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Old 10-16-2016, 04:04 AM   #1
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Big Sky, Montana
Posts: 2
Year: 2001
A bus for Atlas

Welp. I bought a bus.

I live in a ski town up in Montana with my two year old son, Atlas. Housing is difficult, to say the least, but this is where our roots are. The prices are horrid and the avialability is limited. Small town. So...
I got in touch with a friend if mine. Her family owns a school bus company and hooked me up with a 2001 chevy diesel, 6 window mid bus.

I have done nothing to our beast yet. Aside from the seat bilts that came up easily. here are some thoughts for plans..

Considering we live in Montana at high elevation(7500 ft), we will need better insulation. Spray foam seems best but i worry about the application process. I plan to keep most windows. Will cover bottom half of some and possibly a couple full where shelves may go. Will only be adding some wood panels to the roof for now but ripping up the floor and walls for now. Imput welcome for spray foam alternatives? I want to keep space so no more than 3 inches of total floor height. With aub floor insulation and whatever wood or laminate i put on top.
I want to snag a wood stove soon, if i am not re-doing the roof insulation should i go for a mid sized stove instead if a small one? Do they keep us warm through the night on the -20 nights? I will have a space heater for back-up and such.
Im getting a generator this weekend but want to do a solar set up. I will need to power the space heater and a small fan for the compost toilet. My desktop mac and/or laptop. Lights. Maaayyybe a toaster oven if the wood stove doesnt happen right away. And to plug the bus in, in cold weather. How many batteries would we need for this, ballpark? 4? What type of panels would you suggest? I am fresh to the solar realm but most definitely plan to utalize it. I realize that we may not have the best sun at times but we travel a lot in the off seasons and summer months and can use the generator when necessary.

We will be getting a compost toilet and putting a sink with counterspace in as well. Hopefully all this will make it insurable as an rv?

Hmm.. I think that does it for now. So new to this. Lots of friends around with construction and remodeling experience so they have offered their hand but any experience in the skoolie world is so very appreciated! Can't wait to show updates :]

P.s. Atlas loves the bus :]
Mama Hovs is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-16-2016, 04:14 AM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Darrington, Wa.
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Year: 1994
Coachwork: Genesis/Am-Tran Tall Roof
Chassis: International, 643 transmission
Engine: DT 466ci 250hp, International
Rated Cap: 86 screaming Monsters
At least its a small area to heat. I cant imagine how people live in schoolies at these temps. Sounds like a good time to relocate in your bus to a warmer place fro winter. (BLM is almost free down in arizona California to winter over) How will you keep water from freezing or black and gray tanks draining let alone breaking? I know Missoula and i wouldn't take my motor home there in the winter? I cant imagine the heater ever turning off at 7500ft?

I cant wait to hear all the ways to make this work. Sounds like an amazing challenge.
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Old 10-16-2016, 04:54 AM   #3
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Big Sky, Montana
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Originally Posted by Geo Jeff View Post
At least its a small area to heat. I cant imagine how people live in schoolies at these temps. Sounds like a good time to relocate in your bus to a warmer place fro winter. (BLM is almost free down in arizona California to winter over) How will you keep water from freezing or black and gray tanks draining let alone breaking? I know Missoula and i wouldn't take my motor home there in the winter? I cant imagine the heater ever turning off at 7500ft?

I cant wait to hear all the ways to make this work. Sounds like an amazing challenge.
As a single mother, I am dependant on the family we have in this community. It is something special. Worth figuring out a housing solution, for sure ;]. We have had friends stay in rv's over the winter here using wood stoves. We won't have a black water tank, just fresh and grey for the sink. I will be living in it full time with a toddler so it must be warm enough, at all times, to keep those tanks above freezing. Will have bins around them in case of a break. Replacable, although hopefully not necessary. Generator and space heater for back up.
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