Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 03-01-2011, 02:54 PM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 7
DoggHouse.....

Hello ...... I am new to the Skoolie forum and wanted to share my story, my plans and get input from other Skoolies on my new project.....The DoggHouse ..... For over a year now I've been talking about purchasing a school bus and converting to a toy/camper hauler....(wife thinks I'm crazy.... my 9 & 6 year old love it) I was looking for something large enough to pull my Jeep and the family on our out of state trips with our friends and local Jeep club. I had a buddy inform me a few months back that his church was selling their bus. Now the fun has started....

Picked up a 1981 Bluebird FE 40ft flat nose from a local Church to start a Toy Hauler/Camper project....

Bus includes....
3208 non-turbo Caterpillar diesel remanufactured < than 100,000 miles
Onan 5500 propane generator
RV propane setup
RV ac x 2
New tires all the way around .... no retreads

Let the fun begin......




Little work has been done....
Converted title to Motor Home here in Florida ..... (way easier than I thought)
Tax title and call Mr Insurance..... (not bad... $312 a year)
Fixed the hinge on the air door...(my little girls think that is so cool...opening the door with a push button)
Scrubbed the bus top to bottom....(without slipping off the top)
Removed all but 4 seats....

Working on a game plan now......
idea.... shorten it by 8 ft or so .... ( so I am able to pull a 2 car hauler and still stay within 65ft... rig and trailer) or
Keep it full 40ft and just pull my Jeep .....

Any information i.e. on the bus would be greatly appreciated...... am in need of some general wiring information and I need a wiper motor ...... thanks again

David
New Port Richey, Florida

Doggbone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2011, 07:15 AM   #2
Bus Nut
 
yankeflyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Pueblo Co
Posts: 310
Year: 1984
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Safe T Liner
Engine: 3208 turbo
Rated Cap: 84
Re: DoggHouse.....

Wow what a great starting point for a skoolie project.
yankeflyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2011, 07:34 AM   #3
Bus Crazy
 
somewhereinusa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Andrews,Indiana
Posts: 2,434
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 3116 Cat 250hp
Rated Cap: Just the two of us.
Re: DoggHouse.....

Welcome, looks like a good starting point

Not sure of your ability,time,working space, but a shorten will be a major project. Is there room behind rear spring shackles to remove 8 feet? Others have modified to haul on/in the rear of the bus.

What kind of info do you need about wiring/bus? A lot of good info is already here.

Dick.
somewhereinusa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2011, 11:00 AM   #4
Bus Geek
 
lornaschinske's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Roswell, NM
Posts: 3,588
Year: 1986
Coachwork: BlueBird
Chassis: 40 ft All American FE
Engine: 8.2LTA Fuel Pincher DD V8
Rated Cap: 89
Re: DoggHouse.....

Towing a dolly/car trailer is a PITA, based on what I have read on the RV forums. You can back a car up on a trailer, a dolly you can back up a few feet and to tow 4 down... you can back it up a few inches. We tow my Jeep Grand Cherokee 4 down. Most campgrounds really don't have room for the dollys and car trailers. Generally towing 4 down is the easiest way to tow. And is easier to get in/out of places. Go to Escapees or other RV forum and ask about it there.... or do a search. This is a very popular subject and is well -discussed.
__________________
This post is my opinion. It is not intended to influence anyone's judgment nor do I advocate anyone do what I propose.
Fulltime since 2006
The goal of life is living in agreement with nature. Zeno (335BC-264BC)
https://lorndavi.wordpress.com/blog/
https://i570.photobucket.com/albums/s...ps0340a6ff.jpg
lornaschinske is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2011, 01:02 PM   #5
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 7
Re: DoggHouse.....

Thanks for the responses..... I will do more research on Skoolie to get more information on my bus...... as for towing..... I will be trailer towing my Jeep.... if I don't shorten the bus I can tow up to a 25ft car trailer (1 jeep and gear).... If I shorten my bus 8 feet ( will only include body work, not touching the rear axle)I will be about to two a 33ft car trailer ( 2 Jeeps and gear) and still stay within my legal 65ft total length. My Jeep is a rock crawler and we travel to GA, TN, AL off road parks.... thanks again for all your input

David
Doggbone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2011, 03:52 PM   #6
Almost There
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Augusta Arkansas
Posts: 85
Year: 90
Coachwork: Volunteer
Engine: 366
Rated Cap: 65
Re: DoggHouse.....

bigger the better,lol looks like a nice start
Six Four is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2011, 02:44 PM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 352
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: 466DT
Rated Cap: 65
Re: DoggHouse.....

Welcome to the board. There is a couple of us right now in a build, for the same reason as you. Good tow rig for our toys. Here's my thread. viewtopic.php?f=9&t=6481&hilit=hvbuzz

Also there is a thread on 4x4toys.
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=6611

Anyway, can't wait to see what you do with your build.

Nate
Hvbuzz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2011, 04:06 PM   #8
Bus Crazy
 
browncrown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bakersfield, California
Posts: 1,013
Year: 1976
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 6-71 Mid-Ship Mounted
Rated Cap: 79 at Birth
Re: DoggHouse.....

Welcome aboard!!!!
__________________
BC
My Conversion Thread: https://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3065
browncrown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2011, 10:11 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Elk Plain, WA.
Posts: 513
Year: 1993
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DTA360
Rated Cap: 16
Re: DoggHouse.....

Right on...

I'm building mine to be used as a tow rig/camper... I've got a lot of buddies that are wheelers that have been watching me build the bus to show their wifes how cool it could be... I think they're all chickens and want to see what their wifes reaction is when they see our bus at camp...

Post up lots of pics along the way and drop by the 4x4 thread and show us your Jeep...
dirtygoat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2011, 12:09 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Wimberley, Tx
Posts: 197
Year: 93
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: ?
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Re: DoggHouse.....

Im not sure that it matters but arent those a/c units on backwards?
swhite832 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2011, 12:49 PM   #11
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 446
Year: 89
Coachwork: thomas
Engine: 7.3 diesel
Re: DoggHouse.....

first thing I noticed too, looks bassackards to me.
__________________
see my conversion at https://www.skoolie.net/gallery/v/Skoolies/Putters+Bus/
putterspitt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2011, 12:27 AM   #12
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 7
Re: DoggHouse.....

DoggHouse is coming along slowly......

Repaired wiper motor
Turned around air units (as many of you noticed they were install backward)
Rebuilt my governor body (as it was leaking fuel in the valley of my Cat 320
Removed all seats but 5 (let the kids and doggs go for rides time to time)
Installed a trailer hitch.... (hardly notice my 18ft car hauler with jeep on it)
Tuned up Onan generator
Put a Tachometer on (running off alternator)

Will be moving the propane tank and generator .... have desided to shorten rear of bus by 7 feet.... will start that next long weekend off
Found a donor RV for supplies..... ie awning, switches, inverter/convert, door, gray/fresh/dirty tanks

will post pics and keep updates coming

thanks for all the input and suggestions
Doggbone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 03:23 PM   #13
New Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 7
skoolie help

A couple of weeks from now I will be shortening my bus by 7ft in the rear. Could use suggestions/do's/don'ts from people who have done panel work/shortening before. Are blind rivets vs. solid rivets any better or worse? Suggestions would be greatly appreciated....

Thanks...
Doggbone
Doggbone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2012, 09:20 AM   #14
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Stony Plain Alberta Canada
Posts: 2,937
Year: 1992
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: 190hp 5.9 Cummins
Rated Cap: 72
Re: skoolie help

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doggbone
A couple of weeks from now I will be shortening my bus by 7ft in the rear. Could use suggestions/do's/don'ts from people who have done panel work/shortening before. Are blind rivets vs. solid rivets any better or worse? Suggestions would be greatly appreciated....

Thanks...
Doggbone
Take the back clip off as a whole. Then remove a section, put the rear clip back on. Use the proper size rivets. The bus uses three different sizes. If you do it that way, the only place you will have to cut is the floor.

From my thread, Nat_sters Haulall

I used a peace of bed frame angle iron as a guide to run the John Deer steel cutting circular saw along. This will get a far better cut then free hand.





The floor cut worked out well. In the pic I have the floor a inch apart already.




The flloor staring to separate.



A friend and I lifted the rear of the cab down. We pulled it out from the bottom, as the seem sealer in the top seem would not allow the top to move first.






Nat

Posted for educational purposes only.
__________________
"Don't argue with stupid people. They will just drag you down to their level, and beat you up with experience."

Patently waiting for the apocalypses to level the playing field in this physiological game of life commonly known as Civilization
nat_ster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-24-2012, 09:56 AM   #15
Bus Geek
 
Tango's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 8,462
Year: 1946
Coachwork: Chevrolet/Wayne
Chassis: 1- 1/2 ton
Engine: Cummins 4BT
Rated Cap: 15
Re: DoggHouse.....

Howdy & Welcome! --- Looks like an interesting project and you have a great starter platform. I have to second reattaching the original rear cap. after the cutaway. Having raised the roof on a 40' BB, I did a lot of research including chats with factory engineers. The end caps on Birds are a critical element in the structural integrity of the whole unit.

Have fun and please do post lots of pix. We love watching other people work!
Tango is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2024, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.