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Old 08-03-2011, 03:32 PM   #1
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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.



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Old 08-04-2011, 12:59 AM   #2
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Re: Best Home Yet

love the pipes!!
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:51 AM   #3
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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.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:12 AM   #4
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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






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Old 08-05-2011, 11:14 AM   #5
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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.


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Old 08-05-2011, 11:18 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:21 AM   #7
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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.




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Old 08-05-2011, 11:23 AM   #8
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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.
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:25 AM   #9
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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.


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Old 08-05-2011, 11:27 AM   #10
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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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Old 08-05-2011, 11:29 AM   #11
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Re: Best Home Yet

This was the table area directly behind the driver's seat. The wood that you see was one of the command centers. It was removed as well as all you see here. There will be a photo of that desk.

I ended up replacing the original driver's seat with one of the car seats that you see in the foreground. it has a lot of adjustability. One lever lets you rock it, similar to a rocking chair. The platform that it sits on is an air ride.


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Old 08-05-2011, 11:30 AM   #12
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Re: Best Home Yet

This is looking towards the rear of the bus. There were two fold down desks with bolted down office chairs in front of them. The hideous flourescent ceiling lights are now gone. I took out eight of those car seats and saved one for the driver's seat.


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Old 08-05-2011, 11:32 AM   #13
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Re: Best Home Yet

This is how it looked when I got it. Notice the black plastic dashboard. It now has a new splendor which you will see in future pictures.


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Old 08-05-2011, 11:34 AM   #14
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Re: Best Home Yet

These are the original bunks. There were two on each side of the bus mounted midships. HA HA, I sound like a nautical guy now.

The view you have here is looking forward and those two bunks on the driver's side. The top bunks folded down to make an uncomfortable couch. The cabinets in front of the bunks still remain.


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Old 08-05-2011, 11:35 AM   #15
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Re: Best Home Yet

I have two storage bays. One on each side of the bus. They are about 5 feet wide, 2.5 feet deep and 1.5 feet tall.


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Old 08-05-2011, 11:37 AM   #16
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Re: Best Home Yet

We started with the front room.

I should tell you now about my helper. On Saturdays and Sundays we work on the bus. His name is Shawn and he is quite a craftsman.

I have known him for 10 years. For three years, he and I did land surveying. Often times we were in the woods doing boundary searches.

It was during that time that my legs became permanently scarred because of chigger bites. I had to quit that job.

What was nice was that, although we worked out there in the oppressive heat and strenuous physical demand, we never once became cross with one another.

I knew then, we would always be able to work together. I helped him build an addition to his house and taught him a lot about that stuff. I eventually ended up selling him most of my carpentry tools. He went on to do many other carpentry jobs.

He has been helping me on the weekends.

Trust me, if I had to do this all myself, it would be far from this stage and I may not have had the foresight to employ many of his ingenious ideas. So when I mention, we, it is Shawn and I.

Now to this pic. The table and seats are still there, but on the passenger side, things are starting to be removed.

At the bottom left of the picture, you'll notice a metal rack that is covered with grey carpet. It housed two car seats. There was another one, right next to it, and has been removed.

Under that one was the fresh water tank(30 gallons). It has been removed and installed in another area that you will see soon. The PVC pipe and the water inlet are still visible in this shot.

Also, you may notice, that the passenger side fold down desk unit is gone.

That little plate on the floor is to access the top of the fuel tank. I can also access that area from the outside so I chose to cover it up, as you will see.

In this photo, you are looking towards the rear of the bus.


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Old 08-05-2011, 11:40 AM   #17
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Re: Best Home Yet

This desk is on the driver's side in the front room. But now, all the chairs and table are gone.

I also removed the fold down lid. Now here is where I got really lucky. See that cabinet door up above? Well, guess what, It is 19 inches wide. (So what?) some might say.

I will tell you how overjoyed I was when I took the door off and was able to screw in 7 rack spaces of studio gear up there. BUT WAIT, it gets better.

The back of that desk is a wall of one of the cabinets you saw earlier. I cut out a section in that wall behind the rack gear so that I could access (with great ease) the back of all my equipment.

YEAH! No more having to move a bunch of stuff just to plug a wire in. OH, there is now a big desk area for my studio which I melded into where the fold down lid is.


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Old 08-05-2011, 11:41 AM   #18
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Re: Best Home Yet

Here is a pic of the bus taken by the seller at his place.


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Old 08-05-2011, 11:42 AM   #19
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Re: Best Home Yet

These are the power panels located in the kitchen, next to the stove. Electrical is not my forte and I will have to figure out how to hook up generator, shore line, and 12 volt systems. Oh Joy!


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Old 08-05-2011, 11:43 AM   #20
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Re: Best Home Yet

A weight placard.


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