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Old 07-10-2019, 12:23 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Fairview
Posts: 4
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Rated Cap: 84
Help in Montana!

Hello my name is Angie and I just so happened to find this wonderful site! Im new to the bus conversion system, however Im pretty much doing it alone as my husband works ALOT! So I guess I will make my story shortish. I traded a navigator for a 1999 bluebird flat nose 84 passenger with a Cummins. I need to get this thing inspectable for the sheriff so I can get my title transferred and get freedom on the road as we have a family emergency back in Michigan. As a family of 5 with 2 large dogs, this is honestly going to be the most family friendly/cost friendly way to go. At the moment Im wanting to just get her done as quick and cheap as possible so that once I get back to Montana I can fully engulf my time and energy into making her perfect. So what do you all recommend for the basic needs? And any insight on where to look for tutorials? It needs something to cook with, bathroom, sink, heat and/or cooling (I believe), and its own separate power source, also any montanans out there know a good insurance company to go through once converted???. Please help Skoolies!!!!!
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:24 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Fingerlakes region NY
Posts: 187
Year: 1999
Coachwork: AmTran/Wolfington
Chassis: 3800
Engine: International DT466E 190HP variant
Rated Cap: 72 pax 29500 GVWR
Quick and Dirty conversion!

Quick and dirty response:

Tutorials: YouTube and this forum

Cooking: camping stove with propane

Bathroom: compost toilet/bucket w/ trash bag

Electrical: plug in DC to AC inverted and extension cords

Water: lots of 24 packs of Walmart water bottles (redeem them later for a couple $)

Insurance: guy the seats, paint over the school bus and district signs, put the yellow overhead flasher lenses in front and red ones in back. Call your local insurance agencies. They can usually do the middleman work with the big companies and get you a policy. Sorry I do not know what exact company you should go with.

Maintenance: do a tuneup on your bus before “whippin’ it nasty” across the country (filters/fluids/lights, etc)

Sleeping quarters: air mattresses!
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:36 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ogden utah
Posts: 66
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Tc2000
Engine: 5.9 24v
Rated Cap: 27
Whats your definition of "quick and cheap" How quick? Couple weeks? Couple months?
How "cheap"?

Starting from scratch I would guess, you working by yourself, tearing those seats out, floor prep, etc will probably take 2-3 weeks. You said your husband is busy, what about the other 3 in the family? Do they have any usable skills like carpentry, welding, etc?
If they do then that could cut your time down to as little as a week to get the seats out. At that point you have an empty bus.

Costs could be rather low. Used RV equipment would be what I would go for. You cna pick up one or two popup campers which will have a stove, heater, sink and other basics for as little as 100$ or sometimes even free. Canalize those for parts. Again, this is a suggestion geared towards frugality.
I would avoid getting any custom stuff as it will be lengthy or tedious to install.

More details would help. Congratulations on your bus purchase. It would pay off for you to do some research ( posting here is a great start ) as that will answer most of your questions. The "Sticky" threads in ever sub section are a good resource as they are sticky-d for the exact reason of being visible to newcomers.
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:01 PM   #4
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Location: Fairview
Posts: 4
Year: 1999
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsneeb View Post
Whats your definition of "quick and cheap" How quick? Couple weeks? Couple months?
How "cheap"?

Starting from scratch I would guess, you working by yourself, tearing those seats out, floor prep, etc will probably take 2-3 weeks. You said your husband is busy, what about the other 3 in the family? Do they have any usable skills like carpentry, welding, etc?
If they do then that could cut your time down to as little as a week to get the seats out. At that point you have an empty bus.

Costs could be rather low. Used RV equipment would be what I would go for. You cna pick up one or two popup campers which will have a stove, heater, sink and other basics for as little as 100$ or sometimes even free. Canalize those for parts. Again, this is a suggestion geared towards frugality.
I would avoid getting any custom stuff as it will be lengthy or tedious to install.

More details would help. Congratulations on your bus purchase. It would pay off for you to do some research ( posting here is a great start ) as that will answer most of your questions. The "Sticky" threads in ever sub section are a good resource as they are sticky-d for the exact reason of being visible to newcomers.
Thank you! I’m able to get the basics from two friends of mines campers, one had a small electrical fire and the other the electrical is fried so thankfully I have all of that stuff to take and work with, the other 3 in my family are 1 year, 5 years, and 11 years old lol my two oldest want to help which they definitely will. I’m going to use a heat gun to warm up the stickers to pull with ease (hopefully) and it’s the little stuff that helps. The one problem I’m running into is rusty bolts for the seats :/ I think after I tackle fixing the starter in my husbands truck I’m going to start attempting to remove them as there has been a little interested in people wanting to buy the seats which whatever is sold from the bus I’m using the money back towards it. It’s going to be a long time consuming process but with a lot of determination and maybe a couple beers and pizzas (maybe bribe some friends for help) lol I think I should be able to do it!
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:25 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Troy, Montana
Posts: 10
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: international s1800
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 10 windows
sounds like you are well on your way and I'm betting you can sure enough do it.
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:56 PM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Central MN
Posts: 116
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE
Engine: 8.3TA
If you can fix the starter in your husband's truck, dammit girl you got this!!!
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Old 07-10-2019, 04:59 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 845
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Sounds like you have plenty of ambition, and that is a good thing. 5 and 11 year olds in my experience slow things down, but it is so worth it. For me it is such a joy to work with children.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:29 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Wright City MO
Posts: 253
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins/Allison
Rated Cap: 74
Good Luck with your endeavors you sound as if you can handle the task.To remove the seats I used a 4" grinder and coarse grit flap discs and ground the bolt heads off from the inside of the bus I tried the socket and wrench method but was getting nowhere the grinder method took less than 3 hours to remove them all I hope someone does materialize to take the seats as almost everyone here has had to pay to get rid of theirs as most bus seats have legs on one side only making them unusable for most things except bus seats. Again good luck GENE
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Old 07-11-2019, 04:22 AM   #9
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Location: Fairview
Posts: 4
Year: 1999
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Thanks all!

Ok so I didnt have much time yesterday however I had about 2 hours of spare time. Most of my time was spent digging through buckets of tools to find the right sockets and hoped for channel locks but for a crescent wrench lmao.... needless to say I GOT THE FIRST SEAT OUT!!!!! Super proud of myself lol. My 5 year old daughter wrenched inside the bus and I held tight on the bottom lmao. She got me to the point where my wrench would lock tight enough to leave it, so Id go in the bus and start twisting away and guess what?!?!?!? All 4 floorboard bolts busted off! 2 of them literally took like 3 twists lol. Anyhoo, thought Id share my excitement with yall have a happy Thursday!
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:12 AM   #10
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,538
Year: 2002
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Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngieGibbs View Post
Ok so I didnt have much time yesterday however I had about 2 hours of spare time. Most of my time was spent digging through buckets of tools to find the right sockets and hoped for channel locks but for a crescent wrench lmao.... needless to say I GOT THE FIRST SEAT OUT!!!!! Super proud of myself lol. My 5 year old daughter wrenched inside the bus and I held tight on the bottom lmao. She got me to the point where my wrench would lock tight enough to leave it, so Id go in the bus and start twisting away and guess what?!?!?!? All 4 floorboard bolts busted off! 2 of them literally took like 3 twists lol. Anyhoo, thought Id share my excitement with yall have a happy Thursday!
Congrats!

A milestone in your skoolie life.
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