The Great Escape....Soon
Hello Folks and Happy Holidays. My name is Michael and I live in North Carolina. Wanted to join up and show off my bus a little. I started looking at a bus about 6 years ago. I found many that were very high miles or just plain worn out. I talked to people in many states that were willing to take my money for a complete piece of junk in return. As I was coming home one day, I saw a church that had a bus for sale. (about 2 miles from my home). I stopped and looked at the bus. A Thomas built FORD B700 with a 370 engine. Bus was never a school bus, but had been purchased by the church as a activity bus. Bus only had 26K miles and looked in very good shape with excellent tires. Also the bus had a undercarriage Volkswagon engine installed by Bergstrom Corp that operates a Air Condition System. This unit has 2 compressors and a alternator that supplies its own electrical power for the fans. My lucky day, the church was closing down and needed to sell its inventory. As I was inspecting the bus, I found a recent apprasal that had been done by a local dealer in my town. It was appraised for $10,000.
I drove the unit ( a little daunting for a first timer), and made out OK. I asked how much they wanted for the bus and the gentleman offered to sell it to me for $700. I never pulled out cash so fast in my life. Anyway, after a few years of work and few trial and error(s), here's where we stand. The interior is 99% finished. Won't complete final exterior painting and additions until next year. Gonna install a Honda or Onan Generator under the right side carriage. She will have 3 solar panels that supply a charge to a bank of batteries and discharge through an inverter. We plan to carry 60 gallons of fresh water, supplied by a 12v pump system. Going to use a Marey propane instant hot water system. Will install one, possibly two Carrier A/C units in the spring. Interior has a forward cabin, galley, head and aft cabin, all divided by bulkheads. I also installed a stand-up shower with Delta Plumbing. The front entertainment system includes a TV/DVD/VHS, and full stereo system. The aft cabin has a 500 watt sound system with sub woofer. The bus has external jacks for outside speakers that run off another stereo in the drivers compartment. I have a four foot double door closet with lockers on the bottom. The aft cabin has a bulkhead that separates it from the last 2 feet of the bus to the back door. This allows for a storage area and extra security behind the aft bulkhead. The aft bulkhead has a swing up "wall", that allows for emergency exit and locks up in position for driving and visibility while driving. I have had a great time building her and look forward to any suggestions, comments or compliments. Thanks for looking.
I apologize - Uploaded images are not coming up at this time. Will work to correct the problem. Michael