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Old 08-24-2018, 02:22 AM   #1
Almost There
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 74
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 (3904 RE)
Engine: Cummins 8.3TA
Rated Cap: 84
Project: Moya

Hello again all you skoolie afficianodos out there. I would like to introduce my bus project. I call her Moya. She's a 1999, 40' Blue Bird TC2000 RE. Cummins 8.3TA with an Alison push-button 5-speed. She left school service in June '17. She came with several pages of maintenance logs.

The plan is a tiny home on wheels for full-time traveling and extended boondocking for two people with occasional stays at parks with full hookups. We're planning an extensive conversion, with full gutting, re-insulation, completely new interior, roof-raise (between 8 and 12 inches), RV windows and entry door, LED lights all around (with OHV flood lights), solar with 600-800Ah of lithium batteries, 100-130 gallon water tanks, composting toilet, propane, a sensor network and home automation system (tired of the term "smart home"), total repaint, and a toad.

Thus far, we've removed almost all the seats, swept out piles of trash the kids jammed down the chair rails, removed the external lettering, and picked up several tools needed for the rest of the project. Soon we'll have the seats out and can begin the floor demolition.

I've wanted to do something like this for years, and this bus fell into my lap, at the prodding of my wife who is totally on board with my crazy scheme. I'm not experienced in any of the systems the bus will have, so I'll have tons of questions as I dig into each project, but I'm eager to learn and build the motorhome of my dreams.

We're not on a timeline with this, thankfully, as we're full-time parents and both have day jobs. I estimate the conversion will take about two years.Click image for larger version

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Old 08-24-2018, 04:53 AM   #2
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,764
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Welcome!

Nice bus and sounds like you've got a plan.

You're the first new member I've seen say they want a roof raise that's less than a couple feet. I raised one and at 8" it was nice. Went ahead and did a 10".
IMO 8-12" is about perfect for increasing head room without making the bus unwieldy or odd looking.
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Old 08-24-2018, 06:39 AM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: The West
Posts: 1,210
Year: 1998
Coachwork: MCI
Chassis: 102 EL3
Engine: DD 60
Howdy Synestine!

Looks like you've got a great base and plan!
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Missy - 1998 MCI 102-EL3 - 1.7kW Solar - 10kWh Lithium
My Adventures & Build
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Old 08-24-2018, 09:20 AM   #4
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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
Excellent find! Very nice combination. Best of luck on the build and please do keep the pix coming.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:15 PM   #5
Almost There
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 74
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 (3904 RE)
Engine: Cummins 8.3TA
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
Welcome!

Nice bus and sounds like you've got a plan.

You're the first new member I've seen say they want a roof raise that's less than a couple feet. I raised one and at 8" it was nice. Went ahead and did a 10".
IMO 8-12" is about perfect for increasing head room without making the bus unwieldy or odd looking.
Thanks!

I've never understood why someone would want a huge roof raise other than "some is good, more is better" mentality. I don't judge them, I just don't understand it.

I tried to find a bus with higher headroom but this one was only 15 miles from my home and the price was right. I didn't want to do a raise at all, because I'm not a welder and am nervous about weakening the bus, but I'm 5'11" and my wife is 5'8", and our tallest son is 6' and may have a couple more inches to go. I don't want to kink my neck to live in the bus, so it looks like we're doing a raise. I want enough head room to handle the 4" of insulation I want in the ceiling and 2" in the floor, plus a few inches for HVAC ducting.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:17 PM   #6
Almost There
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 74
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 (3904 RE)
Engine: Cummins 8.3TA
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
Howdy Synestine!

Looks like you've got a great base and plan!
Howdy JD!

Thanks! Before I bought her, I had a mechanic look her over and he agrees that she's a solid platform. I've been over-engineering this project for years now and am excited to see it materialize.
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Old 08-24-2018, 03:19 PM   #7
Almost There
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 74
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: TC2000 (3904 RE)
Engine: Cummins 8.3TA
Rated Cap: 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango View Post
Excellent find! Very nice combination. Best of luck on the build and please do keep the pix coming.
Thanks, Tango!

Even without 6th gear she can hit 60 pretty easily (though slowly). I'll be posting updates as the work progresses, including pix and write ups. The wife may start a YT channel to chronicle it as well.
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Old 08-24-2018, 04:23 PM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,764
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by synestine View Post
Thanks!

I've never understood why someone would want a huge roof raise other than "some is good, more is better" mentality. I don't judge them, I just don't understand it.

I tried to find a bus with higher headroom but this one was only 15 miles from my home and the price was right. I didn't want to do a raise at all, because I'm not a welder and am nervous about weakening the bus, but I'm 5'11" and my wife is 5'8", and our tallest son is 6' and may have a couple more inches to go. I don't want to kink my neck to live in the bus, so it looks like we're doing a raise. I want enough head room to handle the 4" of insulation I want in the ceiling and 2" in the floor, plus a few inches for HVAC ducting.
I'm 5'10" and didn't want to raise the roof on that bus we had but it went SO smooth.
Don't worry about "weakening". Once you peel it open you'll be glad you did it.
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