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Old 11-30-2020, 07:27 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 19
Smile SHUTTLE BUS - 2012 Chevy Express DURAMAX 6.6

So we found a bus! After much research we determined that we didn't want a short 4-window skoolie, nor a big boy like an International, so we decided to land somewhere in the middle.

Our bus is a 2012 Chevy Express shuttle bus with a Thor shell. She's packed with a Duramax diesel engine and has 120k miles. She was an NYC shuttle bus for Enterprise Car Rental at LaGuardia International Airport and got a clean bill of health from a diesel mechanic. Pretty clean chassis and body and so far we have already gutted everything that we are taking out.

The ultimate plan is to have a fixed bed in the rear, a kitchen with a stove/fridge/sink, stand up indoor shower with a self built composting toilet, solar setup with a charger/inverter, and propane tanks mounted under the bus.

At this point we are at a standstill and coming to the skoolie community for some guidance before our rough-in begins. We have a layout that we are happy with however we aren't exactly sure about our appliances/utilities. As we all know there is waaay too much information/products out there that if you don't really know what you want, making a decision is nearly impossible. Here is a brief list of the items we "think" we need. Any and all suggestions about which brands/products/types to buy would be extremely appreciated. And also if we should run them off of propane or the solar setup. I'm guessing we will rarely will have a shore power hookup so want to set this up as smart as possible. Thanks in advance!

(2) Maxxair fans - already purchased, 1 for air in, 1 for air out

refrigerator - want a stand up, 2-door unit

range - want a 2/3 burner with oven

water pump - for shower and kitchen sink

water filter - for drinking water

hot water heater

fresh water tank size - is 50 gallons too big?

grey water tank - is it absolutely necessary for sink/shower? If so what size?

heater for bus temp - going to have a 2 year old wobblin' around so can't have anything she can burn herself on

propane tank - are (2) 20lbs enough? Figured small tanks for easy fill ups.

Oh, and here's some pics of our girl...

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Old 12-11-2020, 05:25 PM   #2
Bus Nut
Meathead's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 322
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Thomas
Engine: 3126b 210hp
Rated Cap: 48
Letís see.

You must have a grey tank for sink/shower.

I like 2 small propane tanks, easy swap.

50 gal fresh is not too big. I have 100gals (30ft bus),
And I have room for more.(phase II if needed).

What size is your living area? Some pics didnít show up.

Good luck!!
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Old 12-14-2020, 09:04 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 54
Year: 2004
Coachwork: Collins
Chassis: Chevy Express 3500
Engine: 6.0L Gas
I'd recommend using the search feature and reading more of the posts on this forum to find folks' favorite brands and recommendations for the specific appliances and ammenities you've listed. There's a wealth of information and lots of folks who ask for a basic blueprint to bus life, but in the end, it comes down to what you think you need (developing your intuition), taking the leap and adapting from there. You're unlikely to find folks who utilize the same amount of utilities as you, depending on the lifestyle and everyone's preferences vary. You're making a space for you, so you've got to learn to be decisive based on your wants and needs. I struggle with decisiveness too, but am learning to cultivate more self-trust in this process, and hope the same will grow for you.

That said, I can tell you that fridge is going to draw a lot of power, and you definitely need a grey water tank unless you plan on letting it drain to the street. There are no tanks too large or too small (unless your chassis can't handle the weight), there are only hold sizes that fit your lifestyle right. A gallon of water is 8lbs, so take that into consideration.

Best of luck to you! Excited to see the layout you land on.
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bus, duramax, shuttle

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