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Old 11-20-2006, 07:01 PM   #11
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I've posted some more photos of the bus in the S-caper gallery showing the under bus storage bay and overall shots. I really like the storage bay; otherwise it pretty much looks like another yellow school bus!
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:22 PM   #12
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I sure wish my Thomas had those bays! I had to build my own, would have been a lot better to get them already there. I also read with amusment about the roof height...I too have the drop roof but I'm only 5'7" so it won't be much of a problem for me. However, if I do this again, I'll either get a Hiway bus or another Thomas with the raised roof, the underbelly box, and coach air!!
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You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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Old 11-21-2006, 09:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneCamping
I sure wish my Thomas had those bays! I had to build my own, would have been a lot better to get them already there. I also read with amusment about the roof height...I too have the drop roof but I'm only 5'7" so it won't be much of a problem for me. However, if I do this again, I'll either get a Hiway bus or another Thomas with the raised roof, the underbelly box, and coach air!!
Hi Cliff

I've been enjoying your site; in fact it was Jake VonSlatt's site, your site and the photos that TomCat (jsbird69) posted on his site that convinced me to go for the Thomas. It was also from your site that I got the first hint that the roof came in different heights but I didn't read that part till after I had bid on the bus (and won!).

I'm just 5' 10" tall so it's not going to affect me too badly; I'll just have to watch what I do to the floor and the ceiling. The roof air was going to be the biggest problem; with a 2" inside diffuser even at 5'10" I would have been smacking the thing all the time. Since I found the mini-split A/C systems I seem to have that problem licked.

I was really happy about the storage bay. Had I kept my '79 International Blue Bird I'd have been doing the same thing as you...building them my self.

Now get back to working on the bus so I can read more about what you're doing!
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Old 11-26-2006, 05:32 PM   #14
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The weather here has been the pitts; right now it's snowing out and I'm stuck in the house. So I've been doodling with my CAD program laying out my electrical and plumbing systems and also trying to visualize a little about the paint scheme for the outside of the bus.

I posted a drawing in my Gallery folder of the paint design we're thinking of.

I also used my CAD program to do some line drawings (profile) of the bus for trying out window mods, paints, roof mods and such. They're locatedhere in case someone else wants to do the same.
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Old 11-26-2006, 11:12 PM   #15
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Got more done on the plumbing today, I think one more Sunday and the plumbing should be close to wrapping up. I hope so, I really hate plumbing. The electrical will be much more fun for me! Glad to see someone is getting something useful from my site!!
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*Cliff*

You just might be a Redneck if...
...your motor home used to be a school bus!
...Your living room has a steering wheel!
...Your home has brake lights

1994 Jeep Grand Cherokee
1989 Thomas Diesel Pusher (Cat 3208/Freightliner)
Chesapeake, Virginia
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Old 11-28-2006, 12:52 AM   #16
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Well...after lots of talks with the wife unit (Shelley) and copious amounts of research on the Internet regarding bus conversions we came to a momentous decision...no holds barred. We decided to go for a top-of-the-line conversion done the best way we know of or can learn about (and still stay within the budget ).

What this means is that the roof goes up, all the interior panels on the walls and the ceiling come off so that all that remains is the outer skin...in other words...almost total demolition of the inside of the bus!

One gem I found yesterday was a series of "tips" or mini-articles written by Fred Hobe of North Flordia Conversions; he's much respected in the road bus conversion community (mostly MCI) and seems to be one of those "hands on" and common sense sort of guys. He remarked in his FAQ section that even if you're only 5 foot something tall you should raise the roof in order to get a better insulated floor (2") and a much better insulated roof (4"). The same holds for the side walls; once we're back to just outer panels we'll be able to really insulate properly. This obviously doesn't apply if 1) you don't want to do it or 2) if the bus is always used in moderate conditions and then perhaps mostly as a camper. For a full-timer though it makes it easier to heat in the winter and cool in the summer and you're bound to find a few of each if you're traveling much.

The raised roof also allows larger windows which would be nice and would give a more open feeling to the interior although Fred does warn about going too large on the windows and making it harder to heat or cool the bus.

To go along with our new thoughts I also drew in a Splendide washer/dryer unit and a Broan trash compactor into the kitchen area just to see how it would work out; it actually works quite well and Shelley seems very pleased with them. That floorplan is here. Our vacation every year for the past 7 years has been a week on a houseboat at Shasta Lake in northern California. They have trash compactors on all the boats we rent and it's amazing how much that darn thing holds. Makes sense to us in a small space like the bus. We plan on being able to boondock (totally self sustained) for at least a couple of weeks at a time; it will be nice to crush the non-biodegradeable trash down to its smallest form.

Given the big change with the taller top and the larger windows I also did another profile drawing. I messed with some graphics to see how it would "pretty up"; I've got to say we're liking it! [I'm still chicken about the metal work...but I figure I can learn.]
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Old 12-11-2006, 10:36 AM   #17
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Well...a little progess.

When I picked up my bus the headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals worked but not the marker lights. Also most of the switches on the overhead main panel didn't do anything...so no window fans, heater fans, defroster fans, etc would run.

I started with the marker lights first since it's hard to dirve without them if it's anything but broad daylight. It was an easy wire trace to a large (2" diameter) solenoid. Hmmm...the bakelite nose piece with the terminals on it was dangling in front of the metal body of the solenoid. I suspect that when the video camera equipment came out that a mechanic removed the power wires to it (most likely coming from the solenoid) and put so much pressure on the nuts on the terminals that he broke off the bakelite end.

The solenoid still had a very readable sticker on it so I chased it down on the Internet and ordered a replacement (about '$28'). I installed it yesterday and lo and behold everything on the main switch panel came to life! And more amazingly everything the switches control works! Even the light monitor on the far left of the panel (which is a depiction of the front end and rear end of the bus with little indicator lights for all the real light positions) does its thing.

So at least one item on the conversion list has a checkmark next to it.

I also got my new Washington State motorhome plates installed yesterday. I wanted to get my wife Shelley out in the bus since she'd never been in it so we hopped aboard and headed down the road. She was as pleased about the sound level and ride as I am and she loves the visibility out those massive front windows. I pulled into a large parking lot after we had been on the highway a few miles and asked her if she'd try driving. She used to be my co-dirver when we owned our semi-truck so she's not a stranger to large vehicles but that was many moons ago and she always declined to drive our Blue Bird (and never has). To my surprise she said "sure" so we swapped seats, I gave her a run down on controls and operation (yes, honey, you have to press and hold those little round foot swtiches for the turn signals), and off we went. She did great and actually enjoyed it, this bus is a real joy to drive and quite easy to handle around town. I don't think she'll use it to go for groceries or to commute to work (her normal vehicle is a Jeep Wrangler...just a bit shorter!) but she likes it well enough I'll have a co-driver to swap off with while we're on the road. Yes!
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:08 AM   #18
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Re: S-caper...Part 2

hello! i had a question for yu regarding your 3208...i was curious if you blow any blue smoke upon acceleration or decelleration...new to these engines and just picked up my first bus..thanks!
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:26 PM   #19
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Re: S-caper...Part 2

Did you notice Les' last post's date?.......DEC 11, 2006
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Old 04-27-2008, 11:45 AM   #20
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Re: S-caper...Part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldog12
Did you notice Les' last post's date?.......DEC 11, 2006
Oh My! I've got to get back here more often! Even I didn't realize how long I'd been tied up on other things
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