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Old 02-15-2006, 03:13 AM   #1
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Introduction

I'm posting to intrduce myself.

I am from Texas, but I currently live in the UK for the next year. We are returning to the states at the end of the year. Next summer, I am planning on getting a schoolie to convert into a weekend travel-mobile. Our needs are for something that we can eat, sleep, rest it, carry our gear, and use as a mobile base camp.

I plan to look for an International Loadstar of about a 55 passenger size. I don't want the long overhang past the rear wheels, and I prefer International.
I've looked at just about everyone's personal webpage here for ideas.

My background is several years driving 18 wheelers over the road, and in industrial cranes, so I know what works and doesn't in a heavy duty environment, and I plan on using this knowledge, and what I learn from here, in the design of our bus.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:40 AM   #2
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Bus conversion/info here
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Old 02-18-2006, 04:03 AM   #3
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Thanks.
I was checking out your pics. The wood interior looks pretty good. I may add that to my design ideas. I plan on keeping the coach 12v as much as possible for the electrics, except for the roof a/c(s) and a microwave that will run off an invertor. I'll use an ac/dc television and the same design of a mirror mount tv antanae that I used over the road. I use a cb antane, mount, and just buy a cable to hook it up to a tv. The reception is great, and it's cheap. Batteries will be (2) standard Deka truck deep cycles for the "hotel" side.
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Old 02-19-2006, 10:04 AM   #4
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Hi Slowpoke,

Welcome to the club, I live in Houston and I'm converting an 81 Crown (at a glacial pace ).

Slowpoke, maybe while in England, you might catch a glimpse of some conversions over there and get some pictures. It's always nice to know what other people are doing over there.

Again, welcome. If you need any information, just let me know.

Robert

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Old 02-20-2006, 02:09 AM   #5
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Thanks Roasting8,

Over here, they are more into converting work vans into campers like this site: http://www.jollyinteresting.co.uk

I haven't seen any bus conversions at all here. VW campers are extereemly popular in the summer, you will see hundereds of them on the road.

This is the only skoolie I know of in the UK: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/t.bell/bus/

School kids over here usually rider charter busses or double decker busses to school. The schools don't own busses, they hire them to save money.

It is starting to be popular here to import stick and staple US campers, usually around 25-30 foot varieties. The first thing they do is convert the gas engines to run on propane (much cheaper, gas is about $8 a gallon)
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Old 02-20-2006, 12:10 PM   #6
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Hi SlowPoke,

Thanks for the sites, they seem to be very interesting. It's surprising how well they utilize the space in a van.

The Skoolie was also interesting. I gather that the reason for not using it would be because of the fuel prices (Wow!! $8 a gallon).

I would have thought that they would have been converting transits or double deckers into traveling homes. Maybe it has to do with licensing or with fuel prices the way they are.......

Well, anyway, let me know if there is anything that you may need over here in Houston (sorry can't send you dancing girls ).

BTW, what part of Houston did you live in?
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:50 PM   #7
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Thanks. There's a site we use to get a few things from the states, but some stuff we just can't get. Like pancake mix and Kool-aide. http://www.skyco.uk.com

I'm actually from Angleton (down 288 tword Lake Jackson). Give it another 10 years, and it will be part of Houston.
Houston is more well known, so I put it for the location. I have a lot of in-laws in Stafford, Katy, Humble, and Missouri City.

Between the streets being very narrow (they still use roads that the Romans built), the cost of fuel, and the lack of places to park a big bus, people are converting vans. Another reason is that your yearly registration cost is based upon the ammount of emmissions your car or truck puts out. So a 125cc moped will cost you only $30 a year, but our 1988 Mercedes station wagon with it's "massive" 2.2l 4 cylinder engine costs us about $300 a year. Also, with a bus, you would need an HGV (Heavy goods Vechile) license, the European equilivent of the US CDL, and it could cost you as much as $2500 depending on the size of the bus, and any endorsements you need.

They also just passed a law here that if you are caught driving an uninsured car, they will impund it on the spot, and have it crushed at a salvage yard.

There is one customised bus just down the street that someone lives in. Next time I go to town, I'll get a pic of it. I think it's a Mercedes. It doesn't move very often.

The only up side to the fuel here is that regular unleaded gas is 95 octane.

For trucking information here in the UK and Europe, I recomend http://www.onlinetruckers.co.uk/index.php?name=PNphpbb2
The "What's your excuse" section has some great pics in it.

If you check out my webpage link at the bottom, I have some bus pics that we took at Aston Manor Transport Museum a few weeks ago. If you see one you like, let me know and I'll email you a bigger copy.
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Old 02-20-2006, 02:17 PM   #8
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Hell, if they had laws like that in the states; we wouldn't be driving Skoolies (talking mainly of registration)
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Old 02-20-2006, 02:43 PM   #9
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Hi SlowPoke,

I've been down to Angleton a few times (going to Freeport) so I know where it's at. Seems like a nice town and the people seem pretty friendly. Hopefully, I'll be driving through there with my skoolie soon, on my way to the beach, south of Galveston.

I was taking a look at your web site; the site looks good. I haven't had much time to look at the different links.

You also mentioned that you have problems getting some stuff like koolaid and pancake mix. Is it because of customs or that there is nobody there to take the orders?

Well anyway, you've got my email.

Got to go to work now.
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Old 02-21-2006, 03:07 AM   #10
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They just don't sell it over here. Instead of Kool-aide, they have a flavored syrup called "Squash" that you mix with milk and drink. Pancakes here are pre-made and packaged, and are on the bread isle. Fritos corn chips are another thing that you can't find. There is usually someong heading back to the states once every other month for a business trip (there's about 8 families from the Houston area with us), so we give them a shopping list. When we went back last year for two weeks, we brought with us an empty suitcase.

If we had it to do all over again, there is a ton of things we would have stocked up on and brought over. For instance, a quart of Mobil 1 oil here is about $16US. A small bottle of Maple syrup will cost you about $8US.
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