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Old 04-16-2019, 12:46 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 33
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Getting a bus-finally!!!

It's a 2004 International CE200
  • 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
  • Allison 2000 Series Automatic Transmission
  • 183,145 miles
Length is 32 feet.
Has a high ceiling, so no roof raise for me!

Getting it from Tony at AAA Bus in Phoenix, AZ


Went down this last weekend and test drove it. Started right up and had lots of power and speed.


Tony was a superbly friendly and helpful fellow! Pleasure to speak with!


I originally wanted an 8.3 engine, but that was only on the 40' buses, and those are just way too long for us. Also, picked the "dog-nose" option because of the approach angle and higher clearance for taking it on BLM land.


Plans are:
  • Remove the entrance door, chop off the low hanging section of the entrance, and fabricate a new swing-out door.
  • Remove bus windows and replace with sheet metal and RV style windows.
  • Add two to three lower storage compartments.
  • Grey water tank
  • Fresh water tanks
  • Composting toilet
  • Solar System
  • Remove rubber floor and add insulation layer. Not sure if I will be removing/replacing the plywood.
  • Debating removing ceiling panels and adding better insulation, and then maybe reinstalling same panels.
  • Removing wheelchair lift.
  • Adding a roof deck with fold-down rails and access from inside using fold-down steps/stairs.
  • Rooftop sleeping area using pop-up roof area to keep profile low when driving.
  • Paint job
  • Other typical stuff like interior, appliances, etc.
  • Possibly manufacture a short rear balcony, like on a caboose.
  • Mini wood stove
Bus will be used as my office/editing suite while at home (and traveling) and driven around the country during summers mainly, but sometimes other seasons.

We may wind up full timing in this bus, so I want to make it a good quality build. Drawing inspiration for the interior from sailboats and Airstream.


Should be picking it up in about a month. Can't wait to get started!
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:52 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Damascus, OR
Posts: 594
Year: 2004
Chassis: International
Engine: T444e w/ 2000 Allison Trans
Rated Cap: 35
Nice. I have a 2004 almost similar specs. 8 window not 9 like you. also no A/C! My wheelchair ramp is in the back. Got mine on public surplus almost a year ago. 4/18/18! Hope you got a good deal on it.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:52 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Unity, NH
Posts: 244
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466E (195hp, 520tq)
Rated Cap: 29,000
Sounds like a decent find. I would highly recommend removing the plywood floor. Even on buses with no rust, you will find some there. You should replace the insulation in the roof as well. Re-installing the stock metal panels might be a royal pain, but you can try. Wood ceilings aren't that costly and look nice too.
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Old 04-16-2019, 12:59 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 33
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
PS
As far as removing the ceiling panels...


Seems like buses already have insulation in there, so it doesn't seem worth it to me. I was thinking of removing the ceiling panels, adding 'better' insulation, and reattaching the ceiling panels. But that seems like a whole lot of work for not that much gain.
I figure the existing insulation is fine. I could also maybe coat the outside roof with bedliner?

Also, perhaps line the ceiling with very short pile carpet or other nice material.



Just some thoughts.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:03 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 33
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Howdy!
Mine has AC, but I don't think it works too good. I'll probably rip that out.

My lift door is right behind the entrance door.
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Old 04-16-2019, 01:06 PM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 329
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Corbeil
Chassis: Ford
Engine: Ford PowerStroke Diesel 6.0
Rated Cap: GVWR 11,500
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe45 View Post
PS
As far as removing the ceiling panels...


Seems like buses already have insulation in there, so it doesn't seem worth it to me. I was thinking of removing the ceiling panels, adding 'better' insulation, and reattaching the ceiling panels. But that seems like a whole lot of work for not that much gain.
I figure the existing insulation is fine. I could also maybe coat the outside roof with bedliner?

Also, perhaps line the ceiling with very short pile carpet or other nice material.



Just some thoughts.
Something important to consider with bus ceilings is leaks. Almost every emergency hatch leaks. My roof also had a passive vent and a bunch of antennae that I removed due to water incursion. Water getting in can cause rust issues that would be hidden up in your ceiling and potential mold issues as it sits in your old insulation in a nice, dark, warm space. By getting up under those panels you can treat any water damage that may have already occurred and find any that's ongoing. After I pulled my panels down and sealed up my hatch and such I would go out to the bus during rain storms to check for leaks. You'd be surprised at how many tiny leaks you'll get. The odd rivet that wasn't as well sealed, seams where the sealant has dried, shrank and cracked, etc.
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Old 04-16-2019, 02:27 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 33
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Good points about the ceiling and roof.

I'm thinking reinstalling the ceiling panels will keep the structure stronger than replacing it with wood. Look like maybe inch and a half to two inches in there? That's good space for insulation.

Have thought of coating the roof with truck bedliner or some other sealant.


Good points about the floor too.


I guess maybe it is worth the pain in the posterior to do!
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Old 04-16-2019, 04:01 PM   #8
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 5,811
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
The insulation in a bus is only good for about a 20* difference as well as the AC. It only needs to keep the kids cool for about 1/2hr or so. Park your bus in the sun and tell me how comfortable it is after 1/2 and hour? If you plan on any full timing, you will regret not insulating it better.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:18 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: AZ
Posts: 33
Engine: 7.3L Navistar T444e Diesel
Quote:
Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
The insulation in a bus is only good for about a 20* difference as well as the AC. It only needs to keep the kids cool for about 1/2hr or so. Park your bus in the sun and tell me how comfortable it is after 1/2 and hour? If you plan on any full timing, you will regret not insulating it better.

Yeah you're right. I live in Arizona-up at 7000 feet, and sometimes we go down to the valley, so the bus has to work both in very cold and very hot climates. I'll be installing a deck on top, which will shield much of the sun, but yeah you guys are right: it needs better insulation.



I'll do a search for insulation to see what's a good type to use.

I don't want to loose any of the height inside, as I am 6', so the insulation will have to fit inside where the stock one is now. Also, the floor will have to stay the same height-maybe sacrifice a 1/2" at most. So I guess I'll pull out the rubber mat and plywood, install new subfloor and some insulation. Thinking that if they installed 3/4" ply, I will go with 1/2" material-preferably something that is waterproof.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:27 PM   #10
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
You can get 1-1/2" of rigid foam in the cavities and have them flush with the rib. On the curved ceiling I'm using 3 layers of 1/2", because it bends to the profile easy. Some opt for spray foam insulation. It's a bit more pricey, messy and could involved a lot of detail work after installation if not done cleanly. Insulating the ceiling is easy to do with out losing height. The floor remember will have whatever thickness of insulation, 1/2" plywood subfloor, and then whatever thickness your final flooring product is.
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