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Old 12-27-2015, 05:41 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Holly, MI
Posts: 14
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird All American
Chassis: Allison MD3060
Engine: 5.9L Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 90 Passenger
Fly high, FREE BIRD!



So, this all started as a joke.

Backstory...

My brother Ian, cousin Matt, buddy Steve, and a few others make a trek every other year to deer hunt west of Cody, WY. Being a bunch of MI boys, it's a little bit a drive, and we couldn't stomach the thought of stuffing 5-6 guys in an F-250 again for a 27 hour one-way-trip out, and the subsequent journey home. We started discussing alternative options. Renting an RV was going to be our solution until we discovered that we would be looking at $2500 - $3000 for rental, fuel, insurance, and mileage charges.

Coincidentally, I received a random text in late October from a friend of ours stating that he was selling his Motorhome, a 1984 Ford that was in surprisingly good shape for only $1400! We discussed the possibility of using the Motorhome for about a week before coming to the conclusion that we would have to put in a lot of $ (including tires) to have a chance of making a 3600 mile round trip with a 31 year old RV that hasn't been used in forever. Probability of having a breakdown was high, so we abandoned that plan.



The more we looked into the RV idea, the more we realized that we really didn't want to buy something that had a bunch of crap in it that we didn't want taking up space. Namely, the bathroom & kitchen area would be a waste, and lack of practical sleeping/lounging area were the areas was problematic. So, getting back to the first line, in the beginning of November my cousin Matt sent us a text with the listing of an old school bus on ebay for around $3k. This was totally a joke when he sent it, but it definitely struck a chord with each of us, because as we spoke to each other over the next few days the idea went from joke to possibility.

Fast forward about a month and we were in the midst of the bus hunt. Spending all of our time here on Skoolie, as well as Ebay, Craigslist, public auctions, schools, you name it, we called and searched for information and leads to get us our perfect bus! We got pickier and pickier as we searched, and were at a loss for finding units that met all of our search criteria. Long story short, we ended up finding and buying a bus that was EXACTLY what we wanted. Problem was, the bus was in Tampa. As it happened, Ian, Matt, and Steve flew down, completed the transaction, climbed aboard and headed North!

I have A LOT of pics that I will be posting later this evening, but gotta run to dinner right now. I'm looking forward to getting some feedback on what everyone thinks of our ideas, and suggestions!

-Brandan 12/27/2015
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Old 12-27-2015, 06:07 PM   #2
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Location: Billings, MT
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
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Old 12-27-2015, 07:57 PM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Spring Valley AZ
Posts: 772
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 2 elderly children, 1 cat
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Old 12-27-2015, 08:06 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Holly, MI
Posts: 14
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird All American
Chassis: Allison MD3060
Engine: 5.9L Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 90 Passenger














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Old 12-27-2015, 08:06 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Farmington, IL
Posts: 180
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: AARE 3903
Engine: Cummins 6CTA 8.3
Rated Cap: 84
Welcome aboard!
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Old 12-27-2015, 09:00 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Holly, MI
Posts: 14
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird All American
Chassis: Allison MD3060
Engine: 5.9L Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 90 Passenger






















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Old 12-27-2015, 09:15 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Holly, MI
Posts: 14
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird All American
Chassis: Allison MD3060
Engine: 5.9L Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 90 Passenger
Just some random photos...













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Old 12-27-2015, 09:31 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Holly, MI
Posts: 14
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird All American
Chassis: Allison MD3060
Engine: 5.9L Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 90 Passenger
Here we are taking out the seats last week. From everything that I have read on here this was supposed to be the worst part of the conversion. It only took us about 3 hours with 3 guys to get them out. I would guess that about 60% of the bolt heads snapped off (which was the preferred outcome for us!), we had about a dozen that we had to cut off with a grind wheel. The rest came out relatively problem free. I should mention that we used air tools.























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Old 12-27-2015, 09:43 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Holly, MI
Posts: 14
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird All American
Chassis: Allison MD3060
Engine: 5.9L Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 90 Passenger
Here is the heating system that we decided on. It is a ventless propane heater. It is rated to heat up to 1000 sq. ft. areas, so hopefully it will do us well on the bus. We are running it off of 4 - 20 # tanks that run into a manifold that Ian and Matt built. We will be testing it later this week when the other 3 tank lines and the new (hopefully un-cracked) regulator gets in. I will try to get a better pic of the manifold when they take it out before it is permanently mounted. As you can see, we are mounting the tanks and all of the fittings in the under storage.









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Old 12-27-2015, 09:47 PM   #10
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Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Olympia, Washington
Posts: 554
Year: 87
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International s1700
Engine: 6.9 internatiional
Rated Cap: 65
I love the pics, keep them coming
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