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Old 01-12-2015, 05:20 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 15
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 75
Last Frontier Adventure Club Bus

In February of 2014 my wife and I bought our bus.

view the video:
http://youtu.be/fjO-AaeRxlg



The bus was pretty much a blank slate. The former owner had purchased it to move their belongings from Pennsylvania to Alaska with, so they had even removed all but three rows of the seats.



Unfortunately though, he'd removed them by pulling the bolts out on the wall side and then just snapping off the legs where they went in to their rusty brackets on the aisle side. He did this of course because to remove the bolt you need one person underneath the bus and one inside it. Combine that with the rust proofing coating on the bottom of the bus, and it just ends up being easier to just grind them off.



Next we built a bed platform at the very back of the bus

view the video:
http://youtu.be/88o3NvdhSJg



We had to kind of rush along for a while once the snow melted, to get the bus ready for a trip in May, by which we needed it to legally be an RV so we could insure it.

video: http://youtu.be/lBsKgzPYNBY



Our trip was actually to take a group of people (including Christopher McCandless' sister Carine McCandless) to hike out twenty miles to see another famous bus.




Bus 142 has seen a lot more wear than mine. Fun fact though, bus 142 was originally a school bus as well (judging by the yellow paint showing through the green) It then became a fairbanks city bus, and then in the 1960s Jess Mariner turned it into a bus house and towed it out into the wilderness.

I'll post some more photos up to flickr so I can share them here soon. We've actually made a lot of progress on our build: bedroom, bathroom, dining booth, couch, running water, etc... In the meantime here's the links to our other YouTube video updates:

JUNE 2014 UPDATE
http://youtu.be/z-u63SzGynU
JULY 2014 UPDATE
http://youtu.be/Y4y1zfBXEbA
AUGUST 2014 UPDATE
http://youtu.be/spy8gQqSWBA
SEPTEMBER 2014 UPDATE
http://youtu.be/TQl6--Mhy-E
OCTOBER 2014 UPDATE
http://youtu.be/8Ln4ydvshO4
DECEMBER 2014
http://youtu.be/ePvsJGDM-k8
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:47 AM   #2
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Location: MNT CITY TN
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Welcome
And great pictures
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Our build La Tortuga
Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:03 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,176
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Welcome, from the Sunshine State!
Seen you folks on youtube for a while now.
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Old 01-12-2015, 10:42 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Welcome, nice build!
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Old 01-15-2015, 09:40 AM   #5
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Wait a second....you hiked with Chris McCandless' sister to the place where his story ended?!? What was that like?
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:57 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 15
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 75
Quote:
Originally Posted by jadam318 View Post
Wait a second....you hiked with Chris McCandless' sister to the place where his story ended?!? What was that like?
We did! That was a pretty intense experience. That was the third trip I made to bus 142 and it will probably be my last. Carine was, expectedly, pretty emotional when we got to the Teklanika River. Luckily for us it was very low both directions, thanks to some planning and keeping an eye on the weather. We did a video of that trip as well: http://youtu.be/jMN52iJV3qY
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:00 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 15
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 75
I'm still working on getting together some photos of the build between when we just started and now, but for now here's a link to this month's update video: http://youtu.be/VjH3xFn_Y48




Getting the roof rack going was a challenge. I was worried that big sheet metal screws directly into the cross members, and silicone, wouldn't be enough to hold the floor flanges down tightly, but it is totally rock solid.
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:36 AM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 12,176
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
Very cool, yall.
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Old 01-23-2015, 08:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LFadventureCLUB View Post
We did! That was a pretty intense experience. That was the third trip I made to bus 142 and it will probably be my last. Carine was, expectedly, pretty emotional when we got to the Teklanika River. Luckily for us it was very low both directions, thanks to some planning and keeping an eye on the weather. We did a video of that trip as well: http://youtu.be/jMN52iJV3qY
I just watched that video. Thanks for the link, by the way. What a cool experience! I'm really glad you documented that.
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Old 01-25-2015, 08:22 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Posts: 15
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 75
Build pictures so far:


A huge amount of time was spent removing the bolts that held the brackets for the seats to the floor. I started this project not knowing very much about a lot of things, and made the mistake of trying to grind them off instead of using a thinner disc and cutting them off.


The beginnings of the bed platform

Removing windows was kind of a scary prospect until I actually did it. Popping the four clips off surrounding each window and cutting the caulking was all that was needed.


We decided we didn't need the flashers. We had ideas about making sweet flashing party lights or something using different colors, but we decided for the sake of simplicity, and to reduce the risk of getting pulled over as often, we'd just remove them.


We covered the window holes with thing sheet steel, attaching the sheets with sheet metal screws and sealing with silicone.



The hole for the flappy stop sign and the flasher holes got the same treatment.


We began to frame out the bathroom. The wall that would house the plumbing for the shower and the one that would house electric outlet boxes are framed with 2x4s, and the rest are framed with 2x3s to shave weight.


The previous owner had covered the SCHOOL BUS decals with duct tape before driving the bus up to Alaska. Between the duct tape and the decals themselves, I had a hell of a time getting them off. In the end it took a blow torch, a scraper, a wire brush, and a lot of acetone to get them removed.


A surprising percentage of the lumber used in the bus was hauled this way.


Ryan's bunk over the foot of our bed.


Some creative framing to accommodate the wheel well.


We ended up using a lot of tongue and groove because it was the easiest way to follow the contours of the ceiling, it's light and it looks good.


Painting has begun! We went with flat black for the hood to keep glare down. We went with black for the front and back of the roof section so that eventually we could put some white vinyl decals up there.


So much time went into sanding every inch of the bus before painting.


Complete Paint Job


The sink installed in it's temporary location, so we could meet the requirements to get our RV title/registration from the state of Alaska.


The urine-separating/solid-composting toilet.


A robin I caught trying to make a nest inside of the bus. He was released after the photo.


The license plate we received after passing our RV conversion inspection


Finally, a way to lock the bus.


Installing the bluetooth stereo deck made working in the bus much more enjoyable.


Cubbies above the toilet


Bedside table/drawer in the bedroom


Installing some flooring in the bathroom and bedroom


privacy film over the bathroom window



Building hollow core doors for the bedroom and bathroom


Vent system for the composting toilet, built with a small PC case fan.


Our couch. It opens up for storage underneath, and the left arm opens up to house the inverter. Cup holders and small storage spaces are also built into the top of both arms.


I built a four-spot USB charger into the bedside table in the bedroom. No need for separate chargers for the cell phones. I can just plug straight into the table.


Jenna made curtains for the bedroom.


a 110v plug in the bedroom
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