 40' MVP-ER
Engine: Cat 3126
Here is the formula I preach:

Cover the top of your bus with panels. Design your system backwards from the panel wattage you can have.

You will never be disappointed in having an excess of power.

Even with 3200 watts on top of my bus, I need more.

Good Luck
shaymcquaid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-23-2021, 10:39 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Rock-N-Ruth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Freedom Field, New Mexico
Posts: 310
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Amtrans
Engine: 444E
Rated Cap: 84 pas
Quote:
Originally Posted by shaymcquaid View Post
Here is the formula I preach:

Cover the top of your bus with panels. Design your system backwards from the panel wattage you can have.

You will never be disappointed in having an excess of power.

Even with 3200 watts on top of my bus, I need more.

Good Luck
Amen brother.
We have 12 327W panels on the roof and would love to make it 12 450W panels.
Rock-N-Ruth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2021, 01:35 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Bon Voyage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 398
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: Cummins ISC 260HP/660Q/MD3060 6spd
Rated Cap: 81
My 6 Costco lead acid golf cart batteries will run my 12 cubic foot fridge for 2 days before going down to the 50% mark where they need charging. Just to give you an idea.
Bon Voyage is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-24-2021, 03:11 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
Posts: 578
Year: 1999
Coachwork: El Dorado Fiberglass
Chassis: Ford E450
Engine: V10 Gas
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheOwlSpirit View Post
Hi, everyone

I live in Alberta, Canada, where there doesn't seem to be anyone professional willing to help set up electrical and solar in our skoolie build. We haven't even started demo or anything yet, but I have my Sketchup 3D design, and I wanted to have a plumbing and electrical circuit planned out and ready to go before we even remove the first rivet.
Can any of this be planned out and done properly on our own? Electrical is 1000% complicated to me, and I don't understand all the lingo and terms. It's overwhelming and I wish I had some sort of "electrical for dummies" guide for wiring up a school bus.
Has anyone done it without much electrical know-how?

Thanks
Youtube Will Prowse and The Offline Garage. Both are geared towards newcomers. Also Freely Roaming has a great intro on building basic systems.

I have been recommending Lithium Ion Phosphate batteries over lead acid.
Lots of discussion here on which might be better, so search this forum for those discussions.

My system is designed for up to four days off grid (though not necessarily in winter conditions). About 500 watts of solar; a 40 Amp Solar Charge Controller; a 2000 watt inverter and a 280 amp hour battery, DIY. I recently upgraded to a 3000 watt inverter but don't use anywhere near that power.

I built my battery following the instructions given in the youtube videos above. Pretty straight forward if you understand basic principles of electricity. You may just want to buy a prebuilt battery-more expensive but suits lots of folks.
Rucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alberta, canada, electrical, help please

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 06:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.