Thursday, September 10, 2015

Entertaining asininities

Over the past few weeks I've been hugely entertained by one or two people on school bus conversion forums. It all goes back to the reliability of forum posters. Most seem to know some of the basics but once they're out of their depth, everybody with a different opinion is wrong.

The latest entertaining nonsense is a discussion of my developing electrical system. Apparently I'm all wrong because I have put so many safety features in. Sockets intended for use with 15 anps are rated for 20. That's 5 amps to the good. Wiring intended for 15 amps is actually capable of and rated at 30 amps. A main cable intended for 30 amps is rated at 55 amps.

Apparently I'm so wrong because I put a 10-2 cable rather than a 10-3 which could carry 50A on each leg for a total of 100A. Somebody missed on my saying I was designing for 30A but building in excess for safety.

Having told me that a 55A 10-3 (4 wires including the earth) cable can carry twice as much current as a 10-2 (3 wires including the earth) they then claim my solution of using two 15A cables in parallel is dangerous! It's actually better than 10-3 as it has two neutrals as well as two hot wires as opposed to 10-3 which has two hots but only one neutral! In any case, with each cable going to a 15A dual breaker, there can be no problem not caught by a breaker! I'm going to call baloney on the dire warnings from the uneducated.

So, it looks like these forum dwellers just don't know what they're talking about when it gets beyond basics! Apparently my 30A 4 prong socket is incapable of carrying 30A, according to them. I think school bus construction forums though interesting in the basic stages of construction have just become a pit of asininity.

Honestly, if I quoted the claptrap and dire warnings that aren't based on any semblance of reality then you'd laugh for a week! Sadly, actually quoting what was written might be seen to lend it a misguided air of respect that it absolutely does not deserve.

I have no way of knowing whether I am dealing with misguided people that need education, liars that don't even have a bus, deranged individuals or people on a mission to confuse and infuriate others. Heavens, they could even be ISIS members or Chinese agents on a mission to confuse and disrupt! I rather suspect though that they're rather unimaginative people that can't think beyond "buy this premium object to solve this problem".

Interestingly, the members of that forum started discussing the cost if their school bus conversions. Mostly the price paid for their basic bus seems to be $4,000 which oddly is exactly what I paid yet I have seen them going for $2,500. Then add in the cost of conversion. I haven't totalled my costs yet but members quoted up to $20,000. Honestly, if somebody buys an old school bus then converts it they don't have the money needed to pay $20,000! More so when a really good camper trailer or 5th Wheeler can be had for that money! I'm going to call baloney on $20,000! Honestly, if my conversion tops $3,000 over purchase price then I will be utterly amazed.

The justification many use for building a schoolbus into a motorhome is they can't afford $250,000 for a real moitorhome yet when I look at the motorhome sales places, they seem to be below $70,000. All very strange. I can guarantee the facilities on their bus conversions aren't as good as those on a ready made motorhome. I know my facilities are fairly basic but that suits my lifestyle.

And now back to the bus conversion.

The electrical system is almost complete to the point of entry. Remaining to be done is to rebuild the hillbilly cable compartment under the bus, install underbody water tanks and install extraction fans. The sole reason for an electrical system is to run the microwave. I can live without a fridge. I just prefer to cook with a microwave rather than with gas.

There are little things remaining to be completed - window blinds and drawer locks plus a rail to stop the microwave from sliding. Then there's a handrail and a way of unlocking the front door from outside. There's a little paint touch up to be done plus some personalisation things.

Aside from that, there are other things I want to do such as adding a trailer hitch, fixing the reversing horn and the rev counter, rewiring the schoolbus flashers as brake lights and turn signals, replacing some of the worn out switches, adjusting the angle of the backup camera screen etc. Nothing major.

No work on the bus today. I did have a quick look in Lowe's out of curiosity at cables. 10-3 was about $2 a foot. Online it was 92c a foot. Given that I'd possibly need 30 feet that works out at $60 from Lowe's or $30 approx plus $20 shipping. Hardly any benefit either way. I'm going to have to look harder. Truth be told, this 110v ac system is such a pain in the rear that I'm wondering whether I would have been better putting a small gas cook top with a couple of 12v batteries to power fans and chargers and maybe a couple of flexible solar panels on the apex of the roof.

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