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Old 07-10-2019, 07:53 AM   #1
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A/C and Insulation

I have a 16' mini bus and moved into it Monday. Biggest issue is heat. And we are near Kansas City (high 80s low 90s now). It will get cool enough (71 degrees) to function at about 10PM. My wife dogs and I have to leave by 9AM and are not back till 7PM because of heat. I have a 15k portable AC. At 7PM it is in mid 80s inside.

My question is bang for buck. My bus is white, it has 3/4" foam on the floors and walls up to the windows.

I want to basically room off the back and put 1" hard insulation across the windows in removable panels next. I can add another 12K AC around d the same time for free (I already own it). Will that be the best place to spend my money? Where will I see a temperature drop? Any input would help.


A roof unit will set me back $500-700. Are they so much better that they are worth it?

I am considering placing the fridge outside because it generates a little heat.

Next issue is repairs. Good Sam was nice enough to tow me to a lot with roadside which was a big help. I need a relatively simple repair, but cannot seem to find a shop near Archie Mo that can do it in less than 2 weeks. Anyone got suggestions for where to look for someone to help?
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:04 AM   #2
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By far, the largest source of heat gain/loss is through the windows.


ETA: I was thinking conventional bus, not mini bus. Still, the windows are still likely one of if not the biggest problems. Anything you can do to minimize the amount of energy they lose/absorb would be well worth the effort I'd think.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:19 AM   #3
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Hey Lee,

The portable a/c's are not known for their performance or effiency. The two hose units are not quite as bad as the single hose.

A 12-15k BTU roof air will cool much better. Even better would be a mini-split.

Moving your fridge outside would certainly reduce the load on your a/c. I have one rig that had a typical RV fridge that failed. I found an apartment sized fridge that fit in the cabinet with little modification.

The cabinet is reasonabley sealed from the interior and vented outside at the bottom and through the roof. When I installed it I thought that I would probably have to add a thermostatically controlled fan to aid air circulation. It turned out to be unnecessary. That fridge has been chugging along continuously for 3-1/2 years.

For your windows: I saw some window fillers made from 1" pink foam board cut to fit each window and covered in fabric that matched the interior. They were covered in a manner that resembled a wrapped Christmas present. They were very slick.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:23 AM   #4
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Here is a reasonable mini-split:

https://www.highseer.com/products/12...27003353628736

That is a 12k BTU. You may do OK with a 9k BTU and save a few dollars.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:45 AM   #5
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I've found cutting Reflectix to fit my side windows has radically reduced and delayed the heat built up under that fiercesome Sun.
Tho my rig is pointed N, I also have noticed a significant improvement in not having that indirect light bouncing in from my white dog nose after the addition of 2 big panels fitting over my windscreens.
As an experiment, I made 2 panels backed with 1/2" sheathing insulation, and, true to claims, with no air gap there was no improvement in insulation.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:32 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lee.wissmiller View Post
I have a 16' mini bus and moved into it Monday. Biggest issue is heat. And we are near Kansas City (high 80s low 90s now). It will get cool enough (71 degrees) to function at about 10PM. My wife dogs and I have to leave by 9AM and are not back till 7PM because of heat. I have a 15k portable AC. At 7PM it is in mid 80s inside.

My question is bang for buck. My bus is white, it has 3/4" foam on the floors and walls up to the windows.

I want to basically room off the back and put 1" hard insulation across the windows in removable panels next. I can add another 12K AC around d the same time for free (I already own it). Will that be the best place to spend my money? Where will I see a temperature drop? Any input would help.


A roof unit will set me back $500-700. Are they so much better that they are worth it?

I am considering placing the fridge outside because it generates a little heat.

Next issue is repairs. Good Sam was nice enough to tow me to a lot with roadside which was a big help. I need a relatively simple repair, but cannot seem to find a shop near Archie Mo that can do it in less than 2 weeks. Anyone got suggestions for where to look for someone to help?
If you can't park under trees, you'd probably get the most bang for your buck by erecting an awning of some sort to shade your bus.
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:37 AM   #7
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For your windows: I saw some window fillers made from 1" pink foam board cut to fit each window and covered in fabric that matched the interior. They were covered in a manner that resembled a wrapped Christmas present. They were very slick.
Do you have a link to these? I've been planning on something similar and I don't feel like learning to sew so I was going to do something like folding the fabric and gluing it with an iron. Maybe what you're describing is sort of the same thing.

I was thinking of using 3" rockwool for these which would make a full set pretty bulky, but I thought I could build underbody storage for them since they'd be pretty light.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:17 AM   #8
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I'm told my 12K btu will help, but a 9k would likely not be iseful.

I found these and made an offer that was accepted at $432.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12-000-BTU-...72.m2749.l2649
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Old 07-10-2019, 01:31 PM   #9
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Minisplits can and do run at above rated capacity when asked to... they are rather inefficient when running flat out but will typically run about 2000-2500 btu above rated capacity... miunting the outdoor unit on a shuttle might be a bit tricks as theres usually low ground clearance for putting one underneath
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:16 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Do you have a link to these? I've been planning on something similar and I don't feel like learning to sew so I was going to do something like folding the fabric and gluing it with an iron. Maybe what you're describing is sort of the same thing.

I was thinking of using 3" rockwool for these which would make a full set pretty bulky, but I thought I could build underbody storage for them since they'd be pretty light.
Sorry,

Nothing online. I did the electrical and solar install on a bus for a gent from Walla Walla and saw them there. His mother made them for him

They looked really nice and worked well in the 15-25F temps we had while working.
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:23 AM   #11
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I'm told my 12K btu will help, but a 9k would likely not be iseful.

I found these and made an offer that was accepted at $432.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/12-000-BTU-...72.m2749.l2649
I feel like this is probably a dumb question, but that thing weighs 2000 pounds?Or does 1 ton mean something else here?
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesxis View Post
I feel like this is probably a dumb question, but that thing weighs 2000 pounds?Or does 1 ton mean something else here?


One ton = 12,000 BTU. A measure of heating or cooking capacity.
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Old 07-11-2019, 11:33 AM   #13
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I feel like this is probably a dumb question, but that thing weighs 2000 pounds?Or does 1 ton mean something else here?
It weighs 75lbs.
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Old 07-25-2019, 04:34 AM   #14
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Howdy from Texas!
I've found cutting Reflectix to fit my side windows has radically reduced and delayed the heat built up under that fiercesome Sun.
Tho my rig is pointed N, I also have noticed a significant improvement in not having that indirect light bouncing in from my white dog nose after the addition of 2 big panels fitting over my windscreens.
As an experiment, I made 2 panels backed with 1/2" sheathing insulation, and, true to claims, with no air gap there was no improvement in insulation.
Thanks! I was looking for something to cover the windows. That is perfect and sure beats cutting up and sewing sun blocker curtains for each window.
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Old 07-25-2019, 06:06 AM   #15
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Sure 'nuff, neighbor!
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Thanks! I was looking for something to cover the windows. That is perfect and sure beats cutting up and sewing sun blocker curtains for each window.
Mind, you still will be doing considerable cutting, and keeping the lowers in place is mildly problematic. The top sash panels can be marginally over-sized to ensure a good pressure fit.
I haven't made the entire set yet, so around 1300 I have to swap sev'l from starboard to port. When I don't bother, the increased heat is noticeable.
And downright palpable!
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:35 AM   #16
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im thinking glue thin plastic to the edges of the reflectix and then use magnets through the pplastuc onto the bus metal above and below the windows to hold them up?
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:36 AM   #17
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The top sash covers can be made to stay in place all on their onlies. That might work on the lowers, affixing the magnet to the hat channel between windows, tho...
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
im thinking glue thin plastic to the edges of the reflectix and then use magnets through the pplastuc onto the bus metal above and below the windows to hold them up?
I did something similar for my window screens: stapling heavy-duty mag tape to the mesh, it's held in place by a solid strip of tape at the window's top, and 2 pieces/side to the hat channel, with a gap to jump the retaining clips.
Still works great on the driver's side. When I framed in overhead compartments over the shotgun's 6/8 windows, I went down to just above the windows, covering the steel strip above the windows...
D'oh!
Won't repeat that mistake when I install compartments across the aisle!
BTW, these panels fit demonstrably better if the bubble rows run vertically.
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