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Old 11-18-2015, 08:11 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 24
Holy old coach batman we did it!

So we bought a coach conversion! a 1966 MCI

It doesn't need anything really, I would like to insulate the bays so that we can use it in the winter and I need to buy a battery charger, the house batteries charge when the bus is running but won't charge when the generator is running unless there is a battery charger plugged in and hooked up. Any recommendations?? Is there something that will be an inverter as well? I also want to upgrade the 12 volt lighting system to LED and would love a wood stove as I think we will need to run the diesel generator while we sleep if we aren't plugged in. it has propane heat but that needs to draw from the 12v to keep running.

Pictures to follow!

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Old 11-18-2015, 08:28 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,431
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Congrats! POST SOME PICS!

I LOVE the classic MCI's.

Does it have 12v or 24v?
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Old 11-20-2015, 07:58 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 24
From the ad :-

New Style V-8 71-318 HP Detroit Diesel; Allison Automatic Transmission; Excellent Tires; Jake Brake; 2 Roof Air Conditioners; Air-Ride Suspension; Gas/Electric Frig; Large Tub/Shower; Stainless Steel Septic and Water Tanks; Suburban Gas Furnace; Sleeps 5/Rear Twin Beds; Runs Excellent: 8000 Watt Diesel Power Tech Generator in bus runs off bus fuel tank
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:05 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,431
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Nice!!!!
Power Tech are good stuff. I used to make parts for them, they're right down the street from my old job.
I'm jealous of the Jake!
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:10 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Its great so far!

I want to use it to take the family skiing! trying to upload pictures just now!
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:15 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:49 AM   #7
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,431
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
She's a BEAUTY!

The old coaches have such class... They sure don't build em like they used to.
I was already jealous of the Power Tech and Jake, now I see you have indoor storage!!!




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Old 11-20-2015, 10:08 AM   #8
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Location: MNT CITY TN
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Pictures are blank?
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Old 11-20-2015, 10:21 AM   #9
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,431
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
they WERE up, but are now definitely not!
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Old 11-25-2015, 12:38 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 24
Not sure why the pictures are down? I see them on my end?? also - no indoor storage as yet! thats the previous owners storage! it was a very nice set up which gave me the warm and fuzzies!!

still need battery charger advice
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Old 11-25-2015, 01:51 PM   #11
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,635
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
I've really liked the Black & Decker VEC1093DBD 40 amp charger. Unfortunately, I can't find it for sale on line right now. Amazon lists it, but with the caveat "currently unavailable." The Black & Decker BC25BD 25 amp charger looks promising (maybe it supersedes the other model?) but I haven't used one so can't vouch for it.

I also have a Battery Doctor charger (#20085) I really like for charging the battery in one of my trailers. My favorite feature is that it remembers my settings: I push the buttons to choose battery type and charge rate (flooded battery, 8A charge in my case), then whenever I plug it in, it powers on and goes to work with those settings instead of defaulting to the lowest rate as the common Schumacher chargers all seem to do. I see on the Wirthco web site they now have a model 20087 with 16A max charge current as well.
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Old 11-25-2015, 01:53 PM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 24
Thanks Family wagon

Does the amperage matter for the charger? i assume higher = better

Also any recommendations for a battery monitor?
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:20 PM   #13
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Salt Lake City Utah
Posts: 1,635
Year: 2000
Chassis: Blue Bird
Engine: ISC 8.3
I can't make any recommendation about battery monitors. Seems like I've seen a few models mentioned in these forums, but I'd be hard-pressed to find them... external search along the lines of "site:skoolie.net battery monitor" on your favorite yahoo/google/bing/duckduckgo/etc could be a good place to start.

Higher amperage will charge a battery faster, which most people consider "better." Depending on the size of the battery, it could also ruin a battery faster. There are various guidelines or rules of thumb as to the recommended charging rate. Mostly it depends on the amp-hour capacity rating of the battery bank and the battery construction (flooded lead, AGM lead, etc). There wasn't any mention of your battery bank's size, nor whether you prefer a permanent-install charger or something portable, so I've just mentioned the two I have experience with. I've used that B&D at 40 amps charging a series pair of J305P-AC batteries. These are rated 330AH at 20 hours. Trojan's "Battery Maintenance" web page says "When selecting a charger, the charge rate should be between 10% and 13% of the battery’s 20-hour AH capacity." I was at the high end of that range. Charging below that guideline is perfectly safe, but it'll extend the charging time. The recommendation may be different for different manufacturers or battery chemistries.

Confession: I sometimes use that big charger on that trailer I mentioned earlier when I'm in a hurry. It has an automotive-size deep cycle battery, maybe 80 AH I guess, and I sometimes start it at 20 A or occasionally 40 A charge. It tapers down pretty fast from there. In this case I accept the trade-off that fast charge might shorten battery life as being better than the damage a customer will do if he runs this battery until it's very deeply discharged (because I sent it out less than fully charged), or the inconvenience to me if I have to go out and charge or replace the battery while it's out on a job.
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Old 11-25-2015, 02:30 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 24
I'll look at the batteries tonight and see if I can figure out what their AH is!
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Old 11-25-2015, 05:52 PM   #15
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
I can still buy that charger here, but not online.

I also have one and love it. I have been using that model for the last 6 years.

My friend that lives off grid uses his to charge his battery bank from the generator.

Nat
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