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Old 11-06-2023, 06:28 AM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: East TN
Posts: 300
Year: 1999
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
New Shortie

Hi All!

I recently brought home my first short bus and I love her! Sheís on a Chevy chassis with the 350 (5.7 liter) and only 75k miles. Itís a 1997, runs great, has good tires only 4 years old, and good battery. I changed the oil yesterday, removed a few seats, scraped some signage off, aired the tires, and started generally cleaning it.

With fees I paid around $5600. Howíd I do? Iíll attach a few pics.

It still has all the typical bus interlocks, like it buzzes off the back door is left open with key on. This isnít my first bus but is my first shortie. Can I just cut the wires to the rear latch like my bigger buses?

Thanks! Iím excited to learn from this group some layout stuff specific to shortie buses! My planned use will primarily be to use as a camper for when I go do races on the weekends. Running. I hope to squeeze a shower in, little kitchen, and a cassette toilet. Diesel heater and solar would be nice along with fresh and great water tanks.
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Old 12-18-2023, 11:21 AM   #2
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I really love this! That's the perfect size for two people. We are 5 a tad small, but I love it! Make sure to post your progress. I want to see how this turns out!
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Old 12-18-2023, 11:34 AM   #3
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
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Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
My door switch was normally open, so in my case I removed the switch, connected the wires and stuffed them back in the hole
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Old 12-18-2023, 02:28 PM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: East TN
Posts: 300
Year: 1999
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Thanks Danjo for the tip!

JChimore, This four window bus would be really small for a family of 5! Maybe if you brought a tent? The reason I'm building two buses is one for me to adventure alone, and one to bring the gang.

This past weekend I spent most of my time on the white prison bus. However, I did get some metal etching put down on the floor of the short bus. Sometimes I have to just spend 20 minutes or an hour each week on each bus due to time constraints. As long as I make progress I'm happy.
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Old 12-20-2023, 06:48 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Oregon
Posts: 123
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: ford E350
Engine: 6.0 power stroke Diesel Navistar EFI
Rated Cap: wife & 2 corgis
hey Diver dude,
4 window shorty's don't have much room but we like the maneuverability!
we kept ours simple.
queen bed with storage underneath it. access from back door and inside.
simple solar set up for charging phones and watching TV.
flexible solar panel on top that you cant even see from ground level.
we have the vingli 5.3 portable toilet that works well for us.
i enjoy cooking outside so we dont have kitchen stuff.
also no water tanks which keeps the bus light and don't have to winterize.
we got a shuttle bus seat that faces forward when driving and moves back sideways for a couch.
as for your shower you could put a short plastic clear or white water tank on top.
the sun will heat it up and hydrostatic pressure should run the water with out using a electric pump, could also run into a sink that way too. then just have it drain out a hose onto the ground away from the bus?
there is all kinds of stuff you could plan out.
i strategically kept my bus light for better motor performance and gas mileage.
im getting 13 mpg which isnt too bad considering! LOL
so theres some stuff for ya to ponder on while designing your plan.
there is a bunch of pics in my profile for you to see if ya like.
enjoy the build!
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Old 12-20-2023, 07:19 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: East TN
Posts: 300
Year: 1999
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Retiredroughneck, do you have a pic of your seat? It sounds handy. Thanks for the other tips. Iíve been leaning towards storage under the bed for a water tank. I donít really wanna mount on top. Heavy and wind resistance. Iíll put a 12v pump in for water. I like simple but I wanna challenge myself too.
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Old 12-20-2023, 09:10 PM   #7
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Join Date: Sep 2018
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Engine: Chevy Express 3500 6.6l
Look to see what room you have under the bus for tanks.

I have a 5 window Thomas Minotour. It took a while to figure out where stuff goes. I had done some things early on that I wish I’d put more thought into like the under body boxes which got in the way of other layout possibilities.

I have 50 gallons fresh under the bed, a 25 gallon black tank tucked in the C channel behind the second battery box, and a 35 gallon grey tank hanging from condenser frame.

I decided to go big on the bathroom, using 2 windows to install a fiberglass shower pan that I mounted a toilet into one end. It is tiled with small, thin glass tile. I also have a 6 gallon water heater that is mounted under the deck in the skirt.

I went a little bit big on the refrigerator with a 5 cu ft chest refrigerator/freezer. I think that this is too big most of the time and wish I’d got a smaller one that could sit on top of the house battery box.

I was able to fit a queen size bed at the expense of a smaller kitchen. The kitchen has a 2 burner propane stove and a bar sink.

For energy sources I have 600W of panels on the roof and 400Ah of battery storage. I have a compartment built into the skirt that holds a 20lb barbecue tank for the stove, water heater and a small 3000 BTU catalytic heater. In a week or so I’m adding a (temporary) auxiliary diesel tank for the diesel heater I’m installing.


Enjoy playing Tetris
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Old 12-21-2023, 11:35 AM   #8
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
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Thanks Danjo! Do you have a thread with pics that I could check out? Your build sounds great!
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Old 12-21-2023, 01:04 PM   #9
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Aug 2022
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Year: 2005
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Chassis: ford E350
Engine: 6.0 power stroke Diesel Navistar EFI
Rated Cap: wife & 2 corgis
here is my seat.
got it for $40 with seat belts and a arm rest out of a shuttle bus.
it even matched my interior!
i welded nuts underneath the chassis.
so i simply use a power tool to move it back and fourth with 4 bolts.
i was gonna do some kind or swing quick release but wouldnt swing where i wanted it to go. and i like the floor flush.
this way seemed seamed pretty simple.
keep in mind bus weight.
you should be ok with whatever you do but dont go over weight.
im under at 9k pds fully loaded for winter with generator, firewood & snow chains LOL
enjoy the build!
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IMG_7584.jpg   IMG_7589.jpg   IMG_7595.jpg   shuttle bus seat 1.jpg   IMG_7582.jpg  

IMG_7583.jpg  
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Old 12-21-2023, 01:15 PM   #10
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: East TN
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Year: 1999
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
That seat gives me ideas, thanks! You added two seat belts which can come in handy.
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Old 12-21-2023, 03:16 PM   #11
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Hereís a before and after of the bathroom
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Old 12-21-2023, 03:20 PM   #12
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Hereís a couple photos of under body work
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Old 12-21-2023, 03:22 PM   #13
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I made these hatches. Only used one for propane.
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Old 12-21-2023, 03:24 PM   #14
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Hereís one of the kitchen
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Old 12-21-2023, 03:25 PM   #15
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Hereís one of the solar panels
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Old 12-21-2023, 07:59 PM   #16
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Oregon
Posts: 123
Year: 2005
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Chassis: ford E350
Engine: 6.0 power stroke Diesel Navistar EFI
Rated Cap: wife & 2 corgis
sweet job Danjo on that shower.
i like the way you left the windows.
most people seem to block it?
we love our 360 degree view.
we tinted all our windows even the front.
when we use the bathroom it just looks like your sitting down normally from the outside... LOL

great job on those under body tool boxes!
ive been pondering on doing one myself?
its gonna add another 50 pds.....
i know its not much but it all adds up.
i wanna keep tool box, snow chains, leveling wood, extension cords, etc in it.
kinda a pain in the ass to have everything under the bed packed like tetris LOL
enjoy the build.
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Old 12-21-2023, 09:03 PM   #17
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The bus has blackout curtains all the way around now so no one gets to see me poop. And the windows are tinted unless the lights on and then you can see the show

YES everything you do adds weight and it’s important to keep the weight distributed and to think light when designing your build. That being said, my bus still behaves well. It’s not sportscar-like as it was when it was empty and could to 85

And I like your simple open layout. Simple is easy. Simple has less to break. Simple is easier to clean. I struggled a long time with what to do and it’s got it’s pluses and minuses. For instance, I would have only done one hatch for the propane and I would have only done one side box for the stinky slinky (or not at all actually). I also would have thought out my heating system and smaller fridge and maybe a full sized bed instead of the queen.
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Old 12-21-2023, 09:12 PM   #18
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And I like my one-window slide out kitchen idea and would have pursued it had I thought of it earlier
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Old 12-22-2023, 04:15 AM   #19
Bus Nut
 
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Great job Danjo and insight! You definitely have some skills. Thanks!
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Old 12-22-2023, 04:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retired Roughneck View Post
i like the way you left the windows.
most people seem to block it?
we love our 360 degree view.
Yeah, for me being surrounded by windows is the only thing that makes living in a tiny box seem tolerable.
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