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Old 01-11-2016, 01:21 PM   #151
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Hey you do have a Betty Bus! My daughter and I think Burner Betty or Betty the Burner might be a good new name for ours to avoid confusion
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:35 PM   #152
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I don't grind the backstrap. We usually batter and deep fry it like little medallions of chicken fried steak
That's how we do it!
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Old 01-11-2016, 01:36 PM   #153
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Hey you do have a Betty Bus! My daughter and I think Burner Betty or Betty the Burner might be a good new name for ours to avoid confusion
As do I!
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Old 01-11-2016, 04:17 PM   #154
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Mmmmmm...what time is dinner?
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Old 02-15-2016, 01:48 PM   #155
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Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Tomball, TX
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Year: 1988
Coachwork: Blue Bird
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It has been about a month since my last update and not much has happened in that time. The bus was sitting at my mechanic's shop for a lot of that time. My mechanic has a mechanic that works for him, and he got sick and needed surgery; so that set us back a few weeks. Fortunately he's okay now.

They were able to fix my brakes (although they had a little trouble locating the parts). They fixed a leak I had in my heater hose. My temperature gauge problems were caused by a loose connection, so they fixed that. They also changed the oil and put in synthetic transmission fluid. I asked them to weld my exhaust pipe back on the muffler. They said there wasn't much to weld on to. I figured they could rig up a solution better than I could, so I asked them to figure out a way to make it where it doesn't smell like diesel exhaust when I'm stopped in the bus. Their solution worked, but it's a little loud. They cut my muffler off! Now it doesn't smell like diesel exhaust, but it's a bit louder. Not obnoxiously loud though. It was difficult to carry a conversation in the bus before, so it hasn't made it much worse. I also got somewhat improved fuel economy on the ride back, although I'm not sure how much of that was muffler and how much of that was the fact that I was driving downhill (about -1,000' elevation change in 300 miles). I'm happy with the fixes and am confident that my bus is mechanically sound.

On the trip back I didn't have many difficulties. The transmission would get a little warm accelerating from a stop going uphill on the hills around Austin. I was able to mostly keep it under 200, but occasionally it'd go up to 220ish on a big hill. 170ish is where it likes to live at top speed on flat ground. Also, I had a little shake in the steering wheel between 60-65mph. It'd usually go away if I got up to 70 or down to 55. That was annoying, but I was still in control. I kinda preferred cruising at 55 to cruising at 70. How does one go about balancing an 11Rx22.5 tire on dayton hubs?

So, I've got the bus back home for now. It looks like I've got just shy of 3 months to finish out the bus and make it pretty. (Un)fortunately, I got cut back to part time at work (oilfield). So now I've got 4-5 day weekends just about every weekend to finish up the bus. Tentatively, we'd like the bus done or nearly done by the first weekend in May so we can have a bus warming party. Either the second or third weekend in May we'll take the bus out on a weekend trip somewhere less than two hours from Houston (probably lake somerville). Then memorial day weekend is our first big trip to Oklahoma for my wife's family reunion. That will also mark one year of bus ownership.

I've got a list of stuff to do and have already checked one of those things off the list. My sister helped me seal my windows this weekend. Most of my list is similar to the list I posted a month ago, so I won't bore yall with it.
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Old 03-17-2016, 08:09 AM   #156
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I'm running a little behind schedule, but we'll probably make it for memorial day. Last weekend I tested a little paint. We also got some curtain stuff ordered and our flooring ordered. We decided to go with a wood colored rubber anti-fatigue mat for the short term. I figured it'd be easy to install, look relatively okay, and cut down on road noise.

I bought some paint to test out a patch on the bus last weekend. I figured it'd be quicker and cheaper to go this route. First, I cleaned the area with some acetone. Then I roughed it up with the sander. Then I cleaned it again with acetone and taped it off with some masking tape. I applied two coats, then repeated with the trim paint. The paint looks relatively good. Provided it doesn't flake too bad I think it'll fade in a good way. We're planning on redoing the paint in a couple of years anyway. I might do a bit of bondo work when I'm patching some rust holes to help smooth out the finish. Pits and chips are obvious up close, but it looks pretty good from a distance.

I also found out that I could grind off my stickers with a wire wheel. This feels much more preferable to me than the heat gun and scraper idea. I couldn't feel my hands for weeks when I did that with the glue inside my bus.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg cleaned.jpg (91.2 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg sanded.jpg (66.3 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg spraycan.JPG (153.5 KB, 9 views)
File Type: jpg paint.JPG (174.9 KB, 12 views)
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Old 03-17-2016, 10:08 AM   #157
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I love that color! Its what I'm using as well.
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Old 04-11-2016, 08:00 AM   #158
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Join Date: Apr 2015
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Another month without a post, but that doesn't mean I haven't made progress. About 5 more weeks until our maiden voyage. There's still a lot to do. Registration and tanks are quickly moving to the top of my list as time runs out. Both are a necessity for where I'm going.

I started on body prep work. There are some good pics/vids of that on the bus' instagram page (@bettythebus). I painted on some ospho after hitting what I could with a wire wheel. I also took the stickers off with the wire wheel. Then scrubbed the adhesive residue with acetone.

I used some fiberglass body filler (like the tiger hair) to fill a couple of small holes and one really big hole in the body. Bondo too in places. I attempted to make the gouges where the wire wheel took too much paint with the sticker look better with bondo, but I think the paint will fix those imperfections.

My wife has a bunch of pics of her staining walls and making the dining room table and stuff on the bus' instagram too. That's making good progress. But I need to finish out the rest of the walls. I started work on the shower stall this weekend. I stapled some plastic behind the metal. I'm framing the corners with cedar fence posts. I made the mistake of putting the plastic up before I realized I needed to install a light fixture on that wall. So that wall got a second layer of plastic after I had to move some of the first layer to route the wiring for the light and switch. The light fixtures are another creation of my beautiful wife. There are more pics on the instagram.

The guy that owns my storage unit was a little reticent to let me spray paint on his property, so I decided rolling the paint was the way to go. I find that when I ask for paint recommendations from a professional they clam up and can't answer my questions when I mention it's a bus, so I told the guy at the paint store that I was painting 30 year old sheet metal that already had a base coat on it, but my wife wanted a different color. He recommended a latex exterior gloss house paint.

I tried the latex paint after roughing up the surface with the sander and wiping down with acetone. I could still see yellow through the first coat, but after a second coat it looked great. It's a little rough in texture (kinda like bedliner, but not quite that rough). I tried to make it flake or chip or peel off in pieces by scratching it with my wedding ring, but it's stuck pretty good to the metal. I like it. I think I'll keep it.

More pics to come eventually, but it's easier to check them out on instagram @bettythebus
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Stickers.jpg (113.6 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Staining.jpg (97.9 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Shower Wood.jpg (100.2 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg Painted Front.jpg (101.3 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Party Town.JPG (209.0 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Light fixture.jpg (88.8 KB, 10 views)
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:55 AM   #159
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It's been another 7 weeks without an update, so here goes.

We've made a lot of progress in the last 7 weeks. Yesterday marked one year since we bought the bus. Memorial Day weekend was also our first big trip in the bus. We drove from Houston up to Oklahoma (about an 1,100 mile round trip) for my wife's family reunion.

The bus handled well (aside from the shake I have in my steering wheel sometimes between 55-65 mph). I got about 10.5 mpg on the way back. I didn't bother calculating my mpg on the way there. It was probably less because it was uphill. I was able to go about 65 mph most of the way there, and 70 mph most of the way back. The bus backs off to as much as 55 mph on an uphill, and gets up over 75 mph on a downhill. Google maps says it's an 8 hour drive, but with stops we did it in 10. I've got a 40 gallon tank, but we usually stop for a break and fuel somewhere between half and a quarter tank. Every 3-5 hours or so.

For the past few weeks we’ve been driving the bus to the house to work. It was getting a little difficult to work around all the tools and materials in the bus, so we emptied the bus out into our garage and worked at the house. I think we started doing that around the time I got plates for it. The State of Texas felt that I had done enough work for it to be considered a motorhome, so they gave me passenger plates, and when we got home from Oklahoma last night the motorhome title was waiting in the mail box.

Just a brief synopsis of all we’ve accomplished since my last post:

-Installed gray water tank and black water tank under the shower and toilet respectively (both are identical 25 gallon ABS tanks)
-Installed light fixtures (dining room, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom)
-Installed power outlets and wall panels and some insulation
-Installed pump and potable water tank and fill door under seat in the dining area (26 gallon tank)
-Did most of the painting on the exterior and interior. There are still a lot of touchups left
-Finished out shower stall
-Installed curtains
-Installed anti-fatigue mat flooring
-Finished out some panels in the dining area and passenger seating area (with storage under both)
-Installed passenger seat and seatbelt
-Carpeted wheel well by bed and passenger seating area
-Put vinyl tile stuff on the bathroom counter
-Painted/stained/installed kitchen counter area
-Bought a KODI ice chest to keep food/drink cool on the road
-Got up on the roof and spun the fan to get my air conditioner working again

I probably accomplished a lot of other things not mentioned above. If yall have questions, feel free to ask.

We’ve still got a lot of work left to finish up, but for now it’s ready for summer camping season.

Here is a short list of things left to do as we have the time:

-Fix the wobble in the steering wheel. It might be some kind of suspension or power steering issue. My power steering pump is leaking fluid. I notice the wobble doesn’t happen all the time, and I can make it go away if I have just a little pressure on the steering wheel (like in a long curve)
-Figure out why my sink won’t drain. I think I might add a small gray tank just for my sinks. I think going the 10’ or so from my sink to the tank leaves me with too little water trying to push too much water uphill. The sink drained okay, but slow at home. Once my father-in-law gave me some blocks to level the bus the sink wouldn’t drain at all. I opened up my low point drain on that line and just let my sink dump onto the ground last weekend.
-Fix my water line foul up. I absentmindedly hooked my water pump up to the hot water line, instead of the cold. Now everything is backwards. Turn the blue handle to get hot water.
-Finish out the curtains, and make some blackout curtains to help keep it cooler this summer. My wife is calling them ‘window quilts’ right now. They’re essentially two pieces of fabric with batting sewn between and magnets sewn into them to hold them up.
-Trim. Lots of trim. Corner trim everywhere. Trim along the windows. Loads of trim to cover up the exposed 2x2s and panels that aren’t square.
-Paint touchups. There are still a few unpainted/stained panels in the bus. And outside there is still some yellow around the windows and touchups on the front. I’d also like to put another coat on the roof. The color is supposed to come out more tan/cream than white. You can see the tan/cream on the front/back of the bus around the lights where I put more coats on, but I didn’t get enough coats on the roof, so it just looks white.
-Additional fan or a small bedroom A/C unit. Trying to take a nap midday was a bit uncomfortable in the bus. We were parked in direct sunlight. The temp outside was mid 80s. My bathroom blocks the A/C from reaching the back of the bus where the bed is. It was 78 in the back of the bus, but 72 under the A/C unit. I guess I could just take a nap in the dining room. It was cold when I ran the A/C after the sun went down. I was able to get it into the low 60s in the bus.
-Mount propane tanks. I fished my propane hose through the same hole my power cable comes through. That worked okay, but I’m a little uncomfortable traveling with a propane tank inside my bus. We need to find a safe place to mount the tank.
-Figure out an A/C plan for going down the road. It was in the 90s in the bus on the ride back yesterday. I need to get a generator that’ll run the A/C when we’re going down the road.
-Install door locks for inside the bus. We slept in a truck stop on the way up to Oklahoma. I locked the front two doors, but left the door by the bed unlocked in case of fire.
-Install fridge/freezer. My wife bought a small fridge/freezer unit. It’s slightly larger than a dorm fridge, and the freezer compartment is separate. I’d like to mount it over my wheel well by the bed/kitchen, but I’m worried that might make it too cumbersome to walk around the foot of the bed.
-Eventually we want to get a toad. We’re thinking an IH Scout. That’s a project for down the road though.




I had a great time on our big trip last weekend. My wife’s family loved seeing the bus, and didn’t really seem to notice how unfinished it still is. The kids loved sitting in the driver’s seat and honking the horn. It was really fun. We’ve already got one more adventure planned for summer, and are quickly planning others. None as far away as the trip we just made.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Bus in Oklahoma.jpg (168.5 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg Front Looking Back.jpg (354.5 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Back Looking Forward.jpg (190.8 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Bathroom.jpg (288.0 KB, 11 views)
File Type: jpg Coffee.jpg (282.1 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Shower.jpg (136.0 KB, 13 views)
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:01 AM   #160
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Excellent adventure...congrats on a successful maiden voyage!
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