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Old 12-08-2009, 09:29 PM   #31
Gypsy_Kid's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Decatur, Illinois
Posts: 33
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas International
Engine: DT 360 Diesel
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Gypsy Ceramic Shop Bus

Hellow Skoolie-ers.

Don't mind the typos, I'm at a "prestegious private university" which means that everything is jank, including the keayboards. I rarely find one in good working condition. Do note that I was homeschooled, so I definetly know how to spell

I don't know what all of my previous posts said, but they were basically me thinking and dreaming, and plotting. Just before Thanksgiving break, all I really had done was the skeleton of a kitchen, half of the floor removed, wire-brushed clean, sealed with rust-ol-eum (nasty stuff), insulated, and covered. and the wall panels were all removed. During the 9 days of Thanksgiving break, I got a lot done. I sectioned off the back "three windows" of the bus and installed a nice padlock on the backdoor for entry. That's going to be my woodshop, ceramic shop, and bike repair shop. I completely finished the floor up to the section, and completed the rest of the floor minus the floorboards (meaning I didn't lay a floor in the rear of the bus, just slatted and insulated it). I removed all but two windows, completely sheetmetaled over the window holes and sealed them. I insulated ALL of the walls of the bus with R19 (man was it hard to get it squeezed in there). I put wall boards up and completely finished the project. I built boxes over the tire wells (the sectioned wall is just behind the tire "boxes"). I built a bed that's conected to the back wall, and runs from one side of the bus to another. Under this is the tire boxes, and storage that can be accessed by either lifting the mattress up and opening the "pirate" doors (metal trap doors salvaged from a theatre set) or from the front as the facing on the bed is hinged. There's a queen sized mattress I found that sits lovely on there, and then a futon mattress (my former bed) and then tons of blankets. Directly in front of this bed on the passenger side is the woodburning stove, which is like 30 inches long and 13 inches wide. I purchased a very nice unit with a window from menards that was more efficient, had a blower, was half the size, and only $50 more due to a sale. However, Menards gave me the wrong stove when they loaded it up. They were closed by the time I got back to my parking lot, and I had a very narrow window to work with, so I just set it up anyways. On the other side of the bus, the drivers side, directly across from the woodstove is a window. Under it is my beautiful clawfoot bathtub which is currently being used as a place to store lumber for the woodstove. It serves that purpose well.

Back over to the passenger side, about 2 feet away from the stove is where my kitchen unit starts, which runs the rest of the length of the bus. It contains a deep sink, cupboard to house my washboard and toxic chemicals (I'm going to switch to purely organic and biodegradeable materials as soon as I get everything hooked up) including break fluid, anti-freeze, and oil for the bus (until I get an outside box built for them). In addition to the sink and chemical cupboard, I have three drawers and a lot of cupboard space. There are two huge cupboards, one for food, and the other for gallon jugs of water. I have to buy my water by the gallon anyways due to my body's intolerance to tainted water, which Decatur definitely has, so I figured I could easily bypass having a filtering system or anything like that. I also have a hotplate burner (one of those electric coil things that are normally on stoves, which are electric and heat stuff up) for cooking in the summer, and a refrigerator. I had a microwave, but I removed it due to power consumption and space. I also have a coffee maker to get hot water. The counter surface is ceramic tile that's normally quite expensive. I purchased it from Lowe's for $10, as it was a display model (fully put together alrready!) that they were throwing away. It was 8 feet long and three feet wide when I bought it, and weighed around 200 pounds. I placed it on my bike handlebars and seat and walked it home on the highway. Lowe's is in the next town over from Decatur. It took me all day, but was worth it. (I didn't have insurance on the bus at that point).

The entire interior, including the bed, all the walls, floor, and kitchen unit, are all faced with 1" aged pinewood that used to be the shelves in an old shoe store. They're about 50-60 years old, and for the most part nicely darkened. There are a lot of seems that need filled, and they need sealed, but it'll look nice when they're done. A lot of people mistake them for ceder.

The front door is an actual house door. It stared as bus doors, then turned into a double-pained glass door from a hospital (which broke because of the wind), and is now a solid-core wooden housedoor with a big old window in it.

I have my power inverter hooked up, and have one marine battery thus far. Hopefully I can get my solar-panels and wind generator up in the Spring.

For the drivers seat, I use a two-door kitchen cupboard. I really need to get a better seat...

I hooked up one of the big theatre speakers, and have the old cassette deck from my Suburu hatchback which I hook my CD player into, so it's got some real good noise coming from it all the time!

What I'm working on now is finishing up the back. And I'm contemplating the toilet, and putting in a secondary propane furnace. Air conditioners will be addressed in the summer.

Also, I was given a really nice fiberglass boat, that was 16 feet long by 7.5 feet wide. I cut it completely apart so it's just the shell, and am going to spend all winter contemplating how to utilize it on the roof. I really wanted a loft, with a garden, and solar panels, but then decided to just cut a huge hole in the roof and throw this boat up there to raise it up. I could easily do that, but I decided to wait until summer so I could REALLY think things through. By the way, yes, I did DESTROY a perfectly good fiberglass fishing boat, compplete with a really nice enginge. THere was absolutely nothing wrong with it, but the owner wanted the trailer and not the boat, so I took advatage of that situation. The boat will make a very aerodynamic "whatever" that will be on the roof. I just have to figure out how I want to utilize that space.

In the summer I'm going to sandblast the underside of the bus (I think) and then seal it with this "RV" coating that's supposed to last for 30 years. Then I will weld in storage boxes, and a battery compartment. My water system will get installed after the roof is done, and I'll complete the vegetable oil conversion last of all. I have two tanks for that now, but I have to convince myself to locate them inside of my bus so they can be heated easily. One is a 55 gallon drum that had laquer thinner in it (I hope that mixes well with Diesel), and the other is a 15 gallon (I think) gas tank from the boat. I plan to put vegetable oil into the gas tank via a pump that will suck it straight out of whatever container the oil happens to be in, which will be located on the outside of the bus. Once it's in the tank inside, it will go through that little device that sucks the water out (that $500 part) and puts it into the 55-gallon drum below. Then it can run straight to the engine via a fuel pump. That's my plan, unless I come up with something better. I plan to keep the diesel tank intact as it is in order to have a switchover system. So the bus can start on diesel, switch to vegetabke oil once it's warm, and then shut-down on diesel to clean the oil out of the engine. That's so in the winter I won't run into any problems. In the summer it should be fine as is.

Maybe I could use the 55 gallon drum, AND the 60 gallon Diesel tank on the bus, as vegetable oil holders, while having the 15 gallon tank be the "dirty tank"? Then I can go over a thousand miles per fill-up. That'd work if I could find a way to keep the tanks heated in the winter, which would be worth it to me. And since I don't really use power in the winter (which is primarily for air-conditioning units), perhaps my electrical system can sustain keeping the tanks heated. Oh what fun projects I end up with. That'd be much safer and funner that having a 55 gallon barrell of explosive materials in my bus.

So betwen the veggie system, the water system, toilet, and the loft on top of the bus, I'll have a lot of thinking to do this winter.

In the meantime, I'm quite enjoying my Skoolie experience. I;ve been living in it since May. Up until now it's been a huge construction zone, which I simultaneously lived in. But now it's an actual home! It's quite nice. I have the woodstove going, some oil lanters and or candles going, pop open a nice can of soup to warm on the stove (which burns pallets and random sticks and logs that were formerly yard "waste"), and relax. I can't wait until I get my sewing machine and everything situated. And also, I'm looking forward to the possibility of having a secondary propane heating system that will stabilize my living tempature, which means I can move my fiddle back into the bus.

I'm gearing up for a trip to Cleaveland, Ohio this weekend. It's 1000 miles roundtip, and I have 6 bald tires. Maybe not the best plan, but we'll see how it goes. One of my hippie friends has a bycycle "car" that he needs to go pick up. Currently, he does his paper route using a pickup, which of course uses up gasoline and pollutes the environment.

Peace out
The absence of the presence of skoolies on American roads is an unfortunate predicament for all peoples, its one which I intend to change by doing my part in promoting skoolie awareness!

Joshua D. Harris
Business Management Major
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Old 12-09-2009, 12:10 AM   #32
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Eric von Kleist's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Grundy, Virginia
Posts: 632
Year: 1985
Coachwork: ThomasBuilt
Chassis: International Harvester S-1700
Engine: 9L IHC V-8 Diesel 180HP
Rated Cap: 60
Re: Gypsy Ceramic Shop Bus

I can't wait to see pics. I like the idea of a travelling ceramics bus, and you could certainly make your own custom tile for it. The boat on the roof is an excellent approach to using a boat hull. You're a busy guy!
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Old 12-13-2009, 12:40 PM   #33
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Upstate NY (Mohawk Valley)
Posts: 1,096
Re: Gypsy Ceramic Shop Bus

Originally Posted by Gypsy_Kid
The counter surface is ceramic tile that's normally quite expensive. I purchased it from Lowe's for $10, as it was a display model (fully put together alrready!) that they were throwing away. It was 8 feet long and three feet wide when I bought it, and weighed around 200 pounds. I placed it on my bike handlebars and seat and walked it home on the highway. Lowe's is in the next town over from Decatur. It took me all day, but was worth it . . .
This is the kind of determination that enabled the pioneers to conquer the wilderness . . . . Carry on!
Someone said "Making good decisions comes from experience, experience comes from bad decisions." I say there are three kinds of people: those who learn from their mistakes, those who learn from the mistakes of others, and those who never learn.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:29 AM   #34
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Lakeland, Florida
Posts: 232
Year: 85
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Ford
Engine: Gas
Rated Cap: 66
Re: Gypsy Ceramic Shop Bus

haha....ditto smitty
Im Johnny. I Bike For The Light. I love missions. I think students rock. I make my mark.
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Old 12-16-2009, 10:24 AM   #35
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Grays Harbor County, Washington
Posts: 173
Year: 90
Coachwork: blue bird
Chassis: International
Engine: Navistar Straight 6 Turbo
Rated Cap: 65
Re: Gypsy Ceramic Shop Bus

I guess you didn't read thru the whole post after all, there darklaw. He posted a pic with his idea for roof rack on it.
Besides, with your vast experience of 11 postings, why do you want to rain on his parade? there is another forum dedicated to people like you, just do a google search on "arkansascajun" and join his forum, you'll be fast friends and buddies for life. He would love the Truth is Treason site, hook him up.

Oh and as whether he really has a bus or not, ask smitty how long he planned and dreamed before finding one. or a lot of the characters we have as part of this family. I myself had been dreaming and wanting for over four years before coming here and then finding my bird.

The point is that whether gypsy has a bus and not a camera, or if this is just a skoolie dreaming out loud......don't come here and crap on it....bad karma has a way of coming back around and slapping you right in the happy sack.

Ok, i'm done venting now. We could sure use a few more pics there Gypsy.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the
things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off
the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds
in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:25 PM   #36
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Location: Grundy, Virginia
Posts: 632
Year: 1985
Coachwork: ThomasBuilt
Chassis: International Harvester S-1700
Engine: 9L IHC V-8 Diesel 180HP
Rated Cap: 60
Re: Gypsy Ceramic Shop Bus

hehehe "arkansascajun" roflmao right on!
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