Alright Folks, it's been a minute since I've gotten an update in - but I have been going at the bus daily at my pace. What used to seem like a chore is all I can think about now, I spend my days at work fantasizing about what kind of work I can get in when I get home, and I get home and try to go to town (try being the key word here). I think there's been some sort of transformation present in my mind. My only regret is I didn't cross this hurdle two years ago.
This was pretty simple, I just replaced my front flashers with LED reverse lights I got online. Being the fool I am, I wired it to my stop sign switch with 10 gauge, which I believe is overkill, but that's my style I guess. I twisted these together, did a horrible job soldering them, and stuck them in a wire nut. Needless to say, with my level of craftsmanship it's definitely within my best interest to keep everything somewhat accessible in the future. This night I took my bus for one of the sketchier test drives around the block, It reminded me that I really need to bolt down my drivers seat sooner than later. I expected these flashers to be like SUPER BRIGHT HIGH BEAMS, but their effect on the road was pretty underwhelming. However they do provide good marginal lighting above 10 ft (like my neighbors second story windows), overall no complaints.
Then I began working on my batterybox. Being a dumbass with a mediocre skillset this took me a really long time. I decided to make this box in the stairwell because I do not trust my welding skills to make a box that will hold 200lb of batteries, also I want to be able to access my flooded batteries easily. I did impulsively get a Lincoln AC225 stick Welder in hopes that I will be able to weld eventually, I have yet to test it yet, I need to wire it to a dryer plug first. Here are some steps below.
First I added small hinges to use as steps, I had this intense grand plan to use these hinges as part of a big fold down step, but after I got waist deep in this plan/headache related to it, I ended up deciding to just stick with the these hinges as steps - on that note, I have about 12 pullies to return to home depot
. These are secured below to a thick piece of metal about 26 inches wide and 3/8 thick, I am not an engineer but this made sense to me.
I've seen the really good skoolie craftsmen remove this rubber, and then take out the rust, and then recoat it and make it look really nice. I will let you know if I regret not doing that. Good to note, there's a vent opening on the right side, and a computer fan on the left side. Here's what a computer fan loooks like, incase anyone's interested.
1/2 inch insulation down
3/4 ply down
Skipped a few steps, but basically I used bed frame, plywood, 2x2, 2x4 and assembled this box. I used some pirelli flooring and I also made two perpendicular bed frame supports later, I apparently did not snap a photo.
Instead of finishing this, I put a piece of plywood over it and decided progress is satisfactory for now. Funny story about that, last night I attached the door and I had to take this battery box apart to screw the door on the hinge, because I'm an idiot I didn't verify I screwed through all the hinge holes before reassembling the battery box, then I didn't verify that I screwed in all the screws all the way. so I took apart this battery box 2.5 times last night. I'm really really glad I didn't do anything that couldn't be undone.
What's this about a door? I stumbled upon this skoolie build
, while looking for indirect lighting and was super into the build, I believe it's a similar breed to my bus too. Through this, I found these instructions to make a wood rv door.
I recall reading on some thread where one of the many users here who I admire Nat stated that there is no place in a bus for a wooden door. Anyway I did it anyway, I'll get back to you when my regrets kick in. Either way, I was getting sick of my metal bus doors that couldn't close all the way, and would open occasionally while I drove the bus. So here are a few pics. I am expecting my door to fall apart eventually, and I will hopfeully be able to weld a new steel door by then.
Painting the bus door
Chiseling out some space for the storm door knob to go. As you see, I used FRP paneling, 2x6's, 2x4's and 2x3's, and some 6 inch screws. The window I got in the RV pile I posted about sometime earlier this year, I sealed around it with polyurethane caulk, and I also mechanically fastened it with about a dozen 3 inch screws. It is secured to the prior existing door hinge with another dozen 3 inch screws.
The finished result from the outside (taken this morning)
I did not take any pictures of the inside because I was in a rush, but it doesn't look that great. I used leftover FRP on the inside, and spray painted it with a slightly more appealing color of white (see battery box). No Trim was used for the inside yet. For the trim I used aluminum angle iron, I think it was a little expensive for this purpose but I like to think of these premiums as "novice tax".
I used this storm door handle
and am fairly pleased with it, worth noting that the door handle's hollow interior is revealed on the backside of it, not a big deal. I also still need to do a little fine tuning but for the most part I am really pleased with how it turned out.
So here's what's going on next. I will have precut 18 gauge galvannealed metal sheets to cover 75% of my windows arriving at the end of the week. I have a handful of 3/16 cleco's, a 4x rivet gun, and will have 600 3/16x5/8 solid steel rivets arriving at the end of the week. Despite my reluctance, I was talked into using solid rivets over blind rivets, I'll get back to you on this once I have an opinion. If all goes as planned, I can begin skinning the backright side of the bus on Friday while a buddy is in town, and hopefully get the bulk of the bus skinnined by the end of the 16th to cash in on some favors my kitchen staff owe me.
As always, thanks for holding my hand through this my friends. For the better or the worse I'm starting to develop some confidence of where to go next. I've made so many mistakes, that I am developing resistance to fearing these mistakes. I have yet to learn how to think ahead properly, but maybe I'll figure that out, maybe.