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Old 11-01-2009, 01:44 PM   #1
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Out of the shadows with questions

Hi all, I have been lurking for a while now, delighted to find this site. I have been told many times I am crazy, and silly with the things I do and I like. What happens? I come here and you all are crazy too!!! Love it!!
I have a history with buses from back in the 70's traveling to Mexico and Arizona, my dad lived in an old Grayhound for years and I have decided that it is time to have one of my own. No more motel beds from hell and bathrooms that I can't get into. I am looking at a Shorty with the van front end but I have questions.... I know they can't carry the same kind of loads that a real bus can but I don't want that big of a bus. Are the van type all on a 1 ton frame or do they vary? I am assuming that the narrow ones may not be so I will look at the cutaways only. Are the shells on this type built to the same specs as the big busses, will it support a roof rack? I am not looking to live in this but just to travel around the western states and up to Alaska. Looking to put in a bed and portable toilet, and stowable
appliances, micro, toaster oven, coffee pot for campground use. Ice chests and batterys for boondocking. I would like a roof rack to have a place for storage and a solar heated water tank for for showers. Would also provide a spot for pitching a tent at night along the road to Alaska where we go every summer for fishing.

Also, I have read all the talks on insulation but have a question or two about that. Has anyone used closed cell foam sheets? I ask because I have scraps left over
from an item I manufacture and would like to use them rather that throw them out. Would the newer busses have better insulation than older? I have been looking at late 90's models. I have many more questions but have all winter to pick all your brains..... should make this winter bearable, having a project to think on.
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Old 11-01-2009, 05:57 PM   #2
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Re: Out of the shadows with questions

The roof framework on my bus is square tubing--plenty strong enuff for a roof rack. Mine is built off a e-450 chassis-its gross is 14k-but actual weight is only 8900 after i built the interior--so you'd have plenty of room weight-wise. When built, mine was doused in spray foam on the inside-although it was more for filling in gaps + squeaks rather than "i hope this is warm for camping".
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Old 11-01-2009, 11:18 PM   #3
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Re: Out of the shadows with questions

Hi Smitty, I know I want a small bus and I have the layout done with enough wiggle room to fit into what ever bus I do get. I don't sleep very well, have spent many nights thinking about the interior... I doubt very much if I will do any traveling in cold weather, kind of a sissy girl. So insulation is not a big issue at this point.

I have no idea what this closed cell foam I have is made for, I use it for a gardening item. It comes in big rolls a half inch thick. I also have some made for
stopping heat transfer, I used that one in the ceiling of my 58 Buick wagon under the head liner (which isn't installed yet....) It is a quarter inch thick. Has anyone used a flexable foam sheeting like this? I will try and find a link for the manufacturer. It is so easy to work with, doesn't shed, doesn't itch, easy to cut... Just wondering ..

Ok, thanks for that sdwarf36, I won't worry about all that salmon we haul home overloading the bus. I had planned to make the interior furnishings removable so I could also use it for hauling hay and grain for my critters that I seem to raise for the coyotes to dine on, lost three hens this morning. Are there icons for swear words on this site?? But, would probably be more work than it's worth, easier to tarp the flatbed I suppose. I hope to find a bus this spring and enlist my friends to help with the work. They have come to appreciate my weirdness and enjoy the fruits of my farm. And the beer fridge.
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Old 11-02-2009, 11:47 PM   #4
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Re: Out of the shadows with questions

Hi Smitty, I have noticed that about you..... I am not going to live in it, just road trips. Summer time road trips. Just my bed and a portable toilet. Of course a counter for the coffee pot and the expresso machine. A skillet and a toaster oven, microwave and I am good. Don't eat much, hate washing dishes. I want to explore the back roads of Oregon and a big bus is well.... too BIG. I know all about those non-stop rains, 45 days straight one year, yea I was crazy after that. Maybe that is whats wrong with me..... never recovered....

This foam that I use is pretty cool stuff, it is polyethelene (spelling?) which is pretty inert and closed cell means it doesn't absorb moisture. I use it in ponds as a floating pot for plants, it floats for years. Would you like a sample? I would be happy to send a piece.

Yes I am sure it is coyotes, I saw it leaving the scene of the crime so to speak, I have seen them after my sheep is broad daylight, hates em. They seem to know when a rifle is in the vicinity and never show up, same when the trapper sets his snares. buggers. I think I have a weasel too, just takes the heads? Is that right? Do you know the habits of these creatures?
Leslie
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:08 AM   #5
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Re: Out of the shadows with questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by emberglow
Sounds like you need a turret on the roof of your bus. Maybe if they can't see you in the open with a rifle you can pick a few off..
A machine gun would be perfect, ha! Not being a hunter I might have a chance with numerous rounds...

Gads Smitty, are you pulling my leg? Are those ones you have trapped? Want to come visit for a while????? I have had the trapper out, also have a guy hunt them here for sport, he has gotten one. More electric fences I guess.

http://www.foam-tech.com/products/ureth ... d_cell.htm
http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-polyethylene-foam.htm

I use the polyethylene foam for my product, pretty safe stuff.

I am looking at a 1988 model shorty bluebird, she wants way too much for it but it looks to be rust free, with the lift door where I want it. I know the diesel engine from that era had problems. I am not a fan of anything new, I don't like airbags and electric windows and such. My thinking is buy the older and eventually replace the engine with a newer turbo. Any thoughts on that logic?

So nice to have you all here for the brain picking.... Leslie
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Old 11-04-2009, 02:22 AM   #6
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Re: Out of the shadows with questions

As far as the weight capacity of the vehicle, you're going to have to pay attention. Vans are strange beasts. Take, for instance, the older Chevy vans. A G-20 would indicate that it's a 3/4 ton van and the 6600 lbs GVWR would put it somewhere in the lower region of 3/4 tons of the era or perhaps, more accurately, a heavy half ton. But...then you look under it to find a 5 lug corp. 10 bolt rear axle...the same axle you'd find in an S-10. Many vans are on the brink of self destruction all the time while while sdwarf's E-450 is built plenty heavy. You're just going to have to do your homework on this one. Personally, I think a Chevy P-30 based bus would be a good choice from a strength standpoint. You would be on the lower end of its capabilities instead of the upper.
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:46 AM   #7
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Re: Out of the shadows with questions

I like the poppa bear/bears den, bug out bus option of a larger bus and then cut the back end off, you will have a chassis that will handle anything that you can throw at it, good manoverability on and off road and probably a better money deal when buying. Mostly look at the wheelbase, on a full sized bus relativly short is standard with a long overhang in the back, keep your mind open and see what's there, not hat you think you want to see
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:12 AM   #8
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Re: Out of the shadows with questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
As far as the weight capacity of the vehicle, you're going to have to pay attention. Vans are strange beasts. Take, for instance, the older Chevy vans. A G-20 would indicate that it's a 3/4 ton van and the 6600 lbs GVWR would put it somewhere in the lower region of 3/4 tons of the era or perhaps, more accurately, a heavy half ton. But...then you look under it to find a 5 lug corp. 10 bolt rear axle...the same axle you'd find in an S-10. Many vans are on the brink of self destruction all the time while while sdwarf's E-450 is built plenty heavy. You're just going to have to do your homework on this one. Personally, I think a Chevy P-30 based bus would be a good choice from a strength standpoint. You would be on the lower end of its capabilities instead of the upper.
Thanks so much, this helps alot, I know there are several skoolies here that have the P-30's and I am sure they are wonderful but the looks don't float my boat, I have trouble with the square front end, mind you I drive a 1958 Buick Wagon. I love the curves!


Quote:
Originally Posted by paul iossi
I like the poppa bear/bears den, bug out bus option of a larger bus and then cut the back end off, you will have a chassis that will handle anything that you can throw at it, good manoverability on and off road and probably a better money deal when buying. Mostly look at the wheelbase, on a full sized bus relativly short is standard with a long overhang in the back, keep your mind open and see what's there, not hat you think you want to see
I really like this idea, but what stops me is How high does this put the floor? I have a swing arm wheelchair lift and not sure if it will lift that high. Also....are they prettty good in tight spaces? Course you should see how much room it takes to turn the Great White.... I will think on this more, thank you.
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Old 11-05-2009, 01:27 AM   #9
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Re: Out of the shadows with questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Something just clicked you may want to check-into. Steves post (new member with the llamas) reminded me that many sheep farmers keep llamas on their farms, since coyote are their sworn enemies. You could do a web-search & probably get some info, or I bet if you'd ask Steve he could tell you, I'd imagine he's aware of it as well.

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5084

Smitty
Thanks Smitty, I have heard about llamas and have watched one take down a dog it was playing with, quite amazing. We didn't have this problem when I was a kid, I never heard a coyote on this farm ever until the mid 90's. Now they are thick and the mountain lions are moving in too.

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Old 01-13-2010, 11:06 PM   #10
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Re: Out of the shadows with questions

Well, I found and bought my bus, a 1988 GMC four window, lift door in front, dual wheels and diesel. It arrived last Thursday evening by transport from Utah. The next day a friend and I started cleaning out the seats and such, we got real lucky as the seats had been moved once and had only lag screws holding them down. Easy peasey, then we started on the plywood.... I was dreading this part because of all the horror stories from here but again we got lucky. 12 bolts, a dozen screws and one row of the nails every three inches. Wow, was I happy. Had it all out by Monday. I will load some photos as soon as I figure out how to resize them....
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