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Old 08-10-2017, 02:08 PM   #1
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Location: Culpeper, Virginia
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Chassis: Shuttle or Shorty. Still hunting
Engine: Prefer Diesel
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This is a thread for my upcoming build. Currently, I am heavily leaning toward a Shuttle Bus conversion. I originally was going to build an enclosed trailer like a camper. But after a year of research and collecting of parts, I have decided it does not BEST meet my needs and wants. The following are what have guided me to the Shuttle Bus choice:

1) Large windows
2) Easier to drive and park
3) No worry of being stolen (where I go it goes)
4) Walk thru (enables stealth camping and no egress if bad weather)
5) Want to use the wheelchair lift as "garage" for gas scooter or bike
6) Higher clearance for tanks etc under
7) Aesthetics

Now for preferences to look for in vehicle:

1) Fairly low mileage
2) Prefer Diesel Powerplant
3) NO/ little rust
4) Handicap lift at rear (sides but as far back as possible)
5) High Current Alternator (or able to add)

PLEASE: Feel free to let me know what I may be overlooking in reference to my vehicle search. I am pretty thick skinned, so fire away
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:39 PM   #2
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Location: Culpeper, Virginia
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Chassis: Shuttle or Shorty. Still hunting
Engine: Prefer Diesel
Rated Cap: 14 to 24 pref
Now the fun stuff. The parts and components already purchased and awaiting a vehicle:

Electrical:

30Amp Marine Grade Shore Plug
30Amp AC/ DC circuit breaker/ fuse panel (not converter)
3000W/6000W Pure Sinewave Inverter/ Charger (built in transfer switch)
All wiring
LED recessed lighting
LED strip lighting
All Fuses and Holders
260W solar panels (4)
Charge Controller (MPPT)
3000W Champion Inverter Generator
40" HD TV
WiFi extender and antenna
TV antenna (RV type)
Wall switches
Batteries (Duracell GC2 x
Battery isolator (160Amp)
MiniFridge (120 and 12v)
AC unit (5500btu)
Microwave (800W)

Plumbing:
Red/ Blue Pex tubing (25' each)
City/ Gravity input
Fresh Water Tanks (2x40 gal)
Toilet (Thetford cassette)
Hot water heater (10 gal suburban Elect and LP)
Water Pump (Sureflow 12v)
Kitchen Sink/ Faucet
Shower Faucet and head
Outdoor shower box (faucet and head)

LP:
Furnace (19kbtu Suburban)
RVQ grill
20lb LP tanks (2)
Regulator (dual tank)
Stove (3 burner Suburban)

Im sure I am forgetting some as I have been collecting for a while. But it gives you all an idea of what is going into the build. There are some things still needed, but I think I have the bulk of the big ticket items. Still need:

Shower surround and Base
Insulation (panels or spray on)
FRP for walls
Plumbing vent
Outlets (ac and dc)
prob few other odds and ends

AGAIN, feel free to inquire or inform if you believe there are better options.
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Old 08-10-2017, 04:06 PM   #3
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Those who know more about the drivetrain good and bad......6.8L V10?

1999 Ford E-450 Super Duty 15 Pass. W/Handicap Lift Bus In MANASSAS VA - MANASSAS AUTO TRUCK

Super low miles, great shape. Found zero rust. Only downside I could find was not diesel. Any reason to stay away?
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:02 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
That year V10 had a problem spitting spark plugs and rotting manifold bolts but is generally considered a good engine.
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Old 08-10-2017, 05:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defjr333 View Post
Those who know more about the drivetrain good and bad......6.8L V10?

1999 Ford E-450 Super Duty 15 Pass. W/Handicap Lift Bus In MANASSAS VA - MANASSAS AUTO TRUCK

Super low miles, great shape. Found zero rust. Only downside I could find was not diesel. Any reason to stay away?
I had a Champion e450 w/ the V-10, was a nice unit. I prefer a diesel, but stay away from the 6.0L Ford as they have been costly to own. Vans can be a pita to work on sometimes- tight fit.

There are different shuttle body manufacturers, so read-up on who makes the best body. Check the interior height on that one you posted as it would be tough to raise.

Yours has uber low miles, which is good if it has been driven regularly. 18 years and 30K mi means 134 miles/month?

Shuttle does not have the heavy truck frame of a school bus and lower GVWR to consider. Water, generators, batteries, waste tanks get heavy fast, so do some math based on your wish list weights.
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Old 08-10-2017, 08:44 PM   #6
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Culpeper, Virginia
Posts: 279
Chassis: Shuttle or Shorty. Still hunting
Engine: Prefer Diesel
Rated Cap: 14 to 24 pref
Greatly appreciate the info about engine, frame, interior height. Those are the items I am not knowledgeable on. Will have to check gvrw and such. thnx
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Old 08-10-2017, 09:30 PM   #7
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,680
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
That looks like a 21' Eldorado Aerolite body. Ours is a 24' Aerotech. Body construction is the same for both (well made). Head room will be 6'7" at the center aisle. floor space behind the driver's seat should be about 13' and inside width will be 7'8".

Ours has an aluminum stairwell and a stainless steel battery box. The floor is 3/4" plywood. The white fiberglass body does a good job of keeping interior temps down on a sunny day. Much better than a steel body. If you want to insulate there's no problem with thermal bridging. The inner fiberglass skin holds a screw real well. Rear gear will likely be 4.10 so it will do 70mph no problem.

GVWR on ours is 14000 lbs and as converted we're 2000 lbs under that. Space under the bus is fairly tight. We have a 15 gal grey tank hung behind the gas tank and our 35 gal. water tank is under the bed inside.
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Old 08-11-2017, 12:16 PM   #8
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Culpeper, Virginia
Posts: 279
Chassis: Shuttle or Shorty. Still hunting
Engine: Prefer Diesel
Rated Cap: 14 to 24 pref
AWESOME INFO......appreciate it all. Going to go look at it tomorrow. Really wanted diesel, but with that low mileage........who knows
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:17 PM   #9
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Location: Fayetteville Arkansas
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Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: GMC G3500 Vandura
Engine: V-8 5.7L Gas
My 1999 V10 E450 shuttle bus gets 6 MPG highway. Fair warning
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:27 PM   #10
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 14,174
Year: 2004
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: CE300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 32
My folks RV with 6.8 Ford gets 5mpg on a good day on the highway.
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