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Old 07-21-2017, 12:06 AM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 105
Adding rear a/c & heat 4 driving

Looking at purchasing a 2003 Thomas 5 window short bus. Only has dash unit heat & a/c but would like to add a rear unit to keep better inside comfort while driving. Not going to be utilizing shore power or anything, strictly off grid. Any thoughts or input greatly appreciated.
Oh, will be used year round in snow and heat (NE Washington area).

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Old 07-22-2017, 08:46 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 105
Well I picked up the 2003 E450 Thomas 5 window h/c today and I don't think it has ANY A/C. No dash switch or position on knob, just vent.
Oh boy, now to put in A/C as a whole.
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Old 07-22-2017, 08:51 PM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,056
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
Well that's a pickle. Don't give up before you look under the hood for a compressor though!
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Old 07-22-2017, 09:16 PM   #4
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 18,909
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
in the fords if it had A/C it wouldve had the dash positions..

getting front A/C in it is a chore but not impossible... the front A/C in a ford van like an E-150 is the same system as would be in yours.. theres a zillion of those vans in the junkyards and by 2003 most of them had air-con.. everything I think 97 and up should be the same in an 03..

you may find sincde thats a chassis-builder van that the wiring for front A/C is already there...

getting rear is a bit trickier as you need to find the parts to T into the lines, size a skirt mounted condensor and evaporaotr, etc.. almost need to find a bus that had A/C in which you can pull it out..

ive added it to a lot of things before over the years.. including 2 school busses..

the hardest part will be installing the evaporator coil.. in a van its a &^^^* to get the box apart to install the coils.
-Christopher
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Old 07-22-2017, 11:48 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 105
Wasn't too bad with all the windows down n vent on full blast. Even crawling in the LA traffic at 100* outside wasn't horrible until surface streets n dead stops. Moving outside Spokane next month hope the heater is good. At least the inside panels are screwed in and not riveted.
Will look into a parts bus once situated to make conversion easier. What are options for a good heat/ a/c unit that would work while driving and boon docking.
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Old 07-23-2017, 07:22 AM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 18,909
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
everyone is different, but first thing I did when I got my carpenter bus home was install custom dual A/C..

im not the guy who likes to sweat in 98 degree heat with 80% humidity.. granted I dont always use my A/C.. in fact I hate being cold.. but I sure as heck want it there.. ie im going to be driving my bus to florida and north carolina next week and perhaps texas shortly after.. I sure as heck want my A/C

-Christopher
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