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Old 09-30-2019, 12:25 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 12
Year: 1994
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: L0116
Engine: GMC B7T
Rated Cap: 36
Chuckles the Adventure Bus

Well, I spent all my time reading on the forum and never posting to it, so I figure I might as well have a digital diary so hopefully one day my kids can look back and see what it took for them to get to travel the country for a summer.
This is more of a retrospective than a work in progress at this point, but it's as fun a story as any and wouldn't have happened without all the tips and tricks I pulled off this site.
I got the bus from Los Chileros - a chili company in New Mexico that had a lot of fun with the glue gun and vinyl decals to trick it our for advertising/partying.
I had to tear down our covered carport to get it in the driveway. I thought that was the nice thing to do for the neighbors. Apparently it wasn't nice enough... The city ticketed me for parking in my own driveway
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Old 09-30-2019, 01:27 PM   #2
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Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
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Under what rule?
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Old 09-30-2019, 03:09 PM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1999
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Chassis: Freighliner FS65
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I too was ticketed. See if you can reason with them before getting upset or lashing out. I learned that quickly when dealing with my own parking issues.
Once I showed them my title said motorhome they left me alone.

I like the name Chuckles. Makes me think of clowns and candy.


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Old 09-30-2019, 04:57 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 12
Year: 1994
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: L0116
Engine: GMC B7T
Rated Cap: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Under what rule?
Under the "City of San Antonio can bite me rule"


Apparently all "oversized vehicles" are not allowed to be parked in residential areas. Mainly after RVs I think, but they definitely applied that rule to my bus too. A $500 ticket!



I went in polite as pie and showed the judge how the day after the ticket I went and bought a storage slip and moved the bus. So she knocked it down to $75. Still seems ridiculous to me, but the judge just gave me the arched eyebrow when I asked if she was willing to go any lower.



I just wish my "neighbor" would have come and told me rather than anonymously call the city and complain. But this is Texas, so maybe they were scared I would come out with guns blazing ...


p.s. Love the Candy! I'm going to have to find some of that!
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Old 10-08-2019, 05:34 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 12
Year: 1994
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: L0116
Engine: GMC B7T
Rated Cap: 36
Making the bluebird Blue

Despite the many people who recommend insulating the bus, I just couldn't bring myself to do it for a couple of reasons:


1) Magnets are fun! and having magnetic walls makes curtains/screens/decoration really easy for on/off.


2) We love the windows and aren't covering those up. So any gain in insulation would basically be lost because 1/9 of the vehicle's surface area is single pane glass that doesn't seal that great.



Granted if I lived somewhere other than Texas it would have been worthwhile to try and hunker her down a bit, but a cold snap here rarely lasts a day.


So ... after gutting her out I brought out a hazmat suit with respirator (worth every penny - please don't skimp on a respirator!) and got to work with too much spray paint. Hint: if you ever go down this road spare your finger and spend the $5 on the spray paint can holder with squeeze trigger...
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Old 10-08-2019, 07:19 PM   #6
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Join Date: Sep 2015
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Year: 2002
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Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Cool blue on the inside ... I like it.
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:25 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Posts: 12
Year: 1994
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: L0116
Engine: GMC B7T
Rated Cap: 36
The fun begins

I'm a much better carpenter than a mechanic ... and I'm only a mediocre carpenter. So this has all been a learning process. But I built my house (fondly known as "the house that incompetence built"), so this should be a breeze ... right?


Went with laminate vinyl faux hardwood flooring for the interior. It was pretty pricey, but I saw too many photos on this forum and of old RVs with moldy/disintegrating ply subfloors or laminate wood flooring. With young kids I count on a high spill factor. While mold seems able to grow about anywhere, at least the floor/underlayment won't absorb moisture and disintegrate. So the price seemed worth it, especially since I only had 100 sq ft to cover.

After three months nonstop on the road, it held up pretty well to a family of five. There was one spot where the "snap-lock" planks started to spread out end to end. Not the prettiest, but not that noticable. Plus it's the "distressed floor" look, so it shouldn't be perfect anyways, right?

I heard a lot of pros and cons both ways, but I personally decided not to glue down the flooring because I wanted the floating floor to account for expansion/contraction of materials. But that left them a little loosey goosey on some of those bumpy back roads - that may be how that gap opened up.)



The oh-so-common slide out couch/beds worked amazingly well in a shortie where space is at a premium. Each side could fit three passengers with seatbelts, and when the bed was unfolded it slept four comfortably. The seat/back mattress rests became the bedding. We used 4" foam from HD and then my wife found some pretty amazing fabric. Then about 8 cans of scothch guard because, like I said, young kids... (and if I'm being totally honest I might sometimes spill some beer. Never my first, but sometimes my fourth)
Pros on that bedding style/system is that it's very space efficient and you have good storage underneath. And it also covered up the wheel wells. The biggest con was set-up/take-down on a daily basis. Very easy and quick with two people, a little longer if doing it solo but totally doable. One thing I feel helped me was a fair bit of routing on the slats etc. The slide "sticking" was never really an issue. However, the seatbelts were a bit annoying because they would slip between slats and have to be fished out when you were converting from bed to seats.
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Old 10-14-2019, 09:32 PM   #8
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 2,453
Year: 1935
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Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
Nice update. Your sliding "slat" beds are a real space saver. Your kids will love the photo history. Keep up the good work.
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