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Chadluc 09-05-2011 07:43 PM

Model 05 Silver Eagle
Silver Eagle detroit diesel 8v71 4 speed , Former US Trailways. I bought my bus out in Phoenix,AZ from a private owner.I started the build in Hollywood,CA and have moved the bus to Roswell,NM to finish building. I am converting the bus and plan to use it for extensive traveling. I am planning to use the bus also to live on my property in Roswell,NM in the desert out side city limits,off grid.While I attend the local colledge.The bus is built and designed to be on the road with out service hookups for weeks at a time.


4000 watt Duracell generator
1000 watt Honda EU generator
3 150 watt solar panels

Entertainment :

46" LED Samsung TV rear
Sony surround sound
Dish Network - uses a wineguard auto track satellite dish

Chadluc 09-10-2011 09:15 PM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle
I still need to finish off the water lines hot water and instal the shower. I'm going with pex piping( I am using just water hose right now) that most you guys use it seems, Now for the hot weater I have decided on the Ecotemp L 10 tankless hot water heater. I am going to mount it under the bus in the bay that the water tank and holding tanks are located.I hope this unit puts out some heat to keep water and holding tanks from freezing when I drive into cold weather. If not oh well. But I reall want the L10 looks likt it will work perfect for my installation.

The water lines will run stright up from the water heater under the bus to the sink,down the line to the toilet and on to the shower that I will put in next to the toilet. Want to do a sink cabient counter top for the kitchen area when the time comes.

yankeflyer 09-24-2011 08:42 PM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle
Sweet, I had an Eagle in mind when I first started my project but the Thomas was so affordable.Ya keep posting.

skoolz out 10-03-2011 11:59 AM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle
I like the studio apartment concept. For safety though, not to mention legalities, you really need to get that propane tank outside. Should be easy enough to install it in one of the baggage bays and install a vent out thru the floor since propane is heavier than air.


Chadluc 10-14-2011 11:24 AM

I was not going to do this full of a conversion,but winter is nearing here in socal and i need to get this project finished. So I installed a L10 tankless hot water system,Pex tubing for pluming,Bought from home depot a bath and shower kit and erected walls and insulated everything in R19 insulation.By the way from the factory this bus was built with 1/2inch plywood and insulation for the entire ceiling.I'v seen some folks tear it out and replace the wood, on the eagles international fourm..but Mine is staying right in place. This is not a show bus... when finished it will be a nice touring bus to take on the road...well it is on the road now, but also something I can pull into an rv park and not have any problems with getting a spot for the nite.
Now Iam hooked and want to get a real kitchen in and finish this project! Ah now the idea's are coming as the project moves forward
[b]you can see in this pic, I studded 2x4 out from the wall and insulated with r 19 over the 1/2" plywood and covered in luan wood.Behind the 1/2" plywood for the outer walls is insulated between the bus framing and skin as well.[b]

Motobus 10-14-2011 12:51 PM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle
That is awesome. Your bus is going to really be something.

Tango 10-14-2011 03:46 PM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle
Make sure the L10 is thoroughly shielded from any breezes if you use it over the road. I have been told they can lose the flame fairly easily.

BTW...your rig gives a lot of us here serious "Bay Envy"! Lookin' good.

Chadluc 10-14-2011 08:15 PM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle
I love this bus. Tango the bays are a must...You can do so much more with your imagination! here are a few more pics of the new layout as I continue making improvements 1 step at a time

Chadluc 10-14-2011 08:18 PM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle

Originally Posted by yankeflyer
Sweet, I had an Eagle in mind when I first started my project but the Thomas was so affordable.Ya keep posting.

yes the eagles run a bit more 15,000 and up

Chadluc 10-14-2011 08:26 PM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle

Chadluc 10-14-2011 08:28 PM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle

Chadluc 10-16-2011 12:53 AM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle

Accordion 10-16-2011 01:02 AM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle
Chadluc, those propane catalytic heaters are great. I have been using them for thirty years. Not that they last that long. I mean to say that I have been using that style of heater for that long. If you keep them from getting any wetness on the pad and cover them in the summer, you can expect many years of use out of them.

Propane is not cheap. I'd rather have a wood stove, but I do not have the space for it. I also am not inclined to chop down trees and cut them up into firewood.

lornaschinske 10-16-2011 11:48 AM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle

Originally Posted by Chadluc
... or the idea i had that seemed the best was to get 2 rv furnace's. I could have a furnace for front and 1 for rear. I could turn on 1 furnace just to heat the rear, second to heat the front when i wake up....any idea's? I like the catalytic heater idea

You could use one RV furnace. Put the thing in the basement. Build a plenum and duct to your "rooms". If you pulled the OTR a/c unit out of the Eagle, you should be able to get to roughly the backside of the rear axle in the center (you should be able to "squeeze" around the cabling and linkages to get a custom duct thru there). So you should be hitting your "bedroom". Or put your closets over the rear wheelwell and duct thru the floor of the closets. Use a vent that you can close to shut off other "rooms" Downside to the RV furnace is that they use a lot of fuel (mine doesn't but it's an older model). They are also noisy. Our furnace wakes me up every time it kicks on. I thought ours was loud but we are next to a newer Fiver. Their furnace sounds like Pratt-Whitney when they would test the jet engines. And it kicks on all night long... every 15 minutes, roars for 10 and is silent for 5. I have heard that an RV furnace can blow thru a 20# tank in 1 week. and that is in North FL (which does get cold). My biggest complaint is that they will "blow out" the chambers before the burner will kick on. That means they are blowing cold air inside before the burner kicks on and the heat starts up. Ours will flat heat us out. But the temp swing isn't fun.

I think a mix of heaters would be best. There again this is a subject the you need to look at how you will use your bus. In our case, we stay in Parks mostly. Our electric is usually either included in our site rent or it's metered. Since 2006, when we started fulltiming, LP has consistently been higher to use than electric. So we use electric space heaters with the thermostat on the furnace turned down to where it will kick on when the electric heaters can't keep up.

If you boondock or wallydock a lot or in very cold weather, then a propane heater will be preferred. Using a generator to heat with is not very efficient. If your propane heater uses fans to move the air (like RV furnaces) you run a very high risk of killing your house battery bank overnight. A vented cat or blueflame would be a good choice in that instance. Also you could heat the room you would use most.

Heating needs to be tailored to fit your needs. A back up in case one system "fails" (like if the power goes out or you run out of LP... or it breaks) would be good to plan for.

For us... Electric heater with fan (faux wood stove) will be in the fireplace mantle (living room)... we can turn it on for a slightly chilly morning or evening. Small electric heater in the bathroom/shower area so that that particular area can be closed off and a shower can be taken in a warm room. Also since our clothes closet in in the same section it can be a warmed up dressing area. The original fan forced rear heat exchanger will be powered with a LP water heater (filled with anti-freeze) with an electric "hott rod" or lightening rod added to it (it's an old RV water heater) and ducted thru the bus. That way we can use either the campground electric or LP. We will put the fans on two switches so that we can shut down one fan to conserve battery power over night. The original fans as well as the hot coolant circulating pump run on 12vDC. Our A/C unit will use the same duct work as the heat system. At some point we MIGHT put a solar panel on the roof to handle the 12vDC stuff... or not.

skoolz out 10-20-2011 11:30 AM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle
Now in the first post you said you weren't any good at building stuff, but your bathroom photos say otherwise. Looks fantastic, with a real bath tub even! Amazing.

I like catalytic heaters but while they run they burn up oxygen inside the bus, so any time you fire one up you need to open a window just a little bit. Installing a CO detector would be a good idea. Also, sleeping with a catalytic heater running is not a good idea.


Chadluc 10-20-2011 12:25 PM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle

Accordion 10-20-2011 10:35 PM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle
About Catalytic heaters: I feel compelled to say that I have been using them for thirty years both day and night. It is correct that you must leave a window open for oxygen. Read up about how many square inches per btu that you need.

I must also say that because the fuel does not combust with those heaters, there is no carbon monoxide output. The output is carbon dioxide and water vapor. That is why they are vent-less heaters. I feel totally safe with them.

Of course, this is first hand experience. I can not tell you that you should do as I have done (my disclaimer). But I am still alive.

lornaschinske 10-20-2011 11:32 PM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle

Originally Posted by Chadluc
...When traveling i do plan on staying in rv parks so depending on if it is metered electric or included electric will decide if i use portable electric heaters...I plan on picking a few up before hitting the road.

Divide cost of Propane per gallon by 22 to get equivalent cost of
electric. If propane is cheaper, then use propane. If electric is
cheaper, then use electric.

Chadluc 10-23-2011 11:20 AM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle
I found out how much fuel was in it from the last time I fillied up. NONE!! 8v71 out of fuel, silver eagle out of fuel . 10 hrs later and it roared to life. It took a while filling 100 in fuel in 5 gallon jugs. then I had to fill the primary and secondary fuel filters up, and then comes the cranking and ether. People say you can start them diesels on wd 40,, but I couldn't get it to ignite on it.

When it started it roared to life and i took of running for my life. i throught it was going to just rev to the limits and blow up. I shot it with ether on the 20th attemp,it allo a suddon ignited the deisel fuel, and ther engine rpms came up. not sure how much i was in the back of the bus. I guess i was expecting it to just start when the diesel fuel reached the combustion chambers and idle. i was a littel nervous when it started roaring!! I mean it was maybe 5 seconds but i didn't want to be near it!!

luckly to say all is well and i will need to fully refuel before i consider moving it much.100.00 on a bus that gets 3 miles or less in the city is not alot of fuel.

Chadluc 11-09-2011 12:06 PM

Re: 1974 Model 05 Silver Eagle
Did some more work this week. I primered the cieling.Installed some electrical as well as installed the panneling. I am building this in sections... Because I am running the wireing under the bus(in the bay storage),This allows me to do the framing and electrical in steps.where ever i need to install an outlet i can simply drill a hole thru the floor and run my electrical up.And having 4 1/2 foot bays allows me plenty of work to move about.
You can see the hallway I panneled over the 1/2inch plywood with luan wood plywood panneling.This is what all the final step to the walls will be.

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