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Old 11-18-2011, 11:33 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1
New to Schoolie-ing, could use some feedback?

This site is so great, and now I get to be a part of it. I've been wanting to live a more transient/mobile life for a while, and now I've found a Ford 1987 E350 Short Bus for sale for $1200. It has pretty new tires, and looks to be in really good shape. I've looked through a number of topics here, and tried to gather information, but was hoping for some feedback from yall.

My grandfather used to be a mechanical engineer and converted his VW to vegetable waste oil, and he would be happy to help me with this new project. I found a conversion kit at ... series-van that seems like it would fit. That may be a conversion that won't happen until the fall. Do any of you have any experience with this particular conversion?

My ideal vehicle will be a traveling home following the warm seasons. I am an outdoors instructor, and may end up going coast to coast to follow working seasons..

I made a list of things I want inside, as well as some modifications I was thinking about.. let me know what you think!
-storage bins for camping/climbing/winter gear
-storage for my skis and snowboards
-fold up table+chairs
-clothes storage
-book storage

If I end up spending a lot of time in winter areas, I'd also want to consider a small woodstove. How realistic is that?

I would also really like to have a hitch cargo platform like the link below, but the bus currently does not have a hitch. Anybody have experience with attaching a hitch? Is that a huge project?

I would also like to have roof storage at some point, maybe even a flat area to put out a lawn chair if its nice, what sort of structural considerations need to go into something like that?

I haven't measured the inside yet, but from some research I believe it to be 10x7.5x6 (lxwxh)

I am going to speak with the seller today and try to get some more details.

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Old 11-18-2011, 03:07 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
Diesel Dan's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,489
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/AT545
Re: New to Schoolie-ing, could use some feedback?

I've been running a Greascar brand kit in my Mercedes sedan for 4 years now. It's an older model kit but it's basically the same components as what you are looking at, just smaller ports. I've modified the system to improve upon and augment their design, but none of the components that came as part of the kit have failed. The Greasecar system is good quality, but I would recommend adding another heat exchanger just before the injection pump. You might also need an electric fuel pump to get the fuel up to the engine compartment.

So long as the weight of the roof rack sits on the structural ribs of the bus it should be fine for typical use. By the time you put too much weight up there the bus would be ridiculously top-heavy anyway, and you just wouldn't do that.

I'll let others answer your other questions.

Oh, and welcome to the skoolie forum!
Gallery: ... l_dan_bus/
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:24 PM   #3
Almost There
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: SE Kansas
Posts: 82
Year: 1977
Chassis: International Harvester
Re: New to Schoolie-ing, could use some feedback?

I've put both universal hitches and custom fit hitches on vehicles over the years. The custom fit hitches (ones designed for that particular vehicle) were 10 times easier to install in my experience. Universal hitches like the Reese hitches you can find at Walmart are nice but they don't always line up perfectly to certain vehicles. It may cost slightly more but if you want less headache and IMHO a more reliable fit try to find a custom fit hitch.
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