Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 10-05-2009, 09:50 AM   #1
Bus Crazy
 
sdwarf36's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 1,054
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Hello-new short bus owner here

Ok-this proves it--there IS a forum for everyone!
Hi-my name is Sherman-and i have a short bus. 1996 Champion Defender on a Ford e-450 chassis with a 7.3 diesel. It was a former 16 pass. airport /hotel shuttle bus. The wife found it on Craigslist for $1800.
For the last 20 or so years, I've been hauling my race car around in a 14' GMC cube van with a small living area built in (its a small race car) -it worked fine--but gas milage was poor-8.5 mpg. I needed a diesel so I can run one on veggie oil. (I've got 70k on a VW Jetta on veg-I'm all set up with supply + filtering). The car will now have to be trailered, but I'm leaving the rear 6 ft or so set up for a shop.
Its about 75% completed -and has survived its maiden voyage-a 700 mile ride to Watkins Glen NY Vintage races. It goes down the road soooo nice-it drives like a big car! Heres a few pics--I'll post some more soon.

The awning was another Craigslist find. Notice the 1st window is turned over-so the dog had somewhere to stick her nose out the window.

the hutch-you got it-Craigslist-$50. Underneath is 2 deep cycle batterys-a 2000 watt inverter-a 1000 watt amp for the music and power converter.

Those bars under the bench swing out to support the bed. One of the big tricks was to get blinds to follow the contour of the body-it took a couple of tries till we came up with those guides + got the spacing down. The curved white plastic on the ceiling is the stuff you do bathroom enclosures out of-works great!

view from the back.

where it started--well not really-anyone who has started from scratch knows how much work there is in just STRIPPING the van. You want to pull up the floor? Start by pulling down the ceiling + work your way down!
__________________
Don't make a fuss-just get on the bus!

my bus build http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/Skoolies/Sped
sdwarf36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2009, 10:37 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Papabear's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Southwest Wyoming
Posts: 334
Year: 1991
Coachwork: ward
Chassis: IH
Engine: dt466
Rated Cap: 72
Re: Hello-new short bus owner here

Looks great. Those big windows make it seem a little bigger on the inside. Welcome to our madness.
__________________
"I've never been lost, but I been mighty confused for several days"
Papabear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2009, 11:40 AM   #3
Bus Nut
 
TygerCub's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 784
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Genesis
Engine: Detroit
Rated Cap: 14
Re: Hello-new short bus owner here

Very nice conversion. Any chance you could show how your bed works? The pull-out idea look interesting.
TygerCub is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2009, 09:03 PM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
sdwarf36's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 1,054
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Re: Hello-new short bus owner here

Quote:
Originally Posted by TygerCub
Very nice conversion. Any chance you could show how your bed works? The pull-out idea look interesting.
well not really a pull out-a swing out is more like it.

The legs are 1" round tubing +1" 1/8"thick flat bar-held to the bed with pipe staps.


Two legs swing one way-two the other. That left a long gap across the middle. I took a section of 3/4"sq. tubing and notched the ends.

Now fold the 2 pieces of the top over. We then have an air matress we put on . Worked perfect-and it passed the main design parameter-the "set up in 5 minutes while drunk" test.
__________________
Don't make a fuss-just get on the bus!

my bus build http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/Skoolies/Sped
sdwarf36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2009, 09:34 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
sdwarf36's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 1,054
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Re: Hello-new short bus owner here

One thing I wanted to overcome when I got the bus was the lack of passenger seat. And the box girder bridge of a door opener had to go. It probably took me a week of head scratching + mock ups of trying different ideas before the POOF! moment came. And it turned out being the simplest solution. I think it took me 10 minutes build once i knew the direction.

1st thing I did was remove this end cap + cut back about 8" of the glass. Quick sawzall job and the cap went right back over. Now there would be enough room for a captians chair with armrests.

The door is now opened + closed with a linear accuator working directly on the bar that connects the 2 doors together. Speed-wise it isn't too bad-it takes about 5 seconds to open or close. And seals tight too.


Todays pennace-glue more carpet. (good thing I'm near done-i'm really tired of contact cement + cutting carpet! ) Now all the industrial white plastic covers are grey + sound deadend.
__________________
Don't make a fuss-just get on the bus!

my bus build http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/Skoolies/Sped
sdwarf36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2009, 09:58 PM   #6
Almost There
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 86
Year: 1991
Coachwork: international
Chassis: thomas
Engine: 7.3
Rated Cap: 22
Re: Hello-new short bus owner here

Hi , nice job on that bus . We have had ours for a couple years now and still see changes we want to make .Right now we are trying to get out the bump.

I like the bed idea too .


meerkat
shortstuff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 11:46 AM   #7
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: New England
Posts: 1,009
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Ward Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/MT643
Rated Cap: 77
Re: Hello-new short bus owner here

I hope that hutch is secured in place VERY well!
__________________
Jarlaxle
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Optimism is a mental disorder.
Jarlaxle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 06:47 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 21
Re: Hello-new short bus owner here

great job. looking to convert the same thing seems perfect for my needs. if anyone knows of any for sale in the ny area let me know! how much length have you got to play with in the back? is it a standard sized 450 or a larger one? lastly how is your economy now? have heard great things about them! thanks!
adam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2009, 11:32 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
sdwarf36's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 1,054
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Re: Hello-new short bus owner here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarlaxle
I hope that hutch is secured in place VERY well!
Oh yea--its lagged right into the metal framework at the top-and 3 90* brackets connecting the top to the bottom.
__________________
Don't make a fuss-just get on the bus!

my bus build http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/Skoolies/Sped
sdwarf36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2009, 09:03 AM   #10
Bus Crazy
 
sdwarf36's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Moodus, Ct.
Posts: 1,054
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Champion
Chassis: Ford e-450
Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 14
Re: Hello-new short bus owner here

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam
great job. looking to convert the same thing seems perfect for my needs. if anyone knows of any for sale in the ny area let me know! how much length have you got to play with in the back? is it a standard sized 450 or a larger one? lastly how is your economy now? have heard great things about them! thanks!
Its 16ft from the back of the drivers seat to the back door. Its the standard (158") wheelbase 450. The one trip i took was very hilly-i only got 11 mpg-gonna have to get a tuner to make that a bit better.(242k miles--new Beans tranysaver injectors) Here are some specs from Champions website-it looks like the body sizes are still the same-my bus is a Challenger (oops-been calling it a Defender).
http://www.championbus.com/index.pl?id=2655

One place I saw buses for sale before i was looking for one is right around the local airport. I've seen them just sitting near the road for sale. Or just ask at the airport parking places -they might just have an older one out in the back lot. I've found out long ago that vehicle NOT yet for sale are usually cheaper that ones that are.
__________________
Don't make a fuss-just get on the bus!

my bus build http://www.skoolie.net/gallery/Skoolies/Sped
sdwarf36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New bus owner in Alaska needs help syke Titles, Insurance, Registration and Money Matters 3 06-10-2013 08:03 PM
New bus owner - what can you tell me about my bus BelltownBikes Conversion General Discussions 12 03-03-2013 09:49 AM
Newb Short bus owner:).. willz0072002 Short-Bus Conversion Projects 15 07-20-2011 02:17 AM
Soon-to-be Short-Bus Owner In Need Of Suggestions! sdwarf36 Short-Bus Conversion Projects 6 01-15-2010 04:05 AM
Newbie bus owner hugum Conversion General Discussions 1 06-07-2006 04:45 PM

» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.