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Old 07-28-2019, 05:07 PM   #1
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A/c Ran by small generator

Im planning on living in a 2008 freightliner ic 48 passenger schoolie full time with my wife in Florida and i would really like to have a/c in there. Were planning on having solar power for other small things but a dedicated generator for the a/c.

Im wondering what size a/c i should be looking at, im thinking maybe a 8k btu would do it but im not sure so thats why im here, and also the generator to support that, have the a/c running for about 7-8 hours? Again like i said im not sure. Looking for inputs or any help on this i would really appreciate it, Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-28-2019, 06:16 PM   #2
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I am in Montana and two 5k BTUs hardly made a difference, I ended up having to add a 15k btu portable unit up front on the engine cover to keep it comfortable. With you in Florida I would suggest no less then two rooftop 15k btu.

As for a gen I would be looking at maybe 7500 plus watts
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Old 07-28-2019, 06:20 PM   #3
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You will need a lot of power to run a few A/C units on that bus.
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Old 07-28-2019, 08:35 PM   #4
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EU2200i* will run most 16000 BTU units or 2x 8000. For the former need a soft start, google EasyStart 364.

Biggest expense is fuel, invest in super insulation and efficient inverter type aircon units.

But best of all, follow the 60's

* Get the Companion version, extra 30A receptacle allows daisychaining two units for double the power. Enjoy arctic chill sitting in Arizona desert, but tow a fuel trailer.
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Old 07-29-2019, 04:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigskypc50 View Post
I am in Montana and two 5k BTUs hardly made a difference, I ended up having to add a 15k btu portable unit up front on the engine cover to keep it comfortable. With you in Florida I would suggest no less then two rooftop 15k btu.

As for a gen I would be looking at maybe 7500 plus watts
do you have spray foam insulation or factory insulation?

I'm new to buses and trying to figure out how I can get 1 to stay cool without buying a 3.5ton unit and a 20KW generator to support it.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:45 AM   #6
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the busses ive been inside that have Spray foam are incredible to say the least.. thaty stuff works.. the other thing is that the elastometric roof paint WORKS.. ive been inside busses that just had white roofs and those painted with the "magic beads" paint and there is a difference..



of course if you can park in the shade you are 10X better trying to cool, esp in sreas where the sun angle is tall year round like arizona, florida, etc..



the other thing to remember about florida is humidity.. Humidity can eat an A/C alive.. some of the tests that i cnad others have done come up with 30% of cooling capacity reduction when the humidity is really high.. its worse in a bus because busses generally dont seal as tight as buildings..



Soft starts are a huge help to your generator.. the Honda eu series or the quiet predator harbor freight gennys are nice because you can pair more than one together if needbe,



the big thing with generators is keeping them full of fuel.. it takes quite a bit of gas to run Air-conditioning..

-Christopher
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:27 AM   #7
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It's a montana bus so factory insulation is about 2" fiberglass bat. I left in place and I added 1 1/2" blue board, on the floors and walls and about half the windows are covered with it, the rest of the windows have thick thermal curtains and roof has the stock insulation with white Snow-Coat painted on it.

With the three AC's with a total of 25K BTU, I can keep it a nice 65 degrees in there when it's like 85/90 outside.


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Originally Posted by Joshua99ta View Post
do you have spray foam insulation or factory insulation?

I'm new to buses and trying to figure out how I can get 1 to stay cool without buying a 3.5ton unit and a 20KW generator to support it.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:27 AM   #8
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This is awesome input but a bit of a let down and kind of daunting. I really want to make this happen somehow, what if i just had the a/c cooling the bedroom area? And what is the best insulation to keep the heat out and cool in?
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by We are so screwed View Post
This is awesome input but a bit of a let down and kind of daunting. I really want to make this happen somehow, what if i just had the a/c cooling the bedroom area? And what is the best insulation to keep the heat out and cool in?



ultimately the same insulation for both cold and hot climates is effective. reflecting suns rays away from glass rather than trying to absorb heat with materials inside.. insulating curtains are great except in some respects, the heat is already in the bus.. putting something relfectix in the windows reflecting oput the suns rays before they penetrate materials is a help... elastometric roof paint, again to reflect away heat beore it hits your ceiling insulation.. will you be parked in full sun most of the time or in the shade?

-Christopher
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:38 AM   #10
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I am currently camping in my 29' travel trailer.

On Friday it was pushing 100F. I ran my 12k BTU roof air from a Champion 3150 inverter generator. It kept it comfortable.

I have about 1-1/2" of fiberglass insulation.

My last bus was spray foamed and I have to agree with Christopher, spray foam rocks. Definitely going to foam my new bus. For A/C I am going to install two mini-splits. A 12k BTU up front and a 9k BTU in the bedroom. The Champion generator that I have should run both of them.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:01 AM   #11
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This is an impossible question to answer with any degree of certainty. I believe the answer varies based on the rig, insulation, exposure to sun, any one person's idea of "not hot", the number of bodies, the number of things you do to generate heat (like baking a roast in the middle of the day), and so on... That said, I do understand polling for some data in an effort to make a reasonably educated choice.

I'm currently in New Mexico where it has been 94-100 degrees (very dry) for the last month or so and I'm quite content with two 15,000 btu roof mount A/C units (on a 45' coach). I keep the thermostat set to 75 degrees which it does without working too hard (certainly not running at 100% duty cycle). The front of my coach is facing the sun and generates a huge amount of heat (even with reflectix in the windshield) so I've separated that area from the house (with a crude solution but it works). I don't have much of any shade until very late in the afternoon. As you can see from my build thread, all of my house windows are tinted. I always pull the blackout shades on whatever side is currently exposed to the sun.

Hope that helps...
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Old 07-29-2019, 12:48 PM   #12
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As JDOnTheGo ; also how many times you go in and out the door and how many people stand and talk with the door open.

Also get led light bulbs.
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Old 07-29-2019, 01:17 PM   #13
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I really appreciate all of this, you guys are awesome thank you
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:53 AM   #14
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This is what scares me. Iím in southern Mississippi and I see lots of temps in the 95 range with 70-90% humidity. Itís currently 79% tonight at 2am(yeah Iím working nights).

Iím going to look at a bus when I get home and first thing I do, if I get it, will be remove all interior, delete all but maybe 4 windows and have a buddy come over and spray foam the inside.
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Old 08-03-2019, 03:38 PM   #15
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I opted for a diesel powered APU because I carry 160 gallons in two saddle tanks on my rig and didn't want to be fetching gasoline all the time. The APU features a Perkins engine with pulleys on the crankshaft to turn V-belts to drive accessories. These are;
  • A v-belt for an alternator (automotive type 100A)
  • Another for an automotive type AC compressor (20k Btu evaporator)
  • The third v-belt is what spins a 5KW generator (30A)
In testing, it'll run all week 24/7 before I concern myself with having enough fuel for moving the truck to replenish the fuel. Since I don't trust the gauges below 1/4 tank I figure that's the time for topping it off.

We're in FL and during a hurricane, what people forget about is how much work it is keeping a 5Kw gasoline powered generator fed. It's a job because they can easily go through 15 gallons in a day, maybe more. A week of that gets old, believe me!


Anyway, if all I had was a gasoline powered generator, I'd consider a propane conversion. They're cheap. However, I think diesel is really the way to go for your generator.
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:22 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by We are so screwed View Post
This is awesome input but a bit of a let down and kind of daunting. I really want to make this happen somehow, what if i just had the a/c cooling the bedroom area? And what is the best insulation to keep the heat out and cool in?
Holy Cow, I live in Florida in the winter and there is now way you are going to survive a Florida summer in a bus with no AC. I don't know what the answer is but doing without AC is not it....
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Old 08-03-2019, 09:34 PM   #17
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Holy Cow, I live in Florida in the winter and there is now way you are going to survive a Florida summer in a bus with no AC. I don't know what the answer is but doing without AC is not it....
I lived in Ocala for 5 months in 2017, there's NFW I would stay in a a bus with no AC. The guy I was staying with was cheap and kept the thermostat set at 2 degrees above sweating in a singlewide trailer. With no AC I would have left after a month, if that.
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Old 08-04-2019, 01:47 AM   #18
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I opted for a diesel powered APU because I carry 160 gallons in two saddle tanks on my rig and ... In testing, it'll run all week 24/7 ... below 1/4 tank I figure that's the time for topping it off.

If I get your numbers right, your diesel APU will run solid for a week and use up120 gallons of diesel. That is 0.714 gallons per hour. At even $3.50/gallon, that is $2.50 per hour, or $60.00 per day. Not bad for an emergency generator with an air conditioner and an auxillary DC source
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