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Old 01-31-2017, 10:41 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 60
Year: 2003
Chassis: Ford E350 with Girardin body
Engine: 7.3L Diesel
Smile Gus the Bus Build Thread

So, I bought a bus.

That was going to by my title but someone else took it...somewhere..

I bought it from a dealer and they are going to drive 2 hours to deliver it for me some time this week. This weekend I'll start by taking out the seats and handicap lift. Always looking for tips and suggestions.

It is a 2003 Ford E350 with a 7.3l engine and 226k miles. Seems like it is in good condition all around. Will get more pictures soon! It was $3500 (canadian dollars) plus about $500 in taxes.

Here's me and the bill of sale:
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Old 01-31-2017, 11:30 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iProgramStuff View Post
So, I bought a bus.

That was going to by my title but someone else took it...somewhere..

I bought it from a dealer and they are going to drive 2 hours to deliver it for me some time this week. This weekend I'll start by taking out the seats and handicap lift. Always looking for tips and suggestions. It was $3500 (canadian dollars) plus about $500 in taxes.

Here's me and the bill of sale:
CONGRATULATIONS!!!! Super excited for you!

Sandi
www.thismidwifetravels.com
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Old 02-01-2017, 03:02 AM   #3
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
Posts: 2,573
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Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9L Cummins
Rated Cap: '00
Sweet !

Welcome. You are in for a crazy ride ! Friends and family: You ...bought a ...what?!

I am in early stages of build, myself- I might suggest tackling any maintenance issues first so she runs good.Fighting my own demons there...

What type of 'stuff' do you program? I'll guess...embedded systems?

Now that you are an owner, take a second to update your sig/profile so others can help you better w/ ?'s.
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Old 02-01-2017, 11:56 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 60
Year: 2003
Chassis: Ford E350 with Girardin body
Engine: 7.3L Diesel
I've been talking about wanting to do this for awhile to friends and family. It's been on my mind a lot...so they already know what to expect. I've been there, done that

I program...a few things that I've conglomerated into 'stuff'. I started with games (made in flash), then got offered a lucrative job working on a telecom app also made in flash. Flash started dying, so I taught myself how to make websites. Now I do that...did it as a freelancer for about 2-3 years, 1 year of which I was cycling around Europe and Morocco. I lived in a tent. In Portugal, my girlfriend and I made an empty field our home for 2 months. It was so deserted we actually started leaving our tent set up when venturing into town...felt very home-like when returning to an already made tent at the end of the day. Since I have no more bus pictures atm, and pictures are the best part of build threads..here are some from that time:







I was planning to purchase this bus and live in it while working on it (huge upgrade over my tent), then tour the continent (Canada & USA)...but I ended up getting offered a full time job as a full stack web developer in Toronto. Now, the bus may end up being a weekend project until it is livable. I can't insure it until I've painted it away from the yellow and removed the seats. The job will help fund the build. I pay $600/mo ($30/day) to rent an Airbnb Sun-Thurs then will head to Hamilton (where the bus is parked) for the weekends. The bus will cost me ~$350/mo in insurance...so much less than an apartment here in Toronto. Just need a place to park it.

Maybe I'll have a family mechanic look at it, or find some beginner's guide to maintaining and diagnosing potential issues. And I'll definitely update my signature now that I'm officially part of the family
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:08 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
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Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
how cool!!! I program stuff too... my money maker is a Telecom system for hotels.. (written in many languages)..

I use my bus 'DEV RANDOM' as a Mobile hardwasre /software DEV lab esp for LTE-based cloud testing and such ...

other stuff I program and build is home automation.. HVAC, car-computer control stuff like glass-cockpit style things..

wowsers canada insurance is Pricey!! I pay $900 / Year for for FULL coverage on TWO busses..

congrats on your new bus!!!!!!!
-Christopher
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:50 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 60
Year: 2003
Chassis: Ford E350 with Girardin body
Engine: 7.3L Diesel
I just typed a long reply similar to below that got lost upon clicking post because I needed to login again..it's never as good the second time around.

This bus was also going to be my office on wheels...I was going to actively improve my craft while scaling up my web development business and launching MVPs to scale or fail.

This insurance is super pricey. $4800 a year. Should drop to $3800 next year if I have no accidents. This is with the worst insurance company in the worst province. Facility Association exists to insure people who can't get insurance else where..because the law says you have to have it. They charge high rates because they know you have no other option. I also have nothing else insured and no insurance history, so that doesn't help my case.

My original plan was to have it insured before I bought it and drive it home...but now I am getting it delivered and will do some work on it before insuring. This opens up the possibility of doing enough work to get it appraised and insured as a motorhome, which could potentially mean cheaper rates for me.

@cadillackid I'm really interested in hearing and seeing more of your home automation work!! This is something I wanted to do with my bus. Tech and construction usually don't go hand in hand so I want to use my tech background to do something really neat. Mating two or more skills usually results in some interesting babies and a niche that not many can enter.

Some high tech home ideas I've brainstormed are:
Arduino / similar to control things via internet/app. Climate, lights, etc. [turn on heat 15-30 mins before you get home]
Bus-wide "Cortana" / "Ok Google" for lights, music, warm floors/seats, etc.
Back up camera...this plus extra mirrors (if you think you need) would make the bus super easy to drive.
Tracking system. If it gets stolen, or you forgot where you parked.
Nest? by Google
Philips smart lights? Change colours, control from app. $80 per bulb.

Does your telecom app have a name? Mine was renamed to phone.systems after I left: https://phone.systems/
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:52 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 60
Year: 2003
Chassis: Ford E350 with Girardin body
Engine: 7.3L Diesel
I'm going to probably use a lot of wood for the interior. I'm thinking of retaining a white ceiling but not the stock sheet metal. I will remove it all and add my own insulation - either Rockwool (maybe ROXUL® | Fire and Soundproofing Insulation) or spray foam (I'm worried about health/environmental/unnatural aspects though). Maybe a light/white colored wood plank ceiling: https://www.google.ca/search?q=white...-HAgMQ_AUIBigB

I'll post my thoughts on layout when I get something better to post
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Old 02-02-2017, 10:41 AM   #8
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While Rockwool is an excellent insulator and does not absorb moisture itself...it does hold a lot of moisture. Several hot rodder friends here warned me about it after having serious rust issues. And even with great sealing...bus skins sweat a lot of moisture.
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Old 02-02-2017, 01:43 PM   #9
Traveling
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Midwest
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Aerogel

You know what looks really 'cool' as an insulator? This thin matting called aerogel.

It is a very pricey NASA insulation they use on spaceships, but surplus does find it's way to ebay. I have never used it, but it sure looks interesting.

What is the best insulation in the world?
A: The best insulator in the world right now is most probably aerogel, with silica aerogels having thermal conductivities of less than 0.03 W/m*K in atmosphere. of aerogel preventing ice from melting on a hot plate at 80 degrees Celsius!

What is the lightest solid?
World's lightest solid material, known as 'frozen smoke', gets even lighter. Researchers have created a new aerogel that boasts amazing strength and an incredibly large surface area.


More Info On Aerogel


Recipie for you Walter White-types:

Part 2 Preparing Silica Aerogel
Dilute concentrated ammonium hydroxide. ...
Mix the TMOS and methanol. ...
Mix the ammonium hydroxide solution with methanol. ...
Pour the catalyst solution into the alkoxide solution. ...
Transfer the sol into molds. ...
Let the gel age. ...
Diffuse the water out. ...
Dry the gel in your supercritical dryer.
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Old 02-02-2017, 04:25 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 2004
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Chassis: CE300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
While Rockwool is an excellent insulator and does not absorb moisture itself...it does hold a lot of moisture. Several hot rodder friends here warned me about it after having serious rust issues. And even with great sealing...bus skins sweat a lot of moisture.
I'm only using it in interior walls. And only two of them.
Its great but as you've pointed out it isn't great for every application.
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