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Old 09-26-2019, 02:45 AM   #1
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Bly Oregon
Posts: 30
Year: 1986
Coachwork: Crown
Chassis: Supercoach
Engine: Cummins 350 big cam
Rated Cap: 86 passengers?
New to skoolie net

I am new to and wanted to introduce myself to the community and bounce some ideas for my new conversion project. I am a retired software engineer with 31 years in Aerospace and am starting my second motor home conversion on a Crown Supercoach. My first conversion was done to a 1981 35' Crown with a Detroit 671 with the turbo and the Alison trans. For a few months I had a second Crown that I used for parts and then took to the scrapyard. I enjoyed doing the first conversion and have put about 20K miles on the bus. The biggest problem with the first Crown is lack of power. For those familiar with I5 in Northern Cal, I would go 18 mph up the grade going north from Dunsmuir, which is too slow. A few months ago I acquired a 1986 40 ' Crown SuperCoach with the tandem axle and (I believe) a Cummins 350 big cam engine with the Alison trans. This bus pulled the the Dunsmuir grade starting at 54 MPH and was doing 62 MPH at the top. It cruises 65 MPH effortlessly, and got up to 70 MPH when I wasn't watching. It had a little over 50K miles on it from new when I bought it for 3K.
I plan some improvements over my previous conversion from lessons learned. I will not make any structural changes to the bus other than access for the water heater and addition of a hatch opening and hatch on the lower right side, for holding tank, propane tank and electrical connection for outside power. I will be installing a 6.5KW Onan genset where the spare tire now goes. I am installing 1 KW of solar power on the roof, using flexible panels, with an 80 amp charge controller, a 65 amp battery charger for use when running from the Onan or outside power, and a 3KW true sine wave inverter.
I am using tour bus seats for a booth in the front room, plus passenger seating. I will install a 12 gallon propane/electric water heater, 40K btu forced air propane furnace.
Does my approach make sense to others? Also the side will be insulated and unneeded windows replaced by insulation and ribbed sheet aluminum. Pex will be used from water plumbing, and all water plumbing kept inside the bus, not underneath.

Rick Harrington
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Old 09-26-2019, 03:39 AM   #2
Bus Geek
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,278
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Welcome to the site, Rick!

Having converted a bus prior to this one, you have the experience that many new folks to this site do not. It does appear you have a very good grasp of what you want and what is needed in a conversion. You did not mention A/C nor kitchen, bedroom, toilet, etc. I am sure you have those in mind as well. It is hard to get it all down in one introductory post ... but you did well.
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Old 09-26-2019, 11:58 AM   #3
Bus Geek
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,358
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
Hey Rick,

Welcome! Sounds like you have a solid plan and an awesome foundation for your build.

There are times I look at the Crown's and wonder if I should have held out for one.....

Good luck
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Old 09-26-2019, 12:26 PM   #4
Bus Geek
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,333
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
Welcome, a new member whom actually filled out their profile without being asked to. Into flat trackers, me too. Check out my avatar pic. it used to be set up as a tracker.
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Old 09-26-2019, 03:48 PM   #5
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: The Great State of TX
Posts: 35
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