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Old 03-27-2007, 11:39 PM   #1
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Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: International S1800
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Rubber deck matting and other questions?

(1) Got "Big Gary" totally cleaned out and down to basics and I was wondering about keeping the rubber decking or just pulling it up and sealing the metal and then covering it with plywood sub-flooring?? We're thinking of doing a tongue and groove wood flooring in most of the bus with actual tile around the bathroom and shower area. So.........should we keep the rubber and just lay the plywood sub-floor over that or junk it all and lay the plywood down directly on the metal floor after sealing the metal.

Thoughts, comments, ideas, experience?

(2) Has anyone replaced the old rubber glazing on bus windows? Where can you get that stuff and how difficult is it to do?

(3) What will remove contact cement from metal surfaces.....you wouldn't belive how much of this stuff I have to clean up!

(4) Basement storage - has anyone salvaged basement lockers from one bus and used them on another? How much is involved in doing that?

(5) Drivers seats - suggestions, swaps, what has worked and what hasn't. I've got to get rid of the original drivers seat...it's a killer on the backside!! Are there other vehicle seats that drop right in with minimum modifications???

(6) Where would you put a spare tire? Seems wrong to go without one...but where the heck would you put it?
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:21 AM   #2
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#3. You might try acetone or a product called goo gone or something like that.

#5. Find an air ride seat out of a semi. I have seen them used for $50-100.
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:24 AM   #3
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Regarding 4, I took the boxes off my first Blue Bird before I scrapped it. Those were
held in with a combination of bolts and rivets and two big J-hooks on the frame, and...
like most things, it was just a matter of plugging away until it was done. Your bus
may be different.
I have not used them yet.

On 6, I have not done this yet, but I intend to put my spare horizonally in one of those
boxes. It does not fit as it is, but I think I can rework the box so the tire slips under
the frame rail. Thus it will be at a slight angle, which will keep it from falling out
even if the door pops open.
In fact, I think I'll make a drawing of this idea and we'll see what everybody
thinks of it.
An alternative would be to mount one of those three point spare carriers you see
underneath 18-wheeler trailers.

An argument can be made that there is no point in carrying a spare unless you
have all the tools to change it. You'll be calling for road service from a truck stop
anyway. But availability of a new tire, and the price, can be issues. For that reason,
some truckers carry a tire, but no rim (to save weight and cost and muscle
power). The road service guy just mounts it on the old rim.
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Old 03-28-2007, 01:48 AM   #4
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Does this make any sense?



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Old 03-28-2007, 01:58 AM   #5
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I'd have that set-up in front of the rear tires...
You know, issues with the aprons in and out of fuel stops...
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Old 03-28-2007, 02:10 AM   #6
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Yes. Immediately in front of or behind the drive tires. I'm going behind. I've eyeballed
a line from the bottom of the drive tires to the bottom of the rear bumper. Nothing
should be below that. The rear box on Millicent is already crunched. I'm lopping that
corner off. And I mashed the landing gear on my trailer in a driveway with my
first bus, so this hitch is higher.
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:02 PM   #7
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On my SafTLiner I've got a factory box just like you drew for a spare. Wish they would've actually included a spare! There's also a curved rail on the inside back of the box. It looks like it's set up to help get the tire out easier. It's right in front of the of the driver's side drive tires.
Since my bus is a RE, I was kicking around the idea of relocating it to the very front of the bus.
On #5 Fred Hobe (on his MCI) mounted a leather seat from a Lincoln Towncar or some such. It was one of those 8-way power seats he said he paid $40 from a salvage yard.
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Old 03-28-2007, 12:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
I've got a factory box just like you drew for a spare
Great minds think alike! Then we know that this can be done.
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Old 03-28-2007, 03:26 PM   #9
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Great ideas....thanks!

I was thinking about mounting a spare up under the bus like they do on pickup trucks. You know, the kind you can crank the tire up and down on a chain. I'm going to have a look at the one on my truck and see if I can duplicate it on a bigger scale. That way I don't have to muscle it directly. What do you folks think of that?

Went by Cherokee RV Parts in Westminster (Denver) Colorado this morning. http://www.cherokeervparts.com Unfortunately my timing was a little off as they are moving to a new location and most of their stuff was packed up ready to relocate. Talked extensively with the owner and got a lot of good ideas and a strong indication that their prices are going to save me at least 50-60% off retail and they back up their stuff! So we'll see. So far it's the only RV bone yard I've located along the Front Range of Colorado.

A six way seat would be really nice, but right now any seat at all would be better than the brick of a bus seat in there now. I'll see if I can locate a big truck bone yard locally and check them out.

As to basement storage I was thinking about fabricating the metal support brackets, building plywood boxes and then fiber glassing them myself. They should be as strong as anything out there. I can get several doors from the RV salvage yard, perhaps if I can locate a salvage yard with some buses in them I might be able to transplant those to my rig. Are there any special tools necessary to take those off a bus? Air chisel or what ever?

I would like to have two electrical systems, one 12v and the other regular household 120v. I also have a 4800 watt generator that I'm planning on mounting in the back so that I'll have that option as well. Unfortunately its gasoline so I'll need to plumb in an auxiliary tank for that somewhere. Wonder if I could replace the motor with a diesel or propane unit and save carrying a third fuel? Come to think of it my generator can put out limited 220v which would be handy for a small portable welder...hmmmmm.

I went into the new Camping World on interstate 25 south of Colorado Springs on the way home from Denver. They just opened up...very shiny and sparkley! I noticed that in the electrical section they has stuff for 30 amp systems and 50 amp systems. I remember the KOA I lived in for over six months while house hunting out here was putting in more 50 amp hook ups to accommodate the newer and larger RV's. Any thoughts on which level to go for....or can both be accommodated? Whatever I build it will be capable for Solar, Wind, Generator, and shore power hook up. I don't want to over build...but I also don't want to under build.

REFERENCE BOOKS?
Are there any good reference books/manuals etc., out there that I should be consulting?
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Old 03-28-2007, 09:29 PM   #10
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I put some truck air ride seats into mine...they come with pedasels and bolt right in... I already had air lines just inside the side electrical panel for the air wipers...so it was matter of cutting in a "T" line and feeding the seat valve... I got lucky with mine, I work for a truck dealership and wound up with an almost matched pair of them for free....I think I've thrown out a couple of them too (not in good shape but usable)....
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