Its been awhile since I have posted on here, so I thought I'd post an update. We have been living in our conversion full time since March 2012, it's been a great adventure! We have only taken one major trip, which was to Arkansas through Missouri and Kansas. Our 1986 International did great, only had one radiator hose fail about 30 miles from home on our way out. Unfortunately that was the ONLY spare part i left at home, so we hitched a ride to retrieve it.
After living in the bus for almost a year we have learned a lot about living in small quarters. we have been fortunate enough to live and work at an RV resort, so we havent had the need for a toilet or shower since they are provided. however, we would like to be able to have those things (at least in the summer, it stays below freezing day and night from december to march here so not feasable then, or at least running water). We recently purchased a Sun Mar self composting toilet to put in the bus, which we are looking forward to. we also plan on remodeling (fairly extensively) in the coming months to make more use of the space, as I did not exactly plan much out the first go around. we just wanted something liveable so we could start saving money. After spending a winter (or part of so far) in the bus in one of the COLDEST places in the country (it got down to -38F last week, has consistently been below 0F at night for the past couple months and daily temps rarely get into the teens!) we have decided our old Federal wood/coal stove needs an upgrade. It is bearable and considering this is one of the coldest winters in recent years and we are in a bus the stove is nice. If we burned more coal we might stay warmer, but we want to get away from fuels like that as much as possible. Also, we have been burning an insane amount of wood anyway and want something that will be more efficient in the long run. we have even put hay bales around the bus and spilled water still freezes on the floor if it is more than 5 feet from the stove. We are planning on installing a rocket mass heater instead. anyone have any tips? ever done it in a bus? we are not sure what to expect or if it will work.
We have also recently purchased a 1990 Thomas MVP!!! This bus we plan to convert more like an RV and possibly get it registered as such. On our trip to Arkansas and back it was a bit nerve racking to be driving our home and most things we owned (at least for my wife). So we decided to get this bus as our traveler, since it is already a better candidate anyway, being a pusher and still has auto chains and driveline retarder like the old one, and is a little taller and more square footage, but overall length being almost identical. We plan to mount in the undercarriage an rv propane tank, fresh water and gray water tanks, no black water tank since we will transfer the self composting toilet between which bus we are using at the time. we also plan to install a shower in the bathroom as well. we plan to have a complete solar system on it, just like our current bus, but also have shore power. we also picked up a roof rack in case extra storage is needed haha. So far I have gotten all the seats unbolted, just need to drop them off with the local junk/recycle guy and start working.
Anyway, check out our Youtube channel for some videos of our buses! http://www.youtube.com/user/thewildbuslife