Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 04-22-2016, 04:41 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 3
Talking To-be bus owners lost in buslandia

Hey all! My partner and I have been doing our research on buses for a couple of months now. We plan on buying a short bus this summer and getting it winter ready by well,... winter :] Here's what we have i mind:

Bluebird 7.3L diesel short bus (27-30 passenger) anywhere from 1999-2003 model

Ideally, we want to gut it, lay down the floor and frame a bed and wood burning stove between the end of June-August. Doable?

We also are going to install solar to run minimal electricity and a fridge.

We've talked about installing a gray water tank as well as a water tank for a shower but aren't sure if that is a task we can take on (not knowing exactly how extensive the work to make that happen really is). I have friends that weld but i'm not sure how much work they are willing to do without compensation (besides beer and dinner for a lifetime) Honestly, we can live without a shower but my partner is hellbent on a sauna.. anyway. It wold be nice to have SOME running water...

I guess what I am looking for right now from those of you experienced in bus conversion are the following things:

1) What to look for in regard to common issues with this particular kind of bus while shopping for a bus (1999-2003 bluebird 7.3L diesel short bus)

2) Tips for initial gutting of the bus (tools needed and such)

3) Is insulating a good idea? (we plan on making this our primary mobile residence for the winter & will be in cold and snowy areas in the Rockies ski touring, with wood burning stove)

4) Links to forum threads on installation of a bed and storage etc...

And anything else you could throw in! I'm still learning how to navigate this site but i'm sure I will find all of my answers eventually.

Any help is greatly appreciate!!!

Best,
Erica
lunamunn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2016, 06:29 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,607
An IHC chassis is a good choice but don't limit yourself to just the 7.3L/T444(E). I have seen some IHC chassis buses of that vintage that had the DT360(A) and the DT466. Any of those engines would be a great choice with the DT466 being the best choice.

Unless there is something about the Blue Bird body you really like I would also not limit your choice to just the Blue Bird. Thomas and AmTrans/IC make great bus bodies as well.

I would also not limit the model year either. Older than 1995 will be for the most part non-electronically controlled which does have some advantages.

Whichever bus you do choose, make sure there is not rust. Surface rust is okay but any cancerous rust is the gift that just keeps on giving and giving.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2016, 07:37 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
skoolie_n00bie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 447
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Ward
Chassis: International
Engine: Navistar 5.9 Diesel
Rated Cap: A butt-load...
As far as running water, if i figured it out...i'm sure anyone can!
You'll need a place to store it (i have a 33gal tank which will go under the bed frame/storage area), rudimentary plumbing, pumping (some ppl use foot action to avoid power usage, i have a self-priming/pressure auto shut-off DC pump), outlet basin of some sort, collection unit/grey water tank. And i'm not going to do any pvc in/out the steel body, all tubing plumbing will be hidden by cabinetry.
I'm sure more peeps will chime in soon
A sauna? i wanna see that!

Welcome to the madness
__________________
n00b build > http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/th...ily-10122.html
Not my fault if anything I post results in someone losing a finger...
Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum
skoolie_n00bie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2016, 05:00 PM   #4
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
An IHC chassis is a good choice but don't limit yourself to just the 7.3L/T444(E). I have seen some IHC chassis buses of that vintage that had the DT360(A) and the DT466. Any of those engines would be a great choice with the DT466 being the best choice.

Unless there is something about the Blue Bird body you really like I would also not limit your choice to just the Blue Bird. Thomas and AmTrans/IC make great bus bodies as well.
Thanks for the tips! I was pointed in the direction of the bluebird and those specific years based off of the reliability and power of its engine. Looking for a bus that won't struggle on steep inclines and can handle dirt roads... Like, wildwest dirt roads. We do a lot of our work and exploring off the beaten path (back country skiing, canyoneering, climbing etc..) and we want to make sure we are getting a bus with power to handle that. Do you think the DT466 would be a good fit for us?

I will definitely look into the Thomas and AmTrans/IC too!

Thanks!
lunamunn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2016, 05:05 PM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by skoolie_n00bie View Post
As far as running water, if i figured it out...i'm sure anyone can!
You'll need a place to store it (i have a 33gal tank which will go under the bed frame/storage area), rudimentary plumbing, pumping (some ppl use foot action to avoid power usage, i have a self-priming/pressure auto shut-off DC pump), outlet basin of some sort, collection unit/grey water tank. And i'm not going to do any pvc in/out the steel body, all tubing plumbing will be hidden by cabinetry.
I'm sure more peeps will chime in soon
A sauna? i wanna see that!

Welcome to the madness
How is the 33gal tank for weight? We need to be able to haul up steep inclines in the mountains.. I'm just worried about losing umpf if you know what I mean

We're thinking about doing a 7 gal gray water and 7 gal clean water on a hand pump and a separate 7 gal hooked to a RV propane water heater and pump for the shower/sauna.

We'll see if we can make the sauna work! Our idea is to make the shower also a sauna and some how frame the back end of our wood stove into it, weld some sort of rock basin on the top.. Definitely will start a thread when we get it all worked out

Happy to be here!
lunamunn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2016, 05:20 PM   #6
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 7,950
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International S3800
Engine: DT360
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
if you are going to run the bus in the dusty west i would choose a non-electronic engine if you can, though they are tough to find in busses newer than 1995.. the electronics are of course more susceptible to dirt getting in connections, vibration, wild temperature swings.. not to say electronic engines are not reliable, because many are.. but as they age they can become susceptible to the things above..

that said, I have run my Jeep wranglers over canyonlands, moab, etc without issue and they are far more electronic..

blue-bird busses are good heavy busses.. as are thomes and carpenter.. my carpenter is a 7 row and has a GVWR of 27500 so its a HEAVY bus...

the DT466 is more powerful than a DT360 .. if you are pulling hills you will want the MT643 transmission much more than the AT545...

-Christopher
cadillackid is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2016, 05:51 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
skoolie_n00bie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 447
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Ward
Chassis: International
Engine: Navistar 5.9 Diesel
Rated Cap: A butt-load...
As far as water weight, I know 1L = 1Kg and 1Lb = 0.45Kg

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk
__________________
n00b build > http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/th...ily-10122.html
Not my fault if anything I post results in someone losing a finger...
Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum
skoolie_n00bie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2016, 07:22 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Robin97396's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Willamina, Oregon
Posts: 4,955
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC 1000
Engine: 5.9
Send a message via Yahoo to Robin97396
Well Erica, you're not going to boondock very long if you only have 7 gallon tanks. At a minimum each person will need at least one gallon per day between eating and drinking. Possibly more if you want to bath.
However a $10 55 gallon food grade plastic drum is about 24" in diameter and about 35" in height. Basically counter height. Fits any budget and you can always add a fancy RV water tank later.

Which one of you was going to take that shower out of the 7 gallon tank?
Robin97396 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 01:17 PM   #9
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 1,607
In a bus where the empty weight is over 25K lbs., adding even 50-gallons of water isn't going to make that much of a difference. As a percentage of the total weight it isn't going to make enough of a difference to notice a change in the performance while going up a hill.

In regards to engine choice, an inline engine will out pull a V-type engine every time. I don't understand the reasons but two engines with similar torque and HP ratings will have very real differences in the real world if one is an inline and one is a V-type of engine.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2016, 01:23 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
skoolie_n00bie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Posts: 447
Year: 1988
Coachwork: Ward
Chassis: International
Engine: Navistar 5.9 Diesel
Rated Cap: A butt-load...
Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
In a bus where the empty weight is over 25K lbs., adding even 50-gallons of water isn't going to make that much of a difference. As a percentage of the total weight it isn't going to make enough of a difference to notice a change in the performance while going up a hill.

In regards to engine choice, an inline engine will out pull a V-type engine every time. I don't understand the reasons but two engines with similar torque and HP ratings will have very real differences in the real world if one is an inline and one is a V-type of engine.
Maybe it's not a matter of how much HP/torque, but WHEN.
It would be interesting to compare HP/torque curves for 6-inline and V8s.
Then again, i know nothing...
__________________
n00b build > http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/th...ily-10122.html
Not my fault if anything I post results in someone losing a finger...
Errare humanum est, perseverare diabolicum
skoolie_n00bie is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
bluebird, new bus owners, short bus, tools, water tank install

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


» Virginia Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:41 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.