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Old 07-27-2018, 06:45 PM   #1
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Do we need the original AC and heaters?

Our 2001 bluebird 40 ft bus came with two AC's and two heaters. My hubby wants to keep them in the bus conversion and I wonder if we will need them if we are installing our own AC and heaters? I just hate to take up all that room if its not needed. There should be no reason why we cant run our own heater/AC while we are driving. Is there? What are your thoughts on this?
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Old 07-27-2018, 07:59 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by sarahmkay View Post
Our 2001 bluebird 40 ft bus came with two AC's and two heaters. My hubby wants to keep them in the bus conversion and I wonder if we will need them if we are installing our own AC and heaters? I just hate to take up all that room if its not needed. There should be no reason why we cant run our own heater/AC while we are driving. Is there? What are your thoughts on this?
r u installing on-board generator ?
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Old 07-27-2018, 08:17 PM   #3
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Too little details Sarah. Tell us more. We don't know what you have or plan to use.


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Old 07-27-2018, 09:20 PM   #4
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to run your own AC, you would need an on-board generator that you run while driving, the 2 AC units together are probably 40,000 to 60,000 btu and are just enough to cool the bus while driving somewhere warm, so if you wnat driving AC you need to keep them
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Old 07-27-2018, 11:09 PM   #5
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We are planning to do both a generator and solar power.
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Old 07-28-2018, 05:56 AM   #6
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I kept my rear heater and it's a good thing because I am planning on a trip to Skooliepalooza in January and it will be very cold when I leave. Nice to have heat while driving.
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Old 07-28-2018, 06:15 AM   #7
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To get the at least 40,000 BTU needed while driving, you will need about 3 kilowatts of power while they are running. You can figure that it takes 3 times the AC capacity while moving as while stationary
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Old 07-28-2018, 07:18 AM   #8
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... will need them if we are installing our own AC and heaters?
Details, details, details...

My last coach was a 40' Newmar Dutch Star and two roof top 15k BTU air conditioners were plenty to keep it cool while driving around the west - with generator running, of course. That said, I don't recall ever driving in 110 degrees with 90% humidity (or similar). Similarly, the furnace kept the entire rig warm when driving in the cold (when, really "cool").

Whether or not you need them depends on you and how you use your rig. If you drive in the cold or hot (and probably anything in between), you will probably need something that is operational in that mode (driving). That might be generator powered, bus engine powered (as in using the hot coolant or engine driven compressor), propane, or so on. Some heating options beyond engine coolant driven might be a diesel fired air or coolant heater (which then either blows hot air or heats coolant which is ran to heat exchangers), propane powered furnace, etc...
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Old 07-28-2018, 01:42 PM   #9
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Your newmar had about 3 times the insulation of a school bus, and a lot less air leaks, not a really valid comparison
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Old 07-28-2018, 02:02 PM   #10
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In my Eagle 10 ran a pair of 12.5k BTU roof airs and a generator to run them.

I had about 1.5" closed cell spray foam insulation and RV windows.

In 90F weather, with both roof airs running, I would bake in the drivers seat. I cursed myself for taking out the engine driven A/C.
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Old 07-29-2018, 04:50 PM   #11
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Sarah, I would say keep them!!! We just got off the road after 2 months and we ran 1 air conditioner off of generator power and that wasnít enough to say the least. When we are parked and have the front windows closed, it worked well for us. Something about those huge bus windshields just let the heat pour in. Now, we are in the market for dash air and spending thousands to augment the mini split a/c. I would keep them and incorporate them into your design.

As for the heaters, we had 1 in our Skoolie and we took it out as we still have the step heater and dash heater. When we are parked, we have a diesel heater that works wonders and keep the entire Skoolie warm. It was a bit pricey but worth the money for us.

Thatís just my 2 cents.
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Old 07-30-2018, 06:38 AM   #12
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Your newmar had about 3 times the insulation of a school bus, and a lot less air leaks, not a really valid comparison
Hmm... I don't recall making a comparison. Maybe a data point for the OP to consider but tough to call it that since there was no real data (like OAT, high/low setting compressor duty cycle, inside air temp, etc.). I suppose, at best, it was a bit of anecdotal information for the OP to consider in their research.

One would assume a typical school bus conversion is insulated and has all the holes sealed up, wouldn't one?? A coach with four slides is not exactly "sealed tight".

For the coach I referenced, Newmar advertised R-16 for ceiling and floor and R-13 for walls. This is highly doubtful given the limited amount of space used for insulation but I have no facts to refute their claim. That said, I would bet a reasonably insulated school bus conversion is not terribly different. I would guess that the big difference is in the windows (quantity and type).

Did you have something useful to contribute or just looking to tell folks that are attempting to aid the OP in their decision that they are wrong and/or their contribution was useless?
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Old 07-30-2018, 06:59 AM   #13
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I say you insulate well and keep the FRONT most A/C unit.. or even reconfigure it so it becomes more Dash A/C.. I put custom dash A/C in my DEV BUS and it blows Ice cold air on my while driving,, my front evaporator is 25000 BTU and my rear is 40,000 BTU.. you can even replace that evaporator with one that goes in your header panel.. or put a new evaporator beside the right-side / door heater and duct it across the dash and up above.. this allows you to get rid of the ugly in-the-way ceiling evaporators if you dont like them..



however I will NEVER be without engine driven air-conditioning in any rig I own (OK except maybe a Classic I dont drive on long road trips)..



reality is why go back to the 1940s in 2018?


if you insulate well you wont need both systems.. one will do you just fine.

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