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Old 01-04-2008, 02:08 AM   #1
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Okie All American

Well, I was holding out until we'd come up with a name for the bus, but it's taking a while, so I thought I'd start my conversion thread anyway...

I bought a BlueBird All American RE bus back in November. With the holiday season and weather, I have not started any work on the bus yet, but I've spent a huge amount of time working on design. I started a blog to track my activity for family and friends, but I'll also post here.

My design is based on the fact that we have five kids... In addition to needing five bunks, I want the toilet, shower, and bathroom sink to all be independently usable. This has proven to be a challenge, and I am not completely satisfied with my "shower room" yet, but keep that in mind when you look at my drawings..

Also, I am planning to raise the roof 18" in order to allow for raised floor in places and the stacking of three bunks. I will remove all the windows and skin over, putting RV windows where needed. I want to raise the rear bedroom floor 16" in order to get the floor up onto the first level of the engine box, thus allowing the bed to slide further back. This also allows for fresh water tanks and a house battery compartment to be placed under that floor in front of the engine compartment. I have the floor in the bathroom section and in the salon area raised 9" to eliminate wheel bumps, also allowing plumbing, wiring, etc to be placed there.

Anyway, I am drawing my design using Google SketchUp based on measurements I took from the bus. I'll start posting the drawings in the next message. Thanks to everyone here for the amazing variety of information you provide. I am posting designs here to gather your input and constructive criticism, so please tell me what you think, where I am making mistakes, and what I could do better.

thx alot - Tony
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:25 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: All American RE
Engine: Cummins 8.3
Rated Cap: 84
Design drawings

Here's a perspective top view to start out:


and a plan view of the same:


A elevation view of the left half of the bus:


and the right half:


Next, I'll post renderings of specific areas...
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:35 AM   #3
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Re: Okie All American

Starting at the front and working back...

Driver's area (I like cup holders!):


Dinette and couch in the salon area:



Galley area:



Bunks:



Bathroom area:



And the back bedroom:



Please point out any Bad Ideas here... I will work on plumbing and wiring plans soon.
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:56 AM   #4
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Re: Okie All American

ShortBus:
I am fortunate to have relatives and friends with expertise who can help with parts of the build. It will be a lot of work but a good whole family project. I learned SketchUp from watching youtube tutorials but it probably helps that I used to do 3D graphics and CAD work. I wish I'd had SketchUp then - it's much easier to work in.

BigTex:
I am planning to raise the roof 18". The bunks are 30"x75" and have a little over 24" between them. It's a little tight but not much different than one of the bunk beds the kids sleep in now.
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:31 PM   #5
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Re: Okie All American

Dentarthurdent,

I'm really impressed with your drawing. You have a real good design and the time you took on your drawing, is going to pay off big. Imagine, few mistakes.

I like the idea of the house batteries under the bed, but I'm wondering about venting?
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Old 01-04-2008, 02:40 PM   #6
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Re: Okie All American

Thanks for the compliments. I like to take my time and think things through - I make way too many mistakes when building things off the cuff. This is a way for me to build and rebuild a few times without screwing anything up...

Regarding the batteries, I would like to add access ports and vents through the outside walls for the battery area. I am also considering using AGM batteries to reduce the need for venting and maintenance.
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Old 01-04-2008, 04:17 PM   #7
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Re: Okie All American

That's going to be a very nice bus.

I especially like the elevated bed. Most people have storage underneath theirs but you have even more
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Old 01-04-2008, 05:31 PM   #8
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Re: Okie All American

Quote:
Originally Posted by dentarthurdent
Thanks for the compliments. I like to take my time and think things through - I make way too many mistakes when building things off the cuff. This is a way for me to build and rebuild a few times without screwing anything up...

Regarding the batteries, I would like to add access ports and vents through the outside walls for the battery area. I am also considering using AGM batteries to reduce the need for venting and maintenance.
I was also thinking of putting my batteries inside, but I was always worrying about gassing. The last thing I would want is for an explosion in the bus. Maybe I'm just a worry wort, but I remember my old VW having the battery under the back seat, inside the passenger compartment. Heck, I used to smoke, light fireworks, and all other dangerous activities in that car, it never did blow up on me. As I get older, I get wiser (not any smarter, just wiser )

I guess the best way to go is AGM batteries, but boy, are they expensive.


Robert
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:36 PM   #9
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Re: Okie All American

although i know better, i've put my house batteries inside all of my buses right next to my inverter and never had any problems.
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Old 01-04-2008, 06:47 PM   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2007
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Engine: Cummins 8.3
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Re: Okie All American

Even if I use AGM batteries, I intend to seal the battery compartment from the interior of the bus. The only access to it would be through a door outside. It would also be vented outside.
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