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Old 05-17-2008, 08:55 PM   #1
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the Anne Marie

So I got this school bus in March, and it has sat dormant since then, waiting for the semester to end. Well, its finally summer, and I've finally started working on it, so I feel like I can finally make a topic for the bus. She's a '90 Bluebird International in great shape, and things are looking good.

We just ripped out a bunch of the seats today, and we'll get the rest out tomorrow. Hopefully things will keep going at a pretty solid pace after that. We are planning on adding another tank for veggie oil, and a little closet-room so we can filter veggie oil on the road.

This is a road-trip machine. Myself and some friends will be taking it across the country next summer ('09). I'm not completely sure yet, but there may be another schoolie in the works for this trip. If we're lucky, we'll get a legitimate caravan going.

The website for the Juan Way Tour (this trip across the country) is juanway.org, where we're keeping a blog detailing everything to do with the trip, including converting the bus. There are a bunch of pictures from my crappy camera phone on Flickr. Eventually we'll get a legitimate camera, and we'll take pretty pictures.
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Old 05-18-2008, 05:05 PM   #2
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Re: the Anne Marie

where in CT are you? if you are nearby, I could be your official photographer.
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Old 05-18-2008, 05:09 PM   #3
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Re: the Anne Marie

I hope you realize that wvo is getting more difficult to come by. Gone are the days when restraunts are looking for someone to take it away free. They may still be giving it away, but, I would think they already have folks lining up for it.

4.50/gallon diesel will do that.
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:53 AM   #4
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Re: the Anne Marie

We're in Middletown - shoot me an email.

From a pretty rough study of the restaurants around me, all have been interested in me taking their veggie oil. For the last 6 months or so I've tried to make a point of finding out what they do with their WVO and if they'd be willling to let me take it off their hands. Every restaurant I've asked was interested, and most were only vaguely familiar with the idea (since no one had asked it before). I think the key is talking to local restaurants - diners, chinese food places - and avoiding chains. I realize this is just in my area, but its pretty populated, and I'd imagine I'm not the first to do this.
Of course, in a year, this could be completely different.

In other news, all of the seats are out, and I'm going to start working on a floor plan. The goal is to comfortably accommodate 10 people, and still be able to uncomfortably accommodate even more. I'll post that once I actually know what it'll be.

EDIT: Oh, almost forgot - I've posted a video with a walkthrough of the bus before we made any changes to it, and video from us stripping out the seats. There are also more pictures up on Flickr. So check that stuff out.
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Old 05-22-2008, 11:54 AM   #5
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Re: the Anne Marie

Veggie is the way to go. I got 20k miles on veggie and love it. The days are numbered in how much ree grease is laying around but even at $2/gal from someone like me is not bad for a quality fuel. Even if it is hard to find in the coming year I strongly feel that America will start producing veggie for fuel on an industrial level. Blue-Green algae baby, the wave of the future!
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Old 06-14-2008, 11:44 AM   #6
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Re: the Anne Marie

I've laid out a very tentative floor plan (I'm only half sure the measurements are correct).

But the measurements aside (I'll double check all that once the bus is empty again), that floor plan is generally the one I will follow. It lets us use the back door, and sleeps a lot of people.

The back cushions of the benches in front will span across the aisle to make decent sized beds, and underneath each top bunk will be a small dinette which will fold down to become the lower bunk (much like in many pop-up trailers).

Any ideas or recommendations are very welcome!
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Old 04-06-2009, 04:39 PM   #7
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Re: the Anne Marie

So it's been a long while since I updated here, but this is where the bus stands at the moment...

Last fall when it was still warm out, I got thirty or so friends to come over and paint things on it, and it turned out looking like this:

Some good, some bad, all messy. We'll be hitting it again before we set out this summer. Most of the talented artists stuck to the roof:


Shortly after that, I brought the bus to the diesel shop of a local technical school who offered to help with the conversion. They've been absolutely incredible, and their connections have made getting parts a lot cheaper and easier than it would have been otherwise. Perhaps the best part is that they roped in some of the other trades to help. The welding shop made an incredible tank, the HVAC shop made the heat exchanger, and the drafting kids made exact drawings of it all:


On the other side of the bus, across from the day tank, we have our mini refinery. I just realized I don't have any decent or recent pictures of it, but it looks a bit like this:

It's rigged up so that we can either suck veggie oil into the drum, or pour it in from cubbies. It will drain through cheesecloth and a coarse metal screen, into the bulk tank. From there we can pump it through filters, into the day tank.



So everything is falling into place, and in a few weeks I should be able to post the full working setup. Until then, I'll be posting the little nuances to the blog at juanway.org.
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Old 04-06-2009, 10:27 PM   #8
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Re: the Anne Marie

welcome back. Looks like you're making progress. Road trips are fun!
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Old 04-07-2009, 10:00 AM   #9
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Re: the Anne Marie

I love the paint job...how creative. Plus I bet it didn't take too long with 30 people on it.
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