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Old 08-21-2016, 12:25 PM   #301
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 237
Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
Been working on more finish work... Put up some window shades to design the size of verticle spacers and window trim.

First pic is of the test fit:



I just covered the rear center speaker with black grill instead of grey:



Another - I think with the window surround in building (will have color controlled LED strips behind curtain) it's gonna be pretty slick:

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Old 08-23-2016, 03:00 PM   #302
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Originally Posted by Auwyn View Post
Lady, you is an effin' genius. When I grow up I wanna be like you.
Yeah, pretty much sums up my thoughts. Gonna go roll my jaw up now.
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:19 PM   #303
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Location: Danglebury, Tejas
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Guys, we're gettin' spanked by a girl! (And admittedly, I'm good with that! She's EARNED IT! Lol).
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Old 08-25-2016, 05:57 PM   #304
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Guys, we're gettin' spanked by a girl! (And admittedly, I'm good with that! She's EARNED IT! Lol).
::in best Tina Turner voice:: What's gender got to do, got to do with it?
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Old 08-25-2016, 08:37 PM   #305
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Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
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Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
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Originally Posted by GreyCoyote View Post
Guys, we're gettin' spanked by a girl! (And admittedly, I'm good with that! She's EARNED IT! Lol).
I'd rather be PW'd than CW'd....


Just sayin'
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:30 AM   #306
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 237
Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
Building the window frames / blind tracks / wiring the LEDs...
So I had this idea to side light the cellular blinds with color accent. Because I have tons of dimming controls available with the PWM dimmers, I thought why not control color accents?

Cutting the wood to for the outer window track (they will be like a "T" and the blind running on each side..





Covering the outer T with carpet.... The outer frame gets mounted vertically and the blind comes down in front. The LEDs are inset along the whole length.



Here is one of them up...



Now I wanted to mount the inner frame to have no screw holes.. So I used aluminum L stock and left a half inch gap in which it will face the T on the wall and get screwed in from the sides when the blinds are open.. I'll paint and cover screw holes so they are now to visible if you look at them with you head against the window - lol...

Here is mounting the L on the inner frame.



Now I paint the aluminum - the carpet gets glued all the way up to the black channel mount.
Now the carpet on the inner ones...



And success!!!! Here they are (almost finished) with some completed and up - the lights on so I could see the awesomeness



Adding the front carpet cover and drop the shades:




More with the dog chillin' in the lounge area - lol



I love being able to set the color and mood - they can dim too so it's just the slightest bit of accent..



Yay!!!
Ok.... Now I cut the tricky end frames tomorrow ( they also have a sort of cable pass for all the speaker wires. Good days work.. This finish out work goes much faster than building a Air conditioning water chiller from scratch - lol.. My bus is 65deg inside right now...Brrrrr
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Old 08-29-2016, 07:53 AM   #307
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,386
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
sidelighgting cellular nblinds is a totally cool thing to do... Ive been doing it in my house for years.. the light tan cellular blinds also work a pretty decent rear projector screen without much spotlighting..

looks great!!!!!

-Christopher
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Old 09-14-2016, 01:14 PM   #308
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 17
Year: 1990
Chassis: International
Engine: 366 GM big block
I have read through this entire thread and to say it's an impressive build is an understatement. I like the way you left the exterior of the bus mostly original. Would love to see some overall pics of the interior. Just curious, is there a particular reason you chose a VanHool over other popular brands such as MCI?
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Old 09-14-2016, 07:02 PM   #309
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 237
Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
Thank You for the comments Npeace.. Done some awesome stuff this weekend with batteries and the 12v system. Cleared the electrical bay for the toolbox and a redo on the flooring in that bay.

VanHool over other brands? Everyone would say most coach picks are really preference. In the price range and year I was looking (1995-2000 mostly) the VanHools to me seemed way more advanced in design / build quality... Far less rust (mine literally has none) due to a whole ton of stainless steel in the chassis build. Disc brakes all around except the drive axle. I liked the way the frame was constructed (seen from in bay / underneath bus) and the interior wall, side rail etc.. The entire body panels are all aluminum (again no rust).
I guess in general I liked the exterior look as well. Had a bit more towards the modern look with flat nose and very straight sides..
About the MCI - I did not like the way the Window exits on all windows was a lift rail at the bottom of the window frame. Due to the fact this build I was definitely leaving the windows for the wealth look, this would add a difficult build over for framing internal walls and such over a rail that needed to pull out/up to open window. This combined with many other little issues on interior layout pushed me towards the VanHool. I sat in all the busses staring around and imagining the build - The Hoolie just fit me better... Others love MCI and Prevost (I think Prevost is a bit overpriced) but I have nothing against these other coaches - just ended up falling in love with this Coach when I was test driving it
It felt (way) more put together and solid compared to others I been in...
Just my 2 cents...
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Old 09-15-2016, 02:08 AM   #310
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Canada eh?
Posts: 99
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Corbeil - RAMROD
Chassis: IH 3800 66 Pass
Engine: 7.3 IH IDI NA w AT545 hyd
Holy hell Offgr1d! I think you just blew my mind in terms of what is possible in a conversion.
I used to sell homes and you're putting a lot of those very pricey, beautiful homes to shame in a hurry. The best build I've seen by far.. I'd sell my house for that thing when it's finished! But it would need to incorporate the toys somehow or toy hauler for me.

Is the Coach insulated or would it have a very difficult time in -40 weather? I know you're down in NV so snow and staying warm isn't likely even on your radar.

Can't wait to see the finished product!
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:38 PM   #311
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I have a Twitter account you can follow - @offgr1d

I will also be making a website to document the bus conversion.


Just followed. DANG!


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Old 10-06-2016, 01:12 PM   #312
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Mine is a T945 and yes it has a Cummins M11

The aqua system will also handle the heat. There is an instant water heater that is on the circulation pump for the 30gal tank. It's temp is monitored and has its own contactor to turn on/off.

Where I am in the build, I have not totaled everything yet. (Kinda don't want to) lol I do have every single receipt from purchases and I'll want to know in the end when it's complete.

Large items fit through the windows. I've had a full size couch come in through there. The Windows will swing out from a top hinge almost completely flush with the top level of window.. Makes acces easy..
I wonder if it would be beneficial to use thermal collectors on the roof to heat the PG (glycol) in the colder months?
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Old 10-20-2016, 11:12 PM   #313
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Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 237
Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
I think solar could completely do well to heat the glycol for my internal heat. I'm just not usually in an area that would require a huge amount of heat. The Vegas winters aren't too bad. I would rather use the roof space for electric solar panels being that most of my appliances and usage is currently electric.

I do wonder how small I could make a collector? I've seen the black painted pex in a glass box deal and if that fluid could circulate into my tank only when heating is required it could work well. I didn't have much issues last winter with a simple space heater. But I DO like the idea of solar. This may be something I'll look into in the near future as I get the rig to be more situated for "offgrid".

Thanks for the idea
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Old 10-21-2016, 12:39 AM   #314
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 980
Year: 1990
Coachwork: integral
Chassis: Crown Supercoach II (rear engine)
Engine: Detroit 6V92TAC, DDEC 2, Jake brake, Allison HT740
Rated Cap: 37,400 lbs GVWR
I'm planning on having two solar water panels, probably home-made, to complement my eight PV panels already on the roof. I'll keep them simple, maybe using a long coil of black-painted copper pipe inside a shallow box with a glass cover - home-made evacuated tubes made from old fluorescent lamps are beyond my abilities! My biggest potential problem may be to prevent the water inside from boiling and flashing into steam on a hot day, so some sort of automatic drain-back design based on water temperature will be necessary.

With 2kW of solar I should be able to also heat my domestic hot water in the afternoons, after the batteries are fully charged, using excess power from the panels that would otherwise go to waste. If you want to fully carpet your entire roof you could have a lot more PV than me - my eight grid-tie panels occupy about 22 feet of roof length, leaving about 7 more feet for water panels. One incidental benefit to covering the roof is that the bus gets much less hot inside on a hot day.

If you're interested in heating your glycol in wintertime you should check insolation data for your chosen winter locations: http://rredc.nrel.gov/solar/pubs/redbook/ The amount of solar watts per square meter and the number of usable solar hours per day will determine how much panels you'll need for any given amount of BTUs heating. The good folk at the Northern Arizona Wind & Sun forum have all the answers I ever need for matters PV, so it may be worth your while to peruse their cornucopia of wisdom and experience.

John
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Old 10-21-2016, 05:30 AM   #315
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 14,386
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
You can get creative with water heating, a smaller box with some concentrating lenses and inside a heat spreader reduces the footprint of the box.. clear tubes run around the perimeter of pv panels for instance, these square tubes act as your box , you can decide what is inside the greenhouse tubes for color and material, per runs through them.
Christopher
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Old 11-02-2016, 01:24 AM   #316
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This is amazing. And way over my head. Following.
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Old 11-02-2016, 09:43 AM   #317
Skoolie
 
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Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 237
Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
Thanks Tegra! I've had about a month here I haven't done any projects on the bus (the time, work, family has been occupying me) getting back into some projects this weekend hopefully. Found out I had a puddle of glycol in my chiller bay as the seal busted on my exchanger water pump! Argh! There is always something to fix, change, or modify... gotta drain system and replace pump. I did add new wiring to get my 7 other accent lights in the salon area working. They are the small down lights built into the soffits over windows.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:34 AM   #318
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If its custom, it's never finished. Something I learned in my experiences... I have to ask, where do you get your knowledge from? At first it seemed as though you did a whole bunch of research and figured out what you wanted, and dove in. However after reading all 32 pages in one night, I have come to the conclusion you have a healthy knowledge in several different systems. HVAC, A/V, general construction, high end construction, overall capabilities. You're talking about stuff that I have never even heard of and you are going at it with such perfection!!!!

I dont know if this thread is more motivating or demotivating. This is all way over my head but if I was in your position I would want to do almost the same exact thing. Whats your experience? Where do you come from lol..
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Old 11-07-2016, 03:33 AM   #319
Skoolie
 
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Location: Las Vegas
Posts: 237
Year: 1998
Chassis: VanHool T945
Engine: Cummins M11
Rated Cap: 47,000
That's an interesting post when I read it. I did do a good amount of research before starting my conversion, but honestly it has been more of a "go for it" attitude that has driven me. I grew up with my father being a very DIY type person and always did the work himself rather than hire out. A designer at heart that can get an idea on paper and make it in real life. I always looked up to that, and from very young age dismantled all kinds of things just to see how they worked. In fact, my absolute favorite books we had when I was a kid was these silver encyclopedia series called "how things work". I can remember going through page after page and being fascinated with everything from mechanics to electrical and physics stuff.. Science by far was my favorite subject...

As for being a pro in any of these areas, not at all. I think what I like the most is doing something that hasn't been done before. That always challenges you to think outside the box as they say and find a different way to accomplish the task. I've tried to put that mindset into my bus build. Different floor plan, a different style / textures, maybe some different materials. I'm in no way saying other methods are bad by any means - just that finding a slightly unique way to do something is what makes me smile or feel accomplished in the end. That's what so fun about building your own bus - make it unique to your personality. Some are light / dark, woods / metals, plush or rough...
It's all the fun of making what you imagine a reality...

If anything I hope my thread motivates. I think anyone can build a bus. Take ideas from all over and mold them to what work for you. You can Re-purpose things or modify existing furniture or fixtures. The ideas are endless!! All it takes is motivation.

I've gotten bummed out a few times as The scope of a project can be overwhelming. But I look back on some pics at the beginning of my thread and think, wow - I've Come a long way...when you live in it and work on it, it's impossible to not see something everyday that you look at and think "I've still gotta do that"... it seems like it never ends...
but...
I'm hoping to finish a few more major projects before the SkooliePalooza event.
I'm planing on going and it would be a blast to share progress with other bus nuts.

It also looks like next week I may be picking of my solar panels!!! - would be amazing to have them up for the trip. 😀
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Old 11-08-2016, 10:29 AM   #320
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Offgr1d View Post
That's an interesting post when I read it. I did do a good amount of research before starting my conversion, but honestly it has been more of a "go for it" attitude that has driven me. I grew up with my father being a very DIY type person and always did the work himself rather than hire out. A designer at heart that can get an idea on paper and make it in real life. I always looked up to that, and from very young age dismantled all kinds of things just to see how they worked. In fact, my absolute favorite books we had when I was a kid was these silver encyclopedia series called "how things work". I can remember going through page after page and being fascinated with everything from mechanics to electrical and physics stuff.. Science by far was my favorite subject...

As for being a pro in any of these areas, not at all. I think what I like the most is doing something that hasn't been done before. That always challenges you to think outside the box as they say and find a different way to accomplish the task. I've tried to put that mindset into my bus build. Different floor plan, a different style / textures, maybe some different materials. I'm in no way saying other methods are bad by any means - just that finding a slightly unique way to do something is what makes me smile or feel accomplished in the end. That's what so fun about building your own bus - make it unique to your personality. Some are light / dark, woods / metals, plush or rough...
It's all the fun of making what you imagine a reality...

If anything I hope my thread motivates. I think anyone can build a bus. Take ideas from all over and mold them to what work for you. You can Re-purpose things or modify existing furniture or fixtures. The ideas are endless!! All it takes is motivation.

I've gotten bummed out a few times as The scope of a project can be overwhelming. But I look back on some pics at the beginning of my thread and think, wow - I've Come a long way...when you live in it and work on it, it's impossible to not see something everyday that you look at and think "I've still gotta do that"... it seems like it never ends...
but...
I'm hoping to finish a few more major projects before the SkooliePalooza event.
I'm planing on going and it would be a blast to share progress with other bus nuts.

It also looks like next week I may be picking of my solar panels!!! - would be amazing to have them up for the trip. 😀

IT sounds like your pops set you up for success. That's awesome. My dad is the same way and I have learned a bus load from him. And continue to do so. I was feeling really confident in my abilities after seeing your thread.. As soon as you got into the chillers, and the A/V equipment, ipads etc, I was like, "hmm she lost me".. Needless to say, I'm still watching and excited about your updates. I hope to learn more and more from you and everybody else here. Thank you for your insight. Keep up the good work. AND POST PICTURES!!!!
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