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I bought a school bus!

Billtex2000

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Decide on a color yet?
Or is paint not on the menu.
Can you leave it "National School Bus Chrome" if its privately owned?
 

Trevor Shipman

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Soooo... I really like the color combo of my Grand Cherokee. Not trying match it for matching purposes but think it would be a good color combo. Grey on the body and any raised panels, grill, wheels do a gloss black. I will do a white Henry Tropicool roof on it too.

I thought about trying to get crazy and do some designs on the side that they do a lot of RV and campers with but I do want this to still at its core be a bus, hopefully and bad ass bus! 103637
 

Liveto99

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Good memory! Yeah, that certainly helped convince myself I could pull this off! The one problem is the bus is at my brothers house so tinkering with it after work kind of thing will be tough. I want to get this baby up and going sooner than later but it might take a lot longer than I really want.

The one major thing I need to figure out is while under way will I set it up with a generator so I can power the fridge and most importantly the AC. Looking at the Cummings Onan generators and those puppies are not cheap. I don’t want to just strap a generator on the back, Id like to do it right and have it in a compartment out of sight/mind. Figuring out underneath storage will be a little bit of a challenge. There are some bolt on options out there but not sure how they will fit on the bus.
Honda eu3000 best ever watch out for CO put in detector and smoke detector also.
If your going to use that bus in summer you want a white roof on it.
 

Trevor Shipman

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Honda eu3000 best ever watch out for CO put in detector and smoke detector also.
If your going to use that bus in summer you want a white roof on it.
That’s exactly the unit I was thinking about. My only struggle is where to put that puppy. Going to have to fabricate something. I’d really like to put the 2200 in there as it’s more portable and for my needs I could grab and go for other situations but I might be maxing it out. There was a YouTube of a guy running his AC, refrig, and a TV off it but again sure that baby was running hard. I’ll just have to do the math when that time comes.
 

zipper

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Set it up like a yacht. Put a 12v fridge and TV in and run it from a house battery bank. We have these on the Beneteau. You can charge the batteries either from the genset w/ battery charger or/and a few hundred watts of solar panels on the roof. We have an EU 2200, love it for its portability. It can go on the boat if we ever need it. The 3000 does put out 25amps compared to 18 for the 2200. So, as you said, do your math.

20190824_064718.jpg

20190824_063206.jpg
 

mrmeaniemeateaterman

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I would just plan on running fridge on propane. One less demand. Fridge has to run 24/7, AC does not. Your not going to want generator running 24/7 just to power fridge. Plus depending on where you camp they won’t let you do that anyway. We boondock quite often and having to listen to the generator gets old quick no matter how “quiet” they are.
Oh and another thing, microwave or AC. Never both unless you have a really really big generator. Even in our motorhome with a 7500w diesel onan generator I still turned off ac to run microwave. It’s only a few minutes at the most and not worth potential damage.

Or what zipper said.
 

Dean P

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Is the bus still governed to 45 mph or will it go faster?
That's a good question. How is the ride at 75 ±10mph?

@Trevor Shipman Do you need a special license to drive a bus? Is it governed by weight?

I really like the idea of having a bank of batteries. Then everything on-board would/could be DC powered (Air Condition, fans, TV, etc.)

Love the project and look forward to seeing it when finished. Is there a time frame (or is that dictated by $$)?
 

PEARCE

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Refrigerators that are typically found in RVs that run on propane or A/c are expensive and small. The fridge in our 5th wheel is one such fridge and it has recently quit on us. It's the most common size for most campers at 8 cubic feet of inside space. That little jewel is $1500 to replace! We are going a different route on replacing it that I think you should at least consider for your bus @Trevor Shipman . We're putting in a residential type and we'll be gaining 2 cubic feet right away. We'll put in an inverter to power it as we're traveling hooked up to our single deep cycle battery. We don't boondock, but if we wanted to start we would add a second battery and a solar panel or 2. The propane powered fridges are the main cause of rv fires and are not as efficient at cooling as there residential cousins. Majority of the current TV manufacturers going this route because of those 2 reasons. Most class A coachs are ALL electric which means no propane at all.

Trevor I'm thinking you're gonna want a generator powerful enough to run at least one ac unit as you're traveling to keep the bus as comfortable as possible. Being in N. Carolina I know it's hot and humid all summer long so you'll certainly want it cool to keep momma happy. To keep things simple and as seamless as possible I'd stick with a diesel generator so you only have one type of fuel onboard. It will cost more up front, but it will last a lot longer and run more efficiently under load.

If you want to do most of the work yourself I'd buy a welder and and start learning. Or another route is take some courses at the local trade school or community college to learn the basics if you don't have a friend to show you the ropes.
 

Trevor Shipman

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Refrigerators that are typically found in RVs that run on propane or A/c are expensive and small. The fridge in our 5th wheel is one such fridge and it has recently quit on us. It's the most common size for most campers at 8 cubic feet of inside space. That little jewel is $1500 to replace! We are going a different route on replacing it that I think you should at least consider for your bus @Trevor Shipman . We're putting in a residential type and we'll be gaining 2 cubic feet right away. We'll put in an inverter to power it as we're traveling hooked up to our single deep cycle battery. We don't boondock, but if we wanted to start we would add a second battery and a solar panel or 2. The propane powered fridges are the main cause of rv fires and are not as efficient at cooling as there residential cousins. Majority of the current TV manufacturers going this route because of those 2 reasons. Most class A coachs are ALL electric which means no propane at all.

Trevor I'm thinking you're gonna want a generator powerful enough to run at least one ac unit as you're traveling to keep the bus as comfortable as possible. Being in N. Carolina I know it's hot and humid all summer long so you'll certainly want it cool to keep momma happy. To keep things simple and as seamless as possible I'd stick with a diesel generator so you only have one type of fuel onboard. It will cost more up front, but it will last a lot longer and run more efficiently under load.

If you want to do most of the work yourself I'd buy a welder and and start learning. Or another route is take some courses at the local trade school or community college to learn the basics if you don't have a friend to show you the ropes.
Lots of good suggestions here. Yeah I keep going back and forth on what to do for power when underway. One thing I don’t want to do is spend 2k and it’s still a lot of tripping and hassle. I’d rather spend 3k (there goes my budget @swatski) and have a system that just works. I’d also like to have an electric start (remote if possible?) but pulling a crank isn’t the end of the world. Really what it comes down to is I need to determine what I’m putting in there, what I want to run while under way and do the math.

We never boondock, and I’m sure that prolly because we never have and don’t realize what we are missing.

And you’re right about welding. There’s going to be a few things that have to get mounted under the bus (all grey/black water tanks, propane, side storage, and something to hold whatever generator I go with). I’d like to have that stuff mounted right, not jerry rigged. Welding lessons might be in order.

Funny/crazy how much thought will need to go in a silly project to get from A to B.
 

seanmclean

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When you said $3,200, I was expecting something much worse. I've wanted a bus for a while just for tailgating and stuff, I'm stoked to follow this thread along. Do you have a link to the ebay seller?
 

yjander

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You should check out fernthebus on Instagram. Really awesome bus conversion. They call them "skoolies" but that's up to you!
 

mrmeaniemeateaterman

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@Trevor Shipman At the rate this thread is going they will have you putting a second mortgage on your house to get this project done. The other option is keep it as simple as possible. If you are camping at a place that has “facilities” and hookups and you are only going for weekends then just put some bunks in it, a simple kitchen with a sink, a folding table and a plain old window ac that runs on 110 at the campsite. Rather than a fridge get a nice hard sided cooler (doubles as a seat). Don’t bother with building a bathroom. Then just sweat your ass off during the drive to the lake. Hell its a bus with windows all the way down it. You’ll appreciate the lake that much more when you get there.

We used to have a popup with beds on the ends, a small table, a 1 burner stover and a sink that was it. Was all you really need for weekend trips.....a place to eat and a place to sleep at night.
 

Liveto99

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After 15 years people just about give away campers look around and pull crap out of them to put in the bus. We pulled a propane refrigerator out of one for our hunting camp. Had to cut the side of camper to get it out but oh well works.
 

Trevor Shipman

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Hahah A LOT to be said for keeping it simple @mrmeaniemeateaterman ! Yeah to your credit it doesn’t have to be done over night. Adding the generator/creature comforts while underway can always come later. I just need something get my boat there and to lay my head. But in defense of others on here, what good is this forum if they don’t help you spend your money!?!
 

Scottintexas

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Trevor Shipman

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When you said $3,200, I was expecting something much worse. I've wanted a bus for a while just for tailgating and stuff, I'm stoked to follow this thread along. Do you have a link to the ebay seller?
Hey @seanmclean here’s his info, I also have his phone number should you want it. Turns out if you click on “sellers items” he has a decent collection of nudie magazine listed too. One stop shop!103711
 
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