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Old 08-16-2017, 08:44 PM   #1
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington Beach CA.
Posts: 939
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Question Replace a/c compressors with an aux alternator

Hi folks,
Joe here with a 1991 Bluebird TC 2000 5.9 Turbo Cummins.
I am thinking of removing the stock bus a/c system which is really 2 separate systems that run the length of the ceiling in my 28 foot bus. I would like to replace the dual compressor with a 250 amp alternator . This to charge battery bank while cruising and powering an inverter to run 2 of the 10 k rooftops with easy starts in both of them.The a/c when boondocking will run off of twin honda eu 2000i. A FLA of about 20 amps.
I understand that each of the stock units is 25k for a total of 50 k and the replacement is only 20k but their is only 2 of us and furniture, not 54 3rd graders.

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Old 08-16-2017, 09:46 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 1,001
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: International
Engine: TE 444
Rated Cap: 12
the amount of AC in a school bus has more to do with driving a poorly insulated metal box with leaky windows in warm air than the amount of bodies, your 20K of AC will be fine sitting still but will be inadequate while driving. you should keep the driving AC and use the rooftops and generator when sitting still
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Old 08-16-2017, 10:37 PM   #3
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,401
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I have run down the road with two 12k Btu roof air's running full blast in a well insulated 40' bus and cursed myself for pulling out the OTR air conditioning.

Trust me, if you get caught in 90F temps and have the sun shining in the windshield, it takes a LOT of a/c to stay cool.
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Old 08-16-2017, 11:08 PM   #4
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Gulfport, MS
Posts: 154
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird All American Re
Engine: Cat 3126
I am thinking about the same thing. My bus has 2 A/C compressors. The main reason for removing the original coach air is because it conflicts with my floorplan and layout. I was going to keep one compressor and build a dash system for driving and replace the other with a high output alternator to charge the battery bank. The battery bank would power a dual 12k mini split A/C system for the front and rear cabin areas. I do plan on insulating the floor and spray foaming the walls and roof. I am also eliminating a bunch of the windows and replacing the remaining ones with RV windows (maybe double pane). All of this is still in the planning stages, I would still like to find more info on using mini split A/C systems in bus conversions before I commit to anything.
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Old 08-17-2017, 06:31 AM   #5
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
have both!!

take out one of your A/C systems.. move the evaporator of the other to the front so it cools the driver.. and then install a 250 amp alternator.. you may need to make some bracketry as an alternator body may be bigger around than a compressor.. each of your systems is likely running its own compressor and is likely 40,000-50,000 BTU of cooling..
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a/c, electric vs engine

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