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Author Topic: Drivers AC Choices  (Read 4623 times)
Skykingrob
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« on: December 07, 2010, 07:35:57 PM »

Like many of you, I had to make the difficult choice of whether to keep the OTR a/c or not. For various reasons, mainly costly maintance, I removed mine. That has left me with trying to decide what to do and how to do it for options for drivers and co-pilot a/c while driving. Since much of the copper pipe is gone in the middle part of the coach (removed the evaporator/condenser and piping) and not being able to sweat that pipe back together without setting the bus on fire, I am leaning toward some type of front a/c system that is electrical rather than a bus engine driven compressor system. For example, I have a Toyota Prius that uses an electric a/c system. It works very well so, I went to eBay to see if there were systems removed from other Prius that could be put into the front of my bus and if so, what would it cost and how would it work. It remains an option but am not sure it is big enough for a bus and the cost is pretty high at $1000-1400 for a small unit. I know about polar king, thermoking, red dot and some others but value the information you folks have stored up in your collective brains. I also think maybe some of you have done what I want to do and I could just steal your ideas without having to do all the investigative work myself!!! LOL
I plan to travel this whole country in the bus so will need varying cooling capacity such as little up north to max in the south. I like to be cool when driving. I have installed 2 Coleman basement heat pumps (total of 4 units) in the bus currently and could run them using the generator while driving but am looking for other options where I don't necessarily have to run them and generator while going down the road.
So, what say you about ideas.
Rob
91 Prevost LeMirage XL40
Missouri
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robertglines1
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2010, 07:46:50 PM »

wasn"t yours  equipped with factory drivers air with a separate compressor? If so you should have separate hoses run from front to back and a evaporator coil in the same compartment as the front drivers heat /defroster/ac. if evaporator coil is there and not hooked up you could run new hoses from the back to it and use a auto air compressor to feed system and add a condenser coil at radiator. ck and see it might already be there.  Both of my prevost had it. the 89 and 98. If small compressor is missing let me know I might have a extra(24 volt clutch)   The aux air/drivers air is 2 ton.  Bob
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 07:50:14 PM by robertglines1 » Logged

Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
TomC
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 09:02:23 PM »

I run my roof airs going down the road with the generator running.  Also have an electric 12v dash fan that blows on me-works very well-even driving into the sun.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2010, 03:42:41 AM »

I have an 89 Prevost, formally a coach not a conversion and it only has one big Carrier 05G compressor that runs the otr and the drivers area. Conversions may have it differently. I chose to keep my otr because I did not want to run the generator for my roof tops and what happens if the generator goes out, then your traveling in a sweat box. I also looked at removing the otr but then to replace it with something else comparable was thousands. Instead I had my otr fully gone over, with rebuilt compressor, system flushed and totally checked etc. Sure it cost me $4300.00 dollars but if it fails then I can still use the roof tops with the generator. I wanted some redundancy. Redot is great stuff but $$$$. This is just my view on the subject and as usual we bus converters do it our way, that's what makes us unique.
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Steve Canzellarini
Berlin, CT
1989 Prevost XL
belfert
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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2010, 03:59:01 AM »

I don't undertand the need for A/C redundancy.  Regular automobiles don't have backup A/C if the A/C fails.  I don't personally know of anyone with backup A/C for their home, but maybe it is done in the south.

We each do it our own way.  I would like to install driver's A/C for on the road with a small automotive type compressor, but it may never make it to the top of my list.  I don't really drive enough in hot weather to justify it. 
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
robertglines1
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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2010, 04:33:42 AM »

Steve the 89 was a seated coach when I got it and had drivers a/c. with separate air compressor.  I just retained it because it was there. The 98 also but it is a salvage Entertainer coach.   Bob
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 04:36:36 AM by robertglines1 » Logged

Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
Joe Camper
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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2010, 05:31:36 AM »

Belford if you ever been in a Prevo on a very hot day without OTR a/c or without it working and have even 1 of the 3 house airs go down too, you will understand the desire for redundancy. It ain't producing any happy campers.

We have it too and spent big doe fixing it and we too think it was worth it.

The only thing I would change it the drivers loop I would power it with a separate smaller second engine driven compressor so during the times the entire bus did not need cooling we are not forced to run that large compressor just to power the drivers loop. (spring and fall we live in Chi)

As for the thread If I were where you  I would install a good used inverter (I have a used 24v 2800w heart that would work great for 500 bucks) something dedicated specifically to running an a/c while underway, and I would put a 15000 btu roof a/c new (700 bucks) and this set up will under most conditions keep you pretty comfortable up front for not too much doe.


On a side note I run my cruseair off a smaller inverter (after many told me it was stupid to try) a 2500 w Heart. The cruisair pulls 12 to 14 amp depending on fan speed still leaving me  6 or 7 spare amps for other continuous loads like the TV/DVD and other misc small draws.
  
Sorry for the shameless plug Roll Eyes
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 06:07:31 AM by Joe Camper » Logged

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eddiepotts
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« Reply #7 on: December 08, 2010, 05:40:44 AM »

You might want to try these guys. http://www.classicautoair.com/  I have never used them but they have been doing custom air for years. You might be having to install a drivers curtain to reduce cubic feet of cooling area. I do not think you will find anything that will cool the whole bus.
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bottomacher
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« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2010, 05:41:21 AM »

If you look at the glass area that surrounds the driver's cage and add the fact that windows don't roll down, it's pretty easy to see the desire for redundancy. And summer happens, even up north.
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Mex-Busnut
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2010, 06:09:05 AM »

I am curious: How much horsepower does  typical OTR air conditioning system steal from your engine? I know on a typical automotive system, it can run from 10-25 horsepower.
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Dr. Steve, San Juan del Río, Querétaro, Mexico, North America, Planet Earth, Milky Way.
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Joe Camper
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2010, 06:21:30 AM »

 The factory otr compressor for ours is a 6cyl, 3 head, 10 ton 75000btu monster designed to keep 50 people cold on a 100 degree day. It holds 24lb of refrigerant.

I would guess it probably takes 3 times that much HP to power it.
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lostagain
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2010, 06:59:27 AM »

In the 5C, we run the front roof air off the 3000 watt inverter. Close the back louvers, and point the front ones at the driver and copilot. Works really well.

Maybe you could run a duct along the ceiling or along the sides below the windows to blow cold air at the front for driving.

In the Courier 96, which only had one roof air and it was too far back, I installed a roof mounted swamp cooler. I ran a 1/4" water line from the cold water supply to the bathroom sink to run it. Had to leave the water pump on for pressure. That kept us quite nice and cool up front as long as the weather is dry, would not work well back East in the humidity.

JC
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JC
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Jim Shepherd


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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2010, 07:56:13 AM »

Wow, the search feature on the main toolbar is really messed up!!  Wish we could get that resolved.  Folks need to be able to search past posts.  I went outside the forum and did a Google search and found this thread:

http://www.busconversions.com/bbs/index.php?topic=5273.0

As noted in that thread, this subject comes up a lot.  I started the above thread to detail my system.  It works quite well for most conditions.  We have the ability to close off the back half of the bus and that helps.  Our bus is not well insulated (roof insulation has not been changed from the standard crappy OEM insulation (yet)), but I am not sure that makes all that much difference with all of the glass up front as others have mentioned. 

Early on, I mounted a third roof air towards the front.  It is a Carrier that has the "shower" feature (can dump cooled air straight down) and I closed the rear vents so that all of the air was forced forward and down.  It did not do the job.  When I ran the second roof air it got us to a reasonable level, but not as good as we wanted.

The RedDot unit really does a great job, since we can direct the air where we want it.  I also plumbed the defroster into the back and can run both heat and AC to defog.  In that thread, I talk about using the AquaHot for the heat source - wonderful choice.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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Blog:  http://rvsafetyman.blogspot.com/
dougyes
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2010, 08:07:40 AM »

The MCI-J conversion coaches come from the factory with a 24 volt drivers ac mounted in the tire bay behind the bumper. 
A Prius ac unit will barely cool your arm pits in that green house we call the drivers compartment.
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robertglines1
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2010, 08:13:29 AM »

one thing we added in the 89 and will put in the 98 is a ceiling fan over the driver. It is a 20 inch 3 spd unit from Lowe's ceiling hugger.$45 in winter will pull heat of of ceiling to help balance out layering of temp. In summer will pull cool off floor past driver and passanger and help move heat from windshield away from front. is small enough that it doesn't present a headache area. I bought a 12volt clutch bogwarner from a truck wrecking yard(ac compressor) that will supply enough freon to the drivers air evaporator $45.  Also on front windshield I put a strip of mirror tint  down to 3 inches above the line of site Aprox 12 inches and covered the top small windows completely.Big difference. Just some possible solutions I have tried and was pleased with. Bob
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Bob@Judy  98 XLE prevost with 3 slides --Home done---last one! SW INdiana
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