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Old 08-06-2007, 09:08 PM   #43
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One thing Brad didn't say was that he just made a very nice fix to our generator/compartment by putting the generator on industrial slides. This makes it a lot easier to access for maintenance, etc. If/when you do decide to go with a generator, you should consider that kind of mounting.

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Also, our generator is on the passenger rear, under the twin bed. In our 20' Argosy moho, it is directly in the back, under the couch/bed. I am not thrilled with either setup (imagine trying to sleep with it running!), so you may want to consider other areas. Be sure to consider noise and heat. You should also consider muffler/exhaust routing in your plans -- you don't want to exhaust your generator right next to your door, or where you want to set up your picnic table, etc.

Susan
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:29 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by New2it
Sorry for jumping around - I wasn't sure if I should have a post for each "project" or just try to keep one long thread alive. I guess I thought people would stop reading a post after it has been there a while.
We wouldn’t miss this rebuild for the world.

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I tried to get a look under her today during lunch. But the heat index here in OK was about 107 with 10000000% humidity...
As my single AC deteriorates even further and the conditions in Little Rock closely duplicate Tulsa, I am even more envious of your 5 ACs.

Vaughan
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Old 08-06-2007, 09:53 PM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alumatube
Also, our generator is on the passenger rear, under the twin bed. In our 20' Argosy moho, it is directly in the back, under the couch/bed. I am not thrilled with either setup (imagine trying to sleep with it running!), so you may want to consider other areas. Be sure to consider noise and heat. You should also consider muffler/exhaust routing in your plans -- you don't want to exhaust your generator right next to your door, or where you want to set up your picnic table, etc.

Susan
If I had my choice of where to install the generator it would be in the front half of the coach with the bedroom in the rear. More often than not we would like to run the generator at night but the noise of the generator makes it difficult at best

Our old SOB had the generator up in the middle of the coach with the bed in back and it did make a difference.

Oh yeah, run the generator exhaust to the drivers side. You'll be glad you did

More food for thought!

Brad
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:24 PM   #46
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Love that slide out! Very cool idea! I might need to steal that one! After all, how are you supposed to adjust the valves on the inside cylinder in a closed compartment anyway without removing the genny altogether? Really smart.
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Old 08-07-2007, 05:49 AM   #47
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New, all of the "conventional" installations are fine but you can actually sling the genset under the floor without invading the coach interior space.
My Funeral Coach came with an inoperative engine driven A/C. The condensor coil was under the coach forward of the drive axle.
I started with a Generac 4.0 and have recently upgraded to a Honda 6010.
The Honda is a bit busy but I'm getting used to it.
Take a look at my photos or search the threads for Honda EV6010.
Gas is more efficient than propane and the cost is likely to equal out with use. A lot of room exists on your frame for a big LP tank.
Consider all the options...especially painting the roof a high reflective white.
Also consider what the insulation value is in your walls, most of our coaches lack insulation and have no thermal break between the outer skin and the interior. If you're redoing any walls this would be the time to address this glaring deficiency.
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:37 AM   #48
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Since you have so many A/C units, I have an idea (as everyone that knows me runs for the exits). Couple the two Honda Generator idea with the slides for accessing them, and get a Honda 3000i with electric start. You'll need to figure out a way for the exhaust to get out from inside the comaprtment without gassingy ourself in the night, but you could make it so the generator would be removable for other projects, allowing the generator to perform double duty at home as well as in the moho. The downside to this is you could probably only run one of the air conditioners with it, although paralelling two could be an option-if you are handy with your checkbook.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:45 AM   #49
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#1 Engine

How about putting one somewhere around the engine ?
Or making the 454 engine your genset ?
Would not want to idle all night, but would have some benifits.
I've seen the generators for tractors that attach to the PTO...
Bound to be a way to use one of those.

Yes, your gonna want to run those roof airs going down the road.
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Old 08-07-2007, 09:18 AM   #50
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We recently removed our dead gen-set and repaired the dash AC. As an additional aide I installed two DC fans at each corner of the windshield. Our thought was that we would be more than comfortable driving without the roof air operating, plus we drive mainly in the upper mid-west. Last week we took a 600 mile trip in 85 to 90 degree weather. The vents on my side of the dash were sufficient for me but my wife was roasting with her one small vent. We ended up with all the windows open, dust rolling in and the noise was beyond description. Yesterday I worked on the vents, closing one off to give her more air and rerouting another but I am afraid it still will not be enough. Down in the Tulsa area you will need the roof top AC. Our gen-set ran on propane from the factory we have a 100 propane pound tank. As for cost the dealer we were working with quoted me a price of $2600 for an Onan 4000 and approximately 3 hours installation. The 4000 will run one AC unit which is enough to cool my 28' coach. In fact we are now considering an even smaller unit to run just the one AC, maybe a 2000.
Good luck with your restoration and thank-you for taking ion this task. These old coaches are worth saving.
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:04 AM   #51
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Consolidated Threads

FYI, CanoeStream consolidated the various threads into this one for me so all the history will be in one place.
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Old 08-07-2007, 02:42 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by New2it
FYI, CanoeStream consolidated the various threads into this one for me so all the history will be in one place.
Excellent, one place to find everything about your unique project...
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:01 PM   #53
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Interim Solution

So, I'm thinking about putting an enclosed "hitch hauler" on the receiver hitch. Cut in a bunch of air vents. Add some fireproof insulation to the inside of the box. Install 2 Honda generators in series.

Here's my thinking: I can do this immediately w/o any fabrication to the MoHo's frame, floor or exterior. I can run the power cord to the hubble (sp?) connection at the back (the way they connected the trailered diesel generator). This way, I can have AC while I'm driving around, working on it, etc. And, I will still have time to think about the ultimate long-term solution.

I can always use the Honda's for back-up power source at home, etc.

Is there any reason I couldn't safely run these Honda generators (while driving) in an enclosed aluminum box (like the tool boxes in a truck) that is hooked up to the receiver/trailer hitch?

As for the floor. I'm researching an approach to scab-in the rotted places w/new plywood and belly pan. Also considering doing an overlay of plywood on the top of the existing OSB in an attempt to get rid of the sagging/softness of the OSB floor. I know this will add unnecessary weight - but it seems to be everyone's opinion that ripping the entire floor out is a huge undertaking/expensive. Thought I would try to call AS Corporate to see if they had any advice.

Thanks for the advice/opinions.
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Old 08-08-2007, 12:31 PM   #54
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You may also consider adding a single Honda EV6010 RV generator: Steadypower.com - Honda EV6010

I've seen generators "Added on" to the rear of older coaches before. Many were just work generators on a platform, open to the elements. Not pretty - but effective.

Again, you will not be able to power all five AC units (only two) on an RV generator (50 amps). Before you get into power generation, maybe you could let us know what your plan is for the RV.

Full timing? Weekending? Concerts or Tailgate? Commercial? A lot of decisions will become easier for you (and members can give you better advice) if we all know what your plan is for the coach. Once you share the goal, then it comes down to details like, how many people need to travel in it, sleep in it, etc. Will you need to boondock (off power) for a single night on a trip somewhere else, or do you plan to go on hunting trips for two weeks in the middle of state land?

All of this will drive your floorplan and systems requirements, and then you can build a solid list for the coach rebuild.
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:41 PM   #55
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I Intend to use this coach for...

This one is a bit complicated...

I have a wife and two boys (5 and 8yrs Old). We decided a couple of years ago that we were going to buy a used travel trailer and upgrade to a 3/4 ton pick up. I'd hoped to find a used AS. We felt like that setup would work best for us - family trip to Colorado, etc. We could setup camp, unhook the truck and have transportation to go check out all the tourist traps. Also felt like it would invovle a little less routine maintenance - I've always felt like anything I own with a motor has a lot more problems if it sits without being used regularly. So, I figured a MoHo would sit a lot and I'd have 3 times the number of batteries and tires to replace plus gummed up carbs, etc.

Then, I heard about this AS MoHo that was going to be surplused. My business partners and I have a competitive BBQ cooking team - we compete in a couple of KCBS sanctioned events each year (basically the events that are held in or near Tulsa). This is an all night afair. The events are held in the middle of summer and its hot/humid/unpleasant at night... Usually, we have a Texas Hold'em tournament that starts about midnight... We've been renting travel trailers as a cool place to sleep (we have shore power at these events). Anyway, one of my buddies who was at the event told me about this AS that would be perfect for playing cards, sleeping, etc. at the BBQ competitions.

So I checked it out and immediately fell in love with it. To me, this was a classic. To my partners and my wife, it was a big junker.

But, the more I thought about it, the more I wanted it. I realized I could fix up the exterior and put my company logo on it. I was/am confident that it would provide better advertising for my business (technology staffing co.) than any billboard or radio ad. It would really turn heads at the BBQ Competitions (all of which are fundraisers for high profile charities), OU/OSU/TU home football games and events like this. I wish I could use it right now to shuttle clients to and from the PGA this week!

Well, my partners just couldn't catch the vision - neither did my wife. So, I kinda let the idea die. About a year later (i.e. now) it finally went on the auction block. I didn't say anything to anybody. I put in a very small bid - and got it. Figured worst case scenario, I could sell it to someone for the components and actually make some money.

Now, my partners have seen the light. They are all talking about what they want to do with it or where they want to go in it (after I get it all fixed up). Well, I don't really like that idea - I'm afraid I'll be stuck with the maintenance and expense for upkeep - and they'll be using it when I want to use it (I'm a bit of a whiner when it comes to that kind of stuff).

Oh and now my wife thinks it would be really cool too. But, no logo or company name on the outside. Oh yeah, must have a bathroom, full kitchen, bedroom in back, pull out sofa up front, couple of barrel chairs, new driver/passenger chairs, etc.

I have a friend who is a custom cabinet maker - he is chomping at the bit to do a complete restoration. He sees the potential better than any of us. But, I'm not sure what it will cost in terms of materials and labor - I just know it could go $20k to $40k in the blink of an eye to put this thing in pristine condition inside and out.

Why do that when I could buy a used 345 that was a bit rough but already had the configuration for a traditional MoHo? At least it would have a basement for a generator!

So, here's where I'm at now. I'm going to keep it titled in my name. I'm going to put the company name/logo on the outside after I get a handle on addressing the exterior paint. Inside, I'm going to install twin beds in the back. I'm going to get a quote for installing a bathroom (keep in mind I need tanks, toilet, water pumps, etc. plus have to build the bathroom enclosure. Even if this is expensive, I plan to move forward with it. The front 2/3 of the coach, I'm thinking I will install fold out sofas. 2 new chairs for driver and passenger (still need to find a good place to buy these). install a generator. Install a nice flat panel TV.

With this configuration, I can go to tailgate homegames, host a poker tournament inside the RV, take some clients on a roadtrip to play golf at Karsten Creek, take the kids on a weekend camping trip.

I can use it for a while like this. If the family loves it, I can begin a phase II which would include kitchen, additional cabinets, changes to seating configuration etc. But, it wouldn't really be a lot of rework.

If the family doesn't use it and we feel like its too much of a pain to use it for client/company stuff, I can sell it to someone who would want to take it to the next level.

All I know is that it has been serviced regularly, has a new transmission and front-end and a bunch of ACs - it has value for someone if not me.

So, you asked what I was thinking and now you know! I hope this doesn't get me kicked out of the AS club - I know its not a true vintage restoration. But, ya'll have convinced me that a complete conversion to a MoHo would be prohibitavely expensive.

Please give me your honest feedback - I can take the criticism. FYI, I reserve the right to change my mind about my plans
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Old 08-08-2007, 08:08 PM   #56
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Now we're getting somewhere. I like the plan since you are, of course, talking about a plan that was similar to my own four years ago. I started out looking at buses to gut and build in RV into. We wanted it for family camping trips, two long vacations per year (NH and FL), weekend mountain bike trips and the occasional U of L or Churchill Downs trips with my buddies. Oh, and I needed to use it for the first two years for work, driving around visiting prospects to sell them our software.

We ended up choosing the AS over a bus in the end because I didn't want to create all of the systems required to turn a bus into an RV. Well, truth be told I “wanted” to, but I knew I wouldn’t. With a business to run, a young family to be part of and an admission that my eyes are bigger than my workshop I realized I would be one of those guys on BusConvesions.com with an MCI shell in my yard for sale at ten cents on the dollar invested. I also wanted something I could use right away and looked terrific…the AS fit the bill.

So we set about finding a used AS with those classic lines. In the end we bought our 345 very well used off the back lot of one of my RV dealer customers (I'm in the tech world too but in the RV industry)... and then we created a few "rules" for the renovations:

1. Don't do anything to the interior right away. Live with what is there. Then change/improve/modify the things that will fit our family; three kids (11,7,6), two dogs and two busy parents needed and to fit our actual use patterns (weekends trips close to home, two long 1000+ trips and lots of kids sized gear)

2. Get everything on the mechanical/safety/reliability list done first. (This turned out to take far longer on my coach as it was not well maintained)

3. Only tackle one "room" at a time and don't disable the RV during the renovations. Keeping it in service turned out to be very important as it kept family interest and my motivation engaged.

4. Don't move major bulkheads or system locations...leave them where they are no matter how badly you wanted to create a side aisle center bathroom floor plan.

5. Keep it on budget by re-using and re-finishing as much as possible to help bring the aesthetics up to our modern tastes. For everything else, do it yourself, take your time and pay for it with funny money from freelancing projects so it stays out of the “you bought a what for the what” budget committee meeting grilling I get from the family CFO on a regular basis. (If Momma ain’t happy, Ain’t nobody happy)

You have quite a tall order set for yourself with this one. If I were you, I would go as “temporary” and staged as possible until the RV finds its own use based on how you end up actually using it. Dropping 20K into cabinetry into a coach that doesn't have waste and fresh water tanks is not necessarily a great idea either so I would consider the following plan to support your goals:

1. Get it safe and sound. Fix the floor. Go through the mechanicals. R&R anything that would leave you on the road or ruin the BBQ party.
2. Add some temporary furniture. One of the downsides of my coach is that I could not use readily available furniture as almost everything hides something else (the sofa in the front of a 345 covers half the genny compartment). So everything had to be custom build (by me which took a lot of time).
3. Add some bulkheads to define the "spaces". These can be moved later. Maybe add a floor to clean up the look of the coach dramatically.
4. Go camping, go to a tailgate party, go to a BBQ in it, play porker in it....enjoy it early and start to create a mental list of what works on these trips and what doesn’t, then change it….move that bulkhead. Do you need a shower? What about a kitchen? Full RV 3 way fridge or small AC fridge?
5. Set a budget. You are almost talking about two motorhomes...one for work/BBQ/guys and one for the family. They each may require different floor plans and systems. You may find a "Luxury Limo" approach for the current motorhome is cheaper (small AC fridge, some sofas, a TV ,etc) and for less than the cost of cabinetry, another smaller (280/310) would suite the family. Now, of course, I'm not trying to talk you into two motorhomes...perhaps you stick to your original plan and your "AS limo" tows your "AS trailer" behind it (wouldn't that be a sight). Rather, my point is that take your time. Start using it early and figuring out what you need.

Lastly, I'll just tell you. While my own company paid for fuel over about 40K miles, I paid for maintenance and repairs. Perhaps you company should "own" this one and you "own" the other one.

Since you are from the tech business you know that a scope document is pretty much worthless at the beginning of a new project as the client and the vendor both know the least about what they really need or want. It's the same thing here. Go AGILE on this puppy, make incremental changes and decision as you use it…it will take a little longer, but in the end it will be exactly what you want.

In the end, we're four years into ours. We love it and finally feel like we're rounding the turn toward having the interior we want in a shell than generates thumbs up and honks from drivers everywhere we go. We made a lot of bad decisions and ended up correcting a few. But we have what we want based on how we "really" really use it vs. how we "thought" we would use it when we brought it home.
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