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Old 05-07-2015, 02:03 PM   #321
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I highly recommend hy 12 from nagshead down to Hatteras and take the ferries to okra-coke and ferry to cedar point and then down to Wilmington follow the coast

I can give advice about hwy 158 at Elizabeth city to Kitty Hawk down to 64/12 junction and down 12 to Wilmington route etc.

sounds fun

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Old 05-07-2015, 04:56 PM   #322
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I live in wilmington nc, send me a pm for phone number, I'd like to check out the bus and will be of assistance anyway I can. I usually work 60+ hours a week but on the weekend or via phone.

Have fun! And nice work on the tanks, so much space under the bus anyway. I don't know why they are so tall but with so little under the floor, I geuss to get on 22.5 " wheels
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:08 AM   #323
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Quote:
Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
You're going to have a great time and make some memories on that trip! It's awesome you have so much family support too.
I know, I can't wait. I have a ton of great memories and stories just from our 6 day trip to Memphis, Asheville and Blacksburg about this time last year. My family is unbelievably supportive of all that I do, including taking time off college to do this and working my ass off at multiple jobs to pay for it (though they do help financially sometimes, as they are able to). I think building this combined with my work experience during my "time off" will help me be a more well rounded person. I also REALLY have to thank my next door neighbor for allowing me to keep the big heap of a bus IN HIS SIDE YARD. FOR FREE. FOR OVER A YEAR. THANK YOU STEVE. I have never had a single complaint from my neighbors about noise from tools (I am generally courteous and don't work with loud tools past 9 pm).

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Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
Thoughts on the A/C: you might find that 10k BTU doesn't go very far. Sounds like you won't be running it while underway (when air leakage is worst because of the wind), which is good. Might be worth having of a backup plan to zone the bus so that you're cooling a smaller section -- maybe use magnets to hang a bed sheet or tarp for example. Such a curtain won't need a really good seal around the edges to make a big difference. The 10k BTU will probably do a great job of cooling a smaller portion of the bus.
I didn't think the 10k BTUs will go very far. But I didn't want to do roof units, and I didn't think I would be in a spot where I would have power to run it particularly often. I will probably use your sheet idea to block off the front of the bus (drivers seat forward) because that is a huge air leakage spot.

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Originally Posted by family wagon View Post
On the window screen: it might be important to have the edges well-sealed. Insects like to land and crawl around when they're drawn toward a light at night, and perimeter gaps could be a problem (less of a problem than no screens at all, though!). Maybe you could build a scroll with screen instead of parchment: a pair of horizontal rods with window screen between them. Attach self-stick foam gasket onto the rods, like the 1" square kind used around window A/C units, as a seal between the rods and bus wall. Then use magnets to close off the sides. Make it long so that it can span across several window bays to minimize the number of sides that have to be closed off. The rods could hang in brackets that wedge them and compresses the foam seal against the wall.
Absolutely I will have the edges sealed. I can't quite visualize what you mean by the scroll thing, but I think I have a general idea of what you are talking about. Or another idea like it, at least.

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Originally Posted by Tango View Post
What!? No stop at Area 51?
Haha. I only have 6 weeks! In order to do this trip properly I would need 6 months at LEAST (and a lot of money)!

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Originally Posted by M1031A1 View Post
LOVE to see ya since you'll be driving by Katy Texas!!! Since my Thomas is very similar I'd enjoy comparing notes if you have the time. Let me know. I just had an interview for a major promotion as a parts manager at my ISD. Maybe I'll have that position by the time you get here......

M1031
Sure thing! You got a place for us to stay for a night? Parking space and an outlet?

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Originally Posted by jazty View Post
What do you have for a fuel tank in that rig, porkchopsandwiches? How much distance to you get per tank? I only had a 37 gallon and wish I had my second 75 gallon tank installed when I scooted around the states this winter. It seems that fuel stations within a 40-50 mile radius of the National parks want a good bit more for their diesel. Same goes for the tiny mountain towns and, of course, buses get thirsty when driving upwards towards the sky. It would've been nice to skip some of those stations.
I have a 60 gallon unit. Though it is really only 45 that I use because I never run it below 1/4 tank. The gauge, when reading, is pretty accurate, but it only reads sometimes. I think something is gummed up on the sender because it will stick, especially at 2/3 and 1/3 tank, until I hit a big bump in the road or something to dislodge it.

I am likely going to have two or three 5 gallon jerry cans in the storage bins, but I was looking at NorthernTool to see if one of those pickup truck bed fuel tanks with the pump and nozzle would be feasible. Probably not though. I don't want to take up that much storage space, don't want to carry that much fuel outboard of the frame, and there is not a ton of space left under the bus to mount another tank. That is a good point though, then when I find some real cheap diesel I can stock up!

Anyone have a good source for military surplus jerry cans?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nat_ster View Post
Wow, All I can say is you the man.

Great job, that will all be more than strong enough.

Enjoy this all while your young. I'm so happy for you being able to go on this trip.

nat
Thank you sir, I know if I have your approval (except my liberal use of wood-related products) then I must be doing something right! I am glad I had this opportunity to do this. I'll enjoy the sh!t out of it!
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:12 AM   #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil View Post
I highly recommend hy 12 from nagshead down to Hatteras and take the ferries to okra-coke and ferry to cedar point and then down to Wilmington follow the coast

I can give advice about hwy 158 at Elizabeth city to Kitty Hawk down to 64/12 junction and down 12 to Wilmington route etc.

sounds fun
I was reading your thread and the trip you went on there. You did go there right? And that wasn't someone else's thread I am thinking of? Haha. Thanks. PM me any advice you have, it will be greatly appreciated!

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Originally Posted by rjz5400 View Post
I live in wilmington nc, send me a pm for phone number, I'd like to check out the bus and will be of assistance anyway I can. I usually work 60+ hours a week but on the weekend or via phone.

Have fun! And nice work on the tanks, so much space under the bus anyway. I don't know why they are so tall but with so little under the floor, I geuss to get on 22.5 " wheels
Will do! I think it is a number of factors. One, once you have the height of the wheels, the axles to support them, the leafs and the C channel to hold a ton of weight, you are up high, and it doubles as safety. If this bus gets T bones by a Suburban, the kids are higher than it and won't get impacted. Just a guess but it makes sense.
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:20 AM   #325
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are you using Delorme street atlas by any chance?
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Old 05-08-2015, 11:25 AM   #326
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Anyone have a good source for military surplus jerry cans?
Check here, and don't forget the donkey dick
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Old 05-08-2015, 12:33 PM   #327
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Check out 4sale section of steelsoldiers-dot-com
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:16 PM   #328
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PCS,

We'll have a HUGE lot in about three weeks. We're moving to a new-to-us apartment. It's close to I 10 and there are good supermarkets and whatnot to restock/resupply/refuel. The H.E.B. has the CHEAPEST prices on good quality diesel just down the street from us. The current price is about $2.35 or so. GREAT brisket, chops, and other goodies. Look forward to seeing ya here!
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Old 05-13-2015, 05:47 PM   #329
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awesome trip, and great build thread.

Hit me up while you're in Utah if you want to know some great places to hike, camp for free, explore, etc. We may even join you if the timing is right!
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Old 05-13-2015, 06:21 PM   #330
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It would appear as if you are getting ready to head out on a trip of a lifetime!

Sometimes a quick trip like what you are planning results in seeing stuff you wouldn't see on a longer trip due to the prior planning. Just make sure you don't get so tied to the schedule that you don't slow down and smell the roses along the way.

One of the things I didn't like about the trips we made when I was a kid was my dad was always big on "making time". We were on vacation. I never understood what the big deal was about "making time".

Now that I am a parent I understand a little more about "making time". However, I always try to make sure there is always enough time to stop and enjoy the view, use the bathroom, stretch the legs, or change the schedule. Life is too short to always be pressing onward.

When you get to the left coast drop us a line. We live a mile from I-5 exit #68 in WA, a little more than an hour north of Portland and a little more than two hours south of Seattle.

In regards to your fuel tank issues, instead of stocking up on spare fuel cans or an auxiliary fuel tank why not just install a larger fuel tank. Finding a larger school bus tank might be a little difficult but finding a larger fuel tank off of a truck shouldn't be that hard. Most of them will fit between the frame rail and the fender skirting. And if the fender skirting gets in the way it isn't hard to remove it.

I am wondering why you didn't make the frame for your compartments go all the way across under the bus. It might make accessing the tanks a little difficult if you ever have to repair anything but it seems a shame to not use the space that is available.

Make sure and give us a shout when you are in the neighborhood. We will be home most of the time during the week for the month of July.

Good luck and happy trails!
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:45 AM   #331
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
It would appear as if you are getting ready to head out on a trip of a lifetime!

Sometimes a quick trip like what you are planning results in seeing stuff you wouldn't see on a longer trip due to the prior planning. Just make sure you don't get so tied to the schedule that you don't slow down and smell the roses along the way.

One of the things I didn't like about the trips we made when I was a kid was my dad was always big on "making time". We were on vacation. I never understood what the big deal was about "making time".

Now that I am a parent I understand a little more about "making time". However, I always try to make sure there is always enough time to stop and enjoy the view, use the bathroom, stretch the legs, or change the schedule. Life is too short to always be pressing onward.

When you get to the left coast drop us a line. We live a mile from I-5 exit #68 in WA, a little more than an hour north of Portland and a little more than two hours south of Seattle.

In regards to your fuel tank issues, instead of stocking up on spare fuel cans or an auxiliary fuel tank why not just install a larger fuel tank. Finding a larger school bus tank might be a little difficult but finding a larger fuel tank off of a truck shouldn't be that hard. Most of them will fit between the frame rail and the fender skirting. And if the fender skirting gets in the way it isn't hard to remove it.

I am wondering why you didn't make the frame for your compartments go all the way across under the bus. It might make accessing the tanks a little difficult if you ever have to repair anything but it seems a shame to not use the space that is available.

Make sure and give us a shout when you are in the neighborhood. We will be home most of the time during the week for the month of July.

Good luck and happy trails!
Thanks! As for the frames for the storage, it will make sense when I post a good photo from underneath, but basically, because there is no room. Same for a larger diesel tank, no room. Sounds cray but the storage compartments are huge. Also, adding a bigger diesel tank is opening a big 60 gallon can of worms that I am not trying to do right now, as I am leaving in about a month and have plenty to do before then!!

Thanks for the hospitality offer. I will need to compile a cross country contact list!
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Old 05-14-2015, 09:49 AM   #332
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If you ever are in Fl hit me up!
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Old 05-20-2015, 08:31 PM   #333
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Way to go porkchopsandwiches....

I just bought a 40 Ft Thomas....totally enjoyed reading your Build...wasted half my day...lol

I am In Eugene, Oregon. I have a Full shop....I mechanic and Fabricate here at home, and Do Rescue Dog transport Coast to Coast....

I just bought this Bus to turn it into a Dog transport Vehicle but keep it Modular, so I can remove doggy gear, and Swap in RV gear for a Few Trips a Year with my Kids before they all grow out of the house.

When I was A kid, My Dad drove us from Oregon to SC and FL in a 78 VW Bus....2 adults and 4 kids....Best Summer vacation Ever....

Pm me....I will give you my info...you will be sliding right thru here it looks Like.... I have a Place to Park, and will be Working on my BEAST......

Always Way cool to See a Young guy with Drive....;)

Keep it Going....
John in Oregon.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:06 AM   #334
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Haven't updated in a bit so here goes:



This was my ingenious solution for the curtain rod hangers. Pipe hangers + threaded rod + EMT conduit did the trick. I wasn't sure if that was clear in the photos.



Here we are painting all the metal bits for storage and water - we just thinned some oil-based RustOleum gloss black and ran it through an HVLP sprayer. Laid it on reeeeal thick and we were good to go. The paint is still drying in some places a week later, maybe a bit too thick.



These are the finished fresh water tank mounts:



Fabric we got for curtains - $12:



The not-so-elegant solution for droppin' deuces or thrices (not looking forward to this):



We painted up some of the unfinished areas in the bus with the rustoleum gloss and put covers back where they belong which really ties the room together:



Reinstalled the ill-fitting stock wiring covers:



Current photo of the state of the Interior (minus the RGB LEDs because I forgot to turn them on):



Crapper room + spray foam. I have a 4" bilge fan from a boat we will use to ventilate this area:



Completed interior shower. I don't like FRP but it is cheap and convenient for this purpose. The ceiling is 3003 aluminum that I probably paid way too much for, but it looks cool so there is that.





As you can see, we are leaving in like 2 weeks and I have yet to do any plumbing at all. Luckily PEX is easy to work with...

The now very crowded under-side of the bus:



The driver side storage compartment is hung, both fresh tanks, both grey tanks, and the passenger side storage compartment (pictured) is ready to be hung. Then I will install plumbing, hit my head a lot, relocate heater hoses (will have heater hooked up in case we start overheating) and tie up wiring. The Webasto / compartment still needs to go back in, but I may skip that and just tie the plumbing together for now.

Our rigged concept for window screens - fiberglass screen gorilla taped to metal 5/16 dowel that sits in the rain gutter and gets taut-ed by magnets. Stupid, yes. Functional, yes:



Exterior shower (says so right on the box so I don't forget):





I have a lot of plumbing and electrical work to do this week. Anyone want to come to DC and help? I'll make you food.
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Old 06-01-2015, 11:22 AM   #335
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Our rigged concept for window screens - fiberglass screen gorilla taped to metal 5/16 dowel that sits in the rain gutter and gets taut-ed by magnets. Stupid, yes. Functional, yes:

Not stupid- economical. As well as adapting and overcoming.
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Old 06-01-2015, 12:05 PM   #336
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Superb job on the tank mounts! I grinned when I saw that lovely spread of metal components all freshly painted.
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Old 06-02-2015, 12:09 PM   #337
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Superb job on the tank mounts! I grinned when I saw that lovely spread of metal components all freshly painted.
Thanks! I hope they hold up well as they look! I love it too but they got all scraped up when putting them in, so they will need a re-coat
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Old 06-05-2015, 09:39 AM   #338
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Completed interior shower. I don't like FRP but it is cheap and convenient for this purpose. The ceiling is 3003 aluminum that I probably paid way too much for, but it looks cool so there is that.
Never underestimate the importance of looking cool.
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Old 06-05-2015, 01:19 PM   #339
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Lookin' good. I totally hear you on the fuel tanks. I over doubled my capacity (from 65 gallons to 140) and it was a major undertaking. Glad I did though. couldn't imagine taking things apart to rework everything.
Love the color, by the way.
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Old 06-05-2015, 01:27 PM   #340
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my 1997 Pusher was Blessed with 100 Gals from Factory.... More than Enough to go State to state....;)
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