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Old 07-12-2019, 05:55 AM   #41
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Grove Oklahoma
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: Flat Nose 40 Footer
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 85
Best comment on this thread so far. Thanks for sharing it.
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:14 AM   #42
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Grove Oklahoma
Posts: 22
Year: 1997
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: Flat Nose 40 Footer
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
This thread has gone from someone offering their buildout advise, into what has seemingly turned into a pi$$ing contest which is a real shame.

Naturally we're not all going to have 100% agreement on how a quality bus should be converted. or how much insulation is needed vs what will simply work most of the time depending on the vehicle's intended usage.

Having different ideas or choices in the buildout process is helpful to contemplate and should be embraced by those open minded folks that are serious about wanting suggestions to follow, or not, in getting their individual projects across the finish line!

There will likely be very few busses still running the roads 20 years from now, that are on the road today no matter how over or under built they are...
Well put Pete,

Exactly my point in my first post. Time is short for Skoolie Builds. To build one with the intentions of immortality is probably effort and labor misplaced in the long run. Has anyone here seen a post from a person who just bought a 40 year old converted bus to live in full time? Probably not so to play off a famous beer commercial tagline......."this builds for you"!
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:21 AM   #43
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Grove Oklahoma
Posts: 22
Year: 1997
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: Flat Nose 40 Footer
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleddgracer View Post
I agree - the OP has some ideas that will work fine for some, maybe not so fine for some others - I long ago decided that I wanted closed cell foam insulation, but it's going on top of the roof - the steel roof will work fine as a vapor barrier, and it's a simple matter to build a water proof cap/deck on top - that in itself will save time and $'s and will perform as well or better than alternatives ( and has the added, but likely uneeded, advantage of enhancing the skoolie's safety in a roll over rather than detract from ceiling strength like the removal of the metal ceiling does ) - the OP's post about getting furniture and cabinets from returns or auctions would be an excellent one for my purpose, just wish it was a more practical solution for me because I live in an area of low population and auctions/warehouses tend to stick to the high population areas - I see no cause for rudeness when someone has an idea different than our own - this forum, as far as I understood is for the exchange of ideas, not for insults and sour posts because someone disagrees - for Pete's sake, it's not our manhood being challenged - lol
Wow! Someone with the same idea about the roof cap. Why haven't we seen a build like this yet I wonder? Mine will have the wood deck above the cap so as to have the benefit of hiding the possible poor looks of the cap. It should all work well together I think and I can't wait to get to that stage in the build. Should be way easier to apply the foam externally then internally I'd think but stay tuned!
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:51 AM   #44
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Indiana
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Year: 2001
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I have been across the US on my bus and met lots of Skoolie's. Some all decked out and some with only a picnic table inside. We all have our own way of doing things and what counts is that you respect your neighbor and his choices. You all have to remember what makes a Skoolie so fun is they are all different and have their own personal touch.


Life is what you put into it.
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:56 AM   #45
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Grove Oklahoma
Posts: 22
Year: 1997
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: Flat Nose 40 Footer
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark_In_MA View Post
There are many different ways to build a skoolie - tons of people on here for different reasons, with different goals, skill levels, and budgets. There's no one way to do things. Like a lot of things though, I'm immedeately suspicious when someone comes in to say do this, that, and the other thing - exactly the opposite of what a lot of the general community does - without being able to explain why. There are a lot of opinionated people here - but I think most people and and keep the "preachyness" to their own threads - what I mean is that people say "On my bus I'm doing __________" , instead of trying to say that "EVERYONE should do ________."

"Fastest". . oakay, "cheapest", oaky, "Best quality bus build". . uhh, hang on a sec...
It's fine to do a budget bus build. There might be a literal build called that here somewhere. But if you call it "Fastest, cheapest, best", then you can't complain if people call you out on it.

Not everyone's bus needs to be a mobile hotel on wheels - some people are fine with a metal tent on wheels. It's not that the OP's advice is false, but I feel like there are a lot of things that could get people in trouble.

For example, forget about insulation for a moment - think about "temperature management" instead. It's totally faster and easier if, like the OP suggests, you just put up some 2x4 walls on 24 inch centers, and put some foam between the studs. If you do that though, you're closing off all your windows. . . and forget what you have for insulation, if you don't get some fresh air your bus somewhere, you've just built yourself an oven. Rugs work in the cold, they don't help as much in the hot. Do you need to rip apart all the walls and the ceiling? No. Will you be in trouble if you don't check for leaks (either on a rainy day or with a hose first)? YES. How many of you have leaking emergency hatches?

Another reason to remove the interior walls and ceiling is to make room for your plumbing and wiring before you put up your walls. Some of those things you really want to run first. Raise your hand if you floor plan has changed at some point in the build - that will effect your utilities as well. Go ahead and frame - just do the leg work to get somewhat of an idea of your floor plan first.

I think the OP missed a bit of a point about tons of people on Youtube who are asking $25,000 for their build and can't find a buyer - the problem isn't exactly that people did a poor looking job on the conversion, or that there are no buyers - but that they cut certain corners - like spending the extra thousand or two to put in some insulation in the first place - which turns away knowledgeable buyers.

It also ignores the fact that you're still starting a conversion based on a large, used, commercial-spec vehicle. Not that you have to be an expert mechanic, but you're going to learn about certain things sooner or later - like fuel filters, air tank drain valves, etc. What's worse then finding out you have roof leak (and ruined $100 of tongue and groove roofing) is finding out your bus just toasted a piston and needs $1200 of engine work.

I guess the point that I'm trying to make is that there are things you can do to make building a skoolie easyER - but it's still not easy. There are certain things you need to be prepared to buy/spend/do, or maybe a skoolie isn't the right type of camper for you.
First let me say to others who have the misconception of my bus build being a means to build my business. Just not so. I have great current customers who treat me like a friend and neighbor and they all want to see my bus being built. I'm a one-man business and work 7 days a week which is why I don't have a ton of time to build. I'm of certain skill sets and talents and could certainly take the hard road in building my bus but it makes no sense given the short viable lifespan of a skoolie anyway.

I'm glad for this post that I've quoted above as it brought some things to my attention about my original posts. So my title should maybe have said, Fastest (for you), Cheapest (for you), Best Quality (for you). My advice was NEVER meant for the most experienced or ambitious builder. Watching all the videos online of the young couples struggling to complete their buses was my motivation for sharing the process that works for me. The goal was to get them into a beautiful blank canvas of an interior so they can get to the most fun part of the build, layout and design.

Not sure where you got that I'm suggesting "closing up all the windows" though. I never said nor implied that and you can look at my pictures to verify.

The rug comment was made because that's what they all do with a cooler floor than expected. Keep in mind that an well insulated floor keeps cold out but also keeps cold in. 75' of exposed windows on a 10 degree winter day makes any floor cold. No getting around the cold downdrafts from the glass. All these claims can be verified by using a simple laser thermometer. Every bus owner should have one to find their cold air leaks and vulnerable spots. They cost about $20.

As to wiring and plumbing goes, here's my choice. Under the floor! Pvc conduit with PEX running through it where needed. Inside the conduit will also be "heat tape" for the really cold days. PEX won't burst but frozen water lines can be inconvenient. May seem challenging but allows for valve placement almost anywhere without worry about "wall" placement above. The same strategy with the electrical. Most buses have 10 or less outlets so why go to all the trouble of wiring it like a home awaiting inspection? I'll use UL Certified appropriate gauge extension cords running through the conduit where there is exposure to flying gravel kicked up by the tires and heavy rubber shielded cords elsewhere. These will come up through the floor into the appropriate cabinets and connect to the new "dual outlets with USB ports" built in. Want to move an outlet? Fine, unplug it and move it. Keep in mind that the things you plug in mostly have 6' cords already which means don't go AC outlet crazy! My lights are primarily the ones down the middle of the ceiling with new LED bulbs and all others will be 12v as well. My water heaters are two 6 gallon tanks using 110v and will be switched on "when needed" only or on a timer. Only takes 15 minutes and your ready to shower! Why run them all the time?

I should have mentioned I guess to newbies that they should test for leaks from their roofs but I assumed they would watch a hundred videos as we all did and thus learn that part then "seal" their roofs to eliminate that concern. $100 and that worry is gone. No interior wood roof falling down or stained. My bus sat through 3 months of rain before I started working on it and no leaks found.

By the way, has anyone seen a photo of a bus with the ceiling rusted through? Not me. On an interesting note for some of you, in my tooling engineer days one of my customers was a major bus manufacturing plant in Tulsa, OK. The assembly line is 1 mile long. I helped them design a special carbide drill bit to pre-drill all the rivet holes in those things. WOW! There is crap load and trust me, you don't want to work at a bus plant.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:10 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRushBus View Post
Wow! Someone with the same idea about the roof cap. Why haven't we seen a build like this yet I wonder? Mine will have the wood deck above the cap so as to have the benefit of hiding the possible poor looks of the cap. It should all work well together I think and I can't wait to get to that stage in the build. Should be way easier to apply the foam externally then internally I'd think but stay tuned!
using pressure treated plywood and dimension lumber for construction of the deck, covered with one piece roll out filament rubber roofing - foam goes between the trusses and before the plywood decking is put in place - the rubber sheeting glued down to cover it all down to where the seam of wood and metal meet - I know from experience that the rubber roofing lasts a minimum of 15 years because I have it on a trailer now that is still water tight after 15 years
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:21 AM   #47
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 6,783
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
You'll find many insurance companies will not write a policy if you have roof deck.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:35 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
You'll find many insurance companies will not write a policy if you have roof deck.
I wonder if they would have a problem with a roof *rack* that was 4" higher than the high point of an unaltered roof?
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:42 AM   #49
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
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Year: 1999
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Chassis: International
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleddgracer View Post
I wonder if they would have a problem with a roof *rack* that was 4" higher than the high point of an unaltered roof?
Rack/deck, the same to some, check your insurance company. Their concern is having an accessable roof to hold people that can get drunk and fall off. They don't want people on your roof.
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Old 07-12-2019, 12:45 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
Rack/deck, the same to some, check your insurance company. Their concern is having an accessable roof to hold people that can get drunk and fall off. They don't want people on your roof.
l guess my comment about the 4" difference was as much about pointing out the autocratic declarations of some insurance companies as it was about having a flat space on the roof of an otherwise unaltered school bus - lol
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