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Old 06-09-2017, 12:13 PM   #1
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Rated Cap: 3 people and 4,500 books!
Hello from Raleigh!

Hi folks,
After allot of research and debating about whether to purchase an RV or convert a bus, I finally decided to convert a school bus, so I started shopping. After looking around for a while, I finally bought my bus just a couple of weeks ago. The bus I ended up with was never a school bus. It was originally built as a bookmobile, so it's not an official "skoolie", but during my decision making process, I watched allot of YouTube videos looking for conversion information and I ended up here. It seems like a great resource for exactly what I am looking to do, so here goes... My bus is a '95 Bluebird 27' cab forward with a 5.9 Cummins diesel with low miles, (105,000) and Allison transmission. It has two roof top RV A/Cs (that I want to remove and replace with a split system and put vent fans in their place) and a Onan 7.5 RV diesel generator (fueled from the engine fuel tank). There are no school bus windows or doors, but it does have two RV type doors, so allot of the typical "skoolie" conversion has already been done. It is full of very nice book cases that I plan to remove and do a full interior gut. Ultimately, I would like to install a full solar system, low flow shower, low flow flushing toilet, washer drier combo, propane fridge, heat, tankless H2O heater, and stove. I also want a kitchen I can work in, because I like to cook. I understand that I am wanting allot for such a short conversion. The bus is shorter than what I wanted, but I think I can make it work. I have lots of questions, and have tried to do some searches here with limited success, so I welcome any tips or advise.
Thanks!
truB
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:28 PM   #2
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Bookmobile is the way to go!
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Old 06-09-2017, 01:16 PM   #3
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Welcome trub

Yeah, bookmobiles are favored. Those usually have pretty good insulation in them, don't they? Those slanted shelves might be kind of awkward, but it's better than ripping out seats.

Cool choice.
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Old 06-09-2017, 01:34 PM   #4
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Woot !

I have a Bookmobile from same Coachbuilder. Just starting out on my build, but good to have another on here.

Check out Turf's Bookmobile build and learn from his path.

Welcome ! Does it smell like....books? Mine does a bit.


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Old 06-09-2017, 06:32 PM   #5
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Sounds like a great find and well equipped. Keep the pix coming!
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:02 PM   #6
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More Pics...

Thanks, guys! Wow Rusty! Yours is freakin' awesome! Mine is not nearly that long! I'm jealous! It does have the slanted bookshelves, and it looks like that they will be pretty easy to remove (compared to seats!). I do want to reuse as much of the wood from the shelves as possible for my build. I will defiantly will check out Turf's build and follow yours as well. It does smell like books! (I'm totally cool with that!) I am really looking forward to building this thing out! Here are a few more pics...
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File Type: jpg Bookmoblle 2.jpg (226.0 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Bookmoblle 3.jpg (227.7 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Bookmobile 4.jpg (163.3 KB, 7 views)
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Old 06-10-2017, 05:18 PM   #7
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Wow! Nice score! I'm jealous!
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:06 PM   #8
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Hello from swansboro, or down at the beach.
I just finished a month long job in wake forest and a couple of trips into Raleigh last week.
I just happen to work for an HVAC company and was talking to my boss about finding me a mini-split 120v heat pump system so if you need some help I should be able to get one or two at close to his cost or mine at his cost and yours at cost with labor install? Maybe? I wouldn't mind those roof top units but I don't have holes in my roof and I don't want any.
Good luck and let us know if we can help
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Old 06-10-2017, 07:06 PM   #9
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Yeah, you could build a secret passageway behind the bookshelf.

Is insulation better in a bookmobile, or is it standard glass insulation like school buses?
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Old 06-10-2017, 09:11 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
Yeah, you could build a secret passageway behind the bookshelf.

Is insulation better in a bookmobile, or is it standard glass insulation like school buses?
They are delivered to Coachbuilder OSB from BlueBird with 2" of spray foam ceiling, walls and under floor. It only has a couple windows, so it stays very comfortable- in winter or heat. Super quiet inside. 16Ga outer skin.

That bus looks to be great shape.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jolly Roger View Post
Hello from swansboro, or down at the beach.
I just finished a month long job in wake forest and a couple of trips into Raleigh last week.
I just happen to work for an HVAC company and was talking to my boss about finding me a mini-split 120v heat pump system so if you need some help I should be able to get one or two at close to his cost or mine at his cost and yours at cost with labor install? Maybe? I wouldn't mind those roof top units but I don't have holes in my roof and I don't want any.
Good luck and let us know if we can help
Hey Jolly Roger,
Thanks for the offer! I'd like to take you up on that. Do they make propane mini split heat pumps? I was considering a Propex blown air furnace for my heat. My idea for the mini split is to weld a bracket on the back of the bus behind the rear bumper is for the compressor, and mount the inside unit on the rear bulkhead above my emergency exit window. That would keep the refrigerant lines nice and short, and I would house them in some type of ducting on the exterior of the bus. I'm pretty sure I can mount and wire both units, but I would need some help charging the lines. In regards to the ceiling mounted RV ac units, they both work great, but they are just to loud! Let me know what you boss finds out.
Thanks again!
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Old 06-11-2017, 02:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
They are delivered to Coachbuilder OSB from BlueBird with 2" of spray foam ceiling, walls and under floor. It only has a couple windows, so it stays very comfortable- in winter or heat. Super quiet inside. 16Ga outer skin.

That bus looks to be great shape.
I was wondering what I would find when I removed the ceiling panels. I was going to insulate with spray foam anyway, so that's perfect. I was wanting the ceiling to be to be the original metal bus ceiling, but I will be removing all of the florescent lights so I'm sure they are full of holes, and after drilling or grinding all of the rivets, they will probably be to banged up to reuse. Thanks for the tip on Turf's build. I haven't read it all yet, but at least I know what I'm getting myself into!
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Old 06-11-2017, 03:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trub View Post
I was wanting the ceiling to be to be the original metal bus ceiling, but I will be removing all of the florescent lights so I'm sure they are full of holes, and after drilling or grinding all of the rivets, they will probably be to banged up to reuse. Thanks for the tip on Turf's build. I haven't read it all yet, but at least I know what I'm getting myself into!
Sorry to disappoint- inner ceiling on mine is FRP, not steel, and is held with phillips screws. No rivets for you !

I have those hideous lights to contend with, as well. I am switching to LED's ultimately.

These were spec'd by OSB and delivered partially completed.

Today I am elbow-deep in generator guts...
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Old 06-12-2017, 09:27 PM   #14
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Hey trub. Welcome from Alamance County!

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Old 06-13-2017, 03:31 AM   #15
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Quote:
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Sorry to disappoint- inner ceiling on mine is FRP, not steel, and is held with phillips screws. No rivets for you !

I have those hideous lights to contend with, as well. I am switching to LED's ultimately.

These were spec'd by OSB and delivered partially completed.

Today I am elbow-deep in generator guts...

I wish I had screws as opposed to rivets. I'm not looking forward to all of that grinding! I plan to use LEDs throughout my build and also for all of the existing lights so I will be more energy efficient when boon-docking.
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Old 06-13-2017, 03:32 AM   #16
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Hey trub. Welcome from Alamance County!

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Thank you, ghodges!
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Old 06-13-2017, 04:24 AM   #17
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Wow, how awsome for you!! You also dont have all of the windows to deal with...a blank slate to put windows wherever you want and....foam insulated. A whole lot of the grunt work is already done for you. I look forward to watching your build. Good luck and welcome!

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Old 06-13-2017, 07:13 PM   #18
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Wow, how awsome for you!! You also dont have all of the windows to deal with...a blank slate to put windows wherever you want and....foam insulated. A whole lot of the grunt work is already done for you. I look forward to watching your build. Good luck and welcome!

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Thank you tobeamiss! I read your thread and it's pretty darn cool that you got a bus from your old high school! Good luck, and I will try to follow your build! I am really looking forward to building mine out. Thanks again for the nice welcome.
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Old 06-13-2017, 08:06 PM   #19
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Now you just need one of those stud finders they have at the house store so you can start cutting windows.

Bookmobiles come along so seldom that we forget to look for them. Oddly they aren't necessarily listed with the buses. Good score.
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Old 06-13-2017, 09:07 PM   #20
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OOOOooooo so pretttyyy!!!
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