Episode 8 - Removing a ceiling

panel and progress on the

generator cage

My plans for the skoolie include removing all the sheet metal wall and ceiling panels so insulation can be sprayed in. One of the selling points of the bus when I was checking it out in Georgia, was that the ceiling panels are screwed in place, not riveted. Rivets are common in school bus ceilings, and other skoolie owners report what a hassle it is to drill or grind off hundreds of them. Screws are so much easier to remove, but there are still obstacles. In this episode I tackle them. The second part of the episode is about sources of electricity on a skoolie. I’ve already bought six solar panels to mount on the roof when the weather allows. But it they are aimed wrong, under an inch of snow or the bus is sitting under a tree, they don’t generate much electricity. Early on I decided I want an onboard gas generator to charge the batteries as needed, and to run an air conditioner in the absence of shore power. I understand that Honda generators are the top brand for reliability and low noise, but they have a price to match. I settled on the Predator 3500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator from Harbor Freight tools. It’s well reviewed and pretty quiet. It’s a true sine wave inverter, that won’t fry delicate electronics. Harbor Freight must sell a ton of them, because you can buy a third party kit to convert it to propane, and a third party kit to add a remote starter. Designing and building a means to mount it on the back of the bus has been a really challenging project. Of course it has to be securely mounted. Because of G-forces resulting from the bus going over bumps, I think everything on the bus should be designed to carry twice the weight of the payload. The generator housing also has to have enough airflow for air intake and exhaust, and to prevent overheating. But the generator should not just be exposed to the elements. That’s some balancing act. The housing has to deter theft, but make it easy to slide the unit out for maintenance and fuelling. And the electricity has to be securely conveyed from the exterior of the bus to the interior. In this episode I show how I am beginning to address these challenges. Click the image below to see episode 8 on my YouTube channel. And while you’re there, click the Subscribe button so you don’t miss subsequent episodes.
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