We haven't come up with a name for her yet, but the conversion is started!
I bought this bus in Iowa two weeks ago and drove her home successfully to Virginia - 24hrs. of driving in 2.5 days! She's a 1998 65 seat, Freightliner/Thomas with a Cummins 6BT 5.9L, Allison 2500 tranny and 102K miles. This must have been among the last all-mechanical 12v 6BTs installed since the 24v ISBs became available in mid-1998. She was built to the tough Iowa spec and was well maintained in her district.
This is a family RV conversion which will have the typical bedroom aft, composting toilet, shower stall, galley kitchen, 2 way refrigerator, convertible seating up front, propane cooking and heating (+ fridge), and a roof raise to make room for the loft up front and more storage throughout. I also plan to add the WVO option, solar and wind supplemental power.
We have 18 of the 24 seats out and we're starting to take on the interior panels. The current floor plan calls for removing and skinning over six windows and moving the left emergency widow next to the one on the right. I thought it would be nice to have those next to each other at the galley kitchen so that when we're in camp and have the outside canopy up (simple homemade oilcloth canvas) and dining, entertaining, etc., the emergency windows can be held up and open for pass-throughs, discussion, etc. It just seems more inviting that way.
I also plan to reinstall the six removed windows above six of the existing windows after the roof raise to let more light in and allow fellow travelers to better see the sights. I haven't seen this done in any of the other conversion projects. Am I missing something? Would anyone advise me not to?
Other than that the adventure has officially begun! Thanks for looking, come back soon!
About to drive off the lot in Marshalltown, Iowa:
One of my earth-dog daughters loving the grinder (we burned this little 4.4amp one out pretty quickly on the case-hardened bolts, "allowing" me to get the choice 11amp Dewalt - WooHoo!)!
Half the seats out with the help of some neighborhood friends:
All but four seats remain:
Being the family project that it is we want to reuse and recycle whatever we can. I hoped we'd get more out of the seating parts and pieces but it just wasn't possible. We disassembled them, kept all the plywood that was usable, trashed the upholstery and recycled the steel framing at the landfill.
If anybody has a suggestion on how to reuse the steel framing please let me know. It's tubular, so even cut up and refabricated I don't see much of a use for it but I'll be kicking myself if I do end up needing some. I have half the seats left so if anyone has any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated - thanks in advance!