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Old 05-27-2019, 07:20 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Tectonic Plate: Pacific
Posts: 64
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: Cummins 5.9 + Allison 3060
Rated Cap: Full size
Friendly Thomas

Last Friday I bought a full size 2003 Thomas with a 5.9 Cummins and Allison 3060. It's got a high top roof and a bunch of big storage compartments underneath. It has very minimal rust, all the buttons work, and it even has an intercom.

I drove it 500 miles already and it's quite a joy. I'd never driven something that gives me such a wonderful view! The only downside is that the engine is in the front, which makes it louder than I'd like, but I have noise cancelling headphones that make it alright. The driver's seat has something in it that causes it to glide up and down when the bus goes over bumps, which makes it pretty comfortable.

The seller offered to remove the seats and dispose of them for $500, which I didn't do. I kinda regret that, because it took me over a week to get them unbolted because I'm usually working alone and the indentations in the seat feet mean that an angle grinder doesn't work. I ended up paying $150 to dispose of the seats, and still have two feet that I'll need to deal with. The seat itself was torn apart by someone who meant well, but now I have sharp metal sticking out of the floor and have temporarily covered it with foam while I try to figure out what to do.

I am debating on whether or not to remove the rubber or just lay floor on top of it. It is in pretty good condition other than needing to be mopped and there are no soft spots or signs of rust. I'm leaning towards keeping it.

Today I started cleaning the nooks and crannies and there sure are a lot of them! Years of dust and dirt building up in the little corners that is hard to get to. I'd appreciate any tips on how to make that go easier.

I'm also debating what to do about the metal panels under the windows. They are kinda gross and there is insulation behind them that I'll likely want to replace.
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:28 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 382
Year: 1999
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC1000 HandyBus
Engine: 5.9L 24V-L6 Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 26 foot
Welcome to the site!


For future bus buyers, Good-Will took my seats off my hands for free, and even helped me carry them from the bus to the store.


If you got the time, sell them on craigslist....especially if you are near the border of Mexico. They haven't been trained to think of the disposable lifestyle yet.
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:29 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 7,152
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
First time in an air seat?
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Old 05-27-2019, 07:32 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 445
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30
Engine: 350 Chevy
Rated Cap: 10K
Congrats on acquiring your new bus.
As you've already discovered, now the "fun" begins!
Don't get discouraged at the time and amount of work ahead of you.
Simply work one part at a time and it will eventually pay off.
Good luck and post pics if you feel like it, going forward...
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:06 AM   #5
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Goose Bay NL
Posts: 388
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 72
Sounds like a nice rig, and has lots of potential.
Air ride seats are nice, and there is options to hush the sounds of that engine.
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http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/97...ion-22324.html
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Old 05-28-2019, 08:44 AM   #6
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 18,257
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Your driver seat should have a toggle somewhere to adjust the air pressure. If you're bouncing too much just increase the pressure a bit.
Enjoy the bus.
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Old 05-28-2019, 09:46 AM   #7
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 299
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
The trip home is always memorable. Now the fun begins! I would definitely remove all flooring, down to the metal. There will be rust under there.
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Old 06-13-2019, 11:56 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Tectonic Plate: Pacific
Posts: 64
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: Cummins 5.9 + Allison 3060
Rated Cap: Full size
Well, these past few weeks have seen a lot!

Those pesky two feet are out, the new floor is in, there is a toilet and a mattress and pretty much everything I own -- the largest of which is now a large hard-sided storage box containing more tools than I ever knew had names!

There is a power box that can charge my phone, a small generator, a big dog, both a fire extinguisher and a fire starter (adjustable propane torch that is useful for "cleaning cobwebs" when there are suspicious characters around), and a ton of cleaning rags and sprays.

I'm experimenting with how to put up curtains, deciding on a floor plan, and peppering the ceiling and walls with magnets so I can use magnet-lined sheets as temporary walls.

I took off the housing that goes above the window in one part and learned that it will not go back into place. I found a printed poem that Bryony wrote in 2007 about how a boy cheated on her and ripped her heart in two. I also found a hand-written note about the secret romance of "Ethan and Noah, sitting in a seat." I hope that Bryony has found a more deserving partner than that unfaithful low-life, and that Ethan and Noah are still sitting together somewhere, ideally in a much cleaner and more comfortable seat.

I'm trying to decide what to do about the exposed wires that were covered by the housing. I'm thinking to make an L-shaped shelf around the height anyway, and can put the wires in the back of that. I'm trying to decide if I should do this along the full length of the bus or if I want to leave anywhere empty. I'm also deciding on what to do about the lip where the seats used to rest. I'm not sure if I want to insulate and cover the top and bottom separately or do it with a single panel. I can have a lot of trouble with decision paralysis, so if anyone has advice, I'd sure appreciate it!

Last thing, is there any good argument against putting the bedroom in the front, behind the driver's seat? I very much do not want to drill holes through the floor, so I'm thinking about setting my bathroom/shower/kitchen in the rear of the bus so I can use gravity to have the water flow out the back door into a portable RV dump tank that I keep in one of the underbelly storage compartments. I want to use absolute minimum water, to the point of not even using a 12v water pump for the sink. I am planning to have a small water reservoir that will sit above the sink, and a solar shower bag that hangs from the ceiling. I really hate dealing with grey and black water, and I find that I'm a lot less wasteful with my water use when I rely only on gravity and have to lift up every gallon that I want to use. The downside to this is that I have to walk the whole length of the bus if I want to use the toilet at night. Based on my limited time in the bus, this doesn't seem too bad, but I'm not sure if I will regret that choice a few months from now. Any experienced people want to weigh in?
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:11 PM   #9
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
Posts: 1,953
Chassis: still looking for my bus
Quote:
Originally Posted by OlgaAK View Post
Well, these past few weeks have seen a lot!

Those pesky two feet are out, the new floor is in, there is a toilet and a mattress and pretty much everything I own -- the largest of which is now a large hard-sided storage box containing more tools than I ever knew had names!

There is a power box that can charge my phone, a small generator, a big dog, both a fire extinguisher and a fire starter (adjustable propane torch that is useful for "cleaning cobwebs" when there are suspicious characters around), and a ton of cleaning rags and sprays.

I'm experimenting with how to put up curtains, deciding on a floor plan, and peppering the ceiling and walls with magnets so I can use magnet-lined sheets as temporary walls.

I took off the housing that goes above the window in one part and learned that it will not go back into place. I found a printed poem that Bryony wrote in 2007 about how a boy cheated on her and ripped her heart in two. I also found a hand-written note about the secret romance of "Ethan and Noah, sitting in a seat." I hope that Bryony has found a more deserving partner than that unfaithful low-life, and that Ethan and Noah are still sitting together somewhere, ideally in a much cleaner and more comfortable seat.

I'm trying to decide what to do about the exposed wires that were covered by the housing. I'm thinking to make an L-shaped shelf around the height anyway, and can put the wires in the back of that. I'm trying to decide if I should do this along the full length of the bus or if I want to leave anywhere empty. I'm also deciding on what to do about the lip where the seats used to rest. I'm not sure if I want to insulate and cover the top and bottom separately or do it with a single panel. I can have a lot of trouble with decision paralysis, so if anyone has advice, I'd sure appreciate it!

Last thing, is there any good argument against putting the bedroom in the front, behind the driver's seat? I very much do not want to drill holes through the floor, so I'm thinking about setting my bathroom/shower/kitchen in the rear of the bus so I can use gravity to have the water flow out the back door into a portable RV dump tank that I keep in one of the underbelly storage compartments. I want to use absolute minimum water, to the point of not even using a 12v water pump for the sink. I am planning to have a small water reservoir that will sit above the sink, and a solar shower bag that hangs from the ceiling. I really hate dealing with grey and black water, and I find that I'm a lot less wasteful with my water use when I rely only on gravity and have to lift up every gallon that I want to use. The downside to this is that I have to walk the whole length of the bus if I want to use the toilet at night. Based on my limited time in the bus, this doesn't seem too bad, but I'm not sure if I will regret that choice a few months from now. Any experienced people want to weigh in?
cute history, cute dog, and problems of a skoolie owner
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Old 06-13-2019, 02:23 PM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Oberlin, Kansas
Posts: 1,388
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by OlgaAK View Post
Well, these past few weeks have seen a lot!

Those pesky two feet are out, the new floor is in, there is a toilet and a mattress and pretty much everything I own -- the largest of which is now a large hard-sided storage box containing more tools than I ever knew had names!

There is a power box that can charge my phone, a small generator, a big dog, both a fire extinguisher and a fire starter (adjustable propane torch that is useful for "cleaning cobwebs" when there are suspicious characters around), and a ton of cleaning rags and sprays.

I'm experimenting with how to put up curtains, deciding on a floor plan, and peppering the ceiling and walls with magnets so I can use magnet-lined sheets as temporary walls.

I took off the housing that goes above the window in one part and learned that it will not go back into place. I found a printed poem that Bryony wrote in 2007 about how a boy cheated on her and ripped her heart in two. I also found a hand-written note about the secret romance of "Ethan and Noah, sitting in a seat." I hope that Bryony has found a more deserving partner than that unfaithful low-life, and that Ethan and Noah are still sitting together somewhere, ideally in a much cleaner and more comfortable seat.

I'm trying to decide what to do about the exposed wires that were covered by the housing. I'm thinking to make an L-shaped shelf around the height anyway, and can put the wires in the back of that. I'm trying to decide if I should do this along the full length of the bus or if I want to leave anywhere empty. I'm also deciding on what to do about the lip where the seats used to rest. I'm not sure if I want to insulate and cover the top and bottom separately or do it with a single panel. I can have a lot of trouble with decision paralysis, so if anyone has advice, I'd sure appreciate it!

Last thing, is there any good argument against putting the bedroom in the front, behind the driver's seat? I very much do not want to drill holes through the floor, so I'm thinking about setting my bathroom/shower/kitchen in the rear of the bus so I can use gravity to have the water flow out the back door into a portable RV dump tank that I keep in one of the underbelly storage compartments. I want to use absolute minimum water, to the point of not even using a 12v water pump for the sink. I am planning to have a small water reservoir that will sit above the sink, and a solar shower bag that hangs from the ceiling. I really hate dealing with grey and black water, and I find that I'm a lot less wasteful with my water use when I rely only on gravity and have to lift up every gallon that I want to use. The downside to this is that I have to walk the whole length of the bus if I want to use the toilet at night. Based on my limited time in the bus, this doesn't seem too bad, but I'm not sure if I will regret that choice a few months from now. Any experienced people want to weigh in?
My suggestion is to look at other builds and steal their ideas. That's what my wife and I have done over the past 7+ years. Our build is getting to, as Winston Churchill best put it, "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."

What an upbeat chap huh?

M
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