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Old 04-26-2019, 02:15 PM   #1
Almost There
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 97
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
The ARGO

So the bus is waiting to be picked up once we make the last payment.
2004 International CE200
7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Allison 2000 Series Automatic Transmission
Has wheelchair lift next to entrance door up front.


I named her The Argo, because of one of my favorite movies as a kid: Jason and the Argonauts.

Though I didnít take measurements, and I donít have specs, I did some preliminary design work based on her 32 foot length.

Her ceiling is high enough that I can walk with about 2Ē over me (Iím 6í), so no roof raise (though I have considered a trolly style roof raise of about a foot down the middle).

The 40í busses were tempting, but one of those will take up almost the width of my yard at the entrance and would block the driveway. They are also less maneuverable.

I want to drive The Argo to national parks and forests, camp on BLM land, go down rough roads, etc., so I will be building it for boondocking. I may wind up full timing in her as well.

One major design I am really trying to implement is a sleeping compartment upstairs. Since it seems thirteen feet six inches is the limit on height, and the bus is about eleven feet high, I am looking at creating a system using three or four nesting frames for the walls that rise using linear actuators. I donít need to be able to stand inside the sleeping area-just sit up and have some headroom.

Keeping it from leaking is of course vital, but I have that figured out. For better insulation, I would hang very thick curtains, even doubled, from the perimeter of the ceiling.

Getting from the sleeping area to the deck is also a Goa, but still trying to figure that out with the telescoping panels etc.

Ideas so far:
External water tanks (under) insulated and with heating strips, or a heating element inside.
Composting toilet (maybe a DIY)
Own a generator, so will use it in the bus.
Remove floor and insulate/replace with bamboo flooring.
Insulate ceiling and walls.
Possibly reuse ceiling metal sheets once insulated.
Mini Wood burning stove.

Rooftop deck with folding rails and access from inside.
Adding external storage compartments.
Possible short rear deck.
Cut off main door step where it hangs below body.
Replace main door with DIY steel framed door.
OR
Seal main door and create main entrance via lift door. Would have to create a folding step system.
Remove Wheelchair lift.
Upstairs expanding/collapsible sleeping area.
Solar Panels etc. for solar power.
Replace standard windows with sheet metal and bigger windows.
Use standard windows for telescoping bedroom (maybe), or trolly roof raise.
Trying to figure out a way to add a passenger seat. Maybe if I do the entrance change as above.


Of course, all the other mods like a standard apartment fridge, etc.

Iíll put up a drawing I did of the telescoping bedroom idea.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:31 PM   #2
Almost There
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 97
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
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Old 04-26-2019, 10:20 PM   #3
Almost There
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 97
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
can't figure out how to post a better pic.
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Old 04-27-2019, 01:40 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 568
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post
can't figure out how to post a better pic.
I think the pictures you posted gives the viewer the general idea you are trying to achieve.


Where did you get the stock drawings of the bus? My wife and I would really like to use something lie that as a basis for our layout/design brainstorming.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:54 AM   #5
Almost There
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 97
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Thanks. Hoping to get some feedback on the telescoping bedroom design.

I'll probably post a close up of the sections to make them easier to see.


As far as the bus drawing...
I did an internet search for "International CE200 school bus drawing/schematic/technical drawing/illustration...", and varied it with the year of the bus etc. until I got lucky.

Search in "images" to make it easier.


I then manipulated the image in Photoshop and Illustrator.
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:21 PM   #6
Almost There
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 97
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Hopefully these drawings show up better...





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Old 04-27-2019, 12:27 PM   #7
Almost There
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 97
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:08 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 568
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Have you calculated the weight of the sleeper section?


Have you spec'd the linear actuators with respect to the weight they can lift directly?


Have you considered your sealing needs between the sliding layers?


I only bring these up because they are things I would be concerned about in the design. Personally, I think it is a great idea.
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Old 04-27-2019, 11:13 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 568
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post
As far as the bus drawing...
I did an internet search for "International CE200 school bus drawing/schematic/technical drawing/illustration...", and varied it with the year of the bus etc. until I got lucky.

Search in "images" to make it easier.

I then manipulated the image in Photoshop and Illustrator.
Thank you, I'll give it the ol' college try!
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Old 04-28-2019, 12:07 AM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Greater Boston
Posts: 470
*Why re-invent the wheel? Occasionally pop-up campers come up fairly cheap (Under $1000.) Steal the roof & lifting mechanism in one piece. It might not be powered, but it would give you all the bits and pieces to make it work. (And you could probably find a way to /make/ it powered.) That would give you something that's all ready sealed on the outside, and has the lifting mechanism built in. You'd still be on your own for finding a way to insulate it, or maybe add hard sides inside - but at least you wouldn't have to worry about sealing it from the weather anymore.

I'm curious about the weight, but I'm not sure I'd be worried about it. A couple hundred pounds up there is a lot, but it's going to be balanced out with the weight of everything else in the conversion.


*Unless you want to. It will be fun either way.
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