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Old 08-11-2014, 12:54 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Year: 1989
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Buying a bus

Hey guys, I've been looking for a bus for about six months now and I think I'm buying one tomorrow. It's a 1989 GMC 66pass, diesel with a few seats already removed. I'm paying $2750 and I'm pretty sure it's a good deal but I'm starting to get cold feet. I plan on converting it now through next spring and then living on it. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Tentative Plans: I can't decide whether or not to raise the roof. I know I would sacrifice it's structural soundness, but if I'm going to live on it--I want to be comfortable. As far as windows are concerned, I want them to be more energy efficient but I don't want to buy RV windows. Since I only need about half the windows that come on the bus, is it an awful idea to solder them in pairs so that they're double pane? They wouldn't be as good a actual double pane RV windows because they aren't gas filled and sealed; it's just an idea. Please let me know what you think! Especially with the windows as I haven't seen that done yet and I have a feeling there's a good reason...
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Old 08-11-2014, 05:15 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: Buying a bus

Soldering windows? Solder won't hold. Too heavy, too much vibration and waaaaay too much shaking. Why not use a good two part epoxy instead if you really want to try this. Please do not do what some have done and use house windows. They were never intended to withstand all that vibration etc. If they break not being safety glass bad things happen.
Why not just add heavy curtains? Giving up the light coming in and using LEDs sure beats all the heat loss through the glass in winter.

How much structural strength you loose in a roof raise is debatable.
One of our members lived next to a former Bluebird engineer who swears up and down that cutting even one upright sacrifices the whole bus.
Horse crap.
Bluebird cut them all the time.
My Bird is a Handy bus one of my uprights is almost entirely missing because of the wheelchair door.
Look at late 70's and very early 80's Wanderlodges. None used school bus sized windows. All had windows twice as long or longer that involved cutting the uprights. These buses were built on the standard All American chassis and body.
I do expect that Bluebird framed around these openings. When I get the ceiling of my bus down I can get a good look at the reinforcement around the wheelchair door. I like you could use some more height too. I'm 6'2" so the only places I can stand in my bus without ducking my head are right behind the engine cover, and under the roof hatches.
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Old 08-11-2014, 06:13 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: Buying a bus

Thanks. I was going to do solder and some sort of clamp but I can do epoxy and clamps if you think that would be better.
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Old 08-12-2014, 03:00 AM   #4
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Re: Buying a bus

I elected to raise the roof on a 40' chassis.. Weather permitting, I will do it in the next day or two since I have the week off. It's a lot of work, just not very hard.

I think you may be underestimating the technology that goes into a double pane window. I suppose you could re-manufacture your own windows from the existing bus windows, but it would not be cost effective to do it right. If you simply glue two windows together you're guaranteed to get moisture failure. Plus, you'd make new frames anyway. I think you'd end up with windows like this:




Quote:
Originally Posted by tesswynn92
Hey guys, I've been looking for a bus for about six months now and I think I'm buying one tomorrow. It's a 1989 GMC 66pass, diesel with a few seats already removed. I'm paying $2750 and I'm
pretty sure it's a good deal but I'm starting to get cold feet. I plan on converting it now through next spring and then living on it. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Tentative Plans: I can't decide whether or not to raise the roof. I know I would sacrifice it's structural soundness, but if I'm going to live on it--I want to be comfortable. As far as windows are concerned, I want them to be more energy efficient but I don't want to buy RV windows. Since I only need about half the windows that come on the bus, is it an awful idea to solder them in pairs so that they're double pane? They wouldn't be as good a actual double pane RV windows because they aren't gas filled and sealed; it's just an idea. Please let me know what you think! Especially with the windows as I haven't seen that done yet and I have a feeling there's a good reason...
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:56 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: Buying a bus

I bought the bus! It drove over 350 miles home without a hiccup. It sounds like curtains would be a better solution to my heat\AC efficiency concerns. Thanks for the input and I'm sure I'll have more questions to come.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:05 PM   #6
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Re: Buying a bus

You can always add some uv blocking window tint. I plan on doing it on mine pretty soon.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:25 PM   #7
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Re: Buying a bus

Congrats on the successful first ride!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tesswynn92
curtains
I think we're using these:





They use dead air pockets to insulate, available in single, double, triple cell, with triple being most effective.

Here's one site:
http://www.blinds.com/control/subCat...er=triple-cell
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:19 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: Buying a bus

I want to tint them anyway but does the UV tint help with the winter drafts?
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Old 08-13-2014, 09:22 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: Buying a bus

I just saw those curtains and they look great! That's just the thing I'm looking for.
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:59 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: Buying a bus

What will you use to cut through the frame when you raise your roof?
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