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Old 03-24-2016, 04:42 PM   #1
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Exclamation New Here! Orlando FL

Hello all! I'm excited to have found this site, and looking forward to talking amongst this (what seems awesome already) community!

I WAS very far along, about 2 months, into the planning stage of a modernized 22' tiny house on wheels (THOW) before I came across school bus conversions. I am now fully dedicated to the skoolie and I'm starting almost from scratch on my plans.
With the bus plan, I now have WAY more interior space, AND I won't have to trade my car in to buy a truck which will be nice. Not to mention the overall construction will be drastically cheaper.
Basically, I will be keeping my utilities the same, and will be redoing the entire layout and wall structure.
For some reason, I can't upload my photos. I'll work on that.
My tiny house plans included:
A decent size solar array and battery bank for all electrical needs. I plan on being 100% off the grid, with the option to tie in, or utilize a generator if needed, so the extra roof space is a huge plus, not to mention interior space. Not only do I want to be off grid, I don't want to sacrifice any of the luxuries I have in my house and use every day. We plan on living in the bus long term so comfort is key.

Propane for cooking & hot water and that's it. I want running water, so store and pump is seeming like the best option and I already have my entire plumbing systems' components figured out.

Composting toilet so no black water tank. (read the Humanure Handbook by Joseph Jenkins. It's worth the read, I got mine on amazon used for $0.01 with free 2 day prime shipping)

A Passive (HRV) Heat Recovery Ventilation system which requires very little electrical energy will keep humidity levels where they should be and keep the interior air clean and at a comfortable temperature. Including the stove exhaust and the bathroom exhaust fan, there will be a total of 4 fans making up the air system as of now. This might change as I get further into my skoolie design.

I have plans for a large bathroom and kitchen space. I was a chef for a long time so kitchen is important to me. I had no idea how cheap you can buy buses. The tiny house trailers I was looking at alone are $3k plus brand new.
I'm already considering raising the roof (guess it's time to learn how to weld), luckily my father in law is a retired master welder/teacher for Mitsubishi. Only problem is, he's moving to Texas in two weeks and he's busy with the move so I guess I'm on my own.

I am still trying to figure out what kind of bus to get, any input would be very much appreciated. I intend on living on the bus full-time and traveling a lot. Under carriage storage would be ideal for water tanks and battery storage to keep the center of gravity low. For Florida, where would be a good place to start looking for buses? I would imagine Disney or Universal has tons of retired shuttles that might be worth investigating. There's also lots of schools. Is there an end-all directory I should know about? I am not against driving to pick a bus up.

What would you all recommend?
How do the plans sound so far?
Any questions? I've got tons more ideas and information, and a 1:12 scale foam board model, and a few 3D renderings I've made using SketchUp but it won't allow me to upload any photos for some reason.

I could go on all day, sorry for such a long post!
Looking forward to talking with you all, Thanks in advance!
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:50 PM   #2
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Welcome to the gang! If you want a bus with minimal issues, I'd look for one in the southwest. They seem to be the most solid ones. As far as where, I know of AAA in phoenix. You can also try government surplus sites too. There are others in here that have other recommendations also.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:00 PM   #3
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I got my bus up in Kentucky.
There are good buses over at Gideons in Zellwood. Start there and Public Surplus. GovDeals as well that's where I found mine.
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:05 PM   #4
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Thanks for the info! Sweet warthog!
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Old 03-24-2016, 06:06 PM   #5
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Great information, thanks a bunch!
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Old 03-25-2016, 09:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VOMbooWOP View Post
Hello all! I'm excited to have found this site, and looking forward to talking amongst this (what seems awesome already) community!
<snip>
A Passive (HRV) Heat Recovery Ventilation system which requires very little electrical energy will keep humidity levels where they should be and keep the interior air clean and at a comfortable temperature. Including the stove exhaust and the bathroom exhaust fan, there will be a total of 4 fans making up the air system as of now. This might change as I get further into my skoolie design.
Y'know, that's a hell of a good idea! I don't remember that being mentioned here before, but there's been plenty of bitchin' and moanin' about humidity in the bus. I would expect that you would need to source or fab up a little teensy toy HRV for a 200 ft sq house. Please keep us informed of your progress on this!

Oh, and welcome to the madness. There's a whole lot of good info in the archive; start reading and keep reading. And lots of smart people who have been there, done that, and are willing to help.
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Old 03-25-2016, 11:40 AM   #7
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Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by dan-fox View Post
Y'know, that's a hell of a good idea! I don't remember that being mentioned here before, but there's been plenty of bitchin' and moanin' about humidity in the bus. I would expect that you would need to source or fab up a little teensy toy HRV for a 200 ft sq house. Please keep us informed of your progress on this!

Oh, and welcome to the madness. There's a whole lot of good info in the archive; start reading and keep reading. And lots of smart people who have been there, done that, and are willing to help.
Thanks for the input!
The HRV I have in mind i just found a couple weeks ago and it's still seeming like a good option you can see it here:
https://foursevenfive.com/product/lunos-e%C2%B2/
and the product specifications here:
https://foursevenfive.com/wp-content...unosE2Spec.pdf
They work in opposite shifts and store the radiant heat that the fan generates in a ceramic core along with heat extracted from the envelope and returns it on the intake cycle through a filter. 3 different CFM levels.
They have a shorter version for thinner walls(about 5% less efficient) and they also have an all in one unit for smaller rooms.
I figured one pair of the short kind on the lowest setting with an exhaust fan should do the trick. The exhaust fan technically isn't needed, but i want one over the range and in the bathroom. Also I plan on putting the bathroom at the end of the bus, behind the first LUNOS HRV vent, so the humidity from the shower vents out of the bus before being incorporated into the envelope air (too much at least).
I was thinking of using an ERV but they are no where near as efficient in heating, cooling, or electrical usage.
Once again, sorry for talking your ear off! cheers! Thanks for listening!
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