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Statesofmind 01-23-2012 01:09 PM

1996 Bluebird Conversion
I picked this bus up a couple years ago and am 1/3 of the way through my conversion. This is the 3rd I have done, by far the biggest. This will be used primarily as a mobile hunting/fishing cabin. I have too many updates to post all of these at once, but I will keep freshening up if there is interest.

As I bought it, inside and out.

Seats, wheelchair lift, AC units out and sold. Now the total insulation of the floor and walls. Both have a heavy layer of plastic vapor barrier. Floors have 2"foam board and 3/4" sub-floor. Walls are 1/2 inch foam board and paneling. Entire inside was repainted and sealed before covering.

Some framing started. I'm using 2x2's and 1x3 strapping.

Next some cosmetic work on dash and door. Basically just recovered the dash and painted the doors. Looks decent.

The bus will have a complete solar system linked with house and shore system to handle all power. It's my goal to be able to camp for a month or so. I had to build 1 of the 2 banks of batteries into the floor over the front axle. This is a rear-eng. model so there's TONS of room underneath. Both banks are fully functional and hooked to charger/monitors. The solar panels go on this spring.

Now onto the bunk area. The bus has a master cabin in back (queen-sized) and 2 bunks.

Now the galley area.

Heat.... It's cold here in Maine. I will not be using propane as a main source of fuel. I will use wood. With the heavy insulation I installed, this little stove can get me up to 65 degrees over ambient. It takes a couple hours, but the fuel is free.

Now the shower.

More to come...

chev49 01-23-2012 01:33 PM

Re: 1996 Bluebird Conversion
Since this is an RE, are your house batteries in front of your fuel tank? and what size are they?

morefire 01-23-2012 08:49 PM

Re: 1996 Bluebird Conversion
nice bus, nice work

Accordion 01-24-2012 09:45 AM

Re: 1996 Bluebird Conversion
Great looking bus. Great craftsmanship. Awesome pictures. Of course we are interested in your project.

What part of Maine? I grew up there.

Statesofmind 01-24-2012 09:45 AM

Re: 1996 Bluebird Conversion
I have 2 banks of house batteries. The first bank (4) is located towards the rear, over the rear axle. The second bank (5) is located just in front of the fuel tank, under the floor over the front axle. Both have 3 stage charger/maintainers hooked up.

I will have to get back to you on the size and AH's. They are all 12v, deep cycle, acid based. I received them all from my work at no cost. We are required by law to change them out every year or so regardless of use. These particular (9) batteries were tested and rated at 98%-99% capacity. I understand at some point I will need to replace these, but for free, these will do just fine for some time top come. Very limited use.

A nice side note, I can use this set-up as a back-up power supply for my home if the power goes out. I can easily run my pellet stove and other must-haves off one of 3 on-board inverters. The solar panels will be installed this spring to give me more redundancy.

Accordion 01-24-2012 09:49 AM

Re: 1996 Bluebird Conversion
I have never seen batteries like those.

chev49 01-25-2012 09:53 AM

Re: 1996 Bluebird Conversion
I think the batteries will last a long time. Looks like you are doing good work, thanks for the pictures.

thommassey 01-26-2012 02:19 AM

Re: 1996 Bluebird Conversion

Originally Posted by igloo
Yeah I'm enjoying this thread. The battery box already is giving me ideas.

I was thinking the same (about getting ideas) for my RE... battery boxes under the floor. I like that! Keep the pics comin!! :D :D

BTW, with 2" of floor insulation, and 3/4" flooring, where does that put your finished ceiling height? About 73 1/4" ?

Statesofmind 01-31-2012 07:21 AM

Re: 1996 Bluebird Conversion
Thom... Height is about 72. To be honest I don't recall exactly. I know that I am 5'10" and don't bump my head! :) (It's close)

I am finishing up the desk, computer and office station in the "master bunk" area. I'll send more pics later this week. Thanks again the responses.

browncrown 02-12-2012 05:57 PM

Re: 1996 Bluebird Conversion
Looking really nice...I really like the kitchen work and how it looks :D

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