Starting a new thread for the conversion of The Stowaway, aka the shed bus.
I originally bought this bus last may, a 1991 Thomas body Chevrolet chassis bus. This is a conventional nose, 5 speed stick shift, gasser, with a 366ci tall block chevy engine. The body and windows don't leak, and it has been a great storage bus since I bought it.
I had originally planned to do a basic weekender/bugout type conversion on this bus after my own bus was finished. However, circumstances have changed. First, my parents are now convinced of the idea of building themselves a bus conversion, and they would prefer a diesel. My mother can't operate this bus (the distance between the steering wheel and the pedals is too great), so that's another deal breaker. I've been kicking around the idea for a few weeks of trying to offer this bus up as a trade towards a diesel bus, but never got around to it.
Well, now it turns out my sister and her husband are moving from Alaska to Tennessee. They're selling almost all their belongings, and their vehicles, and flying down to virginia to visit us "for a while" before buying a vehicle and finishing their move.
History shows that a short visit from them can easily grow into a long term thing. The space for them in the house is limited, and has virtually no privacy.
Yesterday, while sitting around with my cousin and my parents having a beer, my cousin came up with the idea of doing a basic conversion on the shed bus and putting in power and a/c so that they could live in it while they're here. We kicked it around a bit, and decided that's what we're doing.
Since this won't need to be a true conversion, we're keeping it simple. First, we have to get all the junk out, and of course, that means moving it *back* into unleashed, which puts that conversion back on hold again.
Once it is empty again, we'll remove the middle row of seats that I left in as a divider. We'll park it next to the garage apartment, where the RV power cord can reach the RV hookup. We'll use the old breaker box from the old RV to wire up 2 circuits (GFCI of course), one down each side. We'll install a couple of light switches to power on/off the flourescent lights we have. We'll reuse things from the old RV as much as possible.
The floor plan is equally simple. The rear door of the bus will be treated as the front door, as the front door is not possible to open and close from the outside. I'll still keep the first row of seats. Directly behind the first row of seats will be a queen size mattress (from the old RV) sitting on the floor, with the same sheets it had when it was in the old RV.
There will be very basic curtains over all the windows, held in place with magnets. We have a lot of magnets.
We'll remove one window and put 3/4" plywood in its place, with a hole cut for a window shaker A/C unit. This will be on one side of the bus, using the power circuit for that side. The bus will have 30A 110V hookup. If it turns out one window shaker isn't enough, we'll install a second one on the other side of the bus, so it'll be on the 2nd circuit inside the bus. If push comes to shove, we can always run a 20A extension cord for the second unit, but these window shakers are about 5A to 7A draw units.
My cousin is donating some old furniture (chairs, tables, old tv, etc), which will be used to make a bit of a living space.
We'll hang a rope between the bedroom and living spaces, with a curtain hanging from the rope, to make a privacy wall.
We plan to put something on the roof to help create an air gap, and put a large tarp across the top, providing shade and cooling ventilation, to make the A/C have to work less hard. This will also be parked under a large shade tree between it and the garage apartment. We plan to have the tarp extend out past the rear of the bus enough to provide a rain shelter over the doorway.
We'll be building some steps up to the back door.
This will basically be a fixed location conversion. The expectation is that it won't be rolling down the road once it starts being lived in. However, I'm making sure any step we take is easily unhooked or undone so that it can become road ready with minimal effort.
For bathroom/shower facilities, they'll just have to go into the house. They'll have access to the dorm style fridge and the microwave that is in the pool shed, about 20-25 feet from the bus. One of the projects for this summer is to install a toilet in the back of the pool shed and turn that into a half bathroom/changing room, and of course they'd have access to that as well.
We have 9 days to get this livable.
Ok, I'm off to get started.