Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-16-2014, 12:49 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 24
Year: 2001
Coachwork: International
Chassis: AmTran
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 78
Skoolie Adventure* (*as yet un-named!)

After many months of planning, dreaming, screen shopping and perusing all the awesome information on the internet & especially this fabulous forum...

WE BOUGHT A BUS!!!!



The Family
My husband, Royce, is in Afghanistan, so I, Sarah, will be doing this project mostly by myself, with help from our 5 kids, (Lily, Nora, Thayne, Stella & Zephyr) and hopefully more of our family and friends. It should be an interesting adventure!



The Bus
She is a 2001 International AmTran RE with a T444E engine. Her Allison transmission is either an AT542 or an AT545, not quite clear on that. She is a bit shorter than 40 ft by 8 ft wide. And she only has 99K miles on her.
We shopped for buses all over the place. Apparently none of the school districts around us auction off their buses, or not at this time when we were in need. They mostly trade in to new school bus distributors when buying their new replacements and the distributors re-sell their old ones. Unfortunately that knocked our year and style of choice up to about $12K. So, we happened to find THE one, through eBay. And only an hour and a half away. We did pay more than we were hoping. I think, in our area and for our timing, we definitely beat the $12K! Our bus was $5300 with $371 Tax. I hope this is as good a deal as I think it is.

The Outside
We have a mechanic who will check out the engine. So far, to my layman's eyes, all looks and sounds good.
She has surface rust on the undercarriage, where it has gotten under the spray coating on the chassis, which is now flaking off. I will be scraping off as much as I can, then hopefully pressure washing her, applying Ospho, or similar and painting/sealing the underside.
I'll be repainting the roof with BusKote, eventually installing some decking as needed to support PV arrays.
Her NSBY paint will hopefully be covered in the next few weeks with silver paint, with green and blue stripes.

The Inside
I am pleased to find that her walls and ceilings are screwed on and not riveted...unless rivets have Philips heads! The floors have quite a few (read: million) screws in them also!
I had my first attempt at removing the bolts for the seats today. My 8 year old was not in the mood in the sudden 35 degrees of today. I'll try again tomorrow with my 11 year old and 55 degrees! Used a ratchet for stabilizing one side & air powered ratchet on the other, but couldn't get the coordination figured out. Weather and impatient little ones didn't mix well with that trial! The flooring came today, so I am eager to get up the old, insulate, cover & lay down the new!

Hoping to continue forward a little every day.

This is my latest CAD iteration!
__________________
Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=467377
scgwagner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2014, 01:34 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,158
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Re: Skoolie Adventure* (*as yet un-named!)

Welcome Gang! --- Now the madness begins. Sounds like you have a good plan & a good team. Don't hesitate to ask questions. There are folks here who have done this many times over. And if they don't know the answers..they can certainly come up with some entertaining stories!

And thanks to Royce for his service from an old Vet. Sounds like he has great back up stateside.
Tango is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2014, 06:07 AM   #3
Bus Nut
 
M1031's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 471
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Ward
Chassis: Ford B600
Engine: 6.6L Turbo Diesel
Rated Cap: 26
Re: Skoolie Adventure* (*as yet un-named!)

INDEED!!!!

Welcome to the insanity! It's a GREAT way to create new family bonds, or stresses, depending upon how things go. My son is learning loads with our build.

Best wishes!

M1031
__________________
We few, we Band of Brothers. For he who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother.
- William Shakespeare ("King Henry V")
M1031 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2014, 06:58 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Docsgsxr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Arizona via Baton Rouge
Posts: 640
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freight-shaker (Freightliner)
Engine: Cat 3126b 250 HP
Rated Cap: Only 1 seat
Re: Skoolie Adventure* (*as yet un-named!)

SUWEEEET!!!!!

Welcome to the neighborhood! At $5500 and judging by the pics and info you gave, I'd say it was a great deal!

32 yesterday and 55 today? you have to be somewhere between Chicago and Boston........we got snow this morning bleh!

Former Navy Corpsman here and Gulf War Vet. Thanks to your hubby for his service and Bravo Zulu to you for holding down the fort while he is away!

-Doc
__________________
My build thread - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=467197
Docsgsxr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2014, 09:44 AM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
Diesel Dan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,489
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/AT545
Re: Skoolie Adventure* (*as yet un-named!)

Sarah, I am very impressed with what you are doing. You rock! I'm sure you will find people on this forum very much willing to offer good advice. One thing you didn't mention in your description is the purpose/function of the bus for your family. Will you be living in it full time, or just using it for trips, or...? From my experience of cramming my family of 5 into my bus, I think you will find one of your challenges will be to create enough accessible storage for everyone's stuff. When my family goes on trips, the biggest problem I have is managing all the "stuff" that is floating all over the place. Mainly food, clothes, personal items, etc. I suggest you give serious thought to the issue of storage. It doesn't necessarily come up in one's mind as a "key" system in the bus, like electricity and plumbing, etc., but it becomes apparent how important it is once you start spending time living in the bus.

So anyways, welcome to the forum, and best of luck to you!
__________________
Gallery:
http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skooli ... l_dan_bus/
Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?t=4959
Diesel Dan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2014, 11:27 AM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 6,158
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Re: Skoolie Adventure* (*as yet un-named!)

Storage? --- Just raise the roof a coupla' feet! From the looks of that crew and the sound of their determination, they could probably knock it out in a weekend!
Tango is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2014, 11:55 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 24
Year: 2001
Coachwork: International
Chassis: AmTran
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Skoolie Adventure* (*as yet un-named!)

Thank you, all!

Tango ~ Yes, madness! I am sure you can imagine all the comments and conversation this whole idea has brought up. People think we (maybe mostly me, since I am the one physically doing it) are completely insane! My questions are definitely going to be put to all these seasoned and new converters on here! Such an amazing wealth of knowledge and experience! Thank you for YOUR service! He was active duty Army for the last 10 years, is still in, as National Guard right now, but is currently serving as a civilian security contractor, working with Marines...which kind of sucks as a civilian, as it is a year long deployment this time around!

M1031 ~ That is awesome that your son is helping out. I am hoping to them how to use each tool along the way. My older son is most excited about learning how to use the angle grinder. We have safety goggles for everyone! We homeschool, so we have plenty of time to figure things out!

Doc ~ I guess we will find out just how good a deal it was when we have the engine checked out! Yes, we are in Central Indiana. Crazy weather! Sunday, when we brought the bus home, it was 75, Tuesday we got snow, also! Today, the high should be 55! Thank you for YOUR service! At least this time around, he is providing security on a base. Last deployment he was out in Baghdad 12+ hours every day teaching Iraqis how to be police officers (he is an MP). Talk to me further into the bus build and we will see how adept I am at holding down the fort, then!!! It is making my poor husband CRAZY not being here for this. But circumstances make it so that we have to start now!

Dan ~ Thank you. Originally, the plan was to travel for about 6 months across the country. Money, job possibilities, etc., have changed, so now, the new plan is to build as quickly as possible, get out of our house, & live in the bus full time, because Royce could come home at any time. If/when he does, the job or schooling choice we make will for sure not be where we currently live. So we really need the flexibility of taking our home with us...and not having a stick house to get rid of. Storage! I totally forgot to mention that in the previous post. Every bed will have built in storage under it, as will the dinette booth and the sofabed in the front of the bus. We are planning on having upper cabinets lining the upper walls/ceilings throughout. I am hoping not to need a roof raise. The interior center height is 72 inches before we rip anything out. I am 68 inches and hubby is 70 inches, so it'll be tight. I really won't know till I get the inside gutted and get a real "feel" for the interior. The bus does currently have 2 luggage compartments below. I was pleased to find that her fuel tank is in the very center of her undercarriage. That leaves up and down both sides to fabricate more compartments. I cannot believe how much space is under there! And it is all up under the sides, so we wouldn't be sacrificing any ground clearance to add storage.
__________________
Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=467377
scgwagner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2014, 12:57 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Docsgsxr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Arizona via Baton Rouge
Posts: 640
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freight-shaker (Freightliner)
Engine: Cat 3126b 250 HP
Rated Cap: Only 1 seat
Re: Skoolie Adventure* (*as yet un-named!)

Quote:
Yes, we are in Central Indiana.
HA! I am planning on bringing my rig up to my grandparents place to work on it for the summer. They are in Starke county. I was born in Valpo!

Quote:
It is making my poor husband CRAZY not being here for this.
True Red Blooded American! Maybe you can surprise him and have it done for his homecoming for a nice little road trip!
__________________
My build thread - viewtopic.php?f=9&t=467197
Docsgsxr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2014, 01:05 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 24
Year: 2001
Coachwork: International
Chassis: AmTran
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Skoolie Adventure* (*as yet un-named!)

Damned bolts. We got 2 off...from one seat...ALL the rest are too rusted to their nuts...locked up my pneumatic ratchet. Gonna have to bust out the angle grinder. Man, I was really hoping that we could do more with just the ratchets!

Ha! Go Hoosiers! We are just south of Indianapolis! Yes! I am hoping to get it done or mostly done before he gets home!
__________________
Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=467377
scgwagner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-16-2014, 03:27 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Indiana
Posts: 24
Year: 2001
Coachwork: International
Chassis: AmTran
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 78
Re: Skoolie Adventure* (*as yet un-named!)

All right. After only being able to remove 2 bolts via socket and ratchets, I had to bust out the angle grinder. Covered myself from head to toe, man those sparks do go everywhere!


Ratchets at work.



Stubborn rusted bolts!
Topside


Bottom side



Ready to get down to business



In the middle of one leg


DECAPITATED!!



Not bad for $9.99 on clearance at Tractor Supply Company! JobSmart brand. DeWalt Cutoff Wheel...only lasted through 13 bolt heads. Time to go shopping for non name brand cut off wheels!!



BAM!! First seat out! Woohoo!!! Feels soooooo good!!!! (And I found an old mouse nest in the first seat I took out. Will be keeping my eyes open for any other freeloaders!)




Then I got a second seat out & 1 is halfway & 1 is 1/4 way! Time for celebratory Ice Cream!!!
__________________
Conversion Thread:
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=467377
scgwagner is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Our New Skoolie (Yet to be named.) RavensOracle Skoolie Conversion Projects 33 04-08-2012 12:28 PM
Bus Named Lucy kwest48 Skoolie Conversion Projects 4 09-03-2010 02:38 PM
adventure bus Z28Justin Short-Bus Conversion Projects 22 01-01-2010 05:10 PM
1987 International un-named b_wood Skoolie Conversion Projects 2 12-16-2008 12:20 PM
A bus named Taj KevinCoughlin Skoolie Conversion Projects 8 07-20-2008 01:46 AM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:21 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.