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Old 12-18-2017, 06:11 PM   #1
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Location: PA
Posts: 14
Hi, I'm Greg

Hello all my name is Greg,

After 12 years of military service, I decided to get out and explore the world. Iíve traveled all over the world, too often this was not on my terms and a lot of the times I didn't take the time to soak in the different scenery of the beautiful world we live in. I have decided to build a skoolie. Iím new to the skoolie world. I have many questions. I do have a general idea of what I want in the bus. Iím not sure how to go about listing things so Iíll just dive into everything. I apologize in advance for the long post.

List:
Wet bath (shower and toilet)
Fridge
Washer/dryer combo (Can I have enough power? Is it even possible)

One I looked at:
Power & Performance:
Kilowatt Hrs. per Year: 96 Minimum Circuit Rating: 15 amps Voltage: 110/120V
Sears.com

Raising the roof Ė This is optional. I would prefer it done however I called my local welder and was told it would cost $20,000 to just raise the roof and weld the side panels. No way Iím going to do this at this price. I donít have the equipment or tools to do this myself.

Solar Ė I would love to have a solar power bus. Iíd be willing to even do a combination of solar and battery if possible.

Plumbing: I would like something so I can be completely off the grid if I wanted to.

As for busÖ

I would like a bus on the larger side. How big can I go?

From reading the different forums and from the response to my first post, Iím told that for what I want the best bus for me would be buses with DT466, DT530 or Cummins 8.3. Transmission with MD3060 or 2000 Series. The body of a Thomas bus because of the success of getting the 6th gear unlocked.

1.Buses with the flat nose, can they come with the engine in the front or back? (I always assumed the engine was automatically in front.)
2.What are the benefits of getting a bus flat nose compared to a bus that isnít flat?

Bus Iím looking at:
Mileage:140,193/Passengers:78/Engine:7.6/Transmission/Fuel Type: Diesel/Brake Type: AIR

*I canít seem to find any Thomas makes or models*

When searching for a bus is the make and model the same. Iím browsing different sites and see a category for make and model, both have Thomas.

I apologize in advance if I have any terminology jacked up or sound like I have no idea what Iím talking about (I donít). Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated! I hope I posted in the right area!
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Old 12-20-2017, 08:27 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: St Petersburg, FL
Posts: 2,327
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
Welcome!

You've got a lot of stuff in that post but let me throw some responses to some of it.

FIrst off, you mention you want to be able to work off grid. That plays a big factor in how you would build your bus. Big ticket power consuming items are not friends with solar power generation, at least in affordable amounts you might put on top of a bus. In this category we have things like a washer/dryer, inefficient refrigerator, air conditioner. Another member might disagree with me on this (PNW_Steve what's up!) but for us mere mortals those kinds of things need way more power than you can reasonably expect from a solar panel system. If you get a big ole' generator, you can trade gasoline for laundry.

Most bus engine/trans combinations are "just fine" if not amazing. Your typical bus find will have a T444E or Cummins 5.9, and an AT545 transmission. Nobody is writing love songs about them, but they do the job and tend to not break without a good reason. A higher end transmission means more than a more powerful engine.

I believe 40 foot is the max legal length of anything relatively recent. Most are several feet shorter than that.

Flat nose buses can be either front or rear engine. In general, it's easier to access the engine in a rear configuration, but the biggest advantage is that the driver doesn't have to deal with the engine noise and heat.

I don't have plumbing in my bus. We built a composting head and haven't set up a tank system (yet). It's common to have at least basic running water.

Lots of people swear by a raised roof. I just need enough headroom to stand up, and my bus has a nice high ceiling (about 6'4") so even with insulation and a floor I"m not bumping.

Remember that like a boat, a bigger bus isn't all positives. You can park a 5 window bus outside Starbucks. A 40 foot bus won't really fit in a double spot at Walmart.

I've got a Thomas, but i don't have anything negative to say about Bluebird.
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Old 12-20-2017, 09:30 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 6,409
Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
Welcome Greg

There seems to be a good number of veterans here. It only took me 8 years to figure out the military wasn't the right place for me. Yeah, there's lots of travel for what it's worth. Those same countries as a civilian are completely different.

Now I'm wanting to go to foreign places like OK and MN where english is the predominant language. No more learning how to order a beer in six languages. This bus stops frequently at most roadside attractions.

It sounds like you're after a long bus, considering all the stuff you want to put in there. Let's get you a bus, and try to let your hair grow out a little. It can touch your ears now.
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Old 12-20-2017, 09:51 AM   #4
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Location: Owasso, OK
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Engine: Cummins 6CTA8.3 Mechanical MD3060
Rated Cap: 46 Coach Seats, 40 foot
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
Welcome Greg

There seems to be a good number of veterans here. It only took me 8 years to figure out the military wasn't the right place for me. Yeah, there's lots of travel for what it's worth. Those same countries as a civilian are completely different.

Now I'm wanting to go to foreign places like OK and MN where english is the predominant language. No more learning how to order a beer in six languages. This bus stops frequently at most roadside attractions.

It sounds like you're after a long bus, considering all the stuff you want to put in there. Let's get you a bus, and try to let your hair grow out a little. It can touch your ears now.
I am English and live in Oklahoma. I question the assertion that English is the language they speak here
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Old 12-20-2017, 10:16 AM   #5
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Location: Willamina, Oregon
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Coachwork: 97 Bluebird TC1000 5.9
Let's call it variations of engrish. Louisiana is where I can't understand folks.
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