Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-26-2019, 10:05 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 31
Dirtbag dreams

Hi all, been lurking for a few weeks, absorbing as much as possible. I so love builder/maker communities!

I am in the market for a shorty, ideally something close to 20í. I plan to live in it half time, the job I am after is in Durango CO and has a schedule of 8 days on and 6 off, with several longer breaks a year. The on days are in the backcountry, so Iíll want the bus to be as homey as possible, but drivability is paramount, as I want to spend my days off climbing, mountain biking and skiing. Iím considering a roof raise and bumping out the overcab space for a loft. I would do this with a timber framed interior structure of 4x4 hardwood with curved, glue lam ceiling joists, probably every 3 ft? Iíll look at boat plans, as I imagine a sailboat in rough seas has much greater forces on it than my bus ever should. I went to wood boat building school a while back and I want my interior to look like a yacht anyways

I think that I want a dog-nose, but they seem rare in such a short length, and perhaps a cutaway is cheaper to have worked on, as itís more similar to a truck/van? Tires especially? I am mechanical enough to watch YouTube and fix a lot of things, but my time, patience and tool budgets are limited. I definitely want diesel, and would love to have the ability for bio. In the size Iím after I only know the Cummins and PS 7.3 are great and the PS 6.0 and 6.4 are to be avoided. I know I should be after a manual, but I kinda want to be lazy, cruise control would be amazing! Any suggestions on what transmission to look for in a bus this size, would be much appreciated! I seem to mostly see transmission discussions for full sized busses.

I will be parking at climbing areas and dispersed sites mostly, so Iím on the fence about a toilet. I donít really want to give up the space, and I obviously donít mind digging cat holes... related to this, trailheads and crag parking lots are notorious targets of theft. Iím curious what steps others who live on their busses full time have taken towards securing their valuables and toys (bikes, skis, racks) Iím debating a security door between cab and living area, and artful, metal grates over the windows that I keep that can latch from the inside. Iíll also likely have a hidden safe for smaller things.

Power wise, for house power, Iíll have solar, probably detached on mobile stands. And will hook the alternator to house batteries, as I will likely put some decent miles on between sits, but in CO, Iím not worried about sun watttage. This will be my biggest challenge of the build, as I know very little about electronics, Luckily, I am a carpenter at a tiny home manufacturer, and have access to a wealth of off grid system design/install knowledge and help.

For heat, Iíll spray foam after removing panels, cover with wood, beadboard or t&g, and install a wood stove, suggestions here are appreciated as well. Iím debating auxiliary heat, maybe even just some electric, under-rug floor heaters. Dry heat is a must with ski gear, and Iím after that homey feel, so I wonít be talked out of the wood stove, but am open to suggestions for auxiliary options, since no bus-sized stove I know has an 8 hour burn time. Cold mornings arenít very homey

So, yup thatís most of whatís on my mind right now. Other than, has anyone seen anything about creatively repurposing the hydrolics on a wheelchair lift? Iím envisioning, a powered deck/awning lift, or maybe a gimbled (sp?) kitchen cabinet for indoor and outdoor cooking.
Tawdbb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 10:09 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 18,032
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Look for a 5 or 6 window full size. That's what I'm rollin with. Bonus points if you find a LIFTED one.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 10:15 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Look for a 5 or 6 window full size. That's what I'm rollin with. Bonus points if you find a LIFTED one.
Thatís the one! The 6 window Busted Flush looked a bit longer than what I wanted to drive, but that 5 window looks puurrrfect
Tawdbb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 10:52 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 18,032
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
I haven't measured but my 6 window IC was/is 22' or 23' bumper to bumper and this 5 window Thomas is just a foot or so shorter parked next to the IC. Either are a great choice. I much prefer these to a van.
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 11:27 AM   #5
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 4,554
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
If you have some patience and I have some luck, I will have a 6 window International for sale this Spring or early summer.

I don't have all of the details yet. As soon as I get the VIN I will have more details.

What I can tell you is that it is lifted and FOUR WHEEL DRIVE.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 12:42 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PNW_Steve View Post
If you have some patience and I have some luck, I will have a 6 window International for sale this Spring or early summer.

I don't have all of the details yet. As soon as I get the VIN I will have more details.

What I can tell you is that it is lifted and FOUR WHEEL DRIVE.
Saweeet, my current home base is Eugene, or. So Iím not far from you
Tawdbb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-26-2019, 11:27 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 31
I see folks who on here think the 7.3 IdI engines are underpowered for full sized conversions. I’m currently seeing a 94 international 3600 vista with this engine for a good price, no word on the trany yet but probably a 545. Would this be an good power plant for a 5 window shorty? I like that it’s a dead simple engine and can run full bio with littler to no alteration. It’s also probably a turbo since it’s from ‘94. Any shorty owners out there with turbo 7.3 IDI’s?
Tawdbb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-27-2019, 08:15 PM   #8
Bus Nut
 
plfking's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: N.C.
Posts: 787
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Look for a 5 or 6 window full size. That's what I'm rollin with. Bonus points if you find a LIFTED one.
This aroused my curiosity....I always assumed your 5 was the same length as my 6, because of the additional 'skin' behind your last window, which I don't have. Being a techno-dinosaur , I don't do Photoshop, so I pulled up a couple of pics on my desktop, sized them similarly (roofline to bottom of skirt), and snapped a few pics while moving them around.

My body might be a hair longer, but your front-bumper-to-firewall looks a little longer than mine.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 1.jpg (136.9 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 2.jpg (209.0 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 3.jpg (219.4 KB, 5 views)
__________________
Don

The Busted Flush
plfking is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:39 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.