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Old 09-08-2016, 11:35 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Questions about slide outs

Hello!

I was wondering if any of you have experience with building your own custom slide out?? I'm a extremely ambitious woman lol and I'm trying to convince my boyfriend whom will be helping me with my project, that we could really give our bus a luxury feel with a slide out. Now I haven't brought the bus yet but I'm looking to get a 35ft bus. I also plan to put walls in the inside so I know we will lose a few inches with that.

I would really really love to have a 20ft long, 3ft deep slide out unit. The first thing he said was the weight of this unit and bending the frame. My rebuttal was that we could just install pull out braces/legs for extra support when it's retracted out. His next thing was water leakage. Couldn't we just put more sealant on those area after so many months?

Do you guys think it's feasible or am I overly ambitious (so I've been told )? What am I missing? Also I'm not converting into a RV but rather a mobile business.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:36 PM   #2
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I know it's been done before. That being said, it really depends on how much money, time, and effort you've got to spare. Converting a bus is a huge undertaking without doing a slide out. It will add a lot of extra weight, but I don't think it's anything a bus can't handle if you frame it properly.

Here are a few questions to consider before thinking about that:
- What is your budget? There is no "cheap" way to do this project.
- Where are you going to park the bus to work on it?
- What are the laws regarding parking and code enforcement?
- Can you get the bus insured?
- Can you get it insured if you add a slide out?
- Do you already have tools or do you need to buy everything?
- Do you have experience working with wood and metal? Can either of you weld?

I've seen pictures of slide outs on this site; I'm sure searching the forum would help you find those threads. Not sure if anyone who is an active member has made a slide out, though.
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A gal, a guy, three cats, two dogs, one rabbit, and one goat, traveling the country together.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:37 PM   #3
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I should add that I'm in the "extremely ambitious woman" category as well! Otherwise I wouldn't have a bus at all.
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A gal, a guy, three cats, two dogs, one rabbit, and one goat, traveling the country together.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:53 PM   #4
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Vlad did it.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/98...outs-9728.html
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:56 PM   #5
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all good points brought up by onenation .. other things to think about are how you utilize your space when the bus is on the road travelling.. that slide out has to go somewhere when its closed for travelling..

will all of the extra weight you add to properly frame a slideout in a bus, cause uneven weight distribution while travelling?

you will most likely need to add a levelling mechanism for when it is open.. or as mention ed some sort of legs, stand, etc that can be jacked up and down..

I do know from experience that slideouts on traditional coach-based RV's are a high service item.. leaks, the mechanism sticks, etc..they are a "fairly" recent thing on busses.. reality is coach bus manufacturers like prevost, mci, etc didnt want slideouts as they felt it would structurally compromise the bus.

the structure of a bus is much different than that of a traditional RV...

I look forward to seeing this build with slides becasuse I love seeing builds that tip the scales and to the new realms of possibility!

-Christopher
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:24 PM   #6
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To get extra square footage, you could also build a 'pop-up' instead of a 'pop-out'. That's what I did with the rear portion of my bus and I gained an extra 90 sq ft (7.5ft across x 12ft long). The weight is evenly distributed, it's much cheaper, and a lot easier and faster to build than a slide out.
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Old 09-08-2016, 05:39 PM   #7
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Why not get a 40 foot rear-engine bus instead - it has almost 300 sq.ft. of space inside, and if you get one with underfloor storage lockers you will get up to 100 more sq.ft. of storage space. Keep all the life-support essentials (e.g. water, black and grey, LPG, generator, batteries) under the floor so they don't use up valuable interior space - you should be able to configure them so they don't occupy any underfloor lockers. Slide-outs can be a maintenance and repair nightmare unless they are engineered and built to the highest standards.

John
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:17 PM   #8
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And Ol' Trunt did it to his 1935 Chevy!
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:16 AM   #9
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Hello! Thanks for replying! I've never taken on a project of this magnitude like this before so I definitely know this will be a challenge. I'm the innovator, creative, visionary, crafter, and my BF is the engineer/Mr. build it lol

1. Hughie's (My BF) dad has a large cleared piece of land where we will do the work. His dad is also a 30+ year electrician and all around handy man by trade who will be guiding us as well!

2. My budget right now is 15k-18k for this project so I'm in charge of finding sales, looking for freebies, and crunching those numbers!

3. I was able to get a few commercial and business quotes which weren't too bad (a few hundred per month combined). I will not be transporting people, it's more like a pop up and set up shop at your location. I have not gotten a quote with mentioning the slide out.

4. Hughie is a chemical engineer but works at a civil engineering firm that tests roofing materials. His job site has tools that we can borrow! In addition to the tools, his co-workers includes guys with all types of skill sets, welders, mechanical, and Hughie is pretty handy himself. Between all of those guys, Hughie, his dad who's an electrician, and this site...we will have people to guide us!
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onenationundergoat View Post
I should add that I'm in the "extremely ambitious woman" category as well! Otherwise I wouldn't have a bus at all.
Yesssss!!! I love seeing my fellow overly ambitious chicks!
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Old 09-09-2016, 08:20 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asetechrail View Post
Thank you for this! When I searched the site for slide outs, there were just post to comb through hoping to find one rather than the post titled "Slide Outs"...Thanks so much!! Will definitely follow this for a reference guide!
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:41 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
all good points brought up by onenation .. other things to think about are how you utilize your space when the bus is on the road travelling.. that slide out has to go somewhere when its closed for travelling..

will all of the extra weight you add to properly frame a slideout in a bus, cause uneven weight distribution while travelling?

you will most likely need to add a levelling mechanism for when it is open.. or as mention ed some sort of legs, stand, etc that can be jacked up and down..

I do know from experience that slideouts on traditional coach-based RV's are a high service item.. leaks, the mechanism sticks, etc..they are a "fairly" recent thing on busses.. reality is coach bus manufacturers like prevost, mci, etc didnt want slideouts as they felt it would structurally compromise the bus.

the structure of a bus is much different than that of a traditional RV...

I look forward to seeing this build with slides becasuse I love seeing builds that tip the scales and to the new realms of possibility!

-Christopher
Yeah those were my thoughts too, add legs when the slide out is retracted. I may need to make it smaller, maybe 10ft on each side if the budget allows to evenly distribute the weight. I've seen a few tutorials online with both an actual RV and school bus. It seems doable if I can convince him to spend the extra time and resources on it. I'm absolutely excited and can't wait to post pics of this journey come Oct 😊
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gobygoby View Post
To get extra square footage, you could also build a 'pop-up' instead of a 'pop-out'. That's what I did with the rear portion of my bus and I gained an extra 90 sq ft (7.5ft across x 12ft long). The weight is evenly distributed, it's much cheaper, and a lot easier and faster to build than a slide out.
Please please show me a picture of this!!!!! Is the unit enclosed? What is it made of?
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceni John View Post
Why not get a 40 foot rear-engine bus instead - it has almost 300 sq.ft. of space inside, and if you get one with underfloor storage lockers you will get up to 100 more sq.ft. of storage space. Keep all the life-support essentials (e.g. water, black and grey, LPG, generator, batteries) under the floor so they don't use up valuable interior space - you should be able to configure them so they don't occupy any underfloor lockers. Slide-outs can be a maintenance and repair nightmare unless they are engineered and built to the highest standards.

John
I didn't want a very long bus. If I can get a 30fter I'll be happy. I 'm not sure how much of a difference it would be driving a 30ft versus a 40ft which was my concern. It will be primarily me driving the bus and I wanted to easily manuver it. The bus will be used for my mobile business and I'm not gonna install plumbing .
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:20 AM   #15
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as for the bus size, alot depends on the areas you will go, for me i needed a shorter bus as I spend alot of time in the downtowns of cities and parking in hotel parking lots.. that said, even the city busses go in many of those palces no issue..

get good mirrors and even electronic aids like cameras to help you in those tight spots.. and practice in large empty parking lot with cones.. tyou will find it seems daunting at first.. but then gets easier.. I also use a trucker GPS, and many here carry a rand mcnally Trucker road atlas which helps with avoiding tight turns and low bridges..

-Christopher
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:28 AM   #16
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Speaking of slide-outs...

There is a terrific build thread over on the "Nomadicista" forum by one of the members here...Ol' Trunt. He added a pretty sophisticated slide out to his 1935 Chevy skoolie. That was in addition to many other very trick pieces of work including a pop-up roof and hydraulic door just to mention a few. Well documented, the slide-out part begins around page 11 but it's all a good read on a beautiful and complex conversion. It all begins here...

https://nomadicista.org/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=2658
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:35 AM   #17
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hanks so much for the info and references guys!!!
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SadieHawkinsSC View Post
Hello! Thanks for replying! I've never taken on a project of this magnitude like this before so I definitely know this will be a challenge. I'm the innovator, creative, visionary, crafter, and my BF is the engineer/Mr. build it lol

1. Hughie's (My BF) dad has a large cleared piece of land where we will do the work. His dad is also a 30+ year electrician and all around handy man by trade who will be guiding us as well!

2. My budget right now is 15k-18k for this project so I'm in charge of finding sales, looking for freebies, and crunching those numbers!

3. I was able to get a few commercial and business quotes which weren't too bad (a few hundred per month combined). I will not be transporting people, it's more like a pop up and set up shop at your location. I have not gotten a quote with mentioning the slide out.

4. Hughie is a chemical engineer but works at a civil engineering firm that tests roofing materials. His job site has tools that we can borrow! In addition to the tools, his co-workers includes guys with all types of skill sets, welders, mechanical, and Hughie is pretty handy himself. Between all of those guys, Hughie, his dad who's an electrician, and this site...we will have people to guide us!
A few hundred bucks? For insurance?
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:00 PM   #19
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A few hundred bucks? For insurance?
Yep. I'll still shop around once I actually get the bus but the cheapest so far was $2998 annual (300k limit) and $841 annual for the business. After paying their initial 25% first payment, it will be roughly $288 monthly for both per the rep ��

The example bus I gave her was a 2001 Thomas MVP bus that I saw online for sale. I just gave her the VIN number they had listed.
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:10 PM   #20
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by SadieHawkinsSC View Post
Yep. I'll still shop around once I actually get the bus but the cheapest so far was $2998 annual (300k limit) and $841 annual for the business. After paying their initial 25% first payment, it will be roughly $288 monthly for both per the rep ��

The example bus I gave her was a 2001 Thomas MVP bus that I saw online for sale. I just gave her the VIN number they had listed.

I suspect you are getting some sort of full coverage business insurance quotes here, correct?

The insurance i am guessing is assuming risk for all the patrons of your business, should they be injured on or by the bus, and for your inventory too...
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