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Old 09-12-2015, 10:54 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 69
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MVP ER
Engine: Cat 3126b 210 HP 605 ftlbs
Rock My Soul: 2001 Thomas MVP ER

Our bus is a 2001 Thomas MVP ER we bought at auction from the Montgomery Twp public school district. We are naming it "Rock My Soul", as our hobby and side business is minerals and crystals. My wife (soon to be) said we should not name it “Broke Down Palace”, which is one our favorite songs when we camp at our favorite location; because it might give it bad Mojo. “ Rock My Soul” is part of the lyrics in the Broke Down Palace song and just works well for what we do. We travel all over searching for minerals and crystals, with very long drives to get to the locations on limited time due to our normal 9-5’s getting in the way. We needed something that could allow one person to sleep and the other to drive, haul a lot of weight, have a little bit of off road capabilities, and allow us to camp in parking lots/fields for minerals/gem shows.

We are trying to get the bus completed for the Tuscon Gem and Mineral show which starts at the end of JAN, hopefully we can get it done by then. We do have our 9-5’s and gem shows to mess up our schedule though. Anyhow, thank you in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:16 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 69
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MVP ER
Engine: Cat 3126b 210 HP 605 ftlbs
Took some of the lettering off and removed the stop sign and crossing bar. Sticker removal sucked, big blister on my thumbs. We used razors to remove them. Later on we used goo gone to remove the adhesive.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:17 PM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Connecticut
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Amtran
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 71
Welcome!
Sounds like you'll be doing some camping where there aren't hookups. Are you thinking generator, solar or combination of the two for power?
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:24 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 69
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MVP ER
Engine: Cat 3126b 210 HP 605 ftlbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Nebuchadnezzar View Post
Welcome!
Sounds like you'll be doing some camping where there aren't hookups. Are you thinking generator, solar or combination of the two for power?
Yes most of the time there is not going to be hook ups, so we will use a generator for most of the power, an onan Quite diesel 7500. Later we are going to put in a small battery bank and a solar panel or two. So far we only have the generator.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:34 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 69
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MVP ER
Engine: Cat 3126b 210 HP 605 ftlbs
Next item up is the demo on the inside, we used a HF angle grinder to cut the bolts and in a typical Rockhound style, got out the some hammers to remove the bolt heads. Typically we could have cut the bolts a little deeper to help facilitate the removal, but a little practice swinging the hammers is a good thing. The pic is one of the first seats we took out, so the lazy mans approach of sitting on the floor, like it is no issue at all. And of coarse notice the safty gear, metal in your eyes sucks; happened way too much using those cheap safty glasses. We will fix that later.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:38 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 69
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MVP ER
Engine: Cat 3126b 210 HP 605 ftlbs
More seat removal, we tried saving the bottom brackets; but the but the grinder would not allow it unless you contorted yourself in funny ways. So we cut the seat posts first and then grinded the bolt heads.
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Old 09-12-2015, 11:58 PM   #7
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 69
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MVP ER
Engine: Cat 3126b 210 HP 605 ftlbs
Called Cat about the motor 3126B, seeing what would entail an upgrade to 330HP; but it would not be feasablie. The pistons, injectors and turbo would need to be replaced. Thinking when this one goes kaput, maybe we will try to fab in a c12 or something like that. I want to do 80 uphill loaded pulling a trailer, and a jake for the downside; I guess one could dream.

The bus does have a allision 3060 in it, and when we get further along in the conversion we will unlock the 6th gear, and maybe regear from 5.26 to 4.44 if I can find a carrier for the rear.
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Old 09-13-2015, 12:11 AM   #8
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 69
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: MVP ER
Engine: Cat 3126b 210 HP 605 ftlbs
We have not driven the bus yet on the roads due to the stupid NJ and MD rules. MD will not give out of state residence an in-transit tag and NJ will not give a NJ residence a Temp tag; both said to ask the other state. NJ will not let you register until it is painted. We ended up paying someone to drive it up to us, which was OK due to three people taking off work and us driving for 8 hour round trip. My wife and I do not have a CDL to drive the Bus, and my buddy with a CDL I was not going to ask him to drive without plates. All in All the driver said it ran fine, but was slow top speed around 60ish. But we do move it around the location we are converting it at.
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:55 AM   #9
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,939
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
I prefer good hammer swinging over grinding, air hammer, ect. Good to see someone else swing one too.

Keep the pics coming.

Nat
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Old 09-13-2015, 06:47 AM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 259
Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Amtran
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 71
Ok, sounds good. Do yourself a favor and wire for your panels and plan for a place for your batteries now as you build. This article will be helpful to you: Our Electrical System. Also read Handy Bob's RV battery charging puzzle: https://handybobsolar.wordpress.com/
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