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Old 01-29-2017, 11:17 PM   #1
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My short bus build - 97 e350 advice is welcome

Hi everyone.

I just bought a 1997 e350 5 window short bus. Its got the 7.3L diesel, standing headroom and a wicked cool roof rack.
As far as I can tell it strated life and a Transit bus, most likley a handy dart, then owned by a limo company and was converted into a party bus, then used for filming and supporting Mtn Bikers. Odometer is 320 000 km and it has recently had a bunch of mechanical work done. Overall we are pretty excited, and looking forward to having a sweet getaway RV.

So far I have torn out the old floor, spent hours grinding the rust out of the steel coach floor and got the first coat of tremclad rust paint down. What an imense amount of work so far. Wow. Next is stripping the wall and celing panels to replace the insulation. We plan on re-using the roof skin but most likely will replace the skin under the windows with wide strips of 1/2 inch thick plywood screwed into the bus ribs to keep the strucre rigid.

Sub floor will be this : https://www.homedepot.ca/en/home/p.r-insulated-panel.1000788120.html - With vynil fake wood over it. Couple questions here, should I glue the sub floor to the steel floor?, and should I also screw it down with some self tapping metal screws?

I will be keeping the 'L' rails that run long under the bus windows and attach 2x4's along the floor, through the sub floor and steel floor and build my furniture from there. Hopefully keeping the bed, kitchen, seating, and floor secure incase of any unfortunate accident.

The bed will have to run long ways on the right side of the bus and high enough to allow bike and tool storage underneath. The kitchen counter will be behind the drivers seat, might add a co-pilot seat and have an L shape couch oppiste the kitchen and in front of the bed. With a small removable table. I am open to layout chages and ideas from the experts!

Looking to make this into a nice, somewhat bare necessities camping and support RV to support my kayaking, biking and hiking habits. There will normally be two people and a dog on board.

Any good input will be greatly appreaciated. Thanks guys!

Richard
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:04 AM   #2
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Location: Cuyahoga Falls Ohio
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Year: 1997
Coachwork: Startrans
Chassis: Ford e-350 single wheel
Engine: 5.4 litre
Rated Cap: 12
Nice bus. I also have a 1997 e350 but its a fiberglass shuttle bus. I used bunk bed futons (bed on top and couch/fold out bed on bottom) mounted along the back and drivers side. The futon along the back was a tight fit but I made it work.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:43 AM   #3
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Nice looking bus!
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Old 01-30-2017, 11:57 AM   #4
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Nice Bus.

I have a similar bus and I'm the process of doing the floor but I will use the pink insulated board on a frame and then marine grade playwood on top, OSB sucks water like there is no tomorrow so since I have kids I will go with the more waterproof version.

I'm interested on what you do with your layout, i'm trying to figure out the best way and there is sooooo many options I can't really decide yet.

We are both in BC, are you in vancouver ?

good luck.
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Old 01-30-2017, 12:12 PM   #5
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Thank for the compliments!

We are in Coquitlam. Trying not to use up too much headroom. That is why we are going with the combination subfloor and vynil. I am just over 6' tall and I want to be able to stand up when its done. Also the windows are 6ft apart and so that is why I will run the bed long, even though it will eat up more floor space. I up load a floor plan sketch when I draw a better one up.

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Old 01-30-2017, 05:09 PM   #6
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My bus is similar in that it is a 1999 E450 same engine. I would not screw the floor down, there is no advantage and some disadvantage in my opinion. In the process of putting the floor down, it cannot move, it is locked in by the parameters of the floor, but every time you penetrate the steel sub floor, you expose the subfloor and materials above it (insulation flooring etc) to the weather to rust and moisture. I am in process of putting in a new interior, put the flooring on top of the existing floor and works great.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:53 AM   #7
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floor plan

Any chance you finished up that floor plan? I am planning a very similar build, I am especially interested in your bike storage plan!
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rpowdigs View Post
Thank for the compliments!

We are in Coquitlam. Trying not to use up too much headroom. That is why we are going with the combination subfloor and vynil. I am just over 6' tall and I want to be able to stand up when its done. Also the windows are 6ft apart and so that is why I will run the bed long, even though it will eat up more floor space. I up load a floor plan sketch when I draw a better one up.

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Of course Coquitlam is famous from the Movie "Big Meat Eater" one of the strangest and funniest low budget musicals ever made. My Van friends say it is a strip mall I think, but of course the real Vancouver is along the Colombia River in Washington State USA
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:19 PM   #9
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Oh, yes, pleased to meet ya, meat to please ya
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