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Old 12-20-2016, 11:58 AM   #1
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New Florida member

Hi all! I've been lurking for a while, this place has tons of great info and it seems like no end of ideas that make my conversion process longer.... But that's 1/3 of the fun, right?

I just picked up a 1995 International 3600 short bus, also knows as a Thomas Vista. It was hauling kids the day before I bought it in the hot and humid town of Miami, and I carefully drove it back to St. Petersburg this past weekend. It's got the 7.3 turbo diesel (T444E) and Allison 542 transmission. I'd looked at a bunch o busses that were immediately written off for various obvious flaws, this one was super clean (for a 20 year old bus) and the motor runs so smooth... And the dual AC will chill you.

This is my first RV project but I also have a sailboat (Pearson 35) so many of the concepts are similar. My GF and I have a basic layout in mind, and hope to have it functional enough to sleep in within a few days.

What I've done: removed the seats, cleaned the rubber floor, and lots of poking and prodding.

What I'm doing as fast as I can (this week):
. sealing seat bolt holes (great stuff), plus a layer of undercoat on the outside
. removing the metal ceiling and installing rigid foam insulation
. Laying 1/4 inch OSB on top of the rubber floor
. Laying linoleum (lowes claims its vinyl now) on top of that
. Adding a wood rail system on the floor to hold a futon firmly while allowing it to fold/unfold
. Light blocking curtain to separate the drivers area

Longer term items already in flight:
. 400W solar (I use Renogy on my boat) with separate battery bank
. LED lighting
. Propane on-demand water heater+pump
. 2000W power inverter
. Chest freezer used as a refrigerator
. Backup camera
. Fresh water tank

Areas requiring additional research/planning
. Wood burning stove for heat?
. Improved wall insulation
. TV wall mount for combination computer monitor/television
. Overhead cabinets
. Grey water tank

Being a used bus, there area bunch of little things I need to take care of as well. Many of the switches on the switch panel are mis-labelled, broken, or not actually hooked up to anything. The windshield washer fluid bottle is busted, one of the wiper arms is about to explode into dust. It's the little things.


Of course, everyone loves pictures. Here's my bus as I bought it.


And of course the first thing I did...
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Old 12-20-2016, 12:10 PM   #2
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Location: Columbus Ohio
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I love that Vista Look!! one of my busses is a T-444E too.. im a fan of it in a short bus!..

I also have a place in st pete.. (and one in columbus ohio) where in the burg are you?

-Christopher
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Old 12-20-2016, 12:28 PM   #3
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My boat is parked by Madeira Beach, and I've got a workshop in Largo for the next month or so.

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Old 12-20-2016, 12:37 PM   #4
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way cool.. one of my bus storage spaces is up off of belcher rd by (roosevelt?) im fairly new to the area.. still learning it..

my apartment is Downtown.

quite a few from florida on here!
-Christopher
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Old 12-20-2016, 01:28 PM   #5
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Welcome!
The sunshine state seems to be a hot spot of folks doing the bus thing.

I'd love a lil Vista like that, such a sweet lil bus!
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Old 12-20-2016, 01:43 PM   #6
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Welcome !

Geez that is a sweet bus, but a "sport bus" ??????

I guess it is no worse than a "sport van", LOL.
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Old 12-20-2016, 01:48 PM   #7
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Welcome !

Geez that is a sweet bus, but a "sport bus" ??????

I guess it is no worse than a "sport van", LOL.
It's clearly faster than the non-sport model!


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Old 12-20-2016, 01:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
way cool.. one of my bus storage spaces is up off of belcher rd by (roosevelt?) im fairly new to the area.. still learning it..

my apartment is Downtown.

quite a few from florida on here!
-Christopher
We have been here a few years, but rarely go to downtown St Pete. Sounds like a bunch of people in this area, would love to meet up with fellow skoolies.

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Old 12-20-2016, 02:10 PM   #9
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The St. Pete-Clearwater airport will be our airport of choice soon.
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:40 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
We have been here a few years, but rarely go to downtown St Pete. Sounds like a bunch of people in this area, would love to meet up with fellow skoolies.

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Feb 10th we are having a sort of gather/roof raising here in Sorrento. Near Apopka.
Come on out, with or without bus.
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Old 12-20-2016, 04:55 PM   #11
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Sweet! I am a Renogy solar fan as well.
What a great sized bus, how fun
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Old 12-20-2016, 09:14 PM   #12
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Welcome!
I'm over on the east coast in Stuart. You should head over to Apopka for the East Coast get together February 10!!

Sandi
Living full time on the WanderLust Bus
www.thismidwifetravels.com
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Old 12-21-2016, 02:10 AM   #13
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Just curious, this isn't really related to the bus gathering, except by the location.....

Are there any skoolie-friendly RV parks or any lots for a reasonable rent in that general area? (Or any Skoolies here that would let me park on their place, hint hint?) I drive Uber sometimes so I could get a dispensation to drive in Ocala if available, or Orlando, so I could earn some money while there, and have a warm place to work on my conversion.
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Old 12-21-2016, 05:20 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderWoman View Post
Welcome!
I'm over on the east coast in Stuart. You should head over to Apopka for the East Coast get together February 10!!

Sandi
Living full time on the WanderLust Bus
www.thismidwifetravels.com
I will look into this for sure!

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Old 12-21-2016, 05:21 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyCat67 View Post
Just curious, this isn't really related to the bus gathering, except by the location.....

Are there any skoolie-friendly RV parks or any lots for a reasonable rent in that general area? (Or any Skoolies here that would let me park on their place, hint hint?) I drive Uber sometimes so I could get a dispensation to drive in Ocala if available, or Orlando, so I could earn some money while there, and have a warm place to work on my conversion.
I'm not aware of anything better than the occasional truck stop and Walmart. If I cover up with something better I will share the knowledge.

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Old 12-21-2016, 06:50 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderWoman View Post
Welcome!
I'm over on the east coast in Stuart. You should head over to Apopka for the East Coast get together February 10!!

Sandi
Living full time on the WanderLust Bus
www.thismidwifetravels.com
i moved to port saint lucie in 1990, lived out by becker road. had to get out in 2009, too many people for me.
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Old 12-21-2016, 06:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlleyCat67 View Post
Just curious, this isn't really related to the bus gathering, except by the location.....

Are there any skoolie-friendly RV parks or any lots for a reasonable rent in that general area? (Or any Skoolies here that would let me park on their place, hint hint?) I drive Uber sometimes so I could get a dispensation to drive in Ocala if available, or Orlando, so I could earn some money while there, and have a warm place to work on my conversion.
im looking to stay there or somewhere warm also, i got family in the area working on it. i need to get back in april to get the crops out. looks like we can all get some work done.
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Old 12-21-2016, 11:27 AM   #18
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Join Date: Dec 2016
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im looking to stay there or somewhere warm also, i got family in the area working on it. i need to get back in april to get the crops out. looks like we can all get some work done.
It's certainly warm where I am. Sweating like a pig working on this bus! But my floor is almost done.

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Old 12-21-2016, 03:46 PM   #19
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i moved to port saint lucie in 1990, lived out by becker road. had to get out in 2009, too many people for me.
I lived in Vero for a year a lil while back. I don't miss it.
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Old 12-21-2016, 10:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
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i moved to port saint lucie in 1990, lived out by becker road. had to get out in 2009, too many people for me.
Yeah, and it just kept growing! Higher population than West Palm Beach! I love Stuart, for the most part we've had controlled growth. Been here for all but the first 8 years of my life and then a few years in the Middle East and a year in China ;) Love it here.

Sandi
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