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Old 02-17-2019, 01:18 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 47
2002 Chevy short preschool bus

Hello all,

After selling my old bus before I did too much to it, I bought another. My main reason for going with a shorty thatís actually only 5í6 is fuel mileage and this one was never a school bus. So lots less wiring and already painted white. The build is for camping and road tripping to baja in the winters. My main factors are reliablility and ease of driving.

This bus has only 65k on it and I just drove it 1000 miles. Brand new all terrains, brakes, and suspension and gets an actual 14.3 mpg going 65mph.

So far Iíve gutted it completely down to bare metal (floor, walls, and ceiling). Iíve also pulled Heater and rear AC.

Today I made a sunroof in the hatch. I found a round bubble sunroof thatís actually a pet window for your fence. Here are my current pics. Iíll take more as I go.

I have a Maxair already and 4 RV windows. A local shop is cutting 18 gauge sheet metal to skin the side windows on both sides so I can remove them all. A local guy is spray foaming the entire bus with 2Ē of foam for $800 once I skin the windows and that should make it a very nice tight and quite shell.

The plan originally was a van but I really like the wider Skoolie bodies and the steel roll cage for sturdiness.
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Old 02-17-2019, 01:21 AM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 47
Studs

Tomorrow Iím adding studs to all the metal ones so the spray foam can be 2Ē thick and it will give me a solid surface to nail the interior to.
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Old 02-17-2019, 01:23 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Sunroof hatch

Forgot to mention the sunroof hatch allows me a place to stand up in, so I will be putting the sink and stove in that position of the bus. With the hatch kicked up and the bubble it gives me about about 6í2.
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Old 02-17-2019, 03:11 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 47
Skylight hatch

So I got it installed and trimmed out this morning. It allows me to stand up straight when in closed position. In the up position Iím guessing itís about 6í6.
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Old 02-18-2019, 12:39 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Gutted completely

Got all of the panels I want out. Even cut some of the back ones with the grinder so I can get spray foam into every nook. Have to river over as many holes as I can and then try and cover the larger ones with something else. Iím going to try and pull most of the wires also.

Next main project is skinning the windows and putting up my firing strips.
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Old 02-18-2019, 01:06 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Gutted completely

Got all of the panels I want out. Even cut some of the back ones with the grinder so I can get spray foam into every nook. Have to river over as many holes as I can and then try and cover the larger ones with something else. Iím going to try and pull most of the wires also.

Next main project is skinning the windows and putting up my firing strips.
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Old 02-18-2019, 03:56 PM   #7
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 171
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
Looks like you're making good progress. I like that sunroof/portal - cool idea!
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Old 02-20-2019, 07:26 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 47
Skinning windows and back door window

Got my sheet metal today. The shop in town was able to cut both sides out of 1 sheet of 18 gauge with an inch to spare and itís the exact length of their sheets. They also cut me a piece of 16 gauge for the lower back window. I had them round the corners for that one to match those rear windows. Since my bus is already white I wanted to add a little color so we went with a green thatís almost like Forrest Service green.

I just sanded the panels lightly, one coat of primer, then about 3 coats of green.

Tomorrow Iím going to pop out the windows and get them skinned in hopefully. Iím using liquid nails metal adhesive and 3/16 closed end rivets that I was able to find in town (almost used normal rivets until I read they are not water proof, Thanks to this forum)

Seems easy enough, but with one person it could be a pain.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:12 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 34
That’s a score you found a low mile rig that’s already painted. I have a couple short Chevies. I’m tall so if I had the whole inside stripped like you I’d cut a bigger hole in the roof and raise it a little. I’d design it so I could still get a rack on the roof. And vent out of portals on the side of the raised section of roof as I don’t like roof penetrations (that’s irononic after cutting a big hole in it).
Having good solar on a short bus is tricky as there’s limited roof area. Three things I consider: highest efficiency panels I can find; minimize roof clutter and shading, have some portable panels on the ground so I can park in the shade.
I prefer to build a parallel and separate solar energy system to the existing bus energy system. And put a separate solar panel and small charge controller on the starting battery as well. As my rigs spend 95%-99% of the time parked I’ve never hacked into the alternator charging system to charge house batteries. But as I’d like to do more motoring I’d consider it. But only with quality adjustable charge regulator.
BTW, $800 seems a little steep for the insulation but I know that stuff is spendy. I believe a kit can be bought for $600 and you might have some left over for other insulation projects or for insulating tanks, etc.
Thanks for the build thread.
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Old 02-21-2019, 12:06 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 4,693
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doktari View Post

BTW, $800 seems a little steep for the insulation but I know that stuff is spendy. I believe a kit can be bought for $600 and you might have some left over for other insulation projects or for insulating tanks, etc.
Thanks for the build thread.
Left over? The 600sf kit is around $700, Unfortunately that sf. rating is at 1" thick, thus you will need 2 kits to do 600sf at 2" thick. My bus has 560sf of wall and ceiling space to fill. It would cost near $1400 for a DIY spray job. $800 for someone else to handle the messy part seems like a bargain.
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