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Old 06-23-2011, 02:46 PM   #1
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 2
Year: 1996
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3L Diesel International
Rated Cap: 36
Ben and Laura's Bus

Hello, newbie here,

When I was in high school/college I had a minivan with the back seats removed and a mattress thrown in. It was perfect for camping, road trips or general partying. I got married my van broke down and suddenly having a party mobile wasn’t really a priority. I went camping in tents for a while enjoyed it but miss my van dearly, especially as one of these years my wife may talk me into have kids. It was great for a quick 1/2 night stop and on to the next site. I started thinking of buying a small RV, but the ones in my price range were pretty worn and well this is a skollie forum I don't have to explain to you guys why I didn't go that route. Then one day I got the (brilliant) idea of converting a short bus to a quick camper. A quick search on the internet and a stumble upon and I was hooked, hard. I few days later the mrs was on board.

I wanted a shorter bus but full size, not a Ford E350 or something like that, so I just bought a '95 Internation bus with Bluebird body. Its a 6 windower with the 7.3L diesel. I have been pretty tied up with other things but after about a month we just finished gutting it and putting down the new sub-floor (1" foam insulation under 1/2" plywood). So far It's been a great project and now that we're building instead of demolishing and cleaning I think it will only get better.

Home base is up here in Ontario, so there was some minor rust on the floor, but nothing to worry about. Before I put in the floor a cleaned it good and put down a healthy layer of rust-paint.

This bus will mostly be used for camping trips weekends/ week long. Maybe the occasional cross country road trip. I plan on putting on a roof rack to hold a canoe and some other supplies. Does anyone have any suggestions on building a roof rack? or any suggestions on transporting a conoe on a bus? or even getting the canoe on the roof once a rack is built?

I've been meaning to start a log on here earlier but, anyways, I'll be posting pics and keeping updates on here.

Please any suggestions or comments are greatly appriciated.
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:17 AM   #2
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Diesel Dan's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,489
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/AT545
Re: Ben and Laura's Bus

Check out the Ragbrai buses for many examples of how people have constructed roof racks. Their racks might be larger than you would want, but you will get some idea of how they are built. Some of them are kind of primitive, others more sophisticated. I am also planning a roof rack in the future and have the same question about getting the canoe up top. I suppose if you are fairly strong you could just lean the canoe on the back side of the rack, climb up top and then pull it up. Or perhaps you could use a couple pulleys and rollers to reduce the weight and friction. I've also thought of a folding crane, but that just seems like too much equipment and hassle.
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:41 PM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 1,201
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3800 International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Ben and Laura's Bus

welcome to the fun, glad to see some one else from ontario, Im in northwesteren ont. 4 hours north of thunderbay,where abouts are you? my bus is listed as skoolie days . I have to update my pics (this weekend after camping).
have fun with your build, theres tons of enfo here, the most important thing that I learened is dont over think your build

my bus build viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5931
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