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Old 02-02-2007, 01:28 PM   #1
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Newbie busnutwannabee here.

Great board you guys have. I don't yet own a bus, but I did stay at a holiday....uhh, never mind.

I have been giving the thought of joining the skoolie owner ranks for awhile. Places like this and jake vonslatt's outstanding bus site have really lit the fire.

BTW, jake, I am just a few hours down the road in CT and I hereby volunteer my meager skills for any free labor you may need. I would really like to check out that bus of your's. After reading your board I am determined to eventually buy a bus, learn to weld and move to a town that still has a dump. Your dump scavenging talents have made you my hero. I used to live in such a town where I generally came back from the dump with more than I brought. Now, I am in a crappy town with no such priviledge. I am limited to whatever curbside scavenging I can manage.

I do have a few questions/ideas I'd like to run by you folks.

First off, is mileage or should I say lack thereof. From my reading here, it seems that 10-12 mpg on diesel is about the limit. Am I correct? If so, that sux.

I just became an RV owner myself. Well, you guys might consider an '86 22 ft toyota sunrader more of a toad than an RV, but, it will house 4 rather cozily. Also, it will get 18 mpg on cheaper than diesel regular gas, if you keep it below 60. And trust me, keeping a 22 ft 22RE powered toyhouse below 60 is really easy to do.

I have a conversion idea that would result in a decent sized heavy duty RV. It is a box truck. I once rented a 4 banger Isuzu diesel with a 20 ft box. It drove very nicely, and seemed to get somewhere in the high teens for mileage, although I didn't have it long enough to really get a good idea about mileage. The biggest challenge I see in doing it is figuring out a box to cab portal. Those box trucks have the cab that flips up for engine access. I have an idea that you could make an opening between the two with a flange on the box section and a mating flange on the box part that would overlap it. Another nice thing is, they all come with hardwood oak floors with nary a rusted to the floor seat to be found.

Another idea I am thinking about inflicting on my new sunrader is a grey water recycling system. Basically, you would pump the grey water to a vertically mounted length of 4 inch ABS pipe. This pipe would be fitted with screw on caps at either end for easy cleaning. The pipe would be filled with a fairly fine sand. I was also considering using DE or deciduous earth. This stuff is used in pool filtration and filters out damn near anything. The water would gravity feed it's way through the sand/DE to a seperate tank. This tank would be the shower water supply tank.

Obviously this system would require ample amounts of chlorox to keep from becoming a disentery nightmare. It would also be dependent on the users seeing to it that fluids other than shower water not find it's way into the mix. Peeing in the shower would be highly discouraged.

I would install various Ts to provide for traditional use when hooked up to shore water.

As for black water, I'd do away with it completely and use some sort of composting system. I even have the idea of putting some of that free exhaust heat to work in this capacity, although the possibility that crap can burn would probably discourage this idea.

I realize that you folks in the bus game probably wouldn't go to the trouble of shedding weight as we toyhousers will, but, the thought of not having to carry so damn much water around might free up weight for, I dunno, a slate pool table or something. It might make your stops to offload grey/black tanks a lot less frequent.

Any tips, ideas, comments, suggestions, ridiculling would be greatly appreciated.


Pete
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Old 02-02-2007, 02:29 PM   #2
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Another 22re guy....cool! Just let me know when you're ready to part with that full floating 8 inch rear axle...

As a comparison, my 22re powered truck with ridiculously high 4.10 gears turning the 34x10.5 Super Swamper LTB's and having the aerodynamic profile of a two story shithouse gets 18 mpg tooling down the highway. And yes...60 is a pretty reasonable speed for that truck. It can go faster, but it won't hold that speed for any amount of time. Traveling from Minnesota to southwest Oregon for a mud race and back (4500 miles roundtrip) we reached a top speed of 84 mph on a LONG, STEEP downgrade. Shifting from 4th gear to 5th gear actually SLOWED the truck down. Best tank recorded was 19.2 mpg and the worst as 16.9 with the best tank coming when CLIMBING the mountains in Montana and the worst tank any of them across North Dakota. Long story short....your mileage is right on par. My diesel bus gets 8 mpg, limited by the 4.56 gears.

Your grey water recovery system intrigues me a little and seems like a good idea. However, I would have a hard time showering with that water. I would find it to be perfect, if not better given the soap content, for flushing a toilet or flushing the blackwater tank.

If your plan is to do away with the blackwater tank and do the composting thing, I would beg you to please use a heat transfering medium rather than exhaust into the passenger compartment. If you're going to go to the trubo of doing that, then I would just tap into the existing liquid cooling system for the engine. I tried and tried to come up with a way to use exhaust heat for my veggie oil system, but just couldn't come up with a way I felt safe with. Perhaps when I graduate someday I will be able to design an engine better tailored to veggie oil fueling (this is my dream job in the engineering field).

One other oddball question....does your RV still have the goofy dual tire-single wheel combination on the rear? If so, have you had trouble finding a place that has the capability, nevermind the fortitude to deal with that system?
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Old 02-02-2007, 03:53 PM   #3
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You guys have been spoiled by one of the best IC engines ever developed, its an amazing piece of engineering that has been successfully used for everything from industrial power to a serious high performance racing engine and done it all well.

Bus VS boxtruck is something that a lot of us have debated about, a bus is a medium duty truck with a special body installed, the major advantage is that the maintaince mandated by the state/federal inspections is almost never duplicated in the private sector, the other advantage is price since their is limited second use for a bus mostly because the trucking industry have different needs. I have often wondered why more people haven't removed the complete bus body and installed a cab and conventional truck body on the back.
Buses have a steel frame that is engineered to be safe in side impacts and rollover situations that are easy to weld to and bolt cabinets to etc.


Mileage is a function of frontal area and total weight, you're pushing 2 1/2 to 3 sheets of plywood down the road at 60mph plus you have to have enough power to get 60 little Johnny's started and stoped 100 times a day and then build in the durability to do that safely every day for 10 to 15 years. 8 to 12 mpg is ballpark for a diesel skoolie, a gas skoolie will probably be in the 5 to 9 mpg range with less engine life. IIRC the best econimical aftermarket fix for the Isuzu 4 cyl diesel is a small block chevy conversion, the little diesel is a high speed engine that is working at its max output in that application and was intended for intercity delivery and not continous highway use at max rated capacity and speed.
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Old 02-02-2007, 04:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
Another 22re guy....cool! Just let me know when you're ready to part with that full floating 8 inch rear axle...
why yes, I do have the true full floater 6 lug "1 ton" rear axle. It is identified by the six lug hub that protrudes out to the outter wheel. The faux duallie setup that many of the earlier toyhomes came with identified by the 5 lug hub where they just bolted the outter wheel to the inner one, came on earlier toyhouses. This stock 'yota pick up axle wasn't up to the job and was infamous for spitting out entire axle/wheel/brake out the side while going down the highway leaving the toy a trike RV. This often ended up being a barrel rolling trike RV and a number of said trike rv passengers got dead as a result. By 87, they all came with the full floater.

As for when you can have it, you can have it if you buy the entire damn thing when I take the skoolie plunge. Actually, I'd probably keep it as a toad.


As a comparison, my 22re powered truck with ridiculously high 4.10 gears turning the 34x10.5 Super Swamper LTB's and having the aerodynamic profile of a two story shithouse gets 18 mpg tooling down the highway. And yes...60 is a pretty reasonable speed for that truck. It can go faster, but it won't hold that speed for any amount of time. Traveling from Minnesota to southwest Oregon for a mud race and back (4500 miles roundtrip) we reached a top speed of 84 mph on a LONG, STEEP downgrade. Shifting from 4th gear to 5th gear actually SLOWED the truck down. Best tank recorded was 19.2 mpg and the worst as 16.9 with the best tank coming when CLIMBING the mountains in Montana and the worst tank any of them across North Dakota. Long story short....your mileage is right on par. My diesel bus gets 8 mpg, limited by the 4.56 gears.

Your grey water recovery system intrigues me a little and seems like a good idea. However, I would have a hard time showering with that water. I would find it to be perfect, if not better given the soap content, for flushing a toilet or flushing the blackwater tank.

yeah, it concerns me as well, and I am certain it would not pass muster with the OL, so if it happens it will have to be a covert job!!!! Perhaps your idea of using it as flush water is a better one. Actually, I would think that straight grey water strained through an old tube sock would suffice for that job.

If your plan is to do away with the blackwater tank and do the composting thing, I would beg you to please use a heat transfering medium rather than exhaust into the passenger compartment. If you're going to go to the trubo of doing that, then I would just tap into the existing liquid cooling system for the engine. I tried and tried to come up with a way to use exhaust heat for my veggie oil system, but just couldn't come up with a way I felt safe with. Perhaps when I graduate someday I will be able to design an engine better tailored to veggie oil fueling (this is my dream job in the engineering field).

Well, **** is somewhat less flammable than SVO and I had thought of coolant as a heat transfer medium. Guess I'll have to think about it some more. It's just that a piece of straight stainless pipe through the tank seems very simple and effective. I would want to make it a parrallel system with a y pipe with a valve so that I could bypass the tank if it got a bit warm inside the tank.

One other oddball question....does your RV still have the goofy dual tire-single wheel combination on the rear? If so, have you had trouble finding a place that has the capability, nevermind the fortitude to deal with that system?
as stated above, that goofy ass faux dualie is the infamous factory deathtrap stock axle with the extra wheel tacked on
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:05 PM   #5
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Even the deathtrap axle is a bit of an upgrade for me in that it has the stronger third member. I just have the stock 2 spider "4 cylinder" units. Does your axle have that really big 6 lug pattern or is it a standard 6 on 5.5? I would imagine it would have to be the bigger one as even with my semifloat axle it is a tight fit given the enormous flange Toyota used on those axles. I'm still a big fan of the positive axle retention with the bolts on the ends of the tubes over the c-clip walkaway axles on so many Jeeps and other rigs. All is wellas I have never hurt an axleshaft, front or rear, since I torched off the IFS (inferior front suspension ) in favor of a modified 8 inch front from my 1984 parts truck. When I do break something, it will just give me a good excuse to get a set of Bobby Long's newest axles and birfields. Independent testing rates them to be on par with a 35 spline Dana 60 without all the weight. Cool stuff I think!

What about using a heat sink system off the exhaust? You could weld a couple of stainless rods off the pipe and up in to the tank giving you plenty of heat without the risk.
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Old 02-03-2007, 10:50 AM   #6
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Using a cargo truck (housetruck) instead of a bus (skoolie) raises questions about registering the vehicle and insurance also. Can it be registered as an RV? How does this work?

The benifits to me seem are a higher height inside allowing for more insualtion, square walls and ceiling for easier construction and wider feeling space, potentially stealthy boondock urban parking (keep it simple looking outside), get one with a lift and make it a very cool toy hauler, overcab storage area makes a great bedroom (like a uhaul).

Downsides could be needing to build a skirt or somthing around the exterior to hide tanks, plumbing and other things that you don't want the general public mucking with, city gearing, seperation from the living quarters and driving area, the ability to haul passengers (max of three in driving area), overall vehicle height (with ac), campgrounds not allowing the vehicle as it is even stranger than a converted bus.

It's a very interesing idea, keep us posted on your plans.

-Richard
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul iossi
You guys have been spoiled by one of the best IC engines ever developed, its an amazing piece of engineering that has been successfully used for everything from industrial power to a serious high performance racing engine and done it all well.

yes, the toy 4 banger is IMHO the best damn engine ever made.

Bus VS boxtruck is something that a lot of us have debated about, a bus is a medium duty truck with a special body installed, the major advantage is that the maintaince mandated by the state/federal inspections is almost never duplicated in the private sector, the other advantage is price since their is limited second use for a bus mostly because the trucking industry have different needs. I have often wondered why more people haven't removed the complete bus body and installed a cab and conventional truck body on the back.
Buses have a steel frame that is engineered to be safe in side impacts and rollover situations that are easy to weld to and bolt cabinets to etc.

yeah skoolies do have the distinct advantage of mandated maintanance by folks spending other people's money (taxes). A box on the other hand lives out there in the real world where if it ain't rolling down the road, it ain't makin' money. I guess if I want a homemade RV with respectable mileage potential, I ought to look at a shortbus with something along the lines of the cummins 5.9 TD, a 5 speed and maybe a 2 speed rear end so it would idle at 60 mph!!!!

I would think that such a setup with aero aids like skinning, airdam and skirts along with keeping weight to a minimum just might be able squeeze 15 miles out of a gallon of diesel.



Mileage is a function of frontal area and total weight, you're pushing 2 1/2 to 3 sheets of plywood down the road at 60mph plus you have to have enough power to get 60 little Johnny's started and stoped 100 times a day and then build in the durability to do that safely every day for 10 to 15 years. 8 to 12 mpg is ballpark for a diesel skoolie, a gas skoolie will probably be in the 5 to 9 mpg range with less engine life. IIRC the best econimical aftermarket fix for the Isuzu 4 cyl diesel is a small block chevy conversion, the little diesel is a high speed engine that is working at its max output in that application and was intended for intercity delivery and not continous highway use at max rated capacity and speed.
I wasn't aware that the isuzu was so taxed. I have read good things about it.
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Old 02-03-2007, 01:21 PM   #8
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The isuzu is an excellent engine when it is used in the proper application, it's not the engines fault that it is abused by people who don't spec the right equipment for the job at hand, it's a lot like a professional mechanic buying dime store tools and then wondering why his knuckles are always bleeding and his tools don,t work. I'm a big fan of harbor freighjt tools for some jobs, but if you want to use a tool in a severe application on a regular basis it pays to buy premium tools.
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