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Old 01-02-2020, 10:43 AM   #1
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So our family is in the process of buying a new skoolie and leaving everything behind. Vegabonds at heart. We are currently looking at an '03 IHC with 96k (65 passenger) 444t with an Allison transmission. It's listed at $3,600. We are aware that we won't be able to get into a lot of national parks with that sizes bus, but we plan on doing as much boondocking as possible. It's my spouse, our 2 kids, 2 dogs (1 large 1 medium) and our cat, and we think we would need that size to accommodate everyone.

I have a few questions..

1) if we just took the ceiling out and didn't do a lift how much extra room would that give us?

2) is this a good price?

3) is IHC equal in comparison to a Thomas or a BB?

4) How hard was it for everyone to transition into skoolie life? (Our kids are teenagers and I'm curious to know if anyone else's teens maybe had issues adjusting to life on the road)?
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:55 AM   #2
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"It has an allision transmisson"

That is the least helpful piece of data you could have. Take for granted if they don't tell you what transmission is has, it has the worst possible option (at545) and is not something you want.

To answer your questions:

1. The space above the ceiling panels is about 1.75, with structural ribs running across at every window segment. You really really want that space to have insulation, not open air. Remember, you're living in a metal box... and ovens are metal boxes.

2. Needs more info... The transmission is a critical piece of missing info... but you also don't know what tune of T444E it has, air vs hydraulic brakes, features such as air conditioning, tire condition, rust, etc.

3. IHC built chassis for Thomas and Bluebird, their IHC buses are fine.
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Old 01-02-2020, 10:56 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpaceIssa View Post
So our family is in the process of buying a new skoolie and leaving everything behind. Vegabonds at heart. We are currently looking at an '03 IHC with 96k (65 passenger) 444t with an Allison transmission. It's listed at $3,600. We are aware that we won't be able to get into a lot of national parks with that sizes bus, but we plan on doing as much boondocking as possible. It's my spouse, our 2 kids, 2 dogs (1 large 1 medium) and our cat, and we think we would need that size to accommodate everyone.

I have a few questions..

1) if we just took the ceiling out and didn't do a lift how much extra room would that give us?

2) is this a good price?

3) is IHC equal in comparison to a Thomas or a BB?

4) How hard was it for everyone to transition into skoolie life? (Our kids are teenagers and I'm curious to know if anyone else's teens maybe had issues adjusting to life on the road)?
Look at the different build threads to see pix of what the buses look like with the ceiling panel removed -- the remaining ribs will be at the height...
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Old 01-02-2020, 11:20 AM   #4
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Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
"It has an allision transmisson"

That is the least helpful piece of data you could have. Take for granted if they don't tell you what transmission is has, it has the worst possible option (at545) and is not something you want.

To answer your questions:

1. The space above the ceiling panels is about 1.75, with structural ribs running across at every window segment. You really really want that space to have insulation, not open air. Remember, you're living in a metal box... and ovens are metal boxes.

2. Needs more info... The transmission is a critical piece of missing info... but you also don't know what tune of T444E it has, air vs hydraulic brakes, features such as air conditioning, tire condition, rust, etc.

3. IHC built chassis for Thomas and Bluebird, their IHC buses are fine.



I appreciate any and all input as we have no clue what we are doing. I've been reading as much as possible as well as watching videos. So any first hand knowledge as far as buying a bus is extremely helpful. While we can't guarantee what will happen, obviously not breaking down immediately would be our first goal.
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Old 01-02-2020, 01:17 PM   #5
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Regarding the kids... we traveled 4-1/2 months with a 12 year and a 7 year old, both girls, and a dog. It worked out good but I do not think that at this moment that would be their choice. Their are other people on the road with kids but not many. Socially it is challenging for the kids and keeping up with the schoolwork is challenging for us. When boondocking in the middle of nowhere it is hard to stay much longer then a week before kids have seen it all. Campgrounds with more potential for social contacts are expensive and during the winter times it is mostly snowbirds ( without kids)



We are going to try again for 6 months end of 2020 and see how it goes then.


Good luck.


Johan
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Old 01-02-2020, 03:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
Regarding the kids... we traveled 4-1/2 months with a 12 year and a 7 year old, both girls, and a dog. It worked out good but I do not think that at this moment that would be their choice. Their are other people on the road with kids but not many. Socially it is challenging for the kids and keeping up with the schoolwork is challenging for us. When boondocking in the middle of nowhere it is hard to stay much longer then a week before kids have seen it all. Campgrounds with more potential for social contacts are expensive and during the winter times it is mostly snowbirds ( without kids)



We are going to try again for 6 months end of 2020 and see how it goes then.


Good luck.


Johan
That's a very honest answer. Kudos to you Johan. You're a good man.
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Old 01-02-2020, 06:48 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by SpaceIssa View Post
We are currently looking at an '03 IHC with 96k (65 passenger) 444t with an Allison transmission.
The mileage is probably not accurate; 150k to 200k is more likely.

If you have a high-ceiling bus, you will have 6'7" of clearance down the center (with the original plywood floor removed). You can do a floor with 2" of XPS, 3/4" of plywood and something like vinyl sheeting, which will cost you 3" of headroom. For the ceiling you can do 2" of XPS (of which 1.5" is "free" in terms of not costing headroom since it's between the ribs) and 0.25" paneling, which will cost you an additional 1" of headroom. This will leave about 6'3" down the center, which may be sufficient for you (with the curved roof, you lose about 6" at the edges compared to the center, which makes a center-aisle style layout the most logical, even if everybody hates it).

If it's a low-ceiling bus, you're going to be starting at about 6'3". You can usually tell if an International is high-ceilinged based on whether the top of the passengers windows is flush with the top of the driver's side window (on high-ceiling buses the passenger top is higher than the driver top).
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