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Old 03-01-2011, 02:54 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 7

Hello ...... I am new to the Skoolie forum and wanted to share my story, my plans and get input from other Skoolies on my new project.....The DoggHouse ..... For over a year now I've been talking about purchasing a school bus and converting to a toy/camper hauler....(wife thinks I'm crazy.... my 9 & 6 year old love it) I was looking for something large enough to pull my Jeep and the family on our out of state trips with our friends and local Jeep club. I had a buddy inform me a few months back that his church was selling their bus. Now the fun has started....

Picked up a 1981 Bluebird FE 40ft flat nose from a local Church to start a Toy Hauler/Camper project....

Bus includes....
3208 non-turbo Caterpillar diesel remanufactured < than 100,000 miles
Onan 5500 propane generator
RV propane setup
RV ac x 2
New tires all the way around .... no retreads

Let the fun begin......

Little work has been done....
Converted title to Motor Home here in Florida ..... (way easier than I thought)
Tax title and call Mr Insurance..... (not bad... $312 a year)
Fixed the hinge on the air door...(my little girls think that is so cool...opening the door with a push button)
Scrubbed the bus top to bottom....(without slipping off the top)
Removed all but 4 seats....

Working on a game plan now......
idea.... shorten it by 8 ft or so .... ( so I am able to pull a 2 car hauler and still stay within 65ft... rig and trailer) or
Keep it full 40ft and just pull my Jeep .....

Any information i.e. on the bus would be greatly appreciated...... am in need of some general wiring information and I need a wiper motor ...... thanks again

New Port Richey, Florida
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:15 AM   #2
Bus Nut
yankeflyer's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pueblo Co
Posts: 310
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Safe T Liner
Engine: 3208 turbo
Rated Cap: 84
Re: DoggHouse.....

Wow what a great starting point for a skoolie project.
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Old 03-02-2011, 07:34 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Andrews,Indiana
Posts: 1,390
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 3116 Cat 250hp
Rated Cap: Her, me and Molly
Re: DoggHouse.....

Welcome, looks like a good starting point

Not sure of your ability,time,working space, but a shorten will be a major project. Is there room behind rear spring shackles to remove 8 feet? Others have modified to haul on/in the rear of the bus.

What kind of info do you need about wiring/bus? A lot of good info is already here.

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Old 03-02-2011, 11:00 AM   #4
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,583
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Re: DoggHouse.....

Towing a dolly/car trailer is a PITA, based on what I have read on the RV forums. You can back a car up on a trailer, a dolly you can back up a few feet and to tow 4 down... you can back it up a few inches. We tow my Jeep Grand Cherokee 4 down. Most campgrounds really don't have room for the dollys and car trailers. Generally towing 4 down is the easiest way to tow. And is easier to get in/out of places. Go to Escapees or other RV forum and ask about it there.... or do a search. This is a very popular subject and is well -discussed.
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
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Old 03-02-2011, 01:02 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 7
Re: DoggHouse.....

Thanks for the responses..... I will do more research on Skoolie to get more information on my bus...... as for towing..... I will be trailer towing my Jeep.... if I don't shorten the bus I can tow up to a 25ft car trailer (1 jeep and gear).... If I shorten my bus 8 feet ( will only include body work, not touching the rear axle)I will be about to two a 33ft car trailer ( 2 Jeeps and gear) and still stay within my legal 65ft total length. My Jeep is a rock crawler and we travel to GA, TN, AL off road parks.... thanks again for all your input

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Old 03-02-2011, 03:52 PM   #6
Almost There
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Augusta Arkansas
Posts: 85
Year: 90
Coachwork: Volunteer
Engine: 366
Rated Cap: 65
Re: DoggHouse.....

bigger the better,lol looks like a nice start
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Old 03-05-2011, 02:44 PM   #7
Bus Nut
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 275
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: 466DT
Rated Cap: 65
Re: DoggHouse.....

Welcome to the board. There is a couple of us right now in a build, for the same reason as you. Good tow rig for our toys. Here's my thread. viewtopic.php?f=9&t=6481&hilit=hvbuzz

Also there is a thread on 4x4toys.

Anyway, can't wait to see what you do with your build.

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Old 03-05-2011, 04:06 PM   #8
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bakersfield, California
Posts: 969
Year: 1976
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: DD Inline 6-71 MidShip
Rated Cap: 79
Re: DoggHouse.....

Welcome aboard!!!!
My Conversion Thread:
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Old 03-05-2011, 10:11 PM   #9
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Elk Plain, WA.
Posts: 513
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DTA360
Rated Cap: 16
Re: DoggHouse.....

Right on...

I'm building mine to be used as a tow rig/camper... I've got a lot of buddies that are wheelers that have been watching me build the bus to show their wifes how cool it could be... I think they're all chickens and want to see what their wifes reaction is when they see our bus at camp...

Post up lots of pics along the way and drop by the 4x4 thread and show us your Jeep...
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Old 03-06-2011, 12:09 PM   #10
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Wimberley, Tx
Posts: 197
Year: 93
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: ?
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Re: DoggHouse.....

Im not sure that it matters but arent those a/c units on backwards?
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