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Old 07-27-2011, 01:33 PM   #1
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Re: First Timer, 1983 GMC Conversion

Wow, that thing is awesome.
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Old 07-27-2011, 01:43 PM   #2
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Re: First Timer, 1983 GMC Conversion

Looks like a Thomas high top body though a little hard to tell from the rear view. You'll be enjoying all that headroom. The wood powered water heater is awesome! I also like all the wood inside. Not sure I would have gone the corrugated tin route to skin the windows, but once you paint it that should blend in better. You might want to look out for leaks at the ends and/or add some extra caulk.
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Old 07-27-2011, 02:45 PM   #3
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Re: First Timer, 1983 GMC Conversion

"2. build a bed frame in the back with fresh water tanks underneath the bed"
I'd suggest to put the tanks into some sort of pan draining to the outside just in case....
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Old 07-27-2011, 04:03 PM   #4
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Re: First Timer, 1983 GMC Conversion

Hey WokeUp --- welcome to the Looney Bin. Looks like you have a big head start there. Best of luck with the work ahead and do keep us up on your progress. You'll find plenty of help, sympathy and opinions here.
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Old 07-28-2011, 10:43 AM   #5
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Re: First Timer, 1983 GMC Conversion

Hey Woke --- check out this paint additive. Can't vouch for all of them, but I have seen the results for this stuff and was amazed. A friend mixed it with cheap-o latex and used a long nap roller to put it on the inside of an old corrugated tin roof here in Houston. The results were nothing short of amazing. Took me up to the newly built second floor and I put my hand on the tin roof on a 100+ day...barely even warm! No other insulation on his 80 year old warehouse roof but the paint with the ceramics added. Yes...I am definitely doing the roof of my bus with it. Inside & out.

Note...there's a bunch of similar stuff out there but these are the folks who developed it for NASA...

http://www.hytechceramics.com/
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:56 PM   #6
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Re: First Timer, 1983 GMC Conversion

The stove is awesome. Looks like a ski lodge in there. Regarding the lack of fresh water and grey water tanks, I guess the original owner had it hooked up to a septic tank or sewer and some pressurized water source? After all the work they did on the interior I am a little surprised that the exterior bottom half of the bus was left the original color. You might be able to save yourself some work by just painting over the yellow with something that goes well with the existing grey and white. I also think you're safe parked by that pool. A rusty windowless van would be a real problem though.

Christopher
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:12 AM   #7
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Re: First Timer, 1983 GMC Conversion

We are using a standard automotive battery to crank the bus, when we're not using it to power the 12vDc stuff in the food cart. Someone here told me that it won't crank the bus engine so we must be doing something wrong. We also used a single 12vDC auto battery to crank up the DD 8v71N65 diesel engine in the Eagle 05 as well. Over on the coach forums, that is what they use once they remove the huge OTR air conditioner unit. So we figured if it would crank the Eagle engine, an automotive battery would crank the BlueBird. So that is what we put in when we bought the bus to drive it home. Kept the same battery to move the bus from NC to NM (11 days of driving and the battery started it every time with no problem). But an "expert" here says it won't turn it over so we must have hooked it up wrong.

We full-timed in a 22 ft Class C with a 75 lb Borzoi/Husky Mix dog and 16 lb Maine Coon Mix cat (dog died and cat ran away looking for the dog). Dog and cat slept on our bed all day. We had A/C and furnace. They both liked the RV. Dog liked to sit in the rear bed while traveling and look out the window, sticking her tongue out at all the other dogs she saw. Both my pets were "couch potatoes" and into conserving personal energy.

Campgrounds don't take kindly to a dog barking all day while you are gone. Also, microchip your pet!
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:30 PM   #8
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Re: First Timer, 1983 GMC Conversion

We are not full timers yet but will be starting in March of 12. We have 3 cats and one dog. All of which hang out in the bus on a daily basis while we are working on it. As far as temps go, short of having an hvac system on a thermostat like in a house you are pretty much going to have to monitor it. Unfortunately living in a poorly insulated metal tube does present some issues.

As far as the starting battery goes, I can only share my personal experience with our bus. We have 2 starting batteries, both size 8D. That is more than enough to spin the 8.3 cummins. According to the records we received with this bus, the batteries were changed out in July of 2002. If I'm reading it correctly we are going on 10 years with the same batteries. All I do is put them on the float charger every month or so and they just keep on going.
I'm sure the bus could be started on a much smaller Walmart battery but at what cost? You could sting enough AAA batteries together to get it started also. It could even be turned over by hand if you had enough leverage, but why. I would recommend you run the battery spec'd by the manufacture. There is a reason the engineers decided on a certain size battery and I tend to rely on their R&D. In my opinion only of course.
Good luck and have fun.

By the way I dig the wood work and the iron stove. Way cool.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:06 PM   #9
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Re: First Timer, 1983 GMC Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by syke
We are not full timers yet but will be starting in March of 12. We have 3 cats and one dog. All of which hang out in the bus on a daily basis while we are working on it. As far as temps go, short of having an hvac system on a thermostat like in a house you are pretty much going to have to monitor it. Unfortunately living in a poorly insulated metal tube does present some issues...
Lots of folks live full and part time in sticks-&-staples RVs with pets. These have only 2 inches or so of foam insulation in them. All the pets survive just fine. Go here and ask how they do. BTW, we do not have an HVAC system. We have a loud 1984(?) Coleman TSR rooftop air conditioner. Our furnace is roughly the same age and we have a White-Rodgers thermostat on it. One of these "high tech" ones...
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:08 PM   #10
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Re: First Timer, 1983 GMC Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
Quote:
Originally Posted by syke
We are not full timers yet but will be starting in March of 12. We have 3 cats and one dog. All of which hang out in the bus on a daily basis while we are working on it. As far as temps go, short of having an hvac system on a thermostat like in a house you are pretty much going to have to monitor it. Unfortunately living in a poorly insulated metal tube does present some issues...
Lots of folks live full and part time in sticks-&-staples RVs with pets. These have only 2 inches or so of foam insulation in them. All the pets survive just fine. Go here and ask how they do. BTW, we do not have an HVAC system. We have a loud 1984(?) Coleman TSR rooftop air conditioner. Our furnace is roughly the same age and we have a White-Rodgers thermostat on it. One of these "high tech" ones...
I think you may have misunderstood my post. I never said it was not possible. In fact quite the opposite, it's very doable and done all over the world. I understand the normal RV's lack of any discernable amount of insulation, just like our buses. Except they live in a fiberglass and plastic tube.
On the other hand you do have an HVAC system. You listed the rooftop AC, the old furnace which covers the H part and if you open a window you will have the V part covered. And it's on a thermostat to boot. Excellent. You have it covered just fine.

Woke_up_new, if you get a minute, let us know how the ceramic paint additive works out for ya. I'm reading about doing something along those lines on the roof.
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