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Old 11-24-2010, 05:18 PM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1
Year: 1980
Coachwork: Thomas Built
Chassis: B700
Engine: Ford 370
Rated Cap: 40
The Great Escape....Soon

Hello Folks and Happy Holidays. My name is Michael and I live in North Carolina. Wanted to join up and show off my bus a little. I started looking at a bus about 6 years ago. I found many that were very high miles or just plain worn out. I talked to people in many states that were willing to take my money for a complete piece of junk in return. As I was coming home one day, I saw a church that had a bus for sale. (about 2 miles from my home). I stopped and looked at the bus. A Thomas built FORD B700 with a 370 engine. Bus was never a school bus, but had been purchased by the church as a activity bus. Bus only had 26K miles and looked in very good shape with excellent tires. Also the bus had a undercarriage Volkswagon engine installed by Bergstrom Corp that operates a Air Condition System. This unit has 2 compressors and a alternator that supplies its own electrical power for the fans. My lucky day, the church was closing down and needed to sell its inventory. As I was inspecting the bus, I found a recent apprasal that had been done by a local dealer in my town. It was appraised for $10,000.
I drove the unit ( a little daunting for a first timer), and made out OK. I asked how much they wanted for the bus and the gentleman offered to sell it to me for $700. I never pulled out cash so fast in my life. Anyway, after a few years of work and few trial and error(s), here's where we stand. The interior is 99% finished. Won't complete final exterior painting and additions until next year. Gonna install a Honda or Onan Generator under the right side carriage. She will have 3 solar panels that supply a charge to a bank of batteries and discharge through an inverter. We plan to carry 60 gallons of fresh water, supplied by a 12v pump system. Going to use a Marey propane instant hot water system. Will install one, possibly two Carrier A/C units in the spring. Interior has a forward cabin, galley, head and aft cabin, all divided by bulkheads. I also installed a stand-up shower with Delta Plumbing. The front entertainment system includes a TV/DVD/VHS, and full stereo system. The aft cabin has a 500 watt sound system with sub woofer. The bus has external jacks for outside speakers that run off another stereo in the drivers compartment. I have a four foot double door closet with lockers on the bottom. The aft cabin has a bulkhead that separates it from the last 2 feet of the bus to the back door. This allows for a storage area and extra security behind the aft bulkhead. The aft bulkhead has a swing up "wall", that allows for emergency exit and locks up in position for driving and visibility while driving. I have had a great time building her and look forward to any suggestions, comments or compliments. Thanks for looking.

I apologize - Uploaded images are not coming up at this time. Will work to correct the problem. Michael
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Old 11-24-2010, 07:03 PM   #2
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lornaschinske's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,587
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Re: The Great Escape....Soon

I'm Lorna and i don't live in North Carolina anymore!

Have you used a Marey before? I looked at them but decided to go with an EccoTemp unit from Compact appliance (they also have one that we want to use on the food cart).,pd.html
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
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