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Old 08-10-2015, 12:42 PM   #1
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River the 40ft 95' Turbo Diesel Carpenter Bus that could

Hey there everyone. I figured I would start a thread for our conversion.

Her name is River. She is a 40ft 95' Carpenter Bus with a 5.9l Cummins Turbo Diesel and Allison Transmission. We got her reasonably priced and with the rising real estate costs in Denver and Colorado we are turning her into a new home for us to live in at wherever we please. She was already registered as a Motor Home when we got her. We essentially have 15 days to finish the flooring and get a title transfer, emissions testing, and plates.

Currently we are working on the flooring. We have treated the whole floor with Klean Strip Prep and Etch and have been using polycarbonate and sanding disks in our grinders to break away that rust and clean it up (wearing respirators of course). We plan on giving it a POR 15 treatment and then framing the floor out as per usual with 2"x2"s and some foam insulation, vapor barrier, then sub flooring with some form of OSB or board.

The treatment of rust seems like the most time costly task. I feel daunted and dirty at the end of the day after grinding for so long, today we will see how much we can get done, the metal prep arrives tomorrow with the top coat, and the POR 15 rust prevention paint on Thursday. This week we are taking her into the shop to get a exhaust manifold gasket fixed, I can do this myself most likely but I like supporting my mechanic because he definitely has supported me getting this big effing bus back down from the mountains.

We are leaving for Burning Man and a few other festivals in 15 days. It is definitely crunch time but we will definitely have some down time on the road to work on her and after we get back she will be parked on piece of land owned by a friend, where we will really put in the fine work on making it a beautiful living space that we can both be proud of.

This thread is definitely open for advice from anyone. Me and my partner have never really taken on this kind of project before and chose to do it this way instead of building a tiny house. So feel free to chime in even if its just saying hello

I will post some pictures later, but for now it is time to drink moar coffee eat moar bacon and get back to work.



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Old 08-10-2015, 01:31 PM   #2
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Location: Oregon
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Congrat's on the Ride, and new House....;)

I am not yet Ready to Build a Tiny House, but the Bus is a Perfect Platform in my opinion...My Bus is being used as an Animal Transporter....and part time Vacation vehicle...So everything I build for it is Modular....I too am in Crunch Mode...Will be building and Doing many things in the next 3 wks.....Good luck, have fun...and think and draw on paper many things before the Doing of them....

John in Oregon.
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Old 08-12-2015, 07:15 AM   #3
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Good luck. And what john said, plan it.
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:32 PM   #4
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need pictures from your festival travels, have fun
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:46 PM   #5
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We had a minor inconvience today. The city of Englewood came by and told us to move the bus otherwise they would tow it in the morning. We now get to move our Bus 52 minutes south from home due to availability. Ironically enough this is the land that we are going to set up on and help our friend with their farm. Looks like I got my days worth of travel set out for me.
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:49 PM   #6
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Wish you luck.
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Old 08-12-2015, 01:32 PM   #7
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Many of us have been given that order.

Nat
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Old 08-12-2015, 06:09 PM   #8
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We're building ours into a "residential vehicle" as well!! Welcome to the club. It'll be fun to see how it goes for you. Fortunately we live do far out in the woods no one will be telling us we can't park it here. Folks are strange sometimes.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:48 AM   #9
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We just joined this forum and have been following the progress of a lot of different builds in preparation for ours! We are still in the "searching for skoolie" phase, but can't wait to get one and start the conversion. We'll be living in ours full time as well!
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:08 AM   #10
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Good news everyone!

The City of Englewood's attempt to take the bus was blocked. I am thankful we made it out without a ticket or having it towed with our two new 2200w Ryobi Generators and 95% of my power and hand tools inside of it.

We moved it to the lovely town of Elizabeth. I love the mountains but the country is the country to me and as long as it has trees, I am all right making home base be there, more so when I can use the a small part of the land to grow food and possibly start a small livestock area for chickens and goats, maybe a pig or two. Anyways River is home safe on a private plot of 35 acres where it doesn't even matter if she isn't tagged.

I have been stressing over how much work there is to do to get a title transfer and actually get her registered, but I was doing some studying today and realized that the county where its parked in doesn't require emissions tests for registering vehicles Which is a big load of my back (excessive black diesel smoke when pushing up hills) if I can figure out some way to register it to that county, which is where we intend on parking it for the winter and most of the year next year and who knows maybe even make it a permanent spot for River.

All of the POR 15 items have arrived. 1 gallon of Marine Clean, 1 gallon of Metal Prep, 1 Gallon of Rust Prevention Paint, 2 quarts of Top Coat. We are about to grab a power washer and a hose and use the well hook up on the land. We are going to clear the clutter(tools and what not) out, put a tarp over our stuff. Treat it with the Marine Clean, power wash it out, treat it with the metal prep, use the whole gallon with the pump sprayer and keep it wet for at least 35 minutes as per manufacturers directions, let dry, power wash it out, let it dry out to the bone, then apply two coats of POR 15 and apply the top coat when it drys. Not that I need the UV protective layer seeing as we are framing the floor, I just want it for extra. I might try and use some mesh as patches for the holes where the screws were for the floor, but if it doesn't work we are going to tack the holes with a flux core welder and grind down then paint over.

After all that's said and done we are going to frame with 2" x 2"s and insulate and lay down some OSB. We are going to wait for festival season to be over and just use some rugs. Im going to add at least 4 things to make it a Motorhome, we already have electric power with the generators, I have a sink basin already and I am going to make a 2" x 4" kitchen top with a makeshift portable water supply. I also need to figure out a good way to mount my window AC unit in the bus. Do most people leave them in or do they take them out when they travel? Its not a super big one, one of the small guys from Home Depot.

By the way here is our bus at its new home for now.
Such a beauty. Such a project. It has been very love-hate.

Cheers
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Old 08-14-2015, 12:40 AM   #11
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Here are some more pictures.

Another full bus shot.



The insides


My lovely lady hard at work on the house. Grinding some rust spots out.


We will be camping out Friday night on the land in our tent and then working on it that Saturday and Sunday. Friday night I plan spraying it with the marine clean, and early morning I will wash it out and then spray with the metal prep. Ill paint during the day time because I know it will probably dry faster with the heat. Sunday if all goes well should be a flooring day.
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Old 08-14-2015, 06:26 PM   #12
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Pics are broken to me, sorry
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Old 08-14-2015, 10:59 PM   #13
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Awesome! Can't wait to follow the progress and congrats on getting it to the land!
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Old 08-16-2015, 07:22 PM   #14
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Awesome progress! Great build
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Old 08-17-2015, 07:19 PM   #15
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So some important things have happened in the last two days. We decided to go camp out on our home for the next year and get some stuff done. We were able to clear out everything and store it in the barn.

At that point we drove it up close to the well and hooked up our cheapo Harbor Freight Pressure washer, which we are taking back after it failed only with one use. We got a large amount of grime out, we did one plain wash, then I soaked it with the Marine Clean in a pump sprayer, washed it out again and at that point the pressure washer broke. We then used the Metal Prep and sprayed it at night, it probably stayed moist for a hour and then dried. I let it sit over night, earlier in the morning we just took the garden hose and rinsed it out. For those who told me to not wash the Metal Prep off, the manufacturer instructions say to do so. We let the bus dry for a good hour or two seeing as it was a hot day and got to work on painting the floor which turned out really good. I am interested as to see how it turns out, we need to get it framed ASAP due to the POR 15 UV sensitivity, but that will happen tomorrow or this Friday.

The other awesome thing that almost seemed impossible for a minute was getting the bus insured. We got a RV insurance plan from American Family after failing with many other brokers and doing some research on here. We did not even indicate that it was a conversion or a bus, just that its a already registered RV and we are trying to transfer the title and get tags, they asked for the year, make, model and the VIN and a little more hoop jumping and bam! We had insurance. Some advice, do not ever say bus or conversion especially if they don't ask. Never say you are going to live in it full-time. They might ask if they can come see your Skoolie, but if you have good credit you have nothing to worry about. Tomorrow we get it registered in a county that requires no emissions test and get temporary tags for it!

I can't wait to do more internal work now that the legal bullshit that you need for your freedom is over.

The sad news is, after I drove it up a slight hill so we could pressure wash the insides and had it out for the weekend the engine started once, died and wouldn't start again. I am going to trouble shoot tomorrow, I think its a fuel problem so I am going to start by seeing if diesel is coming from the injection lines. I have a mechanic coming this week seeing as I cant get it to the Cummins place in Henderson, CO.

Time for some more pictures


Before the first wash, had to move some stuff around.



First wash, man was the run off dirty.


My beautiful girlfriend, letting me take a break.


The water runoff started looking clear after the Marine Clean and Metal Prep



That devils blood though.



I could get used to this, ya know?
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Old 08-18-2015, 06:17 PM   #16
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A couple things to check on your no start problem. Mine had similar issues and the problem was a loose fitting spin on fuel filter and dry cracked and leading fuel lines from the lift pump to the injection pump. I have an international DT408 but the principles are the same. It sounds like you're losing fuel prime after sitting on an incline due to air getting in somewhere.
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