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Old 11-19-2015, 12:54 AM   #1
jacobszall's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: South Florida
Posts: 112
Year: 1990
Chassis: Chevy Blue Bird Mini Bird (P30)
Engine: GM Diesel 6.2
Power Consumption and Waste Management


I plan on buying my bus in the coming months and am wondering about a few very important things. These two things being sewage as well as power sources.

How much power am I going to need to (if need be) run power to a fridge, microwave, AC, multiple power outlets (for phones and laptops and such) as well as portable washing machine and dryer? What kind/size of battery am I going to need? Are solar panels a good option?

Waste management! How should I go about managing the waste, when we go to the bathroom? Should I set it up like an RV with the tanks and stuff?
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Old 11-19-2015, 01:41 AM   #2
Bus Nut
charles_m's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Denver
Posts: 489
Year: 1982
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International S1800
Engine: DT466 Trans: MT643
Rated Cap: 65
Definitely, please, do some searching around this site on those topics and look in the build threads. It's been talked about many many times on here. The answer to all of your questions is--It Depends.

If you want to run all of those things of solar, they will have to be very efficient models, the AC will have to be a heat pump type, and the dryer cannot use electric heat. The fridge should be extra-efficient, too. Even then, its a lotta juice.

You're gonna need at least 15kwh of storage in a lead-acid battery. 7kwh if it's a lithium battery, but they are $$$$. The more the merrier. And at least 1200 watts of solar panels.
I think realistically, you could need from 50-100% more than this, depending on your bus's insulation, how cold you want it, and the specs and use of your appliances.

Learn the power equations and how to figure out your loads and needs on your own. Teach yourself to fish, lol. That is the only way to know for sure and even then, the real world is different than on paper.

How do you want to manage waste? If you want tanks to to hold your waste, build tanks. If you don't use a composting toilet or incinerate your turds, you'll need a black tank for it. If you only will have sink/shower waste water, you'll only need a grey tank. If you'll always be parked in a field, you don't need no stinkin tank.

But seriously, I recommend searching the build threads and forums. You'll learn a lot there.
Patina enthusiast and professional busman
Blog: www.lookatthatbus.com
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Old 11-19-2015, 05:34 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
roach711's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,944
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
How are you planning to use your bus? If you'll have shore power available your power setup will be fairly simple. If you want to run all that off batteries and solar you're going to need a very robust system.
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power consumption, skoolie, solar panel, waste

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