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Old 10-31-2020, 02:54 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 27
Year: 2008
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: Cummins ISB
Keeping stock floor

First off, let me state the purpose of my build. I do not intend to live in the bus. It will be a weekend warrior and plugged in to shore power most of the time it is being used. So thermal efficiency isnít high on my list, it would be nice to be insulated, but not worth the effort in my opinion to rip out plywood to put a little skinny layer of insulation in and then new plywood. Also not that concerned with rust, I bet it is rusty under there, I donít care.... So, I know I canít be the only one that just pulled up the rubber, shot some goop in the holes and went along with the rest. To those who went this route, what unique troubles did you have?

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Old 10-31-2020, 03:27 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
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Year: 2007
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Chassis: Minotour
Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Unless you are absolutely sure the floor
Isn’t rusting away under that plywood, you’ll want to pull it up. I have an absolutely pristine floor. Just shiny bright galvy. So I decided to just leave the floor in place.

I filled all the holes with urethane sealant. The holes in my floor were only 1/4” so I just squirted through the hole. If yoo pop undo it this way, put cardboard under the bus to catch the excess. You’ll still want to put a layer of underlayment over the exiting ply because when you pull that rubber floor you’ll have sticky adhesive that you’ll want to cover immediately.
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Old 11-02-2020, 08:09 AM   #3
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Tearing up the floor and redoing it is a lot of work.. If you don't care that much you will be fine. I have seen a good number of buses just roll with the original floor.

My personal issue with the original floors is filth, mold and chemicals. The plywood is usually pressure treated with a collection of chemicals, over the years moisture gets trapped and grows funk.

If you have floor coverings and are not that close to it. I wouldn't worry about it you bus is not going to fall apart from it.
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Old 11-02-2020, 10:00 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: pa
Posts: 2,137
Year: 98
Coachwork: 1. Corbeil & 2. Thomas
Chassis: 1 ford e350 2 mercedes
Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
In our E350 we did not. Made a couple of holes in the floor with a hole saw and was pretty happy with what I saw..pun.. my floor is corrugated aluminum thus it ventilates under the wood.
We like the original rubber because it is quality industrial grade.
Left the ceiling in as well. With the webasto tsl17 it stays 65 at 32 outside. With a little insulation in the back and better door seals I think I will be ok.
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Old 11-02-2020, 01:51 PM   #5
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Location: Northern California (Sacramento)
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Year: 1999
Chassis: Ford E450
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bpike View Post
First off, let me state the purpose of my build. I do not intend to live in the bus. It will be a weekend warrior and plugged in to shore power most of the time it is being used. So thermal efficiency isnít high on my list, it would be nice to be insulated, but not worth the effort in my opinion to rip out plywood to put a little skinny layer of insulation in and then new plywood. Also not that concerned with rust, I bet it is rusty under there, I donít care.... So, I know I canít be the only one that just pulled up the rubber, shot some goop in the holes and went along with the rest. To those who went this route, what unique troubles did you have?
Our bus is also a fair-weather bus. We kept our floor stock. Our floor is 6 ply 3/4" plywood under heavy duty vinyl/linoleum/Idunno.

California shuttle so no rust/rot. We'll throw carpet down for comfort.
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Old 11-02-2020, 02:57 PM   #6
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Location: Louisiana
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We didn't pull the rubber up either. We glued a wood subfloor down over the original floor, then rolled out vinyl sheet flooring and it looks and feels great so far. So now our floor is about 1.5 inches thick of plywood.
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Old 11-11-2020, 08:18 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
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Engine: Cummins ISB
Thanks for the replies

Thanks to those that replied. I am just trying to make a reliable weekend warrior. Seems like there is a really hardcore group of folks on here that are convinced converting a bus should be as complicated as building a space shuttle.... discussions of galvanic corrosion of aluminum and steel on patches of the floor, thermal bridging of fasteners..... Itís a school bus, a good one weighs in at 25,000lbs and costs $5000. Thatís 20cents/lb. It doesnít have to be rocket surgery.
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Old 11-11-2020, 09:04 PM   #8
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Engine: 7.3 powerstroke & MBE906
Some people have higher ambitions and standards then other people. All depends on what your mission and ability is.. if you are a weekend warrior in alaska in the winter then these to you ridiculous little details would become more important.

Just do what floats your boat ... You can always ask opinions after you did it.

Good luck
Johan
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Old 11-11-2020, 11:47 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bpike View Post
Thanks to those that replied. I am just trying to make a reliable weekend warrior. Seems like there is a really hardcore group of folks on here that are convinced converting a bus should be as complicated as building a space shuttle.... discussions of galvanic corrosion of aluminum and steel on patches of the floor, thermal bridging of fasteners..... Itís a school bus, a good one weighs in at 25,000lbs and costs $5000. Thatís 20cents/lb. It doesnít have to be rocket surgery.
Yeah, some get geeky, and some have put in thousands only to rip out moldy insulation a few seasons later.

Youíre right, it doesnít have to be rocket surgery; but I will geek out over wire size, or propane enclosures, or dew point calculations because I want to enjoy the build when all is said and done, and some design decisions require gaining knowledge and using precision to achieve that.

This is a forum of ideas, so feel free to slap some crap together or calculate to two decimal points, itís all good because itís whatever you want from your conversion journey.
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Old 11-12-2020, 12:33 AM   #10
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Rated Cap: 32 Passenger
2 cents worth

Just to throw my 2 cents worth. For me, everything has a balance. Even our budgets and skills.
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Old 11-12-2020, 06:50 AM   #11
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I dont live in my bus but I spend a lot of time in at as a road-tripper and a mobile dev lab.. I have kept the stock everything in it. . and I will say that the floor.. esp the mating of the chassis / body at the front was atrocious.. it was a huge source of engine heat in summer and cold air in winter.. replacing that front floor and rebuilding the mating was a Huge gain in both acoustics and heat loss / gain.



for a weekend warrior if the existing floor is not a rotten mess (ive been in some busses that were being converted to party busses and we had to yank the whole darn thing because it was so rotten that it was probably unhealthy to spend much time inside with the windows up.



if the floor is in good shape I say roll with it.. the stock floor is easy to clean being rubber and unless you are camping in extreme cold you wont have much issue with it being cold..
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Old 11-12-2020, 02:34 PM   #12
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The vast majority of part-time campers just buy an RV instead of building out a school bus as an inferior RV that is smaller yet heavier. The Trulie Skoolie are thinking full-time living and being part of the Partridge Family, so treat it like a house and the effort is worth it, yet most don't seem to ever finish them.

Build it how you like, that is the advantage of building instead of buying.
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Old 11-12-2020, 07:38 PM   #13
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Not too many years ago it was common to do a minimal conversion of a school bus, and use it for a while and then sell, scrap, or park it out in the back forty.

Now, thanks to the communicative power of the internet, the science of a proper method of conversion has been written in stone. It is a great thing, but very few have the time, skill, and commitment to pull it off.

The skoolie conversion thing used to be play, not a full-time job.
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:26 AM   #14
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As I said, I didn’t go to the trouble of insulating my floor. I didn’t want to lose 2 inches. I also didn’t think I’d need to. I did come across a bus converter on YouTube who made a shorty for surfing Baja full time. He did a real budget build and did it fast. I found it interesting that the one thing he said he’d do different if doing it again would be to insulate the floor.
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Old 11-13-2020, 03:45 AM   #15
Bus Crazy
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bus-bro View Post
Not too many years ago it was common to do a minimal conversion of a school bus, and use it for a while and then sell, scrap, or park it out in the back forty.

Now, thanks to the communicative power of the internet, the science of a proper method of conversion has been written in stone. It is a great thing, but very few have the time, skill, and commitment to pull it off.

The skoolie conversion thing used to be play, not a full-time job.
Iíve never understood the quick conversion. Itís so much easier to get a beater motor home and cheaper than even the most minimal build.

And when my bus finally makes it to the scrap heap, I want the guy running the crusher to say itís a damn shame they are sending to to China to become lawn furniture
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Old 11-13-2020, 06:54 AM   #16
Bus Geek
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Iíve never understood the quick conversion. Itís so much easier to get a beater motor home and cheaper than even the most minimal build.

And when my bus finally makes it to the scrap heap, I want the guy running the crusher to say itís a damn shame they are sending to to China to become lawn furniture



quick conversions happen for a number of reasons.. and often they suit whoever made them.. the only time a quick conversion is a shame is when it wasnt the right choice for the owner and an otherwise nice bus ends up parked beside a barn to rot away..



for me being a bus enthusiast building my DEV bus was for an initial work travel project i needed to get off the ground in a rather timely fashion. i needed a mobile test lab, a good way to move stuff between ohio and florida, and something that I could drive into asreas which would inspire my brain during a huge push to get 2 product lines out the door quick..



I also wanted something that was somewhat older to re-ignite the childhod smiles I had of riding the school bus..



it worked perfectly.. to find a handicap bus where it had open spaces for me to install my work systems, smaller seats so it could be a moving van.. still retain original seats to give me the "bus" feel (and use as a party rig for friend-groups).. keeping the original interior as close to factory as I could was paramount for me while givinjg it a few upgrades it needed. so keeping floors, ceiling, windows, etc.



this bus could pretty easily be put back to near original condition if I chose..

yes it meant i had to go big with A/C and heat to overcome the deficiencies of an older bus but its worked perfectly.. in fact better than I had planned.. that work project ended but new ones have come along.. and with Covid this particular bus has earned its value 10-fold and I dare-say inspired my artist-brain as well as been quite functional. even with its original ceilings, floors, windows, and doors..
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Old 11-13-2020, 04:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bpike View Post
Thanks to those that replied. I am just trying to make a reliable weekend warrior. Seems like there is a really hardcore group of folks on here that are convinced converting a bus should be as complicated as building a space shuttle.... discussions of galvanic corrosion of aluminum and steel on patches of the floor, thermal bridging of fasteners..... Itís a school bus, a good one weighs in at 25,000lbs and costs $5000. Thatís 20cents/lb. It doesnít have to be rocket surgery.
I think you have the right attitude.

One aspect of school buses is how much do you want to invest into a 20-30 year old bus ? I always see people trying to sell buses for 40k+ "trying to get their money back".
The roots of school bus conversions is a bunch of poor hippies wanted cheap RVs.

Personally I think all projects need a realistic goal or they never get finished.

Last time I looked I saw 9 unfinished school buses for sale in my area on cragslist. Most all of them the owners gutted to bare metal and could not finish. If they would of just went with the original floor and some prefab cupboards they would of enjoyed a bus to use.
I see the same thing with classic cars people are going to restore to ďmintĒ condition and it gets stripped down and rots.

Personally I find some of the advice on here bad for inexperienced. When new bus owners are told to bite off more then they can chew and it sets them up for failure.
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Old 11-13-2020, 04:58 PM   #18
Bus Crazy
 
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I think the biggest thing is having a realistic idea of how much it’s going to cost. I’m pretty experienced with construction and I’m still surprised
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Old 11-16-2020, 04:07 PM   #19
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
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I do the same, weekend camping, short trip runabout and left the floor stock. I stuck a bunch of stainless carriage bolts to plug the seat bolt holes in the floor and put down a throw rug to keep my feet comfy. I figure when the floor shows it is in need of work, I'll pull it up, weld the holes and reassemble it. Right now, I'll spend the cash in fuel for the next adventure. Mines all welded steel framework clad in paneling so it's like a 3D puzzle. The key is, do what "you" want, it's your adventure afterall.
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