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Old 07-23-2021, 03:56 PM   #1
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NEWBIES!!! Can you connect factory ac units to shore power/generator

Hey yall! Were new here ! Thanks for having an awesome page we can prettty much learn everything we would ever need to know for a school bus conversion. Were a family of 3. We have an almost 2 year old. Weve decided to ditch our first home (our Rv) for our passion project and dream home of a school bus! Our 2010 blue bird is a GSA bus so we think the roof being taller 65 we might not need to do the roofs raise ?
We removed all seating and side paneling and are now at the daunting question of do we keep our two AC units ? From
What I read the answer is at least one! This might be a dumb question but could We keep both a/c units and have someone connect them to our shore power and generator after we install that or is that just out of the question and not doable?

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Old 07-23-2021, 05:07 PM   #2
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those Air conditioners use engine-driven COmpressors.. just like a car... when your car is turned off you can blow the fans but the compressor doesnt spin.. its not electric, its driven by a belt so unless you want to build a custom mini-engine to run the air conditioners the answer is no you cannot hook them up to shore power..



ProAir LLC makes some brand new units designed for ambulances that can run in a dual mode but I havent bought one to try it.. (they quite $$)...


a member here is working on a pony engine retrofit to run his A/C compressor at partial speed when parked. im not sure if he has worked on this project lately or not..
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Old 07-24-2021, 12:58 AM   #3
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As has been said, they only run when the engine is running. We pulled all three of ours (none in the dash to begin with) along with all the wiring, hoses, control panels, condensers, etc. Eventually we will have the compressors removed from the engine and have a second alternator or an idler pulley installed.


We will run two minisplits (probably one at a time but one 9000 BTU unit is supposed to be sufficient for the space) which draw 750-800 watts while running full bore (once the rig is cooled down they will draw less as they cycle). Your insulation and climate will have a large impact on how much you will need and you'll need sufficient batteries and solar or generator.


And option is to keep one engine powered unit for when you're driving and install a 110 mini split for when you're parked.


It's all about balancing what you plan do with your rig and the space/time/$$$ available.
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Old 07-24-2021, 08:22 AM   #4
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Driving for hours in a hot bus, without a/c (or insufficient a/c), is an experience that cannot be described as enjoyable. If you're able, store the evaporators in a dry place for a year. You may feel differently, after a summer trip.

When disconnecting them, evacuate the refrigerant, seal the lines with the fingers of latex gloves, safe the wires, zip tie the harnesses up under the bus. Don't turn on the ac controls, consider cutting the compressor belt(s). Leave the condenser coils under the bus.

It is more common, than not, to regret discarding the factory bus ac. The giant windshield just gets so effin hot. Good luck, whatever you decide.
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Old 07-24-2021, 12:33 PM   #5
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Wow I just learned a lot! Lol. Thanks everyone for your input and knowledgeable information! Looks like we will keep one of our units for while driving and add the mini split like yall had mentioned for when were parked!
Im Going to attach a photo because we have these fans? On the floor. At least we think they are circulating fans for the ac, can yall confirm or deny from this photo. Do we need to keep them in if we are keeping a factory unit installed ? They are both on the right side of you can tell in the photo.
Thanks again for your help and answers this is great advice.
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Old 07-24-2021, 02:26 PM   #6
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Those are the factory heaters, which are warmed using the engine coolant. Under the steel plate, that runs down the drivers side, are coolant lines. Continues to the defroster(s) under the dash, then back to the RE. That system is separate from the overhead a/c.
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Old 07-24-2021, 04:57 PM   #7
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YEP those are the ancient factory heaters that use engine coolant. At the base of the drivers side wall there's those metal pieces between the floor and wall. Underneath those you will find two heater hoses (probably 1" inside diameter). Some people keep all the original heaters, others pull them because, again, they're only useful when the engine is running.


You definitely need to pull off those hose shields to check the condition of the hoses and the connections to the heaters.



We pulled all of ours but have retained the hoses in order to provide dash heat and defrost (big time necessary) and will be installing a diesel fueled "parking heater" for space heating as well as a wood stove. We may install a new auxiliary coolant based heater for when we're driving but haven't solidified that idea yet.


You should also be aware that there is most likely an auxiliary pump in teh engine compartment as well as valves to shut off coolant flow through those 40+ foot long coolant lines going up to the dash.
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