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Old 08-31-2013, 01:00 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Allow me to introduce myself. I'm jon. My friends call me many names which probably aren't acceptable to post here. I recently returned from Afghanistan. While we were there, my friends and I decided on the idea of making a tailgate/party bus. A little research and a lot of wishful thinking lead me here where I found the Jacuzzi bus originally by Lapeer20m. Lets just say the thought of having our own jacuzzi bus helped us get through some the hard or excruciatingly boring times.

We are an aviation unit that flew MEDEVAC for the time over there. Due to this, we have many tool handy aircraft mechanics that are going to participating in the project. Regardless we are going to keep it as easy as possible seeing as how it is our first conversion. I wanna thank Lapeer for having something like 5 threads for me to research haha. And I want to apologize in advance for coping the exterior paint scheme, full credit will be given, but I love it too much.

So whats my question you ask.

I found a bus exporter with something like 50 buses on his lot. He walked me around showing me 10 or so full size buses in the 99-01 year range with 120k-200k mile range, with a price range of 3-4 thousand. He was very upfront about cosmetic issues (stairwell rust and what not) and I talked to his mechanic the day prior. Overall it seems like a pretty trustworth joint and the buses seem mechanically sound. Any tips on what to take into mind for our project before we decide on the final one (our mechanics are going to give it a look as well)?

I think the biggest issue is going to be getting the jacuzzi in the bus. I saw Lapeer peeled the roof back on one and went through the side on the other. When I told the dealer of the idea he said I probably don't want a bluebird (which we were lookign at) because of the solid roof construction which might make the roof job too much work to be worth.

Lapeer, if your still around and read this I would very much appreciate any and all of your advice.

Regardless, its good to be here at the forum and hopefully I don't annoy you all too much with all the questions we are sure to ask with the process of our first conversion. Here to America!
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Old 09-02-2013, 11:55 AM   #2
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

I like where this is going.

I was a Blackhawk pilot from 91-96 and a Powertrain Repairer before that, so I can appreciate the kind of talent you'll have access to if you get some of the sheet metal guys to help with the build.

If this is going to be strictly a party bus, I say cut a hole in the roof big enough for the tub to drop into and then fabricate a sunroof in the hole. You'll want to be able to open at least the windows or large vents to get out all the humidity from the jacuzzi, so a tilting sunroof would be great.

What part of the country are you in? Some others here may have ideas about buying a bus based on your location and some may be close enough to stop by and help out or give advice in person.

Can't wait to see what you come up with.
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Old 09-02-2013, 03:57 PM   #3
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Thank you for the service I was Cav myself;

You will need 4 more posts before they appear automatically...so hang in there

As to cutting roof off one bus or the other....they will all cut the same and weigh about the same

Good luck and welcome
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Old 09-02-2013, 06:18 PM   #4
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

@PDbreske - I went straight from flight school into the deployment. I finally got tactical flying down, now I gotta learn how to fly in FAA airspace. The good thing about medevac is that we got whatever we requested from ATC, gonna miss that.

I'm loving the sunroof idea. I think that would be a pretty simple fabrication with a piece of plexi. Our sheetmetal guy wants to put a stabilator on as a wing, he tells me 100 bucks in sheetmetal and parts for the mini-stab. We would just have to watch out for low bridges haha.

@bansil - Prior to aviation i was a 13F. We handed over some battlespace to a cav unit in Iraq, good guys. And Cav pretty much invented air assault, so right back at ya haha.

Any tips on what methods we should use to cut the roof?
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:26 PM   #5
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Yes! I like the stabilator idea.

Paint the whole bus dark green or black and add some slime lights along the rub rails. Get some stencils for various labels around the aircra— I mean, the bus. Stuff like "EXHAUST HOT—STAND CLEAR" OR "HAND HOLD HERE".

Unless you're going for fine detail work, cut that roof open with a reciprocating saw and a heavy duty rescue blade like firefighters use to cut open car roofs.

I was in flight school during the first Gulf War and got to Germany after it was over. A few months later I went to Somalia as the first aviation units in that country, then left before it got ugly. Later on I went to Turkey for Operation Provide Comfort after two Army aircraft were shot down in the Iraqi no-fly zone by two Air Force fighter jets with bad intel and even worse eyesight. I spent the first three months of that deployment laying by the pool working on my tan.

I guess you could say I had a bunch of holidays while I was in the Army.

Tactical airspace is great. In Somalia our maps were blank sheets of white paper with the Indian ocean on one side of the coast and "Elevation data not accurate" on the other. We pretty much flew wherever we wanted and took lots of side trips during our planned missions. "You guys need to go where? Got a GPS coordinate? Okay, let's go!"
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:48 AM   #6
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Haha yeah thats all MEDEVAC is. "Yeah we can take the follow on mission, whats the grid?" GPS direct all the way!

Just bought the bus. Got it from a place called "Bus and Chassis, LLC" in Brentwood, NH. I got to say, these guys are awesome and I highly recommend anyone in the New England area looking for a bus to check them out. I told one of the salesman there, Terry, what I wanted to do and what my budget was (3-4k). He brought me around showing me somewhere around 10 buses in that range.

Now I don't have much mechanical experience. I figured a bus dealer would try to put me through the ringer and push his shittiest bus on me since I don't really know what to look for. It was the complete opposite. Terry and his son Aaron acted like they were working for me. I had narrowed my search to two busses. Aaron walked around with me on both busses pointed out things I had not even seen (he caught some sidewall damage on a tire I missed). Then when I was 90% sure which bus I wanted he pulled it into the garage to check the kingpins, which was the only thing he was unsure about. He said he will get a guy in there do the complete inspection, fix any small things that need it, and throw a sticker on it.

01 71 pax International Bluebird. Got the T444E in it with 137k on it. 3500 out the door with sticker.I was hoping for a bit cheaper, but I found nothing of quality on craigslist and dont mind paying a bit more for peace of mind. Overall I think it was good deal, and once again I highly recommend these guys.

We will be moving it this friday and start pulling everything out. Will start posting pics when we get it home and throughout the whole process. Super pumped!
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Old 09-03-2013, 12:19 PM   #7
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

CONGRATES
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:54 PM   #8
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Picked the bus up Friday and I led the way as a buddy drove it an hour back to where we are temporarily storing it for the build phase. He said it drove like a beast. No problems at all keeping up with me up to 65ish mph. It handled the windy hilly back country roads on the way like a champ. I got to admit, I was getting a bit of buyers remorse on the way back. Looking in my mirror at the schoolbus following me, I had that "What the heck am I doing?" thought. My buddy was very impressed with it so that was reassuring as he has a lot of experience driving the military bluebirds around.

We started to gut the interior today. In about 6 hours of work, including a run to the hardware store to pick up a new cutting wheel, we managed to get all the seats out, clean the interior, and pressure wash it. We cut through the bolts holding the seats to the floor, pried them up, and stored them out back. Some of the stuff we found tucked into the seats was hilarious. We also found $3.04 in assorted change, the bus is already paying for itself! Pressure washed it all down and parked it back in place. There is a small puddle of water we need to suck out with a shop vac, but besides that hopefully it wall dry out overnight. Also posted on craigslist trying to unload some of the seats, the dump wants 10 dollar a seat and I have 18 of them. Got two bites and am hoping they will follow through.

We didn't want to go through the process of ripping the floor up. Instead we are going to get some wood floor laminate and just apply that over the stock floor. The dimensions are 30' Long and 7' 7" wide, measuring from the back of the drivers seat to the rear door. That gives it just a hair over 225' of laminate to buy.

So next goals:

1. Get floor laminated
2. Find a hot tub, hopefully one that fits in the back door.
3. Run all wiring for the hot tub
4. Build steps up to and a deck around the hot tub
5. Figure out how we are going to heat it.

Once that is all done we will paint the bus and then work on installing some custom seating, an L-shaped bar, a stripper pole, and upgrading the stereo system, and probably fabricating a store compartment for a generator to run it all. It sounds so simple haha.
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Old 09-07-2013, 06:45 PM   #9
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

Not sure ht of door,might have to get two and have them side-by-side....I can see the mermaids flopping from one to the other
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Old 09-08-2013, 03:41 PM   #10
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Re: Jacuzzi bus - a tribute

What method do you guys use to post pics here? The ones from my digital camera are all above the 2mb limit.
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