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Old 05-09-2021, 04:50 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: May 2021
Location: NJ
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Year: 1993
Chassis: E350 7 window
Engine: 7.3 idi na
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Bus into toy hauler?

Have acquired what I believe is a 16 passenger E350 bus. Hard to tell exact as the rear was designed for multiple wheel chairs.

Anyway, my plan/hope is to leave the front with enough seating for myself and the kids, and the rear a flatbed for toys.

I'm a mechanic by trade, but my weakness is definitely fabrication.

I hope to find an extended E cutaway cab and make the back.

I don't know if I can just chop the existing bus body and move the rear cap forward.

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Old 05-09-2021, 05:06 PM   #2
Bus Nut
 
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anything is possible. the deck on a bus is fairly high off the ground, requiring pretty long ramps, depending on how low the car is. A low race car will need very long ramps, a jeep not so much.

Would make more sense to me to have a car trailer, perhaps you can change the bus into a fifth wheel by cutting off the rear area to put in a hitch over the rear wheels to use a gooseneck or fifth wheel trailer. Isn't a e350 single rear wheel? doesn't have quite the weight capacity, but plenty as a fifth wheel tower.
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Old 05-09-2021, 05:36 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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It's a dually, but being rwd, it's pretty low. I have found sloped car trailers that I would copy.

I would be putting on a polaris or a tracker to be bringing to off road places. Here in NJ all of the land is paved so have to travel to do any trail driving

First is getting it running and off my car trailer haha. Starter sparked a lot at the original location, lots of loose connections within starter itself. But the end of the starter cable also rotted off.

So first wake up the sleeping old pig with starter, cable end, fresh batteries and fuel filter and bleed injectors. It would be a lot easier to drive it off trailer than... the way we got it on haha
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:52 PM   #4
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A full sized bus would give you room for seating, as well as sleeping/living quarters with a ramped flatbed out back. Wouldn't that be better, if you plan on travelling to OHRV areas?
Plenty of pics of such creatures on here and online elsewhere...
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Old 05-10-2021, 09:51 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Chassis: E350 7 window
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The correct answer to your question is, of course, yes.

But We already have an RV and my husband is not interested in another as this one is pretty new. He is the "indoor cat" of our relationship, and having AC and a comfy bed means I can drag him camping finally! (I am a tent camper)

Also this bus was free haha.

But due to our work situations (he works a "real job" and I work for me) I find myself taking my kids with just me on our adventures.

I am also part of an IDI club that we try to meet up for no reason when possible.

I am very blessed that this truck can just be something "fun" with little to no purpose.

I live in the rustbelt so I am not surprised to see a lot of rot at the back door where the wheelchair lift was. What I would love to do is bring that door and giant rear window section forward to close off the cabin, put safer car seats in it with shoulder belts and put a bed on the back.

If I can find a bed already made especially then put airbag helpers in the back.

It is NA so I don't plan on towing with it. It's a van chassis so I also don't plan to install a turbo haha.

My "tow rig" is another na IDI (CC long bed)

The more I troll this site the more I see people using windows as a size reference.

This one has 7 windows on driver side.

I've been addicted to the build threads, I can't believe the amount of work people put into theirs, makes me feel better about how overwhelmed I am about what I would like to see this become! I have been sticking to the short bus forum as I don't want to get the full size bus bug... I have way too many project vehicles haha
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Old 05-11-2021, 08:02 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Chassis: E350 7 window
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Still waiting on parts to finish the starer cable to get it started and off the trailer!

But I have begun the measuring stage.

Looks like I will try to leave 13ft of "flatbed" and move the end cap forward. I plan on installing either a bench seat or several captains chairs with built in seatbelts as my kids are still in booster seats.

My fabricator friend has been measuring and planning the flatbed part and we will most likely try to emulate the old car carrier trucks.

I'd either be hauling a Geo Tracker or a Polaris Ranger Crew (which is larger than the Tracker haha) or a pair of the kids off road go karts.

I don't think I'd be trying to make this another work truck, but we will see what happens.

I've been watching videos of people that turn full sized busses into car or toy haulers and the front into a small RV of sorts, so I hope to find some information on shortening and moving the end cap from someone that has done it.

It looks like the popular way is to cut it off, overlap it with some of the front section, put a sheet metal "band" along the new seam, seal it and pop rivet it on each side of the seam.

The back of this bus has a huge lovely window I would love to reuse.

Here's the only photo I have so far
Attached Images
File Type: jpg bus.JPG (234.7 KB, 9 views)
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:04 AM   #7
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Is this danielle from oilburners? If so, welcome! I'm on both forums, and I've got a full sized International, so definitely don't look at my build .

With enough fab skills, anything is possible. But for reference, the shorties and shuttle buses are constructed differently then a full sized school bus. Some are actually made from fiberglass and wood similar to what you would find in a camper or RV. So the fab skills/work required for your project will vary depending on the bus body construction.

If your intentions are a flat bed on the back, be sure to reinforce the flooring, because the walls will lend support and rigidity to the flooring. So removing the walls can make the floor flimsy.
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Old 05-12-2021, 11:20 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
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You can certainly chop and move the rear wall. What are you planning to haul? Weight may be an issue as these shuttle buses ride the limits of gvwr as is.

With that said, under those skins on the bus body is just a square tube framework. Easy to modify and manipulate. Cut it to length and move the back wall forward or fab a new rear wall.

Due to weight... you will be lightyears ahead to clean that bus up... gut the seats... prep it for a conversion and sell it... buy a medium duty short bus or full size. The prices on "clean slates" right now is crazy high. I've seen buses with seats removed selling for 10k+.

Either that or turn it into a toter... move the back wall forward and run a gooseneck hitch on it.

I only say this because I went the same route... had a shuttle... now I have a full size that is mid conversion to a hauler for our Jeep.
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Old 05-12-2021, 02:03 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Chassis: E350 7 window
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Yes that's me haha. I will definitely check out your build!

May just make it my daily driver with a flatbed pavement princess and just use it for grocery shopping haha. But not a lot of low mile IDI out here that aren't rotted that were also free, so I'll see what Murphy's Law and fate have in store for me with this eek

Thank you for telling me about the difference in construction with this vs real bus.

Due to the rust around the rear door and wheel well, I think at least much of the construction is sheet metal but now I'm wondering what's under the walls... Roof seems it may be fiberglass.

I need to power wash it which will find any leaks in front and also give my neighbors less of something to frown at.
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Old 05-12-2021, 02:16 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
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Year: 1993
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Chassis: E350
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IDIaddict View Post
Yes that's me haha. I will definitely check out your build!

May just make it my daily driver with a flatbed pavement princess and just use it for grocery shopping haha. But not a lot of low mile IDI out here that aren't rotted that were also free, so I'll see what Murphy's Law and fate have in store for me with this eek

Thank you for telling me about the difference in construction with this vs real bus.

Due to the rust around the rear door and wheel well, I think at least much of the construction is sheet metal but now I'm wondering what's under the walls... Roof seems it may be fiberglass.

I need to power wash it which will find any leaks in front and also give my neighbors less of something to frown at.
Roof is fiberglass for sure. The walls should be skinned with aluminum on the outside.. there will be 3/4-1" styrofoam in the walls.. 2" or so in the ceiling.

They like to leak at the seam where the roof meets the side walls so make sure that is sealed up. Mine had a 1/4" gap and rotted out the plywood floor.

That thing could be a sweet toter. Shorten it up and mount a hitch plate right over the rear axle as a stuby flat bed. Small living quarters and seating. Could be slick... and run it on some waste oil.

If you end up flatbedding it, don't use the bus floor as the deck. It won't hold.



I'm on OB as well.. not as active as I used to be but check in from time to time.
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