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Old 04-06-2009, 12:27 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: Victoria

Ok so the seats were much easier than I imagined they would be. I made three trips to harbor freight, lol. One to take back the crappy air compressor I bought and get a replacement. The second to get more oil for the replacement. Finally, I made another trip to take back the second non-working compressor I bought there. The friendly people refunded my money for the compressor and oil, gave me ten dollars off an angle grinder, and gave me a free dewalt wheel for my hassle.

Although the seats were easy, with scheduling conflicts we only got about half of them out. The rest will be out tomorrow and I will post pics of all the space I'll fill with other stuff. The floor feels nice and solid all the way through, the whole rig feels very solid and well built.

I am trying to decide how (if at all) to insulate the walls, and whether to leave the rear heater in and try to build around it or remove it. Any recommendations?

I also made a trip to the library to pick up "the bus convertor's bible," gotta love free $50 books. After that I made a trip to menards and spent almost $100 on some of the electrical supplies, including a circuit breaker, 250' of romex, I figured 14-2 should be able to handle it all. I found some shallow wall boxes for the light switches and outlets, and I got 2 13" light fixtures for a mere $11.88, the same kind I put in my bedroom a year or so ago and have loved.

I'm excited for tomorrow, but I kind of have no idea what to do after my uncle and I finish pulling out the seats. I priced rustoleum paint @ $26 per gallon at walmart, but they only had black and two different shades of grey. Where would be a good place to go to get different or custom colors?

At any rate I am really enjoying this and it is a dream coming true. Here are some pics from Saturday when I picked it up:


Learning The Ropes (and knobs, levers, buttons, etc.)


Coming back from a 4 mile country test drive, if only getting my driver's license was that easy


Profile shot!


This gas station advertised diesel but there is no way you could fit a truck through there, especially not with the combined mcd's drivethrough


Yuck! My girlfriend thought the chalet rv's looked cool, I should've just deleted this.


I wasn't joking when I said the house sat on .13 acres, I'm glad my neighbors like me.


Boy meets skoolie...there is not too much more exciting in the world.


This one is goofy but I couldn't resist, I felt like this:



Anyways, thanks for reading, and please leave comments and suggestions, I really like to read them.
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1987 International (66 passenger) 7.3l diesel
2002 Ford Explorer
1993 Saturn SL2
1988 Chevy C1500
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:37 AM   #12
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Re: Victoria

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickverge
Although I am not sure, I think it has air brakes. Perhaps one of you could confirm it for me. When I hold the brake pedal down, it makes a sound like the air from a tire pump. When I first start up the bus, a red light comes on in the dash saying something about the brakes (I don't remember) and it makes a wining noise, after a few seconds, it goes off and the bus is ready to roll (or stop). If these are indeed air brakes, does anyone have suggestions on how to use them? I know you need an endorsement on top of a cdl for air brakes, unless they are on an "rv". Because of this I assume there is something extra to know about operating them.
I highly doubt you have air brakes. Buses with air brakes don't have broken calipers because, unless it is one of those cooky airscrew jobs, they don't have calipers. Also, you would have to push a large yellow knob to release the brakes, there would be an air pressure gauge, and the pedal would most likely say "AIR BRAKE" on it. What you are most likely hearing it the electrical backup motor for the power assist. Your power assist comes from pressure fed by the power steering pump. In the event that you lose this pressure it has an electric motor to serve as a backup for the brakes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nickverge
I must say the bus handles beautifully, even for a newbie like me. Do all buses take nearly a minute to get up to speed on the freeway? It seemed to cruise comfortably at 55-60mph @ 2700-2900 RPM. I only filled it up once, so I do not know the mpg yet either.
Yep, most buses take that long. Enjoy the scenery.
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:42 AM   #13
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Re: Victoria

Yeah it does not have air brakes. The light said "brake pressure" and I'm sure you are right.
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1987 International (66 passenger) 7.3l diesel
2002 Ford Explorer
1993 Saturn SL2
1988 Chevy C1500
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:29 AM   #14
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Re: Victoria

any store that can tint oil based paint can custom mix rustoleum to your color, the issue is will they?. you will need to let them know that you are buying the paint with no guarantee on the color, the color chart/recipie depends on the color of the base paint, some shade of white, pick a color from the chart, ask them to mix it for you and be happy with the result, it will be close but probably not an exact color match, I've had the best luck at the big box home improvement stores with tinting primer and other oddball products.
another suggestion would be to check the color selections at tractor supply, they handle rustoleum colors plus some equipment enamel that works good.
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:24 AM   #15
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Re: Victoria

So we finally got all the seats out, well except one we left in for a dinette. I don't really plan on having a dinette, but it should help in getting it retitled as an rv. I want to make it look cheap for insurance purposes. After it's insured, I will fix it up the way I want it, but for liability only I would rather not pay more than I need to. I doubt I am going to lose in the event of an accident, so I think the minimum will be fine.

We, here in southwest Michigan, enjoyed a snow storm, after a few weeks of nice 60 degree sunny days. The power went out, it sucked. Since some of the bolts stripped in the floor, and with no power for the angle grinder, my uncle and I resorted to "incredible hulk" tactics and muscled the seats out of the floor. It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I believe in michigan you have to have 3 of 4 of the following: Cooking facilities, eating facilities, sleeping quarters, or a toilet and potable water system.

Throwing in a bed and a table will be easy. The other two might take some time. I really want to get it titled as an rv sooner than later, because although my neighbors don't mind, code compliance trucks ride by here often, and I don't know if it's legal to park buses in your driveway here, however rv's are legal . Does anyone have any suggestions on getting it retitled and insured quickly?

Also I went to menards to ask about rustoleum and they had it but only had spray cans. The guy there recommended I just prime the bus and use regular house paint. I liked the idea, then when I got home I got to thinking that I want to be able to put a clear coat over it, and I don't know if you can do this with regular house paint or not. Any thoughts?

Well thanks for reading, and I will post some more pictures soon. I am off to habitat for humanity to hopefully find a few things.
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1987 International (66 passenger) 7.3l diesel
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1988 Chevy C1500
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Old 04-08-2009, 10:30 AM   #16
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Re: Victoria

home depot carries rustoleum in gallon cans in some colors & can special order you have to buy at least two cans gallon size to special order we know had to do that, good luck.
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:03 AM   #17
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Re: Victoria

Quote:
Originally Posted by nickverge
I believe in michigan you have to have 3 of 4 of the following: Cooking facilities, eating facilities, sleeping quarters, or a toilet and potable water system.

Throwing in a bed and a table will be easy. The other two might take some time. I really want to get it titled as an rv sooner than later, because although my neighbors don't mind, code compliance trucks ride by here often, and I don't know if it's legal to park buses in your driveway here, however rv's are legal . Does anyone have any suggestions on getting it retitled and insured quickly?
When I got my bus (now 5 years ago) there was no inspection needed. So unless the rules have changed since then, you should be able to just write out what you did and submit that for a title change. I did mine a week after got my bus, and stated that it had a kitchen and bedroom to meet the requirements, while in fact it still had half the seats in it. I also made it seem that I had done the conversion as cheap as possiable - saying I used old used carpet & furniature... I think my regestration is only like $70/year

When it came to insurance I just called around and found a place in Grand Rapids (near my house) that insured me with no problems for about $300 a year.

Where in Michigan do you live?
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Old 04-08-2009, 11:47 AM   #18
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Re: Victoria

I live in Battle Creek, not too far from Grand Rapids. I just called the S.O.S. and they said I have to have law enforcement inspect the vehicle and fill out this form:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/TR-54_38480_7.pdf

Which makes absolutely no sense, as it really has nothing to do with rv's. She said it needs to have Living Quarters, Kitchen Quarters, and Sleeping Quarters that are all permanently affixed to the vehicle. I want to have it looking cheap, to get the lower insurance rates, and then I can upgrade it. The lady wasn't very helpful, she didn't really look up anything, I think more or less she was just saying what she thought, at first she told me it needed to have a toilet, until I said that not all manufactured rv's have toilets. I was going to call the police station and ask, then I decided to wait, thinking why draw attention to myself by letting the police know that I have a "bus" parked in the driveway. I don't think there is a number to contact the local SOS branch office, and I really don't feel like waiting in line to find out. Luckily I got the bus on the 4th, so I can just write in a 1 or a 2 in front of it to give myself more time to transfer the title (the seller suggested that).

I am not trying to be a criminal, they just create so much red tape for nothing. I understand some things that are safety issues, but give me a break. I am going to try to find a number to the local sos office and hopefully that will help. If anyone knows the real requirements for this year, please let me know.
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:25 PM   #19
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Re: Victoria

Yeah I would call and talk to someone else or go down there. I found that by talking to 3 diffrent people I got 3 diffrent answers. I don't know what you're asking them, but be as simple as you can and don't provide any more information than you have to... I'd do something like this. "Hey I bought a bus and want to know how I go about titling it as an RV/motorhome" They'll probably say it has to be converted bla bla... ask them what the requirements are. When I did mine they told me that it has to have permanent eating and sleeping quarters. I told them that it does & that I converted it myself. They had me write out what I did and sign it.. so I did then I handed it to them and they determined the vaule (remember you only paid $850 bucks for it and used all cheap/free materials, so it should be low) and assigned me a reistration catagory and issued me a motorhome title.

I did not have to fill any form like you have a link to there... that looks like a form you'd use if you were building a vehicle form scratch. Tell them you shouldn't need all that inspected because it's already a road legal vehicle.

Like I said keep talking to people down there till you get an answer you like. Good luck.
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Old 04-08-2009, 02:46 PM   #20
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Re: Victoria

Thanks philbus, I will have to just try going there. Does anyone have any ideas on where to put a tub or shower? The wheel humps are getting the way of my plans of putting the bathroom right over them. I think a utility closet (to house the water heater, furnace, and electrical box) and storage closet with space for washer/dryer would be much more suitable for that space. I would like a queen or at least full size bed, which would make it difficult to put a bathroom in the back of the bus, as you would essentially have to climb over the bed to get to the bathroom, unless I put the bed longways against the wall, so for two people, one would have to climb over the other one to get out (I don't like that idea either). Ideally the stateroom would be in the back of the bus (some furniture in the bus will convert to additional beds).

I am hoping someone else will have a better thought on it than I do. Putting the bathroom over the wheels wouldn't be a problem with a roof raise, but I planned on expanding to a roof raise later. The interior height is about 6'4 now, which is good enough for the moment.

Also, what would be the best type of insulation for the exterior walls? I am using 2x4's to frame the walls, but using them the opposite direction of how houses are framed. This means there will be room for 1.5" of insulation on each exterior wall. I found shallow gang boxes to use for outlets and wiring. How important is it to insulate the floor? I don't want to cut too much into the headroom of the bus, so I think less is best. Any suggestions?

Thank you all for your input, it is helping a lot.
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1988 Chevy C1500
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