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Old 06-06-2018, 02:16 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Birmingham Alabama
Posts: 9
Year: 2003
Chassis: Blue Bird Flat-Nose
Engine: Cummins 5.9L Allison 2500
Rated Cap: 76 passenger 40 foot
New member with Bus need advice!

Hey Guys!

My wife and I just bought a 2003 Bluebird Flat-nose 40 foot. excellent condition. we got it from a school. super pumped. We now want to turn it into a skoolie! I am a researcher from Upenn in Physics and my wife has a degree in creative writing. We are both travelers and are the more adventurous type, for example, our honeymoon was a 40 day backpacking trip in Europe (her idea).

We need some help and advice.
First, should we raise the roof? I am 6'1. If so, what is the best way to do it. (safest, most cost effective, etc). Iv seen a couple of ideas like cutting the pillars and should we replace the old windows to get more energy efficient ones? Is it possible to lower the floor? I think we can use the extra height. Does the roof raise affect safety?

We finished a floor plan! looking to go solar with energy efficient appliances (like chest freezer fridge, convection induction etc) No TV for us! just books!

We would love to connect with some other new members and other members who could maybe help and offer advise for us.

Also is there a bus junk yard near Birmingham Alabama?

Thanks! and please contact me!

Stephen and Anna
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:43 PM   #2
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It's important when designing the Skoolie to thoroughly insulate for comfort. This usually starts with an inch or more on the floor. If you add the 3/4" plywood subfloor and a 1/2" floor you have lost another 1.5" of headroom. If you're 6'1" you will be hitting the ceiling all the time or bending your neck. A roff raise would be a good option. Most remove all the windows and cut the ribs in the middle of the windows. Welding in spacers, resigning the outside and then replacing whatever window you want. Many go with better RV windows. Pricing for a roof raise can be anywhere from $1k to, I hear, $10K. If done correctly, no safety is compromised. Lowering the floor is not cost effective, and the most you would be able to do is lower the floor section between the frame rails as the floor sits on top of the frame rails.
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:00 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Birmingham Alabama
Posts: 9
Year: 2003
Chassis: Blue Bird Flat-Nose
Engine: Cummins 5.9L Allison 2500
Rated Cap: 76 passenger 40 foot
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Originally Posted by o1marc View Post
It's important when designing the Skoolie to thoroughly insulate for comfort. This usually starts with an inch or more on the floor. If you add the 3/4" plywood subfloor and a 1/2" floor you have lost another 1.5" of headroom. If you're 6'1" you will be hitting the ceiling all the time or bending your neck. A roff raise would be a good option. Most remove all the windows and cut the ribs in the middle of the windows. Welding in spacers, resigning the outside and then replacing whatever window you want. Many go with better RV windows. Pricing for a roof raise can be anywhere from $1k to, I hear, $10K. If done correctly, no safety is compromised. Lowering the floor is not cost effective, and the most you would be able to do is lower the floor section between the frame rails as the floor sits on top of the frame rails.
Thanks this is really helpful
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:25 PM   #4
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Posts: 1,198
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Originally Posted by Sjroussel View Post
...our honeymoon was a 40 day backpacking trip in Europe (her idea).
Howdy and welcome Stephen!

First - does your wife have a sister that is single and like minded?

Lots of ideas and 'how to get started' threads here that are worth reading. Some quick things to consider...
1. What is under the floor can have a significant impact on your floorplan (if not already understood). Specifically the location of plumbing and holding tanks but other things as well.

2. If you use the bus in anything but perfect weather, insulation is important. For the ceiling insulation, that often takes a good bit of space which can lead to the need for a roof raise.

3. Solar absolutely rocks! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!!
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:37 PM   #5
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Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: Birmingham Alabama
Posts: 9
Year: 2003
Chassis: Blue Bird Flat-Nose
Engine: Cummins 5.9L Allison 2500
Rated Cap: 76 passenger 40 foot
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Originally Posted by JDOnTheGo View Post
Howdy and welcome Stephen!

First - does your wife have a sister that is single and like minded?

Lots of ideas and 'how to get started' threads here that are worth reading. Some quick things to consider...
1. What is under the floor can have a significant impact on your floorplan (if not already understood). Specifically the location of plumbing and holding tanks but other things as well.

2. If you use the bus in anything but perfect weather, insulation is important. For the ceiling insulation, that often takes a good bit of space which can lead to the need for a roof raise.

3. Solar absolutely rocks! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise!!
1. she has 2 other sisters, and other extended family who are all like minded lol. She comes from a farming background. So much better than city girls. lol

2. yeah I think we are gonna do the roof raise. it sounds like its the best option. I just know need to get a good plan to do it.

3. I agree. We want to do that too. We are gonna get chest freezer's and fridge's and stuff. also composting toilet. ill upload our temp floor plan.
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Old 06-09-2018, 12:36 PM   #6
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Oh my gosh! Fairly certain you've got the exact type of bus that is my dream bus if not real close! Super excited for you and even a little jealous.

I haven't bought a bus just yet but from all I've read/seen/ in reference to my own plans I think roof raises are almost necessary.

We sound like kindred skoolie spirits so I think I'll be following your skoolie journey closely best of luck in your conversion!
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