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Old 11-30-2020, 09:03 PM   #1
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Out Grown Current Bus

Hello everyone we have currently out grown our current bus because our new two dogs that take up more room than what we are accustomed to.

ATTACH]51542[/ATTACH

The above picture is our 1970 VW Westy Camper. We have owned and enjoyed it for about 14 years now.

I have been thinking of purchasing a shuttle bus next year to use as road trip vehicle, camper and people mover. I am thinking of having limited removable camping furniture that can be replaced with bus seats to fit whatever comes up.

I am a Mechanical Engineer during the week but on weekends I customize cars and trucks from the 60s to 70s. My current project is a 1979 Chevy Stepside with a stroker big block 496. My coolest toy is a 1969 VW Ghia that is about 45 inches tall.

Back to the Shuttle Bus. Is there a conversion better than the others or are they all about the same? Currently I have been browsing Craigslist to see what is available. Due to the beginning of winter I am not quite ready to buy anything yet I am just beginning my exploration.
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Old 11-30-2020, 09:18 PM   #2
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Believe it or not, there is actually a VW thread on here somewhere, though I would rotate the pic right-side-up.

As for the questions you have, conversion-specific questions will depend on what you need to have with you. I've compiled a bit of a primer that I send new members to help them avoid the typical pitfalls that arise from jumping in feet-first before doing their research. Check your PMs... And welcome.
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Old 11-30-2020, 09:29 PM   #3
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A new member posted a picture with only 1 post! That's against the rules, .
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Old 11-30-2020, 09:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by BamaBus View Post
A new member posted a picture with only 1 post! That's against the rules, .
I wondered about that myself. Maybe they changed that.
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Old 12-01-2020, 08:07 AM   #5
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shuttle busses come in a lot of flavors.. alot depemnds on your plans of travel with it. the construction of the body is often a couple slabs of fiberglass laminated and glued together with a corregatioin in between.. if you are planningto a cokmplete gut down including the interiior you can weaken the structure pretty easily or if you want something like a roof deck or roof mounted solar etc you have to be sure to mount into the underlying frame..



drivetrain-wise you are already handy in the garage (former hot-rodder here.. though ZI stayed on the small block side of things vs big block.. simply put I wanted A/C in everything I built so big blocks didnt always fit with a compressor!)..


I like the chevy 6.0 based chassis.. most of your shutles will come with A/C and nice tinted windows.. some of them have floor-track mounted seats that you can take in and oiut as you want.. and of course the track pieces can be cut and moved around so if you wanted to be able to have sideways seats, rear facing etc you could remove and re-fit the track as needed.. you could even separate t he seat bases from the bus seats and put nicer captains chairs or such on them for better comfort and still be removeable.. you just have to look around for the track mounted seating..



if a diesel is your flavor there were quite a few ford 7.3 and duramaxx shuttles built. (and ford 6.0 if you dare).. alot depends on whether this is a cross country cruiser or take-it-to-the-lake camper. diesel gets you better MPG, gasser is going to be already in your wheelhouse of things oyu've worked on.



definitely look for signs of water leaks around the inside when you go look at a shuttle.. water inside the wall cavities and that corregation results in nasty mold thats tough toi get rid of on those type busses.
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Old 12-06-2020, 03:03 PM   #6
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I cant seem to find the edit or modify post button. If someone would like to modify my first post feel free. Here is the corrected photo.



20180928_090235.jpg
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Old 12-06-2020, 03:45 PM   #7
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Thanks for the kind replies and helpful information. I am sorry if I broke the rules about posting pictures.


My wife and I have talked a lot over the shuttle bus and I think we have came up with a good solution that works for us.


We primarily want a road trip vehicle with minimal camping. Something we can drive and spend a few nights in it as required. Kind of like how we used our 1970 VW Bus. The biggest problem we found with the bus is that its not that reliable. Quite a few times it left us on the side of the road, it is very hard to find a parts store stocking parts for a 50 year old VW Bus.


We settled on a Shuttle Bus because with Michigan Laws a retired school bus will need to be repainted to something other than yellow and I am not much of a painter. We also would like to find something with 15 seats or less to avoid needing a CDL or re-titling it as a RV.



I am also 6'-7" tall and from reading on here a van/school bus are not as tall in the interior as a Shuttle Bus


We are currently keeping our eyes open for a short Shuttle Bus that is under 10 years old with reasonable mileage on it. We have no use for a Handicap lift and I don't want to bother with the extra door. I have found one example that has both front van doors still intact with a passenger seat. My wife really wants her own door and own seat up front.


I would like a convertible bed in the back that can sleep 2 people and convert into a seating area. We also would like a small permanent fridge with a propane heater either above or below the fridge. We want to install a camper style ac on the roof for ac when camping. We also plan on leaving the rest of the bus seats in place or rearrange them as needed.


Future plans may include a removable cabinet that includes a sink and a cook top. I plan on keeping the fresh and gray water tanks in the cabinet to allow the whole cabinet to be removable.


I may also build over head shelves along the perimeter for extra storage if needed.


If its ok I can post more pictures of my VW bus along with some of my other projects along with Shuttle Buses that I come across for sale.
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Old 12-06-2020, 05:45 PM   #8
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Shuttle bus is a good choice for a conversion. Still quite a big bigger than the vw and the MPG will show it. There are good older Class B motorhomes that are pretty spacious as well as old-school. As the dodge chassis was one of the longest running production ever, and they still made the 360 until like 2003, plenty of parts availability.

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