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Old 11-22-2014, 12:32 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 17
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird (Short)
Chassis: International
Engine: 3800 T444E
Rated Cap: 19
Blank Slate

Hi gang. we just picked up our short, Blue Bird last week and it is something special. Its intended purpose is tail-gates, group day trips, and the occasional kids lacrosse team or birthday party. Might make an RV out of the next one, but im seeing a lot good "RV" ideas that I,d like to apply to this one like insulation, storage, generator use, plumbing, etc. I'm not an engine guy so I may not know how to tell which it has unless you tell me where to look. I think this one is a 2004 or 2006? automatic with 240,000 miles and it rides beautifully compared our last one (1993 International, stick-shift). Plus it has a split AC system and no wheel wells. Anyway, I'm gonna have lots of questions, especially about electrical.
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Old 11-23-2014, 11:19 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Gainesville. Georgia
Posts: 526
Year: 1992
Coachwork: bluebird
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Blank Slate

Welcome....nice looking bus. Can't wait to see what you do with it. Remember------> take & post lots & lots of pictures (many of us can't read.....LOL)
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Old 11-24-2014, 12:54 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,439
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
Re: Blank Slate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tailgater 6
... and no wheel wells.
A flat floor in a conventional?! This is the first I've seen! Would you mind taking pictures around the rear wheel-well? What size are the tires? Very curious!
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Old 11-24-2014, 05:44 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 17
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird (Short)
Chassis: International
Engine: 3800 T444E
Rated Cap: 19
Re: Blank Slate

I will gladly take some pics around the wheel wells, but I may not see it in daylight until next weekend though.
I guessed wrong in my last post: it's a 2001. Also was a 19 passenger. The lift and seats were already removed when we got it. So it's just a shell now. We've decided on a rough draft of floor plan. Includes some things that me be hard to get/expensive like four captain's chairs. So we'll see how that goes. When I say "we" I'm referring to the owners which was 6, but is now 8 ex-high school buddies in their forties trying our darnedest to hang on to remnants of our youth.
I'm going to remove existing flooring, put some rigid foam down (not sure of thickness yet because of concern for standing head room - hopefully I can get a halfway decent R-value out of 1/2 inch), add thinnest plywood possible, then likely a nice looking vinyl cuz it's easy to cut and will bend with the floor under the dash. I'd like to insulate the walls up to the windows, but am reluctant to remove the existing metal - all those rivets look like a lot of work for removal of a perfectly good wall. There won't be any full-timing in this thing cuz it's only a tail gater. Am I really giving anything up if I just add 3/4 or 1" inch rigid foam (however far that flange/lip sticks out about 10" off the floor) on top of the existing surface? Then, any suggestions on what finished surface I should use to cover the rigid foam on the wall?
Thanks for the help. I'll try to take lots of pics as we go.
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Old 11-25-2014, 10:22 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 17
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird (Short)
Chassis: International
Engine: 3800 T444E
Rated Cap: 19
Re: Blank Slate

I've been kicking around the idea of drilling small holes in the inner layers of the walls below windows, and blowing in polystyrene balls (bean bag filler). This would solve my problem of not wanting to remove all those rivets, be a more efficient use of space, minimize waste, and perhaps give me an R-value of 5 or so, but the fact that this stuff is flammable is a little scary and also I read that it melts at 212 degrees F. Not sure how hot the outer layer can get when baking in the sun on a hot summer day. If that were possible, will I have to worry about toxic fumes or anything like that? I'm out of my league here. Am I worrying too much? Any thoughts?
The only other thing I can think of is using spray foam with the same "hole-drilling" method. Never done this before. So I'd be worried about even distribution, but wouldn't I end up with the same concerns since it's all foam?
Thanks for the help!
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Old 11-25-2014, 11:02 AM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
Posts: 1,439
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: B3800 Short bus
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 36
Re: Blank Slate

Have you popped open a panel to investigate the innards? I think most buses have a miserable chunk of fibreglass insulation stuffed in there. I say miserable because when I opened mine I found them to be moldy and poorly fit. Some of them were cut several inches to small all the way around... If they exist in the panels they will obviously interfere with the idea of blowing in insulation.

A note about spray foam: there's no way to properly fill an enclosed space with it. It will grow and harden before it settles into the space, leaving all sorts of gaps. Also, if it has no place to expand to it will remain liquid, which negates all R-value. There are some neat pour-in foams, though. They're harder to find, but you can mix it and pour it into any space and it will fill the void as long as the air above it can escape. http://www.compositescanada.com/prod...yurethane-foam

Now, there's also the question of if it's even worth it if you are just going to keep the metal panels on, which are attached to the metal ribs, which are attached to the outside steel. All those thermal bridges provide a nice means for heat transfer from the outside to the inside and vice versa. If you're serious about insulating, you'll have to insulate OVER the panels, or replace them with something with less conductivity.
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Old 11-25-2014, 02:55 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 17
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird (Short)
Chassis: International
Engine: 3800 T444E
Rated Cap: 19
Re: Blank Slate

Thank you Jazty, for such a coherent response. I no longer even care what's behind those panels. I will be insulating OVER them now.

With confidence, I can promise that will NOT be my last dumb question.

Generator question: I've been pondering where to put my Honda E3000 (I think) generator. I got it a few years back for our first bus because it seemed to have the best power at such a low decibel rating. With our first bus, we would carry this generator with us to the site and then unload it, run the wires, try to cover it for rain or if the site had "No Non-RV Generator Rules" (I felt as quiet as mine was, it did not fit into this group and we never had a complaint), fire it up, and then have to put it all away when we were done.
I always dreamed of having it stowed away in its own vented compartment that had maybe a heavy duty drawer/platform where we could slide it out to start it/gas it up/check the oil, and then just slide it back into place and lock the door. I've seen them under the bus, but I dropped $1800 for this one, it's not exactly weatherproof, and I would rather not see it subjected to that kind of abuse. Unless there is a better idea out there, I think my only/best option is to cut an exterior access to a box built for this purpose in the interior of the cabin. I have no welding capabilities, but I'm in HVAC with access to a metal shop. So I'm thinking of building a well-sealed, plywood box with some form of inner, metal layer to act as a heat shield. I've never done this before. So any advice is welcome.
One of my big questions is how to make a door out of the cut-away piece of bus shell.

Many thanks for any help!
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Old 11-25-2014, 03:22 PM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,962
Year: 1935
Coachwork: Superior
Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
Re: Blank Slate

I put my Yamaha EF3000iSEB genny in a pull out drawer for the same reasons you want to. You will find that you will need to extend the muffler to a remote location or it will overheat the genny to the point where it will shut down--doesn't take long either. You will also have to have a fan to push cool air through the box. I also added a puller fan which kicks on when the temp in the genny box reaches 60 degrees C. While plywood is easy to work with, it will actually act as a noise enhancer and make your genny sound noisier than an Onan I suggest you read up on sound attenuation on the internet--you'll be surprised at what you learn. You will also get a good laugh out of what some folks have done to try to quiet a genny (Utube). Hope this helps. Jack
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Old 11-25-2014, 05:08 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 17
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird (Short)
Chassis: International
Engine: 3800 T444E
Rated Cap: 19
Re: Blank Slate

Hmmm. Very interesting ol trunt. I was concerned about venting it properly, but had no idea the right way was to duct out the exhaust. I may have to rethink this and start looking under the bus again for options. Maybe I make a weather-proof box, with a removable cap, that can swing out or something. This genny's got an elongated grill for exhaust that comes out the top of the unit. So I'd have to fabricate something to catch all of the fumes, and with too-long-a-run I'd worry about stifling it with back-pressure (I'm no expert on this, but I would assume it was not designed to push its exhaust through a long duct). All this talk of possibly over heating & increased noise has taken the wind out of my sails on that idea. Thank you for the advice which has likely saved me a lot of work and perhaps a little embarrassment. Back to the drawing board.
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Old 11-28-2014, 11:01 AM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 17
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird (Short)
Chassis: International
Engine: 3800 T444E
Rated Cap: 19
Re: Blank Slate

First, I never provided our bus location: It splits time between New Market & Damascus, MD. Anyone in the area?

Second, too all those, like me, who prefer pics over words,

I intend to spend some quality time with our new bus this weekend. Our plan is still under development. So most of this time will be a search for inspiration through the simple act of looking at it (and likely tearing the rubber floor up). I will also be doing a photo-shoot to post on here. Can those of you that catch this post provide some ideas for useful, photo, subject matter or just things that you or others may be curious about?

I've already had a request for close-ups of around the wheels, since there are no wheel-wells, and tire sizes. I will also try to remember to get pics of the following:
-Info plates (I only know of two plates that are on the interior - are there others I should look for?)
-wiring/breaker compartment and guide on back of door
-fuse compartment and guide
-pics of underbelly (if ground is not too wet still)
-heaters, heater lines
-under the hood
-driver area/controls
-buttons and switches I can't explain like "econo mode" and what looks like cruise control (but seems almost out of reach of driver)
-things slated to be removed
Anything else I'm not thinking of that either you would like to see or that might be useful as a reference during the conversion process?

Thank you for the help!
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