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Old 03-27-2024, 12:35 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2023
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
Posts: 31
Year: 2013
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: 3500
Engine: 6.0L Chevy Vortec
Buyzen Bus Build: 2013 Chevy Express Shuttle

Hellooo everyone,

In a week from now last year I bought my bus and since then the progress has been slow but steady! She's a 2013 Chevy Express 3500 gas with the 6.0 Vortec and about 21.5 feet but shy of 24 feet with the motorcycle carrier and bush bar. Purchased on Vancouver Island, Canada and was previously a Vancouver city transit bus.

In no particular order I have:

-added a rear tow hitch & motorcycle carrier
-mounted a spare tire under the rear
-added a heavy duty bush bar on the front
-new all terrain tires on the rear
-new rear shocks, front tie rods, alignment, etc.
-replaced the steering wheel
-full deconstruction inside (wheelchair lift, seats, floor heater, plexi supports, old fibreglass insulation, most wall and ceilings panels, old radio, etc.)
-made room for a passenger seat up front
-plugged all seat bolt holes in the floor from both inside and outside (didn't need to rip up my flooring)
-Put over 6000kms on the bus
-and probably a few other odds and ends

Overall I've done the necessary (to me ) things on the outside including most importantly making sure the bus is mechanically sound and solid first before starting my build inside.

Now that she's solid and deconstructed, as spring approaches I'm preparing to enter the building phase of my bus inside. I've been doing tons of research on here and YouTube university over the winter for what I want, learning from others, etc. To keep it simple, rustic and humble with comfortable basics including my must have wood stove.

With music and DJ'ing being a big part of my life and incorporating that into my build, I will be soundproofing all the panels before adding insulation in. (I'm not interested in spray foam)

I purchased a product similar to Kilmat but a thicker hybrid version (200 mil vs Kilmats 80 mil) and made with 3 different layers including MLV called Siless. Does anyone have any experience with these stick on products on a fibreglass shuttle shell? I assume it will adhere the same as to steel. I know not every part of the panel is necessary to cover (although car enthusiasts do that) but I might spend the extra $$ to full cover for the extra small thermal and sound benefit.

Amazon Link to the product: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0B6JKF9SC?...roduct_details

Anyhow, just wanted to introduce my bus and start a build thread to show progress along the way. The bus will be built to handle the Pacific Northwest and temperate winters of the west coast in Canada but I don't have the headspace nor the floorspace to insulate for very cold winters. Travelling or living in the bus in harsh temperatures doesn't interest me much and I'd rather travel to the warmer west or snowbird south in winter.

Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to sharing the progress!
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Old 04-21-2024, 03:44 AM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Location: Arizona
Posts: 134
Year: 2008
Coachwork: Collins Grand Bantam
Chassis: Chevrolet
Engine: Chevrolet 6.0 gas motor
do you have any pics of how you mounted the spare tire underneath
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Old 04-21-2024, 05:35 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2024
Location: Saco, Maine
Posts: 37
Year: 2011
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500 cutaway
Engine: 6.0L LS
Looks super clean. Great work. Please share more.
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Old 04-28-2024, 10:54 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2023
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
Posts: 31
Year: 2013
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: 3500
Engine: 6.0L Chevy Vortec
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin1 View Post
do you have any pics of how you mounted the spare tire underneath
Hopefully these help. I just had a fabrication shop come up with a simple solution and weld a giant bolt to the frame with a steel plate and nut that holds the tire up. It's very strong and has been under there for almost a year down bumpy forestry mountain roads.
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Old 04-28-2024, 11:08 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2023
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
Posts: 31
Year: 2013
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: 3500
Engine: 6.0L Chevy Vortec
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin1 View Post
do you have any pics of how you mounted the spare tire underneath
Hi everyone. Been working on the bus here and there... slow and steady and just finished most of the main soundproofing today. I used a product called Siless Hybrid 3 in 1 which is a combination of closed cell foam, butyl rubber and mass loaded vinyl with an adhesive backing. It's been very easy to work with.

I'm aware covering the entire surface isn't totally necessary for soundproofing but after sooo much research on this hotly debated topic I decided to follow my gut and do what most car enthusiasts do which is cover as much as they can. I also wanted to benefit from whatever it would give me for heating and cooling barrier as I don't have much headroom in this bus for very thick insulation and will be relying on my wood stove and diesel heater.



https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0B6JKF9SC?...t_details&th=1

Next steps for me now are to figure out how much wiring I need in the ceiling for puck lights and the maxx air fan before I insulate and close it off with cedar panelling. Also working on a passenger seat option up front and to soundproof the floor up there as well. I left a few ceiling panels free from the Siless as I will have to cut holes for the wood stove chimney, hot water heater exhaust pipe, shower fan and a possible shower area roof raise.
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Old 04-29-2024, 02:32 AM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2023
Location: Arizona
Posts: 134
Year: 2008
Coachwork: Collins Grand Bantam
Chassis: Chevrolet
Engine: Chevrolet 6.0 gas motor
Great, thank you
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Old 05-03-2024, 11:01 PM   #7
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Oregon
Posts: 133
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: ford E350
Engine: 6.0 power stroke Diesel Navistar EFI
Rated Cap: wife & 2 corgis
looks great!
good move on doing the mechanical stuff first.
you dont want any surprises mechanically/money after spending all the time on the inside?
keep it moving during your conversion and dont let it sit too long.
it keeps everything in good working condition.
also you want stuff to break down now while local rather than out of town on a long vacation LOL
every week or two i would drive mine into town to home depot for conversion supplies.
by the time i finished my build i had gotton all the bugs out.
my water pump was the first thing that happened ETC.
ive got over 10k miles and i think 57 campsites on it now with no issues.
" knock on wood " LOL
if ya have two batteries get a little 3 amp battery tender from harbor freight or Walmart.
only like $15 or 20 bucks.
again your ride looks very clean!
keep up the good work.
enjoy the build.
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Old 05-13-2024, 12:08 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Nov 2023
Location: Regina, Saskatchewan
Posts: 31
Year: 2013
Coachwork: Girardin
Chassis: 3500
Engine: 6.0L Chevy Vortec
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired Roughneck View Post
looks great!
good move on doing the mechanical stuff first.
you dont want any surprises mechanically/money after spending all the time on the inside?
keep it moving during your conversion and dont let it sit too long.
it keeps everything in good working condition.
also you want stuff to break down now while local rather than out of town on a long vacation LOL
every week or two i would drive mine into town to home depot for conversion supplies.
by the time i finished my build i had gotton all the bugs out.
my water pump was the first thing that happened ETC.
ive got over 10k miles and i think 57 campsites on it now with no issues.
" knock on wood " LOL
if ya have two batteries get a little 3 amp battery tender from harbor freight or Walmart.
only like $15 or 20 bucks.
again your ride looks very clean!
keep up the good work.
enjoy the build.
Thanks for the comments and suggestions! Appreciate it.
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