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Converting a MCI bus into an RV...

zhandfull

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Just watched the YouTube videos tonight, interesting project you have going. The wife is doing a nice job on the videos too. 👍
 

LHC Kirby

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while I could cut at the top, I’d reeeeally not want to. There’s a bend and that gives it all its strength as well as mounting holes. I suppose I could 5200 some wood at the top and mount via that....the whole point of just doing a fiberglass pan and walls would be to not have to deal with possible water leaks.
I like the idea of cutting the top, no water leaks up there. seems like an easy fix.
 

ka0tyk

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I guess we will look into chopping it to fit at the top and then trimming the shiplap to fit inside of it to trim.
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OldSchoolBoats

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Just watched all the videos. Super cool project!!

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traquer

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Yesterday’s video.


I’m following a couple and they did similar on their 04 j4500. If I had a shop with access to a bunch of stainless to match then yeah... but this is what I got. I thought about where the majority of traffic will be and tried to ensure that the loads in that area were directly placed on something nice and sturdy. I just gotta clean everything up, glue it down, bolt it to the existing frame and slap the plywood down with more adhesive and screws. I ordered two 100 gallon baffles tanks for fresh and grey. Then a 50 gal black tank. Also some water filters, pump.

The big problem I’m having is the shower didn’t fit. I looked at the specs from delta and the walls measured 72 high but I didn’t realize the pan is another 5 or so putting it at just shy of 77” high. At the corner of the bus we have about 72. So I need to find an enclosure that’s only 72” high. I cant seem to find a decent enclosure that’s 36 or so in width, 34” deep max, and less than 72” high. Grr.

I'm sure the Japanese/chinese have something, maybe on Aliexpres? When I was in Tokyo everything was miniature sized including the height.

Edit: just realized you already purchased, I'm sure you can make it work. Must get some funny looks when you go shopping in a bus lol. Love it.
 

Ol Man

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That is going to be so cool when you are finished. Enjoy your project.
 

Royally PO'd

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i DON'T MEAN TO BE DEMEANING WITH THIS COMMENT, BUT in my opinion if you are using casual looking materials, you will never be in comp. with the big dogs for resale.. wood ceiling look is pure "skoolie". You need more granite, quartz and marble type look ...I mean talking in the $35,000.00 range. I would only do it because I wanted it and used it for 40 years...
 

LargeOrangeFont

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i DON'T MEAN TO BE DEMEANING WITH THIS COMMENT, BUT in my opinion if you are using casual looking materials, you will never be in comp. with the big dogs for resale.. wood ceiling look is pure "skoolie". You need more granite, quartz and marble type look ...I mean talking in the $35,000.00 range. I would only do it because I wanted it and used it for 40 years...
I would say he’s doing this for bang for the buck, not for resale value.
He’s likely going to get what he put into it back out of it considering he is doing a lot of the labor.
 

ka0tyk

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i DON'T MEAN TO BE DEMEANING WITH THIS COMMENT, BUT in my opinion if you are using casual looking materials, you will never be in comp. with the big dogs for resale.. wood ceiling look is pure "skoolie". You need more granite, quartz and marble type look ...I mean talking in the $35,000.00 range. I would only do it because I wanted it and used it for 40 years...
I don’t want it to look like a 1970 porno mobile with cheesy leds and mirrors on the ceilings. I want it to feel more homely. Thus I’m using materials to get that effect. I’m not really in it for much.
 

Royally PO'd

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I agree , I did one for Baja, and boondocking compatible and sold the second one because I came out of my drug induced euphoria, and realized I'm not a baller... It really does cost 1,000.00 's more to go first cabin and even with free labor, it was too costly, and I had too many little projects 90 +/- finished...Drugs do funny things to the brain... Lol
 

Royally PO'd

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I probably shouldn't have said anything, and I wasn't trying to be a smartass, just imparting experience. I can't imagine or would want one one the uptown conversions. I would have to live in one of the bays !!! I have a Bayl, I mean Bounder that is almost too nice for me...Go for it kaOtyk
 

nordictom

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can someone post the link to the you tube video's?

Thanks, NT
 

ka0tyk

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Also some interesting stuff... when removing the ventilation ducts on the sides of the bus it revealed these three holes in the floor. I originally thought they were ducts but after removing a section of the floor for new plywood I found they’re actually subwoofers built into the floor. There’s 4 of them throughout the bus and they have some cerwin Vega 10” sub in there. I’ll be removing em in the rear but it would be nice to keep for the front area when I eventually put in a tv and such.
E60C166A-421C-4C4E-A965-6427CC48A719.jpeg
 

RiverDave

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Also some interesting stuff... when removing the ventilation ducts on the sides of the bus it revealed these three holes in the floor. I originally thought they were ducts but after removing a section of the floor for new plywood I found they’re actually subwoofers built into the floor. There’s 4 of them throughout the bus and they have some cerwin Vega 10” sub in there. I’ll be removing em in the rear but it would be nice to keep for the front area when I eventually put in a tv and such.
View attachment 957645
why would a bus have subs?
 

ka0tyk

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Another Home Depot run for ceiling materials. All grey shiplap.

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ka0tyk

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why would a bus have subs?
it originally came with a full audio/video system. there were 8 TV's, each overhead compartment had 2x 6" cerwin vega speakers, and a 2" speaker in the center aisle. then theres 4 subwoofers built into the floor. there was a giant 24v amplifier, DVD player, wireless mic, etc.
 

OldSchoolBoats

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Besides the subs, did you actually find a wad of cash in the floor??

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ka0tyk

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Some big radiators.
77D801D8-CBA4-46D8-91D6-5B7079102A57.jpeg

Detroit 12.7 series 60. Big ol borg Warner turbski.
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Carrier ac under. Also another carrier up front for driver battery and electronic area
ECF3A92D-9537-4F24-956E-5C8EAE47024F.jpeg

Then the storage underneath is massive

88CF8B4A-5F57-4C74-83EB-F9DC48B08A96.jpeg

Lastly I can’t figure out how to open this hatch. The hinges are up top but I can’t find a latch anywhere.
68F90663-F097-4751-93C3-A48B7E470D69.jpeg
 

fmo24

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Have you stuck your head under to look for a latch? Or maybe a release back in engine bay??
 

Kbach

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A lot of times they'll have a sheet metal tab or bracket screwed on to the bottom of the door that goes to the framework. Mine has a few compartments like that (where the fuel tank is). I put latches on them to make them usable doors and now I can use the space around the fuel tank as storage for stuff I don't need to access very often.
 

monkeyswrench

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Some big radiators.
View attachment 957805
Detroit 12.7 series 60. Big ol borg Warner turbski.
View attachment 957806

Carrier ac under. Also another carrier up front for driver battery and electronic area
View attachment 957807
Then the storage underneath is massive

View attachment 957808
Lastly I can’t figure out how to open this hatch. The hinges are up top but I can’t find a latch anywhere.
View attachment 957809
In the third pic, is the yellow handle a disconnect for a PTO driven AC generator setup? That could be interesting. The last pic, I'm with fmo24, I thought I'd seen release levers underneath, but it was also on a coach not a bus. May require tools at the bottom to keep drivers away from stuff?
 

ka0tyk

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In the third pic, is the yellow handle a disconnect for a PTO driven AC generator setup? That could be interesting. The last pic, I'm with fmo24, I thought I'd seen release levers underneath, but it was also on a coach not a bus. May require tools at the bottom to keep drivers away from stuff?
third pic the yellow handle is a battery disconnect. It kills the whole coach. There’s a built in battery tender/charger. The bus is technically “on” all the time with the handle pulled outwards. It’ll eventually suck the batteries down. The motor has two 240 amp alternators that are water and oil cooled. I don’t think I need all those amps and some people convert to a lower standalone air cooled setup so that alternators don’t cause problems with the engine oil or water.
 

ka0tyk

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I also need to delete the “s pipe” off the air filter as it sucks fumes from the bathroom. Without the toilet there the engine intake is pretty loud inside.
 

merc_400r

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your lucky you can work on your bus at home. My coach is stored 20 min away so that limits me to work on it on weekends if I have to. To do the amount of work you have done in the last 2 weeks would have taken me like 3-4 months going every weekend. A lot because I will forget tools have usually have to run home atleast once to get something.
 

monkeyswrench

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go grab it and we can convert together. You wouldn’t be that far behind.
I like the buses, but my stuff always seems to require trailers. Sooo, haven't been looking real hard, but maybe kinda sorta looking for a tractor to single out and build a toter. So, building out an interior will be on the list...and I can learn from you!
 

monkeyswrench

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Legalities...both highway patrol and divorce lawyers :oops:
I have an older 38ft gooseneck stacker, a 38ft goosneck race hauler....and a 48ft open two car(really my favorite). Hell, right now I don't have a running truck to tow any of them:confused:

I'd really like to have something with living quarters. When I go on long runs to get cars and such, I'm getting to the point that sleeping in a truck or the Excursion isn't much fun. A lot of my friends tell me to just get a room. I don't like having someone else's stuff parked out of sight, my stuff as well, and really it seems a waste as I'm only going to bed down for a few hours anyway.

A coach like that would be great if I was retired and me and the wife were cruising. For now though, it would probably be more for "work", and occasional fun trips.
 

ka0tyk

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Little victories.

filled in the toilet hole with a frame and plywood. Gotta grab some spray foam tonight and I’ll make it permanent. Removed the toilet and sink air valves as well as plumbing. That vise grip on the hose is an air line that I’ll need to figure out how to cap off. It feeds from the main air tank, you’d think a sink air line would be separate from the brake system. Guess not.
AAB0C83E-5DAA-4532-BC39-1EF4994F6079.jpeg

removed the intake from the toilet. Turns out there was a fan but it was all filled up with paper towels. Nice.
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Then spent the rest of the day with the angle grinder. I removed all the rivets that we drilled to remove all the interior. Probably a hundred of them. Also removed this trim panel from the window sills that we don’t need anymore.
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Also removed another section of base aluminum trim. 20 bolts and 4 blades.
 

RogerThat99

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Legalities...both highway patrol and divorce lawyers :oops:
I have an older 38ft gooseneck stacker, a 38ft goosneck race hauler....and a 48ft open two car(really my favorite). Hell, right now I don't have a running truck to tow any of them:confused:

I'd really like to have something with living quarters. When I go on long runs to get cars and such, I'm getting to the point that sleeping in a truck or the Excursion isn't much fun. A lot of my friends tell me to just get a room. I don't like having someone else's stuff parked out of sight, my stuff as well, and really it seems a waste as I'm only going to bed down for a few hours anyway.

A coach like that would be great if I was retired and me and the wife were cruising. For now though, it would probably be more for "work", and occasional fun trips.
The guy I crew for (circle boats), has a 48' gooseneck race trailer with living quarters in the front.

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ka0tyk

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Today was more grinding and cleaning up. Spray foamed in the toilet area cover and plywood was glued down.

it’s crazy how quickly the space gets consumed with beds and bathroom.

the big question is... if we put the main bedroom mattress in the center or do we turn it sideways and put it in the corner? If sideways we gain 20” of room forward. But the person on the inside would have to crawl out of the bed. 20” is a lot of space though...
18296649-F0A2-4239-99BC-488651200956.jpeg
 
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ka0tyk

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my scale drawing in sketchup. we have 39' forward the intake "box" at the rear of the coach. theres a queen, then a wall with pocket door. then 4x bunks with a "narrow twin XL" mattress. another wall with pocket door. then a 34x48" shower with a 12" closet for towel storage, vanity and toilet on other side. door. then kitchen. depending on our cabinet choices it should leave us with roughly 12'x8' forward for living area. plus maybe 20" if we turn the queen bed sideways.
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fmo24

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You do NOT want a corner bed. They are a bitch to make and the inside person always has to crawl over/around the other person.
Ya definitely need to be able to walk around the bed.
 
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