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Old 03-06-2007, 12:29 PM   #11
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Les, I'm looking at your bus closely! My understorage doesn't go all the way across, I don't have air doors and your steering wheel looks like a tilt wheel? Mine just comes straight up out of the floor with a vinyl boot at the bottom.
4wd???? Wow, maybe you do need new tires Crazycal!!
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Old 03-06-2007, 07:53 PM   #12
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I think he was just kidding about his bus being 4wd. I haven't seen one with 4wd made in a LONG time. The ones I have seen have been on a 4wd International Loadstar chassis, a Marmon Harrington conversion, or if you want to go REALLY far back, built on the Dodge WC and or Powerwagon chassis.
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Old 07-05-2007, 11:42 PM   #13
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Re: Whew Boy Howdy I Must Be Crazy!

Well, I made some real progress today... I got my bus registered! It was pretty easy. I said, "I'd like to change the title to a motorhome." The clerk said, "Okay." She asked me what color it was- I said, "Uh...well, I'm thinking silver...does it matter?" She said, "No, it just needs the color." So I said, "Well, it's still yellow." She said, "Okay." She handed me the paperwork and pointed out where it is now a motorhome. I guess I should take the seats out now.

Actually, we're planning on a trip to northern CA later this month. We're taking the seats out, putting in mattresses, a sleeper couch, a narrow table, a dresser, ice chests and portapotty and we're gonna sweat our way across America. If you see a bus drive by with a bunch of kids flopping out the windows with their tongues hanging out, ya'll make sure to wave. You'll know it's us because we'll be singing a beautiful song entitled "Water, I Need Some Water!" ...(and the chorus sings, "Cool, clear, wah-ter..."

Is diesel really gonna cost over $2000.? I looked up a website for biodiesel stations but the one I cost had the B20 blend at the same price as regular. I thought the government was subsidizing that endevour, so why is the price the same as regular diesel?
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Old 07-06-2007, 01:27 AM   #14
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Re: Whew Boy Howdy I Must Be Crazy!

Congrats! My story at the DMV was basically the same, right on down to the color question (I went with white since the roof was painted that at the time). I did have to fill out an affidavit stating what I had done to the bus (ok...admittedly I was filling out I would do before it hit the pavement) and hand them some money. I think we are the fortunate few.

My conversion is also similar to yours with the bare necessities, but nicely done.

As for diesel prices...yep....you have it about right. It really is a killer. Ultra low sulfur diesel drove prices up a little since refining costs moe and that is coupled with increased costs due to transportation, crude, etc. Biodiesel still is more expensive, subsidized or not. The refining process is not yet fully idealized. There are also costs associated with the raw materials. There is nothing cheap about new fuel grade veggie oil, methanol, etc. I expect the price will fall in coming years, but the commercially available stuff is still more expensive here.

That said...you might look into biodiesel co-ops. They are all over the country and you may or may not be able to score some fuel at a price that may or may not be lower than you'd see at the commercial pumps. Also, with the ultra low sulfur diesel I've heard it is advisable to either add a GOOD pump lube additive or a pint of ATF every other tank or so in some engines. I don't know what they are, but I do know I don't need to worry with mine. It doesn't really matter anyway since the refinery that supplies my area STILL has an exemption to the ULSD law. Yep, districts that took delivery of new buses sure loved that they couldn't drive them since they couldn't get fuel....

Keep us posted.
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Old 08-09-2007, 10:59 PM   #15
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Re: Whew Boy Howdy I Must Be Crazy!

Well, since we've made a big trip maybe it's time to post some pictures... we weren't sure for a while if we were going ($) so when we finally realized it was official we only had about two days to "git 'er done". Taking the seats out was easy once I bought a higher amperage angle grinder from TSC. My $9 one took about 20 minutes per bolt... We used a porta-potty with osb walls on each side and put the bunks in the back. I made a table out of a narrow wooden door for the kitchen and bolted down an easy chair at the navigator position. The other seating was fold-up patio seating. I didn't get screens up for the windows but it turns out we didn't have any bug problems. The bug swatter from Harbor Freight works great, though!
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Old 08-10-2007, 03:13 AM   #16
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Re: Whew Boy Howdy I Must Be Crazy!

hey, your painting looks good. Post some more pictures please.
Great that you actually got to go on a trip. I'm not sure that we can still make it this summer for a trip, since I just started to rip all the windows out, and it will take a while before i got everything back to gether.

What kind of paint did you use? Rolled, sprayed or brushed?
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Old 08-10-2007, 01:47 PM   #17
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Re: Whew Boy Howdy I Must Be Crazy!

Swinada, thanks for the compliment...don't look too closely at the drips and runs from the family paint job!! I'll preface the painting by saying that my attitude toward converting is that it's a family project...when we raise the roof and do the other basic things to the shell like insulation, etc. I will be more exacting. The things I've enjoyed the most about this is watching the children take ownership of the project and using their input to make decisions.
I was lucky to find a ton of paint at TSC on clearance so I bought about 15 gallons. I told the chilren's that we were gonna use throwaway brushes for this quick paint job and that eventually we'd go back over it with a spray gun, pulling panels, tapeing, etc. We pressure washed the roof and hand washed the sides and wiped it down with mineral spirits as we went.
The BIG thing is the roof. This will only save ya'll a few dollars but it's worth saying: I'm sure Hytech sells a great product but save the money and order 3m glass bubbles from USComposites (9.75 for 5 qts.- more than enough to do the roof or 33.50 for 4 gallons- enough to do your whole bus!) There is a difference in inside temperature! When we pressure washed the roof in the sun the roof was very hot to the touch. After it was painted the roof was actually cool to the touch. Inside the bus it feels like you're standing in the shade. After our trip I parked the bus at the bus garage so I could run my afternoon route (in a brand-new 2007 All American BlueBird with a regualar white roof). The difference between the two buses in the 100 degree weather was discernible. All the mechanics came on board my bus to check it out and they commented on how cool the inside felt. 'Course in 100 degree weather I don't think cool is quite the right word... If you do add glass bubbles it does make the paint quite a bit thicker and takes longer to cure. If at all possible paint the roof out of the sun! I'm sure that spray painting is the best option- I plan on buying a cheap hvlp spray gun from Harbor Freight because you can definately tell the difference.
I'm glad we got to take a trip this summer- it will be a lifetime memory for us. The couple of times we stayed in a campground it felt really cool to be parked by a 200k motorhome and know that our rig wasn't just making this a trip- it was making it an adventure!
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:11 PM   #18
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Re: Whew Boy Howdy I Must Be Crazy!


I approve! Great to see that there are still some Real Parents in this television-addicted country.

There is a pound of Hy-Tech sitting on my workbench, and it is going onto Millicents's roof before we go to Burning Man! But if the 3M product is better, I suppose I might put that on top later. Thanks for that info!
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Old 08-10-2007, 02:39 PM   #19
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Re: Whew Boy Howdy I Must Be Crazy!

Quote:
I'm sure Hytech sells a great product but save the money and order 3m glass bubbles from USComposites (9.75 for 5 qts.- more than enough to do the roof or 33.50 for 4 gallons- enough to do your whole bus!)
darn, I just ordered $200 worth of paint from hytech and since I'm in Canada shipping was pretty pricy too. And thats just for the roof.
What kind of ratio would you use to add them (3M bubbles) to paint? Will you still be able to use a spray painter?

Nice to see your kids so involved. I guess I have to start painting too, since this is what my kids want to help too. However I can see Dad getting frustrated if the paint job does not turn out the way i want it. Maybe I have to leave for a week and see what my wife and kids come up with.

Looks like you had your roof packed pretty good too. Whats that steel thing on the back of the bus? or the blue thing?
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:44 PM   #20
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Re: Whew Boy Howdy I Must Be Crazy!

Elliot, I think the Hytech stuff is from 3m. If you pull up 3m's website you'll see all different kinds of glass bubbles. The kind from USComposites is from the K series. All of them have good thermal insulating qualities which makes sense since they're all hollow spheres. It looks like the differences are crush strength, size of the spheres and what they're made from. The NASA study Hytech quotes was with 3m products. I would bet that the Hytech stuff has the best insulating values but probably not by much.
Swinada, I used close to the ratio that Hytech recommends. I think I put 4 qts. (by volume) into two gallons. It was pretty thick. I've never spray painted so I'm assuming you would need a larger tip, maybe the kind you use for texture paint? I think I might try a thinner ratio and put on several coats? I'll say this with caution (since the children tend to read over my shoulder)- I had to bite my tongue a few times because they were so excited to paint. I let them decide the paint scheme and boy, were they proud of the job they did! Halfway through it I realized, you know, it doesn't really matter how bad (or good) it looks. They just loved being involved in a Daddy project and really contributing.
The steel thing is the fuselage for a Cassutt racing airplane. They race them at Reno. The blue thing is the cowling to go around the engine. They're a pretty slick single seat airplane- close to 300 mph! I took it to a fellow in Reno and brought home a Goldwing ultralight airplane kit that hopefully I'll build in the next year or so.
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