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Need Help WIth my Skoolie Answered

I've got a 1979 CHevrolet 48 passenger schoolbus. I need some help. I want to make something interesting out of it. Mechanically it is solid, runs and drives fine. I was planning to make a camper/RV out of it (but I'm open to other suggestions). I don't want to spend much (any) money on it, but I do have a lot of interesting housing fixtures (and building material) laying around. Any suggestions? I was even thinking of making an event out of the project. I've got a great place to camp, and could feed 15 or 20 people for a week, if enough people wanted to come help me work on it. I'd document the process, and make an iBle out of it: "How to Turn a Schoolbus into a _____."

Discussions

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NachoMahma

9 years ago

. What is the status of this project? I've really been procrastinating on putting the Mustang back together and getting to show it off at a bus raising might get me in gear.

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skunkbaitNachoMahma

Reply 9 years ago

It's kinda on hold for now. I've had a death in the family (my grandfather), and I'm looking at a new job. I'll let you know when I get back on track. BTW- I can take you to see a great 66-68 Stang collection, and to a mustang/falcon junkyard, if you ever make it up this way.

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NachoMahmaskunkbait

Reply 9 years ago

. Sorry to hear about your loss and other troubles.
. But a Country Boy ~~can~~ will survive.
. I'd like to see those attractions. I like most old muscle/sports cars, not just Mustangs. My first car was a Mustang, so I do have a soft spot for them, but as long as it pushes me against the seat ...

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skunkbaitNachoMahma

Reply 9 years ago

Truly "My grandpa taught me how to live off the land". He taught me how to hunt, fish, and drive a truck/tractor. I've gotta couple of other projects of my own, that I could use some creative help with. '93 Trans Am,'79 Harley, '76 Grand Prix, '94 Z-28, and a possible Subaru Monster Vehicle. I'll let you know as soon as I make a little headway on my life 'situation'.

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KentsOkayKentsOkay

Reply 9 years ago

What year is it? HP? Miles? Interior? >rambles on and on<

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gmoon

10 years ago

Mobile wood-fired hot-tub, with a flip top. Add a wide-screen, and you've got the ultimate tailgating vehicle, complete with smokestack.

(I know it's impractical, the water would slosh out every time you cornered and start/stopped. So a separate holding tank is needed... :P too complicated.)

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11010010110gmoon

Reply 10 years ago

hang the tub off the ceiling - then it goes in each direction together with the water and i think it'll slosh less (and its more fun) but its still a problem to drive the bus from within the bath

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kelseymh11010010110

Reply 10 years ago

[ Hi, Skunk! Hijacking your topic in the Name of Science :-) ] It might slosh "less," but it'll still make a mess. The problem is that the water is decoupled from the tub, and their separate inertial responses will get them out of phase. You can try the experiment yourself. Tie a rope to the handle of a bucket (or actually to the two hinges of the handle, to give you more stability. Fill the bucket with water, and start swinging it from your hand (or hang it from the ceiling and push, like a swing). If you use low amplitudes to get started, the water' sloshing can stay below the edge, and it will eventually "catch up" by being pressed by the trailing side of the bucket. If you give it one big push to get started, the water's inertia will tend to keep it in its original position, while the bucket moves "out from under it."

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skunkbaitkelseymh

Reply 10 years ago

OK, how bout if I put hot-tub in a well-tuned centrifuge? I'm sure I'll pass out from the G's, but hey, at least the floor stays dry, right?

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kelseymhgmoon

Reply 10 years ago

A gasketed lid (not just a weather cover) would prevent leaks/spills. The mini hot-tubs that Pimp My Ride seems to like must have such lids, or they couldn't get the cars out of their shop :-)

Google turns up several videos/photos/claims for pickup-truck beds turned into hot tubs. There's one Canadian company that turned a deuce-and-a-half (2-1/2 ton) into a mini pool by mounting heavy plexiglass sides on the truck bed, and only filling it halfway up.

I suspect something similar could be done with the back half of a school bus, with a lot of work and a lot of materials :-/

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gmoonkelseymh

Reply 10 years ago

I suppose a few baffles could also be added to the lid (or as a separate insert.) They should prevent the low freq wavelengths from building up. RE: transporting water--an engineer friend was hired to redesign a 250 gal water tank trailer. He told me in passing that switching tank shape from hex to round reduced the stress by a huge amount. 'Course if it's an oddball shape, a fiberglass tub can be made quite thick without the associated cost.

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skunkbaitgmoon

Reply 10 years ago

I like the wood-fired theme. Have you seem the trucks that run off super-heated wood fumes? (Not steam, real internal combustion!) They get like one mile per pound of wood burned. If I could manage a hot-tub/wood fueled wagon that wood be double-awesome!

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gmoonskunkbait

Reply 10 years ago

I keep a copy of Mother's Energy Efficiency Book; Heat, Light, Power, (1983, Mother Earth News) right above my computer. The "Wood Gasification; A Tree-Powered Truck" article has always fascinated me! It's like a mini-cracking tower...

Pretty detailed drawings, down to pipe / coupling sizes...typical of Mother's (If you want a copy, PM me. It's only 8 pages, I'll scan it...)

that wood be double-awesome! Ouch! ;-)

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lemonie

9 years ago

Across the States for free?
Add a biodiesel plant, wood-stove, everything else you need but nothing more.
See how far you can get without spending a penny (add a toilet of course)
(i.e. run on generosity, waste oils dumpsters, trash etc)

L

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PKMlemonie

Reply 9 years ago

See how far you can get without spending a penny (add a toilet of course)

Pun intended? I don't think many people are going to get that one... though I did recently see a film for children that referenced Apocalypse Now, and I doubt many of the children watching a film about talking hamsters driving boats are going to fully appreciate that either.

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lemoniePKM

Reply 9 years ago

Yes, glad someone picked that up. A lot of films for children are "kind" on their parents by adding in adult references - what was it? L

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roofingisland

9 years ago

The plastic corrugated style wave form sheets come in a range of thickness, lengths and sizes. You wont get good quality PVC corrugated sheets at such low prices from you superstores.

http://www.newrooflongisland.com
<a href="http://www.newrooflongisland.com">Roof Repairs</a>

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brazell

10 years ago

Kinda surprised no one came up with this one, but it's just the biker in me. Why not the ultimate "run" mobile. Mix your love for bikes with camping. Camper in the front and motorcycle trailer in the back. Drop the back in a "hinged/ramp" way. Roll your motor up into the back of the bus. Tools, gear, etc. Keep the closing door in the front and make that the entrance to the living area. Saw one similar @ Daytona Bike week. (He used his for storage and trailer, and slept in a tent) You wouldn't even have to have set separation in the 2 areas, just a half wall or stop point. As for the boat, removable trailer hitch.

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skunkbaitbrazell

Reply 10 years ago

That's a thought. I was thinking of setting up the one I already have finished, with a ramp going to the back "porch" to carry bikes. But actually a properly enclosedspace would be much nicer, especially with tool-room and a bed! Your suggestion is top o' my list so far!

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metal-matt

10 years ago

how 'bout a open top bus? ive never seen that done b4.. imageing drivine 'rpund with teh chicks in a huge bus not a lil sissy car ahahah! but.. lol wat about a rocketbattery on the back....EPIC PEW PEW peW! BOOM!

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skunkbaitmetal-matt

Reply 10 years ago

That crossed my mind. I was thinking of the old VWs. They had a flap that buttoned down, but otherwise the roof was open.

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11010010110skunkbait

Reply 10 years ago

place where to use that I - section plastic roof :) and make it sliding sections that can be opened and removed and used for other stuff as well

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AnarchistAsian

10 years ago

are you talking about the skunktrap? anyways, here are some thoughts: a giant skunktrap, of course a giant box of skunkbait, where you can house people inside of. an airplane (car) a spaceship (car) a "magic school bus" car, with wings! a giant candy bar a mobile church a SWAT style beast of a bus... idk, i can't really come up with much...

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Chicken2209AnarchistAsian

Reply 10 years ago

Tour bus! then donate it to your favorite people on your favorite site

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skunkbaitAnarchistAsian

Reply 10 years ago

No, I'm talking about "Old Yeller". "Skunktrap" is pretty much what I want her to be (although I'd like to add electronics, etc.). Ole Yeller though, is a blank slate. It's still in school-bus trim, ready to do something unusual.

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AnarchistAsianskunkbait

Reply 10 years ago

ohhhh ok w00t i entered the winning name! now to work on that bus idea....

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Yerboogieman

10 years ago

well this guy down the street used to have an old school bus he grew his marijuana in, then he got turned in.

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skunkbaitYerboogieman

Reply 10 years ago

My cousin went that route a few years ago. His electric bill was through the roof (lights and all). I'll probably go a different direction.

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bumpusskunkbait

Reply 10 years ago

He had marijuana growing in his van?

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skunkbaitbumpus

Reply 10 years ago

Well, I KNOW he had it in his attic. But, He had 2 busses. ONe was full of motorcycles. The other he didn't want to show me. I know he smokes grass, but he was probably afraid I'd give him a lecture if I caught him running a commercial operation.

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Big Bwanaskunkbait

Reply 10 years ago

Yep just turn the electric meter upside down, it fits and it also turns in a different direction <> just buggin, but the meter honestly does run backwards

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Rishnaiskunkbait

Reply 10 years ago

Your leaving-the-scene-of-an-accident cousin, by any chance?

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NachoMahma

10 years ago

. Gut the thing out and plug all possible air leaks. Double- and triple-check the integrity of the roof. . Remove all rust and shoot at least one coat of primer on all metal. . Insulate, insulate, insulate. Not only will it make it easier to heat/cool, it will muffle a lot of noise. . Standard house paneling holds up reasonably well (if it doesn't get wet) and will bend to fit the shape of the bus. Think 1970s vans. . All those windows are going to be a PITA to seal up. Might be better off welding sheet metal into some of the holes. . If it has an automatic tranny, it probably needs to be rebuilt. . Don't scrimp on the inverter if you plan on running TVs, stereos, computers, &c. Get the cleanest power you can afford and get plenty of reserve. . . I don't think I can tear myself away from the house for a whole week, but a Fri evening to Sat evening "bus raising" sounds interesting. A small group of us should be able to get all the major stuff done in that time if you can come up with a plan. . I can do a lot of things reasonably well - welding, painting, carpentry, wiring, &c - but not an expert at any of them. I have a decent set of tools for basic car maintenance/repair. With a good set of circuit diagrams (should be available on the Web), I can be a big help with the wiring and have a good selection of electrical tools. . . There should be a lot of info on the Interwebs. Try searching for stuff like "DIY camper", "school bus conversion", "homemade RV", &c.

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KentsOkayNachoMahma

Reply 10 years ago

D'oh! Hey Ma! Can I go into the backwoods of some unidentified state with a bunch of people I've never met to turn a school bus into a Skunktrap? ahh, but Mum! fine....

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skunkbaitKentsOkay

Reply 10 years ago

As an adventurous type, I'd say "Of course, Rocket-son!". But as a sane parent, "Are you kidding? Do I need to have you drug tested? The men in those nice white coats are here to help you."

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KentsOkayskunkbait

Reply 10 years ago

Cor, the High Council hates doctors... as do I for the most part... Perhaps I could claim it's a home schooler engineering camp...

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skunkbaitKentsOkay

Reply 10 years ago

That's pretty accurate. I figure only home-schoolers can get away for more than a day or two. Plus my kids need exposure to other engineering-minded folks.

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skunkbaitNachoMahma

Reply 10 years ago

Fortunately it has the old manual tranny, and an old Chev 350 engine. I'll have to do an inventory of my available pieces, and aquire a few more to make sure everythings ready. (I don't want to waste anyone's time.) I'm thinking late winter/early spring. It'll take me a while to organize, but I think a good weekend could get me at least half-way there, with the right help.

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NachoMahmaskunkbait

Reply 10 years ago

> I'm thinking late winter/early spring . I hope you have a heated garage/shed. It gets cold up there and I'm a sissy.