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Old 01-21-2015, 02:59 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 31
Year: 2001
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
NE Ohio newbie intro

Hi, I'm Jacob and I am about to start a conversion project.

My mechanic will be checking out a 2001 Thomas 71 seater (front-engined transit) with a cummins 5.9. If all goes well I'll be purchasing it tomorrow.

We are probably going to use it as a big steel tent and then slowly start building out.

My wife and I have 5 kids 9 and under, and #6 is on the way. We're planning on a rear master followed by a bunk room (fold down bunks?) which will leave maybe 15 feet for everything else.

I'm glad to find a great resource like skoolie.net to help us along the way!
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Old 01-30-2015, 04:46 PM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 31
Year: 2001
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
My mechanic says that the bus is in great shape so we wrote the check. I've been teaching myself sketchup and playing with design options.

We area thinking that we'll be a lot more comfortable with seat belts at the dinette rather than having 6 little kids running around while the bus is moving. Right now, it looks like we might use two of the existing benches for the dinette. They are all reinforced for seat belts.
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Old 02-04-2015, 03:20 PM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,607
At a guess you have 35' bus with 9" windows and 74" headroom. With the size of your family I would think you should seriously consider a roof raise to get some more interior volume.

As you have already figured out, you are going to be severely limited in space due to the amount of space the sleeping areas will require.

I would suggest you put the bath/shower between the bunk house and the master bedroom. In that way no one will have to traispe through a sleeping area at night to get to the potty.

Utlizing the existing seats for seating isn't a bad idea except they are not very comfortable for any sort of long distance travel. But as a place to start it isn't bad.

Most school bus seats built since 2000 are seat belt ready. Adding seat belts to the seat frames shouldn't be too hard to do. Swapping the seats around to have a couple of seats facing backwards to fit a dinnette should be able to utilize some of the existing seat mounting hardware holes that go through the floor. Firmly bolted into the seat rail and to the floor will be more than strong enough to mount seat belts directly to the seat frames and not have to go down to the floor.

If you mount a co-pilot seat over the right side wheel well you can add a fold down panel to cover the step well while the bus is in motion so that the co-pilot would have a place to put their feet.
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Old 02-09-2015, 08:02 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 31
Year: 2001
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
We lucked out with the high ceilings at 78" the windows are about 28" square (14" windows?). Raising the roof sounds pretty far outside of my current skill set...

We've been playing with floor plans and I really think you are right in placing the bath between the bunk room and the master. It also lets us maximize the under bunk storage bye pushing the bunks forward a few feet so the wheel well falls in a more natural spot on the bunks. Right now, that leaves us a 6' kitchen (12 linear as cabinets will be on both sides) and a 6' dinette before you get to the cab. We'll have to come up with something useful yet movable to deal with all the space consumed by that doghouse.

I really like the idea of a flip down panel for the step. I would not have thought of that!
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:24 AM   #5
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cuyahoga Falls Ohio
Posts: 372
Year: 1997
Chassis: Ford e-350 single wheel
Engine: 5.4 litre
Rated Cap: 12
Welcome, Where you from? I'm in Cuyahoga Falls. You can pick up a lot of good ideas on this sight.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:00 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Akron, Ohio
Posts: 31
Year: 2001
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
Thanks! I'm in Akron. The bus lives at my folks' farm in North Jackson. I'm definitely finding a lot of great info here.
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:50 AM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cuyahoga Falls Ohio
Posts: 372
Year: 1997
Chassis: Ford e-350 single wheel
Engine: 5.4 litre
Rated Cap: 12
Alright, My bus lives at my Moms house in Goodyear Heights just up the road from East High school. Its a white, 1997, Ford cutaway shuttle bus I use for a tow vehicle/motorhome for ATV trips. Maybe you have seen it around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by barbar0ssa View Post
Thanks! I'm in Akron. The bus lives at my folks' farm in North Jackson. I'm definitely finding a lot of great info here.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:06 AM   #8
New Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 8
I am new to this site as well, just got my bus two weeks ago and it lives in Madison, ohio
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