Hello all. Happy to find a forum where I can geek out about our pending bus conversion. We're up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. We have a 43ft 1992 Bluebird prisoner transport bus we're transitioning off-grid with in 2016. Right now her name is "Clementine" (you know... Clementine is an orange, and orange is the new black...) but that's not etched in stone yet. We are still in the process of modifying our yard (levelling off the raised garden, removing a mostly-dead tree, replacing the back fence with a gate, getting the cable and telephone lines moved) so we can park her before the work begins. My husband and I have done a tonne of research and we have a fairly concise vision for where we are headed with the conversion but I think we are going to have a tough time finding all the info we need outside a schoolbus-conversion specific forum. So, here we are, and here she is:
Clementine's at the shop this week getting a "surprise" pre-homecoming electrical make-over but we are just stoked to finally be able to start measuring her up and laying out floor plans. Unfortunately she was a bit forgotten before we acquired her, so first priority will be cleaning her up - there's still wheat and chaff in the air vent from being stored in a barn, a bird's nest in one of the front flashers (the blue police lights were smashed out when she went to auction), and all kinds of random cabinetry and pieces parts the previous owner decided to bestow upon us. Thankfully, Clementine came to us already stripped of most of her guts - the prisoner seats and shackle holds, the armoury, the interior dividers, etc. - but there is still bullet-proof glass on several of the windows and a few odds and ends (mostly odds) to be removed like the closed-circuit TV and phone system and the biggest, scariest (non-functioning) AC units you can imagine. We have, however, decided to keep the internal/external PA system (which I assure you puts any stereo system you can imagine to shame) so that we can continue having Prison Bus Karaoke (or just freaking people out when Sheriff Clementine pulls into town...)
We are hoping to renovate her in stages so that we can use her (if nothing else) as a giant metal tent while working on her. Once she doesn't smell like a stable we'll install some bench seats, build a rustic kitchen and a couple of beds, frame in an enclosure for the (temporary) chemical toilet while we work on the insulation, wiring, and body. I'm hoping we are far enough along by the fall to get the woodstove and chimney installed before the snow flies. That way we can use her as a heated workshop (and hangout) during the winter months while we design and build the permanent furniture for next spring/summer.
Glad to be here, looking forward to getting to know a few fellow bus dorks, hoping to give and receive lots of advice and support. I'm a writer and professional photographer so there is a blog over at http://www.flythecoop.ca
if anyone is bored. I love reading skoolie blogs and I imagine I'll eventually recognize some of you from my months of surfing, dreaming, and drooling at others' completed projects and ongoing travels. Please feel free to share with me your own blog or website!