Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-29-2016, 10:49 AM   #31
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,607
You conversion is really looking GREAT!

I like your thinking. Your attention to detail is outstanding.

In regards to your dash lighting, it might just be the headlight switch is the problem. The dimmer function can get green with age and moisture. The green can get to the point where no juice will go through that part of the circuit regardless of where the switch is turned.

The switch is a standard GM headlight switch that has a button on the back that allows the pull knob to pull out and a face nut that holds the switch in place.

I am glad your significant other is starting to buy into the project.

The main reason why I sold my bus and purchased a travel trailer was I knew convincing my significant other a converted bus was a good idea was going to be like pushing chain uphill.

Good luck and happy trails!
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2016, 03:38 AM   #32
Skoolie
 
gizmoq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: St Louis Metro
Posts: 105
Year: 1978
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: Lifeguard
Engine: 366 Chevy
We took our first real trip this weekend. I had a car show I signed up for months ago and the weather had a possibility of some rain. So we decided to load the car on the bus and take it that way. I also wanted to check out Big River State Park and overnight there.

Of course, we had no idea what all we needed for the trip. We packed everything we thought we'd need, but inevitably we forgot stuff. Also being our first trip, we had no plan for where or how things should be stored. I left that up to her and we failed miserably. We filled every orifice on that bus and still needed more. We have a few ideas to remedy the space issue, but the packing and organizing is going to take time and planning.

I kept most of my tools in the garage section in case they were needed, luckily they weren't.

We arrived in Peoria late (as expected) so I had to park on the absolute far end of the parking lot in order to get a spot I knew I could get out of.

Gotta look hard and squint to see it way back in the back just left of center.


I think I was parked in the spectator parking lot.


So by the time I was parked and chocked, It started to drizzle. It was already colder than I expected. The fog on the way had me bummed, the bus struggled to climb the hills to get here, we're late, and now this. I decided to open up the garage and wait.


Pretty soon I realized the car would have fit right in, but the bus was actually a bigger attraction.



Pretty soon (word of mouth spreads quickly) mobs of folks were all around the bus asking question, wanting to see the interior, asking how it was built, by whom, telling stories of other conversions they'd seen. After an hour, I decided to just leave the car in it and enjoy the show. We locked the garage door, locked the front door and walked around and enjoyed seeing the other cars, truck, and bikes in attendance.



I couldn't resist taking a picture of a bumper sticker I want for the bus:


I may need this when we start boondocking long-term in any given place.


And we both drooled all over this COE truck:



By noon the show was over. We walked across the street and had lunch. Got back to the bus, buttoned it up, and set off for the next 90 miles to Big River.



Even without the Spring colors, Big River State Park is pretty nice. There are a variety of locations (by the river, by the road, way back in the woods, a couple group sites, a playground, several buildings throughout (I saw one marked as a "warming station"). We went to the office but they posted a sign "Out in the Area" and couldn't find anyone to take our money. We waited an hour and decided to find a spot and let them come to us.



We setup in a nice spot by the road thinking if the staff ever came back to the office, they'd be able to see us from the office and come over.... they never did. We knocked, we called, we left a note.... if that's not due diligence screw it our night there was free (and OBTW, our phones had no signal, but my WiFi extender was able to pick up a signal from the office so we had that).




The night in the park was nice. I think we were both guilty of overcompensating to insure the night went smoothly. I stayed up front while she hopped from couch to dinette to her nav seat looking to get a feel for the accommodations. The bathroom surprised her at its efficiency, convenience, and surprise, surprise it worked as advertised - no smell, no mess, no issues. What we hadn't anticipated was the temps dropped rapidly after sunset. By 10PM, it was below freezing outside and it was getting chilly inside. So I broke the cardinal rule of boondocking - I fired up the generator and turned on some heat. I know ... kick me later.

Bed time was another learning experience. She stored the bedding below the dinette. I opened the couch before it was retrieved and we both realized the open couch made the storage under the dinette inaccessible. So we had to put the couch back upright, get the stuff out and do it again. The bathroom is not enough room for dressing so we've decided to create a dressing room by curtaining the bathroom across to the fridge. The slide-in decorative panels of the fridge are going to have to be replaced with a mirror-like surface for this dressing room. The couch was fairly comfortable to sleep on. The console to the right of the driver's seat made a perfect bedside table. Next time I want to lower both the couch and the dinette and sleep over there so I'll know what a guest is going to have to deal with.

Sunday morning was glorious. I warmed up faster than I expected outside so we opened a few windows and listened to the birds and the river. PJ cooked breakfast in our tiny kitchen with no problems. We ate at the table with a spectacular view. Then explored the area and loitered about till we just couldn't stay any longer if we wanted to get home before nightfall. We slowly packed everything away and headed for home.




The trip home started out slower than expected. There weren't any really steep hills but I couldn't get above 47MPH for the first hour. We stopped a few times along the way because my "Engine Overspeed" light was on, but I knew that wasn't the case. Eventually, we got up to 55MPH on flat land so we just drove it on home. The last 30 miles was on the interstate and ET got up to 65MPH for a while.

Overall, PJ's happy, I'm happy, she wants to do it again (YEAH!), and I didn't need a tow truck - success. 435 miles, appx 7MPG, and no breakdown. A mile or 2 before we got home, I filled the tank and had ET weighed at Flying J. Max GVW on the bus is 23.6K the scale with a full tank and the car in the back was 22.1K ... I could add another thousand pounds and still be under my max, whoopie.

I still have a lot of little tasks and the motor and tranny probably both need to be rebuilt, but I'll get it done. I'm really motivated right now to get things done. More storage space will go in this week. The bathroom vanity and dressing room curtain and mirrors will be her job. I think this is going to work for us.
__________________
The more I do, the more I find needs done.
____________________________________
Build Thread - ET - ELWOOD Transporter
gizmoq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2016, 06:42 AM   #33
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,157
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Man, thats awesome.

And again- great bus!
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2016, 08:38 AM   #34
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,165
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Great adventure tale! Thanks for sharing. That is what the whole skoolie thing is about. And BTW...I totally agree on the COE!
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-08-2016, 09:02 AM   #35
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,157
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
COE's are cool.
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-19-2016, 01:48 AM   #36
Skoolie
 
gizmoq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: St Louis Metro
Posts: 105
Year: 1978
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: Lifeguard
Engine: 366 Chevy
FINALLY! All the electrical is in, hooked up, and running! Had some issues the last couple weeks with the smoke escaping from one of my isolators, the 30 Amp side of my generator failing, and my converter maxing out at 12.3V. I figured the isolator was toast and ordered another. Had to take the bus to the Onan Cummings service center to learn my wiring was bad. And I found a good deal on eBay for a 100W PowerMax PM3-100 converter/charger.



So this is the battery/isolator setup I have installed and everything is working as advertised.


There are two battery disconnect switches (chassis and coach). The BIRD is completely automated switching coach to chassis power when engine is running and the Aux Start hopefully won't ever be needed (Fingers crossed). I just have to remember to turn on the coach switch when on generator or shore power to charge the coach batteries.




This converter/charger is probably overkill at this time because I'm not running any power hungry 12V systems... just 2 computers, TV, lights, 7 cigarette power outlets, and 4 USB ports. I don't know what other 12V stuff I'll be adding in the future (maybe a surround sound system), but this should handle it. This is last years model so it only has 3-stage charging: 13.2, 13.6, 14.4 (the new ones added a fourth stage 14.8V). After running several tests monitoring voltages at the converter and at the batteries, I realized why all the 12V systems run both positive and negative leads to all systems - every time a load is grounded to the bus frame reduces the converter power output... hmmmm. I like this converter. When initialized, it outputs 14.7V no load, as it realizes the state of the battery it them adjusts to absorption 13.4 or float 13.2 with plenty of amps to fully charge the coach batteries in the quickest possible time.

Oh, I also got my garage storage rails done ala DIY Handyman - Sliding Storage.


Unlike some here, I have terrible carpentry skills so mine barely looks vaguely like the above. But, I now have 6 each 27 gallon totes in the garage for stowing everything from clothes to small hand tools and parts. I'm still pondering the best locking mechanism to keep them from sliding around while in motion, but that's the easy part. Did I mention these go over the front of the car when its in the garage. I better check this weekend to make sure there's plenty of clearance in both loading and travel mode ... oops.
__________________
The more I do, the more I find needs done.
____________________________________
Build Thread - ET - ELWOOD Transporter
gizmoq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-20-2016, 11:00 AM   #37
Skoolie
 
gizmoq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: St Louis Metro
Posts: 105
Year: 1978
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: Lifeguard
Engine: 366 Chevy
__________________
The more I do, the more I find needs done.
____________________________________
Build Thread - ET - ELWOOD Transporter
gizmoq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2016, 02:06 AM   #38
Skoolie
 
gizmoq's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: St Louis Metro
Posts: 105
Year: 1978
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: Lifeguard
Engine: 366 Chevy
Its Spring Break! So of course I want to go out glamping, but not too far from home. Chose Pere Marquette State Park. Loaded the garage with our two mountain bikes instead of the car and took off. Long story short, got there the bus kept tripping the circuits on the shore plugin, so we turned around and came home.

On the way home, I decided to consult with the local experts and stopped in at a local RV Service Center to troubleshoot the issue. Took him 2 minutes to tell me to isolate the generator whenever on shore power. O.K., I'm a noob! I remember reading that a year ago and forgot. I even installed a separate switch to remove the generator mimicing the setup from the RV my parts came out of. Lately, as the wiring was closer and closer to complete, that switch made less and less sense, WELL NOW IT DOES.

So I'm punishing myself for such a noob error ruining the week and the weather sucks, so I'm staying home not touching the bus, working other projects.

QUESTIONS FOR THE EXPERTS:
1. I need a mirror for the bathroom appx 24"x36", but I don't want glass. Where do I find a faux mirror that's light, can be put on a door, and good reflectivity?

2. Where do I buy the short house battery cables to tie my three house batteries together?

3. Where do I find "The idiots Guide to RV Camping" or something to that effect so I don't embarrass myself the next time out?
__________________
The more I do, the more I find needs done.
____________________________________
Build Thread - ET - ELWOOD Transporter
gizmoq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2016, 07:26 AM   #39
Bus Crazy
 
somewhereinusa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Andrews,Indiana
Posts: 1,636
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 3116 Cat 250hp
Rated Cap: Her, me and Molly
#2 Any good truck repair shop should be able to make them
somewhereinusa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2016, 11:10 AM   #40
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: MD near DC
Posts: 838
Mirror-surface plexiglas is a thing. Try any decent sized plastics supplier. It will scratch just like plexiglas though.
dan-fox is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
There and back again... Our future adventure transport. bunedoggle Skoolie Conversion Projects 77 03-12-2016 10:15 PM
E350 Transport Bus Conversion Highonthehog Short-Bus Conversion Projects 5 08-28-2014 06:52 PM
Transport by rail? Locutus On the Road | Travel, Trips, Camp Sites, Tailgates 10 09-25-2010 09:54 AM
Mass Casualty Transport Steve Everything Else | General Skoolie Discussions 4 11-12-2008 02:34 AM
Canoe hauler/ transport mistercraig Conversion General Discussions 1 02-21-2008 01:15 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:12 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.