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Old 03-31-2013, 07:17 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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The Belltown Express

So, our bus came home yesterday. It is a 1990 Thomas MVP. Formerly owned by a bus nut - who upgraded to a beautiful Wanderlodge - and prior to that was in airport shuttle bus service. It's 30' long, rear engine diesel, with the 8V71 turbo back there. The PO removed the seats and the wheelchair lift. He also did a very nice job of carpeting the ceiling and floor, and installing wainscoating on the lower walls. The interior arrangements didn't really fit with our needs, so we removed that. Now we have a blank slte to work from...with a huge head start thanks to the PO.

The drive home was exciting. First time I've driven something this size. My normal daily driver is a VW Vanagon, so I was familiar with the forward control driving position...so it was just "more". The bus ran fine, with the temperatures and pressures in what seems like a good range - assuming the guages can be believed. Both the speedo and tach were not working...anone have a suggestion to fix? I was just going to open up the instrument cluster and clean the contacts, etc. We also lost an exhaust elbow out the back on the way home. A closer inspection when we got home revealed that the mufler was shot anyway...so some exhaust repairs on the way.

The body is pretty rust free. The floor appears to be galvanized, and I see no rust down low or in the fender wells, etc. There is surface rust on the frame, as can be expected from a 23 y/o vehicle from New England...but nothing that concerns me. There is some rust though. The rear window frame is just about shot. Does anyone know a source for something like that? I suppose I could remove the whole frame and skin the area and put in a sliding RV window, but I would like to keep the huge swing-out window. The access doors on either side of the engine compartment are pretty rusty on the lower edges too. A terrible design...perfect for catching and holding crud and water. No problem fixing those.

So, the plans include oufitting the interior to fit our 5-person family, with at least a cousin or two. We're aiming for simple, with the focus on roadtripping/boondocking (as opposed to full timing in a campground). We're also planning some basement storage. Electrical system - the PO did not install house batteries. And plumbing - we need to carry some water.

Anyway, I'll post pics below.

SYOTT,

Bob
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:30 AM   #2
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Re: The Belltown Express


P3301233 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr


P3301238 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr


P3301239 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr


P3301242 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr

Two hours later:


P3301244 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr


P3301245 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:45 AM   #3
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Re: The Belltown Express

Looks like a fab bus you guys got & with great start
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:38 PM   #4
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Re: The Belltown Express

Great show!
I see you used "child labor"
.
.
Did you do anything
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:38 PM   #5
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Re: The Belltown Express

Awesome! Keep the pictures coming...
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:25 PM   #6
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Re: The Belltown Express

Very nice looking bus. Looks like you've got a great base to build from.

You asked about the rear window frame. You might find a used one somewhere if you look for awhile. However, I'm pretty sure you can still get this from Thomas. They didn't change stuff all that often, so that frame may have been used for years.
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Old 04-03-2013, 09:13 AM   #7
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Re: The Belltown Express

So that nice paneled box at the top in the rear caught my eye yesterday. I wonder what is behind that? An email to the PO, and he tells me it is the adandoned AC equipment. Well, I could use that area! A couple of gentle exploratory prys and I see what he has done. A shame to rip it out, because he did such a nice job...but I also see a ton of seed and crap from mice. And, I could use this space for storage or something...

So, out it came.


P4021235 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr

Lots of metal for the recyclers...trade for angle for basement storage racks:


P4021236 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr

That's better? Hmmm...


P4021237 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:21 PM   #8
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Some more work done this weekend

My buddy Robby came up and we worked on the bus.


P4071242 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr


P4071247 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr


P4071248 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr


P4071243 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr


P4071244 by Belltown Bikes, on Flickr

Good productive weekend! See ya out there. B
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:33 PM   #9
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Re: The Belltown Express

Like the bead board. Thinkin' about maybe using it on my ceiling.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:34 AM   #10
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Re: The Belltown Express

quick work
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