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Old 01-23-2015, 04:42 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Vermont
Posts: 49
Year: 2003
Engine: DT466E
Well here we go... 2003 International

Well, we did it... After reading most every thread here and thinking about how we wanted to use the rig... wired the money today and bus is delivered on Tuesday.

A 2003 International with 150kmi and a DT466E.

I looked at several private sales and there was always a catch with rust or BS around getting the bus started, access, or just f'ing weirdos that I didn't want to deal with. (The guy with the Wanderlodge wouldn't give me his name or contact... and I had to meet him at a gas station near his house. Strange ducks in this world!)

I wasn't going to use a dealer initially, but then I met this Joe Plante from Don Brown bus sales in NY. He was jazzed about the conversion for the family and was reasonable on the pricing. Sent the extra pics I wanted on several rigs etc... Whats a day worth of ones time? Didn't really want to spend several driving all over looking at Craigslist rigs or checking govdeals every other day.

The PITA issue with moving the bus here was solved, and they are basically delivering it for the price of gas (read no commercial insurance and 1 more precious day with the family here not driving to NY and back). That was a deal-closer for me.

This may sound like an advertisement, but its not. I was just pleased with the process and glad we can get started.

Four underbody compartments! Sweet!

Just made a run to Home Depot and gonna spend the weekend building the cabinetry.

Homeschooling to Roadschooling with 4 kids. Here we go.

Anyone know the best place to get composting a composting toilet?
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:57 PM   #2
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A Big Skoolie Welcome! --- Don't know what you paid, but that looks like an outstanding platform to build on. And while I prefer the non "E" version, the 466 is a well proven motor and at 150K barely broken in. And scoring four belly bays is really icing on the cake. Keep the pix coming.

BTW...What tranny does it have?
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Old 01-24-2015, 07:10 AM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: southwest lowsyana
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really nice bus there! gotta luv the understorage and side exit. i also applaud you on home(road)skooling. these days, public anything is no place for children.
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Old 01-24-2015, 08:06 AM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1992
Coachwork: Ward/AmTran
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Looks just like my bus only new and with a dognose.
I love my bus. I hope you enjoy yours too.
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Old 01-24-2015, 08:11 AM   #5
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Welcome to the madness, ah, er, saneness!!
__________________
I am an sojourner in the earth; hide not Your Commandments from me. Psalm 119:19

Here is the patience of the saints; here are the ones keeping the commandments of YAHWEH, and the faith of Yahshua. Rev. 14:12
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Old 01-25-2015, 10:03 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2015
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Posts: 49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sojourner View Post
Welcome to the madness, ah, er, saneness!!
Thanks! madness it is...

With the bus coming on Tuesday, the family couldn't wait to get started... We spent 1/2 the weekend shopping for junk and 1/2 building. Finished the kitchen cabinets 90% on the bunk bends and 50% on the writing desk... (see pics)

We also looked at a later model water damaged travel trailer, (I had my eye on the AC unit, cooktop, tanks/sensors, pump, fridge and misc other stuff) but my lovely wife saw the fridge and said "NO WAY are we going to fit food for 6 in that little thing". So that was the dealbreaker because it was the most valuable thing for me.

When we got home she bought the one she wanted online...

On the kitchen cabinets, I had planned to faceframe, drawer and door front with cherry, but my wife came out to the shop and saw the birch ply carcass' and was like, "wow those look nice"... so Willa and I sanded them down and slapped some linseed oil and wax and called 'em good!

The best part of the gig was drawing out the floor plan on the garage floor in chalk (not the whole thing, just the center section) and everyone realizing how tight it is gonna' be with cabinets, shower, bathroom and bunkbeds.

Next I'm thinking long and hard about a propaneless bus, designing the electrical system (schematics forthcoming) with all LED lighting, a high efficiency heat-pump AC/heater... that can all work. Anybody ever done a bus without propane (except for the outdoor grill of course...) ? I think each deep cycle battery is about 1kWhr and is good for 300-500 cycles. They will float charge when plugged in, recharge from the alternator and potentially solar. So at $50 bones a pop, maybe 16 batteries in parallel would be sufficient for an evening. Gotta' disconnect them from the starting batteries automatically... or three diodes between the alternator, starting batteries and service batteries. Anyone?

Also thinking about how the shower is sunk into the floor so my lanky 6'6" ass can stand up in it.. I'm envisioning welding up a 18" drop box with one step in out of 12ga. Coating the outside with some good toxic marine paint then insulation and an aluminum skin... all seems reasonable, but I'm challenged with the internal coating. So second best might be a 4'x 2' x 2' cattle water tub and cutting 6" off the top. Anyone sunk a shower/bath in the floor?

I went a little overboard on the bunk latters, mortising every rung and then shaping the whole thing... but it was fun and a good sanding project for the three little helpers.

Well I've got a sleepy 5 yr old on me, so gotta' go read Magic School Bus with her. More later.
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Old 01-26-2015, 04:27 AM   #7
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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You clearly have the budget to spend, and you're 6'6"...
I'd be looking into a roof raisin'. You can do it...
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Old 01-26-2015, 07:19 AM   #8
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Location: southwest lowsyana
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looks like you have woodworking tools and some mad skills! would really like more pics of the desk, as that is where i am now....................without the skill lol
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Old 01-26-2015, 08:22 AM   #9
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Location: Andrews,Indiana
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Quote:
Next I'm thinking long and hard about a propaneless bus, designing the electrical system (schematics forthcoming) with all LED lighting, Anybody ever done a bus without propane (except for the outdoor grill of course...) ?
I'm propaneless and don't full time heck, I'm not even finished yet although, I'm at a point where we do use it. I'm power hungry due to some of the inefficiencies of some of my systems. So except for overnights in transit, I pretty much have to be plugged in.

Heat--hot water radiant from diesel fired boiler.

Cooking--two induction hot plates and a convection/microwave combo.
My son has a two burner convection stove top that is 120V, problem is you don't get full power to either one if the are both on.

Domestic hot water--marine unit with 120V/heat exchanger from heating system.

Air conditioning--So far I have one of those portable units that is made to vent out of a window that I built in. It will cool bedroom and bathroom. At this point, I'm thinking the front air will be mounted above the windshield if I can figure a good way (not ugly) have it sticking out the front of the bus.

Refrigerator--12 CF apartment sized 120V running from a converter.

I have no illusions about being able to boondock for any period of time.
Generator will be diesel with 320A alternator charging a modest battery bank. The battery bank will handle the fridge, heat and cooking if I only use one appliance at a time.

Quote:
a high efficiency heat-pump AC/heater... that can all work.
This has been discussed a lot on various boards, not sure if anyone has done it successfully or economically

Quote:
I think each deep cycle battery is about 1kWhr and is good for 300-500 cycles. They will float charge when plugged in, recharge from the alternator and potentially solar. So at $50 bones a pop, maybe 16 batteries in parallel would be sufficient for an evening.
Really? You can get good, high amp hour batteries for $50, I'll take 6.
Your standard alternator on the bus ain't going to like that kind of load.

Quote:
Gotta' disconnect them from the starting batteries automatically... or three diodes between the alternator, starting batteries and service batteries.
Use a solenoid, a good one. Just do a web search for the reasons why.
https://duckduckgo.com/?q=RV+diode+v...olation&t=ffsb

Woodworking lookin' good.

Dick
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Old 02-01-2015, 10:07 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Vermont
Posts: 49
Year: 2003
Engine: DT466E
No woodworking this weekend...

Quote:
Originally Posted by claydbal View Post
looks like you have woodworking tools and some mad skills! would really like more pics of the desk, as that is where i am now....................without the skill lol
oops just sat down on sunday night to check in and didn't work on the desk at all. I'll post some pics when I get back to it.

The bus came on Wednesday... the first two nights were taking the seats out, the third was taking out all the finishing metal where I had to drill or grind half the screws off. There is this "Pro Heat" preheater and passenger heater installed, so they ran galvi channel all the way down the left side of the bus for 2x1" heater hose. down at the door... over the wheel wells etc. It must have been put in either OEM or when the bus was new because the stuff was rusted in pretty well.

Saturday ripping the floor up. WHAT A PITA! 3/4" plywood screwed down with stainless screws. I kept stripping them. NOTE: DONT TRY TO PULL THE VINYL UP FIRST! I tried this and it took ~3hrs to scrape it off the right side with a roof scraper... just to expose the screws. After unscrewing them... I figured. I'll take a crow-bar and try to break one piece of plywood to see what is under... BOOMSHAKALAKA! the whole pice came out and the screws just pulled through! So I went on to just use two crow-bars to rip that fricken' floor out. Once sore back later...

Then went on to taking the driver seat and all the metal around out. I found several stripped air control pinion strips, which will be a pain to find.

One trip to Lowe's on Saturday to get more insulation for the walls, birch ply, wire brushes, self-tappers and roof sealant.

On Saturday night my fun ended when I was using a wire brush to clean some of the pieces from around the driver console... and the angle grinder got caught on the edge of the piece and shot it through my glove and into my hand. the 45deg point went straight in about 1/4". It didn't bleed too much, but the fat looked like some nasty worms coming out once I cleaned it. I think my wife took a sadistic pleasure in dumping Peroxide on my hand and watching me squirm. (first person to tell me what that day old cut in the picture looks like wins...)

Today (Sunday) my brother came over and we wire brushed the whole floor, then welded in patches anywhere it was punky. Then vacuumed and wire brushed again. Finally I sprayed the whole floor with rubber roof sealer... to get it to cure I had all the windows shut and two propane heaters going. I was high as a kite when I got off my knees and walked off the bus.

I let that cure and picked through the piles of junk I have behind the barn and found enough 1" insulation to do the floor. I had pulled it out of an old house last year and fortunately it was in 8' x 22.5" strips. So Willa (my 11 yr old) and I cut it up and laid it down. (Of course after airing out the bus in the 5F weather... to get rid of the roof sealer smell).

Tonight I went back out and worked on laying the floor down until my hands were numb (its -5degF here now). I bought some 2" self tapper at $6.88 per pack of 25... so I used the screws sparingly.

So I missed my goal of having the whole thing insulated by the time the weekend was over, but **** happens... and I'll blame delay on the surprise rust on the floor. So I guess it'll have to wait until next time.

Oh, the wife has also picked a date for departure... March 19th.
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