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Old 03-08-2021, 09:24 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Georgia
Posts: 54
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Midbus
Chassis: Chevy Express G3500
Engine: 6.0 V8
Rated Cap: 12+2WC
The Great OK Bus - Part Deux

Hi all, I posted in the intro thread about a year ago and then promptly disappeared. Thatís because there wasnít really much to show. My husband and I purchased our bus in Oklahoma in December 2019, tore out the seats, walls, wheelchair lift, rear heater and second AC. We took the floor back to the plywood, which was in super good shape so we decided not to strip to the metal at that time. We built up a bed platform, an electrical room in the garage and then I modified a solid maple dresser to become a kitchen and an IKEA crib to be a couch. We also purchased a marine fridge and a C-Head toilet, both of which we L-O-V-E and recommend. We spent a week doing tear down, the bus then spent two weeks in the shop at Atel Bus and Truck in Maryland getting a bunch of mechanical TLC as well as a professional install of the solar panels and MaxxAir fan on the roof, and then we spent another week building and hit the road. It was super janky and kluged but it served us well for 10 months on the road and weíre both proud of how well it all worked for how quickly we put it together.

This past December, we bought a house, which we are in the process of flipping, and we are using this time in the house to truly tear down the bus (ok, everything forward of the bed), and build out something really nice. I will be using this thread to keep a log of what weíre doing.

At the moment, weíre neck deep in demolition. Itís taken about a week of daily work (around the day job) to get it to this point. We are lucky that we have very minimal rust on the metal floor. We have ground down all the bolt holes and sanded the lightly rusted areas and have started to prime with Rustoleum Rust Reformer. DH has spent several days straight tracing and removing wires and estimates weíve taken about 100 lbs of copper wire out of the bus so far. The driverís seat is out for convenience access to the wiring and Iím currently spray painting the base a glossy white. Weíve got a pretty good plan going for how weíre going to rebuild, most of our supplies for the build have been ordered and are slowly arriving. We still donít know what to do with the front bus doors and we havenít yet found the right magic to get the treads off the risers in the stepwell.

Anyway, I have lurked for years on this site. Iíve been lucky enough to walk through a couple of the better known conversions a couple years back at the FL Tiny House Jamboree. A bus was what I wanted to do all along even before we went on our first vanlife adventure. So Iím really excited to get creative with the build and to share with you guys. Sorry, you canít find us on social media because people suck and we value our mental health. But please reach out if you want to be in personal touch with us, meet up on the road and/or get a closer look at the bus when itís done. Weíve got about 8 weeks planned for the build and should be hitting the road from Georgia in late May. Also, if anyone near the Atlanta/NWGA area wants our old dresser kitchen setup, itís still in great shape and could go into another build.

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Old 03-08-2021, 01:02 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveandRage View Post
This past December, we bought a house, which we are in the process of flipping, and we are using this time in the house to truly tear down the bus (ok, everything forward of the bed), and build out something really nice. I will be using this thread to keep a log of what weíre doing.
Nice. Good opportunity to be able to address any drawbacks and annoyances you've found so far head-on.



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Sorry, you canít find us on social media because people suck and we value our mental health.
Same here!



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Originally Posted by LoveandRage View Post
But please reach out if you want to be in personal touch with us, meet up on the road and/or get a closer look at the bus when itís done. Weíve got about 8 weeks planned for the build and should be hitting the road from Georgia in late May. Also, if anyone near the Atlanta/NWGA area wants our old dresser kitchen setup, itís still in great shape and could go into another build.
FWIW, we're in KY. If you're ever in the area consider stopping in and saying hello. We'll also be attending:
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f9/in...eet-35005.html


Best of luck!
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Old 03-09-2021, 06:46 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by kazetsukai View Post
FWIW, we're in KY. If you're ever in the area consider stopping in and saying hello. We'll also be attending:
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f9/in...eet-35005.html
We wonít make it to Indiana by early May but that looks like fun! We will probably be heading through Kentucky in late May or early June. Depending on where you are, we could potentially stop on our way through.
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Old 03-11-2021, 06:52 AM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Wiring Update

My husband got a little ahead of himself removing wires and managed to disable our starter, so we spent a day and a half trying to figure out a workaround. We are lucky to have the original manuals from Midbus with the wiring diagram, however, the diagram claimed the starter solenoid was on the firewall on the left side of the engine block behind the battery so we wasted way too much time above and below the bus trying to find it. Finally, we discovered two things. We had disconnected the ďignition FDĒ wire that provided power to the fuse block that the vandal lock was powered by. We also discovered by tracing the wires that the starter solenoid for the vandal lock was on the driverís side firewall in the engine compartment. Husband removed the vandal lock wire and connected the purple 12 volt power wires together, bypassing the solenoid and it started right up.

Photos are of the solenoid after it was removed from the firewall. The orange van lock 5 cable was removed. This went all the way to the back door. The purple wires he wired together are inside the wire armor in the first photo. The additional photos are of the wheelchair door wires which he traced back to a panel to the left of the driverís legs. This relay ticked when the wheelchair door was open and the engine running. So if youíre hearing a ticking noise under those conditions, thatís where to disconnect those wires.

I got some useful information from this thread and it seems that accidentally disabling the starter is not an uncommon issue, so I wanted to explain what we did to fix it since I couldnít find anything specific to our bus.

https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f10/k...new-10315.html

Another useful thing we learned is a trouble signal. We accidentally disconnected our rear tail light wire and when we were testing our lights and signals, our left turn indicator ticked as normal but the right turn became a fast tick. My husband thought the bulb had died but since weíd been messing with the wires, I suggested we check for any disconnection, and it turns out that was the case. Our bus had once had a minor electrical fire and a length of wire from that turn signal had been replaced. Apparently with a crappy connection so with all the messing about with the wires, we managed to pull it out. They also replaced the bad portion of wire with a lower gauge so husband replaced that length with the same gauge and heat shrunk the connectors and now it wonít easily come out.
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Old 03-23-2021, 09:57 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Progress

We have treated the rust spots, added sound deadening mat so itís not quite so deafening to drive, dry fitted the fresh water tank, installed the city/gravity water fill, converted the 12v dome lights to house lights on the solar system and connected them to two SPDT on/off/on switches so we can switch them at the door and in the bedroom. I am slowly but surely scrubbing the glue off the ceiling where I have removed part of the carpet using acetone. Today we will level out the sides of the floor and start installing the new subfloor. Slow and steady progress.
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Old 03-28-2021, 02:33 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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The subfloor is down and wool insulation replaced in the outer walls. Next we will frame up the upright parts of the outer walls and tape the final floor plan on the floor prior to framing.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 6A79E52B-01B8-4ED6-9040-540176146A31.jpg (228.5 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg 99648397-8823-4F5F-AC09-B17B5859DAAD.jpg (247.1 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg DAFA330E-C6CD-4EF9-BD51-AC0159C34DF8.jpg (305.6 KB, 15 views)
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Old 03-28-2021, 02:35 PM   #7
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I’m not sure why my photos are all appearing sideways. Quite annoying...
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Old 04-12-2021, 06:53 AM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Posts: 54
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Chassis: Chevy Express G3500
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Progress

Current progress. I am framing the kitchen around the sink and fuel tank neck so I installed the counter and sink first to get an idea of where I can place the center wall. I also realized I had installed the shower pan incorrectly so the shower walls got moved slightly since the photo of the shower pan was taken so it will sit inside the 2x4 whoops instead of on top. I also realized belatedly that the hot and cold water lines in the shower were run backwards so thatíll be fixed before the valve mixer and shower trim are plumbed. Weíve also been building little cubbies into the upper wall cavities to make best use of space.

I feel like Iíll be working to get that glue off the ceiling for the next year. Itís just such a slow and tedious task that I do much of it at a time.
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Old 04-27-2021, 04:34 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Progress. Feeling good.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 5452E6D2-8500-49F7-B507-C51DA303AFC1.jpg (229.7 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg 7F6DA0AC-1C78-4BCE-8D57-22463E59CEF1.jpg (228.8 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg A9166920-8869-49E4-B31D-9EFE78E78456.jpg (201.8 KB, 12 views)
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Old 04-27-2021, 05:09 PM   #10
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More progress pics.
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File Type: jpg B95D8B4E-ABA2-4FB2-B73A-36CDC6FDD677.jpg (251.2 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg F22C647A-32EB-42FF-8367-B2F0ECAE7612.jpg (251.8 KB, 11 views)
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Old 04-27-2021, 08:56 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
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Love your interior

Cool. This is the first time I have come across your build. I'm looking into doing a shorty myself. Just wish this site wouldn't turn everybody's photos on their sides....Do y'all use a phone in portrait mode to shoot your pics? I would suggest landscape mode....
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Old 04-27-2021, 11:09 PM   #12
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Cool. This is the first time I have come across your build. I'm looking into doing a shorty myself. Just wish this site wouldn't turn everybody's photos on their sides....Do y'all use a phone in portrait mode to shoot your pics? I would suggest landscape mode....
Convert your pics to PNG format before posting, and never look back.
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Old 04-28-2021, 06:17 AM   #13
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Convert your pics to PNG format before posting, and never look back.
Thanks for the tip!
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Old 04-28-2021, 06:18 AM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Location: Georgia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kentucky Dreaming View Post
Cool. This is the first time I have come across your build. I'm looking into doing a shorty myself. Just wish this site wouldn't turn everybody's photos on their sides....Do y'all use a phone in portrait mode to shoot your pics? I would suggest landscape mode....
Thank you! We are very pleased with how it is turning out.
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Old 04-30-2021, 07:51 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Posts: 54
Year: 2007
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Chassis: Chevy Express G3500
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Plumbing for a Truma Combi and other build progress.

Personal note, the Valterra locking city and gravity fill box should come in one version and that should be one that has a brass city fill fitting and a properly sized rubber gasket for the connection. It WILL leak otherwise. The plastic version broke on first use. The reviews are widely panned. Hopefully Valterra will pull it.
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Old 05-01-2021, 08:52 AM   #16
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We have treated the rust spots, added sound deadening mat so itís not quite so deafening to drive, dry fitted the fresh water tank, installed the city/gravity water fill, converted the 12v dome lights to house lights on the solar system and connected them to two SPDT on/off/on switches so we can switch them at the door and in the bedroom. I am slowly but surely scrubbing the glue off the ceiling where I have removed part of the carpet using acetone. Today we will level out the sides of the floor and start installing the new subfloor. Slow and steady progress.
Nice progress. Where'd you get the sound deadening mat and how many inches does something like that remove from your floor space?
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Old 05-01-2021, 09:10 AM   #17
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Nice progress. Where'd you get the sound deadening mat and how many inches does something like that remove from your floor space?
We got the Amazon Basics version but the name brand stuff is called Fat Mat, I think. Height is inconsequential at maybe 1/8th inch.
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Old 05-15-2021, 05:16 AM   #18
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Just a quickie

Overhead cabinets are done on passenger side. Now to do drivers side! We will put doors on at some future point.

We also installed a Lagun table mount and used the counter cutout from the sink install for a table surface.

Couch and bed are in. The back doors have locks. Lots of drawers to build next. Shower walls are our nemesis…

ETA: forgot to convert photos. Will try to remember that tomorrow.
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Old 05-16-2021, 09:47 AM   #19
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Wow...what a detailed and professional looking build. Love, love, love it. Congrats!!!
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Old 05-16-2021, 07:29 PM   #20
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We got the Amazon Basics version but the name brand stuff is called Fat Mat, I think. Height is inconsequential at maybe 1/8th inch.

Good to know. Thank you!
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