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Old 02-03-2016, 10:16 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Fairfield Bay, Arkansas
Posts: 140
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Ward?
Engine: 8.2 liter ?
Rated Cap: 24 Passenger
The "Baby Bus"

Hi all,

We purchased a 1990 Ward AmTran (6 window) bus about six weeks ago in Oklahoma. Drove it back 400 miles without a hitch.

My wife and I started this journey looking at RV's. We couldn't afford new and after looking for a while, decided I didn't want to purchase someone else's leaky headache. Then I ran across a school bus and thought, I wonder if one of these could be converted into a nice little RV???

Well... duh!!! )

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...l9IMmZWaElXMW8

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...GhQU0dWU1AteUU
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Old 02-03-2016, 10:50 PM   #2
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Fairfield Bay, Arkansas
Posts: 140
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Ward?
Engine: 8.2 liter ?
Rated Cap: 24 Passenger
I wish I knew how (or if) I could add images from Google Drive so you could see them without clicking on the link. Anyone?

So... a list of stuff I would like in the conversion:

Window AC (cut into the back of the bus above the rear exit) (external power)
Propane wall-mounted heater (non-vented)
Electric wall- mounted heater (external power)
RV toilet (no shower)
Sink and single burner induction stove (counter-top burner - recessed into the counter
Two single XL mattresses (cut length-wise to convert into long couch during day)
Fresh-water and black-water tank (un-decided on grey-water tank)
Two deep-cell batteries in parallel for 12v / 240 amphr with disconnect (from starter battery when camped)
12v Roof Vent
12vdc and 110vac throughout
Home Depot upright freezer converted to Fridge
Good pure sine inverter (3000watt?)
Option to add solar panels on roof
Option to add solar water heater on roof (and hot water storage below)
Connections for camp water and 30amp hookups
Nice driver and passenger seats (from salvaged Honda Odyssey or the like)
Bead-board walls with 1-3/4" styrofoam insulation in walls
Storage cabinets above windows
All windows to remain unblocked with draw curtains around (including WC)
Reverse window opening direction
Will NOT remove inside sheet metal ceiling... will live with poor insulation

That sums it up for now.

Ross

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3...FR3UE1NU1VMTkU
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Old 02-05-2016, 08:38 PM   #3
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Willis, TX
Posts: 31
Year: 1999
Chassis: Midbus
Engine: GM 5.7 L31
Rated Cap: 19
I copy my photos to photobucket. I take the pictures with my android phone and upload them to photobucket. You can then copy/paste links from photobuckets website to the forums here.
It's a lot of steps but I haven't a more direct way to do it.
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Old 02-06-2016, 01:25 PM   #4
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 41
I also use photobucket...its free and works great... I have 700 photos and 27 videos on photobucket...here is a pic of our kitchen counter area...on our 24' bluebird 1992 mid sized bus...
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:56 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Fairfield Bay, Arkansas
Posts: 140
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Ward?
Engine: 8.2 liter ?
Rated Cap: 24 Passenger
Purchasing the electrics:

I like it scool!

Progress has been slow but relentless. I have completed removal of the passenger side panels below the windows and the rivet strip above same. Dirty fiberglass Haas been removed and the bus swept clean and readied for the start of panel removal on the driver's side.

Meanwhile, I have just purchased two 245 watt house size solar panels and the wiring and connectors for same. I also purchased a charge controller, four six-volt Duracell 215 amp/hr deep cell batteries (Trojan T-105 equivalents) and a 2000 watt pure sine inverter.

I intend to go without a generator and with any luck do well with just the solar and occasional shore power. I wish to spend much of our time boondocking.

Amazon is getting rich off of my purchases. I have ordered crimpers to make my own battery cables and a DPDT power switch to automatically switch from inverter to shore power. Without the generator, no delay necessary.

I also picked up three nice seats with belts from a salvaged Town and Country van. At the same salvage yard I found some eight foot pieces of rectangular tube steel. I plan to cut them, flange both ends and bolt and rivet them to the floor and ceiling respectively near each seat to provide mounting structure for the seat belts. They should be quite rigid and unobtrusive. Kind of happy with my idea.

And lastly I visited O'neal Steel in Little Rock. I got some prices for angle iron. I can get 100 ft of 2 x 2 x 1/8" angle iron for about $135 with tax. That should be enough to build supports for my tanks and perhaps extend the battery box.

I've started uploading pictures and will start putting them up here soon.

That's all for now

Cheers

Ross
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:28 PM   #6
Skoolie
 
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Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Fairfield Bay, Arkansas
Posts: 140
Year: 1990
Coachwork: Chevy
Chassis: Ward?
Engine: 8.2 liter ?
Rated Cap: 24 Passenger
More progress...

All side panels are removed. I pulled out the old driver's seat. Took all of the sheet metal housing off surrounding the heater and blowers. Cleaned the heater and vacuumed around same.

Then I attacked the wiring harness in earnest and took it out. The only wires left going to the back of the bus control the lower brake, running and backup lights. So much neater without all of that rats nest of wires. I'm thinking about rebuilding the heater surround with wood instead of the sheet metal I removed. Then I could mount things the way I want without constraints. I plan to replace the old black hoses used for defrost and such and replace them with aluminum expandable dryer hose. The smaller hose may have to be something else.

I went to the local salvage yard and purchased the driver an middle passenger cloth seats from a nice Town & Country van. The driver's seat is electric and oh-so comfortable! I need to raise the mounting hardware about two inches to get the seat to the right height. No problem there.

Mounting the two passenger seats will be more challenging. The hook in and have the option of removal. The wood floor will b about 1-3/8" thick. That might be enough room to developed a rail with rods the seat hooks can catch and still have it buried level in the wood floor. This is gonna be some work.

I figured out how to attach the shoulder harnesses for all three seats. I picked up some structural rectangular tubing from the junk yard. I will weld attach brackets to both ends and mount them to the floor and ceiling with bolts and rivets respectively locating them just behind the shoulder of each seat. I'll weld the seatbelt take-up rollers near the bottom of the tubes and bolt the upper seat belt supports at the proper height (to the same tubes). It should look clean and be rock solid!

Things are moving along well right now! Very excited!

Regards all!

Ross
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