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Old 10-20-2018, 11:30 PM   #1
Bus Nut
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 362
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Goshen
Chassis: E350
Engine: 7.3 IDI
Rated Cap: 14
Take a trip BEFORE you finalize your build...

Hey guys...

So after finishing up most of the big stuff on our short bus (shuttle) build.. we took our first trip... a bit of a shakedown run for the mechanicals of the bus.

Anyways.. after being out to a few state parks over the last week, we discovered several things of our build that just didn't pan out as we thought they would... mainly storage and the use of the fold out couch as the bed for our son. Now we need to add more permanent storage and build a dedicated bed (luckily we can without any major changes).

So just a friendly suggestion...

However stressful it may be... before you finish your build, take a weekend trip and make sure things are going to work as you intend them to. Make sure you have the storage space for all the things you think you need (and all the things you figure out you needed that you didn't plan for). Make sure your sleeping accommodations are going to work for you and yours... and figure out all the things you didn't think about needing.

Anyways... figure this will save someone some trouble/headache down the road.
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Old 10-21-2018, 06:24 AM   #2
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 944
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
Absolutely fantastic advice!!

There are hundreds of little things that MAY matter based on a persons lifestyle. When it is your home - every day and every night - having to constantly "reconfigure" can become a real nuisance (at least in my opinion). What works for occasional camping, doesn't always work so well for every day living.
JD - Full timer out west
Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:06 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Andrews,Indiana
Posts: 1,982
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 3116 Cat 250hp
Rated Cap: Just the two of us.
Great advice, going along with the same general subject, don't wait until it's "finished" to start using it. My first trip I had a computer and printer for the photo business, a deep sink, fridge and hotplate. A deepsink for cleaning up and a toilet and no heat. My wife wouldn't go until there was a shower.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:48 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 382
Year: 1999
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: TC1000 HandyBus
Engine: 5.9L 24V-L6 Cummins ISB
Rated Cap: 26 foot
This is why I'm going to build my interior "modular" where I can move things around and re-bolt them down in different locations, using the existing 8 rows of handicap wheelchair tiedown / seat mount strips that run the length of the floor, and the 2 strips that run the length above the windows. Never a need to drill new holes. After I live in at for a year or three, I may cut a hole in the floor for the sink drain, but until I am totally comfortable with the layout, it will drain into a 5-gallon bucket.
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Old 10-21-2018, 02:39 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 171
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: 40' Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: CAT 3126 7.2L
You mean we shouldn’t have finished last minute items and driven 2300 Miles in 3.5 days on our maiden voyage to live full time with 7 kids in north Idaho with no oven, range top, countertops or sink yet?


Because that’s what we did
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:03 PM   #6
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 807
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
YALL must be good people with good children !!
My family loves a good fire and Dutch oven cooking. And we have a Dutch oven big enough to cook for ten. Usually scouting/scouts.
but I ain't got 7 to deal with personally?
keep them entertained?
I can give good to many campfire Dutch oven recipe's if needed?
I grew up with many cause of scouting/camping every month for most of my life.
The marine corps taught me a different level of rationing food but when I can I still teach and help in scouting.
Let me know if I can help
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Old 10-21-2018, 03:12 PM   #7
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Swansboro,NC
Posts: 807
Year: 86
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Ford B700
Engine: 8.2
Rated Cap: 60 bodies
Sorry? You should already? But maybe know a HOBO dinner packet straight on the coals???
Cheap and easy.
I can tell you how to make a chocolate lava cake in a Dutch oven for around 7 bucks?
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:27 PM   #8
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Gonvick MN
Posts: 329
Year: 1975
Chassis: Gillig
Engine: Cat 3208t/10 speed transmission
Excellent advice from Mr 4bt.
Remove hence to yonder place....
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Old 10-23-2018, 05:43 PM   #9
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Iowa
Posts: 444
Year: 1989
Chassis: International
Engine: 9.L
Rated Cap: 64
Fantastic advice!
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:33 PM   #10
Bus Nut
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Virginia
Posts: 789
Year: 1971
Coachwork: Wayne
Chassis: International Loadstar 1700
Engine: 345 international V-8
Took ours out for the first trip last weekend. Using a futon is not going to cut it...The bedroom was not even started so we used a futon in the living area. Figured it would be great for now till we did the bedroom, and would be great for when we have others with us. Still think that is true is comfortable. It is just the set up and take down everyday that is a bit much. Building the bedroom now, want it at least done enough to use this weekend. Most everything else worked out well. Storage still needs some better solutions yet. So for sure use it a bit before finishing if possible.
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