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Bus electricity TDO 3-9-04  
My friends and I just bought a 29 passenger carpenter school bus. We really want to power it up--outlets to run lights and other accessories. What is the best approach for providing the bus with electricity? Please help.
Re: bus electricity Andy 3-10-04  
You have 2 choices:

Inverter, This converts the existing bus 12 volts dc to 120 volts ac. A small inverter to run a TV, stereo or other small appliances is about $50. A large inverter can be very expensive and you must be sure you have a big enough alternator to power it. Also even a small inverter will run down your batteries fast if your motor isn't running.

Generator, This is a motor that generates 120v ac. This will give you the power you need without effecting your existing electrical system. You can get diesel,gasoline or propane generators.
Diesel- If you have a diesel bus you can use the same fuel, They last a long time but they are expensive

Gasoline- Gas generators are cheaper and very avalible. If you have a diesel bus it requires a second fuel tank.

Propane- If you already are using propane you can look into this. I haven't done much research on propane generators, but I assume they are a little harder to find and probably a little more expensive.

Andy
Re: bus electricity buster 3-15-04  
Look into the new honda generator/inverters. very hi-tech. a little pricey to buy but so worth it.
Re: bus electricity captain trips 3-16-04  
I have a new Craftsman 5000 watt gas generator that I replaced the fly wheel with one off a Craftsman riding mower and converted it to and electric start.
I am building a bracket to mount it under the bus and Im going to mount cooling fans pass air across the motor.
I was just using it out on the ground and "pull starting it but I like the idea of just pushing a button inside the bus and having power.
I also use a 700 watt power inverter to run the TV, DVD, and Nintendo while traveling.
Re: bus electricity David 3-21-04  
Look at how much AC power you will be using maximum, and choose an appropriate power inlet (30 Amps, or 50 Amps). You can install an inverter and a transfer switch to switch between inverter power and generator/outside power (such as RV electrical hookup).

You might consider using 12-volt lights throughout the bus. They're fairly bright and power efficient. Look at RV lighting and also checkout 12-volt compact flourescent lighting at various solar equipment dealers. If your lights run on 12 volts then the inverter doesn't have to run all the time. You'll conserve power. Inverters use typically 25 watts or thereabouts when running. We've been on solar for four years - in our home.

Look at what you will be powering. If you're into computers, a stereo, or other sensitive appliances you might consider a true sine-wave inverter. They're somewhat more expensive but are safer for your equipment. Look at Affordable Solar, Solar Discount, Backwoods Solar, and Windsun.

You can start out with golf-cart batteries - pair them up (they're 6 volts each) - two, four, six, whatever power you will need. Do visit the Backwoods Solar web site - there should still be a section on solar power and designing one to fit your needs. ProSine makes a 2500 Watt true sine wave inverter with a 100-Amp battery charger and transfer switch built-in which runs about $1600 or thereabouts.

I'm putting in two breaker panels; a standard AC breaker box for the 120V lines, and a Square-D box with DC breakers for all the 12-volt lines (refrigerator, water heater, inside lighting). Buy a book on electrical wiring or visit the local library. On my last bus I ran standard AC wire inside flex-metal conduit for added protection, inside the walls. I used GFCI outlets anywhere there might me dampness or water (kitchen, bathroom, outside). I found a lot of this at Lowes and Home Depot.

Hope this helps - good luck with your conversion.
Long trip/short bus TDO 3-17-04  
We own a 1989, 29 passenger bus. It runs on gas and houses a chevy 454. Our intention is to drive it on long trips 600-700 miles at a time. The bus doesn't have an overdrive so it raps out pretty high. It will do 70 easy on the highway, but it runs at around 4000rpm. Is this a concern for longevity of the engine. Is there anything of reasonable cost that we can do to lower those rpm's. Thanks for any response.
Re: bus electricity Sandeep M Chaudhari 8-8-04  
I am working as a lecturer in Ele ctrical Engg.[AISSMS College of Engineering,Pune-1,INDIA], I am teaching the subject Utilization of Electrical Engg.
I need information about BUS LIGHTING using inverters- Diagram, description. I will be thankful to to you if you can forward some material related to it,or adress of related websites

With Regards
........Sandeep
Re: long trip/short bus jim 8-13-04  
Greetings,
If your total weight with gear and people is significantly lower than the gross weight that the bus was designed to pull, you can probably change the differential gearing. If you have a front engine, rear wheel drive this is fairly direct but you will want a mechanic to install the new gear in the rearend housing as he will need to adjust the gear lash between the ring and pinion gears. That will lower your engine speed on the highway, but you will have less pulling power in first.

The bus was designed for 29 people. subtract that weight and the weight of seats and anything else that you are pullinbg out. Then add back in what you are putting on the bus.
Jim
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