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Old 11-20-2009, 02:58 AM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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Year: 1997
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Engine: 350
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adventure bus

HI my names Justin iv been reading this site for about a month now and love all the info iv gotten on here and decided that I would finally introduce myself and post up our bus project and tell our story.
About 5 years ago me and 2 friends decided that we were gonna go on a long road trip (about 4 months) after lots of talk about what would be a good vehicle to do it in we decided a VW bus would be great good on gas, more room then most cars, and always a conversation starter. so after a little searching i found this baby sitting in a field for about 12 years.







$400 later i pulled it out of the field and got it in to our shop and began working
















and after about 2 months of hard work our bus was finally ready for the road








then we packed it up and took it on our first trip for about 2 weeks







after a blow out on a large highway and few other minor problems we decided to head home and work them out





so after our little 2 week adventure we decided we needed an upgrade if we were gonna do our full trip, so the next day the bus was up on Craigslist and gone a few days later.

we decided this time we were gonna get a short bus. our list of demands for the bus was small, Must be a chevy 350 (cheap easy to find parts) and a dually.
about a month later we found our winner!!

a 97 gmc bluebird short bus with 101k miles
just decommissioned from a local school with all service records and brand new exhaust and back tires









the next day it was in the shop and we began again.



after stripping all the sticker and sanding we painted it








so thats about where we have left off, we have a lot of plans for the bus and i plan to keep this updated.


oh and sorry about all the pictures i just know i like pictures in threads so i figured id post some.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:06 AM   #2
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Re: adventure bus

Thanks for the pics! The old VW bus brings back memories. Interesting that you copied the older style paint line on the front.
Swapping the 8-way lens covers is pretty slick.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:02 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 14
Year: 1997
Coachwork: blue bird
Chassis: gmc
Engine: 350
Rated Cap: 16
Re: adventure bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Redbear
Thanks for the pics! The old VW bus brings back memories. Interesting that you copied the older style paint line on the front.
Swapping the 8-way lens covers is pretty slick.
yea we wanted it took look like the older style vw at a glance, plus i think its just more interesting.

and swapping the lens was the easy thing we could think of to get the red off of the front

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
That VW would look good on top of my bus! OK....jus' kiddin' Welcome! So....what's the plan for your bus?

Smitty
lol i had never seen a vw on top of a school bus until i started reading this site

and the plans are to make a real rustic rv, no black tank, no running water (well were gonna have a gravity feed off a roof tank), no propane. just basic beds counter and table. we will have a colman camp grill, a crock pot, and maybe a sun oven on the roof for cooking. on the out side we still need to build a 3/4 roof rack, paint the wheels, and few other little details.
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Old 11-20-2009, 04:02 PM   #4
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Join Date: Nov 2009
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Re: adventure bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Consider an outdoor shower from your roof tank, look into building a solar water heater large enough to get a shower from (5 gal). Could all still be gravity fed. YouTube has some good info for that, as well as building a solar oven.

Smitty
the solar water heater is exactly what i was planning to build i saw an article on here about it. i was thinking about trying to make the sun oven and water heater work as the same.
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Old 11-20-2009, 06:03 PM   #5
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Re: adventure bus

If you take one of those inflatable twin mattresses and secure it up top you could use just fill that up and the potable water lot, let the sun heat it up. It is big enough that with full sun and a decent temp it should be nice and warm without the usual too damn hot temps solar water showers tend to get.
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:38 PM   #6
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Re: adventure bus

You can also just cover part of the Solar water heater to lower the amount of sun it gets. Depending on how much you shade, you could have Hot with no shade, to mildly warm with 3/4s shade. But that would depend on the size of solar heater, amount of water in it, and length of time in the sun.

I remember a guy who had painted dots on the sides of his. He said that it was to allow for two water temps. Lots of dots for higher temps, bigger dots for lower. You always see the oddest things while trying to camp...
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Old 11-20-2009, 07:45 PM   #7
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Re: adventure bus

well i figured since the colder water sits on the bottom and its going to be gravity fed from the bottom it wont be to hot, plus for showers they will most likely be at night after we've set up so the water will have cooled done some.
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Old 11-21-2009, 07:51 AM   #8
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Re: adventure bus

HEH

Let me tell you the water cools in minutes. I've had some damn cold solar showers because I waited until the sun went down. A good rule of thumb (imo) when doing without on-demand gratification goodies we're all so used to in modern homes is Work with it! Because it sure the hell isn't going to work around your schedule.

Like with the idea listed about having no kitchen, just making food by propane grill or campfire. These things take time. It isn't no 'pop it in the oven and walk away' type deal. Prep, setup, constant watching (dang uneven heat), take down, clean up, put away, and eventually get around to eating. Double or triple the time it takes in a modern home. Of course, I'm used to preparing food for 3 to 5 people at time. hmm
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Old 11-21-2009, 01:24 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 14
Year: 1997
Coachwork: blue bird
Chassis: gmc
Engine: 350
Rated Cap: 16
Re: adventure bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeria
HEH

Let me tell you the water cools in minutes. I've had some damn cold solar showers because I waited until the sun went down. A good rule of thumb (imo) when doing without on-demand gratification goodies we're all so used to in modern homes is Work with it! Because it sure the hell isn't going to work around your schedule.

Like with the idea listed about having no kitchen, just making food by propane grill or campfire. These things take time. It isn't no 'pop it in the oven and walk away' type deal. Prep, setup, constant watching (dang uneven heat), take down, clean up, put away, and eventually get around to eating. Double or triple the time it takes in a modern home. Of course, I'm used to preparing food for 3 to 5 people at time. hmm

were all avid long distance backpackers and eagle scouts we understand living with out and modern necessitys for very long periods of time. having a bus that keeps us out of the rain and wind oppose to 4 nylon walls, and a full camp stove over a tiny backpack stove that cant boil more then a cup of water is going to be the biggest luxury we've ever had. besides a solar shower isn't very high on our list of worry's right now anyway, we'll be just fine.


this is about 3 weeks worth of stuff between us.
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Old 11-21-2009, 06:55 PM   #10
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Re: adventure bus

Oh hell yeah! I envy your backpacking
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