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Mullet's Bus Conversion Project; Retirement Plans
Topic Started: Nov 25 2017, 08:59 PM (9,137 Views)
Johnny Mullet
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Fear the Mullet

In a previous thread I discussed my retirement plans on touring the country in an RV, but I wanted something that would last and was better built than a typical unreliable and expensive motor home or camper. That is when I decided I was going to build a Skoolie which is a school bus converted to a motor home. After weeks of research and watching countless hours of video build, I decided to go this route. You all know me. Once I get something in my head and I know it feels right, I make it happen.

I searched for the perfect bus for some time, but everything I looked at in my price range had major mechanical issues or were very, very rusty. I finally thought I found the one I really wanted, but it was also rusted bad with bald tires, but the church selling it told me they had 2 for sale and the other bus was much better! I waited and searched long enough. I brought it home.............

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It's a mid-sized Thomas built International 3800 with the T444E 7.3L diesel and Allison automatic. It has 174000 miles on it and has new parts including entire exhaust, front shocks, alternator, battery, and rear brakes. The brake system is all hydraulic and there is no air compressor or air systems on the bus. The rear tires are new recaps (will be ok for now) and newer steer tires. This bus also has good gearing and is governed out at 64 MPH. It averages 10 MPG which is not bad at all...............

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My plans for this bus is to make it 100% off-grid, but with shore power for luxury items only. I might also invest in a generator. The only thing shore power or the generator will be doing is running the A/C and charging the batteries in case the sun fails my solar system for an extended period. All other electrical items will be 12V or low draw items running off of a 2000 watt pure sine power inverter like the fridge (unless I go with an RV fridge) and charging the laptop. A 200 watt Renogy solar kit will be the primary source for charging 2 or 3 deep cycle 12V batteries. Every other item will be 12V like all the LED lighting, water pump, roof vent fan, room fans, TV, and maybe a couple appliances.

The bus will have an RV or maybe a full sized stove/oven for cooking food running off propane. We do not use a microwave. I have not yet decided if I will be heating with propane or a small wood stove yet. There are many things running through my head and all kinds of ideas, so I have a plan and I just gotta make it happen............

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szJGJSSZfR0

Before any of this happens, I need to remove all the seats, remove the floor, and repair any rust or holes found on the main steel floor and then rustproof it. All the side and inner roof panels need to come out and all the old insulation will have to go. I then need to stand in the gutted bus during a rain storm to pinpoint and repair any water leaks found. After that I can insulate and lay the new floor, insulate the walls and ceiling, and then start framing and building. Tomorrow I get started.........

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Car Nut
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Looking forward to the updates. :thumb Your pictures no workie for me.
Edited by Car Nut, Nov 25 2017, 09:08 PM.
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Johnny Mullet
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Fear the Mullet

I had to edit to link pics. Many more pics coming and lots of work to do on this project.
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Car Nut
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Ahh... That's better. Working now. It looks to be in pretty nice shape.
Edited by Car Nut, Nov 25 2017, 09:14 PM.
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Crvett69


I did a conversion on a flat nose park crew bus. No rust and it was already white. I built a bed across the back of it with storage below. Turned one of the bench seats around and put a table between the 2 seats. for the stove and fridge and
Water heater and sink I found a truck slide in camper that the roof had leaked and wood was rotten, got it for free and stripped the parts out for the bus. Ended up taking it to Yellowstone from nw WA. Somewhere along the way a piece of road debris put a small crack in the pan. Managed to catch it and patch it before it ran out of oil. Spent about a month on the road with it then drove it home. Had a 1000 watt Honda generator to power stuff and to charge batteries. Ended up selling it to a couple for a profit and they actually lived in it for 2 years
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Kik
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This is gonna be great... :popcorn
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94RHDRollerskate
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Forum Stud Muffin

:popcorn
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Stubby79
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I would consider propane to be cleaner/safer than a wood stove, plus it could have additional uses...cooking, a propane fridge, and the like.

Check that the floor isn't rotting...old ones used to have wood floors!

I'd look in to spray foam insulation, and maybe do something about the windows too.

I wonder if you could lower the floor past the rear axle, if you needed the space for a shower or something. Or just for steps leading up. If not...well, plenty of room to hide a G10 based generator underneath. ^o)

Now aeromod the pizz out of it, and you might see 11MPG! :P
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ZXTjato
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bass heads

It seems that these conversions are getting better and better as technology improves. Insulation gets better parts that are lighter become more easily available, led technology is a major bonus to sipping power and the tools to do some of these projects becomes more available at reasonable cost. Congratulations on your investment, i can't wait to see what you cook up for you and your wife.
Edited by ZXTjato, Nov 26 2017, 11:54 AM.
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PTA2PTB
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I'm totally awesome! I swear.

I believe, if I owned something like that, I'd drive it around during rush hour, stopping periodically along the way, in the middle of the road and with that little stop sign extended and lights a flashing, just to fuk with the other drivers and make them have to stop.
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MPG


Awesome Intro :thumb
Your Metro is dwarfed by the Bus Lol
Exciting project
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Turbo Dan-O
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Obsessive Car Detailer

Gosh, I'm excited about this project! :banana :popcorn
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Johnny Mullet
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Fear the Mullet

Had my friend Ashley and Adam come over and in 3 hours we got the seats out and the floor ripped up. I cannot believe how nice this floor is :rocker

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pa01Lmer-Kg

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Turbo Dan-O
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Obsessive Car Detailer

Awesome! Was that angels singing in the background?

Man, it looks HUGE in there with the seats gone. So much room for activities! :rocker



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brsja
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Turbo Dan-O
Nov 26 2017, 02:15 PM
Gosh, I'm excited about this project! :banana :popcorn
:gp
:popcorn :popcorn :popcorn
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