Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-16-2023, 02:55 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 24
Blue Whale Charter Bus Conversion!!

Hey everyone! So we decided to take on the project of converting a school bus into a tiny home. And this is how itís been so far!
Decided to start searching for a bus back in November and happened to find a really nice one on auction. I went to go view it, and decided I wanted to put in a bid. Well it just so happens that I got the bus!
So the gf and I made the journey down to Thunder Bay, to pick up the bus. Our journey began driving in between snow storms from Windsor ON to Thunder Bay. We were worried that the bus wasnít going to run as it had been sitting for a few years, and the cold weather of below 0. When we got to the lot where the bus was at and got out of our car, we heard the bus engine running! The kind gentleman at the lot fought with it for hours to get it running.
We then headed out on the rest of our journey with the gf in the car and I in the bus. We were finishing our trip with the drive out to Winnipeg where Iím from. We fought through the snowstorm, driving the windy roads, and stopping at every little town gas station to top up the bus. We were afraid of turning it off and getting stranded if it didnít start again, so we kept it running the whole time. We finally made it back after 10 hours of driving.
Now working on the bus, we started by trying to get the bus to start. For 3 days we attempted, talked to a mechanic, and thought it was the batteries, and got new ones. It still didnít work, I searched for the answer and found that a switch was turned off not allowing the engine to start. Once we figured that out the bus is running great. We worked on gutting the bus, and removed all the seats, the flooring, all the rivets along the walls and roof to get all the panels off, and remove the insulation.
Kate, my gf, wrote the previous section and I will tell you about my future plans. I am planning on doing a roof raise as well as adding a slide out. The purpose of this build is to be a sure power tiny house that is extra mobile for moving every few months. It is going to be winter ready, just maybe not Manitoba winter. here is a picture or two of the build so far and our First video together. I am trying to document everything and build up the YouTube channel along with my Horse Training business if you would like to check it out.https://youtu.be/Uv56souSr0c Couple questions if you would happen to have some time? Does anyone have experience with these windows in keeping them? They have drains, but are single pane. Are they that much worse than double pane RV windows? I would like to just keep them?

Jipner16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2023, 03:04 AM   #2
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 24
AC question

I have double AC compressors running to, three AC units inside. I managed to get them all of the wall/roof, but I am at a loss for if I want to keep them/ move them, or gut them. From what I can tell there is about 6.5 pounds of 134a refrigerant in each system making it around 1400 dollars to recharge the system so I think I would try to get it drained so I can disconnect them and reconnect later? What do you all think? I am thinking keep one for the front of the bus for during the long drives. This is a tiny house, not an RV. So not going to get tons of driving use
Jipner16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2023, 02:52 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 24
Pictures!
Click image for larger version

Name:	WhatsApp Image 2023-01-19 at 1.51.39 PM.jpeg
Views:	11
Size:	294.9 KB
ID:	70167Click image for larger version

Name:	WhatsApp Image 2023-01-19 at 1.44.23 PM (6).jpg
Views:	9
Size:	314.3 KB
ID:	70168Click image for larger version

Name:	WhatsApp Image 2023-01-19 at 1.44.23 PM (5).jpg
Views:	9
Size:	297.0 KB
ID:	70169Click image for larger version

Name:	WhatsApp Image 2023-01-19 at 1.44.23 PM (4).jpg
Views:	9
Size:	320.0 KB
ID:	70170Click image for larger version

Name:	WhatsApp Image 2023-01-19 at 1.44.23 PM (3).jpg
Views:	11
Size:	320.0 KB
ID:	70171Click image for larger version

Name:	WhatsApp Image 2023-01-19 at 1.44.23 PM (1).jpg
Views:	10
Size:	237.6 KB
ID:	70172Click image for larger version

Name:	WhatsApp Image 2023-01-19 at 1.44.23 PM (2).jpg
Views:	7
Size:	342.4 KB
ID:	70173Click image for larger version

Name:	WhatsApp Image 2023-01-19 at 1.44.23 PM.jpg
Views:	6
Size:	225.1 KB
ID:	70174
Jipner16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2023, 02:53 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 24
Trying to figure out pics. Is it better to use Imgur and copy link? (didn't work for me) Or use the default website upload?
Jipner16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2023, 04:34 PM   #5
Bus Crazy
 
DeMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,166
Coachwork: Integrated Coach Corp.
Chassis: RE-300 42ft
Engine: 466ci
Rated Cap: 90
Sweet Ride

Nice looking bus, Jipner16. Both inside & out, i dig it. Will make a great platform for any conversion. I'm looking forward to reading more.

Hopefully, CadillacKid will explain how to safely evacuate, remove & store the condensers & evaporators. (I sealed our lines using the fingers from laytex gloves & insulated tape.)
__________________
Ceiling: Framing & Electrical Rough-in
Convert Hatch to AC & Roof Patch
Frederick Douglass: "If there is no struggle, there is no progress.Ē
DeMac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2023, 05:08 PM   #6
Bus Nut
 
Dbacks2k4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: Iowa
Posts: 427
Year: 2006
Chassis: IC CE300 (PB105)
Engine: DT466e 7.6L 245hp | Allison 3000PTS
Rated Cap: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jipner16 View Post
Trying to figure out pics. Is it better to use Imgur and copy link? (didn't work for me) Or use the default website upload?
love the photos. I'm jealous of the transit-style windows. School bus windows are a pain, although I do like the exterior optics.

I always use the default website upload. There's tons of old posts on here from "back in the day" where people used photobucket and those links are now dead
__________________
TSLABUS Build thread:
https://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/j...ert-38328.html
TSLABUS YouTube Channel:
https://youtube.com/@thetslabus
Dbacks2k4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2023, 03:25 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 24
I am really trying to figure out if the windows are -25 C worthy or not. I am planning on skinning over a lot of them anyway and moving some of the small rear ones forward for the bathroom possibly. That is coming with the roof raise and the slide out starting.
Jipner16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2023, 04:09 PM   #8
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 17,532
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
1400 bucks for 6 lbs of 134A??? im glad im not iun the country up north if thats how much freon costs there,, I can recharge a system that size for about $10-$12 per pound my cost on the freon... thats a heck of a markup if a shop marks it up to over 150 bucks a pound
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2023, 01:30 AM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
1400 bucks for 6 lbs of 134A??? im glad im not iun the country up north if thats how much freon costs there,, I can recharge a system that size for about $10-$12 per pound my cost on the freon... thats a heck of a markup if a shop marks it up to over 150 bucks a pound
I think it is 12lb pounds since they are two separate systems with separate condensers and evaporators. I have three internal ACs and I just really don't know if I need all three. Mostly I just want to get them out of the way so I can raise the roof. What would your suggestion be caddillackid? I know you suggest just keeping things, but they are really in the way as I continue with the conversion. I got them on the floor for now and have not touched them. I can't evacuate the system in the cold I have been told by some shops and technically I can't drive to an indoor shop without getting another temporary permit. My shop's roof is just a little too low to get it inside. The rear AC is most in the way because I can't get the back panel down without unclamping hoses. I am doing the roof raise so that one really should come down. I can get you all the pictures you would need for a quick assessment but I feel kinda in a jam. I have a diesel mechanic from down the road that is going to come look and maybe give me some advice. All the forum posts have said don't try to DIY the AC system so doing my best calling around but its been a challenge to find a mobile tech.
Jipner16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2023, 09:06 AM   #10
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Columbus Ohio
Posts: 17,532
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DTA360 / MT643
Rated Cap: 7 Row Handicap
12 lbs is more reasonable but not 1400 bux.. someone wants to gouge you big time..


anyway if you are hyper insulating your bus I would keep the front system.. you can relocate the unit.. above the driver seat or the center front bulkhead area.. .. or build it into the cabinet of your conversion just keeping in mind airflow and a drain pan for the water.



if no oine rides i nthe back it wont be an issue.. if you install a minisplit in the back that will cool the rear Decent while driving.. at least make it where you wont need sweat rags..
cadillackid is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2023, 05:14 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
12 lbs is more reasonable but not 1400 bux.. someone wants to gouge you big time..


anyway if you are hyper insulating your bus I would keep the front system.. you can relocate the unit.. above the driver seat or the center front bulkhead area.. .. or build it into the cabinet of your conversion just keeping in mind airflow and a drain pan for the water.



if no oine rides i nthe back it wont be an issue.. if you install a minisplit in the back that will cool the rear Decent while driving.. at least make it where you wont need sweat rags..
Yeah it is going to be super well insulated and mostly a parked full living arrangement. So I want there to be both systems but mostly a non driving system. I just don't know if I can remove the other systems until it's drained but everyone tells me its too cold to be able to evacuate it lol
Jipner16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2023, 10:42 PM   #12
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 132
Year: 2003
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466e
Rated Cap: 77
Nice bus, really like the windows. Roof raise and slide outs yeah you are ambitious and that's great! Lot's of smart and helpful folks here for times when you could use advice. Congratulations on your successful first bus ride. The road from T.B. to Winnipeg is a great test of situational awareness as it winds through the rock. In the dark and snow ... Great Job!

Keep us posted!
John
Timeline is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2023, 08:39 PM   #13
Bus Nut
 
Dbacks2k4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2021
Location: Iowa
Posts: 427
Year: 2006
Chassis: IC CE300 (PB105)
Engine: DT466e 7.6L 245hp | Allison 3000PTS
Rated Cap: 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jipner16 View Post
around 1400 dollars to recharge the system
What's the exchange rate from Canadian dollars to USD these days!? I hope it's astronomically high, haha
Dbacks2k4 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2023, 08:53 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timeline View Post
Nice bus, really like the windows. Roof raise and slide outs yeah you are ambitious and that's great! Lot's of smart and helpful folks here for times when you could use advice. Congratulations on your successful first bus ride. The road from T.B. to Winnipeg is a great test of situational awareness as it winds through the rock. In the dark and snow ... Great Job!

Keep us posted!
John
I will! I think it will be a really good bus. I will definitely be needing some help but I have worked though most of the roof raise and slideout threads, so I have a fairly good working knowledge of the process although it really is going to push my fabrication skills. Vlad's thread was extremely helpful. And yeah I found new info on the refrigerant to be 25 $ a lb. I was way overestimating from bad info that I found. Soooo the AC happens to be empty now and I can get the AC's off and continue with the work finally.
Jipner16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-26-2023, 04:06 PM   #15
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2022
Posts: 24
Bus Video #2: Demo plus prepping for roof raise

Hey all, I got this video put together! Hope you enjoy it! Subscribe if you want to keep up with the progress.
https://youtu.be/k14QxxQQWm4
Jipner16 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.