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 07-16-2019, 10:35 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Posts: 2
Finding and Hiring an Electrician — Advice and what to expect?

I will soon begin converting a 2007 Chevy Thomas short bus. Planning to do most of the work myself (with the help of family/friends), but would like to hire an electrician. The system will rely primarily on solar; will also charge while driving, and will have the option for shore power.

From my research, I have a basic understanding of how much energy I'll use, along with the parts needed. I also have diagrams of where everything will go in the bus. I'd like to hire an electrician to wire everything.

What's the best way to find an electrician? I would like to pay someone a fair price for their work...but I don't have a huge budget, so I'd prefer to work directly with an individual, as opposed to a company. Will any standard, licensed electrician understand this project? Or should I look for someone specifically with RV/conversion experience? Any personal recommendations, or advice on where to find someone qualified?

asouthern is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2019, 11:32 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,956
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by asouthern View Post
I will soon begin converting a 2007 Chevy Thomas short bus. Planning to do most of the work myself (with the help of family/friends), but would like to hire an electrician. The system will rely primarily on solar; will also charge while driving, and will have the option for shore power.

From my research, I have a basic understanding of how much energy I'll use, along with the parts needed. I also have diagrams of where everything will go in the bus. I'd like to hire an electrician to wire everything.

What's the best way to find an electrician? I would like to pay someone a fair price for their work...but I don't have a huge budget, so I'd prefer to work directly with an individual, as opposed to a company. Will any standard, licensed electrician understand this project? Or should I look for someone specifically with RV/conversion experience? Any personal recommendations, or advice on where to find someone qualified?



Welcome and a wise decision if you have little background and or practical experience in wiring of any kind.
You should fill profile details out so we know location etc. There are several members here that can advise and maybe build this for you.


"Will any standard, licensed electrician understand this project? Or should I look for someone specifically with RV/conversion experience? Any personal recommendations, or advice on where to find someone qualified?"


I doubt just any licensed electrician knows a whole lot about solar installations specifically but there are some. Times have changed so maybe it is part of the training now days.
Many here know more that aren't electricians.
Reading a print is one thing but to install that physically is a whole other matter. That is where experience is needed for layout and connection of equipment and cables comes in. Expensive parts to mess up because of lack of knowledge but some think they can apparently.
In your case without a lot of understanding I would definitely go the professional route.

In any case read all you can and ask any questions here.
I would also go alternating current for sure, not as an option. So much easier at this stage of your build. Just do a layout diagram of what you might want to include and the rest should fall into place.


John
__________________
Question everything!
BlackJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2019, 11:57 AM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 2,831
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Wiring a bus is a weird critter because of the combination of AC, DC, solar and automotive electrical systems. The most experienced electrician you will find for this is one that services RVs. Not to say that a high voltage electrician wouldn’t take it on as a novel project and do a fine job.
Danjo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-2019, 12:24 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
o1marc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 10,482
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
I'm looking for the same. Ran a CL ad and haven't really gotten a response other than a girl, who after I explained I moved lights and need to decipher which wires go where. Her response was "have you considered a toggle switch?". WTF, thanks for the offer, but I think I'll do better by myself. There was a mobile elctric guy in Atl years ago, like $60/hr, he would fix any elctircal issues. Hard to find one like that now. I have my local wrecker guy coming today to try and get them running.
o1marc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-17-2019, 09:53 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
david.dgeorge07's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 1,413
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: CAT 3126
The electrical was my favorite part of the build on my bus.

A bus conversion has a lot of unique challenges. It is part vehicle, part house, part off-grid cabin.

There are people that know all of it, but if not, break the job up by area of expertise.
__________________
My Build Thread:

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/4-...ner-18205.html
david.dgeorge07 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2021, 04:26 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Rivetboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington Beach CA.
Posts: 939
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
The more you know about what you are trying to accomplish, the easier it will be to communicate with your Electrician what you are trying to do. Learning terminology is the easiest first step you can take. This site is great another is HandyBob, google him.

https://forum.solar-electric.com

And yes I am an Electrician.
Rivetboy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2021, 08:22 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Simplicity's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 785
Year: 2000
Coachwork: IC / Amtran
Chassis: 3000 / 33' Flat Nose
Engine: IC T444E / Allison MT643
Rated Cap: 72 Kids / 48 Adults
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivetboy View Post
The more you know about what you are trying to accomplish, the easier it will be to communicate with your Electrician what you are trying to do. Learning terminology is the easiest first step you can take. This site is great another is HandyBob, google him.

https://forum.solar-electric.com

And yes I am an Electrician.
I agree. Knowing what is happening and why is important with any work you or someone else is doing for anything you do in life. It not only more likely it gets done right, but as you want it and for the fairest cost. Ignorance is costly!

That said, I see my bus as having three distinct electrical systems, 12v bus, 12v solar and 110v. The only time they would meet is through a charger/inverter.

12v bus > correctly sized alternator > 12v solar battery charging
12v solar > 110v inversion
110v > 12v solar battery charging

Since I'm not using the 12v bus to charge my solar batteries, just leave it alone.

If I were to hire someone for 12v solar, I'd probably hire a solar guy. Maybe whomever you're going to buy your solar panels, batteries, inverter/charger, etc. from can help design and turn you onto an installer. The bus is just a metal home, so shouldn't be a big issue for someone who installs for off-grid housing.

Personally, I find there's so much help on YouTube and diagram images on Google that it's less about how to connect it all together, and more about which components to buy.

Just some thoughts. Best of luck.
__________________
Steve
Simplicity is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2024, 12:54 PM   #8
New Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2023
Posts: 4
looking for an electrician!

Hi! I'm in deland florida and i'm looking for someone to help out with our wiring.

i'm new to this school bus stuff so i'll be completely honest, we were following wires and tracing them back trying to remove the unneeded ones and upon doing so somewhere we disconnected the brake lights, blinkers, tail lights and reverse lights. all front lights still work.

we have a 2003 40' rear engine international, if anyone knows anyone who could come out and give us a hand that would be amazing!
KatelynR 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 11:54 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.