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Old 01-16-2017, 11:33 AM   #1
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Location: Richmond, VA
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Heya from Richmond, VA

Hi! This fall I bought a '92 Bluebird with flat front, engine in the front, and a full back door. It was already titled as an RV and all but 4 of the seats were already taken out. It runs fine but I haven't taken it on the road much. I didn't register it yet, only put the title in my name, to keep my cost as low as possible while working on it.

My goal for this project is to have a mobile place to live and work. I'm an artist/designer/metalsmith so it's also part of the plan to wall off the back 1/4 (maybe put a pocket door access?) to keep my studio workspace separate from my living space. It's just me and my pup, so I'm planning on a modest sized bed, portable toilet, one sink and shower...along with the usual bare necessities. My budget is definitely very important and not unlimited. I'm excited and nervous at the same time! And grateful that there is a community like this one for the difficult days!

Feel free to say hey and tell me about your bus, what was the most difficult part, or some words of encouragement or advice. Thanks!

-Ashley
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:35 PM   #2
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Welcome!

I love watching metalworkers make big cuts on their buses, can't wait to see some pictures!
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Old 01-16-2017, 03:37 PM   #3
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Hi! I'm actually smaller scale, so a jeweler more so. I'm decent at welding and have access to a welder but not planning on anything too extravagant in that realm...yet.
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:17 PM   #4
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It sounds as if you have your plan in hand already. Good for you!

Your plan sounds very doable. You may want to consider some sort of fold down rear deck or rear access stairway that would allow you to open the rear door and have some space outside for those days when the weather is nice. Or failing that, installing a 20'-25' awning on the curbside of the bus to create a work space outside.

I am not that conversant with the sort of work you do but I would imagine it does create a lot of heat. Enough so that it would tend to make the interior of the bus uncomfortably warm during the summer months. You can only do so much cooling with an A/C unit that can plug into even a 50 AMP 110-VAC service.

Using a pocket door will use up much less space than a swinging door and it can seal off the work space very well.

My only real concern is that you locate as much of the heavy stuff behind the rear axle. Heavy stuff defined as genset, black/grey/potable water tanks, LPG tanks, etc. All Type 'D' FE buses are heavily weighted towards the front axle. The older models usually had the fuel tank just aft of the service door which adds to the forward weight bias. It is very easy to overload the front axle and not be anywhere close to the GVWR for the total vehicle.

Good luck and happy trails to you!
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Old 01-16-2017, 08:28 PM   #5
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Hey! Thank you for the advice. The back deck is a good idea. Even though the shared studio space I occupy now isn't much bigger than my intended space on the bus, you really can never have enough workspace! If I decide to take a mini kiln on the road (maybe I'm aiming too high here.. haha), that would be a perfect place to use it. For jewelry purposes, the torches don't generate a ton of heat. I'll mostly need to worry about creating a little ventilation system for a window.

The plan in my head has a fair amount of the heavier things towards the back half, but I hadn't checked into weight distribution yet.

Thanks again!
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:19 PM   #6
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Chassis: Crown Supercoach
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I use the "kid method" to ballpark weight distribution.

For example, 3 kids per seat at 50lbs each, so 150lbs per seat or 300lbs per row of seats. Those numbers are conservative, but I found this useful when I was planning on where to put water tanks...

Generally you want the heavy stuff right over the axles.

Oh, but I think some of those flat front engine buses have big blocks of steel aft of the rear axle for ballast. Might be worth looking
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Old 01-16-2017, 09:33 PM   #7
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Ah, thank you. That's smart.
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