Skoolie Conversion

SERE

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PennyPincher

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Just got the bus home about an hour ago. It looks FANTASTIC. The difference in space because of the roof raise is very apparent. I have seen many pictures of his work on other buses and work by others. He is getting even better. everything is "just this much" better than the last one he did.
Here's some pics

IMG_20200718_164946_978.jpgIMG_20200718_164946_986.jpgIMG_20200718_164946_975.jpgIMG_20200718_164946_979.jpg
 

Uzi2

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How about a close up of the seams?

What was used to gasket them and seal them?
 

Canndo

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Best of luck with the RV.

Stop in the sheriffs office if you don't have already have a permit. Might be worth a call due to the WuFlu. In the right county it was taking approximately 15 minutes.

I can do close ups later this week since "home" for the bus is 30 minutes from us. He used Sikaflex 252 between the sheetmetal.
Great elasticity. I've used a lot over the years.
 

01906

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Just got the bus home about an hour ago. It looks FANTASTIC. The difference in space because of the roof raise is very apparent. I have seen many pictures of his work on other buses and work by others. He is getting even better. everything is "just this much" better than the last one he did.
Here's some pics

View attachment 373905View attachment 373906View attachment 373907View attachment 373908
Looks great! Looking forward to more pictures as this progresses.
 

PennyPincher

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Oh wow! It's been a really long time since I updated this thread. I might make a couple of posts so you don't get "flooded" with pics and a wall of text.

A little "background" as to our thought process. We want to be able to control the temp in the bus pretty well. That means insulation. Highest R value per inch we could find is closed cell spray foam at about 6.5-7 per inch. The ribs of the bus, walls and ceiling, are 1.5" deep. R9 is not going to fly. So we did what many others have done and put furring strips on them. Knowing how we want to run the walls and ceiling (1x4 pine boards) vertically, this means the furring strips should run the same way as the ribs currently run. So the first pic here will be of the walls. We used 2x2s so we end up with a depth of 3" for an R20 in the walls (mostly). But there were some obstacles along the way. For instance, the ribs are steel, we needed to figure out which screws to use (drywall, fine thread, meant for hanging drywall to metal studs) and whether or not we would make a "thermal break" between the rib and the wood (we did). So then we needed to find drill bits. And then 2x2s. The day we shopped HD was OUT of 2x2s and we were lucky to find them at Lowes. Also, sheetrock screws are hit and miss around here. For this application we used 2" screws I believe. So, cut the foam strip, hold it and 2x2 in place, #theotherhalf drills a pilot hole and then drives the screw in. Important to not let the wood to shift as the pilot hole won't line up then.
 

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PennyPincher

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Ok, a couple of pics of the ribs done. We used 1x2 MDF (which is actually 3/4" thick) and did 2 layers. Again, had to drill pilot holes through the MDF through the ribs, pink foam between MDF and rib. We did this in sections. The middle of the ceiling ribs has a slight curve, thus the MDF - it's flexible, so we did a section of the ribs while ignoring the most curved part. Then my husband made a jig to make kerf cuts in MDF for the "side" pieces of the ceiling ribs. It worked really well. But everything takes so much longer than anticipated. But I think this next pic will show all the ceiling ribs done.

ETA: you can follow us on Instagram @BetterWayLiving (cause that's what we are pursuing)
 

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Oh wow! It's been a really long time since I updated this thread. I might make a couple of posts so you don't get "flooded" with pics and a wall of text.

A little "background" as to our thought process. We want to be able to control the temp in the bus pretty well. That means insulation. Highest R value per inch we could find is closed cell spray foam at about 6.5-7 per inch. The ribs of the bus, walls and ceiling, are 1.5" deep. R9 is not going to fly. So we did what many others have done and put furring strips on them. Knowing how we want to run the walls and ceiling (1x4 pine boards) vertically, this means the furring strips should run the same way as the ribs currently run. So the first pic here will be of the walls. We used 2x2s so we end up with a depth of 3" for an R20 in the walls (mostly). But there were some obstacles along the way. For instance, the ribs are steel, we needed to figure out which screws to use (drywall, fine thread, meant for hanging drywall to metal studs) and whether or not we would make a "thermal break" between the rib and the wood (we did). So then we needed to find drill bits. And then 2x2s. The day we shopped HD was OUT of 2x2s and we were lucky to find them at Lowes. Also, sheetrock screws are hit and miss around here. For this application we used 2" screws I believe. So, cut the foam strip, hold it and 2x2 in place, #theotherhalf drills a pilot hole and then drives the screw in. Important to not let the wood to shift as the pilot hole won't line up then.
I do some cabinet work for a tiny home company. They use closed cell foam in 2x4 studs, 2x6 joists. Works really well in the small spaces. Good choice for sure.
 
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Ok, a couple of pics of the ribs done. We used 1x2 MDF (which is actually 3/4" thick) and did 2 layers. Again, had to drill pilot holes through the MDF through the ribs, pink foam between MDF and rib. We did this in sections. The middle of the ceiling ribs has a slight curve, thus the MDF - it's flexible, so we did a section of the ribs while ignoring the most curved part. Then my husband made a jig to make kerf cuts in MDF for the "side" pieces of the ceiling ribs. It worked really well. But everything takes so much longer than anticipated. But I think this next pic will show all the ceiling ribs done.

ETA: you can follow us on Instagram @BetterWayLiving (cause that's what we are pursuing)
Is there a reason people leave the lenses and hoods in place?
 

PennyPincher

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Is there a reason people leave the lenses and hoods in place?
are you referring to the lenses on lights you aren't "allowed" to use like the flashers for when students are loading/unloading? and the attached "hoods" on them? Many people remove them completely. Seems like some people want to make it look as little as possible like a bus when they are done. We are leaving the lenses and the hoods in place. We have removed the lights themselves and the wiring. We will seal them up from the inside "some how" and seal them from the outside against water infiltration. I actually need a 4th hood as our bus was missing one. I guess it's all personal preference. We want to maintain some of the "school bus look" so that drives many of our decisions.
 

AHM

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Highest R value per inch we could find is closed cell spray foam at about 6.5-7 per inch.
Ignorant question: Does that stuff burn like a styrofoam coffee cup,
or is it treated to be rather fire resistant?


While it seems as if you've got two side doors,
and maybe the back door,
are you retaining any roof hatches?

If I had a roof hatch that was my Plan D in case of fire
(not (just) an overturning accident),
I'd consider storing some kind of rope ladder
in the depression. And considering how much it hurts
to climb narrow treads (e.g., dowels) in stocking feet(*),
I'd think about how to store the ladder so that 2"+
ladder treads (with the rope threaded through them)
stacked into the depression formed a false ceiling.

I might even see if there's a way to hide some screw eyes
at floor level (underneath cabinet overhangs?),
and put dog leash clips on the end of the ladder ropes,
so that the ladder could be stretch-deployed without swaying.
That would make it useful for getting onto the roof
for normal maintenance, etc.

Luckily these ideas are low-priority upgrades.
And you (or vehicle codes) may be way ahead of me.
I'm jus' sayin'.

(*) The worst aspect of my childhoord RV's upper bunk.
 

PennyPincher

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Ignorant question: Does that stuff burn like a styrofoam coffee cup,
or is it treated to be rather fire resistant?


While it seems as if you've got two side doors,
and maybe the back door,
are you retaining any roof hatches?

If I had a roof hatch that was my Plan D in case of fire
(not (just) an overturning accident),
I'd consider storing some kind of rope ladder
in the depression. And considering how much it hurts
to climb narrow treads (e.g., dowels) in stocking feet(*),
I'd think about how to store the ladder so that 2"+
ladder treads (with the rope threaded through them)
stacked into the depression formed a false ceiling.

I might even see if there's a way to hide some screw eyes
at floor level (underneath cabinet overhangs?),
and put dog leash clips on the end of the ladder ropes,
so that the ladder could be stretch-deployed without swaying.
That would make it useful for getting onto the roof
for normal maintenance, etc.

Luckily these ideas are low-priority upgrades.
And you (or vehicle codes) may be way ahead of me.
I'm jus' sayin'.

(*) The worst aspect of my childhoord RV's upper bunk.
We are planning on using the Foam It Green kits. I would assume all spray foam is somewhat flammable given the right conditions but perhaps less flammable than some other insulating methods. I'm not too worried about that because if fire has gotten to the foam we are already in trouble.

We do have one emergency door but that will actually be "foamed in" and behind the shower wall. We kept it to keep some of the look. We do have 2 emergency windows for each side of the bus which we will place in a suitable location. I am guessing when all is said and done the rear emergency window will NOT be functional enough to get either of us out, although, if we needed to I am sure we could move the mattress far enough to get out the window. Not really sure how the "head board" might interfere with the window yet.

As for the emergency hatches we are going to put in Maxx Fans but I did see someone who kept the hatches functional as an egress that way. I do appreciate the idea of a rope ladder of some sort if we could store it up there but out of the way of the fans.
 
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Spanz

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AHM

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As for the emergency hatches we are going to put in Maxx Fans but I did see someone who kept the hatches functional as an egress that way. I do appreciate the idea of a rope ladder of some sort if we could store it up there but out of the way of the fans.
Thanks for your consideration.
I'd done a desultory search of hatches in conversions before posting,
and I bet that I've seen some of the same fan photos you have.

I regret the ladder rungs would totally block the fan airflow.

Perhaps store it in a cloth pouch bolted up to the ceiling, right next to the hatch.
Inspired somewhat by how the inflatable slide is stored on some passenger jet doors.
I'm not saying that you want (or need) the ladder to dump if you swing the hatch.
I'm just saying that's what makes me think of a ceiling pouch for a ladder.
 

PennyPincher

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Don't really have much in the way of pictures. Progress has been slow but we are making headway. The last couple of weeks we (mostly the husband) have been working out how to create supports for grey tanks and fabricating them. Also, since we opted NOT to have the levelers/stabilizing jacks installed by the factory in MI, we get to do all that ourselves. Let's just say we could have saved a shit ton of time and probably broke even on what it's costing us to do it ourselves if you add up the materials and the trips to the metal distributor, etc. We were not on location when we had the brackets for the jacks welded on and so we didn't see what other issues were going to come up with where they are located. But once they were welded into place, we figured we just had to go with the flow. So the last few weeks my husband has been learning/refining a bunch of skills. We decided since the hydraulic units were going to be directly behind a wheel(s) in 3 of the 4 locations we had better "beef up" the protection they had. This means we (he) fabricated boxes out of angle iron and sheet metal and had to figure out how to hang them from the flooring/framing. This also involved buying equipment for riveting the sheet metal (gun, compressor, rivets, etc) and learning how to do all that. And did I mention the jacks are freaking heavy? Not necessarily heavy if you just need to move them from place to place but at somewhere around 60lbs each when trying to maneuver them while laying on the ground under a bus with little space to work, they get pretty damn annoying. But yesterday we managed to get 3 of the jacks actually mounted. He will replace the boxes for each hydraulic unit today and secure them in place "permanently." I won't be helping today so the 4th jack has to wait for another day.

Oh, and our son leaves 2 weeks from today to ship out for Basic Training.
 

NHKevin

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are you referring to the lenses on lights you aren't "allowed" to use like the flashers for when students are loading/unloading? and the attached "hoods" on them? Many people remove them completely. Seems like some people want to make it look as little as possible like a bus when they are done. We are leaving the lenses and the hoods in place. We have removed the lights themselves and the wiring. We will seal them up from the inside "some how" and seal them from the outside against water infiltration. I actually need a 4th hood as our bus was missing one. I guess it's all personal preference. We want to maintain some of the "school bus look" so that drives many of our decisions.
Why not some bright flood or spot lights?
 

namedpipes

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Don't really have much in the way of pictures. Progress has been slow but we are making headway. The last couple of weeks we (mostly the husband) have been working out how to create supports for grey tanks and fabricating them. Also, since we opted NOT to have the levelers/stabilizing jacks installed by the factory in MI, we get to do all that ourselves. Let's just say we could have saved a shit ton of time and probably broke even on what it's costing us to do it ourselves if you add up the materials and the trips to the metal distributor, etc. We were not on location when we had the brackets for the jacks welded on and so we didn't see what other issues were going to come up with where they are located. But once they were welded into place, we figured we just had to go with the flow. So the last few weeks my husband has been learning/refining a bunch of skills. We decided since the hydraulic units were going to be directly behind a wheel(s) in 3 of the 4 locations we had better "beef up" the protection they had. This means we (he) fabricated boxes out of angle iron and sheet metal and had to figure out how to hang them from the flooring/framing. This also involved buying equipment for riveting the sheet metal (gun, compressor, rivets, etc) and learning how to do all that. And did I mention the jacks are freaking heavy? Not necessarily heavy if you just need to move them from place to place but at somewhere around 60lbs each when trying to maneuver them while laying on the ground under a bus with little space to work, they get pretty damn annoying. But yesterday we managed to get 3 of the jacks actually mounted. He will replace the boxes for each hydraulic unit today and secure them in place "permanently." I won't be helping today so the 4th jack has to wait for another day.

Oh, and our son leaves 2 weeks from today to ship out for Basic Training.
What branch? (need to know whether to insult him or not [laugh])

You should have the bus squared away just in time to drive it to graduation!
 

TrashcanDan

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are you referring to the lenses on lights you aren't "allowed" to use like the flashers for when students are loading/unloading? and the attached "hoods" on them? Many people remove them completely. Seems like some people want to make it look as little as possible like a bus when they are done. We are leaving the lenses and the hoods in place. We have removed the lights themselves and the wiring. We will seal them up from the inside "some how" and seal them from the outside against water infiltration. I actually need a 4th hood as our bus was missing one. I guess it's all personal preference. We want to maintain some of the "school bus look" so that drives many of our decisions.
Some states (like this armpit of a state) requires the removal of "any and all traffic control devices" (CMR 540) like the amber/red flashers and stop arms.
Like anything else governed by the d.o.t/ n.t.s.b. you very well end up ticketed if you go through the wrong state.
Easier just to pull them off and plate over it than have to deal with all the traffic rules.
 

namedpipes

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Some states (like this armpit of a state) requires the removal of "any and all traffic control devices" (CMR 540) like the amber/red flashers and stop arms.
Like anything else governed by the d.o.t/ n.t.s.b. you very well end up ticketed if you go through the wrong state.
Easier just to pull them off and plate over it than have to deal with all the traffic rules.
I'd replace that stop sign with a middle finger extended sign, to flip at people that try to pass unsafely
 

Broccoli Iglesias

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Don't really have much in the way of pictures. Progress has been slow but we are making headway. The last couple of weeks we (mostly the husband) have been working out how to create supports for grey tanks and fabricating them. Also, since we opted NOT to have the levelers/stabilizing jacks installed by the factory in MI, we get to do all that ourselves. Let's just say we could have saved a shit ton of time and probably broke even on what it's costing us to do it ourselves if you add up the materials and the trips to the metal distributor, etc. We were not on location when we had the brackets for the jacks welded on and so we didn't see what other issues were going to come up with where they are located. But once they were welded into place, we figured we just had to go with the flow. So the last few weeks my husband has been learning/refining a bunch of skills. We decided since the hydraulic units were going to be directly behind a wheel(s) in 3 of the 4 locations we had better "beef up" the protection they had. This means we (he) fabricated boxes out of angle iron and sheet metal and had to figure out how to hang them from the flooring/framing. This also involved buying equipment for riveting the sheet metal (gun, compressor, rivets, etc) and learning how to do all that. And did I mention the jacks are freaking heavy? Not necessarily heavy if you just need to move them from place to place but at somewhere around 60lbs each when trying to maneuver them while laying on the ground under a bus with little space to work, they get pretty damn annoying. But yesterday we managed to get 3 of the jacks actually mounted. He will replace the boxes for each hydraulic unit today and secure them in place "permanently." I won't be helping today so the 4th jack has to wait for another day.

Oh, and our son leaves 2 weeks from today to ship out for Basic Training.
The guy cutting your bus was in MI and he was going to install the hydraulics? ... or was the bus cut in one State and driven to MI?

Sorry. Maybe I missed a post. I am trying to put together in my head where everything is Getting done.
 
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