Hey everyone, we just wanted to share our bus project! We bought this in April and built a quick conversion to take on a summer long road trip from Florida to the PNW. Once we find a place to land in Oregon we have big plans to do some remodeling to make it a more permanent living space. We are excited to be a part of this forum, I am sure we will have a million questions once we start doing a more complete conversion.
For a ton of pictures and stories from our summer travels check out our blog here: http://www.theneworegontrail.com
Our bus is a 1984 Blue Bird All American, with the dreaded Cummins VT555 9.1L V8 diesel. Even though it is turbocharged it is loud and slow, but it has hauled us and all our stuff all over the US so I can't complain too much! It has some great storage compartments in the back, and came equipped with a factory ScottAir AC setup, powered by a Yanmar 3 cyl 17HP diesel and an interesting compressor setup. We love the large sliding windows and all the space the 40 footer gives us, and we can't wait to live in it full time. Purchase price was $2000
What we started with. Bought it in rural Georgia and drove it home 6+ hours to Central Florida where we were living at the time
Started tearing out the seats and interior right away
Covered the seat holes and painted the floor. Then added insulation and flooring
Started building up the simple interior. Boxing in the wheel wells, building a kitchen and bedroom area
Cut up an old table and built some benches to create a nice seating area, which is very comfy with a great view
Painted the stripe copper/brown
And a few photos of the completed project and our trip around the country
That's a really interesting bus, especially with the pre-existing a/c run by a pony engine. Tell me your thoughts about the dry flush toilet. I don't know if there is more than one manufacturer or not. I read up on one of them this past week. Very interesting concept, but I had some concern about the cost of the refills. Quick math in my head seemed like about $1.00 per flush. I hope you keep us updated as you re-invent the interior. Welcome!
Most of the lumber used for this project was stuff we got for free from my work, I disassembled an old horse corral and scavenged quite a bit of wood from there. When we do round 2 of the bus build I would like to use some different sized boards, since we don't need such heavy duty lumber for an interior. Fortunately the company I was working for in Florida let me park on one of their properties, so we had a great place to do the conversion. We could make as much noise and as much mess as we want, plus use some of the equipment for heavy lifting and I could raid the service truck if I needed. This is the first time either Lindsey or myself have built anything even remotely similar to a home, so it was a big learning experience for both of us. We had a great time, and can't wait to redo some of the interior now that we have a little more knowledge. We will also have a longer timeline, as we were scrambling to get it done before the lease on our rental house was up.