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Old 08-30-2012, 02:33 PM   #1
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Our Farold's Conversion

Hello all!

We have finally decided to take the plunge! More than three years ago I bought our bus with the intentions of traveling with ATV's. We scrapped the ATV idea and decided just to travel after my wife, my 4 kids and I spent a whole summer in our 35' park model trailer at our seasonal campsite. We are going to be converting the bus I bought three years ago into a Skoolie at last! We are all excited and I have started a shopping list. I was able to recover some cabinets, a stove and sink from an old camper that was about to be scrapped at our campground.

I have tentatively decided to name our bus Farold as the name means "powerful traveler" (haven't spoke to the wife yet, lol). He is a 1994 International with a DT-360. I bought him from a school district about 4 hours from where we live. For the last three years he has been used for storage by our local ATV club and now it is time to put him to good use.

Below is a pick of Farold. He has 148,000 miles on him and starts in any temperature even when sitting until Feb in 0-20 degree temps. He is gutted on the inside and I will be removing the atvwi.com sticker on the side and putting travelinwithus.com on the front and the back. I am a website designer so I can do my work on the road and I have set up a blogging website for our family to write about our travels. We haven't done much on the website yet as we just decided to go on this adventure but there will be plenty of posts for you all to follow if you wish. Here is a direct link to the website http://travelinwithus.com. We decided to homeschool the kids this year after much contemplation and we are all very excited.



I designed the interior layout. Take a look at the image below and let me know your thoughts. Many of you are experienced in skoolie conversions so I am looking for some constructive criticism. One of my concerns is the placement of the shower and toilet. This is going to require me to put the holding tanks behind the drive axle. I am not sure if this would pose a problem or not. The pink boxes are the wheel wells and the sink's counter will be directly behind the driver's seat. I have made the diagram to scale and the total length of the living area (behind the driver's seat) is 27 feet.



I am beginning the work on Farold next week and hope to have it finished by Oct. 1. I am looking forward to your thoughts and I will post pics as the project moves on.

Thanks for looking!
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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Re: Our Farold's Conversion

WELCOME!!
Lots of opinions on layouts, I notice this
you and wifey in back,2 kids in bunks....1 on couch and 1 on drop dinette table?

Check out some of the bunks folks have made where the tops tilt up so the bottom can be used as a low couch.
This will give the kids their "own" area, just something for you to ponder

I like the bath shower with seperate walls so everyone can use it w/o going thru your master suite.

Most dump stations seem to be on the driverside ,so swapping toilet and shower might be better.

Grey water travels alot easier than black tank stuff

Good luck and post pics
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:38 PM   #3
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Re: Our Farold's Conversion

Welcome, and have fun with the conversion
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Old 08-30-2012, 03:50 PM   #4
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Re: Our Farold's Conversion

Congrats and best of luck on your conversion.......
as bansil says........ check out your options before you do your conversion, get her/him right the first time.
with 4 kids you'll need all the room you can get, the folding bunks will go a long way in providing that room...
Take you time, insulation of the bus is one of the most important things do, without it it will not be real pleasant in the bus.
Look thru the conversions here on the forum, lots of good ideals..... how to's and already proven to work....

Good luck on the conversion and don't forget to take & post lots of pixz

If you plan on full timing there are free schooling link's online one such link is........
http://zsem.k12.com/tpages/tb/paperclip.html leadsource=display&product_type=va&product_interes t=nvva&target_audience=gen&target_grade=k12&utm_ca mpaign=nevada_campaign&utm_medium=display&utm_sour ce=msn&utm_content=728x90&message_class=direct_res ponse&vendor=tb&geo_distro=nv&message=tuition_free _general&dimensions=728x90&providor=1040486&placem ent=85390484&creative=49087862
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Old 09-13-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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Re: Our Farold's Conversion

I am finally beginning on the conversion. We moved the bus to our campground after a couple conversations with the campground owner. He allowed us to park the bus right next to our annual site which we are at full time and that means all we have to do is walk out of our camper and begin working on the bus ! He also allowed us to park it until we are finished with it which I estimate about a month and he isn't charging us anything for the parking spot. How kool is that!

I drove the bus to our campground from our home town which is about an hour away. I filled up the fuel tank about 10 miles from where we live and then refilled just before we got to the campground. I couldn't believe the results. I used my gps for mileage and confirmed it with the odometer, 40.3 miles and it only took 1.7 gallons to refill it! Better than 20 miles to the gallon on the trip here. Of course there is nothing inside the bus, all the seats have been removed so the only weight is the bus itself.

I was mistaken on the engine size. For some reason I was thinking it was a DT-360 when in reality it is a DT-408. I am very happy with its performance.

We went to Menards on Monday and picked up carpet, linoleum, window tint and a shower pan as well as some plumbing items. I had a bunch of 2x4's at the house and I ripped them down to 2x2's. As soon as I hit submit I am off to work on the bus. I will post pics soon.
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Old 10-13-2012, 06:17 PM   #6
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Re: Our Farold's Conversion

After a month and 14 concentrated days of work our “Powerful Traveler” Farold is nearly finished. We have a little caulking work to do in the shower and toilet area and a few odds and ends here and there. I decided I would share some pics with you all and get your feedback.
farold-outside

We removed the stickers and did a little touch up painting but still have some work to do on the outside. We figure we will tackle that project next spring when the weather is a little nicer.

Here is a pic of the the couch and cabinet at the front of the bus. Under the couch is the electrical components that are shown in pics later.

Here is a pic of the kitchen area.

Another pic of the kitchen area

Here is a pic of the right side bunk. The bunks fold down to make a seat while traveling on the road. Pic of the bunk folded down is below.

Another pic of the right side bunk.

Here is a pic of the left side bunk.

Here is a pic with the left side bunk folded down and the seat belts out.

Another pic of the bunk down.

Here is a pic of the bus looking forward from between the bunks.

Pic of the toilet. There is a little dust on the lid. I suppose I should have cleaned it before I snapped this pic but I was anxious to share the work with you all.

Here is a poor pic of the shower but you get the idea.

Here is a pic of the master bedroom, what you can see of it anyway.

Gotta have a TV in the bedroom

This is a pic of the breaker box and battery charger under the couch. I have the battery charger wired into the breaker box so when we are not plugged in I can trip a breaker to shut it off.

I currently have three deep cell batteries and a 3000w continuous and 6000w peak power inverter. I have cables with shut off ran from the bus batteries so when we are on the road we can use the bus’s alternator to charge the batteries also.

The holding tanks are my favorite creations. I took two 55gal barrels and cut them in half vertically, butted the two pieces together top to top and welded 16 gauge sheet metal to the top. I have one for black water, which this one is and one for grey water which is pictured below.

Here is a pic of the grey water tank. I priced 35 gal plastic holding tanks online and found they were around $200 – $250 each plus shipping. I have about $75 invested in both tanks between the two 16 gauge steel sheets I had to buy and the welding wire.

I hope you enjoy the pics of our project. We are hoping to make our maiden voyage in the next couple weeks. We will be going to the Science and Industry Museum in Chicago then we plan to shoot over to New York City, then down to Washington DC and south from there.

Thanks for looking and I am looking forward to your feedback.
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:57 PM   #7
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Re: Our Farold's Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by richlindquist
Good job on the build! I am very interested in the split barrel tanks, do you have any more pics or info on their construction?

Rich
Thank you.

I got the barrels for free from a local boat manufacturing company. They originally held rubber cement which made them very easy to clean out as I just pulled the remaining dried cement out. The barrels had removable lids so i didn't have to cut the tops off. I measured the circumference of the barrels and marked two lines at the top and bottom half the distance of the circumference. I positioned the measuring tape (I bought one of those cloth tapes you get for doing fabric work so it was tight all the way around the barrels) so the beginning of the tape was on the factory seam and marked the half distance then connected the two marks with a straight edge. I used a circular saw with a metal cutting blade to cut the drums. I started by cutting the bottom, then cut one side then the other cutting on the line I made and then the factory seam. I got the 2 24"x68" 16 gauge sheets from a local fab shop for $57. I used a hole saw to cut a 3" hole in the top of the black water tank and welded a 3" diameter piece of galvanized exhaust pipe into the sheet and then used a rubber hose clamped fitting to connect the welded pipe to the toilet ABS pipe. I also welded a 1" diameter threaded pipe fitting for a vent pipe and threaded on a connector to connect the vent pipe. Before I welded the fittings into the sheet I welded the sheet onto the barrels after welding the two pieces together.

The grey water tank was a little more tricky. I had to fabricate a recessed area for the shower drain trap as it extended 4" below the floor of the bus. I ended up cutting the pieces that I needed to create the drain trap box out of the lids of the barrels. I welded a 1 1/2" pipe threaded fitting into the recess for the shower drain trap to connect to and a 1 1/4" pipe threaded fitting for the sink drain to connect to. I also welded another 1" pipe threaded fitting into the sheet for the vent pipe for this tank. I joined the two vent pipes under the bus so I only had to put one vent pipe through the roof of the bus which I ran inside of one of the walls.

My 13 year old son and I held the barrels up under the bus to get the locations of where the pipes would need to be connected to the tanks. After everything was all welded I used 3 1-1/4" x 1/8" metal straps per tank to hold the tanks up and drilled holes into the angle iron that was already ran under the bus for the floor supports. I used grade 8 3/8" bolts to secure the barrels with the straps.

I am sorry I didn't take any pictures of the fabrication of the whole project while I was doing it. I am not a big picture taker as I always seem to be more focused on getting the job done.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask and I will answer them to the best of my ability.
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Old 10-13-2012, 09:57 PM   #8
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Re: Our Farold's Conversion

Nice work on the tanks. I noticed that you have your inverter right next to your batteries. Your batteries should be sealed away fom anything like that and vented out side. batteries give off explosive gases, you dont want those inside. You sure did a lot in one month. Looking good.
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Old 10-13-2012, 10:11 PM   #9
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Re: Our Farold's Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by freakn
Nice work on the tanks. I noticed that you have your inverter right next to your batteries. Your batteries should be sealed away fom anything like that and vented out side. batteries give off explosive gases, you dont want those inside. You sure did a lot in one month. Looking good.
Thank you for the comment.

You are right. I am planning on building a battery box on the outside of the bus, I just haven't got to that yet, that is one of the odds and ends I was referring to, lol. Hopefully it will be done next week. Thanks for pointing it out though.
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Old 10-14-2012, 05:33 AM   #10
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Re: Our Farold's Conversion

I like how the bunks/seats turned out,great job.
How did you attach the eye bolts to the roof?
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