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-   -   1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins (http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f27/1997-ford-thomas-shorty-5-9l-diesel-cummins-2711.html)

Billsman 03-27-2008 10:41 PM

1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
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Greetings all! New here. I just bought a '97 Ford / Thomas Shorty bus, I'm picking it up this weekend and I'm pretty geeked about it. :lol:

Many have you have been where I am now so what would be the first thing you'd do? I'm going to use my bus mainly for tailgating but on occasions, take it to the lake, NASCAR, camping and short trips. I really don't think I want a bath in it as the bus is only 22' long.

Things I want to do is:
1) repaint
2) observation deck up top
3) Back patio for storage/step
4) Sink
5) Customize the interior (as imagined) I was thinking about wood walls up to the window bottom to give it a cabin look/feel.
6) I think it's called a jack knife bed, sofa that folds to a bed x 2.
7) Table, TV, stereo
8) Refrigerator/kegerator with taps that run to an outside mounted tap.

I'm going to end up painting the bus myself and try and save money along with just about all else.

Any feedback help is appreciated.

Billsman 03-27-2008 10:44 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
Does anyone know where I can find the weight capacity of the roof? Before I build my roof deck I need to know if I can even do it.

Billsman 03-27-2008 10:45 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
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Billsman 03-27-2008 10:46 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
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Billsman 03-27-2008 10:47 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
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Billsman 03-27-2008 10:48 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
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Billsman 03-27-2008 10:50 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
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Billsman 03-27-2008 10:51 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
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Billsman 03-27-2008 11:42 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
Sorry all, posted this in the wrong forum.... Doh!

the_experience03 03-28-2008 12:01 AM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
I tried to move it, but I do not have the ability to do so. I'm sure one of the actual mods will do so when they get a chance. No blood, no foul.

That's a neat bus. It's a little bit bigger than the typical short bus and certainly calls into the Class C grouping, but is way short. The raised roof is a nice touch.

I wouldn't worry about the roof capacity. How much does the bus weigh? Subtract a little from that and you have your capacity. After all, they are designed to support the weight of the vehicle in a rollover with minimal damage. I don't think you need to worry about damaging things as long as you support and gusset it properly.

Billsman 03-28-2008 12:51 AM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
Hey, thanks. I've spent countless hours here reading and reading and reading.... wow, what a GREAT place!

Living in Buffalo, NY I'm going to wait until it warms to do anything on the exterior. So the 1st thing will be ripping out the interior and taking a good look at the floor to see the condition it's in. Reading a few threads here a few guys have installed particle board over the bus floor which may be a way to go.

I recently just sold my mini bus (Half van half bus), I had a blast in it as did all my tailgating friends. It's nice to be able to go somewhere and warm up when it's raining and snowing in December! :)

the_experience, I've read a lot of your posts and have learned much from your expertise, mucho thanks. I may need to pick your brain on how to set up the charging system > 120v/12v. My amp load will be relatively low, refrigerator, maybe a kegerator, snake lights or something like that, microwave, stereo system and a TV for watching pre and post game info. As you know they all won't be run at the same time but we usually have a long day at the stadium. It's not unusual for us to get there at 5am and tailgate until 12:30 then head into the game followed by 2-3 hours afterwards. Yes, we're crazy but it's a ton of fun!

I'm also unsure of what to do about a heating system. Here's my dilemma, at many football games it's cold outside, well people are coming and going so I'm constantly losing heat, at least in my old bus. Would a wood stove make sense for my situation? Mind you I won't be camping in the winter but we may go on a skiing trip with friends but the bus should be able to handle that load with ease, it's the heat loss on Sundays at the game that I'm concerned about. I guess I can limit the traffic in and out.

Thanks for any advice in advance!

Billsman 03-28-2008 12:07 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by ShortBus
Nice bus, Billsman! I'm glad to see another person here that's about to tackle the small space/think big aspect of having a shorter skoolie. How many feet is it from the back door to right behind the driver's seat in your bus? I think for me it's about 11 or 12. Do you happen to have any pictures of your old short bus on a van chassis? That would be very interesting to see, I like looking at other short buses to get ideas. You may not be able to put a bathtub in your bus, but you can use the steps as a shower.

By the way, next time you add photos to your post, after the first one is successfully uploaded and before you hit the 'Submit' button, just hit the 'Upload Attachment' tab at the bottom again. Then you can have multiple photos in one post, rather than multiple posts each having one photo. Just thought I'd share. :)


Thank you! I'm very excited about it, I feel like a kid at Christmas time. :)

Yeah, the short skoolie will do us well, mainly as a tailgater and light camper. I'm unsure of the measurement, I'll be able to check it Saturday when I pick it up. I'll add some pics of the other bus after I upload them. I like the idea of using the steps for a stall, I was also thinking about doing a stall on the outside with a removable/collapsible round curtain rod and a flat solar container on the roof.

My other bus looks similar to yours, it was strictly a tailgater with two bench seats facing one another.

Thanks for the pics tip, wish I knew that before :)

Billsman 03-28-2008 12:27 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
Anyone ever use the Big Buddy propane heater in their bus?
http://www.campingworld.com/browse/skus ... 73:src=FPC

Here's something cool and small.
http://www.campingworld.com/browse/prod ... 84:src=FPC

Steve 03-28-2008 01:35 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
I've seen adamb use the Big Buddy heater in his bus many times. It fogs up the windows pretty quickly and produces a lot of moisture in the bus, but it does heat better and faster than anything else I have seen yet. You would have to make sure to keeps some windows open so you dont kill everyone.

the_experience03 03-28-2008 08:58 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
Well thank you for your kind words directed my way. This board is an absolute wealth of information with people coming from all over the place with all kinds of backgrounds. It truly is an awesome thing.

When you get to the point where you're ready to do electrical I would be more than happy to help you, as would any of the others on this board. We all have different approaches and you will have to find one that works for you. I, like the others, will try and give you advice and opinions based on what I know or feel about a particular subject.

For instance...I don't think your electrical demands sound all that light. :lol: I also heard tailgater. Combine this with a small bus and I'm going to recommend a generator like an EU2000i right off the bat, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

I also might recommend against the wood stove idea. They are effective, but bulky and I think you already know that space is a premium. If it were me I'd be looking at a different method of heating. Your stock heaters are amazingly powerful. If you were to hook them to a small 10 gallon propane water heater with a circulation pump and some isolation valves between it and the engine you would probably have very effective heat. No, propane isn't the cheapest route in terms of fuel, but it's cheaper than idling the engine and for short days like tailgating the expense wouldn't be great. Just some food for thought.

Keep up the progress and keep us updated. I'm curious to see the small bus conversion thing take place.

Billsman 03-29-2008 11:31 AM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
Thanks guys!! More reading to do. :)

Billsman 03-29-2008 11:55 AM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joey
Quote:

Originally Posted by Billsman
Would a wood stove make sense for my situation?

Check out this site: http://www.marinestove.com/index.htm

That Sardine model looks like it would be perfect for your bus. Also, there are several companies making pressed-sawdust firewood, like this: http://www.biopellet.net/ Looks like they would be easier to store in a vehicle than regular firewood.

Great site, much thanks! Those stoves are really compact and, depending on the model, can be used for cooking and baking. There's a couple pictures in there that are note worthy, a Skoolie with a stove and another where someone installed one in a converted (looks like a uhaul trailer) pull behind.

http://www.marinestove.com/installation_views.htm

Thats the link above to the pics.

Billsman 03-29-2008 12:11 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by the_experience03
Well thank you for your kind words directed my way. This board is an absolute wealth of information with people coming from all over the place with all kinds of backgrounds. It truly is an awesome thing.

When you get to the point where you're ready to do electrical I would be more than happy to help you, as would any of the others on this board. We all have different approaches and you will have to find one that works for you. I, like the others, will try and give you advice and opinions based on what I know or feel about a particular subject.

For instance...I don't think your electrical demands sound all that light. :lol: I also heard tailgater. Combine this with a small bus and I'm going to recommend a generator like an EU2000i right off the bat, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there.

I also might recommend against the wood stove idea. They are effective, but bulky and I think you already know that space is a premium. If it were me I'd be looking at a different method of heating. Your stock heaters are amazingly powerful. If you were to hook them to a small 10 gallon propane water heater with a circulation pump and some isolation valves between it and the engine you would probably have very effective heat. No, propane isn't the cheapest route in terms of fuel, but it's cheaper than idling the engine and for short days like tailgating the expense wouldn't be great. Just some food for thought.

Keep up the progress and keep us updated. I'm curious to see the small bus conversion thing take place.

You're welcome.

I've been eying the Honda gens as of late (ebay) and I'm impresses with it's size, weight, shape and noise level. (Maybe it's time to start dropping hints to the better half)...

Has anyone been to the http://www.CampingWorld.com web site? They have a lot of cool things there.

I'm leaning away from the wood stoves, due to the size and I have a slight fear of over firing not to mention fire. :shock:
Where can I go to learn more about the propane water heaters? I'll google it and do some reading. As you know, I'm only going to use the heater a couple Sundays in November and December but on those days would like the heater on and be able to walk away from the bus (mingle) and not worry about any hazards.

I'll be sure and keep the step by step pics updated here. We were supposed to pick the bus up today but the owner (very very nice) went through it and decided to replace the brake lines and other fittings for me. He wanted to make sure the bus was 100%. He stated they had her out and about the past week with absolutely no problems until he "felt" something with the brakes. He said they would have been fine but decided to make the repair anyway.

It's nice to know there are still honest people out there. :)

oldog12 03-29-2008 01:04 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
For heating... Check these guys out, they have a few "other" perspectives...

http://cruisingresources.com/Heating_the_Boat__p3

Billsman 03-29-2008 01:09 PM

Re: 1997 Ford - Thomas shorty 5.9l Diesel Cummins
 
Heater links

http://www.ducktec.com/hydroflame-furnaces.html
http://www.ducktec.com/index.htm


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