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Old 07-18-2006, 10:50 PM   #1
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Location: West Virginia
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A 'virgin' skoolie owner

Just two weeks ago we were not looking for a vehicle. Then we thought about a stock truck, then a skoolie.

We own a business than sells fruit smoothies, frozen desserts, lemonade, etc. Our theme is "Jimmy Buffet", beach casual and fun.

Now we own a skoolie, 1993 International conventional body, 3800, DT466, MT643, air brakes, 65 passenger wayne body, and SCHOOL BUS YELLOW.

The front half will be typical RV conversion and comfy, back half will be freezers and refrig, generator, and stock supplies. We will be towing a concession trailer also.

We were thinking about making the exterior of the bus a "woodie", complete with surf board rack and boards, etc. I know that back in the 30's-50's, these "woodie" cars/trucks were awesome. If you were lucky enough to see a woodie today completely restored, it is way beyond awesome. We were at the beach a few weeks ago and saw a few woodie surf wagons, WOW!

Now the questions....What does every one think about leaving the bus skin on and covering the area below the windows with wood (same kind of wood they used for a real woodie [marine grade]), as well as the frames around the windows. We want it to look just like a woodie (except it will be a very large woodie "bus"), and will definately be an attention getter.

I am a little concerned with wood and metal contact and things like rot, rust, corrosion, etc. Is there a metal (aluminum, stainless) skin product that looks like wood grain?

I am also wanting to keep the integrity of the bus structure for safety reasons.

Any thoughts? Any suggestions? Help me make a "woodie" bus.

Morgantown WV
1993 International 'C'
65 pass. wayne
series 3800
93 International Model 3800 'C'
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Old 07-19-2006, 09:01 AM   #2
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try vinyl graphics

A vinyl graphic will do what you want a lot more effectively and at less cost than real wood. It's what they do to decorate a lot of the big airport busses. here's just one of the many websites that does custom work ... ck_le.html
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Old 07-19-2006, 01:37 PM   #3
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Maybe if you coated the wood in marine epoxy, it would work. You could even give the boards a wrap of fiberglass cloth for extra strength. When done, use a UV-resistant varnish, and be prepared to recoat every year or so. I think that most of the problems would happen with small shatters allowing water intrusion. The screw holes should br drilled oversize, filled with epoxy, then re-drilled to the proper size so that you still have 100% encasement.

A number of years back I had a freelance gig designing "Consumer Awareness Vehicles" for an energy-drink company. I had a good time working through the concepts. A cool ride might be an entre into some great gigs.

Maybe add some tiki/luau set dressing?
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Old 07-19-2006, 01:57 PM   #4
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Check out this bus, I took pictures of another one in Des Moines a few years ago and I guess I never posted the pics, I'll try to find them when I go home.
View my 1972 Ward: Topic from the Build : The Picture Gallery
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Old 07-19-2006, 06:27 PM   #5
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These are great suggestions and ideas.

This is where I got some ideas. Keep in mind a skoolie is much larger than the woodie buses from the 40's, but you get what I am thinking.

Check out the bottom three photos on this page.

93 International Model 3800 'C'
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Old 07-19-2006, 11:42 PM   #6
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Location: Idaho
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I am not trying to be a butt head but I hate to see anybody run into any problems. You may already know all this. Since you will be using the bus in a business venture you will most likeley have to register it as a commercial vehicle and since it has air brakes you will need a CDL. Of course it all depends on what state you live in.

It sounds like you have a really cool idea for your bus and I hope it all works out great.
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