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Old 06-24-2011, 02:24 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Newb Short bus owner:)..

Hi Guys

I've been lurking this site for years but only this week finally acquired my key to freedom..a 1989 Chevy Bluebird Shortbus 4 window. My mom started it all when I was 9 she bought a full size one to put on our property for camping in Arkansas..then when I was 18 she bought two more; a short bus with the squared off front end for travelling and a full size International she was making into a mobile stained glass studio for teaching. The full size bus she has been working on for almost 10 years off and on, and built a full second story, all custom built with aluminum framing and a full length lexan roof that opens. The short bus caught fire the first trip and burnt to the ground, and she is finishing the interior of the big one as we speak (ill post pics for sure on my follow up post).

Well I love the site and the creative juices that flow here. I am an custom painter; airbrush artist and have run a custom paint shop up here in Olympia, WA for the last 8 years, and being a sun worshiper I pretty much am sick of the rain. Im a single dad of a 6 year old boy and his mom lives in TX, and she has him in the summers. This year they want to try switching it up and her having him the school year and me the summer parent. So I decided to take my gig on the road for a year and see what happens (ive wanted to for as long as I can remember but opted for the mainstream lifestyle house, dog, mini van and all that jazz since I had my boy and wanted stability for him). I found this sweet bus last week on craigslist and scooped it up for $1000. It has 165k, maintained until last year by the district, and from I've found, has zero mechanical issues and runs/drives killer and actually doesnt get that bad of gas mileage. I will definitely get a big bus someday, but since I am hitting the road solo I dont require much space (and im not a big guy either so that helps). I also dig the bus can do a Uturn in the same radius as my full size truck maybe even better and seems to get about the same mileage. It has a brand new lift in it, 800 lb capacity, and I will utilize that for the Honda Ruckus scooter I will find so that when I get to a new town I can just zip off and explore in that.

Behind the bus I'm pulling a gutted pop-up trailer I have that will double as my booth at shows and festivals, and my bathroom, shower, storage etc. I want to keep the bus orange, but a custom mandarin candy orange, and since "skool bus" has been played out alot, I'm thinking "2 kool for skewl" and "wndwlkr" for the liscense plate (although Im afraid id offend someone I might go with "litlppl" or "2short". I will have a full size rack built for the roof with extendable legs to accomodate a 10x10 canopy.

On the inside, I want it hip. I'm going to airbrush a fantastic mural inside, and want light colored pergo flooring, indirect lighting, overhead cabinets, small closet, a bed that will 2nd as a couch, computer niche and icebox/small sink kitchen area (im doing all the cooking and whatnot in the popup.) I have 2 37" plasma tvs for front and rear, a dvd player, backup cameras, cb and lots of other tech toys. I still need to figure out my wiring plans but hope to run mostly off propane for much of my needs (fridge,shower,heater). The bus has two batteries, but I want more as well as solar panels to keep the batteries maintained.

I have a ton of questions and am excited to finally contribute!

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Old 06-24-2011, 07:45 AM   #2
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Location: Andrews,Indiana
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Re: Newb Short bus owner:)..

Nice bus, great story.

Quote:
2 kool for skewl
wish I'd thought of that one.


Quote:
wndwlkr
How is this offensive to anyone, unless I'm not translating right, although I'm at a stage in my life that I hope I do offend someone.
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Old 06-24-2011, 12:05 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: Newb Short bus owner:)..

hehe. windowlicker? It would be my luck a cop with a grudge against foreigners as well as a developmentally disabled kid or family member would give me a hard time..I do plan to drive through arkansas lol.
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Old 06-24-2011, 01:32 PM   #4
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Re: Newb Short bus owner:)..

Welcome to the nuthouse. Great lookin' little bird you got there, but you being a custom painter, be advised...we are all gonna' expect something pretty cool on the outside of that rig. Love them shorties!
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Old 06-24-2011, 02:46 PM   #5
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Re: Newb Short bus owner:)..

lol "HELMUT" for plates. remember you need your helmet to ride the short bus :P
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Old 06-24-2011, 04:22 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: Newb Short bus owner:)..

hehe..Well I will assure everyone it will be top notch as far as paint goes..in fact..i dont plan to skimp on anything really (you should see my house..custom painted everything...bathroom, my kids room, my toilet seat my mailbox my ceiling fans on and on lol. Im a paint addict.

I'm on the fence about a few things..one, building a room on top for the bedroom and an observation deck for the rest of the space. I know its not a small feat, but I do have some talented carpenters and welders. I'll be posting up inside pics today and gonna play with some sketches and see what you guys think. I'm also on the fence about rebuilding the motor. I have someone who wants to trade a quickie paintjob on their rod in trade for rebuilding the motor and adding a light cam, dual exhaust headers etc. While I do want to do it, the motor seems strong (havent done a compression test yet tho) and why break something that's not broken, but at 165 something thousand miles on it maybe preventative is the way to go since I will be putting a ton of miles on it.

Big question..is there a propane AC unit that can be had? I've looked online and cant seeem to find one but have found threads saying they exist but where? thanks!

And i attached a pic (u can steal my idea if you want i cant stop ya) and Im going to have the local graphics shop print it on that peforated film (used for advertising on the wrapped vehicles where the graphic goes over the window and you can still see out) and put it on the rear window. Thought it was funny as hell..
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File Type: jpg Funny-face-bus-1034.jpg2.jpg (152.8 KB, 1909 views)
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Old 06-24-2011, 08:00 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: Newb Short bus owner:)..

Oh, and guys..do you think I can run a conventional small AC unit off a large inverter while driving then the generator while parked? Also, is there a way to rig a generator so it automatically turns on when the batteries get lower than a certain point?
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Old 06-24-2011, 11:12 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: Newb Short bus owner:)..

peopane airconditioners are called heat pumps.
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:14 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Re: Newb Short bus owner:)..

grrr. tryin to upload pics to my gallery but after i registered i cannot find out how the heck to upload pics!? why did they hide the link/button...doh.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:17 AM   #10
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Re: Newb Short bus owner:)..

I have to admit...I read "wndwlkr" as "Windwalker", not "window licker".

(Also, I think we have a "Window Licker" on here already.)

Windwalker
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