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Old 10-25-2016, 09:13 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 29
Year: 1970
Engine: Chevy 350
Bought myself a bus!

Morning guys.

So after dreaming of a tiny house for a year or two and of a skoolie for a few weeks, my girlfriend and I found a bus we'd like to convert (reconvert?) into a better liveable space. We picked her up late last night, a 1970 Chevy with a 350 and a 4 speed/2 speed rear. I don't think she's as practical for long distance travel as I had hoped out of a skoolie, but I think she'll do fine for now out here in the flat midwest.

I bought it for $1000. Brakes feel nice, starts right up (when it's not cold...), good tires, most lights work, and already mostly gutted. It'll be a project definitely, some broken glass, some nasty old partial conversion stuff to gut, some electrical issues, but came with grey, black, and fresh water tanks (not hooked up) and she's already wired up for shore power. Motor has no leaks and seems happy for the most part. Cruises at 55 no problem.

I'm really interested to see where this will go as I don't have much experience at all with interior finishes or... really anything this thing will need.

Anyway, just thought I'd introduce myself. Looking forward to being a part of this community and seeing where this bus goes!
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:08 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Montana/Texas
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Year: 1998
Coachwork: Crown by Carpenter
Chassis: International 3800
Engine: DT 466e/MT 643!
Rated Cap: 16
Welcome to the madness! Poke around on here as much as you can! There is a wealth of information and quite a few very informed folks! Keep us posted on your build and be sure to include pictures....we love pictures!

John
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:21 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danglebury, Tejas
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Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Oh boy.... Another case to add on the Skoolie contagion map.

Welcome! Welcome! Welcome! Pictures???
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:09 AM   #4
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Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: NY
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welcome!

I just got my bus almost a week ago. Congrats! It should be interesting to see what everyone does with their new tiny homes
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Old 10-25-2016, 04:36 PM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 29
Year: 1970
Engine: Chevy 350
I got some pictures! I'm starting to have some heavy buyers remorse... already thinking of trying to get rid of it. :/

https://imageshack.us/a/CplM/1
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:54 PM   #6
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Location: Richmond Virginia
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Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKoolBus View Post
I got some pictures! I'm starting to have some heavy buyers remorse... already thinking of trying to get rid of it. :/

https://imageshack.us/a/CplM/1

Oh she's beautiful!

And a V8 gas motor with stick shift?
me likey

I understand buyer's remorse if she's not what you want that is OK brother.
The Scotsman used to say "Why settle for a bar of gold if what i really want is chocolate bar?"
Point being it is of little value what others want if it's not my flavor. And surely someone here.. *cough*. possibly me if my money rolls in *cough* will give her a good home. Thing i love about that engine trans setup is the simplicity. Ahhhh...
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Old 10-25-2016, 06:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKoolBus View Post
I got some pictures! I'm starting to have some heavy buyers remorse... already thinking of trying to get rid of it. :/

https://imageshack.us/a/CplM/1
What don't you like about it? I see a lot of potential in that cool old bus. What about it does not work for you?
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Old 10-25-2016, 07:05 PM   #8
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,382
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Buyer's remorse ?!?!?
Shoot...... Drive it like you stole it!

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Old 10-25-2016, 07:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by milkmania View Post
Buyer's remorse ?!?!?
Shoot...... Drive it like you stole it!

Smiley face how many Slurpies have you had to drink this evening?!
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Old 10-25-2016, 07:26 PM   #10
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,382
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Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carytowncat View Post
Smiley face how many Slurpies have you had to drink this evening?!
Didn't think much about it.... But, now that you mentioned it, I think I had 3 of these since 3:00pm

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Old 10-25-2016, 10:04 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 29
Year: 1970
Engine: Chevy 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carytowncat View Post
Oh she's beautiful!

And a V8 gas motor with stick shift?
me likey

I understand buyer's remorse if she's not what you want that is OK brother.
The Scotsman used to say "Why settle for a bar of gold if what i really want is chocolate bar?"
Point being it is of little value what others want if it's not my flavor. And surely someone here.. *cough*. possibly me if my money rolls in *cough* will give her a good home. Thing i love about that engine trans setup is the simplicity. Ahhhh...
I think she's a good looking bus! Just needs a lot of work that I don't know how to do. I've never done any real carpentry besides crude wood planters and benches, I've never laid flooring and set insulation and done electrical or anything! I think that's a point that drove me to the idea of a bus. It's a small scale but it's also not.

It's just been a rough, roller coaster day with it. We brought it home at around 10:30 last night, and while I was at work I got a text from my girlfriend this morning at around 9:00 saying that the sheriff paid us a visit. Evidently one of our lovely new neighbors woke up and immediately called the sheriff's office and since the tabs are outdated (2014...) it's illegal to have on the road. Which is fine, I get the legality issue. However, we rent a small house in the middle of a small town... we don't have room for this beast on our property and the place we were planning on keeping it didn't work out. I was starting to panic because the sheriff left us a note saying if we don't move it by tomorrow, we'd get ticketed.

I did some searching for some storage before finally deciding to just park it behind a shop I work at. I'm a bit bummed it's getting close to winter and working on this thing will suck in the midwest's brutal temps... I may need to find a good heater since I don't want to slow down with it. The remorse comes when I reflect on the fact that I bought a bus. A full-size, old, brute of a bus. She's a bit of an eyesore but it's also not. I'm thinking of better uses I could apply the thousand bucks I slapped down for it. I started thinking about how I'd insure this thing, it seems tricky. I only felt better when I went out to drive it the 12 miles to the shop and she started right up. I showed it to my step mom and she sees the potential. I stand in the aisleway and I see a lot of work ahead of me that I don't know how to do. I see a lot of money a college student in a lot of debt can use more wisely. I think of how it goes 55mph no problem on flat land but if there's a hill coming up, she throws a fit. Not too road trip worthy...

But I look at pictures of other people's builds, I remember there's thousands of helpful threads here, there's clearance sales on things I'll need all the time, and it's my first bus, we can upgrade later if we find that we like the hobby.

I even got measurements of the interior today, I think I'll start making up some floorplans. I fear that I bit off more than I can chew -- but it isn't the bus's fault!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldmopars View Post
What don't you like about it? I see a lot of potential in that cool old bus. What about it does not work for you?
The nature of the project makes me a little uncertain. I'll just have to give myself some faith lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milkmania View Post
Buyer's remorse ?!?!?
Shoot...... Drive it like you stole it!

Lots of work to do until then!!
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:16 PM   #12
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danglebury, Tejas
Posts: 310
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
Deep breath. Understand we have ALL been there. Once the giddy "I got my own bus!!!" wears off, the second guessing starts. Your brain starts howling and your wallet pretends its wounded.

Ignore it.

You made a choice, and the logic stands. You wanted a bus. You got one. Be proud of it! (Hint: she's a beauty. Really-really).

Deal with the cops. They are clearly bored. So bounce and bubble and see if you can let the contagion spread. If not, no harm done and they will know you're harmless. Maybe they'll see you as a lovable loon who doesnt need to be hassled. Dunno.

Pursue your dream. There will be issues, yes. But once you are staring at the open road from the drivers seat listening to your creation rattle and hum behind you, you may find a satisfaction like no other.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:21 PM   #13
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 932
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
I hear you! The police visited this bus 5 times in three weeks. I was so freaked out but my spirit guides kept telling me to stay put and eventually it all worked out. I finally called the sherrif and asked what i needed to do and he was very cool and sent a couple of officers over to visit and one is now a friend and he and his wife and planning to buy one!

I too was overwhelemd seeing everyones builds and i have zero carpentry skills, had little funds, and was sooo NOT about to start pulling up floors and walls to insulate and attack rust, soooo.... instead what i did was...

I pulled the seats and filled it with belongingsx rugs, chairs, stereo, book shelf, Scooby doo dvd collection, bed, couch, lamps, etc.

Eventually i installed two solar pannels and 2 noce batteries and an inverter.

I will post a pic one sec...
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:26 PM   #14
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Join Date: May 2016
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 932
Year: 1984
Engine: 366 Big block Chevy! :) w/ Stick shift
Pictures of a minimalistic build. The only thing i built was 2x4 benches in the rear for a shop, and a bed frame that looks like... it is so poorly built but it holds the bed.

Simple Skoolie - Album on Imgur
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:27 PM   #15
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,382
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Wow, that's really outside of our County Sheriff's responsibilities...
Our guys would be like "you want me to go what?"

The only time you'll see our SO initiate a traffic stop is if they witness gross violations!
But, our area of the county has good saturation of Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Our local city police departments would handle complaints about buses and tag expirations, but only on a moving vehicle in violation.
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:32 PM   #16
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Join Date: May 2015
Location: Oklahoma aka "God's blind spot"
Posts: 2,382
Year: 1989
Coachwork: 1853FC International/Navistar
Chassis: 35' Retired Air Force Ambulance
Engine: DT466, MT643
Rated Cap: 6 souls and a driver
Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carytowncat View Post
Pictures of a minimalistic build. The only thing i built was 2x4 benches in the rear for a shop, and a bed frame that looks like... it is so poorly built but it holds the bed.

Simple Skoolie - Album on Imgur
You'd love my bed frame....Five 6" steel C-Purlins stretched across the chair rails
Works beautifully, it's above wheel humps, and it creates storage space

Hey! I had the spare metal... So, what's a guy to do???
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Old 10-25-2016, 10:54 PM   #17
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Danglebury, Tejas
Posts: 310
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Blue Bird
Chassis: IH 3800
Engine: Navistar DT466E
Rated Cap: 72 passenger
MM: you and I must be twin sons of different mothers. My build (pictures, someday!) is quite minimalist. Mine is half cargo hauler, half cheezy camper. Its the "mothership" of our Burningman camp. Like yours, our build is a journey, not so much a destination. I work on it when I can, and shelve it when I'm busy. No real master plan being executed, just faint ideas on how to "do it better next year".

This bus is almost completely dedicated to being the center of our desert mischief. We have learned that nice things get trashed, so we keep them out of the bus. The result is a lot of "good enoughs". And "do overs". I dont think it will ever be done: as soon as something is "done" the desert kills it. (This year my partner in crime swept dust drifts out of the rear that were TWO INCHES thick in places.)

There are days I wonder if ol' Johnson doesnt long for his old life of spilled cola, kiddie vomit, and crayola graffitti.
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:14 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 29
Year: 1970
Engine: Chevy 350
Quote:
Originally Posted by Carytowncat View Post
Pictures of a minimalistic build. The only thing i built was 2x4 benches in the rear for a shop, and a bed frame that looks like... it is so poorly built but it holds the bed.

Simple Skoolie - Album on Imgur
I love it! It's simple but functional and would feel like home.

Quote:
Originally Posted by milkmania View Post
Wow, that's really outside of our County Sheriff's responsibilities...
Our guys would be like "you want me to go what?"

The only time you'll see our SO initiate a traffic stop is if they witness gross violations!
But, our area of the county has good saturation of Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Our local city police departments would handle complaints about buses and tag expirations, but only on a moving vehicle in violation.
Yeah I mean I'm sure he was nice about it. But I'm sure there isn't much else for them to do.

Another concern I have is I'd like to take it moving out west at some point... thing is, I can't even get the thing to move up small hills around here without losing significant speed, let alone up a mountain. And then there's the headache of dealing with rejets and all of that jazz... it's a sweet bus, but maybe not the right bus for what we'd like to do with it.
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Old 10-25-2016, 11:57 PM   #19
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Music City USA
Posts: 737
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: Detroit MBE906
Rated Cap: 72
It's a sweet bus all right, I wouldn't mind having it for my own if I had somewhere to keep a second bus. But it sounds like it's built for flatlanding, not really up to pulling hills.

In the end, only you can decide if it's right for you.... if it doesn't quite fill the bill after all, well it's like fish, there are plenty of them in the sea. If this one doesn't work, throw it back and hook another one, one that will meet your needs.

You can keep it as simple or make it as complex as you want.... and don't worry about not knowing how to do something, there's a well of experience here to draw from.... both how to do it and how NOT to do it. Be a sponge, soak up what you can, ask questions where needed and there's no reason you can't do this.
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Old 10-26-2016, 06:46 AM   #20
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 29
Year: 1970
Engine: Chevy 350
Well the lady friend and I talked about it for a long time. I think we're just going to sell it... I'm really bittersweet about it. I've grown to really like it over the last few days... but it isn't for us.

If anyone wants it... lol
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