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Old 12-12-2016, 03:45 AM   #21
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Love your lil bus. We totally love ours. Currently on a bucket list trip in a 2002 Minotour. Having electrical problems. Can't seem to figure out where thomas electrical marries into gmc electrical. All the GMC electrical is fine. Everything on the Thomas side is dead. Electrical is like brain surgery to me.
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Old 12-12-2016, 05:39 AM   #22
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Love your lil bus. We totally love ours. Currently on a bucket list trip in a 2002 Minotour. Having electrical problems. Can't seem to figure out where thomas electrical marries into gmc electrical. All the GMC electrical is fine. Everything on the Thomas side is dead. Electrical is like brain surgery to me.
I have a blue bird so it may be different, but all of my electrical starts on the radiator support near the passenger side battery where the two starting batteries meet. From there it is a pretty clear split of where the wiring goes.

Good luck, I hope you get it figured out!
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Old 12-12-2016, 09:17 AM   #23
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Been at Devil's Den a number of times. Some great camping in Arkansas. Looks like a very successful shakedown cruise.
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Old 12-12-2016, 02:31 PM   #24
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Electrical System questions

I have been working on my electrical system plans lately and I have a schematic drawn up. The only thing that I know is missing is a fuse inline from the batteries, but I am unsure of where all I need fuses. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 12-12-2016, 04:39 PM   #25
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Been at Devil's Den a number of times. Some great camping in Arkansas. Looks like a very successful shakedown cruise.
Well, I hope you let me know next time you come up

You drive right past me
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Old 12-17-2016, 12:09 PM   #26
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This might be a silly question, but say I was looking to replace some steering and suspension parts, what vehicle do I look up? Do I just search for a 2000 Chevy 3500 truck or van?
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Old 12-18-2016, 12:47 AM   #27
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Ask for parts and pieces for a G3500/4500.

C/K-10/20/30 series were light duty trucks and 4x4 light duty trucks.

P30-series were rail chassis that were glorified 1-ton truck chassis. The P-series was sold (lock, stock, and barrel) to Workhorse who later sold out to Navistar.

C-50/60/70 series were medium duty trucks. Freightliner purchased the medium duty line.

All had common parts with each other but some had series specific parts.

And depending on the part and model you may have to look up P-series, G-series, or C-series in order to find the correct part. Which means you may end up getting stuff in a Workhorse, or Navistar, or Freightliner package.
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Old 12-25-2016, 10:40 AM   #28
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We have been getting the bus ready for our ski trip next week and I think I have a defective CDR causing a leaking rear main seal. At least that's what it looks like to me.



My plan is to replace the CDR and replace the rear main seal tomorrow morning and get on the road to Colorado on the 27th. Any tips or tricks for the rear main on the 6.5l?
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Old 12-26-2016, 11:26 AM   #29
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Got under the bus yesterday and cleaned the CDR valve, tightened the oil pan bolts, and cleaned everything up and I now have no leak. I ran it/drove it for 30 minutes yesterday and couldn't get it to leak.

Hopefully I fixed the issue and our ski trip will go off without a hitch. Here are some pictures!









Merry Christmas Skoolie Nation!
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Old 12-26-2016, 08:33 PM   #30
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Congrats on the "Cheap Fix". Gotta love those. Have a great trip.
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Old 12-26-2016, 08:33 PM   #31
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Keep us updated with trip notes and pics, Last pic looks awesome!
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:08 AM   #32
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So we made it and the bus made it too...with some upgrades! We left out early in the morning on Tuesday from Oklahoma loaded down with 500 lbs of ski/snowboard gear and 5 adults. The bus had been experiencing a shimmy at around 65 MPH and I was convinced that it was the steering components that were wearing down in the front-end. Lesson learned-when vehicles shimmy, check tires first, then look to other potential issues.

We arrived in Wichita, KS before noon and the shimmy had gotten worse. We couldn't drive above 60 MPH before it sounded like the bifold doors were going to rattle off. We searched for a tire shop and found BEAR TIRE. This place was honest, straight forward, and had our safety in mind from the get go. I recommend them for honest tire work in the Wichita area.

The two front tires had flat spots from sitting for an extended period of time (which we knew by the dirt dobber nests inside). Once we saw the tires up off the ground and rolling, I felt stupid for not changing them sooner. We bought new tires for the front and took the better of the two old tires and bought a spare wheel to be used as a spare tire. Now we were back on the road and cruising at 75 MPH smooth as silk. Who knew a 6.5L short bus could do 80 down the expressway? We averaged 10MPG for the trip that included 75MPH plus on the flats and 4 trips up to the ski resort during the week.

It was worth all of the trouble...


This was my first time to ski Monarch, CO and my first time skiing in over a decade. I am in decent shape and picked it up after a day on my back. The mountain was beautiful and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for great snow, short lift lines, and affordable lift tickets. To check it out go to </title> <link rel="profile" href="http://gmpg.org/xfn/11" /> <link rel="pingback" href="http://www.skimonarch.com/xmlrpc.php" /> <link rel="stylesheet" href="http://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Open Sans:300,400,700" /> <link rel="stylesheet" hre.

One of the benefits of driving a diesel bus to a ski resort is that the parking attendants mistake you for either a full-size rig or a group bus. Either way, we parked within 50 ft of the slopes each of the three days.




We stayed in Bender's Log Cabin in Poncha Springs, CO. This quaint little cabin was exactly what we were looking for. Everything worked as it should and it was a short 15 minute drive to the slopes. Check it out at

https://www.vrbo.com/338600.



We skied all day for three days straight and I am exhausted. Other than the tires and some crafty use of some duct tape on the bi-fold doors to eliminate an air hiss (no worries, bifolds are leaving eventually to be replaced by a real home door) the bus did great. Started right up with the block heater plugged in and there was no sign of an oil leak or any other mechanical problems.

Here are some more images from the trip. I was really proud of myself for leaving the camera alone and enjoying myself. Sometimes I get so caught up in taking pictures that I forget to enjoy the trip.


On top of the Continental Divide.


Early morning departure.


Room with a view.


White knuckle "Skyline Drive" near Canon City, CO.


Stay tuned, the build is about to officially start as we begin ripping out the rest of the seats and the sub-floor. Pictures will follow!
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:18 PM   #33
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Haven't updated here in a while, but we have definitely been making some progress on the short bus.

We managed to get all of the seats out, removed the floor, patched the holes in the floor, and painted the interior walls and floor. We got the Fantastic Fan installed on the roof and laid down the Eternabond tape. Our first VLOG went live this week here:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...LYF2UTI7pAIcY0

We are working on a few more VLOG posts as well as, so subscribe to the channel to keep up with the progress.

IMG_0942 by Zach Elseman, on Flickr
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Old 02-08-2017, 09:13 PM   #34
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Sweet bus and awesome trip! I was out at A-basin early January (unfortunately not in my bus) conditions were phenomenal. I have a 5 window Ford E450 and have very similar plans but different layout. I want to do a small solar setup for those exact three purposes laptops, led lights, fridge, and maybe fan. A company near me sells tested refurbished 225watt panels for $160each. After doing research I see the panels are not the most expensive part of the system. But still this is a good deal and would like to get two of them. What are the house batteries rated at that you are planning to use? Also excited to see the pallet ceiling. I had my mind set on tongue and groove, but think I will do the same with pallets now as the are all over craigslist for free. Im in college so every penny saved on this is huge!
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Old 02-09-2017, 08:45 AM   #35
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Sweet bus and awesome trip! I was out at A-basin early January (unfortunately not in my bus) conditions were phenomenal. I have a 5 window Ford E450 and have very similar plans but different layout. I want to do a small solar setup for those exact three purposes laptops, led lights, fridge, and maybe fan. A company near me sells tested refurbished 225watt panels for $160each. After doing research I see the panels are not the most expensive part of the system. But still this is a good deal and would like to get two of them. What are the house batteries rated at that you are planning to use? Also excited to see the pallet ceiling. I had my mind set on tongue and groove, but think I will do the same with pallets now as the are all over craigslist for free. Im in college so every penny saved on this is huge!
We camped right outside of A-Basin this Fall, I love that area!

We chose to go with a Renogy Solar 300 watt kit here. There is a chance that this will be our tiny house for at least a little while and we wanted the ability to add batteries if we needed to and not run out of charging capacity.

We are still up in the air on batteries. We are looking for a combined 200-220 AH worth of batteries. Since this is a budget build, we will probably find the cheapest battery with decent reviews that fits our needs.

We have actually opted against the pallet wood on the ceiling due to me being 6'3" tall, headspace is at a premium. So the bus ceiling has been painted and will stay this way for the remainder of the build. There will be pallet wood on the side walls and scattered throughout the interior.

We are both fairly young and my girlfriend is finishing up her Master's degree so the budget is a huge consideration for us too. Good luck on your build!
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Old 02-09-2017, 11:14 AM   #36
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We are still up in the air on batteries. We are looking for a combined 200-220 AH worth of batteries. Since this is a budget build, we will probably find the cheapest battery with decent reviews that fits our needs.
If you're looking for cheap(less expensive) deep cycle batteries for solar, check into a bank of 6v golf cart batteries. They're cheaper than other so called "Deep Cycle" batteries and seem to hold up to discharge/charge cycles pretty well...
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:53 PM   #37
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You need a sealed AGM battery. They will do better with gaining and losing charge. A charge controller is important between the solar panel and battery bank to help these fluctuations. You want a solar set up around double the amount of amp hour as you think you will need in batteries because you ideally don't want them to drop below 50%. A recommend giving one of these kits:
https://www.altestore.com/store/sola...-systems-c466/

-Thomas
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:22 PM   #38
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If you're looking for cheap(less expensive) deep cycle batteries for solar, check into a bank of 6v golf cart batteries. They're cheaper than other so called "Deep Cycle" batteries and seem to hold up to discharge/charge cycles pretty well...
We have looked at several different 6v batteries including the trojans and energizers. The research is ongoing.

Quote:
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You need a sealed AGM battery. They will do better with gaining and losing charge. A charge controller is important between the solar panel and battery bank to help these fluctuations. You want a solar set up around double the amount of amp hour as you think you will need in batteries because you ideally don't want them to drop below 50%. A recommend giving one of these kits:
https://www.altestore.com/store/sola...-systems-c466/

-Thomas
There's quite a bit of debate between AGM's and flooded lead acid batteries. I think we are leaning more toward the AGM's just because of the maintenance factor. The kit I linked above has a charge controller and plenty of solar for 200AH batteries at 65% for our needs which are minimal.
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Old 02-09-2017, 05:48 PM   #39
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Yeah the consensus is that properly maintained flooded batteries last longer but it wouldn't be safe at all to have that in a moving vehicle.

-Thomas
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:38 AM   #40
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Yeah the consensus is that properly maintained flooded batteries last longer but it wouldn't be safe at all to have that in a moving vehicle.

-Thomas
That's what I have read too. We are planning on storing our batteries near the 2nd starting battery on the frame, under/behind the driver seat area, so we won't have to worry about venting batteries.
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