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Old 08-14-2016, 08:17 PM   #21
Almost There
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Canada eh?
Posts: 99
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Corbeil - RAMROD
Chassis: IH 3800 66 Pass
Engine: 7.3 IH IDI NA w AT545 hyd
Meldy, I tore out my entire headliner. It's 6 x 85 rivets and worth every second. I will have to get in touch with you about your spray foam friend. Hopefully we can help each other out with being so close by. The 2" insulation that was up there was gross and useless.. if you're staying using it in Canada ever in the winter then tear it all out. I'll send you a PM.
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Old 08-14-2016, 09:38 PM   #22
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 893
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
I did not want bus luggage racks along the ceiling on each side and planned to yank em out first thing but gosh am i glad i didnt; they have been awesome.
I dont plan to do any carpenter work other than the awful job i did frsming my bed with some random alley lumber, so the storage space has been awesome.
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Old 08-15-2016, 04:08 AM   #23
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Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: EHT New Jersey
Posts: 1,134
Year: 2003
Coachwork: AmTran
Chassis: International 3000RE
Engine: T444E/AT545
Rated Cap: 75
Biggest mistake, buying my bus on fleaBay...then finding that the Canadian bus company never flipped the title.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:16 AM   #24
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Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Vacaville, Ca
Posts: 1,391
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Crown / Pusher
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
My mistake & wish I could do over is after raising the roof I mage the transition from low to high out of fiberglass, I should have had a shop make a sheetmetal one for me.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:37 AM   #25
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 9,365
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu & Filo. T View Post
My mistake & wish I could do over is after raising the roof I mage the transition from low to high out of fiberglass, I should have had a shop make a sheetmetal one for me.
I've yet to find anyone that will make me one.
I either have to hack it myself and just try my best or leave it as is.
I'm fine with doing the raise but no one seems to have the ability to make me that transition piece and I'm not sure I wanna stitch weld one together.
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Old 08-15-2016, 10:38 AM   #26
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 5,063
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
My biggest mistake - not getting tinted windows.. but thats fixable..

Next Biggest Mistake - Not getting a Bluebird.. Ok i love my carpenter but Miss the bluebird pre 1995 Dashboard / driver compartment...

probably shouldve got a bus that had better tires.. but thats fixed since i got new tires..

I suppose I couldve gotten a lockup transmission but so far my AT545 has served me just fine.. if I get crazy I'll just swap it..

otherwise im having a great time with my bus... thus far its been used as a party bus, IKEA with friends bus, Christmas convention shuttle, Moving van, Mobile DEV Lab, Grocery getter, and Smile Maker..

-Christopher
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Old 08-15-2016, 07:30 PM   #27
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Walla Walla, WA
Posts: 107
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Amtran Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 84
My biggest mistake? Thinking I had the time to work on the conversion.
I'm remodeling my moms house to put on the market which has taken all my spare time so far this summer. The bus has been a great dump run rig and materials hauler. I'm beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel though. Hope to be able to get the roof raise done this fall.
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Old 08-16-2016, 12:37 AM   #28
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: from: Prescott, AZ currently: Denver, CO
Posts: 468
Year: 1992
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: All American RE
Engine: 8.3 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
wow... do overs (and must do's)... um..... where to start...


A/c right from the beginning.

Fantastic fans and a/c.... not pull the fans and drop a/c in. I was being lazy and I pay for it every time we just need air movement and not a/c.

2 more windows up front.

I know I'll catch flack for this but.... screw the insulation. Unless you are going to spray foam the **** out of it dont bother. We live in a metal tube with single pane windows. Its a damn heat sink. Just over power it....... lots of btu's. Wood burner and a metric ton of a/c. Or follow the nice weather.

tile floor throughout. Our tile bathroom floor, counter tops and back splash has held up just fine over the last 10k miles. I was afraid she would rattle to pieces but that has not happened yet. The bathroom floor is solid as a rock.

Compost toilet. Screw black tanks. Im so over it.

Metal studs.... oh baby... not a do over... but a must do. For anyone contemplating metal studs. Do it! So nice.

Don't glue down the carpet....I was such a dumbass. Tack strip and stretch it in. Or forgo carpet all together. See above tile floor recommendation.

Another item I'll catch flack.... don't pull the plywood floor. Buy a west coast bus. You'll perish or get board with the skoolie long before she rusts through. And if she rusts in half... buy another skoolie for $2500. Just build on the factory floor. I added 2" rigid foam and another 3/4 t&g floor.... that was stupid. I'm 6 foot and could really use that extra 2.75 inches of headroom. I pay for it every time I stand up. Oops.

If you go "airstream" style with the over head cabinets like we did... make them a bit bigger. I was afraid if I made them to big they would impact the "head space" of everyday living. That does not seem to be the case. In fact quite the opposite. That area is really just unused space. Use it up.

My number 1 do over.... make the couch behind the drivers seat 5' instead of 6'. I can't move the drivers captain chair back far enough to be 100% comfortable. Big oops.

That was fun... almost therapeutic.
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Old 08-16-2016, 03:05 AM   #29
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 879
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
MY #1 take away? BUY the RIGHT bus for your intentions FIRST!!!!! We bought an '88 Ford B600 almost locally without understanding exactly what we needed from a bus build. Although she's a GREAT bus, rock solid, no rust, low miles, etc., she was too small for what we needed. We ended up with 14' of livable space, not good for full-timing. We looked at what Big Mack was lacking, mainly space, and started all over again.

We figured out for our needs we needed a 40' bus with the engine and all running gear in the back to maximize the build space. We also needed a bus with cargo bays to allow us to install support gear and equipment required for full-time living in a bus. We also figured out the taller the bus the better for headroom and insulation purposes.

We then went on a three year plus a few months search looking for the bus we needed to fit our living needs and a few luxury wants.

We sold our worn out travel trailer for enough to buy Heavy Fuel, a plane ticket out to CA, and enough cash left over for fuel, food, hotels, and a brake job (done by yours-truly) on a close friend's SUV while out in CA to get HF.

We've cashed in wife's retirement to finish the build. So, after many years of planning, revising, measuring, questioning, and so on we have a floor plan we like. We're taking our build one small step at a time to give us the insight we need to avoid making further mistakes in the future. Wife is 5'2" and I'm 5'9". For me headroom will be tight but doable with our insulation plan. That's one of the big reasons we went with a Thomas Saf-T-Liner with a factory lifted roof bus. The extra 2 inch factory lift gives me the clearance I need to stand up straight in her with three inches of floor insulation and four inches of roof insulation, confirmed after we pulled out the interior factory roof and flooring.

We've learned ALOT from this site as well as from our own mistakes. Many others have graciously shared with us their errors. For this I am very grateful. This process has saved us countless hours, dollars, and mountains of frustration.

Hope this helps!

M
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Old 08-16-2016, 10:55 AM   #30
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 5,063
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
Quote:
Originally Posted by syke View Post
wow... do overs (and must do's)... um..... where to start...


A/c right from the beginning.

Fantastic fans and a/c.... not pull the fans and drop a/c in. I was being lazy and I pay for it every time we just need air movement and not a/c.

2 more windows up front.

I know I'll catch flack for this but.... screw the insulation. Unless you are going to spray foam the **** out of it dont bother. We live in a metal tube with single pane windows. Its a damn heat sink. Just over power it....... lots of btu's. Wood burner and a metric ton of a/c. Or follow the nice weather.

tile floor throughout. Our tile bathroom floor, counter tops and back splash has held up just fine over the last 10k miles. I was afraid she would rattle to pieces but that has not happened yet. The bathroom floor is solid as a rock.

Compost toilet. Screw black tanks. Im so over it.

Metal studs.... oh baby... not a do over... but a must do. For anyone contemplating metal studs. Do it! So nice.

Don't glue down the carpet....I was such a dumbass. Tack strip and stretch it in. Or forgo carpet all together. See above tile floor recommendation.

Another item I'll catch flack.... don't pull the plywood floor. Buy a west coast bus. You'll perish or get board with the skoolie long before she rusts through. And if she rusts in half... buy another skoolie for $2500. Just build on the factory floor. I added 2" rigid foam and another 3/4 t&g floor.... that was stupid. I'm 6 foot and could really use that extra 2.75 inches of headroom. I pay for it every time I stand up. Oops.

If you go "airstream" style with the over head cabinets like we did... make them a bit bigger. I was afraid if I made them to big they would impact the "head space" of everyday living. That does not seem to be the case. In fact quite the opposite. That area is really just unused space. Use it up.

My number 1 do over.... make the couch behind the drivers seat 5' instead of 6'. I can't move the drivers captain chair back far enough to be 100% comfortable. Big oops.

That was fun... almost therapeutic.
I keep telling peiple it takes a lot of A/C to properly cool a metal tube in bright sunlight hurling down the highway at 60 MPH with 300,000 BTU Heater / engine blasting heat at the "firewall".. I suppose its less when stopped but when driving in the south in the summer you need lots of A/C...

-Christopher
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