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Old 04-01-2019, 03:56 PM   #1
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Desert Rat new to Skoolies

Hello all! Greetings from Phoenix Az. My wife Liz, my 1yr old daughter Harper and My self Tom. Have been looking to build a skoolie for years now. We finally took the plunge! I have a background in maintenance and construction. So this is right up my alley. Our bus is propane powered, 2010 bluebird with a Gm 8.1 V10 with 80,000 miles on it. As I looked over the service records. I can see in the last 5k miles they installed 3 new batteries, a starter, a radiator, and 6 new tires. I haven't found any rust yet and I don't think I will. The bus came from so. California. I would say for the 5k we spent on it we got a steal. What do you think? I have also attached my future floor plan. Any comments would be welcomed.
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:06 PM   #2
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Location: Unity, NH
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Year: 2003
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Nice mid sized bus. Do you know what tranny is in it? I've driven the propane powered buses our district uses, but I think they have the V8 Roush/Ford engine. Maybe the V10 will have more low end grunt. I do know the fuel tanks have to be recertified at some point, but someone in here said it was just a matter of new valves or something, not replacing the whole tank.

Are you going utilize the middle door for anything? Is the toilet going to be a dry flush or composting? If not, it's generally easier to keep all the water on one side (driver's side) for ease of plumbing.
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:15 PM   #3
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Nice mid-sized bus. Do you know what tranny is in it? I've driven the propane-powered buses our district uses, but I think they have the V8 Roush/Ford engine. Maybe the V10 will have more low-end grunt. I do know the fuel tanks have to be recertified at some point, but someone in here said it was just a matter of new valves or something, not replacing the whole tank.

Are you going to utilize the middle door for anything? Is the toilet going to be a dry flush or composting? If not, it's generally easier to keep all the water on one side (driver's side) for ease of plumbing.
It has an Allison PTS 2000. IT had no problem climbing the hills going home from Riverside. I had it up to 82ish MPH. It seemed like it could go more than I asked it to. Although the 5.5 MPG sucked. But I'm guessing thats the norm for a bus.

The middle door will be where my main power supply will be.
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:26 PM   #4
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Location: Unity, NH
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
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It has an Allison PTS 2000. IT had no problem climbing the hills going home from Riverside. I had it up to 82ish MPH. It seemed like it could go more than I asked it to. Although the 5.5 MPG sucked. But I'm guessing thats the norm for a bus.

The middle door will be where my main power supply will be.
Good tranny (same as we have), with lockup converter. The fuel mileage on the propane engine is lower than the diesel engines (8-9mpg), but your fuel will be cheaper so it should even out in the end.
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:29 PM   #5
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Good tranny (same as we have), with lockup converter. The fuel mileage on the propane engine is lower than the diesel engines (8-9mpg), but your fuel will be cheaper so it should even out in the end.
Ya I paid $2.25 a gallon in California
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:48 PM   #6
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propane is the only thing that would bother me.. its not available in the middle parts ofthe country near as much as on the west coast..

I do love that engine and trans.. you are 2010, it probably should have all 6 gears on it..

-Christopher
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Old 04-01-2019, 04:56 PM   #7
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propane is the only thing that would bother me.. its not available in the middle parts of the country near as much as on the west coast..

I do love that engine and trans.. you are 2010, it probably should have all 6 gears on it..

-Christopher
I was worried about this as well but I read a post on here about. Most major truck stops have propane because of refrigerated semi-trailers and RVs. Another person linked the Uhaul website that has a whole network of propane fill stations. most are open from 5 am- 10 pm. Overall I think this won't be a problem. Plus I have a 97g tank I have some time to plan between fillups.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:42 PM   #8
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wow! things have changed... i just looked and you are right a lot of truck stops have it now in more than just "grill tanks" for RVs.. cool stuff... those ford V-10s have been running propane succesfully for a long time now and are a good solid option.. its interesting your bird is black.. on the newer visions, if the bird is green it is propane, blue is gasoline, and black is diesel..
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:44 PM   #9
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I was worried about this as well but I read a post on here about. Most major truck stops have propane because of refrigerated semi-trailers and RVs. Another person linked the Uhaul website that has a whole network of propane fill stations. most are open from 5 am- 10 pm. Overall I think this won't be a problem. Plus I have a 97g tank I have some time to plan between fillups.
years ago I traveled north to northern BC and Alberta and into the Yukon and NWT and across the Canadian prairie provinces in a propane only truck - as long as I planned ahead I had no problems - I also carried a couple of spare 20 or 30 lb bottles and a siphon hose, just in case - I'm sure there is better service now than there was 25 years ago
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:54 PM   #10
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wow! things have changed... i just looked and you are right a lot of truck stops have it now in more than just "grill tanks" for RVs.. cool stuff... those ford V-10s have been running propane succesfully for a long time now and are a good solid option.. its interesting your bird is black.. on the newer visions, if the bird is green it is propane, blue is gasoline, and black is diesel..
I had no idea the different color bird was for fuel type. Interesting!
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