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Old 06-10-2009, 10:24 PM   #41
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

I appreciate your help Jim... The weird thing is there is an commercial Isuzu box truck that parks down the street everyday at a residence & it is used daily, but no troubles for them. I don't get it. It would have been nice if the code official would have just ran the tag on the bus & realized it is a private non-comerrcial vehicle... But that would make sense now wouldn't it?

God I can't wait to pull onto the 10 acres in New Mexico & take a deep breath! Although that might be tough going from 146 ft above sea level to 7300!

My grandpa used Good Sam with the old Winnebago... had stickers all over it.

I will check into GMAC, thanks!

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Old 06-11-2009, 08:03 AM   #42
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Re: AW CRAP!!! CODE VIOLATION???

Quote:
Originally Posted by rccipriani
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
Well I know others have been here & now, so are we... We got a code violation from the city of Sebring on the Thomas parked at the house. They state that a "commercial vehicle" is against code. I haven't taked with them yet as it was after 5:00, but will be tomorrow. I am looking for any advice on what should be said & what should not be said, if that would help. The bus is titled as Private so the commercial status is gone, but I am just leery that the code office may pull out some other code out of their hat just to make my life miserable...

Any help or links to this subject that are informative would be very helpful!
Are you on good terms with your neighbors? Sounds like someone didn't like the bus being there.

I thought I was on good terms with the neighbors, in fact the next door neighbors like the bus & had to come over to check it out! The owner next door is starting to think about the whole conversion idea... I turned him on to Skoolie too, of course!

I'd offer the use of the five acres we have in Union County (talk about the sticks...), but it's a bit far from Sebring. No power, no toilet, no nothing. We are planning the conversion to live on the property while we build a house.

That would be great, too bad it is so far away but thanks for the great offer! It is nice having some property to be able to get away from it all...

The City of Gainesville has five 1990 Flxible transit buses on their site, and I suspect they'll go cheap, but they look a bit rough and have nearly 700,000 miles on them.

Do you have a link? I am always looking at busses... am I addicted???

Eagerly awaiting the news on...did you pick a name yet?

She is still remaining nameless... the whole Thomas idea hasn't passed the wifes approval so I keep searching for the perfect name for her!

Oh, and I could be wrong, but as I understand it Thomas didn't become Freightliner until much later. They bought National truck a while back and used those chassis. That's what I was told, anyway.

I was told that it is more than likely a Freightliner Chassis but again I am not positive as the interior tags do not say whether or not it is.
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:12 AM   #43
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

Well the code officer just called me & it turns out he wants to work with me on keeping my bus on the property! Wow, I got lucky having a young & pleasant city employee!

I explained to him that it is being emptied of all seats & anything that identifies it as a commercial bus along with the fact it is titled as a private use vehicle only. I also mentioned having a newborn baby (am I using my new daughter to my advantage??), no place to park the bus & to be able to work on it & that fact that we will be moving in August to New Mexico & he is going to talk to his super & the attorney to see if they can let me slide on the vehicle being here.

Also he mentioned that the Isuzu box truck that I mentioned, a Penske truck & a semi all within 8 blocks of us that are also going to be notified... SOOO things could be looking up for us! We shall see...
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:19 AM   #44
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Re: AW CRAP!!! CODE VIOLATION???

Quote:
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She is still remaining nameless... the whole Thomas idea hasn't passed the wifes approval so I keep searching for the perfect name for her!
The name will come to you eventually. It took me over a year before the perfect name just popped into my head one day when I *wasn't* trying to think of one.

Originally, I wanted a BlueBird All American Rear Engine, and planned to name in 'WilderLodge' with a nature scenes paint theme, as a play on WanderLodge. However, I felt with the Thomas I couldn't in good conscience apply that BlueBird brand satire to my Thomas. So, it was back to thinking of a good name.

I've gotten mostly positive feedback on the name 'unleashed'. It fits humorously with my online handle, and has multiple levels of meaning.

If I had gotten a former prison bus, I think 'unshackled' would have been an appropriate name.

Give it some time, and you'll find the name that fits.

jim
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:36 AM   #45
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Re: AW CRAP!!! CODE VIOLATION???

Quote:
Originally Posted by baadpuppy
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
She is still remaining nameless... the whole Thomas idea hasn't passed the wifes approval so I keep searching for the perfect name for her!
The name will come to you eventually. It took me over a year before the perfect name just popped into my head one day when I *wasn't* trying to think of one.

Originally, I wanted a BlueBird All American Rear Engine, and planned to name in 'WilderLodge' with a nature scenes paint theme, as a play on WanderLodge. However, I felt with the Thomas I couldn't in good conscience apply that BlueBird brand satire to my Thomas. So, it was back to thinking of a good name.

I've gotten mostly positive feedback on the name 'unleashed'. It fits humorously with my online handle, and has multiple levels of meaning.

If I had gotten a former prison bus, I think 'unshackled' would have been an appropriate name.

Give it some time, and you'll find the name that fits.

jim
Jim I think the name unleashed is perfect!

I actually looked at a prison bus a while back... "unshackled" is a funny name... The artwork would be killer for the name logo too, barbed wire letters surrounded by open handcuffs...hehe

I know it will come to us (or someone elses idea could be accepted ) in time!
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Old 06-11-2009, 08:41 AM   #46
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by baadpuppy
As for insurance, I've heard that everyone except GMAC is dropping conversions unless done by some high dollar professional firm. Join the good sam program, and get the GMAC insurance through that program, and you should be good to go. Just don't lie to the insurance guys, they love an excuse to cancel a policy. It is costing me about $500 a year for liability on my unconverted thomas. I didn't join good sam first, so I don't have that discount.

Also, to get insurance with GMAC, you have to call them. An agent won't be able to do it for you locally.
Do you know what kind of discount Good Sam gives on GMAC insurance? Right now it only costs $19.00 for a new membership to Good Sam Club... $500 a year would work for us.
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:07 AM   #47
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Re: AW CRAP!!! CODE VIOLATION???

Quote:
Originally Posted by rccipriani
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
Do you have a link? I am always looking at busses... am I addicted???
quote]

They are on eBay, search for transit bus. But they really do look rough. They have ThermoKing AC though. Reserve appears to be $500. I think they are Detroit diesels. They are a bit modern looking for my tastes, and it looks like the side windows don't open, other than little vent windows.
I looked at them & yeh they do look a little rough... The price migh be right if they come with all the service records... You should ask if any have had an engine rebuild or any other major rebuilds... They list them as having bad tires so that is a large cost to take into consideration too. The vent window within a window is interesting. I like the possibility of converting one of these but again, you might wanna look at them first. You would have a unique rv for sure. I don't think they will sell for much which is a bonus!

Jonathan
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:34 AM   #48
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

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Do you know what kind of discount Good Sam gives on GMAC insurance? Right now it only costs $19.00 for a new membership to Good Sam Club... $500 a year would work for us.
No, I don't know. Actually, I pay about $286 every six months. I misremembered. I had one accident that was my fault within the last 3 years, which made my rates a bit higher.

hope this helps,
jim
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Old 06-11-2009, 09:44 AM   #49
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

Thanks Jim... I am sure I will end up with GMAC!

rccipriani - did you see this cool old 51 GMC bus??

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1951-GMC ... tsupported

A little far from FL but just cool to look at!
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:52 AM   #50
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rccipriani
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
Thanks Jim... I am sure I will end up with GMAC!

rccipriani - did you see this cool old 51 GMC bus??

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1951-GMC ... tsupported

A little far from FL but just cool to look at!
I did! It's pretty neat.

I'm not sure a transit bus with AC is such a bonus for me. Sure, it's nice while driving, but it' useless when the engine is off (right?). I wouldn't want two AC systems, unless the compressor could somehow be rigged to turn with an AC (alternating current, not air conditioning ;) ) motor when the engine is off, which I imagine would require a mess of pulleys and electric clutches. Does your bus have AC?
Ours has AC & I was told it worked when I bought the bus, didn't check it out tho as when we drove it it was so cool outside... later I found after testing it, typical used car salesmen crap talk, they lied!

Driving a vehicle that is well insulated (at least our transit is) with even just a few windows open was not hot at all in the steaming mid-day Florida sun! I pulled out all the duct work in the interior as it added so much more space with it gone. I would say it is not something that should be a priority on any bus you buy cause how much are you actually going to be driving it? I am going to remove the whole AC unit & Jim (baaadpuppy) suggested I use the extra alternator to charge the battery bank we are setting up with solar panels also... This is a great backup for cloudy days or heavy electrical useage.

I started a new thread of the busses progress & you can see the difference with the ducts in & out... can be seen here:

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=4344
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Old 06-11-2009, 12:57 PM   #51
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

"So the AC runs off a separate alternator? I figured it had an engine-mounted compressor. Interesting. I'll check out your other thread. I'm looking for a short bus with AC for my wife to replace our van. I thought I just found some in Clearwater, but they are 12-window, too big for a daily driver. They have 3, 1994 BB International dognose, and want $5000."

Hey, guess what? I was wrong... I just went out & looked at it again & the bus does have a compressor & only one alternator. It does have 3 batteries tho which is good.

Here is the number for Space Coast Area Transit... Not sure of the area code: 633-1878. This is taken from the sticker residue on the back of the bus so it may or may not be a good number. The Internationals sound nice. I think you can do better on the price, depending on the condition of the busses. You have a link?
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:56 PM   #52
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

Check out this place in Avon Park... http://www.usedbusandtrucks.com/

They have alot of busses they don't advertise also!

Ok yea, just to let you know we bought ours for $3500 which sounds good but we also put another $1400 in repairs & service - but that included a DOT full service, complete maintanance with belts, oil, filter etc & also a new rear air bag, fan universal, new air line, new air tank valve, & more (don't have receipt in front of me)... I think I shoud have tried to get the price down a little more, maybe $3000 but I don't think they would have sold it. But hey, we are happy with our purchase!
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Old 06-11-2009, 06:08 PM   #53
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

AH-HA!!!

So I managed to not only make a friend with the city code enforcement dude, Joe, I was able to go into the local tag office, sign an paper that states our bus is a converted RV (OK I fibbed a little) & they printed out a new title with it being designated as a MH, not a bus!!! I not only got out of the code violation in less than 24 hours, I can continue to work on it right here at the house!!!

WOOHOO, now I just need some insurance...
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:16 AM   #54
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

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Hey, guess what? I was wrong... I just went out & looked at it again & the bus does have a compressor & only one alternator. It does have 3 batteries tho which is good.
Go look again. You do have 2 alternators. One is on the engine, and the other is to the curbside of the compressor for the A/C. It's clear in the pictures you posted.

When testing your A/C, did you do any diagnostics like making sure the compressor clutch was kicking in? It might've been something as simple as a fuse somewhere being out, or some other easy to fix thing. Or, it might be completely broken.

I have to agree with the general consensus that I'd rather have an electric A/C than one run directly from the engine.

jim
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:40 AM   #55
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by baadpuppy
Quote:
Originally Posted by ezbme
Hey, guess what? I was wrong... I just went out & looked at it again & the bus does have a compressor & only one alternator. It does have 3 batteries tho which is good.
Go look again. You do have 2 alternators. One is on the engine, and the other is to the curbside of the compressor for the A/C. It's clear in the pictures you posted.

When testing your A/C, did you do any diagnostics like making sure the compressor clutch was kicking in? It might've been something as simple as a fuse somewhere being out, or some other easy to fix thing. Or, it might be completely broken.

I have to agree with the general consensus that I'd rather have an electric A/C than one run directly from the engine.

jim
Ya know Jim, I have just been living in a fog lately... Trying to do too much in way to little time! I looked at the curbside only & didn't even look at the components on the engine! I did not do any diagnostics as I realy don't need the AC - as nice as it would be to have... I weighed each side & decided that the extra space inside alone was worth sacrificing the AC plus I don't want to get into troubleshooting the system - that & after removing everything AC underneath - with the low sides of the bus, I could put a sleeping quarters under there!
Besides, I can't even find the time to get just one seat out of the bus much less all of them...
I agree with you, an electric AC is a much better choice anyway as I don't see myself idling the bus for cooling. I don't mind driving it without AC at all as it really does stay pretty cool & believe me, the Florida weather is a great test!
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:43 AM   #56
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

Quote:
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Sounds like you got a good deal. I emailed the SCAT customer service, but I doubt it got to anyone who really cares.
Hey did you try the phone number I posted for SCAT? That may get better results... I think we did ok price wise.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:55 PM   #57
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

Quote:
I'm in Iraq, it's a PITA to call. I'll be waiting until I get back to look further.

So what is that second alternator for? Is one 24 volt, the other 12 volt maybe? Given its position it seems somehow related to the AC.

Speaking of Florida heat, my wife surprised me by getting my windows tinted for Father's Day on my 1989 Trooper. It looks VERY dark in the photos she sent. The AC works but the blower is weak (gotta run new wires to the battery). I expect the tint will make a big difference...that truck is like a green house, I can't imagine how hot a bus would be, although I remember roasting as a kid on the way home from school. I plan to paint the roof on the Troop with the white ceramic paint I've heard so much about. Seems like it would be a must for a bus in the south, and most seem to come that way.
I gotta say thanks for serving! It is appreciated what the armed forces are doing for our country...

How is Iraq? You gotta miss the kids for sure... How long have you been there & how long is your stay going to be?

Thank god for window tint! We have always tinted ours at least the max legal limit as it makes a HUGE difference. I am glad the bus is already done as again, it is necessary!

That was a nice fathers day gift having the Trooper done up! Cool wifey you got...

I used to work with a friend redoing a military test base in Florida spraying not just the roof but the walls of all their buildings with a ceramic coating out in the Hummer & tank testing areas... It really saves energy & cuts cooling costs by quite a bit.

I am dying to get better aquainted with my bus (it is obvious as you guys are telling me more than I know just by the photos). The extra alternator is tagged 28 volts. How do I go about using this to alternator charge a battery bank of (4) 12V batteries that I want to add in conjunction with the solar panel setup we are buying? It has to be for the AC as there would be no other reason to have it...
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Old 06-12-2009, 10:09 PM   #58
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rccipriani
Serving? Who said anything about the military? I'm here on a _surfing_ tour! ;) Actually, I'm in the Army.

It got very hot here in April. The weather was quite nice before. Now it's a hairdryer in your face, and it's only 110 or so. It will get hotter. It's not too bad, a little dull, save for the occasional poorly aimed 107mm rocket. I've been in-country since November and am outta here in September.

Weird, on the alternator. I can't think what benefit it has for the AC, since the compressor is belt driven. I believe 24 volt motor coaches have some sort of 'voltage splitter' to power 12 volt accessories. I don't know if it's just a dc-to-dc power supply, but I'm sure plenty of folks here know.
Surfing! You made me laugh on that... I would imagine a 107mm rocket would do a little damage eh?

I agree there has to be a way to split the voltage... would that mean it would charge TWICE as fast??

I am thinking that maybe the fans used for the AC & any other components would probably be power hogs...maybe 24V is the only way to go. I think there are at least 6 large fans underneath the bus for the AC.
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Old 06-13-2009, 09:50 AM   #59
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

if it is a 24 volt alternator, it will almost always feed into pairs of 12 volt batteries wired in series. You can treat each one as a separate 12 volt battery to run your 12 volt appliances, lights, etc. I would try to keep the load relatively balanced between the pairs of batteries, but i'm not sure load balancing is necessary.
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:14 AM   #60
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Re: New Owner/Member with Thomas Transit Liner Questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by lapeer20m
if it is a 24 volt alternator, it will almost always feed into pairs of 12 volt batteries wired in series. You can treat each one as a separate 12 volt battery to run your 12 volt appliances, lights, etc. I would try to keep the load relatively balanced between the pairs of batteries, but i'm not sure load balancing is necessary.
Yea it has a tag with 28 volts on the alternator... Is it possible to wire 4 batteries in series along with a solar panel setup? I am not too familiar with electrical & need to learn!
I am amazed how many states you have traveled, very impressive - all in your conversion??

AH! I just looked at your posts... didn't realize you are the jacuzzi-man!
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