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Old 06-17-2019, 01:04 PM   #1
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New Skoolie - Need Electrical Advice

Hello - I'm going to look at a bus tonight, I think it's very likely I will purchase. I've been watching videos for the last two weeks and am really excited about getting started.

I don't have alot of experience in electrical, aside from wiring some outlets and switches. However, I do understand electrical concepts and what the various components do. I'm interested in learning, and also want to do as much of this conversion myself....to get some personal satisfaction out of it.

Id like to have shore power, generator power, solar power, and alternator charging. Is there a thread that someone can link me to that might contain an easy diagram and parts list?

The thought is I'd wire it up myself, then get inspected by an electrician before I go live. Let me know your thoughts!
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Old 06-17-2019, 02:16 PM   #2
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I found this to be the Solar for Dummies site I fall back on for solar diagrams and parts lists.

https://www.explorist.life/solarwiringdiagrams/#
Your AC system will be a separate system tied in.
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Old 07-19-2019, 12:57 PM   #3
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AC is very dangerous when done wrong, I'd strongly recommend you hire someone to do it correctly, a bus is all metal, one screw up and you can easily turn the whole thing into a killer....
Not trying to be rude or mean at all, just some friendly advice.
If you won't go that route then spend a month studying the issue before starting.
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:16 PM   #4
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Well, in all fairness, the OP did say,
"The thought is I'd wire it up myself, then get inspected by an electrician before I go live."
Then again, it doesn't look like the cat's been back for a month now...
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:23 PM   #5
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I've seen far too many insane electrical jobs done by so called licensed pros, I can't help but caution a noob that doesn't have any knowledge in the matter.
I wouldn't suggest someone learn on a metal structure at all.
I understand he said inspection but some people just say that stuff to make others happy and don't do it.
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Old 07-19-2019, 01:56 PM   #6
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Nope, I'm picking up what you're laying down. Provided a competent person does provide a safety inspection, it is the more cost-effective way to go.
I have a buddy who insisted on clearing my install before taking it hot, and you'd best believe I will avail myself of his knowledge!
Don't be wanting a conversion that makes my slow-poke Skoolie into a killing machine...
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:11 PM   #7
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Thought that would make a dandy security system with the body hot.... That would teach people not to trespass and mess with things that doesn't belong to them.
I'm all about cost effective, I'm in the middle of building mine out, good thing I had 2 class A RVs I just cut up, lots of things I didn't have to buy like copper, though I did get some 4ga wire (4-4-4-6) to connect it up because I wanted 75amp service to it.
Yes I know parks only give 50 at best, but I'm not in a park anymore, THANK GOD.
I feel sorry for people that have to buy everything that gets blame costly..... I do everything myself, electrical, carpentry, and auto. I couldn't afford to live if I didn't.
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:17 PM   #8
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ROFL
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Thought that would make a dandy security system with the body hot.... That would teach people not to trespass and mess with things that doesn't belong to them.
Good thing you didn't say that out loud...
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Old 07-19-2019, 02:37 PM   #9
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Rocco,

Dont worry bout the help part. Lots of bus guru's on here just waiting for you to post something for us to work on.
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Old 07-20-2019, 05:42 PM   #10
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Ok guys, I'm also looking to install electrical service in my bus. I ultimately want to have power to appliances with a) the engine off and no shore power b) shore power and c) power to appliances with the bus driving.

I am still doing my research and have a neighbor that is an electrician but is there a bullet list of parts I can start collecting in preparation? I'm thinking a few deep cycle batteries, an inverter, a battery charger? What say you?
Thanks!
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Old 07-20-2019, 08:28 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mtrdrms View Post
Ok guys, I'm also looking to install electrical service in my bus. I ultimately want to have power to appliances with a) the engine off and no shore power b) shore power and c) power to appliances with the bus driving.

I am still doing my research and have a neighbor that is an electrician but is there a bullet list of parts I can start collecting in preparation? I'm thinking a few deep cycle batteries, an inverter, a battery charger? What say you?
Thanks!
Dont forget you will need LOTS of wire. Thank God I scrapped out 2 big RVs and didn't have to by any wire but the main connecting the rig to the shore supply.

You will have to match your battery bank, charger and inverter... For the price of all that I decided to just go with a diesel genset and forgo the electronics that can shut down the show, it's alot easier to keep a genny going and never have to fret about the lack of sun. BUT this all depends also where you want to be with it and if you will get enough sun, but if you want ACs then you are going to have to spend ALOT and that was the final reason I didn't bother with solar, I want AC while driving and they demand alot. Depending on your fridge could be an issue too, we use a large one and a deep freezer so in my case the batteries would be far more weight than I want to lug around, BUT I'll also be towing my E350 van on a trailer behind it all weighing around another 10k lbs.
You need to figure what your power requirements are to start with and do the math from there on your supply requirements.
I have also read alot about inverters not lasting and I'm just not game for that.
I also have a welder onboard that I may want to use also so my demands for power are high, I've yet to install it but I have a 12KW Cummins genset that will be on mine, I also reprocess waste oil for fuel making it alot cheaper in my situation so long as I keep getting it for free anyways.
BUT I also got a killer of a deal on the gen set in an auction with some other good junk but all the same.
For wire you MIGHT find a good deal in your area on craigslist, I sold alot I didn't need on there because the price of copper is so cheap in my area to scrap it.
You are going to need a decent amount of 12g romex wire to wire up outlets, a breaker box and breakers, depending on how many amps you are setting up for you will need bigger wire for your main lugs.
I got some excelletn 4-4-4-6 alum wire off ebay for my main hookup that will support 75amp service which is all anyone would need in a bus, and well in RV parks you will only find 50amp hookup max, thankfully we are no longer in parks and can use all the power we want and not limited to 50amp so we can run just about everything at the same time.

Just somethings for you to consider, and I have no clue how deep your pockets are, but I'm not on a fixed income, I'm on a broke income so I have to be cost effective with mine..
Hope this helps and wasn't boring, happy building bud.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:05 AM   #12
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Your batteries are going to be your biggest expense. Do your research and you will find a major variance in prices. I run golf cart batteries but investigating some used lithium ion used medical batteries at a fraction of the original price.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocco View Post
Hello
I don't have alot of experience in electrical
Id like to have shore power, generator power, solar power, and alternator charging. Is there a thread that someone can link me to that might contain an easy diagram and parts list?

The thought is I'd wire it up myself, then get inspected by an electrician before I go live. Let me know your thoughts!

Make some schematic drawings of what you want to do Draw up your solar, your AC and your generator then run that by your electrician before you pull wire one.
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Old 07-22-2019, 10:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by HazMatt View Post
ROFL

Good thing you didn't say that out loud...
he didn't mention a grounded metal welcome mat
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:05 PM   #15
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Thanx for helping to keep this thread grounded...
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Originally Posted by Sleddgracer View Post
he didn't mention a grounded metal welcome mat
hobbies-leisure-electrocution-electrocute-electrocuting-grey_area-gray_area-phin152_low.jpeg
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:20 PM   #16
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Thanx for helping to keep this thread grounded...Attachment 35894


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