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Old 10-27-2014, 08:59 PM   #1
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Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Engine: Cummins
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Quiet Life

Hello All!

I have frequented this site over the years as a fan of this community and now I am ready to be a part!

A few months back, my girlfriend and I decided that we wanted to either build a tiny home or convert a school bus into our home. We went with converting a bus due to the fact that they are meant for the road.

This past weekend we purchased a 30 ft 1995 Thomas Built Saf-T at an auction in California. The bus was used as a charter for the Department of Probation in Santa Clara. The engine is in great shape with less than 70,000 miles.

We are thrilled to get this into our back lot and begin the process.

Our immediate goals:

1. Make it legal - The state of California has labeled this and thousands of other buses as "Non-Compliant", until it is brought up to standards with a particulate matter filter. Since we will be driving a minimal amount (under 1,000 miles annually), we qualify for low-use exemption. This is going to be an interesting ordeal with both the DMV and Air Resource Board of California. If any of you have information on this, that would be greatly appreciated.

2. Gut the interior. Fun.

3. Figure out what we need/want. Sleeping arrangements, kitchen and appliances, water source, power source (solar? wind?), ETC.

4. Where will we park? We currently live and work in Berkeley/Oakland area. Ashley does odd end work and I run a film production company and studio. So we are looking for a place that is nearby (hour or less of a bike ride). Ideally we will find a bare piece of land with water and power available. Who knows.

We do have the luxury of using the backlot at my studio to do all of the work
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:24 PM   #2
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Re: Quiet Life

welcome, we look forward to seeing lots of pictures, and don't be scared to ask us anything
gbstewart
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:13 PM   #3
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Re: Quiet Life

Welcome, and most of all, have fun with your build
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:17 PM   #4
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Re: Quiet Life

Welcome to the fun! Once you register it as an RV, you are exempt from the CARB requirements. It is no longer a bus.
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:49 PM   #5
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Re: Quiet Life

Welcome to the Madness!!! --- great call on "static" vs "mobile". Have fun and please do keep the pix coming. Us old timers really enjoy watching youngsters work.
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Old 10-28-2014, 07:08 AM   #6
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Re: Quiet Life

WELCOME

Good luck with finding a "homesite" in that area...might have to live behind the studio...kinda like movie stars on set
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:05 AM   #7
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Re: Quiet Life

Good luck with your build - great journeys start by putting one foot in front of the other...
Also - good luck with the CARB deal - it might be easier to just change states
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Old 10-29-2014, 05:45 PM   #8
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Re: Quiet Life

Nice looking bus. Can I ask where/from whom you bought your bus in CA? I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

Thanks.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:05 PM   #9
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Re: Quiet Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by ourhome

Our immediate goals:

1. Make it legal - The state of California has labeled this and thousands of other buses as "Non-Compliant", until it is brought up to standards with a particulate matter filter. Since we will be driving a minimal amount (under 1,000 miles annually), we qualify for low-use exemption. This is going to be an interesting ordeal with both the DMV and Air Resource Board of California. If any of you have information on this, that would be greatly appreciated.
Good luck with that. The new busses (and semi trucks for that matter) now have something called "Diesel Exhaust Fluid" I call Diesel Exhaust Fuel, because it IS a fuel. Problem being it's a fuel only to burn in the exhaust, thus an EPA wasteful expense on the rest of us (oh yay for governmental overreach again) To retro-fit this dreadnaught on any pre-DEF engine is EXPENSIVE. Thus the reason why you see sooooo many of these kalifornia buses going to auction. As Kype said - it may be much cheaper to move to another state than to attempt to convert the bus to a DEF bus.

I've been an ASE certified Master Diesel Mechanic for more than 20 years, and in the government surplus business for more than 15. So take it for what you believe it's worth because it's free from me.

M1031
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:09 PM   #10
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Re: Quiet Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by M1031
Quote:
Originally Posted by ourhome

Our immediate goals:

1. Make it legal - The state of California has labeled this and thousands of other buses as "Non-Compliant", until it is brought up to standards with a particulate matter filter. Since we will be driving a minimal amount (under 1,000 miles annually), we qualify for low-use exemption. This is going to be an interesting ordeal with both the DMV and Air Resource Board of California. If any of you have information on this, that would be greatly appreciated.
Good luck with that. The new busses (and semi trucks for that matter) now have something called "Diesel Exhaust Fluid" I call Diesel Exhaust Fuel, because it IS a fuel. Problem being it's a fuel only to burn in the exhaust, thus an EPA wasteful expense on the rest of us (oh yay for governmental overreach again) To retro-fit this dreadnaught on any pre-DEF engine is EXPENSIVE. Thus the reason why you see sooooo many of these kalifornia buses going to auction. As Kype said - it may be much cheaper to move to another state than to attempt to convert the bus to a DEF bus.

I've been an ASE certified Master Diesel Mechanic for more than 20 years, and in the government surplus business for more than 15. So take it for what you believe it's worth because it's free from me.

M1031
Once you get it reregistered as an RV in Ca you are exempt from the emission requirments the CARB has imposed, those standards are only for commercial vehicles
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