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Old 10-15-2021, 07:56 AM   #1
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 4
Year: 1990
Coachwork: International
Engine: International 7.3 IDI
Rated Cap: 52
New Family from Wisconsin

We are planning a skoolie conversion to fit a family of five in a midsize bus. We won't be full-timers but are hoping to use it for some longer road trips, mainly visiting national parks. So far, we're in the bus-shopping and cardboard mockups phase.

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Old 10-18-2021, 02:50 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Baja often, Oregon frequently
Posts: 210
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Our hot little hands...
Chassis: Ford CF8000 ExpeditionVehicle
Engine: Cummins 505ci mechanical
Quote:
Originally Posted by kpark905 View Post
...So far, we're in the bus-shopping and cardboard mockups phase.
.
"...cardboard mockups..."
[ applause ]
.
Congratulations, you by-passed one of my peeves -- relying on two-dimension computer images.
.
My early conversions were about a half-century ago.
Those rigs benefited from my experience as a welder-fabricator.
In the shop, I constantly use cardboard templates to shorten development time.
(In a production shop, finish! the! project! to make room for the! next! project!.)
.
For your use, you may discover cardboard mockups give a visceral sense of utility and access... and the oft-overlooked interference.
.
An aside:
I owned a restaurant business for ten years.
I wish there was a way to move the kitchen away from the main traffic area (the 'drag-strip' down the middle).
Each time I see photographs of a 'U' kitchen at the end of a TinyHomeOnWheels, I get all warmy inside.
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Old 10-18-2021, 03:46 PM   #3
New Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 4
Year: 1990
Coachwork: International
Engine: International 7.3 IDI
Rated Cap: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeMargeInBaja View Post
.
"...cardboard mockups..."
[ applause ]

.
For your use, you may discover cardboard mockups give a visceral sense of utility and access... and the oft-overlooked interference.
.
An aside:
I owned a restaurant business for ten years.
I wish there was a way to move the kitchen away from the main traffic area (the 'drag-strip' down the middle).
Each time I see photographs of a 'U' kitchen at the end of a TinyHomeOnWheels, I get all warmy inside.
The cardboard has been really handy! I started with cardboard cutouts and graph paper, but then I wanted to mess around with bunks and walls and counters, so cardboard has been a better way to visualize that.

I'd worked on an L kitchen design, but I hadn't thought of a U shaped one at the back of the bus...that is creating sparks in my brain! Gotta go take a look at that next!

We purchased our bus this last weekend, so now I can also start getting exact measurements.
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Old 10-18-2021, 04:09 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,240
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American
Engine: 8.3 Cummins ISC
Rated Cap: 75
Hello, good to see other Wisconsin people on here.

Any details about the bus?
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Old 10-18-2021, 05:26 PM   #5
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Join Date: Oct 2021
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 4
Year: 1990
Coachwork: International
Engine: International 7.3 IDI
Rated Cap: 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by WIbluebird View Post
Hello, good to see other Wisconsin people on here.

Any details about the bus?
The bus is very unique...to say the least! It's a 1990 Thomas 8 window that was used for tailgating for the last 16 years. It's got a super wild Iowa State airbrushed paint job--definitely eye catching. Engine is the old International 7.3 IDI with manual 5 speed transmission. We were worried about power, but it went 75 on the interstate (though it handles a lot better at about 65--boy can you feel the bumps with it empty!).

The frame has no rust at all--still has factory paint on it in most places. There is some rust on two side panels (one on either side above the rear wheels), so we're hoping to replace those panels and a couple of the rub bars with new pieces.

It came with an Onan quiet diesel generator tied into the main fuel tank, which sits on an external platform that was professionally fabricated and welded to the back, plus a small battery bank, an inverter, and interior/exterior outlets. Also has tires with less than 1000 miles on them, new glow plugs, fairly new brake pads and rotars, and new kingpin assembly.

It's old, loud, and has the localized body rust (plus the bottom of the entry door) to deal with, but we're pretty happy so far.
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Old 10-18-2021, 06:14 PM   #6
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: mid Mo.
Posts: 500
Year: 1976
Coachwork: bluebird
Chassis: F33695
Engine: 427 chevy converted to 466
Rated Cap: 84
Sounds like a good starting point, welcome.
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