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Author Topic: Mistakes made when planning your coach  (Read 5023 times)
JackConrad
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« on: November 30, 2007, 05:27:43 AM »

I am going to try a project for Bus Conversions Magazine.  Please reply to the following question: "What mistakes did you make when you planned your conversion and what happened? Quickly explain how you 
fixed or didn't fix it!"  Hopefully the replies can be compiled into an article.  Thanks, Jack
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JackConrad
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2007, 05:30:33 AM »

I'll start with my own mistake.  I did not plan for everything that was added after the original plan was finalized. This has meant undoing much of what we built to install "unplanned stuff". So far everything has been do-able but has taken much more time.  Jack
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Growing Older Is Mandatory, Growing Up Is Optional
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2007, 05:32:24 AM »

I started with a 3000 watt inverter, too small, went to a 5000, end of problem.>>>Dan
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Utahclaimjumper 
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2007, 06:06:55 AM »

Gee, where to start  Cheesy

One that comes to mind was a place to store the sewer hoses. When I built my tanks, I factored in space for valves, filters, pumps, pressure tanks, but forgot about the dump hoses. I rectified the problem by building a separage box that holds the hoses, and mounted it in the unused space above the valves and in front of the tanks. It swings out of the bay on a single hinge mounted on
the end of the frame. Makes it very easy to get into, and keeps drips out of the bay. I put a drain line on the back end of the box and routed it out the floor of the bay. The box is mounted at a slight angle back towards the drain. Works well and keeps the bay
clean.

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Craig Shepard
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mak
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2007, 07:16:33 AM »

Item 1) On my second conversion, I though it would be cool to have all the breakers and control panel above the drivers seat, so it would look inpressive when you walked in. But what happen is I had to run twice as much wire to get it there, not just power, but wire to everything, Proably an extra 500 feet of wire, weight and cost. What a pain it was. Now I place the breakers and control panel above the refer, makes for easy short wire runs.

item 2) Another thing I did on my early conversion is  run wire and plumbing before I did my interior. I now plan and leave space for those items, but all electrical and plumbing is done after the rest of the interior is finished.
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Dreamscape
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2007, 08:23:25 AM »

When I made the initial layout for electrical 12v and 120v I did not allow for additions for later discovered needs and locations. Now I have to add circuits and wiring. I wish I had run the wiring after the basic interior walls were installed and the correct locations were determined.

What you think will work will most likely be moved, added or deleted. Especially as the years go by technology changes, size changes, more efficient units are available.

Thought I had the window leaks fixed before I started the insulation and progressing on the interior.....NOT.....Should have determined that first with a hose....Living in Southern California at the time I didn't have much rain to deal with, now I do even after living in Abilene Tx.

Paul

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ChuckMC9
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2007, 08:37:16 AM »

...when you planned your conversion...

What Planning?! Smiley LOL
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rcbishop
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2007, 07:46:40 PM »

Are you kidding, Jack???  Smiley Most of us don't make mistakes...just adjustments, right?  Wink  In my own case, I usually do something, live with it a while, then "nail it"....or change it.  Intentional. 

I have worked on my conversion for 5.5 years and have changed a few things, but for the most part am pretty well satisfied with the original plan.

 What was changed?. For example, I have added lighting, but had plenty of wiring in place to do it.  I used 7 wire trailer cable for all 12 volt. ( Waytek)  Used the original chase above the windows down each side for all 12 volt.  Ran 120 volt at floor level or thereabouts. Therefore, up from the floor for 120; down from the chase ( or up as required) for 12 volt.

The Webasto has it's own 12 gage, 4 wire cable that runs in the chase ( also 12 volt, of course). I changed the location of the unit by a couple of feet,  but since the wiring was in place, not a significant move.

I added lighting in the closets and pantries that would automatically come on when the door is opened, but again, since the cables were in place, all 12 volt, not a big deal.   

Have also put in diverter valves at the lav and sink to run unused "hot" water to the original tank until it is hot enough to use at the faucet.  Not a big deal and well worth the expense. Takes getting used to by way of counting, or whatever, but saves mucho water.  We do not drink from the tanks, so the fact that hot is returned to the supply tank is no problem.

Many more things we have "changed" in one way or another, but in my few years of experience in renovating properties, (60 +-) it is just standard procedure to build it so that if can be changed easily, by someone if not by me. There is never ( my humble opinion) a perfect way....just fine for the moment. Refinement is just part of my makeup, I guess.

FWIW

RCB
'64 Crown Supercoach (HWC)

 
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NewbeeMC9
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« Reply #8 on: November 30, 2007, 08:15:58 PM »

Planning??

I bought a previous converted coach and skipped strait to the repairs/tweaking.  what better way to figure out what you want then by using it.  This was also my first RV, so i couldn't have had a clue about planning it anyway.
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ChuckMC8
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2007, 03:29:50 AM »

I should have planned to buy a 10k gallon diesel storage tank and bought that fuel at $1.25 so now I could ride in my finished bus.
   I just cant afford the $3.50 fuel.... Sad
  I know, wah wah wah ......but who would have started the project knowing what fuel is now costing?
What about when the price doubles again? I guess I'll underpin mine and put skirting around it...........
« Last Edit: December 01, 2007, 06:27:35 AM by ChuckMC8 » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2007, 07:49:23 AM »

Being in warm weather all the time I did not install a heating system, (just blue flame and electric) now it will be harder to do.
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Terry
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JackConrad
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2007, 07:58:04 AM »

Being in warm weather all the time I did not install a heating system, (just blue flame and electric) now it will be harder to do.

Tell me about it. I am in the process of installing a ProHeat system in our fully converted coach at this time.  Jack
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Jerry Liebler
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2007, 09:23:12 AM »

As others have said. Where to start?  I was convinced 'portable' heat pumps were the way to go.  WRONG the manufacturer simply LIE about the performance. I ended up patching the holes I made to vent them and duct air into their condensers and replacing 2 of them with a ductless minisplit.  In installing the indoor portion of the minisplit I now wish I'd have put it on the curb side rather than behind the driver.  This wish is because where it is now the copilot gets the coolest air, if it was on the other side it would be the driver (me).  But the 18,000 BTU/h ductless minisplit is awesome, it cools the whole bus even while driving in 95 degree sunny weather and does it on only 13 amps of 120 which the inverter, and bus alternator,  comfortably supplies.  I started out using carpet for the living room but like the 'Pergo' now there much better.  I  thought I could use a 'taste and odor' (carbon block) filter on the whole water supply, bad idea, too much pressure drop for RV pumps. I now just have taste and odor filter on cold water in kitchen only with much better shower pressure.  Also great improvement in water flow by using the new Surflow 'extreme' pump rated at 5.7GPM. 
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120
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TomC
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2007, 10:59:54 AM »

One of the reasons I bought my bus was the big windows.  I did remove the windows that would be covered over, but kept the rest.  It made for a difficult replace to Peninsula windows.  I wanted to use double pane, but because of the shape of the window opening, ended up with single pane screwed from the outside with no vanity ring inside.  I've since made the interior window complete with rubber molding.  In retrospect, I should have just sheeted the entire side and then recut windows to fit the windows I wanted. But-I do like the windows I have now.
Also, make sure you provide for additional items you want to add later.  About a year ago I ran 5-3 wire extension cords of different colors from the engine compartment to the drivers compartment.  Since I have an engine cradle that can be removed with the engine/transmission and radiator as one, I wanted the wiring also to be easily un plugged.  I cut the male end of the plug 5 ft from the end, then mounted the plugs near the engine fire wall so now I just have to unplug the extension cords and can easily replug them back together since they are colored differently.  So far I've powered my cruise control and tachometer with the new wires. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
1989, MCI 102C3, 8V92T, HT740, 06' conversion FMCA# F-27317-S "Wife- 1969 Italian/German Style"
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2007, 04:54:55 PM »

Hi Guy's,

The next bus, I will run extra wireing to all the bay's. 12v and 115v.

As it stands, I have one 115v outlet on the outside in the patio area, and nothing in the bays. That was a big mistake! I wish I roughed in

outlets in every bay for general purpose use. I can't tell you how many times I needed to run one thing or another. "power tools, heaters"

Live and learn...
Nick-

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