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Old 07-11-2018, 08:13 PM   #21
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Buying

Where did you find your bus? I知 ready to buy one and get started with design and build! Super excited as I知 planning a year long sabbatical and road trip

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Old 07-11-2018, 08:50 PM   #22
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Posts: 233
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: Genesis
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 84lug
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Originally Posted by Midori View Post
Hey there! I transplanted to the Seattle area 5 years ago for college with my husband. In the time it's taken me to graduate, I've watched the housing market nearly jump out of reach. We're not having kids, so worrying about making ends meet every month just feels like a wasted life. I've been day dreaming about living on wheels for over a year and have iterated through pretty much every possibility twice over while slowly pulling my husband on board.

To be honest, I don't like the term "tiny house movement." Sounds too much like a sales slogan for an expensive supplement nobody needs. I fell in love with the skoolie community a few months ago, seeing more folks that felt like my people. Unlike the miniature houses on trailers, a search for skoolie still returns mostly diy projects owned by people with callouses. The ingenuity of you folks is astounding! So thank you all for taking the time to share your work and knowledge. The day we found this forum was when I finally saw the light go on for my husband.

SOOOO.....fast forward to Thursday, we jumped in! We're now the proud owners of a huge 98 Thomas pusher with a Cummins 8.3L engine, an MT643 transmission, and less miles than all 3 of our other vehicles (around 150k). The seats and flooring were already out, and people, this bus is clean! No repairs needed so far. We'll be moving in next summer. This still feels surreal.

The best photos are on the hubs phone, but here's what I've currently got. I'll be posting our build here, so I hope y'all like what we do and I look forward to your comments or critiques.
Congrats!!! Welcome to the skoolie family!
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:22 PM   #23
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Bellevue, WA
Posts: 22
Year: 1998
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cummins 6CTA
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Originally Posted by cowlitzcoach View Post
It appears as if you got yourself a really nice used bus.

Any idea from which school district it came?

Your floor plan is rather interesting. With the tub all the way to the front like that it doesn't look like there is much room for a co-pilot's seat. Devising a fold down cover for the step wheel for when you are traveling or at night to really block the door would allow for a jump seat for the co-pilot.

Make sure as you close up all of the holes in the floor that you clearly mark any access panels in the floor. They are there for a reason and if you cover them up so you can't find them easily you will most definitely be asking yourself "what was I thinking" sometime down the road. In particular the access to the fuel tank, the engine, and the transmission are extremely important. Without the access servicing or repairing different parts of the power package will become very difficult. In bus repair difficult=expensive$$$$!
Sorry for the slow reply. We bought it from a couple who's plans to converte got derailed by life. They bought it from the Enumclaw district 2 years ago.

I think you have the floor plan backwards, the bed is up front, behind the driver and copilot seats as pictured. We have a rear engine which is going to be framed out as a closet. The back e-door (behind the tub) will get rv steps and become our primary door for home entry so we're not always having to climb across our king bed. The tub I'm getting will fit nicely in the 4 feet between the rear wheel and engine block.

Thanks for the tips on interior access panels. We are not welding those shut, and will keep access to them relatively painless.
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:33 PM   #24
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Location: Bellevue, WA
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Year: 1998
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Originally Posted by PocketNaomi View Post
Greetings from another Seattleite! That layout looks really sweet. I sympathize about the griping from neighbors... our plans to build got derailed when we moved (temporarily; we're back in the city now) to Whidbey Island, where it's illegal to live in any form of RV or mobile home outside a formally recognized trailer park, of which there is exactly one on the island at the wrong end for us. Something about wind, we were told, although we've seen a lot of people park RVs all over the island (without living in them... ostensibly) and we've never seen any of them have trouble from wind.

Oh well. Right now, we're back in the city in a rented house and saving money to build our dream Skoolie. My last round of savings had to go to replace our car, which died unexpectedly; but we're not in a hurry. Six years till we're empty nesters ourselves... we can have it done by then.
The zoning rules are obnoxious and totally out of touch to handle the housing crisis. We volunteered on a tiny home build for a women's homeless community, but it was a nightmare getting things approved according to the folks leading the non-profit, and all the negative press about it made me pretty mad. The houses we built were adorable! Let people live, yeash.

Good luck with your build and getting all your ducks out the door....I mean in a row
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Old 07-13-2018, 07:40 PM   #25
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Location: Bellevue, WA
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Year: 1998
Chassis: Thomas
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Originally Posted by Redtiger917 View Post
Where did you find your bus? I知 ready to buy one and get started with design and build! Super excited as I知 planning a year long sabbatical and road trip
We lucked out on craigslist. I was actively looking for maybe a month? Derek is good around cars, but neither of us knew anything about diesel. Did a little research (mostly on this forum) to find out what engine/transmission we wanted, pros and cons of the 3 engine configurations, and what to check for when we looked at a bus. I think we still could have gotten ourselves into trouble, but it's been solid so far! We had been planning to visit Harlow sales in Auburn if the one we got hadn't worked out. Good luck!
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:20 PM   #26
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Year: 1998
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Ok current status: hot. It's been a chore to get myself in the bus the last few days. Have been keeping a bandanna around to wipe the sweat out of my eyes.

Progress though. Last week I tackled titleing and registration. Had to do some extra paperwork and get emissions. That was scary. But we passed! We're a bonafide licensed RV! Thanks to PNW skoolies for recommending Barb's for the title conversion.

Besides being hot, we've also not had all of the right tools. We're frugal deal hunters and scrounged together everything we needed from multiple craigslist adds, but that always slows things down. Been flexing my haggling arm. Anyway, we've got the ceiling panels down, just screws, thank goodness. The wall panels tuck under the windows, so I cut them off with an angle grinder. About to pull out the nasty yellow insulation, not excited. We honestly debated for days on removing the inner skins or keeping them. Finally decided it was a good idea to remove so we could see if there have been any water leaks. So. Many. Screws.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:34 PM   #27
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Year: 1998
Chassis: Thomas
Engine: Cummins 6CTA
The flooring up front was still in but we could tell there was some water stains and also a huge gap around the driver's seat that will need to be welded shut. Not wanting to unbolt everything, we were just going to cut out the offending section. This is where we really couldn't do anything without some wood tools. Both impatient, Derek tried using his dremel. The dremel tip broke We picked up a jigsaw and circular saw yesterday, so we can get back on it the right way. Desperate times, friends.
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