Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 06-08-2017, 04:50 PM   #11
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 6
Thanks for all the advice so far! I'm pursuing a few leads, and hopefully one of them will work out. I have a bunch of questions while I'm in the planning stages, and would love any/all opinions! I over-plan everything.

Like I said, I LOVE the Fern the Bus build on Instagram (they're also on Facebook). I'm planning on doing something very similar, but with a bathroom. They have what looks like a floating deck on their roof. What is the best way to secure it (I'm concerned about leaks)? They also have hammock poles that look to be welded on to the window frames. Is that a bad idea because of the weight, or am I overthinking it?

Logistically, I'm trying to plan out the build so I can do it in stages, as I get money to pay for it, but I'm worried I'm going to skip something and regret it. The consensus seems to be that insulation is a top priority, but what would I have to plan/leave space for or do ahead of the insulation? For instance, a rooftop deck, electrical wiring, holes for solar hookups on the roof, and more holes in the floor for propane and fresh/gray water tanks that will most likely go underneath the bus. I was thinking I could start out with a 10 gallon water container and a foot pump, but is it a bad idea to drill through the floor later for the water tanks? Should I decide if I want a wood stove ahead of time, because of the flue?

I really love the look of the metal ceilings. How hard would it be to put the panels back in, after insulating? Is putting up new metal a bad idea?

I was thinking about doing a wet bath, but will have a composting toilet. Is this a recipe for disaster? Should I just separate the two somehow?

Obviously, I'm getting ahead of myself, but I'd still love to know what everyone thinks!
Caroline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2017, 07:40 PM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
CaptSquid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 1,256
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
A wet bath? As in a bathtub? Think of the additional weight, as well as the size of the water heater. The physical size of the tub would take up too much room and you'll be hard pressed to put in anything else.
CaptSquid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-08-2017, 11:03 PM   #13
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 6
Sorry, I should have been more specific. I meant an RV style wet bath, where the toilet is basically in a shower stall - there is a drain in the floor, and the toilet and shower aren't separated. Usually this set up is when you have a black tank, I don't think I've seen one with a composting toilet. I was wondering if it has been done, and if the extra humidity makes the toilet smell.
Caroline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-09-2017, 09:19 AM   #14
Bus Geek
 
Brewerbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 3,591
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline View Post
I've discovered I'm the opposite of most people, in that winter is my favorite season, and as much as I try, I really don't like the heat. I can handle negative windchill just fine, but as soon as the mercury creeps above 80 degrees I feel like a vampire getting murdered by sunlight
I'm right there with you. Born and raised in FL. Too damn hot and humid. Passed thru SC. Took 5 yrs to pass thru. Now in MD. Too damn hot and humid here too. And it's been way too long since my last move. I think I'm part gypsy.


Quote:
Probably around 3k. I'd almost prefer a straight trade so I don't have to worry about the short period of being car-less, but I realize that's unlikely.
You can get buses at auction nearly all day long at $3~$4k even after the damn exporters go and bid them up. They generally bail out around $3500.

Govdeals.com and Publicsurplus.com are two of the biggest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leadsled01 View Post
Probably going to get flamed a little for that statement... lol
Should be a lot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
Hey, we don't flame anybody for their choices.
Just tar and feather. That's not directly flaming right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline View Post
They have what looks like a floating deck on their roof. What is the best way to secure it (I'm concerned about leaks)? They also have hammock poles that look to be welded on to the window frames. Is that a bad idea because of the weight, or am I overthinking it?
Yes you are over thinking it.

Insulate your bus with whatever method you like. You can always cut holes in it for stuff later (wood stoves, roof racks, etc.) For plumbing and electrical, run conduit. You want 37 lights in the back of the bus? Go ahead and run 37 wires even tho you aren't buying the lights for another 6 yrs. Run an extra empty conduit along both sides of the bus for future expansion; it's fairly cheap stuff. If you go to a reclaim place or even a scrap yard, you can probably get it used for next to nothing.

As for the hammock, window to window is fine. The hat channel in a bus is stout stuff.

Quote:
but what would I have to plan/leave space for or do ahead of the insulation? For instance, a rooftop deck, electrical wiring, holes for solar hookups on the roof, and more holes in the floor for propane and fresh/gray water tanks that will most likely go underneath the bus. I was thinking I could start out with a 10 gallon water container and a foot pump, but is it a bad idea to drill through the floor later for the water tanks? Should I decide if I want a wood stove ahead of time, because of the flue?
A hole saw will become your best friend. If you're putting in marble flooring and granite counter tops, you're going to need to do some planning. You are also going to need a bigger budget. Keep the floors/ceiling cheap, bare plywood as subs for as long as you can stand it. Since you want to move in quick, it'll give you time to decide those 37 lights suck and and need to be moved. If you have fancy paneling, you're wasting money like that. Cheap plywood who cares. It can be drilled, plugged, replaced.

Quote:
I really love the look of the metal ceilings. How hard would it be to put the panels back in, after insulating? Is putting up new metal a bad idea?
It's a lot of weight and a hell of a heat sink. Not very pretty either. Reclaim places will have the fancy tin cheap.

Everyone keeps telling me you don't need it for structure.

Quote:
I was thinking about doing a wet bath, but will have a composting toilet. Is this a recipe for disaster? Should I just separate the two somehow?
I don't like them (too cramped) but I have more room. My bus is 40ft. I don't THINK there is anything wrong with a composter in shower but I don't know.
Brewerbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2017, 04:38 PM   #15
New Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 6
Thanks Bob! You've helped me scrap the metal ceiling idea, and now I'm looking into other options

Here's another question for you all - I'm looking at a mid-size bus right now, with a little more room than I was originally planning for, and had the idea of putting in one of those small square walk-in tubs that old people put in place of a shower stall. They still take about 40-50 gallons to fill, so it would be primarily used when I'm somewhere with hook-ups. My question is about the weight - with the actual tub weighing about 150 pounds, and adding me in at a sadly realistic 160, that's around 6-700 pounds when filled, in a space that's only about 3 feet square. How much weight is too much? This idea is only feasible if I can find a used tub anyway, but I haven't seen any in depth threads about weight distribution. If I find one I'll link to it with more questions haha
Caroline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2017, 04:43 PM   #16
Bus Crazy
 
CaptSquid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Billings, MT
Posts: 1,256
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: HDX
Engine: Cat C7
Rated Cap: 84 passenger
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline View Post
I don't think I've seen one with a composting toilet. I was wondering if it has been done, and if the extra humidity makes the toilet smell.
Actually, the composting toilet has almost no smell at all. A vent hose is included, but the composting material, usually coconut coir or peat moss, takes care of what little smell there may be.
CaptSquid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2017, 05:37 PM   #17
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Picton,Ont, Can.
Posts: 1,730
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: GMC
Engine: Cat 3116
Rated Cap: 72
Check out fiberglass tubs to save weight. Lowes gave me one for free,full size that was damaged a bit on the top side next to the wall. That's where I put my taps and shower head connections and you'd never know. I didn't want to shower all the time. In winter a hot soak in the tub with the woodstove going is pretty close to Heaven for this old body.
__________________
Question everything!
BlackJohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-11-2017, 08:20 PM   #18
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,583
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 14
RE: gas and diesel engines ...

Gas engines are fine if you are running a 1-ton chassis, such as a GM or Ford cutaway, I would expect one of these to deliver somewhere around 10 MPG on the highway, depending on how fast and hard you drive, how much weight you have, and anything that increases drag (both wind and mechanical).

Gas engines in a heavier chassis date back to the 80's. Ever since the 5-14-88 Carrollton KY school bus disaster, they have been mostly phased out - they were already on the way out even before this incident. The fact you're carrying around 50+ gallons of a highly volatile liquid (diesel is considerably less volatile), and gas engines in these bigger buses average half the fuel economy of their diesel counterparts ... school districts do have costs to consider. Over the life of a bus, a gas engine is cheaper to buy (and in the 80's, cheaper to do basic maintenance on), diesels were still fairly new and not many mechanics knew how to work on them. But the diesels could deliver much better fuel economy and it would only take 4-5 years to offset the higher purchase cost. They had the additional benefit of lasting much longer and requiring less frequent maintenance.

Sure, there are a few gas burner medium and full size buses built more recently, but considering the relatively low fuel economy and how much less power they have ascending hills ... and the vast majority of us pick up the retired diesels relatively cheaply ... I simply cannot see a full size gasser being worth buying if I plan to do much driving in it.
Brad_SwiftFur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 08:00 AM   #19
Bus Geek
 
Brewerbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Essex, MD
Posts: 3,591
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: Blue Bird TC RE 3904, Flat Nose, 40', 277" wh base
Engine: 8.3L Cummins ISC 260hp, MT643, 4.44 rear
Rated Cap: 84 pax or 1 RV; 33,000lbs
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caroline View Post
Thanks Bob! You've helped me scrap the metal ceiling idea, and now I'm looking into other options

Here's another question for you all - I'm looking at a mid-size bus right now, with a little more room than I was originally planning for, and had the idea of putting in one of those small square walk-in tubs that old people put in place of a shower stall. They still take about 40-50 gallons to fill, so it would be primarily used when I'm somewhere with hook-ups. My question is about the weight - with the actual tub weighing about 150 pounds, and adding me in at a sadly realistic 160, that's around 6-700 pounds when filled, in a space that's only about 3 feet square. How much weight is too much? This idea is only feasible if I can find a used tub anyway, but I haven't seen any in depth threads about weight distribution. If I find one I'll link to it with more questions haha
Your welcome.

Why a walk-in tub? If you're rustic, get a small horse trough. If not, there has to be something cheaper. Never looked but I'm guessing those things are several thousands of dollars. First time the kid opens it while full, and there goes the new flooring.

As for weight, even a shortie should be good. Someone with one can weigh in on the GVWR (see what I did there? ). Anywho, a midsize will hav e a 20,000 rating? Mine is 33,000 and weighs 20,600 empty. Plenty of room for 700+ lbs. Put it as close to and centered over the rear axle as possible. Or counter weight it with the storage tank on the other side.
Brewerbob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2017, 10:07 AM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 60
Hi Caroline!

Love your ambition and hope to hear a long string of successes as you build. I have to chime in on the metal roof conversation, as I heard in a BlueBird video that the internal metal roof panels are part of a two-layer structural system (combined with the external metal roof panels) that provide much of the fore-aft as well as side to side shear-mitigation. (solid body versus squeaky and straining body that can cause structural deformation possibly causing leaks and damage)

As far as the tub, lots of people have used the galvanized troughs, sometimes with a small "deck" built at one end… when not in use a padded wooden oval (matching the trough shape) makes it into a great seating area, or if your little one is really small still it could become his/her bed on top! Just mount the crib on top securely. I have a shorty so I know how valuable multi-use space is!

My shorty is a Chevy cutaway, gas engine, and I get 13 mpg! (based on 650 mile round trip to Boise, average speed 55. Not bad!

Good luck and good for you for being willing to try this lifestyle.
toplessartist is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:09 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.