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Old 03-04-2023, 09:50 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Mar 2023
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 1
Planning Stage In Michigan

Greetings from SE Michigan.

I have been in the early planning stages for a while and am starting to get an idea of what Iíd like to build but would love more opinions.

I can turn a wrench so Iím confident Iím able to manage some repairs and do the build myself.

I work remotely so I would like to build a bus that can double as a camping/hunting camp as well as a mobile office. Iíd like to build out the walls and floor for insulation as Iíll need it heated. I think I would like to go with diesel for fuel and install auxiliary heater(s).
-Any recommended threads for the best diesel engine to consider?
-Any recommended threads for the auxiliary heat/diesel approach vs gasoline?

Iíd love to be able to use the engine to run a generator/alternator to charge a battery bank. Iím planning on enough power to run a laptop, CPAP, phone and a couple LED lights. Iíd like to get Starlink as well. Iím not sure if that can be run off 12v, though.
-Any recommended threads on using engine power for electricity generation?

So many questions from the newbie.

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Old 03-05-2023, 07:39 AM   #2
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 18,952
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
my DEV bus is a mobile office.. (i dont go offgrid in it).. I have a bank of 4 AGM batteries in the back.. I largely charge it with my 200 amp alternator when im driving.. I have a network setup in it using cellular Mikrotik units to capture 3 services.. i sometimes run my portable A/C but usually park i nthe shade an open the doors and windows as i like outside air.. (but I have road A/C so I can have comfort and windows closed on the hot noisy freeways)...

I do have a 25 amp shore charger / battery maintainer so when its parked at home base the batteries are always full.. I may add a couple more batteries as i cant run the portable A/C very long (a few hours at full blast) on the current setup.. I liked the AGM's as they are easily chargeable by alternator.. whereas if i go lithium I need to add mroe equipment to provide the proper regulated voltages to charge them. however it would save space.

for heat I have a 16 kw diesel coolant heater and then use the Bus heaters to heat the interior.. it does well and keeps it warm (75) inside down to the single digits.. below zero it can struggle by itself as my bus is bone stock (im much more a bus enthusiast than i am into conversion so I wanted my bus to still look and feel like a bus)..

that coolant heater can also be valved to heat the engine block for cold starting with ease.. when I was in minnesota in minus 20f weather.. id have never started the bus without it...
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Old 03-05-2023, 01:45 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Dbacks2k4's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: Iowa City, IA
Posts: 642
Year: 2006
Chassis: IC CE300 (PB105)
Engine: DT466e @245hp | Allison 3000PTS
Rated Cap: 66
My build (in progress) will be a mobile office also. Redundant internet access is a must - I use starlink with two different lte backups, tmobile and AT&T. I'm setup to add Verizon also if needed.

Starlink is not 12v native, you'll need an inverter for that. There are some diy plans online to make a 12v adapter but it'll void the dish warranty I believe.

This chart is useful for comparing diesel engines

I personally am a fan of the dt466e. I don't like V8's, and I like the computerized engine (many prefer all mechanical). Almost everyone agrees avoid 08 and newer emissions requirements, most advise to avoid the 04 and newer emissions as well (I don't think egr is that bad to bulletproof). International/navistar makes their software for 08 and older free which is nice.

Chinese diesel heaters are very popular. I'm doing two.

You'll find that the people on this site are very helpful with just about any question you think of! Welcome!

Ps we love pictures as you get going!!
TSLABUS Build thread:
TSLABUS YouTube Channel:
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