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Old 11-27-2003, 05:00 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Chaska , Minnesota
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1981 International Chassis 77 passenger Thomas built

Ok a little about my bus. It is a 1981 International Chassis 77 passenger Thomas built bus with 10 thousand miles on a rebuilt 6 cylinder 230hp DTA466 turbo Diesel, 5spd spicer with a 5.38 rearend gear ratio.

The bus color when finished will be Ford bahma blue with gloss black front frenders, bumper and rub rails. Right now almost all of the bus is blue accept for the front. I will also have installed a class 5 hitch and brake controller so I can pull my enclosed tandem axle trailer.

Well since i have thursday and friday off I decided that i will concentrate on these areas on my bus. During the past week or 2 I have moved the rear heater out of the way and cut a square hole in the bus floor on the drivers side wall just 2 windows behind the wheel well. THe hole is 24inches wide and 27iches long. THe hole holds a modified industrial kitchen sink made out of stainless steel. I cut the sinks ledge off and and I can drop the sink into this hole. When in the sink creates a 11ich deep tub like area. So from the bottom of the sink to the bus ceiling is 79 inches tall, other wise the floor to celing height there is 68 inches, makes a big difference. Any how i made the bathroom that extends from behind the drivers side wheel well and two winodw rear ward for lenght and the width is just about to the center of the isle. The door is on the isle side. Behind this bathroom is the bedroom. It give me 73or 74 inches of room from the bathroom wall to the very rear of the bus. Then i have the full height of the bus and width for multiple configurations in the bedroom layout for maximum performance use.

Any how between the wall that is in the middle of the bus and between the shower stall will go the original bus heater. It will face lenght wise in there. I will use som 1 inch coper pipe and radiaor hose and run it along the side wall of the bus and behind the shower stall to the heater. I will then enclose the heater and have a vent in the bathroom, one on the wall going out into the main cabin and one in the bedroom. The bathroom will mostlikly have a chemical toilet up against the wall closets to the bus window and wheel well. and above that may be a small sink that i got of a DC-3(C-47) aircraft. The shower stall walls will be built with 2x2 wall studs and covered on the inside the stall with some kinda board that looks like shower tiles. the outer wall will be the same 1/4 inch plywood like the rest of the bus has on the walls right now. I plan to have acess to the shower head and valve pluming from behind the wall so that if there is a problem i can unscrew the pannel and repair it. The pipes will be 1/2 copper. They will run above the ledge on the wall for the seats. Inclosed in a wooden holder they will connect the kitchen sink and shower via T connectors and metal hoses like the ones used on sinks with shutt off valves. Connected to these main pipes will be 2 plastic or rubber type hoses that will go out through the floor of the bus to the coldwater line, hotwater heater and so On.

In the rear of the bus i have just above the emergency door i took of the small electrical acess cover and made the opening bigger and took the door off another Thomas bus (like the ones up front above the driver) and installed it there. There is where my 110 volt power will be distrubted to the bus. I have a 6 breaker , breaker box. The drivers side and the passenger side are wired as one and will have there own breaker(amperage to be determined). I will also have some storage space up there to.

As for my bedroom configuration. I have obtained from my boss the guts to a fold out couch. I am building a square box using big 12 inch wide boards. The box will be built on the drivers side wall of the bedroom to hold the fold out bed. If i open the box i can pull out the fold out bed to hold me or 2 people. If i put it away the bed becomes a single bed. Then i can quickly install above that and 2 on the passenger side bunk beds with a type of quick disconnect. The quick disconnect has yet to be determined. So If i am gonna have 4 people going along i can install the 3 bunks. I still have the couch up front which could hold 1 or 2. So the bus could hold if need be 6 people. I wanted to be able to use the bus for multiple things. If i was just going on my own i can use the couch or fold out bed in the rear. With out the 3 bunks in the back i can put stuff back there to haul too!

Andy B Bus#9


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Old 03-07-2004, 03:49 PM   #2
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Andy has added a lot of pictures to his gallery:

The electric and plumbing are really coming alond, looks great!
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Old 03-07-2004, 09:23 PM   #3
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Hi Andy,

Glad to see you're posting some more info on your bus!

Give some thought to where the breaker box ends up in the bus; in your layout the rear location might work out well but in general that would mean very long runs of wiring (heaveir, more expensive wire) to get to the front part of the bus. If the box is near the center of the bus then you have shorter runs toward each end of the bus.

It's not a great idea to put more than two outlets on one branch circuit or more than one outlet and up to a 15-amp load (like a small battery charger or something). The reason is that unless you're going for a high-end 50-amp shorepower system you'll most likely use 30-amp stuff. You can get yourself into a situation pretty easily where you have the outlets you need but not the amps on one circuit.

Here's an example...we've got 30-amps available to the bus via shorepower. We have one branch circuit that has two outlets on it; that branch circuit is protected by a 15-amp breaker. Each of the outlets is rated for 15-amps as well. So lets say we've got a circuit running from the back to the front down the driver's side with an outlet in the bedroom, one in the bathroom, one in the kitchen and one far forward. We're plugged into shorepower and we decided to use a 1500-watt plug-in space heater rather than run the propane furnace. So now we're drawing about 13-amps from our far forward outlet (1500 watts divided by 115 volts to get amps). It's time for coffee and we want to turn the coffee maker on in the kitchen; it pulls 800-watts or 7 amps. Uh oh, that's going to trip the 15-amp circuit breaker that our outlets are on. But we're only using 20-amps total; less than what we're getting from shorepower by a wide margin. Instead, if the kitchen outlet were on a circuit of its own we could run our heater and the coffee maker and still have some left for the TV or whatever.

You want heavy loads (like a coffee maker, microwave, heater or battery charger) on their own circuits; it's ok to put a couple of outlets on one circuit if they're for light use or typically wouldn't be used simultaneously. Like you could have a portable radio or TV plugged into the bedroom outlet and an electric razor plugged into the bathroom outlet on one circuit and still have lots left before tripping a 15-amp breaker.

Hope this helps...
Les Lampman
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Old 03-08-2004, 12:48 AM   #4
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Looks really good Andy. It is nice to see all the pictures, I am a very visual person so I really like pictures. Making the shower stall out of an old sink is a really cool idea. I really like how it is recessed in the floor being a tall guy and all. If I can find a sink I want to do the same thing. I doubt a plastic or fiberglass stall would be strong enough to hang like that without some support.
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Old 03-08-2004, 06:58 AM   #5
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i also think the shower idea is very creative.
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes (who will watch the watchmen?)
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Old 03-28-2004, 09:40 PM   #6
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Andy b Bus#9 update

Hey guys thanks for all the nice comments on my bus. Since i last posted i have wired up the 7prong trailer plug on the back of the bus it also has a built in 4 prong plug too. I was able to get ahold of aThomas bus electrical scheumatic and find the aproriate wires in the rear to wire it. I still have to run a wire back for the electric brake controller.

I have installed some of the plumbing in the bus too. I am using CPVC. I think it will work great for my needs. Its size is half inch. So its small. if it is a problem i can very easily change it over to a larger CPVC or copper pipe with in amatter of about 4hours. I bought my 6gallon gas pilot water heater from attwood at camping world in rogers minnestoa about 2 weeks ago. IT even came with a door for it for $260!. I plan to moun the water heater under the bus floor just aft of the batter box on the drives side. I still need to buy 1 or 2 freshwater tanks. I also bought 3.2gpm pump too.

Does anyone know of anyplace that sells used cheap horizontaly mounted propane tanks?

Andy B bus#9

Also if you see the Father of 10 guys bus on there, Norm bought that from where i drive bus. We were able to meet up and I showed him the bus. IT was great meeting him.
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