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Old 07-09-2021, 08:52 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
The point here is making fun of someone building a Skoolie 'wrong' is the pot calling the kettle black. Having to do a roof raise at all is..."wrong".

FYI many here have Shuttle buses not school buses, and our favorite contributor does not have a Skoolie at all.

Check out the youtube channel Aging Wheels, you might enjoy it.

Here let me embed it..


I'm somewhat curious what happened with his project. I watched it quite some time ago and it would seem he took an interesting approach to doing it. Being as it's been a couple of years now, I wonder if he scrapped it and why.


I'm one of those that has had a shuttle too. I've built both a shuttle and now a retired school bus. Both have their place in my opinion... however I'd take the big bus over the shuttle for my needs any day of the week. I don't regret building a shuttle bus though. Learned a lot.. had fun using it.. and the profit from selling it has made building my big bus nearly free.

"Having to do a roof raise at all is wrong"... I disagree to an extent. Most don't do it because they have to... most do it because they WANT to. For instance, I didn't want to raise the roof on mine... so I didn't. It's an interesting concept. Its along the same lines as why would anyone want to rebuild a classic car when they could go buy a brand new one for less money and have more bells and whistles (which based on some of your posts, you've tinkered with quite a few classics). The answer is they (and you) WANT to and bashing them for it is asinine.


Why modify vehicles beyond their original design in the first place? Because we want to.

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Old 07-09-2021, 10:32 AM   #22
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Gotta offer a Kewpie doll for that one!

" and bashing them for it is asinine. "
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Old 07-09-2021, 10:47 AM   #23
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You never know what sort of vigorous discussion will happen here...which is part of what I really love about this forum. I've gotten to know many of you, or at least I think I get a sense of your individual perspectives, and I appreciate the varied inputs. This so different from the FB groups, where there seem to be a lot of "hit and run" inputs...where people pop up, spout off opinions (often without any supporting explanation), then disappear. This feels more like a coffee conversation.

Anyway...I meant to show new roof raisers an example of something that didn't appear to be thought through well...and to show why most roof raises happen above the windshield, or behind it. But I enjoy the turn in focus. Personally, I think that if a roof raise is "necessary" then perhaps the buyer bought the wrong bus. We live in an MCI with a standard roof and I wouldn't hesitate to live in any of a number of other buses, without changing their ceiling height. But then, we don't buy buses with low ceilings and we're not overly tall and we don't feel the need for the added spacious feel that a roof raise gives. If someone wants to raise the roof on their bus, though, I'm all for that - I totally get the desire to modify things! I just hope that anyone doing so thinks through all the details, first.
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Old 07-09-2021, 11:12 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rossvtaylor View Post
You never know what sort of vigorous discussion will happen here...which is part of what I really love about this forum. I've gotten to know many of you, or at least I think I get a sense of your individual perspectives, and I appreciate the varied inputs. This so different from the FB groups, where there seem to be a lot of "hit and run" inputs...where people pop up, spout off opinions (often without any supporting explanation), then disappear. This feels more like a coffee conversation.

Anyway...I meant to show new roof raisers an example of something that didn't appear to be thought through well...and to show why most roof raises happen above the windshield, or behind it. But I enjoy the turn in focus. Personally, I think that if a roof raise is "necessary" then perhaps the buyer bought the wrong bus. We live in an MCI with a standard roof and I wouldn't hesitate to live in any of a number of other buses, without changing their ceiling height. But then, we don't buy buses with low ceilings and we're not overly tall and we don't feel the need for the added spacious feel that a roof raise gives. If someone wants to raise the roof on their bus, though, I'm all for that - I totally get the desire to modify things! I just hope that anyone doing so thinks through all the details, first.

The way I look at it... if we can't have a reasonably civil conversation concerning a difference of opinion... we aren't worth much. That's a big part of what's wrong with the world today.. my opinion of course.

I agree on the roof raise. I personally wouldn't want the headache but a lot of people seem to jump head first into a project with that being first on the list of things to do. I'm one that likes to plan things out as much as I can... but also like to just wing it on some fabrication projects and piece it together as I go. Sometimes that bites me and I get to start over. A roof raise definitely isn't the place to wing it. It needs to be fully planned with the materials on hand to eliminate surprises.

Really though.. if roof height in the living area was a big concern, I'd consider starting with a different platform like a box truck. Relatively simple... clean slate on a medium duty chassis that typically have high roofs from the start. Wont have the structural integrity of a school bus body.. but then again, buses with a 20" roof raise don't have that either. Lol.

Sad to see projects abandoned... you know there was a substantial up front investment. That mess is fixable... but it'll likely sit there for another 10 years and rot into the ground.
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Old 07-09-2021, 12:37 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
Most motorhomes built since 1980 have aluminum frames and fiberglass.

If you care about safety, then get a F250 with airbags and seat belts.

So people will fly across the country to get an old school bus, but will they do that to get a cheaper motorhome? Naw, that is too hard.
First my apologies to Ross for going off topic.
Please tell me you are not suggesting that motorhomes are safer now because they now use aluminum and fiberglass? Last year I was given a running 1997 Motorhome that suffered a minor tree impact that destroyed the back wall. So far I have completed the demolition of the entire stucture with my bare hands just tearing it apart. Pic shows the entire aluminum structure used to support the styrofoam walls. Zero frame in the roof as well. The aluminum wall frame is just screwed in to the side of the plywood floor. In some spots the aluminum is attached at the top plate and doesn't even met the bottom attachment. The walls and roof are foam core wth a thin skin of plywood veneer and a thin layer of Fiberglass on the exterior for mosisture resistance. Zoom in on the roof foam core and the foam wall section over the driver door. image.jpg
This motorhome had six seat belts in the living area outside of the original van front cutaway. In my opinion, in a collision this is the equivalent of duct taping your kids in an styrofoam cooler and throwing it at a cement wall.
But hey we're all here because we like to do different, so you do you and I'll
keep building a bus.
Cheers
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Old 07-09-2021, 12:43 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
Please tell me you are not suggesting that motorhomes are safer now because they now use aluminum and fiberglass?
Cheers
Please don't tell me you think a school bus is safer than a modern F250?
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Old 07-09-2021, 01:00 PM   #27
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I think part of the issue is that there is no fully common setup.. manufactured RVs and modern F250s, silverados, rams etc all have a set of standards to adhere to..



if I want to build and sell F250s i have to meet guidelines to do so.. insurance companies know that, if i want to restomod a car or bus there is no standard.. is there a standard for my allison swapped 325 HP T-444E in a 6 window short bus? Nope because it didnt exist in 2000 when the frame, chassis, and body were built.. its a resto-mod.


theres no standard for roof raises either since the busses were never built that way so people do it the way they think works and works for them.. apparently more must do it in a manner deemed risky than who do it in a manner deemed safe.. or perhaps its the unknown.. insurance companies dont want to insure them.. it could be rational that they hgave had payouts due to roof raises being careless.. ie a bus hits a low bridge and its easier to hit more low bridges with busses that are 13'6" vs 10'6". or maybe they have had to payout on flipped over busses.. doesnt matter if the driver flipped the bus because he had bad tires, if the insurer sees a roof raise they will focus on that..



maybe they didnt pay out at all but its just an unknown.. no standard so they dont know whether your roof raise is one of the good ones or if its one of the shoddy ones.. they know if I flip an F250 that it had originally been built to a standard.. and no insurance wont cover home built convertible cars either.. its stated in many policies unless it is a specific custom vehicle policy
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Old 07-09-2021, 01:13 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
I think part of the issue is that there is no fully common setup.. manufactured RVs and modern F250s, silverados, rams etc all have a set of standards to adhere to..



if I want to build and sell F250s i have to meet guidelines to do so.. insurance companies know that, if i want to restomod a car or bus there is no standard.. is there a standard for my allison swapped 325 HP T-444E in a 6 window short bus? Nope because it didnt exist in 2000 when the frame, chassis, and body were built.. its a resto-mod.


theres no standard for roof raises either since the busses were never built that way so people do it the way they think works and works for them.. apparently more must do it in a manner deemed risky than who do it in a manner deemed safe.. or perhaps its the unknown.. insurance companies dont want to insure them.. it could be rational that they hgave had payouts due to roof raises being careless.. ie a bus hits a low bridge and its easier to hit more low bridges with busses that are 13'6" vs 10'6". or maybe they have had to payout on flipped over busses.. doesnt matter if the driver flipped the bus because he had bad tires, if the insurer sees a roof raise they will focus on that..



maybe they didnt pay out at all but its just an unknown.. no standard so they dont know whether your roof raise is one of the good ones or if its one of the shoddy ones.. they know if I flip an F250 that it had originally been built to a standard.. and no insurance wont cover home built convertible cars either.. its stated in many policies unless it is a specific custom vehicle policy

Thats an interesting argument on it. Now I'm curious how traditional RVs and campers are insurable as they have to meet some basic standards as far as plumbing, electrical, etc. goes.. but no crash test standards... seat belts bolted to wood structure instead of frames.. etc..etc.



Maybe its because the company itself could be held liable?


Oddly, my insurance agent says the company doesn't care about structural modifications as long as it has been approved (re-titled) by the state as an RV. He says it's pretty well up to the agent's discretion as there isn't a policy against it. I'd say most people run into insurance issues because they call up their agent (after taking the time to convert their title to RV status) and tell them they have chopped up an old school bus and plan to drive it across country instead of telling them its a 35' IH (or what have you) based RV with an estimated replacement value of "x". The value some people put on these things I'd say is another big issue. No insurance company is going to write a policy on a "$50k" RV from 1995. Doesn't matter if you spent 50k building it... it's not worth 50k to the insurance company and they'll not write a policy on it.


I could be way off base there though.
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Old 07-09-2021, 01:22 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
Please don't tell me you think a school bus is safer than a modern F250?
Where did I say that? My point was no matter if it's made of sticks and glue or styrofoam and glue they are still Sh*t and a school bus structure is going to be safer.
As I said, you do you!
Carry on
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Old 07-09-2021, 01:32 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
Where did I say that? My point was no matter if it's made of sticks and glue or styrofoam and glue they are still Sh*t and a school bus structure is going to be safer.
As I said, you do you!
Carry on
Where did I say aluminum and fiberglass is safer?

I'm not doing "me" I am giving advice which people reading forums are looking for.

In particular I am troubled by all the kids being stuff into the back of school buses with the falsehood they are 'safer' because its a school bus, and a motorhome will fall apart in an accident. Your point is wrong.
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Old 07-09-2021, 01:37 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
Where did I say aluminum and fiberglass is safer?

I'm not doing "me" I am giving advice which people reading forums are looking for.

In particular I am troubled by all the kids being stuff into the back of school buses with the falsehood they are 'safer' because its a school bus, and a motorhome will fall apart in an accident. Your point is wrong.

How are they not safer in a school bus vs the same location in a traditional RV? RVs have no crash test safety standards... no seat belt standards.. and aren't built with crush zones or the ability for the body to disconnect from the frame yet stay intact. I've seen RVs in big accidents... they tend to not fair well.


So where are you getting your information I guess is my question or what makes you think that a school bus isn't safer?
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Old 07-09-2021, 01:47 PM   #32
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Well, this goes back to an original question I posted in the insurance thread. Wondering if I should sell my bus for fear of not being able to get insurance later? Currently insured with NG.
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Old 07-09-2021, 02:10 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
Where did I say aluminum and fiberglass is safer?

I'm not doing "me" I am giving advice which people reading forums are looking for.

In particular I am troubled by all the kids being stuff into the back of school buses with the falsehood they are 'safer' because its a school bus, and a motorhome will fall apart in an accident. Your point is wrong.
In post #15 you quoted Mr4bt, he stated for safety reason he'd rather have his family in a home brew than sticks and staples.
Your reference to 80's rv compared to newer, wether intended or not implied newer was safer.
If he's comparing factory rv's over converted school bus rv's why bring a newly engineered F250 in to the equation?
I'm not changing your mind and you're not changing mine so let's move on.
Cheers
Attachment 59283image.jpeg
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Old 07-09-2021, 02:38 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeNimble View Post
The 'wrong way' to build a motorhome is starting with a school bus in the first place...so you can't fault them at all in my opinion. Having to replace the windshield with something bigger might actually be cool, and you can raise the drivers seat, is how a lot of class A motorhomes made, keep away from the front engine noise.

And he's back ... Could someone ban him, I can't see in what way the contributions from this guy add any value to the general knowledge related to school bus conversions.
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Old 07-09-2021, 03:22 PM   #35
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I think liability is everything.. if a seated unmodified bus flips over and one or more occupants incur serious medical expenses.. the insurance company will examine that wreck to every non screw for a defect or negligence on the part of the manufascturer so they can try to recover their loss.. a suit is almost always filed and if any little thing is found from the manufacturer standpoint (one reason getting 6th gear unlocked or horsepower changes done to busses by the manufacturers is because they dont want the liability of having approved an upgrade which makes the vehicle faster, more powerful and more likely to be crashed).


every one of us here knows that flipping over a school bus is likely to have a much better outcome than flipping over a manufactured motorhome (unless its a coach like a million dollar prevost).. *BUT* even a manufactured motorhome has passed some sort of blessing to be approved for sale and use.. so if an owner wipes one out and said insurance company can find that there was a defect in design, construction, etc the insurance company doesnt eat near the loss..


if a converted school bus wipes out and insurance company incurs a payout (medical bills are the biggest expense well exceeding any value of the vehicle itself).. theres almost 0 chance of them recovering part of their loss.. by agreeing to cover your converted school bus, they are agreeing to pay the loss (again the medical liability the biggest).. if they refuse and you were truthful about your bus (ie you arent on progressive for a seated coach and wreck a conversion).. then they pretty much have to pay out.. the only way they recover any loss is if its an at-fault state and another driver was faulted 100% in the crash..


insurance isnt about what is the safest.. insurance is about making the most $$, its sad to say this but an insurance company would first like to see zero claims, secondly theyd rather take a claim with 1 dead insured person vs 2 alive but insured injured people....as the dead person wont run them up 100 grand of medical claims...
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Old 07-09-2021, 03:32 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by ABBus View Post
And he's back ... Could someone ban him, I can't see in what way the contributions from this guy add any value to the general knowledge related to school bus conversions.
Hey there AB
Hope all is well down south. Sorry I can't agree with you on that banning thing. As much as some of it is frustrating I do enjoy the differing of opinion sometimes and in many cases Nible is bang on, when some newbie says (hey all I'm piss broke and don't know a thing about building or mechanics but I really want to get on the road cause skoolies are cool) and most times they are looking for validation the best advise is buy an old rv or truck and trailer and get on the road for a while to see if it works for you. Yes that's going against the skoolie thing but it may just save someone from financial ruin. Just my opinion but I will always defend someone's right to say what they want, if I don't like it I can turn it off. Remember words don't hurt they just annoy the sh*t out of you
Safe travels
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Old 07-14-2021, 03:21 PM   #37
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A raised seat & some lower glass would give it an old Kenworth look.
I have a 1958 Kenworth
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Old 07-14-2021, 04:05 PM   #38
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Terrifically modified, Sundowner. (I stalked your photos). I love the air intake on the rear roof. Did you delete the lower glass?
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Old 07-14-2021, 05:39 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr4btTahoe View Post
.
[edited for brevity]
.
I wish decent class A RVs were cheap around here...a rolled [factory RecreationVehicle]...wasn't a straight panel on it.. frame twisted...


Then the whole idea of cruising around with my family in a box of sticks held together with glue and staples doesn't leave a smile on my face like this home brew concoction does.
.
re:
frame on RecreationVehicle
.
On Class A motorhomes, the frame provides little rigidity.
Most of the rigidity comes from the box structure.
.
One of my hobbies is walking wrecking-yards (aka 'dismantlers').
A common theme for factory RecreationVehicle tows -- exploding refrigerators.
After a kitchen wall burns, the RecreationVehicle has the rigidity of rope.
Walk in, and you are dancing on a trampoline.
.
*****
.
re:
staples and glue on plywood
.
Recognizing the, let's call it, 'innovative use of economy components', factory RecreationVehicles were never engineered for full-time live-aboard.
Use a RecreationVehicle a couple-three times annually for a few weekends, and they can last years.
Unfortunately, the 'earthquake plus hurricane plus rioters' of traveling puts the ky-bosh on longevity.
.
Imagine acquiring a new factory RecreationVehicle with a five-year loan.
Payments on a crumbling moldy squeaky mess?
.
And, then, factor minimum-wage assemblers with little opportunity to own the RecreationVehicles they assemble, and the chance of 'class envy' might influence their choice to use enough staples.
.
We delivered RecreationVehicles -- including BillionBuxBus conversions -- factory-to-dealers and dealers-to-shows.
Our experiences guided us to build on a 'million mile' commercial chassis... using hardly any staples.
.
.
Lastly:
* holes in the roof [shakes head in dismay]
Don't get me started.
I mean it.
Do not get me started on factory RecreationVehicles.
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Old 07-14-2021, 06:06 PM   #40
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I do wonder and maybe expect that insurance or really lack of being able to get is what stopped this build.



Mine is a high roof model, and that is plenty high for me. I am 5'9" so a standard height is high enough to clear, but I always end up ducking. Best for a newbee to go in busses of different heights and see what works for them.



By the way I have had a regular RV, no way ever again. Junk...
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