It’s not really that big of a project Bob if you’ve got the right tools to work with.
Plus…I’m kind of used to working with steel and using saws to take sections out of our Bus so I could install the various bits and pieces…so it doesn’t spook me to cut the bus body off at all.
Having good tools really saves your butt for projects like this….
When I cut a section of the roof off so I could add on a second story for our daughters’ bedroom …on our Last School Bus conversion …I had terrible tools and not much knowledge on what I was doing.
I used a cheap $20.00 jigsaw & a hammer and chisel to do the work. I’m really surprised I still have a workable jaw from all the saw kickbacks I took in the face on that project.
But I don’t have the tools or the space to do the actual work on sliding the rear end and attaching the new drive line and such …so I’m going to have to find a local mechanic who’s able and willing to take on a job like this.
I’m not looking at any really drastic shortening up of the wheel base here…all I want to do is slide the rear end forward 3-4 ft. …which will give me a tow vehicle that’s large enough to carry some stuff in ….but not so large to make the combination of trailer & bus absurdly long.
Even if I was to leave the rear end where it is right now and just cut off the area of the bus behind the rear axles …I’d still be too big (length wise) for towing a large trailer.
There’s that guy who’s got some pics of his 5thwheelhauler over on the “other Site’…he left his rear axles in place and cut the back off the bus so he could tow a 5th wheel trailer around ….but because the bus is close to the same length as the trailer is …taking a corner with that thing is a bitch.
I don’t want to run into problems like that …and I don’t really see why a shorter version of our bus at around 18 feet is going to be hard to maneuver or control. (at least I hope not )
But I’ve got to do something here….
I ordered $3200.00 worth of axles , springs, wheels & tires which will arrive next week for our trailer project …plus I’m working on getting the steel together for the frame…so I’m committed to doing our new Rolling Home project….
I’d really like to use our Bus to tow the trailer with if at all possible…even though I can pull out all the stuff I installed in our bus to use in the trailer….The bus cost us $7000.00 here ….and after spending such an outrageous amount for a Schoolie (which I could never recoup by trying to sell her ) I really want to keep her.
Herb …the wheel wells on a Schoolie are just fabricated pieces that bus manufacturers install in a bus when they build one…that makes them removable . It’s not any easy part of the project, but it is doable. A person would have to a lot of cutting and refitting a new wheel well in their bus …for sure though.
But…I haven’t completely decided what type of body setup I’ll go for once the wheel base is shortened up.
Since our trailer is going to be an actual house with a peaked roof & wooden siding…I’m kind of thinking of cutting the bus body off right behind the drivers seat and just building a little house for the body that would match the look of the trailer…then building in new wheel wells would be a piece of cake.
I’d make them out of wood with galvanized steel inserts to keep the water from rotting out the wood.
Yup …Herb it’s a big project…but that’s why I like doing stuff like this.
It would be a lot cheaper for us to just buy a used motor home or trailer …which we’ve own and lived in a few times in our travels …but I always go back to buying a van or Schoolie to convert because I love building stuff.
I cant wait to start building the house part of our trailer…this is going to be a really fun project.!!!!
The nicest part will be good straight walls …which means I’m not going to have to make cabinets and walls to fit into a curved ceiling like a Schoolie has….that’s always been my least favorite part of doing a schoolie conversion.