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Old 05-05-2021, 10:24 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Indiana
Posts: 31
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Planning out my project - feedback wanted

(jump to the bottom if you just want the "resources" I'm sharing, and looking for feedback on in terms of things i've missed, dimensions i'm not realistic about etc)

So, I'm just getting my feet wet and don't yet own my vehicle I'd like to convert but... I figured I'd get some input from the masses if possible as I iterate this process.

Slight background:
Traveling w 2 adults, 1 dog, and 1-3 cats (yeah.. lots of animals).
Both will continue their 9-5esque computer (software management) jobs.
Hoping mostly off grid, but not too far from society.
Hoping to maximize size while not being too big for boondocking etc.
Want to stick with 35" flat nose, front engine (again, maximize size)

So.. for starters - here is my first pass at a floor plan:

Then here is my 3D sketchup file if anyone wants to take a look:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DEV...ew?usp=sharing

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Old 05-05-2021, 03:00 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
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Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Welcome to the site.

Your floor plan looks entirely doable, but there is a huge open space between your frdg and stairs!
Kennel(s) for the pets, maybe?

Good luck, and post pics if you go forward with your dreams...
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Old 05-05-2021, 03:18 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Indiana
Posts: 31
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Quote:
Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
Welcome to the site.

Your floor plan looks entirely doable, but there is a huge open space between your frdg and stairs!
Kennel(s) for the pets, maybe?

Good luck, and post pics if you go forward with your dreams...
Agreed. Intentionally leaving that space open so that pets have some free roaming. Also planning for a flip down, tabletop/desk. Most likely a maybe 6-12 inch depth to store work/PC related accessories. Generally wanted to keep the space flexible.

Also, the wall may end up being a bit of a "cat wall" with some narrow cat shelving/maze type decorations to give them some play space off the floor. And lead to some type of over the driver ledge/shelf where I hope to create a mini sleeping/eating loft with a front facing window.

My concerns are, what am I missing, and do I have space for water tanks, and battery grid somewhere. Would've been SUPER nice if I couldve found space for mini washer/dryer combo but I figure that's not happening.
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Old 05-05-2021, 08:06 PM   #4
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Chassis: RE-300 42ft
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Rated Cap: 90
....I'm sharing, and looking for feedback on in terms of things i've missed, dimensions i'm not realistic about etc

My concerns are, what am I missing, and do I have space for water tanks, and battery grid somewhere.

‐--------------------------

Really good looking layout, imo. In your rendering, the wheelbase & rear overhang both look more RE than FE.
Our RE has a wheelbase of 303 inches. A similar FE wheelbase is a few feet shorter.
This may affect bath floor and tanks, battery bank, under storage, etc. Just to consider. .. hope it helps.
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Old 05-05-2021, 09:05 PM   #5
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My layout was thrown out the window like 3 times. In general, unless you have everything built custom to your spec, do it cheaper use what you can get, rather than what fits your plan dimensions. I really want the bed to have walking space both sides, but that really takes up a lot of space. You can the same in a 24ft space utilized more efficiently.
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:01 AM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
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Posts: 31
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
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Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
This may affect bath floor and tanks, battery bank, under storage, etc. Just to consider. .. hope it helps.
I didnt spec the wheel wells exactly, but I assumed that they would be covered on one side with all the couch or cabinetry.

As for the tanks and under storage be impacted, would it just impact placement... or more?



Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
My layout was thrown out the window like 3 times. In general, unless you have everything built custom to your spec, do it cheaper use what you can get, rather than what fits your plan dimensions. I really want the bed to have walking space both sides, but that really takes up a lot of space. You can the same in a 24ft space utilized more efficiently.
Once I get a bus I know I will have to tweak a bit. And I'm open to building couch and cabinets custom, so I believe I can generally size to my space. Skoolie life is less a financial play, and more a chance to travel/explore. So I want to as efficient use of the space as I can and not cut too many corners.

And are you saying I can fit all I have in a 24 ft instead of 35? If so, probably, but I prefer the space, especially with the 2-4 pets on board.
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Old 05-06-2021, 07:09 AM   #7
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Year: 1999
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Just my first thoughts.. It looks pretty good!

I'd consider putting all the stuff that uses water on one side to make the build and layout that much easier.
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Old 05-06-2021, 10:34 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Indiana
Posts: 31
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
With roof raise and pets

This is a rough mockup of the open wall from the OP as I imagine completed + roof raise and ledge over the driver:

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Old 05-10-2021, 10:37 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Indiana
Posts: 31
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Having a bus inspected and it may be my projects base!

Anyone have anything I should be worried about with this bus ahead of time.


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Old 05-10-2021, 10:43 AM   #10
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Location: Eustis FLORIDA
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Primo bus man. Hope it all works out. Make sure you verify 100% that its a 643. Its become the norm to literally lie about transmissions to sell buses.
Most of those buses were ordered with the base drivetrain. A 643 could be ordered in a TC, for sure. But not very common. Just make sure. That's a huge difference in value and driving pleasure.
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:45 AM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Indiana
Posts: 31
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Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Primo bus man. Hope it all works out. Make sure you verify 100% that its a 643. Its become the norm to literally lie about transmissions to sell buses.
Most of those buses were ordered with the base drivetrain. A 643 could be ordered in a TC, for sure. But not very common. Just make sure. That's a huge difference in value and driving pleasure.
Thanks! I paid for a lemonsquad official inspection. Hopefully they give me all the details. From what I've seen, people her use and recommend them... **fingers crossed**

My next task will be to figure out where to take the bus if/when I buy it! Hoping to take it somewhere and drop it off so they can do a roof raise for me and then hopefully I'll DIY as much as I can from there.
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Old 05-10-2021, 12:06 PM   #12
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,253
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by krazykrivda View Post
Thanks! I paid for a lemonsquad official inspection. Hopefully they give me all the details. From what I've seen, people her use and recommend them... **fingers crossed**

My next task will be to figure out where to take the bus if/when I buy it! Hoping to take it somewhere and drop it off so they can do a roof raise for me and then hopefully I'll DIY as much as I can from there.
I've never hear of them. I'd have a real diesel tech go out if I were paying money for an inspection.
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Old 05-10-2021, 12:56 PM   #13
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Join Date: May 2009
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Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
lemonsquad is cool.. . lots of people in the classic car world use them to check out auctions or ebay listings.



looks like a great bus..



5.9 12 valve == all mechanical and with LOTS of aftermarket support and pretty much every diesel mechanic can work on them. not very powerful but with a P-pump you can beef it up a bit



MT643 a solid strong trans for sure.. no overdrive so you'll want to see if you can get the gear ratio to find out of the bus can run highway speeds..
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Old 05-25-2021, 09:27 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Indiana
Posts: 31
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Its official! I own the bus. Just got delivered. And so the journey begins...
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Old 05-26-2021, 07:42 AM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Indiana
Posts: 31
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
The bus sitting across the street now

b1_LI.jpg
b2_LI.jpg
b3.jpg
b4.jpg
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Old 05-26-2021, 12:25 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Las Vegas, NV
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Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT466 / MD3060
bus looks great, really nice sketchup designs also!!
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Old 05-26-2021, 01:41 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: Victoria BC
Posts: 24
Year: 2007
Coachwork: IC
Chassis: IC FE300 11 window
Engine: DT466E
Congrats! Fine looking bus. In terms of layout, it's good to set it the functional criteria first. What activities does it need to perform? Work, food prep, eating, relaxing, social spaces, private time etc. Think through everything you use your current home for, and translate that into equivalent spaces in the bus. This means lots of spaces need to do double duty in terms of function.
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Old 05-26-2021, 02:38 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Indiana
Posts: 31
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
So, now that I actually placed wheel wells and emergency door into my design I have a few snags as expected.

I plan on doing a roof raise, which should give me about 6'10 at the low end and 7'8 down the middle, while still keeping my bus at about 11'6 (leaving room for a deck and solar panels on top of the 11'6)

All that being said, the back wheel wells hit right where the shower/bathroom were planned. Any downside to boxing the wheels in, and then having the bathroom and shower above them? Figure it would still give me 6' clearance at minimum. Wondering if structure or plumbing would be concerning?

As for the emergency exit, it is in the middle of my kitchen layout. I'm pretty sure I can just eliminate it. However, I can't quite figure out why I'm against it, but flipping my design (kitchen on passenger side instead of driver) would account for the emergency exit. Is there any reason that flipping sides is a bad idea?
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Old 05-26-2021, 05:02 PM   #19
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It's convenient to have all your water thingies (shower, sink, water heater etc.) in one spot to minimize plumbing runs, and RV parks are generally set up for RVs with the water and power inlets on the driver's side. But it's not that big a deal to run the plumbing over to the other side (that's what I'm doing) so I don't think flipping the layout is a big deal.

I would think having a short shower would be an inherent problem, since the water is going to come out a few inches lower (at least) than the ceiling. I would think about moving it to a flat part of the floor, or you could build a roof projection over the shower to give you additional height there.
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Old 05-26-2021, 10:09 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Indiana
Posts: 31
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000
Engine: 5.9 Cummins
Still unsure on my floor plan decision, but I have almost all the seats out and booked my roof raise. Not bad for a first day.

20210526_204754.jpg
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