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Old 01-09-2011, 12:46 AM   #1
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The Rubber Tramp Project

So I decided, half-assedly a bit ago, that I would live in a bus and soon there-after gave up on the idea. After a few life changes and making some realizations about where I am and where I wanna be, I have decided that it is time to revisit the idea. So here she is; my 1986 diesel e-350 shorty. She doesnt have a name yet, so I'm open to suggestions. I just drove her home today, and soon I will start the stripping and reengineering. Stay tuned!

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Old 01-10-2011, 10:35 PM   #2
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Re: The Rubber Tramp Project

Welcome, good looking bus! Do you have any floor plans?
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Old 01-11-2011, 12:09 PM   #3
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Re: The Rubber Tramp Project

Thanks for the welcome folks! No floor plans drawn up as of yet. I plan on gettin started with the physical side of things today. I'll pull out the seats and possibly the floor and measure things out to see what I've really got to work with. Then I plan on drawing up a layout. As of now, I'm thinking like a double bed across the back wall on a custom built platform with storage from the rear door and drawers from the front. Then a kitchenette with a small sink, and propane burners on one wall. On the opposite wall I might do a fold down table with two seats that fold down into a bed, though the more I think about it, the less likely that seems. I'm not gunna have a ton of space to work with and I need to have some cabinetry and closets etc. for storage so we'll see how it goes.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:11 AM   #4
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Re: The Rubber Tramp Project

So tonight I swung by the shop where she is parked (still remaining unnamed at the moment, waiting for her to talk to me and tell me what she wants to be called) and got to work. I pulled all the seat out of her, except one, which I will likely pull out tomorrow. I will also likely start to pull up the rubber flooring tomorrow. She is mighty pretty, and I took some measurements and made more observations about her specifics tonight which I will post shortly. I also snapped quite a few photos and got the wheels turning in my head. Here are some of the photos:




& now with the seats removed:




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Old 01-12-2011, 11:16 AM   #5
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Re: The Rubber Tramp Project

Welcome to skoolies! I think if I were working with that small amount of space, I would get a jackknife couch that folds into a double bed. That way you have both seating and sleeping without taking up additional space. That's what I did in my bus, and I've got twice as much space to work with as you. But I've got a fairly large family, so I had to conserve space. Good luck on the project - the planning phase is really fun and exciting! I went through many, many designs before landing on the best solution for my needs.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:15 PM   #6
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Re: The Rubber Tramp Project

Welcome aboard...

The planning stage really never ends...

Spend some time looking at other builds, you'll find steps that you may not have thought about that can save you a lot of head ache in the end...

Good luck with the build...
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Old 01-13-2011, 11:10 AM   #7
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Re: The Rubber Tramp Project

I only had about 40 minutes to work on her last night but it was just enough time to pull up the rubber flooring. The plywood doesn't look all bad considering its as old as I am (Funny fact, the door panel states the bus was manufactured by Ford 3/86 and Collins produced it 5/86 which is my birth month and year!). BUT! I still think I'd like to have the knowledge that it has all fresh wood for a good solid foundation to build from. And in all honesty, I'm kind of just curious to see how its put together. After undoing the mini "angle-iron" piece of tin connecting the wall to the floor I reached my entire hand to my wrist underneath the wood and couldn't feel anything but air
I guess I'll see whats under there tonight since I have the whole evening to tinker.
Pics soon
-Cash
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Old 01-13-2011, 12:40 PM   #8
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Re: The Rubber Tramp Project

In 1986, we had bought a 1974 Apache pop-up that used plywood under the floor and for the bed decking. We had originally thought about replacing the plywood until David got to looking at it and realized that it was marine grade plywood (and oversized sheets on the bed decks). We couldn't buy plywood that was made as well as the old plywood. So we kept it. We finally sold the pop-up in 2005 and the floor & bed decking was a solid as he day we bought the pop-up. There is a good chance that if the plywood is as old as you say it is and still solid, it may be marine plywood. Lumber products over the past 10 years has gotten really crappy. We put down fake decking (like on Smittys "back porch") rather than buy the crap that is being passed off as lumber today. And that is NOT #! LUMBER. I know what #1 is and the stuff we have been seeing is what used to be sold as NON-GRADED because that is no grade for anything that low in quality. Sorry, we were in Home Depot and Lowes this past weekend. In the lumber section... JUNK, JUNK, JUNK! How do they build houses nowadays!
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:06 PM   #9
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Re: The Rubber Tramp Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
...Sorry, we were in Home Depot and Lowes this past weekend. In the lumber section... JUNK, JUNK, JUNK! How do they build houses nowadays!
I agree. Am I imagining this, or did we used to be able to buy sanded ply for a reasonable price? The only way to get decent looking plywood now days is spend like $30 per sheet! That's just not right!
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Old 01-13-2011, 04:28 PM   #10
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Re: The Rubber Tramp Project

We used to buy a decent plywood at a decent price! Now we buy plywood full of voids. 2X4's are so twisted that you can't build a plumb wall. Does make you rethink metal studs (and yes we did find some in Albuquerque) and plastic wood! And the cabinet grade stuff leaves a bit to be desired. Meanwhile I'm trying to figure out how to make a decent cabinet with indecent materials without breaking us! I need to win the lottery jackpot!!!
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