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Old 01-14-2019, 01:14 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Sir Walter Build Thread

Figured I would start a build thread before I get too into it.

Sir Walter is an '86 International S1753 with the 6.9 and Allison 545 and around 106k. Yes he's very very slow. Bought with a motorhome title already which helped with registration as well as all but two of the seats out.

The overall plan is to redo the inside, get a few mechanical things fixed and a rotted cab mount area rebuilt and live in it full time come November.

I'm a freelance web designer and marketing consultant and so long as I have internet a few days a week I can work from anywhere. Also calling the bus home will be my two pups.

I've gotten this far:

- found a place to build the bus
- found a ASE certified diesel tech to help with mechanical stuff
- possibly found an auto body shop for rust related items
- started tearing out the interior

Turns out an old friend of mine works for International and was able to look up my VIN and will be helpful for any future parts needs.

Some things I've decided: I won't be using LP for several reasons, but found one of those diesel heaters for inside along with an electric space heater should suffice. I will have AC in it for the pups, and originally looked at a mini split but now I'm thinking about a standard wall AC?

I want to run solar, of course, and be off grid when possible. I know the AC won't be able to run long on solar, but I do have a Ryobi generator for backup if needed. I'm very wary of putting together my own solar system so was looking into something like beprepared or goalzero.

I'll also have a washer/dryer but don't ever expect to run it off grid. Once every two weeks for laundry works for me.

Cooking: I like the idea of an oven...but I rarely use mine now. Instead my convection toaster oven would probably make due along with an electric cooktop.

Uhh that's all I can think of at the moment.IMG_20190106_161415.jpegIMG_20190112_114403_861.jpegIMG_20190111_211747_269.jpeg
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:17 PM   #2
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You're going to need a substantial solar power system to reliably drive an electric cook top and space heater. Check out jdonthego's thread for his built out, he's done the work and knows a lot more about big solar installs than the majority of us! http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f32/mi...2-a-17040.html
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Old 01-14-2019, 03:03 PM   #3
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Josh is being kind.

Real estate to mount solar panels and capacity to carry batteries are both finite resources on a bus.

Running a space heater and electric cooktop from solar are far from practical for most of us on a bus.

If you are ready to run your generator whenever you need to run those loads are needed then you are in better shape.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:37 PM   #4
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an S series!!! one of my all-time favorite body styles for a school bus!! rode these to school when they were brand new...
-Christopher
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:20 PM   #5
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I guess the only concern with LP is potential for leaks. I would 100% have someone else do the final install for me, as I'm going to do with wiring things up as well. The more research I do the less concern I have, since it would give me more freedom to boondock.
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Old 01-15-2019, 04:21 PM   #6
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Today: under the weather but tore apart stuff anyway. Also found a local welder to handle some stuff (and possibly create things I'll want like under bus generator storage).

Last photo: a skoolie that drove by my friends shop in Beverly...anyone recognize them?IMG_20190115_133750.jpegIMG_20190115_122106.jpegIMG_20190115_152633_036.jpeg
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:10 PM   #7
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What sort of insulation are you using in the ceiling, walls and floor?
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:13 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ermracing View Post
What sort of insulation are you using in the ceiling, walls and floor?
Not sure yet, need some recommendations. Wasn't sure if I'd do the ceiling at first but it'd make life better in the long run so am going to grind off some of the screws and take a panel down to start.
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Old 01-15-2019, 05:18 PM   #9
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We started with the ceiling in our bus. The 2" foam board worked well with the T&G boards we installed. Grinding off the rivets was time consuming. Make sure you use a grinding wheel, not a cut-off wheel. Others have popped them out with a hammer and punch.
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Old 01-16-2019, 12:01 AM   #10
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A hammer and cold chisel works well, but requires a lot of arm strength to be effective. If the panels are not to be reused, an air chisel also works, If you are good with an air chisel it will not mark the panel but since it is a POWER tool, it is easy to mangle the panel edges.
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:40 PM   #11
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So I'd like to take a look at the batteries but have no idea how to even open the damn panel. IMG_20190116_143115.jpeg
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:44 PM   #12
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my guess is there is a latch mechanism in the holes between the bolt heads where there was likely a key operated lock at one time - stick a screwdriver in the hole and give it a twist - that might do the trick
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Old 01-16-2019, 01:51 PM   #13
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Thanks that worked!
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Old 01-22-2019, 03:06 PM   #14
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Have photos on instagram, but last Sat had a welder fix the battery box and bottom-most step. Started working on the ceiling and yeahhh deciding not to take it down for various reasons.

Tomorrow, hopefully, talking to an auto body shop re: getting a bit fixed, and meeting the mechanic to go over the engine.
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Old 01-23-2019, 08:25 AM   #15
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Body shop said no problem they can handle anything. They're more of a restoration shop and are used to old rusty things. Owner is a character and is excited about what I'm doing.

They were working on a Vette like mine when I walked in, good sign!
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Old 02-14-2019, 10:55 AM   #16
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Some pics from the past few weeks.IMG_20190119_152526.jpegIMG_20190119_170812_135.jpegIMG_20190109_114435.jpegIMG_20190109_114315.jpegIMG_20190210_105945.jpegIMG_20190210_124235_377.jpeg
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