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Old 05-06-2015, 12:32 AM   #1
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The Yellow Palace - the conversion begins

I'll post pictures soon (waiting on my new phone to come in the mail), but I'm trying to pin down a plan for converting my 1988 40-foot Bluebird school bus into my new tiny home. The seats have already been pulled out and the previous owners have put down a hardwood floor. However, one of my first plans of attack are to pull up the floor and insulate the dickens out of the bottom. I don't know that they insulated the floor at all. They did put up plywood boards along the walls beneath the windows and filled the spaces with wool and carpet foam, but I'm going to rip that out too because a lot of that insulation looks like nesting material to me, and I want to be the only pest on the bus, thanks.

My main concern right now is in putting in a new floor with insulation - how able am I to add stuff later, like a grey water collection tank under the bus with tubes draining into it (through the floor), or wiring, or other....stuff? I feel like I need to have every detail of the bus planned out NOW and lay the floor around what I want to do later, or do I install a whole solar power system now, and do the flooring later? Do I need to install a water heater now before I have water, or after?

I feel so overwhelmed right now - I don't know where to begin. I've started by making a small to-scale replica out of paper so I can play with what-goes-where, but I just don't know where to begin. I don't want to make a mistake by putting down a floor and getting it all nice, and then have to rip it up again later.

So, wise ones, where do I begin?
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Old 05-06-2015, 05:56 AM   #2
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Welcome!

You've already got an idea- pull up the floor and the plywood off the walls. After that, the best bet is to get a couple of rolls of masking tape, figure out where you want to put the major areas, and then sketch. And look at some of the other conversions on the site.
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Old 05-06-2015, 06:47 AM   #3
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tear it all out. do your layout. most pluming will run through the floor. power both ac and dc will run in the walls and ceiling. any windows being blocked out? lots of builds here to get ideas.i was in a hurry when i first got here, now not so much. get those pics up we love bus porn!
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Old 05-06-2015, 07:58 AM   #4
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Welcome. Mine is also an 88 Bluebird. Its a good base. Dive in and get started. You will find that once you do, it is addicting. Place your drain for your tanks on the drivers side, also your generator if you plan to stay in campgrounds. Most "hookups" are on that side.
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Old 05-06-2015, 10:15 AM   #5
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I live full time in a bus. I fight the cold northern Canadian winters off with my wood/coal stove.

I too hate the idea of giving the pests and mold somewhere to grow.

Don't make the mistake of using wood.

Floor needs to be stripped, cleaned and painted. Holes repaired.

Contact cement rigid sheets of Styrofoam directly to the metal floor.

I use galvanized 14ga metal vs wood for my subfloor. Again, I contact cement that to the rigid Styrofoam.

Now your finish floor covering. Don't make the mistake of using laminate flooring. Again, it contains wood that likes to mold and buckle when gotten wet.

Vinyl plank flooring looks and installs like laminate, but is all plastic and will last forever.

Walls are another chapter. PM me if your interested in my building methods. I have a bit higher standard than many members here when it comes to materials and methods.

Much of this depends on how many years you want your bus to last.

My latest build.
http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f11/th...ime-10138.html

Nat
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:28 AM   #6
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Nat, what contact cement are you using? The stuff I used, ended up destroying the pink styrofoam I used. At first it melted it alittle, but it kept getting worse after couple years.
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Old 05-06-2015, 11:36 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Hvbuzz View Post
Nat, what contact cement are you using? The stuff I used, ended up destroying the pink styrofoam I used. At first it melted it alittle, but it kept getting worse after couple years.
I had to search to find it. Most do melt the Styrofoam.

I will get the name off the can tonight.

Nat
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Old 05-06-2015, 01:24 PM   #8
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. I'm going to take some time to look around at all your conversions. I plan to live on my bus full time, for as long as I can. I travel around a lot, so I need my bus to be able to function well in the heat as well as the cold.
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Old 05-06-2015, 02:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hvbuzz View Post
Nat, what contact cement are you using? The stuff I used, ended up destroying the pink styrofoam I used. At first it melted it alittle, but it kept getting worse after couple years.
LePage PL300 for blue or pink, PL Premium will attack the foam.....like pouring gas in a Styrofoam cup.
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Old 05-06-2015, 02:33 PM   #10
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LePage PL300 for blue or pink, PL Premium will attack the foam.....like pouring gas in a Styrofoam cup.
I have liquid that I use a paint roller to role it on.

Nothing in a caulking gun will give the coverage you need for a good bond.

Nat
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