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Old 12-22-2005, 06:09 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: New Mexico
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Hi folks,

I've been lurking and reading everyone's posts and am getting more and more interested in doing a Skoolie conversion. I'm currently camperless at the moment. My last trailer was totaled while parked by a drunk driver while it was parked in front of the house as I was loading up for a trip. Needless to say, the trip didn't happen.

I have previously owned tent trailers, a conventional travel trailer, a class C and a 1985 Executive Diesel Pusher (Detroit/Alison) on a Gillig chassis. That was the only rig I regret selling but I wasn't using it enough to justify the expense of keeping the beast maintained. It's layout wasn't ideal for the way I used it either.

One of my other hobbies is breeding and showing Samoyed dogs so the majority of my camping lately has been dry camping at a show site surrounded by other dog folks. I'm leaning towards a skoolie conversion so I can custom build the layout to support me and my dogs for up to a week at a time. Given this hobby my handle has been whitedog on the internet ever since I got my first account. I suppose that if I use a conventional school bus for a conversion it will be a whitedognose. Maybe I should paint the nose black?

At any rate, that is in the future. I'm currently trying to do some paper layouts to see if there will be enough room to do what I want without requiring a bus long enough to be a problem parking at the typical show site where parking space is usually 40 feet long by 2 standard parking spaces wide.

I've been lurking and following the various stories and conversion issues for several weeks now and thought it was only polite to say hello. I'm probably 6 month to a year from deciding whether a skoolie is for me and allocating the budget to allow for the initial expenses but I enjoy hearing the stories and will be throwing questions out from time to time.

Best of luck with all your conversion efforts.

Bob H.
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Old 12-22-2005, 09:33 PM   #2
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Location: Grundy, Virginia
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Howdy, White Dog!

Welcome to the website! There are plenty of people here with plenty of answers. That sucks about the camper, but at least you weren't in it at the time.

A skoolie would give you plenty of opportunity arrive at a custom layout that would suit you perfectly. If you look at the gallery, you will find several floorplans, and they are pretty much entirely different, and suited to the owners' purposes. The hard part is knowing when to quit doodling on the legal pad so that you can actually get started on the work!

If you get a whitedognose, will it be cold and wet?
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Old 12-22-2005, 09:54 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Eric von Kleist
Howdy, White Dog!

If you get a whitedognose, will it be cold and wet?
Hi Eric,

Only if the radiator is leaking and then it likely will be hot and wet.

I have been looking at the floorplans and ideas that different people have posted. From my doodling with graph paper etc. I think that I need a working area of about 29 to 30 feet from the back of the bus to the back of the driver's seat to do what I want. I'm thinking of a twin bed/split bath arrangement with the twin beds built over the crates for the dogs. Since the crates are about 2 x 3 feet that should allow me about 3 crates per bed. I'm a bit concerned about ventilation but I think that I can finesse that reasonably easily. Do you think that a 30 foot dimension from the back of the bus to the driver's seat is reasonable? I haven't had a chance to go out to the local bus yard and measure anything and even if I did, I doubt that whatever I buy will be the same as what the local school district is using.

Let's see, if I find a flat nose at a good price, does that mean that I have to switch to pugs? Decisions, decisions. :P

Take care,

Bob H.
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Old 12-23-2005, 10:27 AM   #4
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Location: Tucson, AZ
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Welcome to the forum and SkoOliE MadNeSS!
This is a great group of folks and a vast source of knowledge and experience.

To determine our bus layout we drew an outline of the available floorspace (taking into account the wheel well humps) on graph paper, then, using a separate sheet made cutouts of appliances, furniture, etc. to get a "map view" of the whole deal. There are lots of possible sizes for most things, so you may end up with a lot of little puzzle pieces. But it's a great tool to make sure what you want is feasible.

For some areas we went so far as to cut up cardboard & assemble a faux shower stall and tiolet area -- just to make sure the ergonomics would work out. Since (in our bus) these two items will be against a wall with a sloping/curving ceiling, we wanted to make sure there'd be no rude surprises *after* they're built.

Finally, when we had a layout we liked, we did a similar operation (graph paper w/puzzle pieces) for the profile or side view.

Anyway, we're only putting in the wallcovering, so our superduper layout isn't even installed & tested. But it gives us a plan & direction.

Again, welcome!

Sean F
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Old 12-23-2005, 12:16 PM   #5
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Grundy, Virginia
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Year: 1985
Coachwork: ThomasBuilt
Chassis: International Harvester S-1700
Engine: 9L IHC V-8 Diesel 180HP
Rated Cap: 60
My bus is a 60 (child)/40 (adult) Thomas-Built on an IH S1700 Chassis. It is 27' from back door to dashboard, and about 24' from back door to back of driver's seat. A 72 passenger (child) bus would be about 5 feet longer internally.
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Old 12-23-2005, 02:02 PM   #6
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Location: Off-Grid
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Year: 1982
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Chassis: IH S1723
Engine: IH V345 Gas V8
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Hello and Welcome, Whitedog! You now belong to one of the most fun & informative sites on the web. Your official club member jacket with the stylish straps on the extra long sleeves is on it's way!

My bus is pretty much the same as Eric's except it's 66/44 passenger, so I won't bore you with repeat details. If you are considering a dog-nose, follow the link below & scroll down to the bottom of the page & click on the factory diagram of International dog-nose dimensions. It may give you a better idea of lengths and widths. (If the enlarged view still isn't readable, use the magnifier in Windows>Accessories>Accessibility to further enlarge.)

http://www.thewhiteelephantstale.com/Whyabus.html

May the barking & whining you hear not be your drive-train and have fun!
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Old 12-23-2005, 05:56 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Griff
Hello and Welcome, Whitedog! You now belong to one of the most fun & informative sites on the web. Your official club member jacket with the stylish straps on the extra long sleeves is on it's way!

May the barking & whining you hear not be your drive-train and have fun!
Great! I've got to be certifiable for one hobby, why not the other?

I'm quite used to the barking and whining. It's the grinding and crunching that would bother me.

Thanks for the drawing. That was very helpful.

Regards,

Bob H.
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Old 12-23-2005, 10:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitedog
Thanks for the drawing. That was very helpful.
Credit, Thanx, and a Tip-O-The-Hat go to Andy B Bus #9 for making the drawing(s) available in the first place! Glad to know it helped.
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