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Old 02-22-2018, 05:43 PM   #1
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Location: Los Angeles, CA
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Year: 2005
Engine: Ford E350 Super Duty Diesel
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Excited and Overwhelmed

Hello! My name is Deborah. I bought my 4 window shortie last June and am finally ready to start doing something with it. I have been lurking the forums for months now so it's time to officially join and introduce myself.

I am completely new to the skoolie community and know NOTHING about how to work on any kind of vehicle or home. I have zero carpentry/engineering/electrical/plumbing experience so this will be a slow and fun adventure as I figure out what I want to do and learn how to do it. I am planning what I think is a pretty simple build so hopefully, that'll make things easier. Luckily, I have plenty of friends and colleagues and the very vast and knowledgeable skoolie community that do know a thing or two about building things so I know I have a lot of advice to draw from.

Fortunately, I have somewhere to park and work on the bus for free so I can take my time to do it right.

Looking forward to getting acquainted with you all!
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:25 PM   #2
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Welcome

We like shorties. Are you into engine size and transmission model? Well, we're mostly mechanics so naturally we are.

Are you doing the whole enchilada build or are you making a metal tent for summertime camping? That usually depends a lot on your geographical location. Up north we tend to insulate heavily.

Good you've got people to help you.
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:31 PM   #3
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Location: Ashtabula, Ohio
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Welcome and good luck on your build!
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:38 PM   #4
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Year: 2005
Engine: Ford E350 Super Duty Diesel
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I would probably be into engine size and transmission if I had any clue what the differences are between different ones. I do hope to learn about basics about my engine and transmission (if that's actually possible) just so I can identify common problems and not freakout if I run tinto issues and all I need to do is add coolant to the radiator or something.

I'm going for somewhere in between the full enchilada and just a tortilla. I want to be able to sleep up to 4 people and transport up to 8. I'd like a kitchen area, but I'm thinking camp or induction stove - low profile or easy to put away so that I can utilize the counter space for other purposes. I don't plan on having any plumbing. Just a submersible pump for the kitchen sink that drains down into a grey water tank. Emergency only toilet type thing on board for well, emergencies.

I'm not planning to live in it fulltime. It will mainly be for camping trips and extended roadtrips.
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbyDeb View Post
Hello! My name is Deborah. I bought my 4 window shortie last June and am finally ready to start doing something with it. I have been lurking the forums for months now so it's time to officially join and introduce myself.

I am completely new to the skoolie community and know NOTHING about how to work on any kind of vehicle or home. I have zero carpentry/engineering/electrical/plumbing experience so this will be a slow and fun adventure as I figure out what I want to do and learn how to do it. I am planning what I think is a pretty simple build so hopefully, that'll make things easier. Luckily, I have plenty of friends and colleagues and the very vast and knowledgeable skoolie community that do know a thing or two about building things so I know I have a lot of advice to draw from.

Fortunately, I have somewhere to park and work on the bus for free so I can take my time to do it right.

Looking forward to getting acquainted with you all!
Here's a thought about "emergency toilets" think portacan...would you wanna clean one? Using a propane camping stove would be a good option...having the sink drain into a 5gal is a simple solution...having it recessed would allow a drop down cover and usable space when the sink isn't needed...and if the camping is stowed you could have a lot of counter...my 2 pennies...idk about seating for 8 while moving

Sent from my VS500PP using Tapatalk
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Old 02-22-2018, 08:49 PM   #6
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Welcome

It's ok if you don't know how to do this. We don't either.
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Old 02-23-2018, 10:08 AM   #7
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Join Date: Aug 2014
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Welcome!

Take a deep breath, and remember that this is fun. There will be a few moments when this is not immediately apparent, but we will help you through it. We taught a med tech by remoted control how to rebuild his brakes; we can get you through the hard parts.

People, does the Gates VIN decoder work on E350s? I suspect that the phrase "2005 diesel Ford E350" narrows down the possible engine/transmission combinations right there, but that's not my expertise. If you are willing to post your VIN here, I'm sure we could use it to give you some info about your drivetrain.
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:12 AM   #8
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Welcome Debra!!

I, too, am very new to the Skoolie.net forums and community! So much great advice already with encouragement and positive feedback! I just wanted to add even more to it (encouragement and positivity that is).

Just started our conversion as well recently. We live in Iowa and it's still quite chilly so the work has been slow-going but somewhat steady. We've got the demo completed, as well as insulation of the ceiling and sides. (We chose not to insulate the floor - not sure if that will end up being a downside, but it is what it is at this point unless we rip up the sub floor.)

As already stated by others, have fun with it! It can certainly be overwhelming having absolute no experience. I don't want to put words into others' mouths but I believe that quite a few of us are/were in the exact same boat - I know I am!

Best to you in your build and adventures ahead! Look forward to seeing you on the forums! Congratulations!!
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Old 02-23-2018, 02:58 PM   #9
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Arlington, for now
Posts: 54
Year: 1987
Coachwork: GMC
Welcome!

I am new as well and know just about as much as you when it comes to doing any work like this at all. I have a family of 4 so we have a full 42' bus that we have to finish the conversion of. Take your time, make sure it is what you want, and don't get sidetracked by things that go wrong. Thos are the best learning opportunities!!
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Old 02-23-2018, 03:06 PM   #10
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 1,272
Year: 2004
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Chassis: MPV-EF
Engine: Cat 3126
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msearslive View Post
Welcome Debra!!

I, too, am very new to the Skoolie.net forums and community! So much great advice already with encouragement and positive feedback! I just wanted to add even more to it (encouragement and positivity that is).

Just started our conversion as well recently. We live in Iowa and it's still quite chilly so the work has been slow-going but somewhat steady. We've got the demo completed, as well as insulation of the ceiling and sides. (We chose not to insulate the floor - not sure if that will end up being a downside, but it is what it is at this point unless we rip up the sub floor.)

As already stated by others, have fun with it! It can certainly be overwhelming having absolute no experience. I don't want to put words into others' mouths but I believe that quite a few of us are/were in the exact same boat - I know I am!

Best to you in your build and adventures ahead! Look forward to seeing you on the forums! Congratulations!!
If you plan on spending any extended time in your bus insulating the floor is essential. The floor will cool/heat fastest due to air flow under the bus. The main reason we remove the subfloor is not to insulate, but to discover and repair any rust damage from condensation build up over the years. If you plan on spending substantial money on a build out it would pay dividends to start with a solid foundation. The ease of adding floor insulation at this point is a bonus.
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