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Old 11-13-2013, 05:53 PM   #1
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Location: Denver, Co
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Coachwork: Bluebird
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Project Atlas - my first skoolie renovation

Hi all -

First off - thanks for being such a cool community. I have always found the members here to be very helpful, friendly and informative, which is a rarity on the Internet. I took the plunge in September and bought my first bus - a BlueBird 65 passenger bus on an IH Dt466e motor and chassis.

A little back story on myself and the bus:
I'm 30 years old and i like to refer to myself as "a dreamer of strange dreams." I love doing the unexpected and getting out of the mainstream. Anyway,I drove 10 hours from Denver to Kansas City, KS to purchase the bus. The previous owner had already done some light converting - removing most of the seats, adding an inverter to the electrical system, and laying down some extremely cheap hardwood flooring (without removing the original flooring, to my chagrin). It drove incredibly well the entire way home - made it back in roughly 12 hours without a single hiccup. Now that she's home, I'm anxious to start renovating my bus - Atlas, as i call her.

So far, i've removed the entirety of the previous owner's work, minus the sofa's and cheap flooring. Here she is the day i bought her:
http://i.imgur.com/sHExmXn.jpg

Pic of interior, before being removed:
http://i.imgur.com/5VHXWIZ.jpg

Interior after a little demo:
http://i.imgur.com/IE94GCL.jpg

Here's the master plan i'm working towards in SketchUp:
http://i.imgur.com/Q2MLaCi.png

I'm hoping to get some time this weekend to get the inner skin removed and re-insulate the interior below the windows. More pics to come!
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:21 PM   #2
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Re: Project Atlas - my first skoolie renovation

Welcome...and be nice to HER....or else
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They can have a mind of their own....and they are always right
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:41 PM   #3
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Re: Project Atlas - my first skoolie renovation

Good looking bus.....for the wood stove idea might want to check out the eyedeal.ink's build....he made a pretty sweet wood stove "corner". Did that laminate floor see some water?...it looks like it rippled down the middle and curled at the edges as water does to that stuff.....look forward to see how it comes along!
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:00 AM   #4
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Coachwork: Crown
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Re: Project Atlas - my first skoolie renovation

Welcome to the madness!! Nice looking bus!

Question, why put the wood stove behind the driver? Will there be a second heat source for the bedroom?
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:14 PM   #5
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Re: Project Atlas - my first skoolie renovation

I was able to get some time to work on the bus this weekend. It was awesome getting to work on her - she's been sitting in storage for about a month while i had the air brake system worked on. Thankfully, the air brakes are back up and running so i can move it back to homebase for renovation. This weekend's goal was to remove the inner sheet metal skin and remove the old fiberglass insulation. Unfortunatelly, my buddy had to bail on me this weekend so it was just me - i feel pretty accomplished i was able to get one half of the skin removed by myself - it ended up being about 300 rivets. I found that a cold chisel with a large hand-guard and a 3lb hammer make pretty short work of even the larger rivet heads. I'm hoping i can get some help from a friend to finish out the other side and start installing the insulation next weekend.

Here's some photo's of the progress:

1. Partially finished - getting the last (and longest) remaining piece of sheet metal removed from this side:
http://i.imgur.com/D2mAYdJ.jpg

2. One half of the bus, inner skin removed. The culmination of about 7 hours worth of hammering:
http://i.imgur.com/PslCUuO.jpg

3. Here's Atlas sitting outside my house - the HOA just LOVES it when i park it out front for the weekend:
http://i.imgur.com/AsbQJz9.jpg

I had originally wanted to do the insulation removal because i had found a few small spots where water was entering the inside of the bus, and wanted to get a chance to seal those leaks. After pulling out the insulation, i found only one small spot in the rear of the bus that needs some sealant - a very pleasant surprise. One thing i found interesting - my wall thickness will only accomodate 1.5" thick FOAMULAR insulation instead of the 2" i had counted on. All in all, it shouldnt be a big deal in terms of R value.


Westward: LOL. Nice eye there. The previous owner installed some REALLY cheap flooring, so yes, you are correct that the floors have some slight warping in them. This doesnt bother me, since i plan on using this for camping / adventure trips where the floors will likely get dirty anyway.

Inkblot's: When researching the idea of putting in wood burning stove, i saw this picture (http://twistedsifter.files.wordpress.co ... home-4.jpg) , which had the stove - so i just followed suit and placed it there in my design. After talking with everyone here, i will probably scrap the wood burning stove idea and just go with a Mr. Buddy propane heater for those cold nights.

Thanks everyone for your input, suggestions and questions!
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:12 PM   #6
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Re: Project Atlas - my first skoolie renovation

Quote:
Originally Posted by enthe0gen
Inkblot's: When researching the idea of putting in wood burning stove, i saw this picture (http://twistedsifter.files.wordpress.co ... home-4.jpg) , which had the stove - so i just followed suit and placed it there in my design. After talking with everyone here, i will probably scrap the wood burning stove idea and just go with a Mr. Buddy propane heater for those cold nights.

Thanks everyone for your input, suggestions and questions!

Grats on the progress! Don't forget - wood is free, propane isn't so having both isn't too bad
Love the bus in your inspiration picture - they've updated their bus recently! (http://www.busonomics.blogspot.com/)
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Old 11-18-2013, 03:50 PM   #7
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Re: Project Atlas - my first skoolie renovation

Nice looking bus!

It's been many many years but I remember well removing 4,500,901 rivets to get my roof and walls down. I wanted to recommend what I did to mine for yours- I made 'studs' out of 2x2 boards, and attached them to the ribs of the bus. Then I had almost 4in of wall thickness, which normal rolled fiberglass fills very nicely. It also gives me an area to easily pass electrical and plumbing without being right up against the outside of the bus or having to hide it behind something on the outside of the walls. The wood studs make it easier to attach other walls and perminant fixtures to.

Just a suggestion!

Can't wait to see what you do with her!
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Old 11-18-2013, 10:56 PM   #8
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Re: Project Atlas - my first skoolie renovation

Nice bus man. I see you are putting awall behind the drivers seat. what would be the reason. I'm doing it too but I will live in mine in winter so it will be easier to heat that way. Good luck with the build hope it goes well.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:17 AM   #9
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Re: Project Atlas - my first skoolie renovation

Quote:
Originally Posted by ferroequinologist
I realize there isn't much I can do about moisture that gets in from the inside however. I am putting a sheet of plastic over the inside walls to hopefully prevent some of it.
I had a camper I used for my trip to Indiana over the holidays last year. To deal with condensation, use a vent. Keep it open about a 1/4". It reduced the condensation a lot. The camper had one front and rear. It did not really impact heating. Iím doing the same in my bus.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:41 AM   #10
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Re: Project Atlas - my first skoolie renovation

Good thought.

I do have a roof vent in the rear I put in years ago, and I have another for the front just not installed yet. We always have it open when we shower, and I found a nifty little round vent with a blower that I'm going to intall in the shower to remove moisture.
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