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Old 08-13-2016, 08:46 PM   #1
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The 'Happy Campers' Bus

Hello everyone! My name is Roger and I have been reading the crap out of these forums for 2 months. The wealth of information on this site is amazing and much appreciated. Some aawesome Skoolies on here for sure!

On July 26, 2016, I traded my 2000 Ford F150 in for a 40 Foot 1999 Thomas Built RE MVP 84 Passenger School Bus! Mow we are down to one Nisan Xterra and a bus.The Plan is to convert it into an RV. Why? I am glad you asked.. Because rent is too damn high! After the conversion, it will be time to hunt down some property to put it on! Will be keeping a blog on the progression as we convert this into our home.

The bus wasn't in our yard for 12 hours before I received a visit from the county. It is against code to have a commercial vehicle in a residential neighborhood. I was given a warning and 5 days the get it converted from BUS to RV (at least on the title ). All that needed to be done was to have the seats removed and water hooked up to a functioning sink. Long story short, I got it done in time but now I needed insurance before I could register the bus at the DMV. We really didn't have the money (still don't) to be doing all this legal work yet but I got lucky and found insurance for $15 / month. I went to DMV, Signed an affidavit saying that I added a sink and removed the seats and boom! The Bus was now a Motorhome.

Just to get everyone caught up, I will post everything I have done up until yesterday. I will post what I did today in a little while.

The bus:


Almost half the seats out:


Almost done with seat removal:


Putting down temporary sub-floor for the sink to sit on. I hated starting in the middle but I needed to get it registered:




Installed Sink with running water (temporary).


Next post will show what I got done today.
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Old 08-13-2016, 08:51 PM   #2
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Welcome to skoolie.net. I hope to start next month and I think that you just bought the bus I'm looking for. What engine/transmission does it have?

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Old 08-13-2016, 08:53 PM   #3
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All I know is that it is V6 Caterpillar
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Old 08-13-2016, 09:40 PM   #4
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Today was all about getting Air Conditioning going in the bus. Up until now, any work has been done while enduring the Florida high temps of 90F -95F (outside the bus). We ellected to go with a window mount AC Unit as It was the cheapest solution we could manage for now. It is supposed to cool 350 SQ Ft. The foam you see around the wall will be cleaned up later. Right now, I just wanted that AC wall UP!

It starts:


Framing the wall to hold the AC and separate the bedroom from the "garage" (shelf, which is only accessible from the outside):




Eagerly installing the AC (usually something that is done after the wall is up):


My 8 year old princess, Natalie, helping me verify that the AC is working properly:


AC wall is done... It was a real pain trying to get this done without cutting the plywood in half; I really didn't want a seam. Not shown here is the 2 cans worth of spray foam the I used all around the wall edges, it is quite ugly for now but it did its job and sealed the gaps. The temp in the bus is noticeably cooler. Once I get the sub floor and the side walls insulated I think it will be perfect. Tomorrow (now that it will be cooler to work in) I will be re-doing and completing the subfloor properly, now that I am not in a rush.



Will give a progress update on this thread tomorrow night.
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Old 08-13-2016, 09:53 PM   #5
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Today was all about getting Air Conditioning going in the bus. Up until now, any work has been done while enduring the Florida high temps of 90F -95F (outside the bus). We ellected to go with a window mount AC Unit as It was the cheapest solution we could manage for now. It is supposed to cool 350 SQ Ft. The foam you see around the wall will be cleaned up later. Right now, I just wanted that AC wall UP!

It starts:


Framing the wall to hold the AC and separate the bedroom from the "garage" (shelf, which is only accessible from the outside):




Eagerly installing the AC (usually something that is done after the wall is up):


My 8 year old princess, Natalie, helping me verify that the AC is working properly:


AC wall is done... It was a real pain trying to get this done without cutting the plywood in half; I really didn't want a seam. Not shown here is the 2 cans worth of spray foam the I used all around the wall edges, it is quite ugly for now but it did its job and sealed the gaps. The temp in the bus is noticeably cooler. Once I get the sub floor and the side walls insulated I think it will be perfect. Tomorrow (now that it will be cooler to work in) I will be re-doing and completing the subfloor properly, now that I am not in a rush.



Will give a progress update on this thread tomorrow night.
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Old 08-13-2016, 10:14 PM   #6
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
Chassis: International
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 78
what part of FL?
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Old 08-13-2016, 10:20 PM   #7
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Venice... Just south of Sarasota.
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Old 08-13-2016, 10:22 PM   #8
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Rough layout plan... some things have changed already and we are just getting started!


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Old 08-13-2016, 10:33 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by NorcalSurvival View Post
Venice... Just south of Sarasota.
Oh its nice down there. I bought a scooter down in Venice this year.
I'm up north of Orlando in rural Apopka.
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Old 08-13-2016, 10:33 PM   #10
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Thank you!
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