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Old 04-28-2017, 07:23 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Scottsville, Va
Posts: 9
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: Caterpillar
Rated Cap: 87
Head first

Hello everyone!

I've been creeping on the forums here for four years and finally dove in and bought a 2001 Thomas Saf-T-Liner. After my apartment caught fire and I ended up homeless again, I bought a 20ft bell tent and set up a base camp on the James River for the purpose of building, troubleshooting and living with the systems and amenities that, when complete, will be transplanted to the bus.

I'm working with a budget of almost nothing at this point, but no bills either. I have access to tools, friends and ice cold beers, so this project should move along nicely. I intend to have it livable by the end of the summer.

I'll be seeking advice on electrical and engine stuff, mostly, as my background is in structural stuff, electronics, and computers.

It's nice to be at this point, and I look forward to the input of those with experience and wisdom.

Conley
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Old 04-28-2017, 08:13 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 283
Year: 2003
Chassis: E-450
Engine: 7.3 Turbo
Congrats on the bus. Nothing like necessity to get a conversion going fast... Beer helps too.
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Old 04-28-2017, 08:38 AM   #3
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: MD near DC
Posts: 628
Welcome! I'm looking forward to following your progress. Are you completely camping out at this point? Do you have electricity or plumbing accessible? Perhaps you should go all Doonesbury on us and name the bus Walden Puddle.
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Old 04-28-2017, 02:23 PM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Scottsville, Va
Posts: 9
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: Caterpillar
Rated Cap: 87
We are currently camping completely off grid. I've started a modular solar setup and am currently living with and testing it while we work on the bus. This bus will be 99.9% used for boon-docking. Plumbing is coming along pretty well at the campsite. I've got a propane camp shower, and I'm two fitting from having my thermosiphon setup running on a wood stove to heat our water barrel.
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Old 04-28-2017, 03:36 PM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: MD near DC
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Originally Posted by Bus11 View Post
We are currently camping completely off grid. I've started a modular solar setup and am currently living with and testing it while we work on the bus. This bus will be 99.9% used for boon-docking. Plumbing is coming along pretty well at the campsite. I've got a propane camp shower, and I'm two fitting from having my thermosiphon setup running on a wood stove to heat our water barrel.
So will this tech travel with you? Are you setting it up onsite to work out the bugs before you travel with it? Or are they separate systems with separate intent?

As usual, the cry goes up - Pictures! We need pictures!
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:19 AM   #6
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Scottsville, Va
Posts: 9
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: Caterpillar
Rated Cap: 87
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Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
So will this tech travel with you? Are you setting it up onsite to work out the bugs before you travel with it? Or are they separate systems with separate intent?

As usual, the cry goes up - Pictures! We need pictures!
These systems are being tested in the open at the campsite and transplanted to the bus when the structural elements are complete. I've had more paid work than I know what to do with recently, So I haven't gotten around to more pics, but the next step is wire wheeling the undercarriages and treating for rust. I'll post pics at the end of this week if it doesn't keep raining here..
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:16 AM   #7
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: MD near DC
Posts: 628
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Originally Posted by Bus11 View Post
These systems are being tested in the open at the campsite and transplanted to the bus when the structural elements are complete. I've had more paid work than I know what to do with recently, So I haven't gotten around to more pics, but the next step is wire wheeling the undercarriages and treating for rust. I'll post pics at the end of this week if it doesn't keep raining here..
Having "more paid work than I know what to do with" sure beats the other extreme! Good luck; watch the work/life balance. Our rain stopped a couple days ago in DC; hope your weather follows suit.

Wire wheeling the undercarriage sounds like quite the undertaking. Why are you doing that? Most folk here wither put up with the amount of rust present under the bus, or buy a different bus.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:26 AM   #8
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Scottsville, Va
Posts: 9
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: Caterpillar
Rated Cap: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
Having "more paid work than I know what to do with" sure beats the other extreme! Good luck; watch the work/life balance. Our rain stopped a couple days ago in DC; hope your weather follows suit.

Wire wheeling the undercarriage sounds like quite the undertaking. Why are you doing that? Most folk here wither put up with the amount of rust present under the bus, or buy a different bus.
We've got another storm front moving in today and rain forecasted for the rest of this week as well... So I'm waiting. Ugh...

I figure I'll only be doing this once, so I'm doing it right. Wire wheeling the undercarriage and painting it with a rust inhibitor will give me peace of mind, hopefully for years. I'm going for complete restoration from the ground up.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:30 AM   #9
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Scottsville, Va
Posts: 9
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner
Engine: Caterpillar
Rated Cap: 87
The next job:

It's not really ugly, but I'm gonna clean it up and paint down here anyway. I might also weld in the hold tank mounts.
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Old 05-01-2017, 11:32 AM   #10
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Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: MD near DC
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It's not really ugly, but I'm gonna clean it up and paint down here anyway. I might also weld in the hold tank mounts.
It's looking right nice to me just the way it is! Start with pressure washing a section of the underbody and seeing what that turns up. That might just be grime over the paint it came out of the factory with.
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