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Thread: 4x4 bus campers

  1. #1
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    Default 4x4 bus campers

    Hi Guys,

    I've been on skoolie . net and seen a few builds over there. They have some serious talent. I'd look at it as a larger sportsmobile.

    Has anyone here done a short bus camper build? I feel like it would be pretty sweet for a go anywhere vehicle. If the area will be too tough, you can use it to tow your fun-rig and have basecamp in the desert or mtn camp.
    Bark Bark goes Frankie the Adventure Dawg

  2. #2
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    Apr 2010
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    Casper, Wyoming
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWbySWXJ View Post
    Hi Guys,

    I've been on skoolie . net and seen a few builds over there. They have some serious talent. I'd look at it as a larger sportsmobile.

    Has anyone here done a short bus camper build? I feel like it would be pretty sweet for a go anywhere vehicle. If the area will be too tough, you can use it to tow your fun-rig and have basecamp in the desert or mtn camp.
    Before you start, check out the cost of insurance. I nearly bought one at the local school district auction until I found out what liability insurance would cost.
    that said, there's a local who has a sweet 4X4 bus (IHC, I think) that he's converted. It's a bit big for me, but it looks like it serves him well. IDK what he does for insurance (or fuel, for that matter).
    Frank

    Civilized men sleep soundly because rough men stand ready to do violence on
    their behalf.
    - George Orwell

  3. #3
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    Jun 2010
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    I have a 72 IHC Loadstar 1700 4x4 shortbus. I think the overall length is 22-23'. Its an old Air Force bus so it has a tall roof, I am 6'6" and can stand upright in it.

    I am converting it too a motorhome and a cummins 5.9. I also have some 1100x20 Michelins to put on it. I go on skoolies.net too, they have some neat ideas and rigs. My understanding is to get the title changed at DMV to a motorhome and then you can get insurance fairly cheaply. Of course I haven't done this yet so don't know for sure.

    I plan on starting in my conversion this winter because I have had it now for a couple years as a lawn ornament. I move it every so often but haven't driven much since I brought it home. I will start a thread on it when I do start. My kids love it, especially my one boy, he also likes VW bugs and buses. I think he has some hippy in him somewhere, not from me. My wife hates it and says she won't be caught dead in it. Sounds like it will be just me and the kids when its done.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2010
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    wisconsin
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    hi. i am building a 6x6 pull behind camper out of an office trailer

  5. #5
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    I love the old transit bus conversion. School buses don't hold much appeal to me. Perhaps because I've never seen one well done in person.

    If the point is to travel, as opposed to use it as an occasionally moved cabin, a old school bus would be about my last choice of vehicle.
    Last edited by dzzz; 09-02-2010 at 04:01 PM.
    Don

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wyowanderer View Post
    I nearly bought one at the local school district auction until I found out what liability insurance would cost.
    I seem to recall that has to do with the number of passengers. Take out seats so that you only have room for nine occupants including the driver. IIRC, ten occupants is the magic number that raises the liability insurance - and most likely requires a chauffer's license to drive.
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  7. #7
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    Jun 2009
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    Shortbus: How does a rig that size handle on the trail? Also, is this you?


  8. #8
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    No thats not me.

    I haven't taken it on trails yet. I got my bus up near Williams OR. I live in Fortuna CA so started driving it home. My wife drove me up to pick it up and we had all the kids. I drove it from Williams over Forest Service roads to Selma OR. Topped off the gas there and checked the oil. Figured out I wasn't going to make it home so decided to take the road over Grayback from Talkilma OR to Happy Camp CA and leave it at my sisters on 96 between Happy Camp and Orleans.

    I made it about a mile up the hill and my engine started knocking badly and it kept stalling. I got it pulled over, cooled off and it would start and run but I could tell the engine was not long for the world. I left the bus and the wife drove me back down the road to where I finally found a home owner who would let me park it on their property until I found a way to get it home. I went back and limped the bus back down the hill and parked it.

    I have a buddy in Coos Bay OR who wheels and deals used junk, I mean equipment all the time and he had the technology to tow it home for me. I think I paid him $700 for the tow which is pretty cheap for towing something that size for the distance he did. Since then it has sat in my yard, I start it up every few months and move it around but can't really drive it much due to the rod knock. The axle ratio is 7.17:1 I think and I over revved the engine on the hiway trying to make time. With the tires it had top speed was about 45, I was going 55 in some spots and it was screaming.

    I have a 5.9 cummins for it, a spicer 5 speed with over drive and I just picked up a front axle from a IH Forest Service rig with 4.78 gears. Now I am looking for a rear axle to match. My existing setup would be ok until I broke something in the front axle and then I would be down a while looking for parts. I figure I am going to update the axles for better top speed and parts availability.

    I will take some pictures tonight and post them, or attempt to post them.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by dzzz View Post
    I love the old transit bus conversion. School buses don't hold much appeal to me. Perhaps because I've never seen one well done in person.

    If the point is to travel, as opposed to use it as an occasionally moved cabin, a old school bus would be about my last choice of vehicle.
    Yeah I hear you on school bus conversions not appealing to you. I grew in Humboldt County CA and have seen and worked on some of those less than appealing conversions. If you think they look bad on the outside try working on them, especially when you have to be inside of them yuck,barf, yuck, gag, barf, puke, etc. sKoolie.net has some examples of very well done school bus conversions which I hope to emulate. The nice things about a school bus is they are fairly cheap and the the older front engine dognose ones usually have good ground clearance and parts are readily available for them at just about everywhere.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by desertrover View Post
    I have to ask, what's up with that picture? The reasonn is that it says "kyllingen" in it, at that means "the chicken" in Danish, but why???
    meus gramen est magis viridis
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