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Old 09-11-2019, 11:09 PM   #21
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Olathe, Kansas
Posts: 217
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: 6-71TA
Rated Cap: 90
I will add myself to the lonesome Schoolie builders group...lol. I have had many discouragers say just buy an RV and be done with it. My answer as usual was thanks but no thanks. There is no denying it is a lot of work (especially if your raising the roof on a Crown). The amount of rivets I had to remove is like two to three times that of a Bluebird or Thomas. I am way past that now but recall my arms aching for days from the air chisel. I raised the roof myself but did get offers of help. Try to think of what it will be instead of what you have to do and break down the work into smaller tasks.
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:15 PM   #22
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Year: 2003
Coachwork: International
Chassis: CE 300
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GWRider View Post
I will add myself to the lonesome Schoolie builders group...lol. I have had many discouragers say just buy an RV and be done with it. My answer as usual was thanks but no thanks. There is no denying it is a lot of work (especially if your raising the roof on a Crown). The amount of rivets I had to remove is like two to three times that of a Bluebird or Thomas. I am way past that now but recall my arms aching for days from the air chisel. I raised the roof myself but did get offers of help. Try to think of what it will be instead of what you have to do and break down the work into smaller tasks.
I did my row with a hammer, punch and chisel. At one point I was trying to drive home and couldn't grip the wheel.
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:03 AM   #23
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,847
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Jsneeb, thank you for posting the excerpt from "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance". I read that book some 35 or so years ago. I really NEEDED that refresher. I'll have to dust off that book and give it another read. It is one book I felt was germain to life at all sorts of levels. I had not thought of it applying to skoolies, but it does so in a very BIG way.


I, too, and the only one working on our rig. My wife helps with design and as a sounding board and certain other tasks which she can do. I like to WORK on the bus. My only regret is to have put a timeline on the work. The Beast has its own timeline though, so I have little say in the matter really.


Zona_the_bus ... chin up! Yes, it is frustrating doing it yourself. As long as you keep in mind that you CAN do all that is needed for the job, you will find a way to make it happen. Stick with it, it will happen.
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:05 PM   #24
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Windham NH
Posts: 1,228
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International RE
Engine: International T444e
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
This is all that is needed, I don't think anyone can come up with a faster or easier method.
I tried that. Snug-fit square bits stripped many of the screws. And I tried the "impact driver" another guy posted here- hammering my arm off upwards.



The only method I found to work was to pry the panels down and air chisel the screw heads off. Absolutely miserable experience.
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:07 PM   #25
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Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 23,094
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
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I've been there. Just gotta grin n bear it.
Lots of beers and doobs.
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:15 PM   #26
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Year: 1993
Coachwork: Goshen
Chassis: E350
Engine: 7.3 IDI
Rated Cap: 14
Don't let it get you down.


Just this week, I noticed some spots on the back door of my short shuttle (the one thing I didn't strip and rebuild when I build the bus). Mine has been mostly done and driving for a year. I had to rip out the main bed and gut the back wall of the bus due to mold. A slight leak that went unnoticed.


Stuff happens.


With that said... if you CANT get the roof metal down... then don't. It's not the end of the world. You could go over the metal with some foam board and your ceiling material to gain a bit of insulation and not worry about it.. or just keep picking away at it and you'll get it.


Either way, it's nothing to stress over.



Good luck!
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:24 PM   #27
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Mt Vernon, WA
Posts: 472
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Bluebird, Collins
Chassis: G30 Bluebird Microbird, E350 Shuttle Bus
Engine: 1995 Chevrolet 350, 1992 Ford 460
I’ll second the suggestion of whacking the screws first with a hammer then using impact drill.
It’s sounds like the “clutch” on your drill is set too low for how stuck the screws are so it might be slipping.
Maybe sign up for a van build in the desert this Fall?
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:43 PM   #28
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 118
Chassis: GMC 3500 Thomas
Engine: 6.0 L GAS
I have a roof with screws as well but even with a few friends I weigh the need to undo something that seems fine just to do it all over again.

So I have no plans to redo my room. I ALSO have no plans to install water tanks. I remember something that an old pro said which was to live in it for a while and see what you REALLY need . He suggested your design will be affected by how comfortable you live vs how hard you want to work hehehe. I do hope to live full time in my mini but I think I can do it without a lot of bells and whistles like running water ( ha ...maybe not we'll see )

I also remember reading about someone who sold their fully modded full size bus because they realized they didn't really like living in it full time.

Get the minimum done and start travelling / living.....you'll find time to modify ?
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Old 09-18-2019, 03:48 PM   #29
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Western Oregon
Posts: 875
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue-Bird
Chassis: TC RE 3408
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12V Mechanical/Allison MT643
Rated Cap: Blue-Bird says 72 pass.
That's very good advice. Thanks. Most of my stress comes from when my plans get screwed up and I stress over unscrewing them. So I'm going to try it without plans for a while just to see what happens.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:03 PM   #30
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Toronto
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Have you ever looked for outside support? Since you are in San Diego, Lake Havasu is not too far. You may want to attend the van build fest starting Nov 8th: https://www.enigmaticnomadics.com/2019-van-build-fest. Great event to get help, return the favour and hook up with like minded people. Jamie lives in a skoolie conversion.

Then around the second week of January should be the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous, possibly in Quartzside AZ. We will attend for a third time this coming one: https://homesonwheelsalliance.org/rtr/

And don't listen to the haters, they are great events and lots of good people.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:07 PM   #31
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Year: 1935
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Chassis: Chevy
Engine: 317 ci/tid / Isuzu
I've discovered what happens when I don't have a plan.

Nothing happens.

Jack
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:12 PM   #32
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,538
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skidfrog View Post
I have a roof with screws as well but even with a few friends I weigh the need to undo something that seems fine just to do it all over again.

So I have no plans to redo my room. I ALSO have no plans to install water tanks. I remember something that an old pro said which was to live in it for a while and see what you REALLY need . He suggested your design will be affected by how comfortable you live vs how hard you want to work hehehe. I do hope to live full time in my mini but I think I can do it without a lot of bells and whistles like running water ( ha ...maybe not we'll see )

I also remember reading about someone who sold their fully modded full size bus because they realized they didn't really like living in it full time.

Get the minimum done and start travelling / living.....you'll find time to modify ?
Park it in the sun and sit inside and read a book for an hour. You'll start to understand the benefits of adding sufficient insulation everywhere possible
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:25 PM   #33
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Western Oregon
Posts: 875
Year: 1995
Coachwork: Blue-Bird
Chassis: TC RE 3408
Engine: 5.9 Cummins 12V Mechanical/Allison MT643
Rated Cap: Blue-Bird says 72 pass.
@ol trunt, well of course, it helps to get out of bed if one knows what is to be done today. But I at least, and this how I interpreted some other posts in this thread, intend to try making my plans much smaller, no more overarching plan that ends with the completion of the bus. That's pretty overwhelming really.

So, now I'm going to focus on more task oriented plans, i.e., I will do this task, or a manageable sized set of tasks, and then I will make a new plan involving other tasks. No more overarching plans about finishing the bus in a linear fashion.

Hopefully, less planning will leave more time for working.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:43 PM   #34
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Freedom Field, New Mexico
Posts: 189
Year: 1998
Coachwork: International
Chassis: Amtrans
Engine: 444E
Rated Cap: 84 pas
My wife and I have lived in more than one school bus. We are currently living in a 1998 International amtran 300 in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico. I know a lot of people have removed the ceilings , torn out the existing insulation, and spray foamed the underside of the roof. While that may give you a little more r value it's not necessary. There are other options that don't require removing 3 million screws. If you feel that you are losing too much heat through the roof in the winter time, and or gaining too much heat through the roof in the summertime, you could insulate insulate using foam board on the ceiling, instead of in the ceiling.
You lose a whole lot more Through the Windows then you will through your already insulated roof. Here in the desert the Sun beats down mercilessly on the roof and some heat radiates on the inside. Much more radiates Through the Windows. To solve this we covered most of the windows on the inside and the walls width 2 in pink foam. We then covered the roof with solar panels, which shade the roof and provide Power. We found our 327 watt panels on Craigslist from a fellow in Albuquerque for $140 a piece. 10 of them fit nicely on the roof providing ample power wow reducing radiant heat from the Sun.
I know it's disappointing when you expect help from friends and family members and it's not forthcoming, however you have a vision, if you are patient , take your time, and learn the skills that you need to complete the job, then plod along until it is done, you can accomplish what you set out to do.
An inexpensive way to make your ceiling look nice after you have covered it with insulation board is to use contact paper.
Ruth and I are living in our bus while doing our conversion. We are often crowded by materials and tools. My health being what it is sometimes even small aspects of the project take many days, or don't seem to progress at all.
We don't let it get us down we just know that some things will get done on another day. Best of luck to you. I hope you don't lose heart.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:52 PM   #35
Bus Geek
 
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Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,538
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rock-N-Ruth View Post
My wife and I have lived in more than one school bus. We are currently living in a 1998 International amtran 300 in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico. I know a lot of people have removed the ceilings , torn out the existing insulation, and spray foamed the underside of the roof. While that may give you a little more r value it's not necessary. There are other options that don't require removing 3 million screws. If you feel that you are losing too much heat through the roof in the winter time, and or gaining too much heat through the roof in the summertime, you could insulate insulate using foam board on the ceiling, instead of in the ceiling.
You lose a whole lot more Through the Windows then you will through your already insulated roof. Here in the desert the Sun beats down mercilessly on the roof and some heat radiates on the inside. Much more radiates Through the Windows. To solve this we covered most of the windows on the inside and the walls width 2 in pink foam. We then covered the roof with solar panels, which shade the roof and provide Power. We found our 327 watt panels on Craigslist from a fellow in Albuquerque for $140 a piece. 10 of them fit nicely on the roof providing ample power wow reducing radiant heat from the Sun.
I know it's disappointing when you expect help from friends and family members and it's not forthcoming, however you have a vision, if you are patient , take your time, and learn the skills that you need to complete the job, then plod along until it is done, you can accomplish what you set out to do.
An inexpensive way to make your ceiling look nice after you have covered it with insulation board is to use contact paper.
Ruth and I are living in our bus while doing our conversion. We are often crowded by materials and tools. My health being what it is sometimes even small aspects of the project take many days, or don't seem to progress at all.
We don't let it get us down we just know that some things will get done on another day. Best of luck to you. I hope you don't lose heart.
The main issue is headroom, there's little as is. If you plan on living in it, insulation done properly is a must. Lowering the ceiling height is just not an option if you want space. Add 2" insulation on the floor and another on the ceiling and you've lost about 5-6" of headroom. If you want to build a proper Skoolie and you gone through the process of gutting a bus, it just stand to reason that you would do the extra steps at this point when it easy to do.
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:11 PM   #36
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: NC, TN, and CA
Posts: 145
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Eldorado (REV)
Chassis: Chevy Express Cutaway g3500
Engine: Turbo diesel 6.5L
Rated Cap: 14
I can empathize with you. I have had my shuttle for over a year, spent over $10,000 in repairs and starting remodel. When I hit the one year mark, I was ready to give it up and give it away. I know I still have a long ways to go. I read that less than 10% of shuttle owners complete their projects. Please hang in there. We have to show that we can do this!
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:59 PM   #37
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Oregon
Posts: 17
Year: 2005
Chassis: Thomas
Hi There!
I'm doing this alone too, as a single woman w/ little building experience, and am moving SO MUCH SLOWER than everybody I'm seeing on youtube/instagram/forums. I was in the demo phase for almost two full months and exhausted.

Many on here have different opinions about instagram- but honestly it has saved me. I got ideas about how to solve problems quite quickly, I got support from total strangers who told me I was kicking ass, and now people are telling me that by documenting my process I am helping them.

I recently spoke with some former skoolie owners on one of their last nights in their bus. When I asked for advice, they said the #1 thing was to stick to what I want. It doesn't matter what anybody else wants for my bus- this is my project and I get to do whatever I decide is right. This totally motivated me and I have been comparing myself to others less.

Feel free to reach out to me or this community whenever you feel stressed, we're here to help and cheer you on! You got this!!
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:27 PM   #38
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Suburbs of Winterset, OH
Posts: 162
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: FS65
Engine: Mercedes 6.4L
difficult screws

another suggestion for removing messed up Phillips head screws...use a dremel with a cutting disc on it to cut a slot in the screw head, then use a standard screw driver on it....I didn't take the interior roof down in my first skoolie and don't plan to do it on the one I'll be working on this winter....but, that's a personal choice...
anyway, sometimes, on any project, you just need to walk away for a while...
and like some others have said, take the little victories as they come, every step you take is progress.
Good luck!!
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:33 PM   #39
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 18
If you have access to an air compressor, go to Harbor Freight or Northern tool and purchase an air chisel. You can use it to get the screws started spinning out, then finish removing the screws with your drill and bit. Just finished removing mine in prep for roof raise. Worked good.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:20 PM   #40
Bus Crazy
 
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Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: south east BC, close to the Canadian/US border
Posts: 2,265
Year: 1975
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: 8 window
Engine: 454 LS7
Rated Cap: 24,500
Quote:
Originally Posted by ol trunt View Post
I've discovered what happens when I don't have a plan.

Nothing happens.

Jack
,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ,,,,,,
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