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Old 12-07-2017, 06:43 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 19
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford Econoline e450
Smile Newbie with a "mini-skoolie" e450 99' Econoline Shuttle Bus

Hey Crew!

Been loving the site for months now and finally got my bus, so excited to start losing my marbles! Although, I can only half join, only a 24' shuttle bus, not a true skoolier.

Had a few quick questions for all you pros out there:

First off, shuttle buses are a weird breed of skoolie. All fiberglass, no rivets to be seen (bummer ), a very different animal then all the skoolie conversions I've seen. Curious how much to insulate on the ceiling, it looks like there's just a weird 1" cardboard-type filler sandwiched in-between the fiberglass shells. Also, how does this handle stove-pipes? I'm thinking, just use a normal rooftop pipe-fitting and leave 2" (or whatever they recommend) from the combustible fiberglass?

Secondly, the bus has plywood floors WITH NOTHING BELOW. I was flabbergasted. There is a strip of metal running down the 'walk aisle', but other then that it's just 3/4 ply with a think black paint on the bottom. Surprisingly enough, the ply is in amazing condition for being 18 yrs old. The back right corner has some minor water damage, but the wheel wells have metal covers and the rest of the ply looks to be top notch.
Has anyone ever seen anything like this before? I'm tempted to replace the back corner and leave the rest of the ply since it's lasted so long as-is, but I'm pulling the rubber covering tomorrow, so that thinking may likely change once I get a full view of the ply. I'm hoping to get away with re-applying new undercoat paint, but don't want to seal in any moisture, it looks like what is there is breathable, so not sure what type to use. Also, do I then insulate over the existing ply (most likely 1.5" FOAMULAR). I have about 4" clearance as-is (I'm 6'4" so keeping thin is key).

Curious for all y'all thoughts - Happy to finally be posting on here! I'm just a guy with a bus, creativity, and some power tools..
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:53 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Owasso, OK
Posts: 653
Year: 1999
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Engine: Cummins 8.3L
Rated Cap: 48 Coach Seats
Welcome.

Stove pipes can go through anything. The roof fitting holds the pipe the required distance from combustibles, so if it is fitted according to the instructions you have nothing to worry about.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:28 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Cuyahoga Falls Ohio
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Year: 1997
Chassis: Ford e-350 single wheel
Engine: 5.4 litre
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We have a lot of shuttle bus people here in the "short bus " section. I love mine.. Personally not a fan of the cardboard / fiberglass sandwich construction. Mine has 1" steel frame work with ridged insulation sandwich. Plywood floor is real common. What are you going to use the bus for? I use mine for camping and towing a trailer with ATV's.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:04 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 19
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford Econoline e450
Quote:
Originally Posted by leadsled01 View Post
We have a lot of shuttle bus people here in the "short bus " section. I love mine.. Personally not a fan of the cardboard / fiberglass sandwich construction. Mine has 1" steel frame work with ridged insulation sandwich. Plywood floor is real common. What are you going to use the bus for? I use mine for camping and towing a trailer with ATV's.
The plan is to live in it full time and travel across North America. Yea, I'm not too excited about the cardboard sandwich, but I think I'll layer on some rigid insulation underneath to keep me warm in the Yukon and cool in Mexico!

The plywood on mine seems weird since there's no metal sheeting underneath, is this common with the shuttle buses as well?

Thanks for the tips, I'll have to check out the short bus section!
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:06 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 19
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford Econoline e450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
Welcome.

Stove pipes can go through anything. The roof fitting holds the pipe the required distance from combustibles, so if it is fitted according to the instructions you have nothing to worry about.
Perfect - That was my thinking as well, just wanted to confirm.

Thanks! Ready and raring to get to construction, but want to make sure I get my base right!
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:55 PM   #6
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 4,965
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 1000
Engine: 5.9
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To answer your question, it is common for some buses to have plywood on a simple framework rather than having a sheet metal floor. Your setup is not as common as the sheet metal floors. It just depends on how it was ordered.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:13 PM   #7
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Culpeper, Virginia
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Chassis: Shuttle or Shorty. Still hunting
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Rated Cap: 14 to 24 pref
Been designing and looking for the right bus forever it seems here. I keep flip flopping on shuttles and shortie schoolies myself. For the stove through the roof try this or similar:
http://dickinsonmarine.com/product/s...et-dress-ring/

And since nobody else has asked I will.......PICTURES? We are nosey here and like lots of pics. It helps us steal, improve, recommend things you many not even know to ask or point out.

WELCOME!!!!
Doug
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:30 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 19
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford Econoline e450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defjr333 View Post
Been designing and looking for the right bus forever it seems here. I keep flip flopping on shuttles and shortie schoolies myself. For the stove through the roof try this or similar:
http://dickinsonmarine.com/product/s...et-dress-ring/

And since nobody else has asked I will.......PICTURES? We are nosey here and like lots of pics. It helps us steal, improve, recommend things you many not even know to ask or point out.

WELCOME!!!!
Doug
Hey! Still in the early phases, didn't get to get out to the bus today, had to work, but the weekend is near!

https://imgur.com/zc4Iast: Filled to the brim with hardwood pallets
https://imgur.com/UhXFzrj: Handicap Lift (Looking to sell if anyone has any leads!)
https://imgur.com/kaqV3kx: Soueeetttt Easy in all her glory!
https://imgur.com/zrGEpFx: Seats removed and ceiling/wall demo started!
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:44 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 19
Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford Econoline e450
Soooo, my question now is do I keep the existing plywood floor and insulate over it. Or tear it out, weld in sheet metal in the places where there is none below the plywood, then put down rigid insulation, then new plywood floors? The ply looks to be in great condition except one corner that has water damage. Also, I would reapply some sort of water wicking paint on the bottom of the plywood where it is exposed to the elements (not sure the best use for this, I feel that epoxy paint might hold moisture in against the wood?)

Any ideas from the pros out there? The plywood has held up well for 18 years under Oregon rain, but there's only 50k miles on it, so it might probably wasn't driven too much in the rain.

I'm willing to do the work to put in sheet metal where there is none, I just don't want to overdo if the existing ply is in good shape. I'll try to post pictures tonight after work and when I get the rest of the rubber removed.

Thanks!
Caleb
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:58 PM   #10
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Location: Willamina, Oregon
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Chassis: TC 1000
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In Oregon... not driven in the rain?

I think you got lucky. So many drivers clean their buses with a hose.
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