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Old 04-05-2006, 07:36 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Dover, FL
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Year: 1982
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: TransitLiner
Engine: Cummings
It begins!

Last month, an old high school friend of mine was telling me about the 1982 Thomas pusher he picked up at the Texas A&M auction for $1400. He was pretty proud of the deal, body in good shape, engine with less than 40k on a full top and bottom overhaul and less than 9k on a rebuilt transmission. He had planned to put a ramp on the side and make it into a toy hauler to take his son dirtbike riding. Then he got to thinking about the cost of diesel and figured it would be cheaper to motel it.

About the same time, I finally relented to my wife's desires to move back to the Tampa area to be with her family, but only if I could keep my job in Orlando. We figured out some numbers and any kind of apartment or second home was out of the question, so when I saw all the RV parks in this area, I asked Bill offhand about the bus. "Sure, come get it for what I paid for it." was the answer. I wet myself.

Anyway, I've bought my ticket to fly to College Station, TX next month and drive the bus back to Florida and I can't wait to get going with the project. Sites like this one and many of the project sites will keep me going for the next four weeks trying to get my project planned out. I work for a wholesale flooring company, so I'm going with either a hardwood or a laminate flooring, depending on what shows up in the closeouts over the next few weeks. I also had planned to use a low weight short pile carpet (almost like a heavy felt) for the walls, ceiling, and interior furnishings unless I can get a compelling reason not to. I've done an aircraft interior and a van with the stuff and it holds up well and covers a multitude of sins.

Anyway, I'm starting to ramble. Can't wait to get started! Thanks to all of you for this great site and all the info here.
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'82 Thomas TransitLiner - The Mobile Command Post II
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:29 PM   #2
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cogrates

congrates. on your new bus. this is probably the best site going for ideas, top notch work and good people. i read it daily. what i like about this site is it isnt just about one brand of bus but all skoolies.well enough rambelling, the sun is out in oregon and im working on my bus. good luck.
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:47 PM   #3
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Location: Grundy, Virginia
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Engine: 9L IHC V-8 Diesel 180HP
Rated Cap: 60
Congratulations! Welcome to the board.

I commuted for a couple of years, working in one town weekdays, and coming home weekends. I was living in a 22 foot poptop daysailer. Believe me, a bus has much more room!

I know you're gonna have some fun!
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:58 PM   #4
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Sounds like you're getting a great deal and it looks like you don't even have to paint it. That will save you a lot of time & money. Welcome to the site & good luck.

Oh I also agree that this is the best site for skoolie stuff, I'm a member of that yahoo skoolie groups thing but I cant figure out how to navagate it. I also read the posts on here daily.
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:45 PM   #5
wtd
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Welcome to the site, hope you like your bus.
I have #17 of the same batch ...
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:18 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Dover, FL
Posts: 61
Year: 1982
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: TransitLiner
Engine: Cummings
Insurance and Registration

I started the process of calling around the various state offices today to get the title converted to a Florida RV Title from the original Texas title. I was amazed how how easy it seems to be. I started with the local tag office who said I needed to speak to someone at the state with an RV Manufacturers inspection. The inspector was much more knowledgable and said all I needed to do was obtain and follow Procedure TL-13

Because my bus has less than three axles, it cannot be defined as a Private Motor Coach, but instead is a Motor Home. It must also not exceed the size limitations set out in s. 316.515 of the state motor vehicle code. No problem there. Also, since the vehicle is out of state, I'll need to follow Procedure TL-10.

Basically, for now, I'll be applying for a "title only", so I will need an affidavit stating that the vehicle is in dead storage (my driveway) and will remain in dead storage until it is fully registered. And here's the good part. In the case of an individual converting their own vehicle and requesting the identity changed on the title to register and license it as a recreational vehicle, I need to submit an affidavit saying it has been converted to the extent to include one of the afforementioned items. They give a nice little sample affidavit:

Code:
This is to certify that I, ________________, owner of a (year)______,
(make)___________, (VIN)_____________, hereby request the vehicle be
classified as a recreational vehicle for the following reason:

( ) Installed 110 volt electrical wiring
( ) Installed LP gas piping
( ) Installed plumbing system
Can it really be that easy? Are there any Florida Skoolies on the list that can tell me if I'm overlooking something? If not, then on to GMAC for insurance!
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:22 PM   #7
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Send a message via AIM to Steve
That's how easy it is in Iowa and many other states.
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Old 04-08-2006, 12:27 AM   #8
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That sounds right. I have talked with several people from FL that said it was the easiest part of the conversion.

We might move to Washington state and I am not looking forward to that can of worms. Washington is supposed to be a pain to deal with.
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:08 AM   #9
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What happens if you retitle your bus as an RV and then move to another state. Do you just re-register when your plates expire, or do you have to go through the whole process again?
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Old 04-08-2006, 10:35 AM   #10
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title transfer

hey brad, i might be wrong but it would seem to me that the dirty work of having your bus retitled as a rv would be done. i know most states give a guy 30 days to re-register the plates and tags but i dont see why you would have to do the title over. i mean most people dont carry there title around any how. heck, a title is a title. who the heck is washington state to question it what part of washington state might you move to ??? i live right on the columbia river boardering washington. I-5 freeway is only 25 miles from me. well thats my 2 cents worth
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Old 04-08-2006, 11:17 AM   #11
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I purchased my bus already converted to an RV title in MI. When I took it to the title office in OH they transfered the title without question to an Ohio "MH" motorhome title. Watch them, though. I caught the woman putting "bus" on the title by accident, which would have been bad. The registrar asked if it had all the necessary items to be considered a motorhome when I went to get tags for it.
In Ohio all you need is permanent eating, sleeping, and cooking facilities and they dont even inspect it when you request a title change.
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Old 04-09-2006, 01:21 AM   #12
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My bus is titled as a bus in Colorado right now. I will have to get it titled after we move. We are going to look at some places in the Willapa bay area. We used to live in Newberg OR, before moving to Denver. We sure miss the area.
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Old 08-14-2006, 12:45 AM   #13
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Cool bus. I was with Bill when he bought it at the TAMU auction. I'm his next door neighbor. It cracked me up to see him drive it home, onto our quiet little block. I don't think the rest of our home owners share the same vision for automotive items as we do.
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Old 09-08-2006, 10:53 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: Dover, FL
Posts: 61
Year: 1982
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: TransitLiner
Engine: Cummings
Hi David! Small world, isn't it? I've sent these to Bill as well, but you can see how she's coming along with some photos I just put up in the Gallery at http://www.skoolie.net:16080/gallery.../Construction/

Didn't get too much done last weekend as I had to move the bus to keep the county code people happy, but I did get the electrical panel in place and bought the lumber I needed to finish up the bunks.

Bill has the title back in Texas now as it turns out it DID have to be registered there before I could put it in my name here, but so far, that's been the only real snafu. I should be out there again later this year for business in Houston, I'll have to look you up when I do.
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Old 09-08-2006, 11:33 AM   #15
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Sounds good. Let me know if you're up this way.
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Old 10-15-2006, 09:27 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: Dover, FL
Posts: 61
Year: 1982
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: TransitLiner
Engine: Cummings
Windows Skinned

I got the curb side windows skinned this weekend and some paint put up on 'em. I also finished out more of the interior carpentry (getting the tops of some of the walls done to match the roof curve) but I'm still not quite ready to do up all the photos from that just yet.

In other news, I picked up my THIRD Thetford Aria this week. The first two both arrived in pieces thanks to UPS. I told the seller (PPL Motorhomes) not to send another and that I'd drive to their wholesaler's warehouse (about 10 miles from my house) and pick it up when another one came in. I reckon I know what I'll be doing next weekend for sure.

Oh, pics are at http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/v/Sk...ction/Windows/
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Old 12-11-2006, 10:24 PM   #17
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Location: Clearlake, Northern California
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That's funny! I bought a Thetford Aria also, and the first one was smashed when it arrived at the local RV store. You'd think Thetford would learn!
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Old 01-21-2007, 03:58 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Dover, FL
Posts: 61
Year: 1982
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: TransitLiner
Engine: Cummings
It's been a while since I posted, but the bus is still coming right along. All the interorior framing is done, as is the electrical and MOST of the plumbing. I had to pull up my first start at a floor after a local installer showed me the RIGHT way to do it for motorhomes (Hint: GLUE).

I've started using my Picasa site for pictures... the latest are up http://picasaweb.google.com/Mark.D.Zimmerman/BusJAN07 and I'll probably straighten up my gallery here once I get a little closer to being done.

Next week, the floor goes down and then it's time for cabinets and the appliances. If all goes well, we will be aboard and full timing it in 6 weeks!

ciao,
/z
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:15 PM   #19
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carpet questions.

Looks great! What kind of carpet did you use for the walls and ceiling. I have been thinking of somthing like that for ours as it is a bit boomy inside. Was it expensive? How did you install it? What kind of glue did you use? What happens if you decide to remove it in the future, will it come off without massive work? Keep us posted on your progress.

-Richard
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Old 02-16-2007, 10:43 AM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Dover, FL
Posts: 61
Year: 1982
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: TransitLiner
Engine: Cummings
Re: carpet questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by captainkf
Looks great! What kind of carpet did you use for the walls and ceiling. I have been thinking of somthing like that for ours as it is a bit boomy inside. Was it expensive? How did you install it? What kind of glue did you use? What happens if you decide to remove it in the future, will it come off without massive work?
This month's pictures are at: http://picasaweb.google.com/Mark.D.Zimmerman/BusFEB07


I used the lightest (16oz per yd2) outdoor carpet I could find at Lowes and used their indoor/outdoor adhesive trowelled (?) according to directions. Logic for using the outdoor stuff is that any leaks wouldn't have such a negative effect on the finished product. The glue also has antimicrobial properties and is supposed to fight mold and mildew in the event of moisture incursions. I'll get closeups of the carpet and the glue used this weekend when I'm back out there working. This covers up all sorts of sins with the wood work, including those places where my bulkheads meet the curve of the cieling. I did a pretty good job matching the curve, but with the carpet in place, it's spotless.

The walls went up very easy, as the carpet is so very light. The ceiling was a little more tricky and i ended up cutting the carpet in 28" strips to go inbetween the ceiling seams. Once the cabinets are up down each side of the bus, I'll put in some 1" trim strips (probably that fake plastic wood trim stuff since it's flexible) to cover up the gaps. I'll use glue or screws to hold them in place.

As for removal, I already took one piece off one of the walls to get inside the plywood for adding some electrical wiring (Planning is for sissies). It was pretty tenacious, but it came off in one piece and didn't require much in the way of preparation to hang the replacement piece. This particular spot had been set up for about a month.

Anyway, more pics this weekend. My move in day is now 7 weeks away, so it's time to get cracking!
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