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Old 04-12-2020, 05:31 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East Texas
Posts: 19
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 37' FE Flatnose
Engine: 466DT
First bus. Overwhelmed.

We just bought our first bus (2002 37' diesel International FE flat nose with a 466DT 5 speed Turbo with about 112, 000 miles). But now I'm panicking, thinking what the heck have I got myself into and can I do this?'. Even though he laughed and agreed to it, my husband has told me this is my project, not his.

I have some questions:
1. I've read that people remove and flip the windows. Why remove them? Why not just leave them alone? I know I'll need to lose a few windows, but want to keep as many as I can.

2. Are these buses good buses? Good to convert into skoolie? My son is a truck driver and drove it home for me. He checked it out well, said it seemed to be a great bus, and drove well. He also said I was out of my mind, but knowing me, he was not surprised I'd choose to do a project like this and was creative, smart, and stubborn enough to turn it into something special. lol

3. The bus has two factory air conditioners--one in the back and one on the passenger side a few feet back from the door. They said both worked, but the back one made a rattling noise that would need to be checked out. However my son (that drove it 3 1/2 hours home), said if they did work, it was not well, as he was REALLY HOT driving it home. I plan on stripping out the floor, walls, and ceiling and insulating everything really well. What else can I do to make it comfortable (cool)? We live in east Texas, where the summer heat is brutal.

4. What is the best paint and primer to use for the outside? Top coat? Brush, roll, spray? I want it to look good and to last.

5. I would like to have solar, but know absolutely nothing about it. How many panels do I need? What all else do I need? How hard is it to set it up yourself?

Thanks! Right now I'm feeling overwhelmed and a little terrified, but also excited. I feel like I just started researching if I really wanted to Reno a skoolie, but this great bus just fell in our lap and I jumped on it.
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Old 04-12-2020, 06:03 PM   #2
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1. You can keep the windows. It’s helpful to know if they leak. You’ll know when you tear out the inside

2. Sounds like a good bus to me. One crucial determining factor is whether it has rust. If it does, careful inspection needs to be done to decide if it’s worth it

3. Someone else might be able help

4. A couple choices are implement paint like rustoleum or boat paint, or get single stage automotive paint.

5. You need to make an electrical budget to know what you need. There’s lots of k knowledge on this site, but you need to know if you’re just running a few lights or you want to run washing machines and microwaves.

Before you start in on this project. You should very carefully lay out your expectations for the finished product and make a decision of whether to proceed based on financial and time budget, space to work on it, and skill level.

You will be much more successful if your husband is emotionally invested in the project too. There are lots of great skoolie tours on YouTube that can help
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Old 04-12-2020, 06:07 PM   #3
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Location: Suburbs of Winterset, OH
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Year: 2005
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Chassis: FS65
Engine: Mercedes 6.4L
You can find the answers to many questions by searching the this forum's "how to" sections.
Yep...it can be over whelming, the key is to take 1 step at a time and be able to just step away when you need to. It's not a overnight project.
oh, I almost forgot, yep, you're probably somewhat crazy to do this, but you're in good company!
As far as paint...just remember that a successful paint job depends on proper surface preparation...
Good luck, enjoy the adventure and post pics of the build, we like pics!
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Old 04-12-2020, 06:37 PM   #4
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Engine: Cummins 5.9 24v
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Welcome aboard! A little crazy is good around here (=


1. The only reason I saw people flipping windows was for screens or something. I don't know, I plan on doing something for screens but definitely not flipping them. You might want to take them each out and reseal them to eliminate leaks. Then again you may opt to raise the roof, that's something else I decided against personally. If I were an inch taller than 5'10" I might have though.

2. I don't know. It's low mileage and pre 2004 so you're in good shape there. After 5 posts you can submit pictures. Regulations started changing in 2004 on diesel engines to make them better for the environment. Those changes come with a real set of problems. Look for rust, and if you see any be prepared to find more hiding.

3. I'm in the Southeast with a bus that has no air conditioning. It can be brutal to work inside it. I just got some venting and some fans in and some insulation, and that all helps. many on here will say to fix it not remove it. Unless you're moving to Wisconsin maybe.

4. There's many painting options. You will research and discover which works best for you.

5. Solar is a big scary hurdle for me too. There is so much information to learn! But everybody here learns it. Once you establish your electrical usage, and then establish what you need to supply those needs, it will start to fall into place.

Good luck! Enjoy the process. Except for tearing out the seats. You don't have to enjoy that part of it.
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Old 04-12-2020, 06:47 PM   #5
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1. You can keep your windows. I gutted my bus in the middle of winter, and the first time I sat down in my one remaining seat and was able to look all around me 360 degrees, I knew I was keeping them all. They're single-paned and a huge source of heat loss (or heat gain in Texas) so you need to do something like removable foam insulation that you can cover them with as needed. You also for sure will need to take them all out, clean them and re-set them in place with proper sealant (but it's not that difficult).

2. The particular bus you got is a fantastic, excellent bus for a skoolie (assuming it's not rusty), based just on what you listed here. Whether or not building a skoolie at all is sane or sensible, at least you picked good starter material.

3. There are a lot of threads here on removing the air conditioners (also discussing whether you should remove them at all). Generally, they're a pain to remove but they can only be used while you're driving (so for living somewhere you need AC that runs off shore power). Only other thing you can do in Texas is make sure you're parked in the shade; if there're no trees around you have to build a canopy of sorts.

I've got nothing after these three. Building a skoolie is a fun project but exhausting, and it will almost certainly not prove to be financially sensible. But if you complete it, it's certainly something to be immensely proud of and enjoy for years.
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Old 04-12-2020, 06:56 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East Texas
Posts: 19
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 37' FE Flatnose
Engine: 466DT
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
1. You can keep the windows. It’s helpful to know if they leak. You’ll know when you tear out the inside

2. One crucial determining factor is whether it has rust. If it does, careful inspection needs to be done to decide if it’s
5. You need to make an electrical budget to know what you need. There’s lots of k knowledge on this site, but you need to know if you’re just running a few lights or you want to run washing machines and microwaves.
Before you start in on this project. You should very carefully lay out your expectations for the finished product and make a decision of whether to proceed based on financial and time budget, space to work on it, and skill level.

You will be much more successful if your husband is emotionally invested in the project too. There are lots of great skoolie tours on YouTube that can help
1. & 2. No rust thus far, although I'm sure there'll be some under some of the windows and/or the plywood floor. It was originally bought from a school here in Texas (so not from an area that salts roads). My son looked all underneath the bus and couldn't find any rust at all there. The day we picked it up, it had been raining all day and was still raining some when we picked it up. We all looked the inside over and couldn't find any water leaks or rust, so if there is any rust it's inside the walls. We pressured washed it today, purposely spraying around the windows and couldn't find any leaks.

5. We'd be running lights, microwave, fridge, stove, one or two roof air conditioners, and heat (will probably have wood/pellet heater, as well as a small electric heater). If we can fix the factory air conditioners, I'd like to, but still want one or two roof top air conditioners for when we are parked. The guy we bought it from said the factory air conditioners did work, but the back one made a rattling noise. My son that drove it home, said that if the air conditioners worked, they did not work well, as the bus was really hot driving home.

We'd be paying for things as we go (no rush), I'm retired so have lots of time, we have a large parking area beside our house and also own the empty lots both beside and behind our house, so space is not an issue.

My husband and one of my sons have said they'll help with things I need help with and I know once he gets started he'll get emotionally invested. It's just the way he is.
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Old 04-12-2020, 07:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie01 View Post
We just bought our first bus (2002 37' diesel International FE flat nose with a 466DT 5 speed Turbo with about 112, 000 miles). But now I'm panicking, thinking what the heck have I got myself into and can I do this?'. Even though he laughed and agreed to it, my husband has told me this is my project, not his.
I have a 1999 37' Diesel International RE, and a build thread under my name.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie01 View Post
1. I've read that people remove and flip the windows. Why remove them? Why not just leave them alone? I know I'll need to lose a few windows, but want to keep as many as I can.
I intended to keep my windows when I bought the bus, but changed my mind when I found that they leaked no matter how much sealant I piled up around the edges. By the time I was fed up with drippy drip everywhere I had learned that its basically impossible to insulate them.

If you want a climate controlled bus, remove as many of the stock windows as you possibly can. Virtually anything you replace them with will be better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie01 View Post
2. Are these buses good buses? Good to convert into skoolie? My son is a truck driver and drove it home for me. He checked it out well, said it seemed to be a great bus, and drove well. He also said I was out of my mind, but knowing me, he was not surprised I'd choose to do a project like this and was creative, smart, and stubborn enough to turn it into something special. lol
I have the Allison 545 transmission which seems universally undesirable around here- I paid the previous owner drove it to me cross country from Utah to NH. Not sure which you have, but if mine will do the job, likely so will yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie01 View Post
3. The bus has two factory air conditioners--one in the back and one on the passenger side a few feet back from the door. They said both worked, but the back one made a rattling noise that would need to be checked out. However my son (that drove it 3 1/2 hours home), said if they did work, it was not well, as he was REALLY HOT driving it home. I plan on stripping out the floor, walls, and ceiling and insulating everything really well. What else can I do to make it comfortable (cool)? We live in east Texas, where the summer heat is brutal.
As I said above, if you want climate control, remove those windows. The factory AC is going to be rather extreme- necessary for at-speed cabin cooling. Think twice before removing them, but you may want to consider an alternative form of AC while parked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie01 View Post
5. I would like to have solar, but know absolutely nothing about it. How many panels do I need? What all else do I need? How hard is it to set it up yourself?
Start by identifying the specifics of what you want to do with solar- what appliances you want to power and for how long, how you intend to use the electrical day-to-day. Write it all down and organize it by appliance + time that appliance runs each day. If you don't know you can ask for a decent average, or buy a device that measures how much the appliance uses in a given day.

Solar is kind of my forte and I knew close to nothing about it going into it. Don't rush into a system- start with requirements/what you want to do with it. Feel free to PM me or start a thread to ask questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie01 View Post
Thanks! Right now I'm feeling overwhelmed and a little terrified, but also excited. I feel like I just started researching if I really wanted to Reno a skoolie, but this great bus just fell in our lap and I jumped on it.
Once we had decided on a bus, it would be a month before it arrived at our home. In that time I arranged for a new spot to be paved in our yard for it to park. It was a massive amount of work overall even before it got here- and when it arrived it was surreal. I've never owned a piece of equipment that large and I wondered what I had gotten myself into.

Don't be intimidated, just get ready to learn a ton, and for some insanely fun/frustrating times.
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Old 04-12-2020, 07:06 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East Texas
Posts: 19
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 37' FE Flatnose
Engine: 466DT
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDSquared View Post
Welcome aboard! A little crazy is good around here.

Then again you may opt to raise the roof, that's something else I decided against personally. If I were an inch taller than 5'10" I might have though.

Good luck! Enjoy the process. Except for tearing out the seats. You don't have to enjoy that part of it.
I'm 5'6" and my husband is 5'9". Roof seems plenty tall (even considering framing, new insulation, new plywood subflooring, and flooring for the floor and insulation and new ceiling for the ceiling.

Actually we removed half the seats this afternoon. They really weren't that hard. Hopefully we'll get the rest out tomorrow afternoon and be able to get some of the floor up, to see what it looks like under there. We know there is no rust under the bus, so even if there is some under the old plywood, it didn't go all the way through. So far, so good. Hopefully our luck holds and there'll be little to no rust. We've looked the bus over from top to bottom and haven't found any so far.

When I went outside this afternoon to work on getting the decals off, my husband and son followed me out and said they were going to see how hard the seats were to get out. They then proceeded to remove half of them, while I worked on the decals. I knew my husband would get interested in it, once I started. I didn't even have to ask him. lol

By the way a heat gun and eraser wheel work great for the decals. The heat gun makes the decals easy to pull off and the eraser wheels gets rid of the sticky residue that's left.

I forgot to mention our windows are tinted, so that may help with the temperature. I know that front engine in the flat nose is going to increase the heat factor though, but I wanted a front engine because I want to build like a 30" garage in the back to hold chairs, grill, and stuff.

Also the reason the mileage is so low and it's so clean, is that it was an activity bus, so not used that much.
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Old 04-12-2020, 07:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie01 View Post
Actually we removed half the seats this afternoon. They really weren't that hard. Hopefully we'll get the rest out tomorrow afternoon and be able to get some of the floor up, to see what it looks like under there. We know there is no rust under the bus, so even if there is some it didn't go all the way through.
Texas bus isn't going to have any significant rust. You picked a great bus, sounds like.

A tip for the floor removal: get a circular saw with a demo blade set to just less than 3/4" (the thickness of the plywood layer of the floor) and make cuts side-to-side and front-to-back every foot or so, dividing the floor into a grid of squares. Then you can easily pry each square out one at a time with a long pry bar.
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Old 04-12-2020, 07:47 PM   #10
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East Texas
Posts: 19
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 37' FE Flatnose
Engine: 466DT
Quote:
Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Texas bus isn't going to have any significant rust. You picked a great bus, sounds like.

A tip for the floor removal: get a circular saw with a demo blade set to just less than 3/4" (the thickness of the plywood layer of the floor) and make cuts side-to-side and front-to-back every foot or so, dividing the floor into a grid of squares. Then you can easily pry each square out one at a time with a long pry bar.
Sounds good. I have a wood shop in my backyard, so probably have alot of the tools I'll need. I definitely have a couple circular saws and several pry bars out there (as well as jig saws, band saw, scroll saw, miter saw, table saw, nailers, staplers, drills, impact drill, angle drill, air compressor, keg jeg, grinders, smallish welder, paint sprayer, brushes, rollers, chisels, screwdrivers, sockets, sanders, tons of sandpaper, all kinds of drill bits, nails and screws, etc).
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Old 04-12-2020, 07:48 PM   #11
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eehhh maggie

1) remove or flip windows... why? well, the window are not very good at keeping the heat inside on cold days, or keeping the heat out on hot days. It is easier for most folks to deal with the problem by just eliminating windows.

Flip a window? well so that you can raise one up and if it does not stay up.... it falls closed.... If you leave the window they are now.... they fall open and will not stay shut...... See?

One of the problems most of us have with school bus window is water..... some water leaks in between the aluminum window frame the body of the bus. So, in order to really fix it, you have to take out the window, clean, I mean really clean all the old sealer off, reseal the window and then reinstall. And then you can have the window frame sweat when it gets cold outside and it is warm and humid inside...like you get water on the outside of a glass of iced tea in the summer time. and then you can get water in around the glass itself..... Alot of work to keep water out so that later, you dont have a mold problem with the wood and fabric most of the skoolies end up with inside.

2) is it a god bus to convert? Geez that is like asking if blue is a good colour. You ask fifteen people this question you will get sixteen different answers. The engine transmission combination is usually thought of as " one of the best" you could end up with. The engine in the front end like that, can make some kinds of repairs and work on the engine cost more in labor because some stuff is more difficult to remove and replace... some things are easier to remove and replace.... Over all I think you will find it can be pretty decent and many many trucks have the dt466e under the hood, so finding a truck mechanic that can work on them should not be difficult. The transmission is used by many motorhomes, school busses, and trucks, so that should be doable too. They are not cheap to have work done. Spend time reading about all the failures that have left people out of cash and have to walk away from the bus... Happens all the time. Be prepared for problems. Read why they happen and maybe you can avoid some of them. Learn how to drive to make the engine happy and in hills to keep the brakes happy. Short answer -- yes a good bus to have.... You might be a little long for some places... check into it... seems some parks have a length limit. and many RV park places will not have you in..... many deem busses "not welcome"

3) just about any car mechanic worth a dam should be able to work on the airconditioners... I think in Texas you will find places that specialize in air conditioner work.... hundreds of possibilities as to what is happening... also places that sell air conditioning systems for things like grey hound busses and rv places should be able to work on them... out side the top painted a gloss white and kept clean will reflect the most heat... if you mount solar panels about two inches from the roof ... you then have a built in shady spot. That bus is big enough, if you cover the entire roof with solar panels and have enough batteries and all the correct control equipment.... you should be able to run air conditioning off the solar only. Seems like the most efficient way to do this at this moment in time something called "mini splits"

find you tube guy called "bus grease monkey" he has newly installed solar and is running his AC off solar only and an electric stove and is keeping batteries charged up too.

You will hear the word " thermal bridge" learn what that is. Double pane windows might be something to look at. I am going to look at triple laminated glass vs double pane..... I am wanting to keep all my bus windows but I would also like to keep it at 78 degrees when it is 100 degrees or more outside....

4) paint.... well if you stand 20 feet away it is really hard to tell how you painted a bus.... stick with paints meant for metals, like car paints - the most expensive--- and maybe the most durable ... or "tractor paint" cheap but can take forever to dry. House paint, meant for wood? well, yea you can do it, no it aint gonna work the best. But it has been done... saw one done with brushes .. peach latex house paint...

If you are going to be in this rig for the next twenty or thirty years.... stopping rust might get to be an important issue. You gonna use it ten years and unload it? hell might take a while to rust away.....

The difference in most any paint job I have ever seen is how well it is "prepped" no . you dont have to take the old paint off, but you do have to see that it is good for the new paint to stick to..... that means clean, clean clean, any spot you dont get "scuffed" "sanded" or "prepped" the new paint is not likely to stick... any rust to dont get gone will show up under the new paint.... sooner or later...

You are going to read some books on paint, watch hours of you tube videos on painting cars and boats... metal boat have a lot in common with busses by the way.

You can ask all you want, in the end you are the one that is going to have to decide what you are going to do ..

another option is called a "wrap" like a giant shrink wrap for the bus... my experience is ... they only look really good for about five years out in the weather... then it is time to do it again... a really good paint job? three decades...

5) solar.... If you want to be "free" of generators, and power cords.... buy as much wattage and "house" batteries as you can afford. You can put enough on your roof You might be able to go for a week with out sunlight and still do okay.... This is not cheap... some of the best batteries out there right now.... are $1000 each and it is easy to use 8 of them..... then the solar panels, the charge controllers, some thing called inverters, then you have to decide to base on 12 volt system 24 volt system or 48 volt system.... all different not better or worse just different... IF you were my best friend,,,, I think I would try to talk you into 24 volt or 48 volt system... This could very easy be the most expensive thing you do.... but it is also one of the things that can be done in steps and you dont have to do this all at once....


telephone if you want to talk any of this stuff out...

william 785 207 7600 kansas
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:15 PM   #12
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Sounds like a good bus.
Heat gun and eraser wheel! you've done your homework!
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Old 04-12-2020, 08:29 PM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East Texas
Posts: 19
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 37' FE Flatnose
Engine: 466DT
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Sounds like a good bus.
Heat gun and eraser wheel! you've done your homework!
Actually I already had the heat gun and I bought the eraser wheel the day after we brought the bus home.
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Old 04-12-2020, 09:31 PM   #14
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Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: East Texas
Posts: 19
Year: 2002
Coachwork: International
Chassis: 37' FE Flatnose
Engine: 466DT
magnakansas;380693]1)
OK. Flipping makes sense. As I said, windows do not appear to leak (unless they are leaking inside the walls) and they are also tinted. Plus, I'm thinking about tinting them even darker (like a limo tint).

One of the problems most of us have with school bus window is water.....
looks like we'll be getting a dehumidifier

2) Actually both my sons and my are husband are pretty good mechanics. We'll be keeping an eye on everything and will of course stay on top of oil, fluid changes, belts, tires, etc. Also we already own a 2019 bumper pull that we'll use for parks that have restrictions. The bus will be used mainly for boondocking. I really just want to see if I can Reno a bus. lol

3) Yeah, I've heard of mini splits. There is a guy I watch on youtube (Camperman Kevin) that put a mini split in his Class C. Even if we can get the factory air conditioners fixed, I still want at least one other air conditioner to use when we are parked and as a back up. I want enough solar that I can run everything we need. We plan on painting the roof with a white elastomeric paint.

I've heard of "thermal bridge" and plan on learning more.

4) paint... I would never use house paint on metal. lol. With tractor paint we wouldn't have a very big selection of colors. I believe Sherwin Williams makes a good metal paint, but was unsure if I should use that or regular automotive paint. Also not sure if I should brush, roll, or spray. Which looks better?

Not sure how long we'll keep the bus. It's doing the projects I enjoy.
I do woodwork, so know how important prep work is, when it comes to painting. I'm just not used to painting metal. I know I need to clean, scruff it up with a fine grit sandpaper, clean, prime, resand, clean again, paint, again lightly sand and paint again. Just not sure what primer or paint to use. Also if clearcoat is necessary.
Actually my son has a friend who applies wraps on automobiles for a living, so I was already thinking about using a wrap for the bus.

5) solar....

This is what I want to do and know it would have to be done in steps as I want to make sure I have plenty. I don't understand 12, 24, 48 volt systems though. What is the difference as far as power, other items needed, price?

Thanks for all the info! Alot to think about.
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Old 04-13-2020, 09:37 AM   #15
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Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,178
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner FS-65
Engine: 7.2L Cat 3126 turbo diesel
Rated Cap: 71 passenger 30,000 gvwr
Sounds like you know your way around tools, and you've already gotten a ton of good advice here.

To not be overwhelmed -- list out your main projects: paint. solar. hvac. etc.
Each one of those has a list of sub-projects starting with the research of "how to" and determining your goals for that project. (so, designing ac for a bus being used in new england may be different for one used in the desert)

Paint -- great example of how much money do you wanna spend? If your friend can give you a guesstimate on a wrap I'd love to know it.
Rustoleum Implement paint can be mixed for custom colors. Add a hardener to the paint.
I would use a roller cause a brush will take you forever...
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Old 04-13-2020, 10:17 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggie01 View Post
5) solar....

This is what I want to do and know it would have to be done in steps as I want to make sure I have plenty. I don't understand 12, 24, 48 volt systems though. What is the difference as far as power, other items needed, price?
I started with 12V, quickly bumped to 24V and just recently bumped to 48V as my solar array increased. If you start with 12V batteries, you can experiment with that configuration and later reconfigure to a higher voltage if you find it necessary. It is the most simple to implement and will help you learn your needs. The size of your solar array is a good benchmark for what voltage you'll want. Once you start getting above 1200W in panels, I'd say you start to see a benefit of bumping up to 24V. Beyond 2400W, bumping to 48V may be beneficial.

Start small and with 12V, doing so is safe and will not limit your choices going forward.

If you to run things like air conditioning off of solar, keep in mind you will need a fairly big system. If you want, I can explain Voltage, Amperage, Wattage, how to measure things, etc. I think its fairly important to start with components you can easily monitor as it will help you understand everything that is going on within the system.
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Old 04-14-2020, 02:01 AM   #17
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,674
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Wise words.
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2020, 09:06 AM   #18
New Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Round Rock TX
Posts: 1
Year: 2001
Coachwork: NABI
Smile 2001 nabi low floor

I just recently bought at 20:01 North American bus industries commuter bus from San Antonio and it has a 5.9 , 24 valve, Cummins twin turbo with Allison transmission. I'm having a hard time figuring out the non-essential wiring removing things I don't need.

I'm looking for someone to either show me how to do or remove wiring I'm not mechanical with diesels but I definitely want to learn how.

Also the tools needed.
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MCcrew2018 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2020, 09:43 AM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Durham, NC
Posts: 40
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: Caterpillar 3126
Rated Cap: 16
Maggie01, welcome! I am new to this as well, but I can point you in the direction of some handy solar calculators. It sounds like your solar needs are much more than mine, but they should still be able to help you figure out what you will need. https://www.parkedinparadise.com/solar-calculator/

My nephew and I just need to power a small fridge, roof fan, laptop, phones, induction stove, and lights so we are going with 400 W.

As for the windows, I have decided against replacing mine, but I will be buying reflectix, backing it with a fun fabric on one side and magnetic strips all the way around. These will be cut so they can easily fit in each window. It is not a perfect solution, but for us it makes the most sense financially. We have ripped out the floor, walls, and roof panels and are replacing the old insulation with much better XPS, so that should help the climate control as well.

Good luck!
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Old 04-14-2020, 10:20 AM   #20
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Windham NH
Posts: 647
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International RE
Engine: International T444e
Rated Cap: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCcrew2018 View Post
I'm looking for someone to either show me how to do or remove wiring I'm not mechanical with diesels but I definitely want to learn how.

Also the tools needed.
I removed two five gallon buckets of unnecessary wiring and still have more in there I could get rid of. May want to start your own thread on that topic.
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