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Old 10-19-2020, 09:42 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
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Year: 2008
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Bluebird
Engine: Cummins ISB
Order of operations

Looking to get the Vermont method done, but want to perform the in the most logical order. Open to comment.
Demo seats and floor
Convert floor rust
Insulate floor
Put down new plywood floor
Finalize layout
Replace windows with panels to suit layout.
Paint

This gets me to paint and to start the Vermont process.

Biggest question I have here is putting the floor in before demo Of the sidewall going to cause me issues? Do you typically demo below the seat rail? Or can you pull the panels above the seat rail only and then fill below that with insulation? Does everyone keep the seat rail, seems it would add significant resistance to “racking” if it was kept, as well as a nice secure place on the sidewall to anchor “things”.
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Old 10-19-2020, 09:59 PM   #2
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A little research

A little search and guess I found the answer to my own question. Keep the chair rail, and don’t zip off the horizontal section as I would greatly reduce the sectional modulous.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:26 PM   #3
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What's the Vermont process? Never heard this term in three bus community. Google shows a way to register your bus through Vermont without living there, but it also says you can do so with zero work into your bus. So I'm not sure that's what you're talking about or not.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:35 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Paint?

I may be incorrect, but I thought you had to show that the bus was no longer yellow to register in Vermont. Am I mistaken?
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:39 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bpike View Post
I may be incorrect, but I thought you had to show that the bus was no longer yellow to register in Vermont. Am I mistaken?
You are mistaken sir! Vermont doesn't care in the slightest what color your vehicle is. Your state may not allow former school buses to remain yellow, but that's a state-by-state thing.
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Old 10-19-2020, 10:43 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Year: 2008
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Paint?

I may be incorrect, but I thought you had to show that the bus was no longer yellow to register in Vermont. Am I mistaken?
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Old 10-20-2020, 03:47 AM   #7
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Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
I believe Musigenesis just answered your question.
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Old 10-20-2020, 08:09 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Double post?

Not sure how that happened with double post? Wasn't intentional..
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Old 10-20-2020, 08:21 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Bpike View Post
A little search and guess I found the answer to my own question. Keep the chair rail, and don’t zip off the horizontal section as I would greatly reduce the sectional modulous.



Hold on please. It thought we were supposed to remove all interior sheet metal from the passenger cabin, so the whole wall could be insulated. Are you saying something else, please?
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Old 10-20-2020, 08:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by TomDPerkins View Post
Hold on please. It thought we were supposed to remove all interior sheet metal from the passenger cabin, so the whole wall could be insulated. Are you saying something else, please?
I don't think there's any insulation behind or below the chair rail as it's usually the top lip of the longitudinal cross member.
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Old 10-20-2020, 10:02 AM   #11
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Hold on please. It thought we were supposed to remove all interior sheet metal from the passenger cabin, so the whole wall could be insulated. Are you saying something else, please?
It depends on what kind of bus you have (which you can indicate by going to User CP and entering your profile details), but the "standard" school buses by International, Blue Bird and Thomas all use a chair rail member at the base of the walls. The walls and floors of these buses are not directly connected; rather, both are connected to the chair rail. Here is a crude diagram that shows this basic structure (blue is the floor, green is the wall, red is the chair rail, black are sheet metal screws):

floorstruct.png

So not only should you not remove the chair rail, it also would be basically impossible to do so without disassembling the bus. It would probably be OK to cut off just the top flange (this is the part the seats are bolted to, giving this beam-like structure its name) but that's rarely done and probably not worth the effort.
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Old 10-20-2020, 01:24 PM   #12
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Thank you, musigenesis.
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Old 10-21-2020, 12:14 AM   #13
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Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
To add to what Musigenesis writes ... not all buses are the same in construction. On a Thomas bus like ours, the chair rail is seam welded to the floor as well as the ribs (hat channel)... i.e. no screws in the chair rail piece. The wall is made up of sheet metal attached to the inner portion of the ribs and above the chair rail on the inside and the bus skin on the outside. There is the typical bus insulating bat between the chair rail and the outer skin, just like the rest of the bus walls.


The neat part of both designs is that the chair rail is one continuous piece of sheet metal formed into the rail, the kick-plate, and the interface with the floor. The bottom-most part of the interface with the floor curls down below the top of the floor to aid in drainage.
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Old 10-21-2020, 06:36 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Thank you Native.

Just soaking it all in.
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Old 10-21-2020, 08:07 AM   #15
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some people do in fact remove the chair rail.. it pbviously can be a pain for some types of conversions.. I actually like the chair rail for use as a mounting point.. its design to take some serious forces ao it can be a nice place for bracing various items.. at least one solid point in your bracing plan..
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Old 10-21-2020, 06:25 PM   #16
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
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Year: 2008
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Chair rail

I concur with Cadillac Kid, seems that leaving it alone and using it as a mounting point for cabinets, seating, whatever would be handy.
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Old 10-24-2020, 06:01 PM   #17
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
You are mistaken sir! Vermont doesn't care in the slightest what color your vehicle is. Your state may not allow former school buses to remain yellow, but that's a state-by-state thing.
I called VT DMV about a month ago regarding the requirements to convert a school bus to a motorhome. The only requirements are external - no school bus markings, and cannot be school bus yellow. So the only thing OP has to do is paint the bus.
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Old 10-24-2020, 09:27 PM   #18
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I called VT DMV about a month ago regarding the requirements to convert a school bus to a motorhome. The only requirements are external - no school bus markings, and cannot be school bus yellow. So the only thing OP has to do is paint the bus.
Well, my bus is still school bus yellow - which matches well with my green Vermont tag! I believe checking for the color is part of the Vermont state inspection, which nobody ever actually has done. So I guess it's not that they don't care what color your bus is, it's just that they don't care enough to verify it.
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Old 10-24-2020, 09:43 PM   #19
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Quote:
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On a Thomas bus like ours, the chair rail is seam welded to the floor as well as the ribs (hat channel)... i.e. no screws in the chair rail piece.
Could you do up a diagram of this like mine? I've seen pictures of parts of the Thomas chair rails but I can't really conceptualize how that structure works. It certainly sounds better and stronger than the International arrangement, which doesn't really have anything for allowing the cavity between the chair rail and the outer skin to drain (other than by overflowing which I think was literally the case in my bus).

I was surprised on my bus at how small and far apart the screws holding the chair rail to the floor were (as compared to the two much larger screws that attach the chair rail to each rib). Like, there are twice as many screws holding the ribs to the chair rail as there are holding the chair rail to the floor (and they're larger as well). I think it's because the wall is likely to only be exposed to an impact that moves it inwards, and the shape of the chair rail itself (with a lip that bends out and hangs down over the edge of the floor structure) resists this without any real need for fasteners.
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Old 10-24-2020, 09:50 PM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Well, my bus is still school bus yellow - which matches well with my green Vermont tag! I believe checking for the color is part of the Vermont state inspection, which nobody ever actually has done. So I guess it's not that they don't care what color your bus is, it's just that they don't care enough to verify it.
Technically you are suppose to have it inspected in VT within 15 days of registration - that’s only a problem if you’re ever going to be driving in VT.
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