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Old 11-29-2018, 02:47 PM   #1
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2005 IC FE300 (Ski Bus Build)

I recently purchased a 2005 International FE300 bus with a DT466 and I am converting it to be used as a ski bus.
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Old 11-29-2018, 03:06 PM   #2
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Dickinson Solid Fuel Heater installed through wheelchair door.
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Old 11-29-2018, 07:21 PM   #3
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That is one ingenious way to install a solid fuel heater. No chance of water leaking in through a roof cut and if you anticipate hassle from inspection or insurance agent it can be removed in minutes.

Coincidentally, I just snatched one of these little heaters off ebay. I plan to use a Webasto combustion heater for utility heating and the Dickinson for ambiance like a fireplace.
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Old 11-29-2018, 08:04 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by alpine44 View Post
That is one ingenious way to install a solid fuel heater. No chance of water leaking in through a roof cut and if you anticipate hassle from inspection or insurance agent it can be removed in minutes.

Coincidentally, I just snatched one of these little heaters off ebay. I plan to use a Webasto combustion heater for utility heating and the Dickinson for ambiance like a fireplace.
Awesome! Yes, the Dickinson is going to be great for the ambiance but you will set with the Webasto.

I picked up a Sig 250 stove/oven for the main heat source. I am currently installing it so when it is complete I will post some pics of that as well.

Cheers!
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Old 11-30-2018, 02:04 AM   #5
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Honestly, I do NOT want to rain on your parade but that would be about the last bus I would choose as a ski bus.

If I am not mistaken, that is a flat floor bus. With a flat floor you really can't use regular tire chains. The only chains that will work would be something like OnSpot automatic tire chains. https://www.onspot.com/en-US/

In addition, most Type 'D' FE buses are about as handy on ice and snow as a cow on ice. With so much weight forward it is really, really hard to get enough weight on the drive axle to get any traction. It is only going to be exacerbated with a big engine like the DT466 providing power. It is going to be about as handy as a Mustang with a HO 5.0L or a Corvette.

It appears as if you have found a really nice bus.

Good luck with it up in the snow.
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:05 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Honestly, I do NOT want to rain on your parade but that would be about the last bus I would choose as a ski bus.

If I am not mistaken, that is a flat floor bus. With a flat floor you really can't use regular tire chains. The only chains that will work would be something like OnSpot automatic tire chains. https://www.onspot.com/en-US/

In addition, most Type 'D' FE buses are about as handy on ice and snow as a cow on ice. With so much weight forward it is really, really hard to get enough weight on the drive axle to get any traction. It is only going to be exacerbated with a big engine like the DT466 providing power. It is going to be about as handy as a Mustang with a HO 5.0L or a Corvette.

It appears as if you have found a really nice bus.

Good luck with it up in the snow.
Could you please elaborate on why conventional chains would not work on an flat floor vehicle.
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:25 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
Honestly, I do NOT want to rain on your parade but that would be about the last bus I would choose as a ski bus.

If I am not mistaken, that is a flat floor bus. With a flat floor you really can't use regular tire chains. The only chains that will work would be something like OnSpot automatic tire chains. https://www.onspot.com/en-US/

In addition, most Type 'D' FE buses are about as handy on ice and snow as a cow on ice. With so much weight forward it is really, really hard to get enough weight on the drive axle to get any traction. It is only going to be exacerbated with a big engine like the DT466 providing power. It is going to be about as handy as a Mustang with a HO 5.0L or a Corvette.

It appears as if you have found a really nice bus.

Good luck with it up in the snow.

Cowlitzcoach,

Thank you for your insight and honesty. When I found the bus I was stoked about the ground clearance and the engine but now that you spell it out, I can not disagree. Probably the worst choice for the snow...

Question though. What about a flat floor bus makes regular tire chains not an option?
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:27 AM   #8
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maybe he is thinking wheel well clearance for chains? install and also side clearance near the top of the well as the suspension flexes?



as for weight.. id think an FE with lots of eqiuipment in the rear would give you a decent balance



whats funny is you got a nice top of the line Air-Conditioner on that bus and its only ever going to be driven in the winter
-Christopher
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:35 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _rideswell_ View Post
Awesome! Yes, the Dickinson is going to be great for the ambiance but you will set with the Webasto.

I picked up a Sig 250 stove/oven for the main heat source. I am currently installing it so when it is complete I will post some pics of that as well.

Cheers!
Those diesel drip stoves/ovens are great. Silent and not needing any electricity.

As a student, I volunteered for the NPS in Glacier Bay, AK. The patrol boat I was assigned to had one of theses stoves. Surrounded by the freshest seafood you can imagine and with plenty of time on our hands between assignments we prepared one gourmet meal after the other while the stove was keeping us cozy in the often cold/wet weather.

You may want to take a little propane stove for the summer since the stove/oven combo will heat the room whether you like it or not.
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
maybe he is thinking wheel well clearance for chains? install and also side clearance near the top of the well as the suspension flexes?



as for weight.. id think an FE with lots of eqiuipment in the rear would give you a decent balance



whats funny is you got a nice top of the line Air-Conditioner on that bus and its only ever going to be driven in the winter
-Christopher
I appreciate the optimism! I am too far in to turn back now so let's hope the added weight does get me up the hill!

As far as the a/c, I will be using this bus in the summer as well so a/c was on the wish list.

Cheers!
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Old 11-30-2018, 08:47 AM   #11
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Those diesel drip stoves/ovens are great. Silent and not needing any electricity.

As a student, I volunteered for the NPS in Glacier Bay, AK. The patrol boat I was assigned to had one of theses stoves. Surrounded by the freshest seafood you can imagine and with plenty of time on our hands between assignments we prepared one gourmet meal after the other while the stove was keeping us cozy in the often cold/wet weather.

You may want to take a little propane stove for the summer since the stove/oven combo will heat the room whether you like it or not.
I have only heard good things about the diesel drip stoves, definitely want the constant heat source. For the summer I want to look into an alcohol stove. Trying to avoid propane if possible.
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Old 11-30-2018, 09:35 AM   #12
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Cowlitzcoach,

Thank you for your insight and honesty. When I found the bus I was stoked about the ground clearance and the engine but now that you spell it out, I can not disagree. Probably the worst choice for the snow...

Question though. What about a flat floor bus makes regular tire chains not an option?
The problem with flat floor buses and tire chains is there isn't enough clearance between the tires and the fender well. It can be mitigated some with an air suspension cranked all the way up. But that can result in a really hard ride and it will tend to unload the drive axle even more.

Most of the newer FE buses have the fuel tank moved to behind the rear axle. That can help. But the front overhang is much greater than it appears compared to an RE bus. Most Type 'C' buses have the centerline of the engine centered over the front axle. Most FE buses have the transmission centered over the front axle. That is a LOT of weight leveraged out over the front axle. It is why most operators of FE buses, particularly those who operate them in urban/suburban routes with lots of turns, will wear steer tires out 2x as fast as drive tires.

I know of some schools that order their FE buses with luggage compartments behind the rear axle. Once the threat of snow and ice appears they would load bags of sand in the luggage compartments for ballast.

I think that if you put anything heavy in your build it will help.

If you take your bus over a set of scales you will realize how much forward weight bias you will need to overcome.

Good luck!
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:01 AM   #13
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I like you ski bus plan. That is what I am doing as well. That is a nice size bus for what you want to do. Not too long and a big engine. If you put all your heavy items, water tanks, battery bank ect over or behind your rear axle that should help with the weight distribution. Also the auto tire chains don't look like they would be too hard to install yourself. I have them on my bus but haven't tested them on icy roads yet. Both the On Spot and Rotogrip brands show up on Ebay for a few hundred $.

Depending on the final weight of your rear axle another option is to single out the duals with good snow tires that are rated for your axle weight. That would increase your traction. You would have to be carefull to not overload the tires.

Ted
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Old 11-30-2018, 10:20 AM   #14
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I like you ski bus plan. That is what I am doing as well. That is a nice size bus for what you want to do. Not too long and a big engine. If you put all your heavy items, water tanks, battery bank ect over or behind your rear axle that should help with the weight distribution. Also the auto tire chains don't look like they would be too hard to install yourself. I have them on my bus but haven't tested them on icy roads yet. Both the On Spot and Rotogrip brands show up on Ebay for a few hundred $.

Depending on the final weight of your rear axle another option is to single out the duals with good snow tires that are rated for your axle weight. That would increase your traction. You would have to be carefull to not overload the tires.

Ted

TJones,


I will need to check out your build as well! I have heard mixed reviews on the auto chains. Convenience, yes. Are they as good as conventional? IDK. I understand that auto chains are built to the specific suspension dimensions so I had not looked into the used market but thank you for the ebay idea. It would probably be easy enough to modify a set to fit my application.



See you on the mountain.



Cheers!
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:15 AM   #15
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I don't think they are as good as conventional chains but you also don't want conventional chains coming loose and destroying your wheel wells. I have seen new auto chains on Ebay. It is something that I would try to purchase newish so you aren't fighting worn out chains/bearings or air leaks. If you got a quote from a truck parts supplier using your axle model you would have the part # for the autochains and idea of what they cost retail.

My build is here

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/th...now-23632.html

Where are you located?

Ted
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:24 AM   #16
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I don't think they are as good as conventional chains but you also don't want conventional chains coming loose and destroying your wheel wells. I have seen new auto chains on Ebay. It is something that I would try to purchase newish so you aren't fighting worn out chains/bearings or air leaks. If you got a quote from a truck parts supplier using your axle model you would have the part # for the autochains and idea of what they cost retail.

My build is here

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/th...now-23632.html

Where are you located?

Ted

Great Bus! Rear engine! You definitely have the snow rig from what I have been Skooled on...
I am in Eastern Washington State. Right between the Cascade and Blue Mountains.
What is next for your build?
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:43 AM   #17
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Thats a nice area to live. I've been through there a couple times. I skied at Alpental several years ago after a masissive storm took out the power in Seattle and dropped a few feet of unusally fluffy snow on the area. A local crew showed us around the area and back country. It was great.

I'm going to start pulling light weight items out of the interior. I just had surgery and can't lift over 10 lbs for the next 6 weeks so the seat are going to have to wait. I do have cargo rack and AC ducting im going to start pulling out.

Ted
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:34 PM   #18
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I am in Eastern Washington State. Right between the Cascade and Blue Mountains.
What is next for your build?
Small world

I am in Dayton.
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Old 11-30-2018, 12:53 PM   #19
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Small world

I am in Dayton.
Yes, very small! I am in Richland to be precise. I will definitely be making a few trips through Dayton!

Cheers!
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Old 12-03-2018, 01:04 PM   #20
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I am installing insulated curtains over several windows using common-sense fasteners. The fasteners are tall enough to stack two curtains over each other for a slight overlap.
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