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  #21  
Old 04-01-2017
ourmefa ourmefa is offline
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Yes. Matt Champion pull his compost when he sold his sp.

I know little about a compost toilet. I think you have to keep the liquid separate form the solid waste. Right? So how often do you empty the liquid and where do you dump that? Next what about the occasional bout of flu or other types of introduction of semi liquid into the compost container? What happens if you have too much to drink and need a stool?
All great questions - and will defer to the tons of videos on Youtube about them. These are all topics covered by many lol.

The crux of all that you are asking are answered by this - you have to have a system for pooping and it is not hard. It is easily addressed in less than 5 every other day. Compare this to a black water system that takes 45-60 min every 3-5 days. I would prefer the daily routine. Yes, everyone will have to know how to pee and poop, but I honestly don't think it can be that hard. If you happen to pee in the poop, it is not a huge deal, as there are things you can do to minimize any issues.

Diet is a also a big part of this as well. As a family, we eat a lot of high fiber, well balanced organic meals. Mostly veggies. This results in more normal bowel functions which makes bathroom sessions a bit more predictable. As for sickness, well, we will just have to address that when it comes lol.
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  #22  
Old 04-01-2017
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The compost can be disposed of via burial - it is compost - and most state and national parks allow burial of compost. It can also just be disposed of in a trash container. Millions of baby diapers that are not bio-degradable are disposed of in this manner. Not much difference .. just a bigger diaper

Typically, most composting toilets are designed to accommodate a large biodegradable bag being placed over the toilet and tipped upside down. Some even have special notches for the back to hook on to the toilet. It is a really simple process and not as gross as everyone makes it out to be IMHO.

Disposing of 2 children and 2 adult "diapers" is nothing close to the size of a baby diaper.
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  #23  
Old 04-02-2017
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As a side note, all used cooking oil is recycled
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  #24  
Old 04-02-2017
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You mention removing a roof air and replacing with a fantastic vent. Will this leave you with two roof air units? Or Does this coach have CruiseAir units too.

If you are going to be spending time in hot summer weather you will need at least two workin ACs to be comfortable. Steel bus in sun and shade heats up like an oven in hot summer. Having three working units is a nice redundancy. If one goes down you always have two. Maybe consider adding an additional fantastic fan instead of removing an ac.

Also, although the FC is short on basement space, there is a lot of interior storage especially with the 35. Some have used the half closet forward of the entrance curb side for washer. Four people on one sink giving up privacy to make storage is a big deal. The kids grow fast and having a second sink and autonomous bathroom is a significant element for most. Think about it, mom or dad is rinsing the sprouts you grew up on the roof deck and child comes out of the bathroom with poo hands to use the one sink. Yuk factor right up there.

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  #25  
Old 04-02-2017
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Interesting thread. A few points (worth what you paid for them ) from someone who has almost 1,500 watts of solar with matching batts coming, and is running an all electric coach with all the comforts .

1. 60 days to modify? IF you're running/doing a Reality TV show with LOTs of help, maybe. Otherwise, add 20% to your time estimate, double it and then go to the next increment (i.e. Days to Months). Big mods take big time.
2. Thread seems poo obsessed when there are more pressing needs . Mostly TMI but eliminating TP from the black tank can extend off-grid time considerably with 3-4 weeks easily possible. With all that solar, have you considered incineration?
3. Although some love them, I say dump the not-so-Splendid idea (have one and consider it next to worthless). If full-timing you'll need the storage more. Search the WOG for manual options/"machines". Recall people with those who like them allot. Also, laundromats can be a hassle but you have the advantage of running as many machines as it takes and then being done in an hour or two. Besides, unless you're working on the engine (or composting toilet ), Levi designed jeans to wear for at least a week.
4. The Vintage BB Purists will be appalled by all your mods. But who cares? As you say, it's your bus and you've already stated "it's paid for". Do what makes you and your family happy.
5. In general battery capacity ah should = your watts of solar. With those BIG lead-acid batteries, your solar aray may be too small. Have you figured out whether or not the coach you are considering has enough real estate up top to allow 1500 W of solar? With 2400 aH of batts, you should figure on using that geny allot. IMO wind is over rated and not worth the effort, unless you plan on regularly off-griding in some very windy places.
6. Tech stuff aside, the cosmetics of how your coach looks is important. If you stay at non-public CG's even 20% of the time, finding ones that will accept a coach over 10 years old and visually "unique" might be a challenge.
7. Have you considered your insurance needs? Some companies will not touch modified schoolies. However, a regular purpose built Wanderlodge is typically no problem.
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  #26  
Old 04-02-2017
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Disposing of 2 children and 2 adult "diapers" is nothing close to the size of a baby diaper.
LOL, this is true. But having been through two kiddos and the wonderful world of diaper changing, I would bet that the diapers generated in a day would outweigh what is left by the same two kids today, LOL. I think at one time, we would go through 8-10 diapers a day sometimes
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  #27  
Old 04-02-2017
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You mention removing a roof air and replacing with a fantastic vent. Will this leave you with two roof air units? Or Does this coach have CruiseAir units too.
It does not have CruiseAir. Just the three 13K BTU roof units.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NH Bill View Post
If you are going to be spending time in hot summer weather you will need at least two workin ACs to be comfortable. Steel bus in sun and shade heats up like an oven in hot summer. Having three working units is a nice redundancy. If one goes down you always have two. Maybe consider adding an additional fantastic fan instead of removing an ac.
I completely agree with the backup scenario, and that maybe the way that we go. We will have to see how it does in real use lol. Whatever direction we go with it, we will always have one unit in storage, packaged and ready to ship too us in the event that we have to replace one.

Here is the part that does not make sense though when I look at the numbers.
Based on the BTU calculations I have been able to come up with, the interior space is about 1900 cubic feet (lower if you remove a lot of the enclosed spaces), and assuming a poorly insulated space with windows and lots of sun exposure, my numbers show that we will need about 7000 BTU to lower the temp 20 degrees.

With 13K BTU we should be able to drop interior temps about 30 degrees. If our target temps are 70-80 degrees, with occasional highs up to 90 degrees, we would only need the lower number to make the interior comfortable. At 13K BTU, we have almost double the available cooling ability.

Am I missing something?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NH Bill View Post
Also, although the FC is short on basement space, there is a lot of interior storage especially with the 35. Some have used the half closet forward of the entrance curb side for washer. Four people on one sink giving up privacy to make storage is a big deal. The kids grow fast and having a second sink and autonomous bathroom is a significant element for most. Think about it, mom or dad is rinsing the sprouts you grew up on the roof deck and child comes out of the bathroom with poo hands to use the one sink. Yuk factor right up there.
I had not considered what you have written above about the sink. Thanks for the helpful input. I think it could be pretty easy, even if we do the bath modification, to include a small hand washing sink.


Quote:
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  #28  
Old 04-02-2017
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Based on our experience, if you can manage to stay in 70-80 degrees what you are saying regarding cooling with 13k say is somewhat true. That is if you are in shade or at night and assuming you have some additional fans (floor blowers are good) to move air around. However, even in those temps if you've been running down the highway for some hours or parked In the sun it's gonna get hot and one won't be nearly enough. Even though they are insulated, the bus is steel and will convect heat to the inside. Even at 70 degrees it will get pretty warm inside.

The summer of 2012 we ran Route 2 (Canadian boarder) from New England to the Pacific Northwest. For weeks the temps never went below 90 during the day. Not until we were west of the Cascades did we get relief. I wouldn't underestimate your need for good cooling; both in terms of ACs, and for the 3208 too.

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  #29  
Old 04-02-2017
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It does not have CruiseAir. Just the three 13K BTU roof units.



I completely agree with the backup scenario, and that maybe the way that we go. We will have to see how it does in real use lol. Whatever direction we go with it, we will always have one unit in storage, packaged and ready to ship too us in the event that we have to replace one.

Here is the part that does not make sense though when I look at the numbers.
Based on the BTU calculations I have been able to come up with, the interior space is about 1900 cubic feet (lower if you remove a lot of the enclosed spaces), and assuming a poorly insulated space with windows and lots of sun exposure, my numbers show that we will need about 7000 BTU to lower the temp 20 degrees.

With 13K BTU we should be able to drop interior temps about 30 degrees. If our target temps are 70-80 degrees, with occasional highs up to 90 degrees, we would only need the lower number to make the interior comfortable. At 13K BTU, we have almost double the available cooling ability.

Am I missing something?



I had not considered what you have written above about the sink. Thanks for the helpful input. I think it could be pretty easy, even if we do the bath modification, to include a small hand washing sink.
Maybe reality? Nothing against engineers, because some of my best friends are engineers, numbers crunching and the real world sometimes are two different things. My coach is a little bigger than what you are working with, but let me say that I have been in situations where three A/Cs going full bore barely get the job done. When it gets hot, unless you are free enough to avoid the heat and move to a cooler area, you will need three A/Cs. If your lifestyle is anything but sub-human, going in and out the door especially with a couple of kids, 4 hot bodies inside, cooking going on, the list is endless, there will be times when you will need three. Bluebird didn't put three on the roof just because they thought they were aesthetically pleasing. They put them there because people want to be comfortable. Not to mention that some people at night hate the sound of the A/C going over their head in the bed, so they use the front two for a little more quiet. The list goes on and on. You should really consider using one as it was built first and then made your changes, based on how this works or this doesn't work for you. You may find out you have a lot less changes to make and save you some valuable time and money. Buy one, move in, travel, then come to a decision. You may very possibly come to the conclusion that I have made more out of this than I should have. But you also, may just say, wow I wished we had those thee A/Cs or a bigger bathroom or a second sink or whatever. While I think of it. Are any cold weather trips or stays in your plans? You want to rip out the black tank and put in another fresh water tank. Why do you suppose they put the fresh tank inside the coach? The black tank is exposed to extreme cold weather because if you have to you can throw some salt in the toilet and keep the stuff from freezing. Can't do that with fresh water. Just something else to think about. I sure don't have all the answers, but I have used my bus for quite a while, before I chose to make changes that were not only practical but an upgrade and made our use of the coach much more comfortable. I'm not a purist and think you should be able to do anything you want with whatever you paid your hard earned dollars to buy. So don't misunderstand where I am coming from here.
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  #30  
Old 04-02-2017
ourmefa ourmefa is offline
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Interesting thread. A few points (worth what you paid for them ) from someone who has almost 1,500 watts of solar with matching batts coming, and is running an all electric coach with all the comforts .
Would love to know more about your setup. Will probably hit you up with a PM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoGas View Post
1. 60 days to modify? IF you're running/doing a Reality TV show with LOTs of help, maybe. Otherwise, add 20% to your time estimate, double it and then go to the next increment (i.e. Days to Months). Big mods take big time.
Good info to take into account. We have a list of things based on priority and we will tackle what we can in the time we have. If we come up short, the things at the end of the list will be addressed as we travel. I will be doing carpentry work as we travel, specifically for organic farms, family and friends. This should allow me to tackle some parts in small pieces over our trip duration.

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Originally Posted by NoGas View Post
2. Thread seems poo obsessed when there are more pressing needs . Mostly TMI but eliminating TP from the black tank can extend off-grid time considerably with 3-4 weeks easily possible. With all that solar, have you considered incineration?
I had not considered this. Do you just have a trash bag in the bathroom to address this? Not sure if I could get the wife on board with that lol. We will definitely have to address the copious amount of TP we use, lol. Someone in another forum suggested switching to wet wipes.

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Originally Posted by NoGas View Post
3. Although some love them, I say dump the not-so-Splendid idea (have one and consider it next to worthless). If full-timing you'll need the storage more. Search the WOG for manual options/"machines". Recall people with those who like them allot. Also, laundromats can be a hassle but you have the advantage of running as many machines as it takes and then being done in an hour or two. Besides, unless you're working on the engine (or composting toilet ), Levi designed jeans to wear for at least a week.
Yeah, the washing machine is an up in the air thing for sure. We would not go with a full blown washer and dryer, but rather a spin dry low water use setup. They are pretty cheap, not very big and can run on 12V. With that scenario I think we could just store it in one of the closets.

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Originally Posted by NoGas View Post
4. The Vintage BB Purists will be appalled by all your mods. But who cares? As you say, it's your bus and you've already stated "it's paid for". Do what makes you and your family happy.
I completely respect the purist perspective. There is part of me that says we should go the restoration direction because the coach is in really good shape, but at the same time, I don't honestly think that anything we change or update is going to cause the coach to go down in value. And for us, that is the key point. We chose the Wanderlodge, because unlike other RV's, it will likely retain its value if it is well cared for and possibly even go up in value given the large number of people that are going on the road full time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoGas View Post
5. In general battery capacity ah should = your watts of solar. With those BIG lead-acid batteries, your solar aray may be too small. Have you figured out whether or not the coach you are considering has enough real estate up top to allow 1500 W of solar? With 2400 aH of batts, you should figure on using that geny allot. IMO wind is over rated and not worth the effort, unless you plan on regularly off-griding in some very windy places.
Thank you for catching my mistake, that should have 400AH of batteries. I think I fat fingered the 2 in the front.

The idea was to have 2x+ solar than batteries. I read in a post that this is a good rule of thumb. Would you agree?

The bird has been retrofitted with all LED lighting, which reduces a huge part of the electrical load on the bus. Additionally, we will not have hardly any 110 devices on the bus. We are specifically targeting everything to run off of 12V. The only exceptions will be an induction hot plate (have not found a 12V yet) and a few low wattage electrical items. The hope is that we can run off of 12V about 90% of the time. We will likely switch out the hot water heater for an instant system that can run off of 12V as well.

I am curious about your thoughts on wind generation.

I have only just started researching this, but it seems viable given we will be in a lot of areas where there are not many trees or the average winds are higher than normal (NW, coasts and open lands).

I have a buddy who uses two Primus AIR 40 Turbines ($849+shipping) with his RV. They are 200W marine units (Approx. 40 kWh/mo at 13 mph) on two 15 foot poles attached to each corner of his RV (providing about 25' of total height to the top of the mast). He deploys them in about 15 min and they generate an average of 5A/hour at 12V pretty consistently. Over 24 hours, that is about 120A produced continuously. He told me that average wind speeds are between 10-17 mph over the course of a month. He spends much of his time on the West Coast and in the Pacific NW. He uses only one 260W solar panel and indicates that he only has to run a genny when he needs to cook with electric.

This seems like a great way to keep batteries topped off anytime we are parked. The big thing I like about wind generation is that when solar is not working, wind typically is at peak production (i.e. clouds typically mean wind).

I did a some research on this particular unit and it seems to get great reviews and produces power as advertised. It is really lightweight (13 lbs), which is a key factor for having something that is easily deployable. My thought is that it would not be very difficult to install a mast on the top of the bus that runs the full length of the roof line and use an electric actuator or winch to push the mast up. I can design the mast so that it pivots from the front and overhangs the back just enough that we can attach the turbine from the rear of the bus.

This is similar to my buddy's setup except that his in reverse. The masts run from the rear of the RV forward along the roof line. Each mast is 15' in length. Add the 10' for the RV height and he has his turbine 25' in the air. At the rear, the masts are in a rotation bracket that is attached to a small winch unit on his bumper. He attaches the wind turbine to the top while the pole is in the down position but slightly raised. Once everything is ready, he then turns on the winch, which raises the mast. He then attaches two cross bars to each mast (~3' in length), attaches and tightens two guy wires (~8' in length) to each and inserts a locking pin in the hinge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoGas View Post
6. Tech stuff aside, the cosmetics of how your coach looks is important. If you stay at non-public CG's even 20% of the time, finding ones that will accept a coach over 10 years old and visually "unique" might be a challenge.
I completely agree on the cosmetics aspect. I plan to do everything I can to make sure that the aesthetics of the modifications keep the look clean and not raise any eyebrows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoGas View Post
7. Have you considered your insurance needs? Some companies will not touch modified schoolies. However, a regular purpose built Wanderlodge is typically no problem.
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