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Old 08-13-2016, 07:32 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 25
Mistakes and do-overs

I did look around so I apologize if I missed it but Im wondering if there is a thread of mistakes people made, general advice for noobs and things people would do-over or do differently if they could when converting their skoolies.
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Old 08-13-2016, 08:24 AM   #2
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1992
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Engine: dt466
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LOL, that's pretty much every thread here. welcome aboard!
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Old 08-13-2016, 12:21 PM   #3
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If you read enough build threads here you will pick up all sorts of good information.

There are plenty of "Next time I am going to do "x" different" comments scattered about. There are also plenty of good & successful ideas.

My biggest gripes on my last conversion (Eagle 10 not Skoolie):

Floor: I covered the access panels for the shifter, clutch and throttle linkage. I was told by a very sharp bus converter that it would be ok as we had converted to auto trans and would never need to access.

After a few years it got to where I had to brace myself in the drivers seat to get enough leverage to press the throttle to the floor. I finally abandoned the mechanical linkage and in$talled an air throttle.

Windows: I put in lots of windows. I wanted open and airy. Worked great in mild weather. As soon as I hit hot weather I wound up making insulation inserts for half of the windows. When I hit cold weather I made insulation inserts for the other half. Too many windows.

Also, I installed single pane windows. Never again. Double pane all the way.

Toilet & black water: I installed a porcelain RV toilet and an 86 gallon black tank. Every other RV I have ever owned had a 15-30 gallon black tank. Having plenty of capacity gave us great flexibility and the ability to dry camp for extended periods.

We did that right but next time it will be a composting toilet. No more black tank.

Drivers A/C: I removed the over the road A/C. It did not work. I thought that if I needed A/C while driving I could run the generator and the roof air. That worked great for the passengers but the poor guy up in the fishbowl with the sun blasting him didn't get much benefit.

Next bus will have some kind of drivers A/C. Either engine driven or ducted from a roof air that puts plenty of cool air directly on the driver.

Selling: I sold my bus a few years ago. Probably my biggest mistake in the whole process....

You have found a GREAT resource for conversion information here. There are plenty of folks here who have walked the walk and can show you the end result.

Read, read, read and then read some more
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Old 08-13-2016, 12:34 PM   #4
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Year: 1996
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Make sure your bus is level when you do all your interior work. I had a buddy with more carpentry skills than me do the rough interior work. He tried to do it from a string hanging in the middle of the bus. Didn't work. If I were to do it again, I'd go with metal framing.
Tip 2: Use carpet to cover you sins.
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Old 08-13-2016, 02:21 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 25
Thoughts on raising the roof?
Wood stoves vs furnace?
Full stove/oven as opposed to something like a coleman camping stove?
Showers?

Im tentatively planning to do my gray water tank under the bus, fresh water under the bed but Im concerned about freezing water lines and tanks etc etc

Thoughts on tearing out and redo'ing the ceiling insulation as well as all the rest of the interior?

Ive read a good number of the build threads and will continue to do so. Ive got about 4-6 months before I even purchase my bus (Im getting out of debt first) and begin my conversion but Im a homework Nazi so will cram as much knowledge as I can before I make the leap.

Thanks everyone!
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Old 08-13-2016, 02:23 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Also wondering if weight should factor into the layout planning at all? IE tanks, furniture etc.

Is that even an issue or am I overthinking it?
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Old 08-13-2016, 03:18 PM   #7
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Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
I raised the roof on my last one eight inches. Gave me around 80" headroom when finished. I loved the way it made the bus feel so much more roomy. It was a LOT of work and did cost a few $.

As I am only 5'8" tall, I am trying to decide if I will raise the roof on my next one. How tall you and potential guests are is an important consideration.

Weight is definitely a consideration. If you blindly add "stuff" you could wind up with something that is a pig to drive and could exceed max legal weight for your circumstance.

The lighter the finished bus is the better it will perform on the road.

You are not overthinking it. I have a materials spreadsheet that includes:

Item, vendor, quantity, cost, special notes and WEIGHT.

That way I could keep a running estimate of the finished weight.

You are asking some good questions.
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Old 08-13-2016, 08:11 PM   #8
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If I were to go back and do everything again, I would really read a lot more builds before buying my bus. I also would spend a lot of time looking for the perfect bus with underbelly storage, higher roof, DT466, skoolie approved transmission. OR I would do a really cheap shoddy build just to have a box to live out of.
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Old 08-13-2016, 11:17 PM   #9
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Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Whatever you do, no matter how exciting the deal is, never and i mean NEVER buy a bus from a guy in an alley saying...

"Pssst!..... Pssst!.... yea you, wanna buy a bus?!"

Other that that mistake *shivers* everything else has a way of working itself out.
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Old 08-14-2016, 12:33 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAOLIK View Post
If I were to go back and do everything again, I would really read a lot more builds before buying my bus. I also would spend a lot of time looking for the perfect bus with underbelly storage, higher roof, DT466, skoolie approved transmission. OR I would do a really cheap shoddy build just to have a box to live out of.
Skoolie approved transmission? Tell me more of this witchcraft that you speak of
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