Introducing the Bolide Bus
New guy here. You gotta love the internet for providing a short-bus forum! :)
I own a 1989 Ford Econoline E350 Minibus. When I acquired it, it already had some conversion work done. The wheelchair lift had been removed and the seats stripped out. I didn't like the previous conversion work, so I completely gutted the inside and started over. The wife and I plan on living in it almost full-time - travelling and boondocking for extended periods in remote areas around North America. For the last 5 years, we have been fulltime caregivers for my wife's father who is 88 and has Alzheimers. But now we are switching over our duties to my wife's older sister, and hitting the road in the bus. For financial reasons, the bus had been sitting on the back burner for many months. But now we have a loan approved and several grand is about to get socked into the bus conversion. In the next 2-3 months, here is what we will be adding to the bus -
1) at least 350 watts of solar panels on the roof, upwards to 500.
2) 2000-watt true-sine wave inverter and 3-stage float charger
3) sealed AGM battery bank with at least 2-days worth of amp hours
4) propane powered stove/oven
5) propane/12v mini-fridge
6) composting toliet
7) shower stall
8) on-demand propane hot water heater
9) 40-gallon grey water tank
10) 30 gallon fresh water tank
11) GPS, CB, shortwave, TV, DVD, cellular internet
12) 2 laptops
13) battery charging station
14) full size bed
15) fully-equipped weather station
16) roof and rear-view mounted webcams
17) weatherproof storage area for meteorite hunting gear (metal
detector, magnetic cane, etc)
18) weatherproof storage area for my sales/show booth materials.
19) roll-out awning and screened-in outdoor room
20) 1 happy meteorite fanatic and his wife and 1 small cat. ;)
As you can guess, I am an amateur astronomer and meteorite dealer, and I will be taking my business on the road - to offset travelling expenses. My business is internet-based, and it generates enough income to sustain the majority of our financial needs - so gasoline is not going to be a big concern.
More on the bus - it has 4 windows on one side and 3 on the side that had the wheelchair lift. It has an automatic transmission and runs on unleaded. The engine runs strong, tranny shifts good, no smoke, no knocking, doesn't burn oil, and the body is in great shape with almost no rust. I'll try to attach some photos. Some show the the bus as we first received it - very dirty inside and out. The later photos show the bus cleaned up and the inside has been primered.
The entire interior is going to be done in hardwood with a slate tile floor and accents. The inside ceiling is going to be done in exotic wood veneer strips. My wife is going to be in charge of the fabrics, which will have a decidely gypsy look. We unsure yet how we are going to paint the outside of the bus, and we are open to ideas. I was tossing around the idea of using hardwood to give the bus a "panel van" or woodie look.
Ok, I'll try the photos now...
Houma Louisiana - Soon to be Central Florida
1989 Ford Econoline Minibus - V8, auto
Meteorite collector and dealer - www.galactic-stone.com