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Old 12-07-2017, 06:43 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Smile Newbie with a "mini-skoolie" e450 99' Econoline Shuttle Bus

Hey Crew!

Been loving the site for months now and finally got my bus, so excited to start losing my marbles! Although, I can only half join, only a 24' shuttle bus, not a true skoolier.

Had a few quick questions for all you pros out there:

First off, shuttle buses are a weird breed of skoolie. All fiberglass, no rivets to be seen (bummer ), a very different animal then all the skoolie conversions I've seen. Curious how much to insulate on the ceiling, it looks like there's just a weird 1" cardboard-type filler sandwiched in-between the fiberglass shells. Also, how does this handle stove-pipes? I'm thinking, just use a normal rooftop pipe-fitting and leave 2" (or whatever they recommend) from the combustible fiberglass?

Secondly, the bus has plywood floors WITH NOTHING BELOW. I was flabbergasted. There is a strip of metal running down the 'walk aisle', but other then that it's just 3/4 ply with a think black paint on the bottom. Surprisingly enough, the ply is in amazing condition for being 18 yrs old. The back right corner has some minor water damage, but the wheel wells have metal covers and the rest of the ply looks to be top notch.
Has anyone ever seen anything like this before? I'm tempted to replace the back corner and leave the rest of the ply since it's lasted so long as-is, but I'm pulling the rubber covering tomorrow, so that thinking may likely change once I get a full view of the ply. I'm hoping to get away with re-applying new undercoat paint, but don't want to seal in any moisture, it looks like what is there is breathable, so not sure what type to use. Also, do I then insulate over the existing ply (most likely 1.5" FOAMULAR). I have about 4" clearance as-is (I'm 6'4" so keeping thin is key).

Curious for all y'all thoughts - Happy to finally be posting on here! I'm just a guy with a bus, creativity, and some power tools..
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Old 12-07-2017, 07:53 AM   #2
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Welcome.

Stove pipes can go through anything. The roof fitting holds the pipe the required distance from combustibles, so if it is fitted according to the instructions you have nothing to worry about.
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Old 12-07-2017, 08:28 AM   #3
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We have a lot of shuttle bus people here in the "short bus " section. I love mine.. Personally not a fan of the cardboard / fiberglass sandwich construction. Mine has 1" steel frame work with ridged insulation sandwich. Plywood floor is real common. What are you going to use the bus for? I use mine for camping and towing a trailer with ATV's.
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadsled01 View Post
We have a lot of shuttle bus people here in the "short bus " section. I love mine.. Personally not a fan of the cardboard / fiberglass sandwich construction. Mine has 1" steel frame work with ridged insulation sandwich. Plywood floor is real common. What are you going to use the bus for? I use mine for camping and towing a trailer with ATV's.
The plan is to live in it full time and travel across North America. Yea, I'm not too excited about the cardboard sandwich, but I think I'll layer on some rigid insulation underneath to keep me warm in the Yukon and cool in Mexico!

The plywood on mine seems weird since there's no metal sheeting underneath, is this common with the shuttle buses as well?

Thanks for the tips, I'll have to check out the short bus section!
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Old 12-07-2017, 10:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twigg View Post
Welcome.

Stove pipes can go through anything. The roof fitting holds the pipe the required distance from combustibles, so if it is fitted according to the instructions you have nothing to worry about.
Perfect - That was my thinking as well, just wanted to confirm.

Thanks! Ready and raring to get to construction, but want to make sure I get my base right!
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Old 12-07-2017, 12:55 PM   #6
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To answer your question, it is common for some buses to have plywood on a simple framework rather than having a sheet metal floor. Your setup is not as common as the sheet metal floors. It just depends on how it was ordered.
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Old 12-07-2017, 01:13 PM   #7
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Been designing and looking for the right bus forever it seems here. I keep flip flopping on shuttles and shortie schoolies myself. For the stove through the roof try this or similar:
http://dickinsonmarine.com/product/s...et-dress-ring/

And since nobody else has asked I will.......PICTURES? We are nosey here and like lots of pics. It helps us steal, improve, recommend things you many not even know to ask or point out.

WELCOME!!!!
Doug
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Old 12-08-2017, 12:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Defjr333 View Post
Been designing and looking for the right bus forever it seems here. I keep flip flopping on shuttles and shortie schoolies myself. For the stove through the roof try this or similar:
http://dickinsonmarine.com/product/s...et-dress-ring/

And since nobody else has asked I will.......PICTURES? We are nosey here and like lots of pics. It helps us steal, improve, recommend things you many not even know to ask or point out.

WELCOME!!!!
Doug
Hey! Still in the early phases, didn't get to get out to the bus today, had to work, but the weekend is near!

https://imgur.com/zc4Iast: Filled to the brim with hardwood pallets
https://imgur.com/UhXFzrj: Handicap Lift (Looking to sell if anyone has any leads!)
https://imgur.com/kaqV3kx: Soueeetttt Easy in all her glory!
https://imgur.com/zrGEpFx: Seats removed and ceiling/wall demo started!
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Old 12-08-2017, 02:44 PM   #9
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Soooo, my question now is do I keep the existing plywood floor and insulate over it. Or tear it out, weld in sheet metal in the places where there is none below the plywood, then put down rigid insulation, then new plywood floors? The ply looks to be in great condition except one corner that has water damage. Also, I would reapply some sort of water wicking paint on the bottom of the plywood where it is exposed to the elements (not sure the best use for this, I feel that epoxy paint might hold moisture in against the wood?)

Any ideas from the pros out there? The plywood has held up well for 18 years under Oregon rain, but there's only 50k miles on it, so it might probably wasn't driven too much in the rain.

I'm willing to do the work to put in sheet metal where there is none, I just don't want to overdo if the existing ply is in good shape. I'll try to post pictures tonight after work and when I get the rest of the rubber removed.

Thanks!
Caleb
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Old 12-08-2017, 08:58 PM   #10
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In Oregon... not driven in the rain?

I think you got lucky. So many drivers clean their buses with a hose.
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Old 12-09-2017, 03:29 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
In Oregon... not driven in the rain?

I think you got lucky. So many drivers clean their buses with a hose.
I know right? I meant that maybe most of it's life was spent in a garage. As you know, it can occasionally rain in the PNW..
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Old 12-09-2017, 03:46 AM   #12
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Rubber floor ripped out! By the way, a roofing shovel makes all the difference for this, I wish I had a flat edge one, but it saved me hours with a scraper..

Definately have some water damage to the plywood, but overall in better shape then I expected.


The worst is along the back wall, definately some leaks to plug, thinking up near the rear high mount stop lights.




Also, I removed the huge handle to open the front folding doors (as fun as it was to say "WELCOME ABOARD!") and came up with a (possibly) genius way to lock the main folding doors overnight. Just used a vice grip to grab onto the sliding bar mechanism above the doors and it stopped them in their tracks! I'm sure I'm not the first to think of this, but it felt good!


I've been working on the layout, and am considering putting one of the folding captain chairs that came with the bus rear facing as a "ct. bouncer chair" to allow someone to ride with a seatbelt. I like it because it opens up the chair to be used as a seat while the bus is parked too, but it's a little awkward to be sitting backwards in a moving bus, especially when I'm driving. Also, not sure of the safety factor, although I live with safety third.. Thoughts?



Ended up the night by really 'exploring the space' (aka dancing to bluegrass with my tape measure and a beer, sitting on a fake couch, cooking in a fake stove, lying in an imaginary bed..) and finished up my floorplan! It's obviously completely set in stone and will never change -_- but I think I managed to fit in the wood-fired hot tub, fireman's pole, and wood-stove - got some good ideas in the works on those, more to come..


Thanks! Any ideas/advice is always welcome, not really sure how this works if anyone is out there, but just getting my ideas down is great for the process!
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Old 12-09-2017, 04:22 AM   #13
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It is my understanding that "plywood only" floors are somewhat common on shuttle buses. Since they aren't school buses, they aren't required to meet the same all-steel construction and crash-test standards.
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Old 12-09-2017, 04:53 AM   #14
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Any ideas on how to approach it? The 'walk aisle' down the middle has steel underneath. I'm thinking of just replacing the water damaged ply and maybe putting some metal sheeting underneath while I'm there so that at least 80% of the floor will have metal underneath. Aslo, it looks like there was some sort of black undercoating applied to the plywood underneath, any idea what this would be?

This is the only spot where the paint worn down..
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:54 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by souweeetttt_easy View Post
Any ideas on how to approach it? The 'walk aisle' down the middle has steel underneath. I'm thinking of just replacing the water damaged ply and maybe putting some metal sheeting underneath while I'm there so that at least 80% of the floor will have metal underneath. Aslo, it looks like there was some sort of black undercoating applied to the plywood underneath, any idea what this would be?

This is the only spot where the paint worn down..
The black coating will be some kind of tar-based underseal. Without the steel vapor barrier, the wood needs protection.
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Old 12-09-2017, 11:54 AM   #16
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Seriously, you've got to start brewing instead of drinking that stuff.
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Old 12-09-2017, 12:57 PM   #17
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PICTURES!!!!!!


Looks like youve got a decent start on the demo and layout. Will be following this thread now too. Cant wait to see what u come up with(really just looking for more ideas to steal)
Doug
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Old 12-09-2017, 02:22 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by souweeetttt_easy View Post


Thanks! Any ideas/advice is always welcome, not really sure how this works if anyone is out there, but just getting my ideas down is great for the process!
That's some Hamm-fisted work you are doing on that bus.

Looking forward to some good stories out of you.
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Old 12-09-2017, 05:29 PM   #19
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Haven't seen Hamm's since I was a kid!
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Old 12-09-2017, 06:13 PM   #20
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Haha, I knew I'd get some slack for the Hamm's, I'm a top shelf or bottom of the barrel kind if guy. No middle ground for me!

Thanks for the support guys! I'll try to keep everybody updated, it'll keep me on track with the build!
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