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Old 03-06-2015, 11:08 PM   #381
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
As I understand it, a CDL is for those who are driving commercially like a school bus or a community shuttle bus. As a private van you'd be exempt. Once your van is titled as a motorhome your standard driver's license is fine.

If your van was originally titled as a commercial vehicle you'll need to get it re-titled as a private vehicle or a motor home depending on how you want to use it. Registration fees are way higher for commercial vehicles.

I was able to get liability only insurance from National General for $520 a year.

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Old 03-07-2015, 05:50 PM   #382
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I just finished this thread and wanted to say thanks fr all the detals and pictures. Your bus looks great and you did a phenomenal job on it!

Jeff
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Old 03-08-2015, 09:25 PM   #383
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Thanx Jeff! I had lots of help from forum members.
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Old 04-13-2015, 02:09 PM   #384
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
We did a few upgrades this spring. One, because I wasn't paying attention while backing Roachie into its parking spot. Here's the new side view mirror that replaces the old one that got busted up when I brushed past my lawn trailer. I like it way better than the original.



The other upgrades were a new set of tires and new ball joints & tie rod ends. As they say, "It's a Grand Old Bus." A grand for tires and a grand for the front end fix.
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Old 04-13-2015, 03:12 PM   #385
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Dude spring just started here, you CrayCray???...
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Old 04-13-2015, 05:32 PM   #386
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Well, yes, Bansil, I am a bit craycray (I own a bus, don't I?), but what does spring have to do with it? ;)
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:17 PM   #387
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You got a link for those mirrors?

I need to replace mine with something I can more backwards to get it out of my blind spot, or should say it creates a huge one right side is fine driver side sucks though
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:37 PM   #388
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
The one I got is made by Lucerix and the mirror style is called "eurostyle". Rosco makes similar mirrors and they often show up on ebay.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:43 PM   #389
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Location: Moodus, Ct.
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Engine: 7.3 Powerstroke
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Think of it the way I do Roachie-you won't have to do the front end again in your lifetime.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:03 AM   #390
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdwarf36 View Post
Think of it the way I do Roachie-you won't have to do the front end again in your lifetime.
When I was at the repair shop one of the guys there said a friend of his had a 7.3L Powerstroke with 750,000 miles on it. We put 4000 to 5000 miles a year on ours so I figure the engine is good for about 140 years. I may have to re-do the front end in another 20 years so I've got plenty of time to save up for the bill.
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Old 05-25-2015, 06:48 PM   #391
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Roach

when you removed your over head inside roof panel what was the structure is it wood with some steel supports. please post pics if you have them
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Old 05-26-2015, 10:49 PM   #392
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,965
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
The Aerotech bodies are a fiberglass sandwich with some kind of corrugated material in between the inner and outer skins. There is some plywood between the skins running down the center of the roof and at the chair rails but I haven't found any metal at all. The inner fiberglass skin is about 1/16" thick and holds a screw really well.

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Old 05-27-2015, 08:37 PM   #393
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i dont remember reading about what you did for air conditioning roof air?
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Old 05-27-2015, 09:43 PM   #394
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,965
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
No roof air conditioning at this point. We just haven't felt the need. If we do add it in the future I'll place it where the old escape hatch was. My electrical panel is just 2 feet away and running the wiring would be simple.
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Old 06-07-2015, 09:52 PM   #395
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did you use a full or queen size bed MAN i love your conversion,
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Old 06-07-2015, 11:08 PM   #396
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
Posts: 1,965
Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
The mattress we used was sold as a "short full" and is just long enough for my 6'2" frame. It's not luxurious but way better than camping in our van used to be.
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Old 09-12-2015, 02:03 PM   #397
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
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Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Our trips up to the family campsite usually are very predictable. We arrive, the adults scurry about setting up camp, the kids hop on the 4-wheelers or plink pop cans with their BB guns, we eat way too much, rinse and repeat. Same stuff, done that, yada yada, what ever. No story here.

Our Labor Day trip this year started out that way but soon became much more interesting, featuring an encroaching raccoon, a ventilated zombie, two packing nieces, two apprentice snipers, exploding pop bottles, rowdy neighbors and a passing black bear.





On Friday night after camp had been set up, the 4-wheelers well ridden and the pop cans duly plinked we were all relaxing and sitting around the camp fire when a young raccoon strolls into camp. The kids were all "lets pet him" while the adults were all thinking "RABIES!!!!." I jumped up and put a lawn chair between us and the critter, fully expecting him to attack, but he seemed more puzzled than aggressive so I backed him away from camp and tried, several times, to non-violently convince him that this was no place for him. Yelling and waving arms got him moving in the right direction but as soon as we stopped harassing him he'd wander back into camp. We even pressed one of the kid's Red Ryders into service and stung him on the butt with a few BB's but he still came back. Finally, we lassoed him and hustled him off about a half mile from camp which proved to finally do the trick.





On Saturday my two nieces (17 & 23) tested out their new pistols (40 S&W and a 9 mill) while the little ones tried out an new AR style .22. Check out the hole in that target. For youngun's they did real well.





Our camp is plunked in the middle of about 1000 acres of federal land so normally we have the area to ourselves, but that evening some partiers parked about 1/4 mile away from us and began, somewhat noisily, to commune with nature, although I strongly suspect there was also considerable communing with alcoholic beverages as well. Around 10PM we noticed them driving up the two track while shining a search light toward us into the forest. Needless to say, that caught our attention and after they'd (apparently) left the area we stayed alert for more shenanigans. It wasn't long before we heard twigs snapping out in the woods near camp. I grabbed one of our trillion candle power lights and moving into the woods, shone it toward where we'd last heard the sound. I fully expected to see a deer or one of our neighbors drunkenly sneaking up on the camp but was surprised to see a large black bear looking back at me about 75 yards away. Right then I heard behind me the familiar "snick" of a 9MM pistol being loaded and turned to see both my nieces locked and loaded and ready to rumble. Yogi ambled off into the forest in search of less well defended pickinick baskets but the pistols and a rifle or two didn't get put away until we all went to bed. Apparently our rowdy neighbors had also seen the bear and headed off for safer drinking digs.

No bear pictures but this is me with my niece's 9 mil *attempting* to look dangerous:





On Sunday we tried out a new way to keep target shooting interesting. Just drill a hole in a pop bottle cap, insert an automotive valve stem then pump the bottle up to 110 lbs pressure with a high pressure bicycle pump. Set the thing 25 yards away and shoot with a pellet gun or .22 and get a very satisfying BOOM! Way cheaper than Tannerite.





My little niece hamming it up.



Later on, a zombie passed too close to camp and was pretty well shot up by the youngsters (7 & 9).






All told, a memorable weekend!
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Old 09-12-2015, 03:26 PM   #398
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Great pics.

Thanks for sharing.

Nat
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Old 12-16-2015, 04:49 PM   #399
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I hope you don't mind Roach, but I have a question going all the back to page 5 and 6. The interior fiberglass skin on my walls are backed by 1/4" plywood. I'd like to take that whole mess out but I believe my windows compress on top of the interior fiberglass. If removed, I believe I'll need to build up the perimeter of the windows again so the windows can sandwich themselves in again. It doesn't look like you had that issue, correct?
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Old 12-16-2015, 06:23 PM   #400
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Farmington Hills, Mi (Detroit area)
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Year: 2000
Coachwork: Eldorado Aerotech 24'
Chassis: Ford E-450 Cutaway Bus
Engine: 7.3L Powerstroke
Rated Cap: 19
Yeah, my fiberglass panels had no plywood behind them but if memory serves I had to put 1/4" plywood spacers between the body wall and the window trim ring to get some of the windows to clamp tight. I just went out to look but couldn't tell for sure whether I'd had to do that on all of them.

The easiest way to check how much slack yours have would be to pull off one of the trim rings and see if there's a large enough gap. Just be sure the outer part of the window is stuck to the body so it doesn't fall off.
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