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Old 03-22-2017, 10:52 PM   #1
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The new bus, called Pearl

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Old 03-22-2017, 11:56 PM   #2
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Welcome Peach Camp

You might get a few ideas about buses here.
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Old 03-23-2017, 12:01 AM   #3
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Come on now. Spill it. What have you got there? Is that going to be a weekender or a live in? Diesel or gas? Taking any trips soon? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 03-23-2017, 04:41 PM   #4
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I am new to Skoolie and so many people were concerned about posting pictures I wanted to try that first. My son and his family bought a bus to convert for living in.
I just want to go camping without all the packing and worry about the weather.
I am very excited about this short bus.
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:25 PM   #5
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Welcome Peach Camp,
We too bought our bus to use as a tent on wheels. What you will find on this site is lot's of ideas. You can spend as much or as little as you want on your bus. Same with work, some have gone to the extremes as far as gutting their buses, changing the windows and doors, and raising the roof. Our plan is to keep it simple and cheap. I have picked up most of our furnishing from our local Habitat for Humanity restore and Craigslist. Also by not doing a full conversion our bus is considered a van and is registered as such, it also made it insurable.
I love our little short bus. It is easy to drive and I think it handles better than my parents big Class C motorhome. We have taken it out a couple of times and people think it is so cute. Mind you ours is still school bus yellow, for now anyway.
Sending you best wishes on your project,
Have fun with it.
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:40 PM   #6
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I don't know if you've experienced the frustration of trying to attach photos here yet. There are several methods that work, but most of us upload to Photobucket and then transfer the photos to Skoolie.net into your thread.
Are you having issues with this site, like difficulty signing in? You have to set your computer to accept cookies, at least from this web site.

FordBears; it's interesting to hear you went the same path I did by registering as a van. It was the only way to get insurance. Just 20 years ago I had a bus registered as an RV with no problems. Are you going with the modular furniture idea?
I'm surprised by how many skoolies there are here in NW Oregon.
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Old 03-23-2017, 11:41 PM   #7
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I just want to go camping! I will use my propane stove and I have removed a couple of seats. I have a cot but am considering a hide a bed. I plan to get curtains up this week-end.
It is nice to talk to you.
Most of my friends and family have different camping arrangements. Trailer, Camper, Tent.
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:52 AM   #8
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My family thinks camping is staying in motels and eating in restaurants, but I took them tent camping and made them cook food and sleep in a tent. They still haven't forgiven me, but they remember it as their best vacation. Go figure.

I really like this lifestyle of living in a bus, and I've been in this bus for a little over a year now. It's so cool to go places and you're still in your own home at the end of the day. You can't say you forgot to bring something because your whole house is there with you. It doesn't matter if it's raining outside because you're home. No tents or sleeping bags. No cooking over a smokey fire, unless you want to. I don't have a shower in my bus, but after the military and bathing out of a helmet for years a big bucket just doesn't seem that bad, but yes it's nice to have a membership at a fitness center for the hot tub, steam room and pool.

While you've still got the seats in your bus, if you put a piece of plywood, or several boards, across the top of the seats it makes a pretty nice countertop.
I actually went to butane for cooking when off grid. It's just a smaller and lighter setup than propane, and each can of fuel lasts about 5 or 6 hours.

Are you starting to get ideas for how you want your bus to look inside? Honestly most of us still have a one lane bowling alley right down the middle of the bus, and that doesn't allow for vastly different floor plans. It's interesting to be able to see so many builds here. I'm still curious to know what you've got in mind for your little bus build.
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Old 03-24-2017, 12:40 PM   #9
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My family thinks camping is staying in motels and eating in restaurants, but I took them tent camping and made them cook food and sleep in a tent. They still haven't forgiven me, but they remember it as their best vacation. Go figure.

I really like this lifestyle of living in a bus, and I've been in this bus for a little over a year now. It's so cool to go places and you're still in your own home at the end of the day. You can't say you forgot to bring something because your whole house is there with you. It doesn't matter if it's raining outside because you're home. No tents or sleeping bags. No cooking over a smokey fire, unless you want to. I don't have a shower in my bus, but after the military and bathing out of a helmet for years a big bucket just doesn't seem that bad, but yes it's nice to have a membership at a fitness center for the hot tub, steam room and pool.

While you've still got the seats in your bus, if you put a piece of plywood, or several boards, across the top of the seats it makes a pretty nice countertop.
I actually went to butane for cooking when off grid. It's just a smaller and lighter setup than propane, and each can of fuel lasts about 5 or 6 hours.

Are you starting to get ideas for how you want your bus to look inside? Honestly most of us still have a one lane bowling alley right down the middle of the bus, and that doesn't allow for vastly different floor plans. It's interesting to be able to see so many builds here. I'm still curious to know what you've got in mind for your little bus build.
I am with the family.. I tried tent camping.. yeah thats not happening again soon.. im perfectly happy to park the bus in the hampton inn parking lot while i sleep in the hotel room...

-Christopher
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Old 03-24-2017, 01:09 PM   #10
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There's nothing wrong with what you're doing. You're a lot more business oriented with your rig and don't have time to start a fire so you can have coffee and breakfast. You're not sight seeing so much either.
I was taking my family to secluded locations, like Hell's Canyon. It's an hour and a half drive, or more, to find a restaurant from where we went.
I agree with casting out the camping tent. I don't like sleeping on the ground. If I remember correctly you don't really have a bed in your bus, but you mentioned a cot.
I have a craftmatic in my bus as well as cooking facilities. My purpose for this bus was to avoid restaurants and hotels/motels.
I prefer making my own food and coffee rather than having some disgruntled minimum wage worker make my food and drink. I also don't like sleeping in a "public" bed. I get disgusted by the level of housekeeping in most inns. Do you take a blacklight flashlight with you in the inns? I'm usually grossed out by the remote control alone.
Yeah, all this from a guy that bathes out of a bucket.
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:49 PM   #11
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There's nothing wrong with what you're doing. You're a lot more business oriented with your rig and don't have time to start a fire so you can have coffee and breakfast. You're not sight seeing so much either.
I was taking my family to secluded locations, like Hell's Canyon. It's an hour and a half drive, or more, to find a restaurant from where we went.
I agree with casting out the camping tent. I don't like sleeping on the ground. If I remember correctly you don't really have a bed in your bus, but you mentioned a cot.
I have a craftmatic in my bus as well as cooking facilities. My purpose for this bus was to avoid restaurants and hotels/motels.
I prefer making my own food and coffee rather than having some disgruntled minimum wage worker make my food and drink. I also don't like sleeping in a "public" bed. I get disgusted by the level of housekeeping in most inns. Do you take a blacklight flashlight with you in the inns? I'm usually grossed out by the remote control alone.
Yeah, all this from a guy that bathes out of a bucket.

LOL I dont black light my hotel rooms.. i probably dont want to see all the "spots".. I do carry an air mattress in the bus with me.. since many of my drives do involve long journies of 1000 miles or more.. its natural to gewt drowsy.. I can plug the mattress into my inverter, blow it up and im good to go for a nap.. of course in cold or hot weather it involves leaving the bus idle if im in RedByrd as the only heat or A/C are engine driven...

in DEV I do have a New webasto heater for it, and I have a portable A/C that will run for a couple hours off the house batteries so that bus I can turn off the engine...

as for food.. well yeah im a Computer Nerd so things like reeses cups, pringles, MnM's, doritos, diet soda, and powerade Zero often end up being my road-trip food.. I'll gladly eat fast food.. just not in the middle of the night (its usually quite stale).. and I roll a lot of miles during the night when traffic is light, and Talk-Radio is more than just the hyper-conservative daytime talk shows... the "truckin Bozo" (old name for americas truckin network) has kept me awake more than one night on the roads..

I tend to travel by day more in winter and sleep overnight at a hotel because of black ice.. I stand a chance at spotting it in daytime.. plus more cars on road along with solar heating tends to keep it to a minimum...

tyravelling single vs wit ha family also makes a huge difference for someone as far as lodging costs and meal costs.. as a single person i can get away with the cheaper single bed room and only have to buy food for one.. one 140 lb dude... if I was having to get multi-bed rooms or multiple rooms plus feed a family of 4, my perspective on travelling would undoubtedly change... and the idea of being able to prepare even 1 or 2 meals per day on my own would be a huge cost-saver...
-Christopher
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:14 PM   #12
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I agree. I was packing five people around with me. Everyting times 5 gets expensive real fast, thus the tent camping at that time. I think that's why I enjoy being single now. I can do things again, like building a bus properly.
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Old 03-24-2017, 07:05 PM   #13
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I am new to Skoolie and so many people were concerned about posting pictures I wanted to try that first. My son and his family bought a bus to convert for living in.
I just want to go camping without all the packing and worry about the weather.
I am very excited about this short bus.
Nice bus peach. It looks a lot like mine, which is a Carpenter bus on a 1990 Chevy cutaway van base. 6.2L Diesel.

Can't help but ask, what kind of bus is yours? Year? Diesel/gas? They're great fun!
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Old 03-24-2017, 09:37 PM   #14
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Hi everybody. I just got my bus last week and got license plates today. I am thankful that I got it licensed as a truck. I could not get Progressive to insure it at all. I did manage to find an agent that would sell me broad form insurance for liability only.
Blue Bird, 93 Chevy Micro Bird. Tomorrow I will go to fill up my gas tank to find out my mileage. Good idea about the plywood, I will adapt that idea a little for now.
On the curtains, I had also thought about insulation in the windows so I will make some pillowcase style envelopes that can hold solid foam insulation. I will either hang them or find a way to fasten them, probably with a magnetic strip.
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Old 03-24-2017, 10:20 PM   #15
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Congratulations on getting your plates and insurance. There's a lot of little hurdles to overcome, but it's not that much different than getting a car set up.

I may be misunderstanding your window insulation idea. Do you mean like bags of packing peanuts against the windows? I haven't tried that method.

Last year I had purchased a number of sheets of 1/2" styrofoam insulation for the walls and ceilings. It got cold early so I started using the 4' x 8' sheets of insulation placed against the windows. By sitting full sheets on the chair rail it covered the window frames to the top. It made a big difference.

I don't like to block my view during the daytime so I eventually cut the sheets into panels that fit snugly into individual windows. I also made larger panels that can cover three windows at a time. At night I can't see outside anyway so I put my window insulation panels up in about one minute and don't feel like I'm in a fishbowl.
I store the fitted insulation panels below the windows against the wall.
Eventually the panels will fit between the modular furnishings and the wall beneath the windows. The panels are easy to cut with a good sharp razor knife and they were only $7 per sheet. In my bus three windows is 7 feet.

This was the worst winter in the past ten years and the least I've ever spent on heating in a winter. Funny how some of the best hacks come from desperation.
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:38 AM   #16
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getting the plan together now

My curtains will be hard foam insulation with removable fabric covers. I will probably attach with magnetic strips.
I am working with an idea for a table top surface that will rest on top of 2 of the seats.
That was missing on my first grocery store deli picnic last week.
It was nice to stand up and move around.
I am not entirely new to the school bus thing. We are a 3 generation family of school bus campers. One of the names I was considering for my bus was "Tradition" but with it white like it is the name "Pearl" won the vote.
This is fun and I love hearing from you guys.
I like to go to remote areas and also blues and jazz festivals.
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Old 03-25-2017, 11:42 AM   #17
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That's nice you have a family tradition of bus use. Once you're addicted to buses there's no going back. My family thinks I'm nuts. Could be.

Have you reversed any of the seats so you have seats facing each other? It makes a nice living room area, or at the least it's a good place to stretch out and put your feet up.

I like the bus seats. I'm not saying they're the most comfortable on a long ride but they're tough as nails and don't stain.

I'm planning on getting some of that spray paint made specifically for plastic to paint the seat cushions with this summer. On a hot summer day I put the seats outside in the sun and let them get really hot to the touch, then spray them. Spraying cushions during colder weather seems to let the plastic spray paint rub off over time. The cushions I've sprayed while hot from the sun hold the paint and color very well. All told I'll probably eventually spring for some of those pretty cloth coach seats someone is pulling out of a fancy bus.

I'm glad to hear you'r using you bus. Apparently it doesn't bother you to drive your beasty. That's a good sign.

I'm having more and more appreciation for the short buses because there generally isn't any problem parking them in a normal parking space. My bus takes one and a half parking spaces which limits me from parking at some of the places where I'd like to stop.

Everyone that comes onto this site lately has wanted a short bus. By time all you short bus owners buy a trailer to haul your toys you're going to have longer vehicles anyway, which is ok.

Perhaps it's mainly this area I live in, but I can't store things outside without them being messed with. I wanted to have a garage in the back of the bus so I could have a motorcycle or quad back there. A small dual sport bike would fit well, but a quad won't fit through the wheelchair lift.

I'm glad to see you're using Pearl. Any problems so far? Now that you're a bus driver the newbs are going to want to know how you do things with Pearl.
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:25 PM   #18
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I have a ways to go to be completely comfortable driving a bus.
I am considering the idea of reversing a seat for my dinette area. My folding table is the perfect size for it.
I am also contemplating changing out the seats I have for van seats.
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Old 03-25-2017, 01:58 PM   #19
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I'm sure you'll be fine driving. You just need more time to get used to it.

I tried to install van seats in my first bus. The school bus seats aren't as comfortable but they do fasten down rather well compared to retrofitting the van seats. The van seats weren't high enough to see out the windows and I had small kids at the time. I could have welded on some taller legs but gave up on that idea. Nothing fits as well, and at the right height, as bus seats. This bus actually has seat belts on the passenger seats. Still looking for coach seats that have a headrest.

Thanks for the idea on the window insulation. I hadn't figured out a way to protect the styrofoam window panels since they aren't very durable.

I was in town one day last year when I saw a school bus that was using the foil side of the insulation to cover the windows. It looked quite nondescript, mostly making the windows look black. I've been using the rigid insulation to block my windows since this last fall. I like the look of insulation better than curtains. The insulation is not very durable over time so I've been looking for a way to make it more durable but still leave the foil side open to the window. So far the panels are holding up better than I thought they would over the past six months. I'm looking forward to seeing how well the insulation works during hot weather.

It's raining hard today. Sorry to anyone in the area, cause I know it was me buying paint that made it rain.
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Old 03-26-2017, 11:13 PM   #20
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I finished my window curtains on 6 of the 8 side windows. That was as far as I could go with one panel of Styrofoam insulation. I am very happy with the results.
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