WELCOME TO RIVER DAVES PLACE

Converting a MCI bus into an RV...

RVR SWPR

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If you have time.Hershey Chocolates tour. Kids will never forget the day they toured Hershey Chocolate.If open?
 

Ol Man

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Now that you have been able to enjoy it for a while, can you make comments on:
1. Driveability. Are you happy with the handling. Ride comfort.
2. Passengers while traveling. How is the family enjoying the seating, walking around, etc.
3. Floor plan. Is it working like you hoped.
4. A/C's. How are they doing on the road and at the campground..

From the videos, looks like you guys are having a wonderful time.
 

ka0tyk

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So some good questions…

AC on the road:
We chose to keep the two carrier AC units with the belt driven compressor on the motor. They work EXTREMELY well and we’re designed to keep 56 people cool… so for the four of us plus the added insulation it actually works really well. Even in high temps

AC stopped:
Our two furrion 15.5 units do great in areas where we see 80ish temps. Not that great when we were crossing AZ when we saw 120. Then again I don’t think three of them would have helped either. It’s just a large metal roof bus that gets hot in the desert sun. Not a big deal we don’t really care for vacations in 120* heat anyways.

What we still have to do:
When we left we had quite a few unfinished tasks… lighting system wasn’t complete and we had no running water. I never got far enough to even pressure test it. On the road first day I finished the lighting and water. We had a small leak with a bad pex crimp but easily just took off the clamp and redid it. Sealed up solid now 0 leaks. We didn’t have self water. The pump filter etc were all missing a few fittings just ran out of time. First dinner stop I ran into Home Depot and finalized that. We now have full hot water unhooked and hooked. Drains are good. Electrical has been done for a while and tested. We have ran our generator twice. Once at a party when we only had a 15a plug and we needed to run the AC and once for lunch at a park. It’s worked flawlessly and our 8 gal tank still is full.

shower has been great but we have a small leak at the retractable door. I sealed the inside with silicone but when the door closes there is like a self wiping strip and it runs down inside on the other side of the seal and leaks out. Not really a big deal so far I’ll apply silicone on the outside bottom and drill a small hole on the inside so it can drain. I am 100% glad we went with its size it’s been really nice not to have to cram in a tiny shower.

we are rethinking the kids bunk room drawers. They’re 30” deep and when fully open they block the center walkway. So it’s a little awkward to use. We will probably ditch them and go with a flip up bed like ours so we maximize the under bed storage… 77” wide 30” deep, 12” tall on each side. It’s a lot of storage room possible.

we need to finish our pocket doors, closet door, and upper cabinet doors. No biggie.

we need to finish the front drivers area.

kitchen wise everything is good.
Living room everything is good. Recliners have been great.

I want to put a new ac compressor and fan belt. Easy to do. Serp belt looks fine. Oil change obviously.

all in all everything actually has gone quite well. We brought probably too much stuff, that will get better with more trips and experience. It drives good, we avg about 10-11mpg currently. Not too bad. We have put in about $900 in fuel and we are currently in cape cod with a full tank 3000 miles away. Pretty impressive for our first trip.
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ka0tyk

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If you have time.Hershey Chocolates tour. Kids will never forget the day they toured Hershey Chocolate.If open?
we spent a day at Hershey park! Hot but it was actually a nice park! We have had Disneyland passes for a long time and I’d say they did a great job compared to like knotts and six flags (ghetto and filthy)

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Ol Man

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Thanks for your summary. Sounds like your design is working well for you. You are really doing well on fuel mileage. I get about 8 on my present 38 foot pusher and previous 35 foot pusher.

Continue enjoying your vacation.
 

ka0tyk

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Thanks for your summary. Sounds like your design is working well for you. You are really doing well on fuel mileage. I get about 8 on my present 38 foot pusher and previous 35 foot pusher.

Continue enjoying your vacation.
I’m def impressed with the Detroit 12.7. It continues to pull up hills easily. Only problem I am having is a governor at 70. Sometimes when trying to pass or getting a running start at a hill some more speed is necessary. Im not looking to cruise faster I like just going 65-70. But having it fall on its face has been frustrating. I’ve been really liking the Allison transmission brake retard. The first setting lightly applies it with just braking, next click is lightly with decel and then more aggressive the more I push it. Less actual braking the better on the hills.

it was pretty crazy though to lift the engine hatch under our bed and see just how massive that motor is.
 

ka0tyk

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This jellystone campground is amazing. They have tractor and monster truck rides, water park slides, etc. nailed my parking spot backed in first try. Everyone was watching thinking I couldn’t fit. Woo!

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fmo24

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Next you need to set up one of your minis to flat tow so you have a run around car.
 

ka0tyk

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Next you need to set up one of your minis to flat tow so you have a run around car.
unfortunately we sold the blue one that was a manual. Our white s is an auto and can’t be flat towed. I was thinking about ditching that and grabbing a little focus zx3 like I had before. They’re super light and pretty reliable, unlike the minis.
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dirtslinger2

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ka0tyk

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Nice! Curious where you parked the rig in the Boston area.
sister in laws house. Hah driving in downtown would be hell. We have had to drive through some towns and roads that the bus clearly was not meant to be on. But some times the locals have been very helpful. I had to pull over for a phone call and a policeman checked on us, etc. for the most part we have been able to drive most places… one road had a 10 ton limit and we were on it for maybe two miles before hopping on a highway. So far no low bridges, but we are pretty low if I drop the bus down it’s 6”.
 

RVR SWPR

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You guys obviously research and plan every project,every trip,experts time management etc. Low bridges could be major factor planning your daily travels. Good to know you aware,especially this first major trip right out of the build gate.
 

WildHorses24

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yeah here on a Friday and the other side is completely empty.
Gonna toss the ez up out and let the kids splash around before he head home for the last leg.
You home yet? Looks like some drama in your track!!! Swat, county heli, Multi-casualty Incident!!?? Saw it in the HB community forum and thought of you guys… hopefully you’re sipping Colorado Coolaid by the water still

Update: Buddy is HB Det, multiple shot while serving an eviction notice.. resident was lying in wait.
 
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ka0tyk

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You home yet? Looks like some drama in your track!!! Swat, county heli, Multi-casualty Incident!!?? Saw it in the HB community forum and thought of you guys… hopefully you’re sipping Colorado Coolaid by the water still

Update: Buddy is HB Det, multiple shot while serving an eviction notice.. resident was lying in wait.
we're fine, we actually were over at kaiser getting a covid check when all that went down and we're 3 or so blocks away.

ehhh it was a little more than that. a guy lived with his father in the home, mid 50's. father died and before he did so, the guy wrote a letter had the father sign it along with a witness (not a notary) saying that he was leaving him the house. his two sisters came along after the dad died and wanted to sell the house they thought they were entitled to. they used some real estate loop hole and attemped along with their realtor and another (who was supposed to be the muscle in this process) and served dude a 24 hour eviction notice. guy came outside, shot the muscle dead, shot the sister and the other realtor in like the arm and went back inside and thats where the standoff left.

people sure get greedy for things they never worked a day in their life for and are willing to die for them...
 

ka0tyk

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Good lord these oil filters are HUGE and it runs two. The blue one is a filter for my 8.1 for comparison.

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ka0tyk

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Oil changes are fun, get your 5 gallon bucket ready!
Yeah it def takes a LOT more oil than I am used to. Also was surprised to see that it has a coolant filter. Anyways gonna do all the filters and such, I didnt do it for our trip because it had recently been serviced with records and such. Just checked the levels. But after our 6000 mile trip its time.
 

STV_Keith

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I’ve been really liking the Allison transmission brake retard. The first setting lightly applies it with just braking, next click is lightly with decel and then more aggressive the more I push it. Less actual braking the better on the hills.
Your fuel mileage is impressive. With the Cummins ISM450, my 38' has got a best of 7.9mph not towing. 10 is amazing!

The trans retarders are awesome! Sounds like you have the 6-position joystick as well. That makes braking so much easier. In town, I just use the joystick and barely have to touch the service brakes. On the longer or higher setting decels, you do need to watch retarder oil temp though. Retarder output temp goes up quickly, and is separate from trans temp. I run the VMSpc software and have it connected to the J-1939 bus to monitor engine and transmission data, and watch this while using it. The retarder temp has a max transient of 330*F if I remember correctly. I generally let off it if I see it get to 250 or so. Higher temps mean more frequent trans fluid changes.

As for the oil changes, you might consider something like the drain pan I got: https://www.ebay.com/itm/114727103836

Looks like you're enjoying it...that's the key!
 

ka0tyk

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Your fuel mileage is impressive. With the Cummins ISM450, my 38' has got a best of 7.9mph not towing. 10 is amazing!

The trans retarders are awesome! Sounds like you have the 6-position joystick as well. That makes braking so much easier. In town, I just use the joystick and barely have to touch the service brakes. On the longer or higher setting decels, you do need to watch retarder oil temp though. Retarder output temp goes up quickly, and is separate from trans temp. I run the VMSpc software and have it connected to the J-1939 bus to monitor engine and transmission data, and watch this while using it. The retarder temp has a max transient of 330*F if I remember correctly. I generally let off it if I see it get to 250 or so. Higher temps mean more frequent trans fluid changes.

As for the oil changes, you might consider something like the drain pan I got: https://www.ebay.com/itm/114727103836

Looks like you're enjoying it...that's the key!
I think the biggest factor of mpg is speed... I generally have cruise set at 65. I'm getting a J1708/J1587 programmer so I can see everything the bus is doing as well as calculate total mpg per trip, engine load, etc. I'm not sure if I have the abiility to see "retarder temp" I think its all looped together with trans temp. I notice on a long hill if I have it on 2nd notch (first is only with the brakes pedal depressed) that the trans temp creeps up a little higher than usual.
 

STV_Keith

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I'm not sure if I have the abiility to see "retarder temp" I think its all looped together with trans temp. I notice on a long hill if I have it on 2nd notch (first is only with the brakes pedal depressed) that the trans temp creeps up a little higher than usual.
I'm guessing that's a 12-pin J1708/J1587? If so, the Silverleaf VMSpc will work. That's what I have.

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Here's the 2-in-1 laptop with the keyboard removed I use to display all the data. Microsoft Surface 4 Pro (2015 model I got for $300 on Craigslist), using 3 of the Magic Mount Pro XL magnet phone mounts to hold it to the dash.


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