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Old 09-16-2023, 04:15 PM   #1
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Unaesthetic Nomad's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2023
Posts: 5
Cool International Short Bus Conversion

Hello all,

I am currently converting a 2008 International Short bus 25'
I have driven across the country twice in the past year with no issues and am excited to share my current progress on the build.
First, here is my bus, as I am sure you're interested in what it looks like.

I have just recently finished up painting the exterior with TCP Global Custom Coat Bed Liner and was not too difficult to apply, the prep was just time consuming.

As for the interior I have build and fabricated all of the drawers,cabinets and other wood elements using a CNC router.

This was made using poplar bought from home depot and the joints are notched and only held together with wood glue. the toughest part was matching the ceiling curve.

The next series of photos is the process of designing and assembling the kitchen cabinet and live edge countertop.

Routing a pattern around the sink that tapers down.

mockup of the hardware and first look of the epoxy coating

pre assembling before installing in the bus


This next photo is of my storage cabinet next to the bed.

I have many videos posted of the build process on my instagram [ @unaestheticnomad ] and am currently about 50% completed this fall I will be working on my desk and office area as well as some seating that will convert into a second bed.

Also for this build, the sequence of assembly is a little off because I wanted to have the bus minimally ready to live in after a a couple months of work and I am now trying to work around the already installed parts while still living in it while I attend grad school. I am posting all my videos of the build to youtube, short form will be on Instagram and the detailed write ups will be posted here.

Lastly, here are some photos off nice places I have been in the bus.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Copper Harbor, Michigan

Banff National Park, Canada

Banff National Park, Canada

Jasper National Park, Canada

Salt Flats, Utah



Thanks for looking and let me know what you think of the build so far.
Attached Thumbnails
paint-5.jpg   bus.PNG   Capture.PNG   sink.PNG   IMG_3437_jpg.jpg  

IMG_3915_jpg.jpg   IMG_4820_jpg.jpg   Slats-33.jpg   Glacier-73.jpg   CopperHarborSunset-22.jpg  

IcefieldsDriveway-15.jpg   IcefieldsDriveway-92.jpg   IcefieldsGlacier-7.jpg   back2Michigan-1.jpg   backroads-11.jpg  


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Old 09-16-2023, 05:33 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Suburbs of Winterset, OH
Posts: 795
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: FS65
Engine: Mercedes 6.4L
Rated Cap: just the 2 of us
nice work...painting the exterior really makes a huge difference.
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Old 09-17-2023, 12:32 PM   #3
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It completely changed the look of the bus, it went from rags to riches in 2 coats.
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Old 09-17-2023, 06:09 PM   #4
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: Central Kentucky
Posts: 210
Coachwork: Busless for now
Looking great!
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Old 09-20-2023, 07:27 AM   #5
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Fantastic job on conversion!

I am working on a 2012 international BE 200 with the dreaded Maxxforce 7 engine. I would love to see more of your project and (if you're not opposed) I might reach out to ask how you tackled a few things. Your shortie looks amazing; thanks for sharing!
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Old 09-20-2023, 08:16 AM   #6
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Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Western MT
Posts: 625
Year: 1990
Chassis: Crown Supercoach
Engine: Detroit 6-71TA, 10 sp.
Rated Cap: 90 (40')
Wow, looking great!
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Old 09-24-2023, 02:50 PM   #7
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Nice! Very Nice!
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Old 09-25-2023, 03:24 PM   #8
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Yeah send me a message anytime. I get the hate with the maxxforce 7 and the emission systems can cause issues but if you don't run the vehicle too hot, in my experience, will run smooth but I've only put about 15k since I bought the bus, so I have limited experience. To preface, my dad is a mechanic and with the issues known he still recommended I get this bus, everything else was in such good condition; no rust, clean, tall ceiling, well maintained records.

I tend to drive slower and really watch the temps on hills, the DPF doesn't like climbing on hot days, the EGTs get too high and I will lose power but I'll just cool down for an hour and we are good. I have replaced my DPF filter and didn't make much of a change. I was told by an international mechanic that you should check the oil frequently, water can find its way in there and the oil level will raise, which you don't want and will have to drain to reduce the oil level and if it happens again change the oil completely. Luckily I have not had that happen but I am staying alert.

So far, it's been good and no motor issues but I am alway monitoring for changes.
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Old 09-25-2023, 03:50 PM   #9
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I appreciate that! I had to put about 17k into mine to get it back home. I got it at auction and was in it all day had it running fine and then right after I paid for it and went to drive away it was like a magical catastrophic failure of the DPF, compound turbo (both failed) ERG cooler plugged and damaged, and a few electrical issues. After making 5 trips across the state (each time it was supposed to be fixed), I finally managed to drive the whole way back a year and a half later. I hope that your bus continues to run well and am grateful to be able to lean on your experience!
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Old 09-27-2023, 02:04 PM   #10
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Holy moly that sounds dreadful, and I am sorry that happened to you. I have little experience, I am still new to this skoolie life as well but anything that happens with my bus I will post it in this tread.
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bed liner, international, short bus

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