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Old 08-25-2019, 01:18 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 35
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All-American flat face
Newbie in SF Bay Area needs advice

THANK YOU all for this great site. Been reading for 2 years. Now I have the money, the plan and am looking for the bus.

About me: long time resident of San Francisco Bay Area ready for one last long-as-it-lasts full time road trip. I am over 60, use a wheelchair, don’t drive, and never met a challenge I couldn’t solve with ingenuity, community and laughter.

WHAT I NEED in a bus:
• insulated and finished structure (insulation and walls, flooring and ceiling panels)
• boondock capable power and water systems
• mid-size
• strong engine with low “this always breaks” problems
• automatic transmission
• good tires
• rust dealt with


WOULD BE NICE to have with purchase:
• fridge
• individual portable induction burners
• composting toilet
• lithium batteries
• inverter
• LED lights
• generator
• easy to open windows
• wheelchair lift (but this is easy to find so not a big need)
• bathtub


WHAT I DO NOT need in the bus I purchase:
• furniture (I will take it out to make interior wheelchair accessible in ways that work best for me)
• stove / oven
• any bus seats
• shower


WHAT I HAVE:
• layout plans
• decisions about cooking (portable induction burners), sleeping (2 bunk beds), work area (one long counter with built-in kitchen sink at one end), toilet (composting)
• lots of commitment, designated builder helpers (but now skoolie-literate), sense of humor


STILL FIGURING OUT
• fridge (upright or horizontal on pull-out slides)
• adding self-operated lifting system (for getting in and out when no power)

THANK YOU for any advice or suggestions.

Corbett O
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Old 08-25-2019, 01:39 PM   #2
Bus Geek
 
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Dawsonville, Ga.
Posts: 9,030
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Genesis
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466/3060
Rated Cap: 77
What's your budget?
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Old 08-25-2019, 02:02 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 35
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All-American flat face
Thanks for the question. For the bus it really depends on what it comes with. For the entire conversion, want to keep everything except the furniture under 15k.
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Old 08-25-2019, 06:17 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorbettO View Post
THANK YOU all for this great site. Been reading for 2 years. Now I have the money, the plan and am looking for the bus.

About me: long time resident of San Francisco Bay Area ready for one last long-as-it-lasts full time road trip. I am over 60, use a wheelchair, don’t drive, and never met a challenge I couldn’t solve with ingenuity, community and laughter.

WHAT I NEED in a bus:
• insulated and finished structure (insulation and walls, flooring and ceiling panels)
• boondock capable power and water systems
• mid-size
• strong engine with low “this always breaks” problems
• automatic transmission
• good tires
• rust dealt with


WOULD BE NICE to have with purchase:
• fridge
• individual portable induction burners
• composting toilet
• lithium batteries
• inverter
• LED lights
• generator
• easy to open windows
• wheelchair lift (but this is easy to find so not a big need)
• bathtub


WHAT I DO NOT need in the bus I purchase:
• furniture (I will take it out to make interior wheelchair accessible in ways that work best for me)
• stove / oven
• any bus seats
• shower


WHAT I HAVE:
• layout plans
• decisions about cooking (portable induction burners), sleeping (2 bunk beds), work area (one long counter with built-in kitchen sink at one end), toilet (composting)
• lots of commitment, designated builder helpers (but now skoolie-literate), sense of humor


STILL FIGURING OUT
• fridge (upright or horizontal on pull-out slides)
• adding self-operated lifting system (for getting in and out when no power)

THANK YOU for any advice or suggestions.

Corbett O
Do you have a place to park it?
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:14 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Fresnope, CA
Posts: 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorbettO View Post
ready for one last long-as-it-lasts full time road trip. I am over 60, use a wheelchair, don’t drive,


Corbett O
I seem to be missing something here?
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Old 08-25-2019, 08:43 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Central MN
Posts: 161
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC RE
Engine: 8.3L
Maybe someone is going with the OP?
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Old 08-25-2019, 09:34 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 35
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All-American flat face
JustKip,

Yes I have a place to store and to work on it. It's a storage place with a wood and metal shop.

CorbettO
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Old 08-25-2019, 09:37 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 35
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All-American flat face
JustKip,
Not sure what you are asking but happy to answer your questions.

I am planning on living in the bus full time with frequent long stops (2-4 weeks). Either a friend will join me to do the driving or I will hire a driver to get me from one long stop campground to the next.

CorbettO
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:10 PM   #9
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorbettO View Post
JustKip,

Yes I have a place to store and to work on it. It's a storage place with a wood and metal shop.

CorbettO
Congrats you have just passed the biggest hurdle . Everything now will be a matter of budget, timing and the aranngement of talent to help you. My advice would be to get whatever you buy in 110% mechanical condition as your first priority. If you are disabled, you have no room for breakdowns. Attempt minamalist approach as you start and build on that. Good Luck!!
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:17 PM   #10
Skoolie
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Fresnope, CA
Posts: 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorbettO View Post
JustKip,
Not sure what you are asking but happy to answer your questions.

I am planning on living in the bus full time with frequent long stops (2-4 weeks). Either a friend will join me to do the driving or I will hire a driver to get me from one long stop campground to the next.

CorbettO
Sounds like a great plan!

I think that, although you're right about how many used chair lifts there are out there for cheap, the wheelchair lift door itself would make a huge difference, as I think those doors are a little wider than the folding door in front.
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:22 PM   #11
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 35
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All-American flat face
JustKip,

Thanks for the suggestion to got 110% mechanical functioning. That was easy to overlook. Before I purchase I will definitely post the bus and engine info on this site for feedback.

I know a lot about lifts and used a bus lift in my last skoolie. But it was super loud and I hated using it in the early mornings when I like to get out and take a walk.

I am exploring some other quieter options with the folks from Whirlwind Wheelchairs who build stuff from scratch all over the world.

I appreciate your answering my questions and offering ideas.
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:24 PM   #12
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorbettO View Post
JustKip,

Yes I have a place to store and to work on it. It's a storage place with a wood and metal shop.

CorbettO
That is the most important thing. Here is a lousy picture of our 28 foot 5.9 Cummins shorty. Almost ready to come out of the shop and kiss the daylite. A well lighted and secure workspace makes the build so much fun!! Good luck !!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20190815_151837[2].jpg (111.5 KB, 11 views)
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:32 PM   #13
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Congrats you have just passed the biggest hurdle . Everything now will be a matter of budget, timing and the aranngement of talent to help you. My advice would be to get whatever you buy in 110% mechanical condition as your first priority. If you are disabled, you have no room for breakdowns. Attempt minamalist approach as you start and build on that. Good Luck!! This comment is from rivetboy (joe) But hey the idea is still valid
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Old 08-25-2019, 11:36 PM   #14
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 35
Year: 2001
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All-American flat face
Sorry RivetBoy,
I was thanking JustKip for your suggestion about 110% mechanical condition.

CorbettO
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Old 08-26-2019, 12:48 AM   #15
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by CorbettO View Post
Sorry RivetBoy,
I was thanking JustKip for your suggestion about 110% mechanical condition.

CorbettO
Hey, that is a non issue. I just spent the last 2 years rebuilding my shorties drivetrain ( new everything you can replace in a Cummins 12v I.E. fuel pump, water pump, oil pump,oil cooler, alternator, fan clutch , oil filter and most important for me, all new gaskets. Plus
fan thermo switch, serpentine belts, air conditioner compressor belt,newly rebuilt AT545, transmission electric fan cooled with thermostatic supply valve oil cooler new front brake drums , new shoes all the way around, rebuilt air brake compressor. Am now in the process of installing new projector headlites and led everything else . Good luck in your endeavor and this is a great site. Ask me any thing and I will certainly respond. Good Luck!
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:05 AM   #16
Bus Nut
 
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Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Huntington beach
Posts: 709
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: T/C 2000 28 foot Handy Bus
Engine: Cummins 5.9 Mechanical
Rated Cap: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rivetboy View Post
Hey, that is a non issue. I just spent the last 2 years rebuilding my shorties drivetrain ( new everything you can replace in a Cummins 12v I.E. fuel pump, water pump, oil pump,oil cooler, alternator, fan clutch , oil filter and most important for me, all new gaskets. Plus
fan thermo switch, serpentine belts, air conditioner compressor belt,newly rebuilt AT545, transmission electric fan cooled with thermostatic supply valve oil cooler new front brake drums , new shoes all the way around, rebuilt air brake compressor. Am now in the process of installing new projector headlites and led everything else . Good luck in your endeavor and this is a great site. Ask me any thing and I will certainly respond. Good Luck!
And how could I forget that $ 600 Holset rebuilt turbo ...
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