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Old 09-07-2016, 04:24 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
Posts: 4
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3800
Engine: 7.3 liter International Diesel
Rated Cap: 24
Red face Hello from Texas

I have been wanting to convert a school bus for years and finally just purchased one. I bought a 2000 Bluebird 24 passenger bus with a handicap lift. It has a International 7.3 liter engine. I am picking it up Friday. I have a one trip permit from the DMV but am having trouble finding insurance. :/ I can't really get it titled as a recreational vehicle until I am done with the conversion right? I am nervous about the plumbing and electrical set up but excited about the rest. A few questions if you don't mind:
1. Would wood plank flooring with a poly coating over it (using mixol) work ok?
2. Would tile not be a good idea for the bathroom area because of the bus movement?
3. I am not very handy and was wondering if an RV company (or someone else) would install the plumbing and electrical work. I don't mind learning but want it done correctly... Lol
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:40 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Katy, TX
Posts: 757
Year: 1989
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner ER
Engine: 3208 CAT/MT643 tranny
Rated Cap: 87

Read my thread "Heavy Fuel" to get an idea of what you're getting into. Granted, I'm doing a full-blown down-to-the-rivets rebuild, but it should help you with some decisions.

We have a State Farm agent who is used to our wacky vehicles and got us a screaming deal on insurance. PM me if you want details.

BTW, Lake Jackson isn't too far away from where I am. There's a storage yard near Richmond that allows people to work on their vehicles AND has electricity available for free to help with the building process. I know there's two 40' spots available right now if you act FAST today.

Best of fortunes!

Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people’s liberty teeth and keystone under independence. — George Washington
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:42 AM   #3
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
Posts: 4
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3800
Engine: 7.3 liter International Diesel
Rated Cap: 24
Thanks! I will call them in the AM! PMing you for info.
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:51 AM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 4,343
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Welcome! --- Always great to hear from another Texan (there are quite a few of us here).

Regarding flooring...quite a few people have gone with various types of wood and others avoid it due to the potential for swelling up from the moisture that Skoolies typically experience. Products like vinyl plank and rubber tile are durable and will not react to water.

Likewise ceramic & stone tile. Anything larger than an inch square is likely to fracture from the flexing of the body. And conventional mortar won't last anywhere except maybe a small and very rigid countertop. Even there, you are better of going with an epoxy grout.

The plumbing on an RV is pretty straightforward and any pro should be able to provide help. But the electrical systems are another story. They can get quite complex if you are dealing with very different overlapping systems. 12v DC...110v AC...starting battery power...shore power...

Me...I'm looking for some serious professional help in that area as I am a total electrodunce. Talking to a friend with the fire department here about the local company that builds and maintains their very complex rescue and support vehicles.

Once again...welcome and best of luck on your build.
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Old 09-08-2016, 12:34 AM   #5
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Lake Jackson, Texas
Posts: 4
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: 3800
Engine: 7.3 liter International Diesel
Rated Cap: 24
Hello! Thanks for your response. I read somewhere that 15#tar paper will help with water resistance. I might look more into that. Thank you for the info on the tile and grout! Hopefully I can find some rubber tile I like. I am hoping to go with solar power eventually but it is pretty costly to start out I think. :/
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:02 PM   #6
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Texas
Posts: 91
Year: 1997
Chassis: Saf-T-Liner MVP ER
Engine: Cummins 5.9L Diesel Engine
Rated Cap: 83
Welcome! It seems like there are a good number of people on here from the Houston area.
Follow our bus blog here -
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Old 09-15-2016, 11:13 PM   #7
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: TEXAS
Posts: 10
Year: 1999
Chassis: MVP ER
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Hi Elspeth. Just joined Skoolie today. And I just bought my first bus earlier this year. Can't help you this time but I'm from Texas too. I plan to convert my bus also but need to do a lot of research first. Good luck.
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Old 09-16-2016, 08:20 AM   #8
Bus Nut
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Houston, Tx.
Posts: 300
Year: 1999
Coachwork: International
Chassis: AmTran
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 84
Hi Elspeth, it's always nice to have another Texan join our ranks. Welcome to the Skoolie madness .

i'm going to take the chance that no moisture will get onto my bus floor and am going with a wood pergo laminate t&g flooring. As far as tile flooring goes I read somewhere that they make a flexible grout these days that might work well to help alleviate any cracking.

Like Tango mentioned plumbing is fairly straight forward but electrical can be quite complicated and if done incorrectly it can be deadly. I have a build on this page called "Southern Comfort". Feel free to following along for ideas and tips/tricks on how to make our Skoolies livable.
1999 International AmTran, DT466E, MD3060
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