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Old 01-18-2022, 05:53 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jan 2022
Location: Rapid City, SD
Posts: 4
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
We bought a bus!

With excitement, trepidation and total peace, we took our first (GIANT) step toward our dream of living on a Skoolie... We bought a bus! Last Thursday, we went to "just look" and couldn't believe we found a bus with everything on our list... dognose, 3 big boxes underneath, under 200k miles, NO RUST, Allison tranny, and even built with philips screws! We are so excited (and a little overwhelmed) to take on this project! Can't wait to hit the road and join this amazing tribe of nomads. We're crunchy hippies at heart, embracing natural health and freedom from "the box." And of course, we love nature, camping and all the beauty in our country.

A little about us... My husband and I have been married 4 years with a blended family of 4 kids (a his, hers and ours situation). Our kids are as (if not more) excited as we are to embark on this journey. Our 17 year old son is totally stoked for demo and is saving to buy a truck and camper topper to caravan with us, but have his own little space. Our 9 year old daughter wants to design the paint job and interior (I don't know if the guys will go for pink, purple and turquoise). Our 7 year old daughter can't wait for our first camping trip. And our 2 year old can't get over the fact that there's a BIG BUS in our back yard!

Hubby is a piano tuner... we're still trying to figure out how to make connections and take that business on the road. Wifey is a Mary Kay consultant. We are also a musical family and are looking forward to taking our band on the road... Kinda like the partridge family. Sort of.

We look forward to making connections here as well as getting advice and suggestions. We're novice DIYers, so this is a HUGE undertaking. Oh, and we're so not diesel mechanics! lol Basic woodworking skills, light household repairs and obsessive YouTube research are what we're starting with. *nervous laughter* We're about to get a serious education!

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Old 01-18-2022, 06:58 PM   #2
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Location: Swansboro,NC
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welcome to the madness.
my first bus was built as a family camper and served us well and even hauling scouts around in style for canoe pick up and drop off points.
my issue now is i built a skoolie for our specific needs at that time in our life and didnt think about future use? now i dont need 4 beds stucturally built?
things change as kids grow and its fun for with the bus for awhile and at some point your skoolie passion for an rv to get your kids on the road once your children grow up changes.
i didnt think about thought on my first bus but has served us welll.
my children are out of the nest and on there own now but i built for our specific needs at the time?
not thinking of kids growing expanding in length or size?
both my boys have been tent camping since almost they were born.
not quite that soon but close eneogh?
one of my dogs almost tipped over a canoe but she had her babies in that canoe inside then bus.
she would not get outside of the canoe so it went in the back of the bus on my brand new finished floor
you can build for what you have now but please look ahead
i have 2 busses now but not for the same purpose.
the big bus is mine the shorty belongs to my wife
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Old 01-18-2022, 07:43 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Suburbs of Winterset, OH
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it's great to have everybody on board for your adventure.
Good luck with the build...pink, purple and turquoise? Just post some pictures, that will make most of us happy...who knows, maybe your budding designer will spark some inspiration in someone else's build.
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Old 01-18-2022, 08:39 PM   #4
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Thanks! I will!
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Old 01-18-2022, 08:42 PM   #5
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Thank you! We're trying to keep the long term in mind without trying to get the space to do too many things. We've got a long way to go before we're empty nesters...
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Old 01-19-2022, 10:12 PM   #6
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Pictures

Quote:
Originally Posted by BarnYardCamp View Post
it's great to have everybody on board for your adventure.
Good luck with the build...pink, purple and turquoise? Just post some pictures, that will make most of us happy...who knows, maybe your budding designer will spark some inspiration in someone else's build.
Here are some of the designs we've come up with so far...
Attached Thumbnails
Music Bus.jpg   Pink Purple Bus.jpg   Purple and Blue Bus.jpg   Teal Bus.jpg  
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Old 01-20-2022, 03:24 PM   #7
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Welcome!

Those Thomas bus philips screws will come out easier with a square bit than a philips bit.

Your first tip from skoolie.net!




Peace
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Old 02-02-2022, 03:24 PM   #8
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Welcome to the forum!

I wacked each screw with a hammer before attempting to remove the screws.
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Old 02-02-2022, 06:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meathead View Post
Welcome!
Those Thomas bus philips screws will come out easier with a square bit than a philips bit.
Your first tip from skoolie.net!
Peace

That's because they aren't phillips but #2 square head screws.
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Old 02-02-2022, 06:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HamSkoolie View Post
That's because they aren't phillips but #2 square head screws.
Yes,
#2 square head (screwlock) works beautifully. Posidriv works best.

Yes, to break free:
- whack driver handle.
- tighten first, then loosen.

The screws are not Phillip's. They are Posidriv. Possibly Supadriv, on a Thomas.
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Old 02-02-2022, 07:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeMac View Post
Yes,
#2 square head (screwlock) works beautifully. Posidriv works best.

Yes, to break free:
- whack driver handle.
- tighten first, then loosen.

The screws are not Phillip's. They are Posidriv. Possibly Supadriv, on a Thomas.

You left Reed and Pierce off the illustrations. Another that people strip by using a phillips.
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We've done so much, for so long, with so little, we now do the impossible, overnight, with nothing. US Marines -- 6531, 3521. . . .Ret ASE brakes & elect. Ret (auto and aviation mech). Extra Class HAM, NAUI/PADI OpenWater diver
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Old 02-03-2022, 10:28 AM   #12
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Location: Colorado
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howdy neighbor!

congrats on the bus! the total peace part.....ummm, you must be new.

the forum is great for help, there are a few of skoolies in the area too.

i'm about 3 hours south of you, in the NE corner of colorado. there are a couple in nebraska on the forum too. probably, more locals in some of the fb groups.

there has been a skoolie meetup in Custer during the buffalo round up the last 2 years. hope to meet y'all sometime down the road.
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Old 02-03-2022, 12:07 PM   #13
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Location: Michigan
Posts: 50
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Freightliner
Chassis: FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
congrats and welcome to the adventure. slow and steady progress is all it takes!!!
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Old 02-03-2022, 04:49 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turf View Post
congrats on the bus! the total peace part.....ummm, you must be new.

Out of the mouths of babes.
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Old 02-03-2022, 06:45 PM   #15
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I would suggest gutting it, being sure it is mechanically sound, and go have an adventure. Don't wait until you have spent 1000 hours on renovation to have fun. Air mattresses, cooler, camp stove, maybe hang some curtain room dividers, and go. You will see how you like driving it. You will figure out what amenities are important to you. Your son can put up a small tent next to it if he wants private space. Sure, it will be more like camping than RVing, but it will also make the next steps more fun.
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