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Author Topic: let me see if I got this straight.  (Read 5393 times)
chazwood
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« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2008, 06:14:56 PM »


  Chazwood,

   I believe this is where somebody is supposed to say

   A well insulated bus can save a lot of energy Smiley


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I am very close to having the whole bus foamed....which is why I was putting feelers out as to what wires I would need to bury in the foam...It's almost as if you need to have hind sight, to do it right. Angry

I wish someone would invent a propane air conditioner....then I could have a total propane system.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2008, 06:17:56 PM by chazwood » Logged

1992 MCI 102c3
Cummins l10 / Allison auto
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skipn
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« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2008, 06:19:08 PM »



I couldn't agree more but look on the bright side I spent 6 months debating
 with myself (and lost)

  So I will go with my grandads philosophy
   Over build today so it will meet tomorrows needs (hopefully......a maybe if the creek don't rise)

  Skip
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chazwood
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« Reply #32 on: March 05, 2008, 06:25:04 PM »

The design and planning of an electrical system cannot be done on a discussion board. There are just too many variables. Many here will help as much as they can and there are some highly qualified people on this board and others.
 The first place to go is a bus get together of some type. Look at what other people have done, talk ask questions, everybody loves to help. You will be exposed to some of the best there is.
 Buy a book, this one is great,
                                             www.amazon.com/Living-Twelve-Volts-Ample-Power/dp/0945415052 - 167k

                            Only my Opinion Jim



Amazon....."we don't have this book in stock ,and we don't know if we will ever get it again"  Grin
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Nick Badame Refrig/ACC
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« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2008, 06:39:47 PM »

A Quote from Chazwood: I wish someone would invent a propane air conditioner....then I could have a total propane system.

Oh but there is.... but you may not be able to afford to put it in your bus!

How about a LP generator? that would solve your problem!

Good Luck
Nick-
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chazwood
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« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2008, 07:06:39 PM »

A Quote from Chazwood: I wish someone would invent a propane air conditioner....then I could have a total propane system.

Oh but there is.... but you may not be able to afford to put it in your bus!

How about a LP generator? that would solve your problem!

Good Luck
Nick-

An LP generator is as loud as a gas or diesel isn't it? The only hesitation I have is too much noise. I was hoping to be silent.
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Hartley
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« Reply #35 on: March 05, 2008, 07:49:58 PM »

A realist would do a design that would lead to a realistic and approachable
end result. I heat with LP gas and cook with the same. The problem is two-fold,
The price of LP Gas is rising rapidly and I have been burning over $100 a month
to stay relatively warm. The second issue is storage capability for LP Gas.

There are more Don't than there are DO's..

Electrical Power .. Hmmm... Diesel Generator is the only cost effective approach
in most cases. The reasoning is this;   LP Gas powered generators although quiet and fairly safe use a lot of fuel. Gasoline generators can be quiet and use a LOT of fuel per hour per kilowatt available. Say generally 1 gallon an hour. The need for a separate fuel tank system, filling that system and storage issues. Gasoline and LP engines need tuneups and usually carburetors that can be finicky. ( LP engines have a carb conversion ). LP gas Generators start around 1 gallon to 2 gallons per hour from what I have read. ( Note: A 20 lb LP cylinder holds approximately 4.5 gallons of fuel )
( Not counting that fuel lost due to the fuel guy charging you for a full fill when there may already be some fuel in the tank. ) The cost for LP Gas agents is tricky. They don't always go by the gallons meter, They use fill weight as imprinted on the cylinder.

Diesel powered generators large enough to handle most bus conversions use anywhere from 1 quart to 1/2 gallon an hour. Storage and tanks issues are fewer due to it using the same fuel that powers the bus normally, So dual pickups in the main tank are an easy option. Most are 7.5 kw to 15kw range. A Typical genset would be right in the 8 to 10 kw range for best efficiency. They can be very quiet but need special soundproofing to be effective.

An all electric coach would or should be all diesel. A hybrid setup would be Electric everything except the Stove and LP Furnace.. Everything else needs 120 volts or less.

I have 150 watts of Solar, Diesel Generator, LP Stove and Furnace, Primary lighting is all 12 volts, 3000 watt Inverter and 800 ah of batteries.

My plugged in power bill due to extra electric heaters and a couple of other things so far peaked at $360 a month. I unplugged a few things and reduce it to $250 this past
month. My LP usage has been right at $100 a month.

Over last summer my power was $178 a month...I guess I got more stuff hooked up now, Guess I will have to see what that is before I top $400 for electric....

Dave...... http://www.rvbus.net
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« Reply #36 on: March 05, 2008, 07:53:21 PM »

Hi chris, Great post, well laid out!

Hi chazwood.

Some folks run conduit inside the foam, instead of cable, so that changes, upgrades and repairs may be made without disturbing the ceiling, or too much of it.

Rough-in for more AC's than you are going to do, boxes in the pipe lurk in a mapped location if you ever want more, ceiling fans, lights, as long as you put in a good number of access points in your few runs of pipe, you can measure out and cut in neatly to add stuff.

Some folks run cable chases in the tops of the cupboards, and only put the AC wires in the ceiling.

Be sure to have a combination of lighting, AC and DC in the coach. If one isn't available, the other will be.

Lots of ways to easily make your generator quieter, do some archive diving here and at BNO, building a hush box, remote the radiator, remote the exhaust, spend a little or a lot on sound deadening materials.

happy coaching!
buswarrior

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« Reply #37 on: March 05, 2008, 10:39:22 PM »

Chazwood -


In addition to what others have said, IMHO. . . Only bury conduit for your a/c & lights in the ceiling's foam. Do NOT bury your wiring in the foam along the walls - use chases behind the cupboards right where the wall meets the roof, with plenty of access points for later changes.  Use drops for switches and plugs hidden in the back of cabinets, etc., not buried in the foam.

Now a couple of serious questions before you foam the interior.  Bear with, there's a method to the madness:

1>  Have you worked out your floor plan?  Mapped it out with painter's tape on the floor?  Mocked it up with cardboard boxes?

2>  If you have your floor plan worked out, have you figured out your plumbing runs?

3>  If you have your floor plan and plumbing runs worked out, have you drawn schematics for your electrical circuits?  Both 12vdc and 120vac?  (Note: don't run 12vdc in the same conduit as 120vac.)

4>  If you've got your floor plan, mapped out your plumbing, and drawn your schematics, have you sat down and figured out all your electrical draws so you know how many Watts of power you're going to need?

5>  Once you've got #4 figured out, now you get to figure out where you're going to put the sub-panels to handle the various loads you've calculated.  (Think about this carefully - do you really want to go outside at Oh Dark Thirty in the rain to switch from shore power to the genset when the campground's power goes out unexpectedly, it's still 85 degrees outside and Mama wants the A/C on?)

6>  Are you going to use the existing escape hatches for your A/C units, or are you going to cut new holes in the roof?  If you're going to cut new holes, you need to reinforce the area with steel supports between the roof ribs before you foam, too.


See where the method is to the madness in all of the above?


Dick Wright, of Wirco International, has a genset setup in his coach that is so quiet you can stand right next to the coach and not even know it's running - and it's a diesel!!  Inside all you hear is a quiet hum - low enough you have to ask if the generator's on.  So don't rule out a genset for boondocking just because previous experience has been with a noisy unit in the past.  And the diesel genset really is the least expensive way to generate power when you're off the grid.   (Why do you think most commercial emergency back-up generators are diesel??)

FWIW & HTH. . .

 Wink
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chazwood
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« Reply #38 on: March 06, 2008, 06:10:52 AM »

Wow! Who needs a brain? (I let the smoke out of mine long ago) I have you guys.  Grin Grin. Believe me I am devouring my manuals so fast I'm crosseyed half the time but it's great to follow in yall's footsteps. You all sound like you know where you're going.
I guess I was being a little to jealous of my inside space in wanting to bury as much wire in the walls and ceiling as I could. Silly. (But remember, I got 8 in this can of people.)

So I guess a diesel genset...(genset?..... why do we call it a genset?) Is the way to go.

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« Reply #39 on: March 06, 2008, 07:14:46 AM »

Chaz,
I very strongly urge you to take the time to look up and go visit with Mr. Fred Hobe of N. FL before you go much farther in doing your conversion! I guarantee that it will be one of the most valuable investments of your time that will pay off over & over as you go! If I remember correctly your in LA ( Lower Alabama) and he's in North Florida, so it shouldn't be that far of a jog (better make that drive), and if possible it'd be worth even more to you if ya did it in the bus. Then Fred could show ya what is what on it! Fred is very committed to helping others avoid doing the wrong things when converting their buses, and has plenty of experience to teach from! Even if it cost you $4-500 and several days of your time, in my opinion it would be worth that 50 X over in the knowledge you'll gain and from avoiding making costly mistakes in the long run! Now please keep in mind that Fred is by far not the only one who could/would be able to give you great advice, he is simply the best I can think of in close range of you! FWIW Grin  BK  Grin   
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« Reply #40 on: March 06, 2008, 07:53:14 AM »

Chaz,
I very strongly urge you to take the time to look up and go visit with Mr. Fred Hobe of N. FL before you go much farther in doing your conversion! I guarantee that it will be one of the most valuable investments of your time that will pay off over & over as you go! If I remember correctly your in LA ( Lower Alabama) and he's in North Florida, so it shouldn't be that far of a jog (better make that drive), and if possible it'd be worth even more to you if ya did it in the bus. Then Fred could show ya what is what on it! Fred is very committed to helping others avoid doing the wrong things when converting their buses, and has plenty of experience to teach from! Even if it cost you $4-500 and several days of your time, in my opinion it would be worth that 50 X over in the knowledge you'll gain and from avoiding making costly mistakes in the long run! Now please keep in mind that Fred is by far not the only one who could/would be able to give you great advice, he is simply the best I can think of in close range of you! FWIW Grin  BK  Grin  

I very much agree with BK on this.  Fred isn't too far away for you to spend a couple days with him and come away rich in bus conversion wisdom.

One point I haven't seen made in this thread (my apologies if someone has and I missed it) is that neither house nor engine battery banks should ever be run all the way down.  Conventional wisdom is that you should not drain them below 50% in order to maximize their life.
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chazwood
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« Reply #41 on: March 06, 2008, 11:10:11 AM »

I'd love to make that trip.......I will see if time permits.

In the meantime I'm still ripping up the front floors. Took out the steps ....you could grow corn in the dirt down there. What a mess.
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« Reply #42 on: March 06, 2008, 12:45:37 PM »

Chris 85 RTS, I must say talk about letting the smoke out, after getting only half way through your post the smoke was pouting out of my ears. I definitely had a short, but I keep reading and soon I began to lose my vision before I could get to the end. Now I know I've had two bad weeks health wise with the first week I had the head flu the second week I got the stomach flue and right in the middle I almost died at church during revival this past Sat. Thank God the men gathered around me, anointed me with oil and laid hands on me and prayed. Gods grace is the only reason I'm here today. I know I'm just weak and between your post and Russ's post I had to lay down, as you guys almost pushed me over the edge LOL. Very good info I'm sure I'll come back to reread when I'm feeling better.

WVaNative   
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Dean Hamilton Villa Grove, IL East Central IL. Near Champaign
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« Reply #43 on: March 06, 2008, 10:35:19 PM »

chaz,

i converted my coach, unlike you i found this board after i completed --FWIW i did a 20kw genset, yeah i know way to big, but i am in the genset business (large ones like 100kw - 500kw) for emergency back up for telecommunications, also i did the 5 ton air conditioning thing as basement air, needed the larger genset to help with big compressor starting.  with that said depandent on how you intend to use your coach spend a little more money and make it were you cannot hear you genset run -- buy one of those rv units that are encloused, pull and exhaust the air from the bottom -- insulate the bay you put in and you are good to go -- or buy a slightly larger unit, remote the radiator, put a small fan to vent this compartment (like a boat blower for an in board) and like was mention in this thread previously you will not hear it run -- my 20KW will run continuoisly with 25-50% load and burn less than 1/2 gallon -- with a 170 gal tank that translates into days -- say 4 days 50 gals (even at 4.00 =200.00) and you run anything you want anytime you want (ac, cook, lights, do what you want when you want, no watching guages, saving battery banks) if you use your coach 5 times a year that is 1,000.00 ... you will spend that on one trace inverter -- not to mention the batteries -- then wire a couple of lights to that bank forget about them dischagre you batteries completely and go and buy new batteries ... for full timers yes -- for the way i do it -- buy a little diesel fuel and do not have to think -- for me total cost of owernship -- ease of use and greatest flexiablity meant leaving the genset running --

my suggestion --

david
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chazwood
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« Reply #44 on: March 07, 2008, 05:09:45 AM »

So...... what's the best genset? Grin
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