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Old 03-06-2018, 09:32 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Arlington, for now
Posts: 57
Year: 1987
Coachwork: GMC
The Happy Bus Adventure

Hello guys! We finally were able to drive our bus home Sunday. For my fiance's first time driving a vehicle that size, he did amazingly well. No close calls with turning or anything. I have included a link to my youtube page which will be for my Vlog or you can check out my Webpage www.yourwaytolive.wordpress.com for other updates and information. https://youtu.be/qXIQ-dzdATk

Our bus came partially converted. There is a lot of character on the inside already, but we will be adding a lot of storage and other perks to the bus. This is our first time taking on a project of this magnitude and the whole family is really looking forward to it. We are picking up seats today when I get off work to put on the bus for car seat safety for my 3 year old. Thanks guys for all the help and ideas along the way. This community has been a blessing!
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:46 AM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Arlington, for now
Posts: 57
Year: 1987
Coachwork: GMC
We were able to find a nice storage spot for our bus while we are working on it! And I could not be more grateful to my co-worker for recommending this place to us. if you are in the Arlington, Kennedale area and needing storage for your skoolie, Let me know!
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File Type: jpg busforus.jpg (130.2 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg bushome.jpg (188.7 KB, 22 views)
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:49 AM   #3
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Frisco, Texas
Posts: 828
Year: 1998
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: Dt466e
Rated Cap: 71
Wish it was a bit closer to me. I got a spot in prosper, but all the lots around here don't allow renovations or major work on site....so I work after hours and quietly, which slows you down a good bit
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:58 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Arlington, for now
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Year: 1987
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjhwick119 View Post
Wish it was a bit closer to me. I got a spot in prosper, but all the lots around here don't allow renovations or major work on site....so I work after hours and quietly, which slows you down a good bit
Yeah, we were having that problem. Most of the places did not want any working on the bus while in their lots. I just happened to work with a woman whose relative owned a storage place. They were super nice and did not have electricity for us but would allow work to be done. Our build will be simple shelves and cabinets, nothing major yet.
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Old 03-06-2018, 11:59 AM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Fayetteville Arkansas
Posts: 419
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: GMC G3500 Vandura
Engine: V-8 5.7L Gas
You look like folks I might see at music festivals. Right on.
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Old 03-06-2018, 12:24 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Arlington, for now
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Year: 1987
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas1985 View Post
You look like folks I might see at music festivals. Right on.
Hahaha Yes, we are definitely those types of folks! Now that we have a bus, we plan on going to EDC in Vegas and Burning Man at some point. There are plenty of other music festivals we will hit up as well. My fiance is a drummer, my kids love tinkering with pianos, and I love to dance and sometimes beat a drum to his music.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:40 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Arlington, for now
Posts: 57
Year: 1987
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Turn everything Off first!

Aarrgg, we got to the bus yesterday to go pick up the SUV seats (thanks guys for the recommendations on my kids' safety) but couldn't get the bus to start, or turn over. Turned out my fiance left the backup camera and screen on and that ate up our battery after being left on for two days.
But it gave us a chance to open the battery compartment and see what we were dealing with in there. Although not going to lie My fiance opened the hood up first to look for the battery before I reminded him that it wasn't under there!!! bus elec9.jpg
bus elec6.jpg

bus elec4.jpg

bus elec5.jpg
We have plenty of room for a spare battery and I might even be able to make it wider to hold the 12-volt batteries we are going to need.
However, that is the part I am having a hard time with. Will be asking about hooking up batteries later on another thread. The previous owners did their own electrical but they have it set up as shore power only. I need a way to hook that whole set up into a battery bank? There is no way I am letting my fridge run off the house battery.

Either way, I know more about how I want to go about changing things and we might even remove most everything and put it back differently. Do you think that would be impossible?
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:35 PM   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Fayetteville Arkansas
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: GMC G3500 Vandura
Engine: V-8 5.7L Gas
Nothing is impossible. I know it's a lot of work but insulation makes a difference. Did they do that or is the original metal ceiling still there?
It will be worth it if you are going to take everything out anyway.
I'm sure some of the electrical geniuses will help you as far as the shore power goes.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:38 PM   #9
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Arlington, for now
Posts: 57
Year: 1987
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Yeah they did some insulation in the bus. However, the insulation on the ceiling is a white foam and its on the outside of the ceiling panels, not underneath.
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Old 03-07-2018, 04:43 PM   #10
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Arlington, for now
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Year: 1987
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This is what it looks like.
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Old 03-07-2018, 05:00 PM   #11
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Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Fayetteville Arkansas
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Year: 1991
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Chassis: GMC G3500 Vandura
Engine: V-8 5.7L Gas
Yeah I doubt that will do much of anything but like I said it depends how much work you guys want to do right away.
I'm just starting my second bus which we are going to be more thorough on but the last three years we have been traveling in a 25 foot shuttle bus that isn't insulated.
We always park in the shade and have been using a giant powerful fan with windows and doors open to catch a breeze in there.
We wouldn't survive at Burning Man like this.
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Old 03-19-2018, 09:54 AM   #12
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Arlington, for now
Posts: 57
Year: 1987
Coachwork: GMC
The 1st long trip

We took our first long trip this past week with the Happy Bus! We drove to my parents' cabin in Oklahoma and the getting there was slow but we made it up unscathed .

Before we left we had to install the seats for my kids to sit in during the drive. That took a bit longer than expected and we didn't get on the road until about 10 o'clock Friday(12th) night.

working9.jpg
working10.jpg

We stopped at a Flying J and slept overnight. The kids had a pull-out couch and I and Will slept on the SUV seats (for the first night) Aired up the mattress for the rest of the week.

family1.jpg
sleeping2.jpg
sleeping1.jpg
sleeping.jpg


We dismantled a nurse bed and two nude wood bookcases. We removed the beer wall and will be adding a pallet wall instead with small storage for a medicine cabinet type area.

working1.jpg
working2.jpg
working3.jpg
working7.jpg
working4.jpg

The kids enjoyed helping with what they could and we gave them every opportunity to be involved in the transformation process of their new home.

working16.jpg
working14.jpg

It was such a rewarding experience getting to actually work on things and decided where everything is going to go. My family has been very supportive this past week and let use borrow dome tools and offer to do the welding on our top rack when we get that built. So it looks like we are going to be spending most of our summer in Oklahoma getting the Bus home ready!

Sleeping on the bus at night was fairly cold up in the higher altitude, so that will need to be fixed soon. I need to sew some curtains together and provide more insulation by the back door and front door. Staying in it this past week also gave us a good look at what we will want where and what will work for us or not work for us. When we make it out to the bus later this week Ill take some pictures of the way we want a few things set up and post those as well.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg working12.jpg (120.1 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg family3.jpg (209.0 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg family4.jpg (158.2 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg family.jpg (176.3 KB, 0 views)
File Type: jpg hometweethome.jpg (140.6 KB, 0 views)
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