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Accordion 08-03-2011 03:32 PM

Best Home Yet
Hello, fellow bus devotees.

After spending MANY days reading the threads on this site, I thought it only fair that I post as well. It will take many more days to finish reading everyone's threads. I love spending my evenings reading all the info. I especially enjoy the pictures. I have been living in vehicles for over thirty years. I have had many different types.

Although my building project was primarily finished last year, I still want to share it with you. I had been posting on another site. However, I see that this site is where all the action is happening. I still have to finish the plumbing and the electrical.

I have been living in my bus for two years.

I am excited about sharing all I know about being an "urban camper".

I spent four months (on weekends) building the interior of this bus . I will gladly post photos of the inside as I believe that many of you would like to hear my stories and see the many pictures I have of the bus.

I did things a little differently. On all the cabinets I built, I just used the 3/4 inch birch plywood as face frames, and used L-brackets to assemble them and mount them to the bus with screws.

I did not remove the rubber from the floor. There was no plywood on the floor. I looked under the bus and found no rust. The bus is in surprisingly great condition.

Keep in mind that this thread is over a year and a half old.

Here are two pics of the outside. It has the 1160 Cat diesel, Allison 4 speed automatic transmission, and air brakes.

Stuff 08-04-2011 12:59 AM

Re: Best Home Yet
love the pipes!!

Accordion 08-04-2011 08:51 AM

Re: Best Home Yet
Moshart, I have many photos. The cabinets that I built are strong enough to hang from. Pics coming soon. You will see. They are secured to the ceiling with screws.

Accordion 08-05-2011 11:12 AM

Re: Best Home Yet
I asked a diesel mechanic friend of mine to come look at this bus with me. We drove 100 miles in my little pickup truck to go see it. He said it was a honey, so I bought it.

As we were about to leave, he gets in my truck and asks,"ready to go?". I looked at him with trepidation and said,"I was hoping that you would drive it back".

I was somewhat intimidated by the machine at first. He agreed. I followed him on the highway and I was amazed that I sometimes could not keep up with him. He was going 75 mph at times. I was impressed.

So yes there is a lot of speed in this bus. I did not think that it was all that stable at those speeds, yet he managed to stay in one lane. Personally, 65 is fast enough for me.

It got great fuel mileage. I bet it is over 10 mpg. I don't know yet as I have not done any traveling with it.

I have many photos of the rebuild. When I got it, it had been used as an emergency response vehicle. It had lots of chairs and command desks as well as four bunks, a kitchen and bathroom. I have kept the kitchen and toilet and will be installing a shower in the bathroom.

The motorhome you see in one of the pictures is what I lived in before this bus. I am parting it out and have salvaged the generator (4.0 Onan), fridge, gas tank for the gen.,12 volt lights, roof airs, and more.

I have LOTS of pictures of the inside build.

Oh, by the way, those stacks are hard pipe dual exhausts from the engine, back.

I will go through my photos and arrange them. For now, here are a few. Rudy

Accordion 08-05-2011 11:14 AM

Re: Best Home Yet
I have a 75 watt Seimens panel, 20 amp controller, and four six volt golf cart batteries that I will be removing from the Dodge motorhome that I am dismantling. I also have a cheap 700 watt inverter that I don't use and will upgrade to at least a 1kw sine wave for the reasons that someone mentioned.(noisy audio).

For now, here is a photo of me in front of the bus with one of my accordions.

Accordion 08-05-2011 11:18 AM

Re: Best Home Yet
The insulation on the floor is 3/4 inch stiff board styrofoam that I got at Home Depot. I laid it on the floor and then siliconed each flooring board to it. I guess it is a floating floor.

I have so many cool things to show you. I just got off work and will be going through my photos and begin a comprehensive "show and tell" of the bus building.

I played guitar for 35 years (Leo Kottke style) but had to stop due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. I played the nylon string guitar for a few years, but it was just not the same.

A little over five years ago I fell in love with accordion. I also took up mandolin. I love Cajun music. I am French Canadian (Cajun). I taught myself and have composed many tunes in different styles. I like tangos and Gypsy Jazz.

I get together weekly with two friends and we improvise and record. I would be glad to send you a bunch of CDs. I probably have close to twenty that I have recorded including my whole guitar years as well as stuff that I have been doing with friends for the past five years.

I will post, and include photos in a chronological order. Thanks for your interest.

Accordion 08-05-2011 11:21 AM

Re: Best Home Yet
Last night I organized my photos into three sections. I am going to start with some pictures that were taken by the guy who I bought the bus from.

Next comes cool stuff like dismantling and beginnings of construction. After that, the next section will be the wood cabinetry and floor and carpeted ceiling.

Oh, I can't wait to tell you about this bendable 1/2 inch closed cell insulation that I used on all the curved surfaces, including the ceiling. I used spray adhesive that is very tenacious at staying where it is, stuck.

I have a bunch of pics in my camera which I will get into my computer. I also am excited about taking some more because at this point, 95% of the carpentry/remodel is done. Now THAT is a vision that has come to fruition.

OK. this first picture is of the sink that came in the bus when I got it. Keep in mind that it had been used last as the Johnson City Emergency Management Vehicle.

A lot of the basics were already built. There were many seats and command desks in the front.They were all removed. Lots of antennas on the roof which I am leaving on there, even though they have been rendered inop.

I'd like to maintain the look of the Emergency Management vehicle and paint or vinyl stencil STRONG COMMAND CENTER where they used to have their writing.

I have thought this name out. Strong means that is is the biggest and best thing I have had yet (the bus,that is). Command center connoting that I am able to house myself, two dogs, my recording studio, all of my instruments, a big couch, 2 dog beds, incredible storage spaces the likes of which you may never see, a twin bed, humongous closet, big kitchen, shower and toilet. Whoa!

This bus also did it's years as a school bus. It says the capacity is 72 passengers. I look at this 33 foot bus and have to laugh because I can't imagine 72 adults on this bus. I think the obvious conclusion is that is was made to transport many children.

The bus is built on an ALL AMERICAN chassis. I think GVW is 30,000. I'll get back on that later.

OK, back to the pictures. The bathroom is located at the back of the bus across the kitchen. (I would not have laid it out this way). The stuff was already in there, including a very large waste tank under the bus, and all the exhaust plumbing is there. Gotta love it.

This bathroom space is roughly 2 1/2 ft. by 4 ft. I have removed the corner sink and cabinet and will construct a shower that will have a semi circle shower curtain rod. The toilet is staying where it is. The second picture is of the toilet.

Accordion 08-05-2011 11:23 AM

Re: Best Home Yet
I have some cool photos of a 1966 Chevy truck that had a 10 foot camper welded to a frame thereby giving lots of outside storage bins. I got it in LA. It had a blown 327. I went to see a guy who built a lot of engines for the guys who raced at Saugus speed way. He built me a 383 stroker. That is a 350 with a 400 crankshaft. I remember climbing the highway to Vail Colorado, and I was passing most of the cars. I lived in that thing for over five years. It was quite a gypsy truck. Pictures coming soon.

Accordion 08-05-2011 11:25 AM

Re: Best Home Yet
I just want to get these pictures out of the way so that I can get to the good stuff. They don't need much explanation. These are from the guy I bought the bus from.

Oh, the propane tank is large, maybe 40 or 50 gallons.

Accordion 08-05-2011 11:27 AM

Re: Best Home Yet
Here you see the 1979 Dodge class c that I lived in for three years. Next to it is the bus. Behind them is a 1953 trailer that I lived in for five years. Notice the temporary propane tank to run the heater. It was still cold then.

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