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Old 03-02-2021, 08:43 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 39
Hello from New Hampshire

We were hoping to go another year or two with the Truck Camper (4wd traveler I built up), but engine issues may make us step into the next phase a little sooner than we hoped.

We have found we haven't used the 4wd as much as we thought we would and looking to get a bit more space/comfort into the travels.

Doing a 'short' bus conversion in on my list of possibles. Found a rather nice E450 shuttle bus with low miles that I think could fit the wants well.

I hope not to pester too much with my questions, yet you folks are the ones to ask. I'll explore around the site a bit more ands away as I do.

I hope that in 'my' experiences of travel/camping over the many years, I may be able to help a few others along my way of learning about schoolie's!

We're retired 3 yrs now and have spent 4-6 months of each year exploring.
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Old 03-02-2021, 09:27 AM   #2
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,058
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Welcome to the site RJNH.

As a NH resident, you know how salt affects vehicle undercarriages and body's.
Hopefully this shuttle you are focusing on is from other parts of the country and not from here in the rust belt!
I looked at literally dozens of potential candidates around here that were too far gone, (in my mind), to invest in. Some were only 5 or 6 years old and had rust encroachment that would have taken way more than I wanted to spend to fix.
Forget about anything 10 years and older that has lived its life up here, unless you are prepared to spend $$ and time fixing rust instead of converting a bus to a camper.

After several months of daily searching I found one in interior North Carolina that was clean and rust free. The auction site govdeals.com was where I found it. There are other sites that would also work in locating a safe base to start from.

Shuttle busses make good campers however their overall structure is not as robust as a metal bodied school bus. Think heavy snow loads on the roof in winter.

Then we focus on engines that power the bus. Please do your due diligence in researching the various power plants that Ford has used over the years in their cutaway vans.
There are good ones and some questionable diesel offerings that should be avoided unless you have deep pockets to remediate the shortcomings.

Member Cheese_Wagon on here has some interesting reads on getting into the hobby/lifestyle that might enlighten you on how to pick a good base platform to start from. Search him out, it will be worth your time in doing so.

Good luck in your selection of a vehicle and dreams of converting same.
Post pics if you go ahead with anything...
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:52 AM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 39
Thanks Pete and I shall read up a bit.

Merchants has a 2016 E450 (Collins) gasser I like the configuration of. I took a quick look at it and using it as a baseline as I search out others. I've done a conversion design I really like, something I do before entering into any of my projects. This way I can see if I can do what I hope to on that platform.
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:33 AM   #4
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,058
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
"Gasser" is good.
Is it the V10?

Merchants is a top dollar dealership, but they don't typically sell junk either.
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:39 AM   #5
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Mar 2021
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by peteg59 View Post
"Gasser" is good.
Is it the V10?

Merchants is a top dollar dealership, but they don't typically sell junk either.
V8 Triton 5.4l. As I compare out pricing (LV/NW Sales) they seem inline on pricing. Big difference is as you said, non-rust belt going with LV/NW.

Trying to locate that Buying thread you mentioned..
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Old 03-02-2021, 11:41 AM   #6
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 1,058
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Thomas 4 window w/lift
Chassis: G30~Chevy cutaway
Engine: 5.7/350 Chevy Vortec
Rated Cap: Just me and my "stuff"?
Check your other post...
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