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Old 11-21-2023, 01:57 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: East TN
Posts: 290
Year: 1999
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Ultra Camping Bus

Hi Everyone,
I decided to pick up a short bus to take on trips for when I go do races, the running type. I'll post some pictures of her today. She's just shy of 20 feet, has the Chevy 350 vortec engine, 14 bolt rear end, good tires (2019), and only just north of 75K miles.
Right now plans include solar, a bed, shower maybe?, kitchen, and passenger seat. I plan to insulate the floor as well.
I have no particular timeline but would like it campable by January. These pics are as she was upon purchase.
-Josh
Attached Thumbnails
Driver Side.jpg   Front.jpg   Interior Front.jpg   Interior Rear.jpg   Passenger Side.jpg  

Rear.jpg  

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Old 11-21-2023, 02:09 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
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Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas Built
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Haha. Yeah, I started camping in my shorty when it was still yellow with absolutely nothing inside and used it throughout its build.

Good luck with your build
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Old 11-21-2023, 05:24 PM   #3
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: East TN
Posts: 290
Year: 1999
Chassis: International
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danjo View Post
Haha. Yeah, I started camping in my shorty when it was still yellow with absolutely nothing inside and used it throughout its build.

Good luck with your build
Thanks Danjo! I'm down to bare metal currently and plan to at least get the insullation and plywood down. I've got corrugated metal and don't want to walk on it too much.
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Old 11-27-2023, 10:37 AM   #4
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: East TN
Posts: 290
Year: 1999
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
I haven't done too much lately. Demo is nearly complete. Pretty soon I will wire wheel the flooring and inside wall. Then metal etcher and finally chassis saver on the floor. I have purchased some foamular 250 for the flooring and some advantech tongue and groove plywood for the floor. I will post up some pictures when all that gets done.

I have a leak when it rains just above the windshield that I need to track down. At first I thought it was the windshield but it leaks just above and down onto the windshield and then onto me.

I filled it up recently with fuel. She had 2/3 of a tank or a bit more so I topped it off with nearly ten gallons. Next time I fill up I will see what kind of MPGs she is getting. I believe she sat for 1.5-2 years so I want to run this tank down to 1/4 and fill it up. Then, change out the fuel filter. All fluids will get changed as I catch up on maintenance. I love driving her!

This past weekend I did some work on the bigger white bus. I need to start a build thread for that on soon.
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Old 11-27-2023, 05:41 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: South Carolina
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Rated Cap: 29
Honestly, campable can be done once you remove the seating, throw a blow up mattress on the floor, and you're good to go. Campable and Livable are two different things though. You can have those seats removed in 1-2 days depending on your skill level.
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Old 11-27-2023, 07:54 PM   #6
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Nikitus, good point. I should have specified campable per the Wifey’s standards. �� She needs more than I…
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Old 12-18-2023, 08:05 AM   #7
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
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I was working on my other bus this weekend and has a little leftover metal etcher so cleaned and applied it to this bus. I got about half the floor done. Once I can move the other bus Ill pull this one in and get the floor painted, insulated and the plywood down. I also have some parts standing by for the engine waiting to go on.

No pics. Just imagine a corrugated floor that now looks a tad bit shinier, ha ha. Heres one pic of what I used.
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Old 12-19-2023, 03:15 PM   #8
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Aug 2022
Location: Oregon
Posts: 116
Year: 2005
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Chassis: ford E350
Engine: 6.0 power stroke Diesel Navistar EFI
Rated Cap: wife & 2 corgis
good score!
the chevy vortec is a good motor.
dependable and simple to work on.
short busses are awesome!
you can take them anywhere and park in lots like its a van LOL.
i did put a small kitchen set-up in it just to get it registered and insured as a RV.
then removed it because we like having more room.
we got a 10'' queen hybrid, small table, toilet and a shuttle bus seat that rotates from facing forward when driving and moves back sideways as a couch.
my 4 window is only 19' bumper to bumper.
if i had a 5 window i prob would have kept the kitchen set up?.
i only insulated the floor and left everything else alone.
my thomas walls and ceiling are already insulted from factory.
just some ideas to ponder on for ya.
enjoy the build!
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Old 12-19-2023, 06:12 PM   #9
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
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Thanks Retiredtoughneck! Yeah, she is registered as a motor home. They didn’t check for anything. Mine is 19.5 feet bumper to bumper. I want a kitchen but may opt for a full size bed. I’m still considering what the layout will be. I could do a camp stove as well which I already have.
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Old 12-19-2023, 06:45 PM   #10
Bus Geek
 
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You may consider a futon that doubles as a sofa and you’ll probably have room for a kitchen
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Old 12-19-2023, 06:55 PM   #11
Bus Geek
 
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I think I’d try to do a one window kitchen with a sink that pulls out from under the stove and a little counter space that folds down or out. You can do a one window bathroom and still have enough room for a full sized bed
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Old 12-19-2023, 07:10 PM   #12
Bus Geek
 
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You could take it one step further and make a one window shower stall that you set a “composting” toilet or boat toilet into. Of course then you’re getting into some money.
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Old 12-20-2023, 07:57 AM   #13
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
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Chassis: International
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Thanks Danjo for the ideas. I found a composting toilet I like for just over $100. I plan to do a shower too. I’m a smaller dude at only 5”8’ so that helps.
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Old 01-18-2024, 03:51 AM   #14
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Nice find! I have a ‘99 similar to yours with 62k and mine leaks around the same area. Had it for several years and now I’m planning to start the process. Enjoy!!

Oh…My dad lived in W Knoxville for 20 yrs and I love the area!
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Old 01-18-2024, 04:00 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diverdude0075 View Post
Thanks Danjo for the ideas. I found a composting toilet I like for just over $100. I plan to do a shower too. Im a smaller dude at only 58 so that helps.
I plan to make a swing out bracket for the outside to hold a shower curtain/hose etc. Its a tarp/canvas, and a PVC minimal framework, that collapses for saving space.
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Old 01-18-2024, 10:05 AM   #16
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 68camaro View Post
I plan to make a swing out bracket for the outside to hold a shower curtain/hose etc. Its a tarp/canvas, and a PVC minimal framework, that collapses for saving space.
Thanks 68Camaro! I'm considering that. I've seen where the kitchen faucet on some builds swings out for use as a shower.
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Old 01-18-2024, 03:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diverdude0075 View Post
Nikitus, good point. I should have specified campable per the Wifeys standards. �� She needs more than I
I heard that all the way over here in Middle Tennessee.
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Old 01-19-2024, 08:04 AM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: East TN
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Year: 1999
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Yeah, I'm currently trying to manage expectations! haha
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Old 02-02-2024, 04:24 PM   #19
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: East TN
Posts: 290
Year: 1999
Chassis: International
Engine: T444E
Whelp, she wouldn't start after I returned from Vegas with my wife... We flew out and rented a car due to time constraints. The battery was utterly dead and is three years old. It also came with the purchase of the bus so I figured it would need to be replaced. It would only hold 2 volts, haha, even after charging. Replaced with a Walmart battery, three year warranty, for $165. Batteries have gone up the last few years!

Got that all sorted out and checked for any parasitic draws. Thankfully I only have about a 20 miliamps draw which is fine. I used this video to refresh my memory on how to check:

The bus still won't start. I get a loud click from the starter area. I'm guessing this means that nothing is causing the ignition to cut out, such as safeties, etc. I am ordering a new starter for $72 off of Amazon. I have had good luck with DBElectric on other vehicles. More to follow once I get the new starter on. Could it be something else even though I'm hearing the loud click?

Here's the starter I'm ordering, for my Chevy 5.7 liter gas engine: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...KIKX0DER&psc=1

Buses are weird sometimes...
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Old 02-02-2024, 06:27 PM   #20
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Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: South Carolina
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Year: 1995
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: T444E
Rated Cap: 29
Your issue could be solenoid related and the Bendix isn't coming out. To test this, go to O'Reilly's and pick up for $30 a remote start trigger, and clamp the clips onto the starter ground and solenoid trigger, and turn the key to the ON position. Then step back pull the trigger, if the bendix comes out and starts, it's likely a solenoid issue.

if you look at your starter, there's a main power line in red (thick), and a smaller wire going to the solenoid of the starter, jump the two with the remote starter clips, turn the key on and pull the trigger.
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