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Bus Discussion => Bus Topics ( click here for quick start! ) => Topic started by: CAROLINABOY on July 20, 2008, 07:07:50 PM

Title: A/C
Post by: CAROLINABOY on July 20, 2008, 07:07:50 PM
Just don't know what to do  I was told that basement units are not reliable wanted to keep the top of the bus as clean as possible.

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: tekebird on July 20, 2008, 07:21:34 PM
thger eis nothing wrong with basement units.  other than they being more expensive than roof mounts

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: luvrbus on July 20, 2008, 07:29:59 PM
I never heard any thing bad about basement air expect losing some bay space do you have to cut a vent in the side doors I have seen them with and without.Anyway I used  the Cruisaire split systems to keep my roof clean

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: TomC on July 20, 2008, 07:36:51 PM
On my truck conversion, I'll have a 24" basement that I'll mount Duotherm ductable Penquins.  The condenser on the Penquins are set up such that you can duct out the hot air since it uses a squirrel cage blower for the hot air.  Will just duct both the cool air and the return air with the thermostat inside.  Then you have the cleanliness of no roof air, the cost of using roof air, and still the convenience of quick change out if one gives out.  A 14,000btu basement unit is about $1700 compared to the 15,000btu Penquin that is about $850.  Plus, Duotherms have 3 spd fans for extra quiet at night.  Good Luck, TomC

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: H3Jim on July 21, 2008, 06:53:15 AM
Since I have front to back, roof mount awnings, and the low profile roof top A/C's, you can't really see them from the ground, so there is no issue about having unsightly roof top units.  There is more than one way to skin the cat...


Title: Re: A/C
Post by: kingfa39 on July 21, 2008, 08:39:53 AM
Tom c, what kind of truck conversion??
Frank Allen

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: Lin on July 21, 2008, 08:51:49 AM
I do not particularly care about the look of the roof, so that is not a real factor.  Also, with a 35 footer, giving up bottom space is a big issue.  We have two roof airs.  I consider it a pretty serious compromise though, since I have always found them too noisy .

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: CAROLINABOY on July 21, 2008, 09:45:44 AM
i have a GMC RTS 06 6V92TA 40'   I plan on buying the 26000 btu duotherm heatpump I will be putting it in the back where the factory a/c went plenty of room and can duct the air and return thru the back and not loose anyroom I would like to hear more comments good or bad thanks.

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: Len Silva on July 21, 2008, 09:56:22 AM
I had a Duotherm basement unit in my 4104 and now have two ducted roof units in my Vogue MH. I hate the roof A/C's. They are noisy, vibrate, and drip condensate when it is very humid (all the time in Florida).  We cannot sleep with the rear unit running so we run the front at night with a box fan to the rear.  Not very elegant and no privacy if we had others sleeping in the coach.

My next coach will have basement air.  Roof top units would be a deal breaker.


Title: Re: A/C
Post by: TomC on July 21, 2008, 01:09:55 PM
Frank- I'm using my old truck- 1985 Kenworth 90" Aerodyne cabover that I'm going to stretch to 283" wheel base and have a 32ft studio type box (looks like a freight box, but with skirts) made with the rear being a sloping ramp to carry a car like a Mini inside.  The truck has a Caterpillar 3406B 400hp with 13spd that I will change to a Allison HT740.  With the 3.55 rear ends, I'll have a comfortable 65mph cruise at 1837rpm.  Good Luck, TomC

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: NJT5047 on July 21, 2008, 08:28:17 PM
If you have a roof raise, rooftops are a bad idea.  May be too high. 
If no roof raise, rooftops are cheap, easy to maintain, and noisy.   In spite of the noise, they are very efficient.   
Basement air is quiet and nice...but, at a cost...$$$$$$$$$$.
And the loss of half a bay. If that's a problem.   And the cost of space for the ductwork inside the living area. 
Lose one bay to the waterworks, another to the basement AC, and if you want a big genset, which you'll need to dry camp, there goes another half bay.   
I've got two Dometic rooftop heatpumps that I'm quite pleased with.    They are about 6 years old now and in any temps above 40*, they are great. 
There are also split systems available.   They are a little less complex than basement ACs. 
My next bus (E45... ;)) might have some sort of basement AC or split system.  Once past 12' of roof, anything adding to the height may result in butt-puckering. 
Where are you located on North Carolina?  I'm near Charlotte. 

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: CAROLINABOY on July 22, 2008, 04:14:23 AM
I'm actually between Charlotte and Hickory I would love to see your bus if it would work out sometime

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: Dreamscape on July 22, 2008, 06:28:19 AM
We have three older roof air units on our Eagle installed by a PO. If it were me starting from scratch I would go with the basement type. I have heard much quieter and you don't have the warts on the roof to get knocked off by low branches. The cost is higher up front I have heard but well worth the cost considering all the factors. I kind of agree they are not the best looking, but what ever your budget allows will work. Besides whenever you need to clean them or do repairs you are on the roof.


Title: Re: A/C
Post by: JackConrad on July 22, 2008, 06:47:05 AM
   We went with the basement air for a several reasons. We do not like the looks of the roof airs, and with a roof raise, they would be more susceptible to overhead obstructions. I have a hearing problem when there is any background noise (such as roof air fans), making it difficult to listen to TV or carry on a conversation when AC is in use.
   We sacrificed the rear baggage bay for AC and plumbing. Th AC unit takes about 1/3 of the bay. The rest of the bay has the water and holding tanks as well as the water heater and water pumps. Our generator is in the OEM condenser compartment. We have the front 2 bays my tools and whatever SWWNBD wants to take with us.
    We purchased our unit from RonTheBusnut as a "Scratch&Dent'. I think we paid about $800 for the unit and probably about another $150-175 for duct material and vents, etc.  This system has worked great for us for 9 years and still going strong.  YMMV Jack

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: steamguy56 on July 22, 2008, 10:36:31 AM
so on a non roof raise could you conceivably, put the duct work in the upper corner, there will be large valance in the corner any way. Tight curve on the prevost. Had decided on three roof airs(45') and just bob and weave down the hall. open for any suggestions. I think this ? fit on this thread.

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: kyle4501 on July 22, 2008, 10:57:07 AM
My vote is for a split system (like in cars with multiple evaporators), this way, I won't have to give up so much space for air ducts (& I'm not raising the roof either). I'll also choose fans that will move enough air without being so noisy.  ;D
The plan is to locate the "cooling boxes" in areas that are inconvenient for storage.  8)
This will also open up more possible locations for the compressor & condenser.  ;D

I know I'll have to deal with condensate & running the 'freon' lines, but I think this will work out better for my needs/ wants.  8)

With the price of used suburbans dropping so fast, the parts off 'em in the junk yards ought to be getting cheaper too!  ;D

Time will tell how well this plan works out.   ;)

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: NJT5047 on July 22, 2008, 02:12:46 PM
I'm actually between Charlotte and Hickory I would love to see your bus if it would work out sometime

I just had the bus in your backyard last week!   We camped for 4 days at a bluegrass festival just outside Lincolnton.  Between between Lincolnton and Cherryville.
In any event, you're welcome to see the bus almost any time.   The bus likes visitors...  ;)
I'm in Indian Trail, North Carolina.   
If you are close to 321, that's the way down here....321 to I-85, I-485, off at exit 57 (Providence Rd.).    If coming down 27, sorta the same.  I-85, to I-485 etc.
Kyle is hosting another Bus Non-Rally at Palmetto Cove Campground this fall (Oct 4th weekend).  The event is located near Cleveland, SC, which is just West of I-26 near the SC/NC boarder.   Good place to see some home-grown bus conversions. 

JR   704-650-0235

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: JohnEd on July 23, 2008, 12:16:05 PM

My vote is for a home heatpump split.  I think BTU size is critical as they are only available in 220 volt versions above a certain size.  My gen has a 220 tap and you can get a transformer for the 115V/30 amp hookup but then you get less than 15 amps to run.  Brands are a biggie as some have really good SEERS and others have very low start up draws thanks to new type motors. Be sure you get models with multiple speed condensers and multiple speed evaps...both.  If you properly spec you purchase you will have a much limited list of mfr.s and your expected cost will be higher than most quote.  Then again, you will have everything.  Low current start is a really big deal if you are running it off of the inverter going down the road and using your 300 amp engine alternator.

My thoughts only,


Title: Re: A/C
Post by: CAROLINABOY on July 23, 2008, 06:10:37 PM
what is a bus non-rally maybe I could bring a tagalong since my bus has no bathroom???

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: James77MCI8 on July 23, 2008, 06:12:56 PM
Would it be feasible to use the existing condenser and evaporator with a traditional electric compressor. I know that the controls would have to be revamped , but could it work?

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: Sojourner on July 23, 2008, 06:43:22 PM
Yes it would work if you use OEM size pump in electric. I assume you are talking about popular size traditional window compressorů.oversize condenser is ok but will only be cold after the expansion valve or capillary tube into oversize evaporator at must smaller portion. In other words, more un-cooled air than cooled.


Sojourn for Christ, Jerry

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: JohnEd on July 23, 2008, 06:46:19 PM

I am sure you could make it work.  Somehow and for some amt of $.  I once looked into using an auto compressor driven by an elect mtr.  It was a short "look" as the HP needed was a real shocker and I still haven't figured out how they pull it off.  I think the numbers indicated I needed a 8 or 9 HP mtr and we both know that ain't happen'n.  The auto unit is around three ton of AC and a "conventional unit" would be hefty.  Not even a shadow of a doubt in my narrow mind that it could be done, though.


Sorry, I thought you were talking about using the standard coach system components.

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: NJT5047 on July 23, 2008, 07:09:30 PM
what is a bus non-rally maybe I could bring a tagalong since my bus has no bathroom???

A 'Non-Rally' is what you call a rally when the Airstream private campground is used.  We just show up...and park together. 
Your tagalong is fine.  A fully contained unit is required by the campground.
Check out pix of last October's Non-Rally at:  http://community.webshots.com/user/converter101?start=42
Had a good turnout last year! 
Any busnut or bus-wannabee is welcome to attend. 
The campground is nice. Nice family place...at least it is until I get there!  ;)
Palmetto Cove has no bath facilities, that's the reason campers must be self-contained.  They have hookups.   I believe mostly 30A. 
Check with Kyle for more details...or just come on over!  I'll be up on Thursday, Oct 2.   

So as to not hi-jack the thread, or ramble too far off topic, your AC issues could be put into $$$ perspective.   Ba$ement ACs are going to cost several times what an equivalent BTU rooftops will cost. 
It you are an HVAC guy like Nick or Christy, intalling basements and the ductwork is a walk in the park....if you gotta pay someone to install and service them, then maybe a walk in the swamp.  You could have almost the cost of a shell tied up in ACs.  Get some estimates.  An estimate may help you decide what you'll use.   
They are expensive, quiet, and expensive to repair if they need repairs.
Rooftops are very efficient, relatively inexpensive, easy to repair or replace, and tend to be a little noisy.   There are ducted rooftops too...they are usually as quiet as basement systems. 
I've got a pair of Dometic heat pumps and have really enjoyed them.  The heat pumps warm well down to about 40*.   After that, electric heater or LP (I use LP RV 31K heater) will keep you warm...or if your wallet is thick enough, Webasto or Hydro Hottie. 
What's in your wallet?   

Title: Re: A/C
Post by: kyle4501 on July 23, 2008, 07:15:36 PM
what is a bus non-rally maybe I could bring a tagalong since my bus has no bathroom???

What JR said + a little
Send me an email & I can answer your questions.

A rally is a planned event where there is structure & someone knows what is going on & where.

At a non-rally there is little in the way of planning, so plans don't get in the way of a good time.  ;D

Also, there is no requirement that you have to be in a bus at a bus rally, you just have to have an interest in buses.  ;D