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Old 05-21-2019, 09:47 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Shuttle Bus Newbie,How are the Bodies Constructed

First post,and I don't have a bus yet,but starting to keep my eyes open and notice things in my travels,plenty to see.


Without writing a novel,I am looking to construct a rolling office and apartment for boondocking in a dense urban environment,along with some travel as work takes me there.I am in construction and also have a Lot of metal Fab,auto and carpentry skills,for a living professionally.I say that just to let folks know that nothing on this project would be beyond reach and I know well enough the hours and hours to be invested.(novel over for now 😀).


90% sure I need a roof raise.I am tall,and need to build a 4 season vehicle,super insulated for weather in the northeast.And also insulated for sound.My job gives me experience on both.


Probably want to find something about 25 feet.I drive a 20 foot service vehicle daily,so I understand the size and scale of it.


A gas engine,hopefully Chevy.The areas I would be in don't like you idling a diesel.But they also don't disallow sleeping in a RV,as a legal matter.I like the shuttles because they seem to blend-in,and I see many types of organizations keep them on the street,even over night.


(funny thing,as I typed this in a parking lot, 2 school buses short ones both Chevys, have pulled in one has four Windows one has five windows, I would take pictures of them but the operators are sitting in them and probably would think I was a spy for the school district if I took a picture,Collins)


Anyhow...How are the shuttles constructed?Is there a metal framework on the walls and roof skinned in fiberglass?All fiberglass on some?Only time I have been in one was at the airport,but I can actually get in some now that I have an interest.


Thank you in advance.
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Old 05-22-2019, 09:51 AM   #2
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Different manufactures construct differently. Mine has a steel 1" square Cage with 1" rigid insulation and fiberglass skins on interior and exterior. The back cap has 3/4" plywood with fiberglass skins. I have a startrans
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:55 AM   #3
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Thank you for that.I am starting to look through some threads to see some different shuttle busses in project stage.Seems like a wide range of body constructions,whereas school buses seem to be pretty standard among the manufacturers.


If you don't mind,Ledsled,when you get a chance can you measure from your floor to the bottom of the windows? My idea is to cut and lift somewhere beneath the windows to get the window bottoms a minimum of 36" above the finished floor. I could fabricate my own interior load bearing structure on the interior,floor to ceiling.
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:12 PM   #4
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04 Chev 10 window Micro bird is 30" from floor to bottom lip at windows. hth
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Old 05-22-2019, 02:31 PM   #5
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5 windows each side (2 escape on each side ) looks like 1.5" hat channel as main support from floor across to floor. right now it's all aluminum skin on the inside. Fiberglass insulation. Bus had individual bucket seats w/ seat belts . all wiring was run in aluminum hat channel above the widows and branched off where needed.
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Old 05-22-2019, 08:30 PM   #6
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Thanks eman,that helps a lot.I believe the shuttles have a much lower window.


I have seen a 5 window,one parked across from me yesterday,I believe I am looking for something longer.How long is yours from the back of the driver's seat to the rear wall?


Good to see you have a Chevy,is it gas or diesel?
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Old 05-22-2019, 10:15 PM   #7
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Our shuttle bus is an Eldorado Aerotech 24' with a Ford 7.3L Powerstroke. The inside measures 16' from the back of the driver's seat to the back wall, 7'6" wide and 6'6" tall at the center aisle. The body is molded fiberglass that wouldn't lend itself to a roof raise.



I'm 6'1" tall and after losing 3 inches of headroom when I insulated the floor and ceiling I still have plenty of headroom.
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Old 05-23-2019, 06:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roach711 View Post
Our shuttle bus is an Eldorado Aerotech 24' with a Ford 7.3L Powerstroke. The inside measures 16' from the back of the driver's seat to the back wall, 7'6" wide and 6'6" tall at the center aisle. The body is molded fiberglass that wouldn't lend itself to a roof raise.



I'm 6'1" tall and after losing 3 inches of headroom when I insulated the floor and ceiling I still have plenty of headroom.

Thanks Roach,I have been checking your build thread the last few nights,and I was about to post a question on it,but I think you just answered it.I actually printed out a picture of your gutted interior,just after you made a roof patch,and it appeared that the body was a complete fiberglass shell and nothing else,at least above the windows.


And yes,I realize a roof raise on one of these would be something of uncharted water,but I have several ideas on how to approach it.Luckily I am a decent fabricator and have friends and family who are world class fabricators to turn to.


If you get a chance,let me know a measurement from your finished floor to the bottom of your windows. Thanks,and 24 to 26 feet total length I think is what my sweet spot would be.
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juan Handed View Post
If you get a chance, let me know a measurement from your finished floor to the bottom of your windows. Thanks,and 24 to 26 feet total length I think is what my sweet spot would be.

From my finished floor to the bottom of the window trim ring is 29 1/4". My floor is 3/4" poly iso foam board with 3/4" plywood on top. About 1 3/4" thick total including the linoleum (so 31" to the original floor)


From floor to ceiling at the center aisle measures 76 3/4" (6' 4 3/4"). The ceiling has the same 3/4" poly iso with some light weight indoor/outdoor carpeting glued on. The original headroom after the interior trim panels and the rubber flooring were stripped out was 6' 7".


It would be very interesting to see a roof raise on one of these!
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Old 05-23-2019, 11:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by roach711 View Post


It would be very interesting to see a roof raise on one of these!

Hey Roach, while I am thinking about it, I saw a photo I believe where you were installing a heater that required you to cut a hole through everything from the outside of the body. It appears that there's some kind of corrugation material between 2 very thick layers a fiberglass? Was I seeing that right? Thank you for those dimensions that's a big help I'm kind of surprised that the windows are that far off the floor for some reason I thought that shuttles would be even closer than that.


One big reason for wanting to go with the roof raise is that I feel I need more insulation then what you have already installed. Mine would definitely be a 4 season situation. And as I explained in post number one, sound deadening is a big deal because it would be located in urban areas much of the time. And I really enjoy my beauty rest.
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