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Old 06-05-2013, 07:26 PM   #121
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Re: Project "Brutus"

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Originally Posted by JakeC
Yeah...I'm not worried, actually. We can camp in the bus as is. Might end up finishing it in a campground!
A few tips from someone who is stealth converting in a campground for anyone who plans on stealth converting while in a campground...

Get the exterior stuff DONE before shifting into a campground... Most folks frown on things like pulling windows and exterior painting. Even if the cg owners are okay with it, other campers might not be. They can leave nasty reviews on places like RVparkreviews. You don't want that to happen. It makes us all look bad. This isn't a must do. There are some places that are deserted that you can get away with converting openly (but I would keep the debris laying around openly at a minimum. I know of a campground in GA that we could have gotten away with a stealth conversion very easily. I fiberglassed the exterior of the Class C and did some exterior painting in that campground.

Don't leave bits of wood laying around outside your bus. Makes the weekender/overnighter neigbours cranky.

No early AM or late PM cutting. Circular saws make lots of noise. So do routers. You would be amazed at what you can slice up in the parking lot of Home Depot. Gotta love battery powered circular saws. All but the pegboard & the countertop plywood was cut in the parking lot at work. We did not buy the pegboard at HD and the countertop plywood was a cull that we got for 51 when we weren't planning on buying it. I used a freebie program called "CutList" to plan out the cabinet pieces. Also helped that we could put several decades of worth of cabinetry building expertise to work and layout (on paper) the cuts we needed to make to get the most out of a sheet of plywood. HD & also Lowes (I think) will make some cuts for you. First cut is generally free, 2nd cut costs. You do not want them making precision cuts unless you know the person doing the cutting is willing to do that. I only have 2 folks rip down our plywood. The next 4X8 sheet for remaining base cabinets, two 30" cut off the ends yields two 30"x48" plus one 36"x48", then rip all in half so we end up with (4) 30"x24", (2) 36"x24". The side panels of the base cabinets are 30"x24" (we set them on a prebuilt toe kick box). The 36" panels will make the floors and cross members. We will cut them at home as needed. I still need to do the last of the upper cabinets. But that's yet another sheet of plywood unless I have a piece in the pile leaning up against the wall. I think I picked up a half sheet out of the culls bin last month.

Interior sawdust is easily sucked up by the uber noisy shop vac. We have made a lot of sawdust and very little other waste.

Make use of the culls bin at Home Depot/Lowes. Think of the 2x's, etc not as cut in half but as already "shorted" to make use/storage inside the bus easier. We have used very few full size 2X's (actually only one so far).

Get creative. You don't need to build everything from scratch. We use flush luaun hollow core doors as walls. Simply trim to fit the ceiling curve with the jig saw (outside) and we have instant walls. I painted them outside before installing.

We have folding aluminum tables that we use as saw horses. "What saw horses?" Back when we first bought our original pair, they cost $13. We currently have three. We use them as TV dinner tables (we have no "dining" table since we rarely need one), saw horses, work bench, and one I have attached two large polyethylene cutting boards to each side to place our little table top LP gas grill on. This way we don't have cooking greases fouling the picnic table. And the cutting boards tops are very easy to clean. I need to repaint the inside tables when we finish. They have all different colours of paint on them.

Get your shower and toilets up and working before pulling into the campground. Trust me. It will be worth it. We will be setting up our ceramic tile wet saw in the shower stall. It's loud, noisy and makes a whopping mess.

Don't tell anyone you are converting in the campground. Word gets around. And it could cause problems.

Keep your windows covered so folks can't see that you are building stuff inside.

Remember, you don't want others to know what you are doing.
that's the object of "stealth".
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:38 AM   #122
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Re: Project "Brutus"

That's all really good advice! Some of it a little humorous because I'm picturing myself sneaking around like a ninja with power tools Anywho, thanks!
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:21 PM   #123
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Re: Project "Brutus"

Aaaaaaannnd....the landlord just called and said forget it, he wants to sell the house next year and wants us to be able to enjoy the summer here. False alarm, lol...

In other news, I've been figuring out where I'm going to mount the generator. Since my belly bins are crushed on the drivers side, I think I'm going to remove them, cut out the damaged portion, and weld the good halves together to form one undamaged, smaller bin. Place that towards the front and then build the generator housing behind that. It will be built so that it can be lowered to service and inspect.

This doesn't show it very well, but you can see the damage. It is actually worse than it looks, as there is structure internally that is creased and crimped. Not really any way to bend it back and/or pound it out. I was going to just leave it as it still seals, but I like the idea of putting the generator in place of the rear one. This was right after we purchased the bus

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Old 06-06-2013, 03:02 PM   #124
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Re: Project "Brutus"

a word of advise; if you don't sign a lease I would continue with the build so you can "be gone" w/I 30 days incase he changes his mind
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:34 PM   #125
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Re: Project "Brutus"

I can fix that,,mine where bend too,,,toke off and rubber matel it
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Old 06-07-2013, 06:49 AM   #126
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Re: Project "Brutus"

Very good advice, Bansil. For sure how I will be proceeding. And yeah Keith, I keep looking at it debating if I want to hassle with it. I like this idea better cause I know I can make it look good. Gotta put the Genny somewhere!
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:31 PM   #127
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Re: Project "Brutus"

WOOOHOOOO!!! I am officially done traveling. Time to finish the bus!! I went and started pulling things off the bus last night, getting ready to paint. Cracked the windshield slightly trying to press a seal back into place and decided to call it a night, lol... I did get to test out some led's for interior lights, though. Absolutely thrilled with them. Light output is almost identical to the incandescent lights I was using, they are more efficient, and NO HEAT. My old ones were starting to discolor the wood above them and I felt I was risking a fire. I'll post pictures as soon as they finish uploading.
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:46 PM   #128
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Re: Project "Brutus"

Old bulbs. Just standard 1156 tail light bulbs.



New leds. Ever so slightly not as bright, in the pics at least, but the light is incredibly warm for leds.
Link to ebay auction

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Old 06-27-2013, 03:55 PM   #129
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Re: Project "Brutus"

That's a good price.
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Old 07-01-2013, 11:07 AM   #130
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Re: Project "Brutus"

Well, the time has come to paint. Planning on using Valspar "Tractor & Implement" Paint, with hardener and Naphtha for gloss. Most of the bus has been scuffed/sanded, I just need to sand the clear off the hood and scrape ALL the paint off the roof (both are peeling). I am planning on priming, just for piece of mind. For sure spraying it, not interested in rollers and brushes Any tips or pointers?
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