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Biofuel Frank 03-20-2016 09:12 PM

Tiny House School Bus- Need Ecomodding ideas inside and out
Hello all! Later this year I will be going of to an out of state college college to pursue a degree in agricultural engineering specifically biofuels (hence my user). Since I'm going out of state this is going to severely hurt me lovely wallet for years to come. I've been giving post college life a lot of thought and figured that a school bus converted to a personalized living space would really work for me, because it is cheap, mobile, and efficient (we can use that loosely in terms of moving the bus). I'm reaching out to you all for ideas on how to make the bus both efficient inside and out. I've been to some other sites that deal with tiny house living/school bus conversion, but their intentions aren't always made with the Ecomodding mindset. And from reading on these other sites half the people aren't all that intelligent were as here you have to be to do some of the amazing things people have come up. So that's why I'm posting it here and not on the other sites.

oil pan 4 03-21-2016 01:35 AM

Here is some info on bus aero.
Note the bulge just behind the leading front edge. On another post that I cant find I believe the bulge alone increased fuel economy 5% at highway speed.

Have you thought about heat storage? Just storing hot coolant in a hot water heater for warming the air or heating water for sink or shower use.

Solar is another one. Lots of room on the roof for solar.

Biofuel Frank 03-21-2016 08:38 AM

I have been thinking about both I'm really fond of a small woodstove for heating both water and the air. My main concern is cooling. I would really like to have a battery pack of 10 (120volt service) and a small rooftop AC. I would use this when evaporative cooling and fans can't do the job. I also planned on having both solar panels and solar water heaters to supply power and hot water in the summer.

Fat Charlie 03-21-2016 10:10 AM

Insulation is your friend, both for heating and cooling. Insulation, a light color and keeping the sun off of the bus will help a lot for cooling. You'll need some sort of rack to mount solar equipment on the roof, making it to allow for some sort of fabric sunshade as well will work wonders.

If you have headroom to burn, lowering the insulation and venting the space above it would make the bus roof into a sunshade that wouldn't hurt your aero or need to be disassembled every time you move.

oil pan 4 03-21-2016 11:03 AM

Where are you going to be?
Evap coolers don't work so well every where.
For them to kind of work they need to be used where relative humidity is 50% or less.

If you want to use battery power, then 12 batteries in series is not the way to go. Most solar power battery systems use 12, 24 or 48 volts.
There are few things that can be powered off 120 volts DC, also 120 volts DC presents an extreme arcing hazard.

Ecky 03-21-2016 08:50 PM

In terms of getting better fuel economy, I would look into some of the things that freight trucks are using:

-Trailer tail
-Side skirts
-Smooth wheel covers in the front
-Adjustable grille block

You can see some ideas here:

Definitely insulate. It goes a long way in terms of climate control.

MobilOne 03-22-2016 02:37 AM

Why not move to the state where you plan on attending college and work there for a year. Take up residency and then get in state tuition. That should be worth many $$$.

Xist 03-22-2016 03:56 AM

Some students never obtain residency where they attend college, which baffles me, as well as going to another state when there is a perfectly good program near home.

Frank Lee 03-22-2016 07:28 AM

IMHO school busses never had excess headroom.

bryn 03-22-2016 10:41 AM

do you have the school bus now? a rear engine city bus with a low floor and standing head room might have a better frontal area and be a better platform overall.
also if you are thinking of a wood stove i would stick with a diesel engine. sounds like a fun project i look forward to progress updates

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