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Old 02-09-2017, 11:56 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1
Talking Team Thomas


So, finally after creeping on the forum forever I have decided to say hello. My name is Nate, and my wife and I are turning a 1998 Crown/International 444 into a skoolie, governed at a brisk 58mph, we bought for a steal of $1500, and 160000 miles. We looked for 6+ months, and then finally after passing a bus parked at a church every time we went to the beach, about twice a week, I took a chance, turned in and asked the pastor if his bus was for sale and what he wanted for it. He responded ďfor you, today, $1500.Ē We have 2 sons who are willing participants in our adventure simply because they are awesome!

Currently, Iím elbows deep in the project. Our plans for the bus are to travel about and enjoy America while living out full time family, or simply being the youngest snow birds in history. The question most often asked is ďWhat are you going to do for income?Ē our answer every time is we do not know and honestly we do not care. We are winging it. I sell on eBay to support this project, along with working at a church.

Our plans:
1. Deconstruct.
2. Reconstruct to livable space for 4 people.

Simple huh.

The deconstruct has gone well, so far. I have all the interior roof panels down including the front and back red/amber light covers. I want to replace the front flashing red/amber lights with super bright LEDís hooked to the high beams so the front of the bus looks like a dying star. The rear flashers I want to replace with warm LEDís and a cone cover pointing down so it is another outside space to hang out in the evening. I also have the lower rear metal covers off next to the emergency door. All the seats have been removed except for the driverís seat. I am hoping to remove and replace the driver's seat too with something a bit more comfortable. The 500ish mile trip from Sarasota to Atlanta at 58mph was exhausting on the bum. Currently, Iím taking off the aluminum side panels. I ran into the snafu of the top of the paneling being screwed in from the top but underneath the windows, not a fun find. After I get all the side paneling off, and figure out what to do with the emergency exit hatches, which leak like a sieve, I will be applying closed cell spray foam. The option to hire a company vs do the spray foam myself is still up for debate. The steps right before spray foam will be to determine floor plan, by hopefully 95% accuracy, then skin over the windows for the boysí bunk and a couple for the bathroom. Then using 3M 4000UV marine caulk reseal all the remaining windows. After the windows are sealed we will begin work on any rust spots on the roof. There are not many but they still need to be taken care of. Why keep the windows you ask: because, I can. Then after all this, start building and figuring out solar, plumbing, bunks, kitchen, water, etc.

Construction experience: Zero. The only tools I have used, so far, are a DeWALT impact driver, 2 T20 bits, and a Ryobi angle grinder.

This is our story, so far. We are excited for the opportunity. One thing we have learned is we could not do this without a few friends and family who are as crazy as us. We want to thank our Momís and Dad for letting us share our idea with them and who responded with love, questions, and encouragement. We also want to thank Dale and Logan for letting us park on their property out in Winder. I want to thank Eric, Daleís neighbor for having every tool under the sun and being a genuinely awesome person.


nandrthomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2017, 03:30 PM   #2
Bus Crazy
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Winlcok, WA
Posts: 2,233
I would not be too quick to close off the roof hatches. They can add a lot of fresh air when opened and can be a very useful egress if needed.

Most of the time if they are leaking it is because the seal is not sealing any longer.

If you go up on the roof and remove the screws holding it all down you can lift the hatch up and off. Once it is up you can remove whatever sealant that was used and replace with new butyl rubber tape, which is available at most Ace Hardware stores in the mobile home supply section. A new stretch of butyl rubber tape and you are ready to screw it back down.

I would use new screws simply because they don't cost that much and you more than likely will have bunged some of the heads up in removing the old ones. I have used roofing screws that have a rubber gasket attached. The last roof hatch I repaired in that fashion has yet to leak and it has been almost ten years since I had to repair it.
cowlitzcoach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-09-2017, 04:46 PM   #3
Bus Nut
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Pensacola and Crystal River, FL
Posts: 647
Year: 1998
Coachwork: AmTran International
Chassis: 3800
Engine: Navistar 7.6L
yea good luck getting the roof vent assembly to come out in one piece without breaking after 20 years in the Florida sun.
You can try but..........
You can also remove windows from the inside and use the butyl tape to chalk with and then put them back in.
DoubleO7 is offline   Reply With Quote


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