Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-07-2006, 03:31 AM   #1
Bus Nut
 
KC10Chief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Edmond, OK
Posts: 529
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3 International diesel
Rated Cap: 60
Any toy hauler Skoolies out there?

I've been lurking here for some time and finally registered tonight. I am looking to buy my first school bus for a conversion here really soon. My wife and I tent camped for years up until a couple of years ago when we bought a brand new 25' travel trailer. I also bought a 2002 F250 crew cab diesel to pull it with. Basically, I'm into it for over $40K. 95% of the camping we do is at dirt bike races, and I go duck hunting with my buddies in the winter. I never go to RV parks and have no interest in doing so. I boondock it everywhere. I have come to realize that my trailer is not adequate for the types of things I like to do. When there are 6 guys in my trailer, it is VERY crowded. Still better than sleeping outside in the 20 degree weather, but still not very comfortable. Plus it puts a lot of wear and tear on my trailer that isn't built all that well anyways. The screws that hold it together are cheap, panels are stapled on or held on with brad nails, the wiring isn't that great, the holding tanks are too small etc. There are a lot of things that I know I could do better. My trailer was almost $15K brand new. I could have bought a really nice bus for $5K and put anoher $10K into it and had a really great camping vehicle created to my liking. So, I am currently selling both my truck and camper even though I may take a bit of a hit. It will be worth it though. I will buy my bus as soon as they are gone. I've seen quite a few places all over the country to buy one. I'll figure that out. I know I want a diesel. After owning a diesel, I know it's the way to go for driving something big. I am paying about $750 a month for the truck and camper. It's rediculous. If I put that into a skoolie every month, I could have a really great conversion in a year don't you think?

Anyways, here's what I want to do. I want to get a bus with the motor up front. Flat front or classic, doesn't really matter to me. I would like the back 7 or 8 feet to be a garage area. Has anybody done a conversion like this? Not only that, but I would like a KING size bed that would lower down when the bikes are outside. Kind of like a lot of toy hauler trailers have. I rarely see any kind of trailer with a king size bed. My wife and I are both 6'2" tall. Our feet hang over and we kick each other all night. We have a king at home and it's fine. Forward of that I plan on installing six bunks. Three on each side with curtains, a small fan and a small light for each one. We have two kids too. I always have a full camper when we race or go hunting. Then of course I would have a bathroom, shower, kitchen, couch, etc. Bigger holding tanks would be great. My trailer has a 40 gallon fresh water tank. It will last a whole weekend if we're really frugle with it. On top of the bus I plan on installing a deck. They're kind of tacky but it would be great for Oklahoma and the races I do. We usually sit around in chairs in the grass at night and get bit by chiggers or get stickers all over us. A deck with a grill would be great! I would also replace those flashing lights on the top of the bus with some of those big KC offroad lights!

I'm an aircraft mechanic for a living. I weld, shoot rivets, and can fix or fabricate pretty much anything. All of your projects I've been looking at are really giving me some great ideas. This travel trailer isn't for me. Mine isn't put together very well it seems and when I compare it to other travel trailers, mine is actually a lot better than most of the other ones. I wish I had known two years ago what I do now. Anyways, I'm extremely excited about this project and appreciate any thoughts or advice. Is there anybody else out there with a toy hauler conversion?
Matt in OKC
__________________
Matt
1993 International Carpenter 10 Window bus
7.3L diesel w/AT545
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i2...DSC02426-1.jpg
KC10Chief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2006, 12:52 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
the_experience03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint James, MN
Posts: 2,669
Send a message via MSN to the_experience03 Send a message via Yahoo to the_experience03
The toy hauler concept is nothing new. I think it will work out well for you. The one issue you might run into with your bed idea is the height, however. Buses just aren't that tall. Of course someone with as much sheet metal experience as an aircraft mechanic should have no trouble raising the roof, even if just int he back section.

As for sleeping people comfortably....my bus has a twin in the back, 4 bunks that are only slightly narrower than a twin and much longer (we're all tall), and a fullsize couch giving 6 people VERY comfortable living quarters. A couple could sleep on the bed or the bunks just fine as well as long as they were a "close" couple. Speaking of couples....where did you find a 6'2" wife? I could use one at my 6'2" height. About the only person that likes having to bend over to give hugs is a chiropractor.

Anyway...look around at some of the build ups. TRX has a beautiful toy hauler that might fit the bill for your needs. Also...if you register it as an RV and then take out the loan, you could even mortagage it assuming you don't have a second dwelling already or tax purposes. I'm surprised you didn't do it with the camper. While the loan is more work to do, it certainly would save you money in the long run.

Best of luck and welcome to the board
__________________
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3024/...09f20d39_m.jpg
Skooling it...one state at a time...
the_experience03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2006, 01:23 AM   #3
Bus Nut
 
KC10Chief's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Edmond, OK
Posts: 529
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International
Engine: 7.3 International diesel
Rated Cap: 60
Thanks! I realized that the buses aren't that high. The bed would only need to go up about 4 feet or so so I could get bikes underneath. I don't want to do any serious body work on the bus like raising the roof or something. I just need enough room for dirtbikes.

My wife was about 5'10" when I met her. I was worried she was going to pass me up! Everybody always asks her if she plays basketball since she's so tall and thin. She was born with no coordination though.

I've welded before and need to buy a welder. I was looking at one bus and the guy used a lot of bed rails for all sorts of stuff like mounting holding tanks. I would have never thought of that! This site is packed with info.

I was curious about the loan you mentioned. I wasn't planning on taking out a loan to do any of this, but if I do decide to take out a loan on the bus, can I claim it as an RV? What does it take to register it as an RV? Thanks for the info! Matt
__________________
Matt
1993 International Carpenter 10 Window bus
7.3L diesel w/AT545
http://i74.photobucket.com/albums/i2...DSC02426-1.jpg
KC10Chief is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2006, 01:32 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
the_experience03's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Saint James, MN
Posts: 2,669
Send a message via MSN to the_experience03 Send a message via Yahoo to the_experience03
Unfortunately I can't answer your question because every state is different. I CAN tell you that in Minnesota there are requirements, but no inspections. I'm not scared to file a false affidavit assuming someday the work will all be done

I think 4 feet should work. It will be close, but it will work....My center height is 6 feet on the nuts. Not so great for a person who is 6'5" but it works. The bed will only be able to come up as high as the top of the windows really. Depending on the thickness of the mattress and box spring, I think it is possible. That really depends on the make of the bus body. I know the roofline on my Wayne is rather flatt compared to say a Carpenter.

Isn't the bed frame trick great? I never would have thought about it until I came on here. Now I use bedframes for everything. Sure beats buying steel. Most I've run across weld rather well with my little 110 volt AC stick welder too. They are hell on drill bits though. Annealing helps, as does buying quality bits. I prefer DeWalt split points. They are relatively cheap and seem to have a good life on them. OF course sharpening them would mean losing the split point.

Speaking of other materials...we recently turned a keg into a barbeque and have plans to turn another one into a smoker. Once you open your eyes to scrounging it's amazing what you find and can figure out!
__________________
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3024/...09f20d39_m.jpg
Skooling it...one state at a time...
the_experience03 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2006, 06:11 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
sportyrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: mid Mo.
Posts: 241
Year: 1976
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy
Rated Cap: 84
KC10chief: I have done what you want but I haven't been able to get it on here yet. I have a 38' blue bird with 13' of toy hauling room in the rear. Full kitchen, bath, king size bed that folds out from the 2 front couches, generator, furnace, fridge, everything. I just hauled ten of us, with camping gear and lots of coolers down to southern MO for a float trip and everyone else payed my fuel bill so they could drink and not worry about driving. If you did it like I did then you could just throw an air mattress on the floor in the back after off loading the bikes and let the kids sleep there while you and the misses attend to business up front. I did a lot of thinking and I came up with this instead of spending 30-50,000 on a truck and trailer. My idea was to be able to haul anything that would fit through the rear door (motorcycles) and have plenty of room up front for visiting/partying while in transit. The rest can sleep in the rear or outside in tents. A 4 door truck is not that fun to travel in, my bus is. My email address is:
mailto:wellsr@missouri.edu email me and I will send you the pics.
sportyrick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2006, 06:38 PM   #6
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Choctaw, OK
Posts: 1
Send a message via Yahoo to Quinnor
Quote:
Originally Posted by sportyrick
KC10chief: I have done what you want but I haven't been able to get it on here yet.
If you need some help with that, lemme know as I'm a computer geek

KC10Chief and I were sitting around the campfire at the races a few weeks past and along with another friend of ours, I believe all three of us are going to be tackling our own bus. I have a different idea of what I would like considering that I had a toyhauler until December and I think a back deck/platform for the bikes would be a much better route for me as I would rather have a nice conversion (I got tired of cleaning up the mess from the dirty bikes).

For you welders out there, if I was looking at a 72 passenger bus, about how far back could a deck platform safely be constructed?
Quinnor is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Anyone looking for a toy hauler? Malkieri Classifieds | Buy, Sell, Swap 4 12-29-2013 11:51 PM
Toy Hauler Magilla Skoolie Conversion Projects 12 09-20-2013 06:48 PM
Bus Hauler??? Tango Short-Bus Conversion Projects 1 11-05-2011 06:34 PM
Car Hauler paul iossi Skoolie Conversion Projects 1 05-15-2008 09:30 PM
Toy Hauler Conversion trx Skoolie Conversion Projects 56 10-07-2007 12:00 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:08 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.