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Old 01-12-2015, 01:26 AM   #1
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E-450 Ford Shuttle Bus conversion

I bought a 2006 E-450 Ford Gas shuttle bus a few months ago and I am just starting to convert it into a motorhome!

I have an old 5th wheel that I am tearing out useful appliances/items water tanks...ect.

I'm looking to make this thing livable.


-toilet
-running water
-electricity (solar panels)
-propane??
-small fireplace (this would be awesome)
-and living quarters
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Old 01-12-2015, 08:40 AM   #2
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It must be easier to work on the floor when you're standing on the wall. Be careful you don't step on a window and break it. Sorry, couldn't resist. I took me a while to figure out I wasn't looking at the outside of a blue and white bus in a cluttered shop.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:11 PM   #3
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Be very careful cutting any new holes in the walls.

You didn't say which bus body you have so I will make some general comments about plastic body buses.

Most are built with a sandwich process with inside and outside panels with insulation and a steel framework inside the sandwich.

You do not want water to get inside the sandwich. All sorts of bad stuff will occur if it gets wet inside.

About the only time you will ever see where the steel framework is inside the wall is when the bus body sweats as it will have a different temperature where the framework is. At that time you will be able to see a shadow where all of the steel is.

Unlike a school bus that has ribs going continuously from the floor, over the roof, and then back to the floor, most plastic body buses have a roof attached to the walls. As a consequence the steel frame work has diagonal bracing to get the strength of triangles. If you should cut a hole through the wall and cut one of those diagonal braces you might compromise the structural rigidity of the body.

My only other caveat is watch your weight.

Most all of the light duty buses, regardless of application (whether white or yellow), have very little in the way of tare weight available.

Most E-450 chassis have a GVWR of 14,000 lbs. +/- 500 lbs. Most buses built on E-450 chassis weigh in excess of 11,000 lbs.

Before you start loading your bus up with fixtures I would take it somewhere to be weighed so you will know how much weight you will be able to put in and still have capacity left for passengers and fuel.

Good luck and happy trails.
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Old 01-12-2015, 03:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Be very careful cutting any new holes in the walls.

You didn't say which bus body you have so I will make some general comments about plastic body buses.

Most are built with a sandwich process with inside and outside panels with insulation and a steel framework inside the sandwich.

You do not want water to get inside the sandwich. All sorts of bad stuff will occur if it gets wet inside.

About the only time you will ever see where the steel framework is inside the wall is when the bus body sweats as it will have a different temperature where the framework is. At that time you will be able to see a shadow where all of the steel is.

Unlike a school bus that has ribs going continuously from the floor, over the roof, and then back to the floor, most plastic body buses have a roof attached to the walls. As a consequence the steel frame work has diagonal bracing to get the strength of triangles. If you should cut a hole through the wall and cut one of those diagonal braces you might compromise the structural rigidity of the body.

My only other caveat is watch your weight.

Most all of the light duty buses, regardless of application (whether white or yellow), have very little in the way of tare weight available.

Most E-450 chassis have a GVWR of 14,000 lbs. +/- 500 lbs. Most buses built on E-450 chassis weigh in excess of 11,000 lbs.

Before you start loading your bus up with fixtures I would take it somewhere to be weighed so you will know how much weight you will be able to put in and still have capacity left for passengers and fuel.

Good luck and happy trails.
All very useful information to a prospective shuttle bus builder as myself, thank you. I'd considered most, but not all of these things.

Tom, welcome to the forums. I'm digging the shuttle bus builds I've seen, look forward to where yours goes. Make sure to take lots of pictures and keep us updated.
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Old 01-15-2015, 08:34 PM   #5
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Back slide out

I had a friend who had an idea of creating a slide out on the shuttle bus. But instead of in sliding out the side of the bus, having the back end of the bus extend out. (only when parked that is)

has anyone done that or have any ideas of possibilities of making that happen?
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Old 01-15-2015, 10:21 PM   #6
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I've done a slide out and a pop up. Had I thought I'd live long enough to complete a "slide back" I'd have done that too. Considering what you have, the slide back would be the easiest to do--if you can weld and do fiberglass, go for it. You could do direct slide out with hard sides (all 4) or part tent. barn door, tilt up, drop down, You are a bad influence on me, now I want a shuttle! Jack
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Old 01-16-2015, 02:59 PM   #7
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pics

These are some more pics of the bus
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File Type: jpg IMG_0665.jpg (221.8 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0667.jpg (167.2 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0673.jpg (183.8 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_0668.jpg (285.4 KB, 13 views)
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Old 01-16-2015, 03:00 PM   #8
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Do you have any other buses/websites you know of that have pics and info on a back end slide out?

Also i have a wheelchair lift that works great, and was thinking of using it as a bike rack? or something else...
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Old 01-16-2015, 04:50 PM   #9
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Before you do any converting I would get your bus weighed.

Those ElDorado Aerotech bodies aren't the heaviest but they are not light.

If you weigh the empty bus you will then know how much weight you can put into converting and still have enough tare weight to carry you and your passengers and a full tank of fuel.
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Old 01-16-2015, 07:50 PM   #10
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Very good advice --- Most shorty shuttles don't have that much in the way of load capacity to work with. Confirm your GVAW and definitely run it over scale to see how much room you have to work with. Good to know both the axle ratings as well before you go modding.
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