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Author Topic: New member- Just bought a bus  (Read 3423 times)
ilyafish
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« on: August 10, 2008, 10:52:16 AM »

hey guys,

Just bought a 1983 mci mc 9 with my band to tour, it runs off veggie oil with a real nice veggie conversion kit. This is my first bus and i have so many questions, but will only ask the important ones. I have been eyeing one of these buses for years on ebay. finally i found a great bus from a friend that gave me a great deal that could not pass up.

My first Huh is insurance, i live in NJ so the insurance prices are high. wondering what companies are some of you out there using.

2nd question, I talked to my friend and he told me not to draw ANY power from the bus batteries. because i was just going to run a power converter off the 2 batteries in there.  what do I do to run the things i need 24/7, when living on the road, like refrigerator AC and TV. Do some of you guys use 2 or 3 deep cycles and run another alternator? because i dont want to have to run my generator all the time, just wondering what the alternitive is.

Thanks for putting up with my newbe questions. This looks like a nice board, im excited to learn from some of the veterans on here!

Thanks a Ton,

peach

p.s. i will post picture when i go pick it up the 15th Smiley

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Own: 1981 MCI MC9 w/
Veggie Oil Conversion
Live:  Flemington, NJ

1 Corinthians 9:19-22
Slow Rider
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« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2008, 11:14:12 AM »

Welcome to the insanity!!  You have found a great group of people who will be glad to help out.  We have a couple of members who live in NJ and will be able to give you some specific information.

Having a second set of batteries ( your house batteries) is a good idea so you don't drain your starting batteries and leave yourself stranded. 

As far as running appliances, you have many options.  You will have to look at the variables and what is best for you.  If your bus still has the original bus air conditioning you can use that while traveling and then other methods when you are parked.  Do you want to use a regular house fridge or are you interested in an RV style that will run off of propane or DC?  A television should run off of your house bank of batteries with no problem. 

Whether you chose rooftop, basement or mini split air conditioners, none of them will run for very long just using batteries.  If you don't have the original bus air you will need to run your generator to run your a/c.

As far as charging your house batteries, again there are many options.  At this point we will let the smart guys who can actually tell you how to make these things work take over.

Again welcome.  One thing you might consider is putting your location and what type of bus you have in your signature.  It will make it much easier for your questions to get answered.

Good Luck,

Frank
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The MCI has landed..... We are home.
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1976 MCI MC8
JohnEd
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« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2008, 01:17:27 PM »

Peach,

Food for thought:

1.  Your bus has a 24 volt system and a hefty alternator to charge those massive 24 volt batteries.  It makes some sense to use 24 volts for your "house" system.  Then you can charge them when underway from the motor alternator.  If you don't do this you will have to install a VERY large 12 volt alternator on your engine in addition to the 24 volt item.  These bats want 100 amps to charge up in any reasonable time.

2.  To keep yourself powered up on 120V AC you will need and "inverter" that makes AC from your bat DC.  You want a "good" one that puts out 120 to 140 amps of DC charge when connected to AC.  You NEED a 2.5KW inverter at a minimum and it needs to be a quality item.  Your cost should be from $550 to $800.  If you are going to run electronics such as TV and computer you will need a full "Sine Wave" inverter and then the price almost doubles.  The alternative is a "modified sine wave" unit and some of them "eat" electronics devices...I am told. 

3.  You will have a need for 12 volts for something.  Often a 12 v powered item will be way cheaper  that an identical item that uses 24 volts.  The device that makes 12 volts out of 24 is called a "Vanner equalizer".  You have to determin your 12 volt needs as the price goes up dramatically as you move up in current carrying capacity.

4.  You need over the road air conditioning.  Best is a compressor driven from the engine.  You can get enough AC from you inverter to drive two roof units but it will be expensive to purchase. 

Installation is extra and your milage may vary.(YMMV)

Just food for thought and to get you started on those more specific questions.

You were asked if you are going to use a home refridg. or were going to use an RV item powered by propane?  Answer that...if you can.

John
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Gary '79 5C
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« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2008, 02:50:45 PM »

Peach,
I am in Ocean City, but work in Camden If I can lend assistance in any manner.
You might want to do some short term ( immediate) planning & longer term planning as to what you need/want to accomplish in your coach. Funds may be limiting in that schedule,( they are in mine).

For an inverter you may want to check out Tec Power in Point Pleasant. This guy was very helpful and had great prices on refurbished equipment. His name is Chris, but phone number is at work.

Gary Pasternak
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TomC
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« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2008, 03:25:26 PM »

Progressive Insurance for RV type insurance.  I was going to tell you about my system, but my bus is straight 12v. Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2008, 04:34:47 PM »

i'd get a quote from a few insurance companies.  make sure you set the deductible as high as you can afford, like $1000 or more, which means you pick up the first $1000. of any claim.  get a statement of value of the bus from a "qualified" source and take pictures of the inside so you have proof of what you are carrying in case of fire/theft/accident.
we pay less than $500 per year, but i'm told ohio is a cheap state. we've got the bus insured for about $180k based on a "qualified" appraisal.

if you are using it for making money, like with a paid band, be careful of the insurance.   a business use is more expensive, but telling them its a motorhome may get cheaper insurance, but no coverage when they find out what it is, if you have an accident.  my agent is well aware of what we do with our bus.

we did just put in an inverter/charger with 6 golf cart type deep cycle 6v batteries.  2500w.  runs most of the things like phone chargers, tv, coffee pot, lights and water pump.  we don't try to run A/C, water heater, frig or any of our electric heaters.
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Tom
1991 Eagle 15 and proud of it.
8V92T, 740, Fulltime working on the road.

Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
ilyafish
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« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2008, 04:55:08 PM »

John,

Thank you so much for your response.  It helped a ton.  I now just need a little bit of help putting all that information together, since I am not too educated with electricity.  

So if I understood correctly what you have said, the most simple way to do this would be to make sure things like lights, fridge, microwave and any other appliances and so forth are 24v.  and just add up all the watts and purchase a 24v inverter sufficiant enough to power that.  and as long as things that are hooked up arent items like tv's and computers....modified sine wave would be okay?

Though my question with that is what do you recommend as a system for house power when the coach is parked?

Now with things like laptop chargers and cellphone chargers would i be able to run them off the 24v inverter as well?  because i am a little confused....as i look at my laptop charger it says ac input 100-240V.....like i said, i am very slowly beggining to process all of this math in my head as far as what will work and how....but seeing voltage other than 12 and 24 pop up is confusing me.

If it makes it any easier,  here is a list of what we will eventually need powered in the coach (none of which i have yet besides the fridge):

Lights: I plan on installing recessed lighting throughout the coach for the house lights
Appliances: Mini Fridge (which is home one, 120v), Microwave, Toaster
Electronics: Flatscreen TV (maybe 2 eventually), xbox, laptop and cellphone chargers, and i plan on wiring outlets in each one of the planned 8 bunks for things like portable dvd players, again cellphone chargers and so forth.


Ultimately, what i am looking for is the easiest and least complex, as well as cheapest route to do this successfully.

Again, voltage is confusing me a little bit....

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Own: 1981 MCI MC9 w/
Veggie Oil Conversion
Live:  Flemington, NJ

1 Corinthians 9:19-22
white-eagle
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« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2008, 07:42:17 PM »

this is somewhat off topic, but did you do the veggie conversion or get it in oberlin, oh?
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Tom
1991 Eagle 15 and proud of it.
8V92T, 740, Fulltime working on the road.

Fran was called to a higher duty 12/16/13. I lost my life navigator.
ilyafish
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« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2008, 08:31:05 PM »

the veggie conversion was done in Missouri.  The last owner had it done i believe by these guys http://www.goldenfuelsystems.com/  but i am not 100% positive
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Own: 1981 MCI MC9 w/
Veggie Oil Conversion
Live:  Flemington, NJ

1 Corinthians 9:19-22
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2008, 06:02:12 AM »

Not sure what was confusing, so I just pulled the whole post.

Glenn
« Last Edit: August 11, 2008, 09:50:04 AM by Tenor » Logged

Glenn Williams
Lansing, MI
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1968 MCI 7 Ser. No. 7476 Unit No. 10056
8v71
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2008, 07:22:50 AM »

Hey Tenor you might want to go in and edit that post before you really confuse the guy.
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Busted Knuckle
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2008, 07:37:43 AM »

Huh I'm so confused!  Huh   Lips Sealed  BK   Undecided
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Busted Knuckle aka Bryce Gaston
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2008, 08:14:20 PM »

Peach -- The entertainer buses run their generators 24-7 while they are on tour, shutting them down only once a week or so to change the oil.  I know that is not your preference, but it's the only way to have nice cold air all the time and to keep the refrigerators running.  (You don't want to be in the bus parking lot on the Warped tour, where you will find about 100 buses, all with their generators banging away.)  You do not say what type of generator setup you have, but if it is one of the larger diesel rigs putting out 12kwh or more, it should handle the long durations without a problem.  I don't have experience with long term running on smaller units or gas powered generators.  I often run my 15kw diesel for days on end without problems.

Bryan
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NJT5047
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2008, 08:40:47 PM »

Huh I'm so confused!  Huh   Lips Sealed  BK   Undecided
Huh Me too. I'll just sit here with you for a few.  Sooo confusedl Huh Shocked Roll Eyes Wink Grin
Thank you for letting me sit in your quote.  This is just so peaceful.  New buses are just fun aren't they?!  YEAH!!!   Grin Cheesy     Play dat muzik, collect dat money, and put it all in your gas tank!   Shocked Angry Grin    Party ON!   Love to everyone... Shocked Huh Roll Eyes   

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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
87 MC9, 6V92TA DDEC, HT748R ATEC

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ilyafish
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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2008, 09:28:32 PM »

now is it more efficient to buy a diesel generator and run that 24/7, or buy batteries that charge when you are in motion, and then draw from them when you are parked.

also, entertainer coaches that run generators 24/7....do those generators provide power as well for items such as lights and other small things that don't really draw much power....or is literally everything hooked up to those generators

-peach
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Own: 1981 MCI MC9 w/
Veggie Oil Conversion
Live:  Flemington, NJ

1 Corinthians 9:19-22
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