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Old 09-20-2020, 01:51 AM   #21
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
so its been about a month since last update... the biggest progress was finishing the shower and getting hot water runnung. First attempt at tiling and I must say I am happy i am done with it - very challenging job! I purchased 3 different tile saws/scribe cutters before doing what i should have done to start with and rented a 10" wet saw. The first wall was actually mostly cut just with a 4.5" angle grinder with diamond blade and a spray bottle, as I had 2 non functional scribe cutters which were just ruining and wasting tiles. its edges are covered by the other walls anyway so they didnt have to be perfect cuts.
I used charcoal grout for the wall tiles and white for the floor tiles. the remainder of the shower is cedar tongue and groove - i decided against fully tiling the shower to cut down on weight and I think the cedar looks and smells great!
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Old 09-20-2020, 10:51 AM   #22
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
and progress in the rest of the bus... Ceiling is mostly done - it is just 3/16 pine tongue and groove glued to the steel ribs with sikabond (flexible polyurethane adhesive). I went for glue to avoid any thermal bridging from screwing directly into the steel. Also trying to maximise head space/available height so I didnt want the ceiling any lower than it had to be by putting stud in the ceiling to fasten to. the material used on the ceiling is very thin and light so I hope the glue will hold over time!
Starting on sheeting all my walls with plywood now - feels good to be covering up the foam and wires!
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Old 02-09-2021, 04:27 PM   #23
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
about time for an update!
From this post onwards (mid september) I had moved onto living on the bus while working on it - meaning I didnt have to drive 35min each way to work on it. It was barely above camping style of life, living amongst the clutter of construction, especially with Canadian winter nipping at my heels!

ok so onto the flooring. 1" closed cell foam, 1/4" plywood subfloor, vinyl plank flooring glued down with vinyl glue.
I completed the flooring insulation the day before the weather snapped to -15C for a week at the start of october - the uninsulated front stairs were like an open freezer in the corner of the room!
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Old 02-09-2021, 05:55 PM   #24
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
Flooring continued and cabinets. Cabinetry had to be 100% custom because of the water, propane and electrical systems contained within them/mounted against the back wall. So everything was cut from sheets of 3/4" birch ply and painted MDF for the cabinet fronts using a makita track saw. I can highly recomend using a track saw in the absence of space/money for a table saw. And I think its much easier cutting 4x8 sheets than using a small portable table saw!
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Old 02-09-2021, 06:18 PM   #25
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 13
This looks amazing!!! Great work and I love that you are repurposing material!

We have a crazy idea to repurpose the metal from the school bus seat frames (if they are square and not round) for a roof raise [IF the metal is strong enough to hold that load].

Well done, Good Sir! We hope to see you on the road.
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Old 02-09-2021, 06:30 PM   #26
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
Added some dresser drawers under the master bedroom, and custom slide out pantry. Below the dresser drawers is the chinese diesel heater.

Then the Cubic Grizzly wood stove arrived and I started work on the pedestal and brick tile backing. Also used more recycled ceiling sheet metal for the black trim on the pedestal

In hindsight I wish I had offset the cement backer board from the wall to act as a heat shield, but I didnt so i have the black heat shields in place behind it most of the time. Without the shields its generally hot to the touch on the tiles but not painfully hot - might be ok without the shields but i would prefer not to find out!
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Old 02-09-2021, 07:43 PM   #27
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
onto the exterior... I got some used tire chains on Kijiji, but I later found out one was missing it's final "rung of the ladder" so i did a repair job with some galvanised chain and made up a little cam tool

For water tanks I went to a scrap yard and pulled some tanks out of some RV's for $10 a piece before giving them a thorough cleaning and sanitising.
I have 2x fresh tanks (180L + 130L) mounted below deck and one internally (120L) in the back of the bus for winter use. I have hot water return pipes running to each of these tanks which is super useful - allows me to transfer water between tanks via the propane heater, pre-warm water in tank for extra hot showers, cycle water to prevent freezing (and even defrost the external tanks after freezing).

By leaving a ball valve slightly open overnight, water cycles very slowly with the pump switching on for a second every ~4 minutes. With this and 120V heat cable running along the pipes in/against the external walls, I have most recently managed to keep hot running water to the kitchen sink (not the shower) as the temperature dropped down to -30C (-22F). Then it continued to -40C (-40F) overnight this past Saturday and now (from previous experience!) I will have to wait for a few days warmer than -10C outside for it to defrost and work again

looking in the back door, there is storage area below the bed with the water tank on the right, and diesel heater tank just inside the door on the left. Removeable insulated panels cover the back windows when its cold outside!

I gave the exterior a paint job of a slightly different shade of yellow (less orange). It was all done just with Tremclad rust paint from a spray can. As winter arrived in October, I ran out of time for a proper paint job and had to progressively do with a couple of hours here and there when the weather got above +5C
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:10 PM   #28
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
on the roof I put 4x 315W monocrystaline Canadian Solar panels mounted using galvanised gate hinges, angle brackets and blind fasteners.

The electrical centre is in a sheet metal lined (recycled ceiling again - for fire resistance) kitchen cabinet. The black and red cables at the top-back come from the 1260W solar panels and into the MPP Solar Hybrid charge controller/2.4kW inverter on the left wall. This charges the black battery boxes (2x 2400Wh 24V lithium ion) via the cables/breakers on the left.
24V power also runs across to the black box on the right wall which transforms to 12V power, distributed from the fuse block above it to the water pump, exhaust fans, diesel heater, external light bar, etc.
From the inverter/charger on the left wall again, 120V AC power runs into the distribution panel on the back wall. 2 separate circuits run through AFCI and then GFCI breaker outlets which are mounted on the metal boxes on the right. Power then runs out from these to the dimmable LED puck lights, strip lights and normal household outlets (with USB ports).

I got help with the electrical design and installation from an electrician friend who was incredibly helpful and I know I would have struggled massively without his help! But overall I was involved in all of the work and did about half of the wiring work myself once i was shown what to do!

Where I currently have it parked (with only 1 of 4 panels angled towards the sun, and considering its the middle of winter) I am getting 300W charging on a really good day, but probably averaging 175W for about 9hours a day. I havent been running the fridge off it, but its been powering all the lights, charging devices, and powering ther 12v appliances while steadily increasing the battery voltage. I've also played around with powering an angle grinder off the bus just because I can! Expecting things to improve a bit as it comes out of winter!
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Old 02-09-2021, 09:43 PM   #29
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
Keep scrolling up ^^ just mass dumped 5 posts with photos of work since October. Havent had the time to put into sorting through photos for a while - been racing against Canadian winter to get Brum warm, insulated and comfortably liveable! Finally have plenty of time indoors by the fire while it's -35C outside

"THE.BRUM.BUS" on Instagram for more timely updates!
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Old 02-09-2021, 10:54 PM   #30
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 1,041
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
Well I can't give you enough thumbs up on this one
That's some great work you got going there.
Thanks for the pics, your bathroom door with storage may have just solved a dilemma for me. It looks very thick, can you provide more details on the door?
Keep up the good work and stay warm.
Cheers

Oscar
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Old 02-09-2021, 11:04 PM   #31
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Location: Philadelphia
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Chassis: CE 300
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Rated Cap: 65C-43A
Great work all around!
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Old 02-10-2021, 01:18 AM   #32
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
Quote:
Originally Posted by ATravelingMan32 View Post
This looks amazing!!! Great work and I love that you are repurposing material!

We have a crazy idea to repurpose the metal from the school bus seat frames (if they are square and not round) for a roof raise [IF the metal is strong enough to hold that load].

Well done, Good Sir! We hope to see you on the road.
Thanks! it would be crazy to waste the good ceiling sheet metal!
The civil engineer in me says use new materials when it comes to structural supports - but the bus builder in me says make it work! Good luck with the roof raise!
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Old 02-10-2021, 01:20 AM   #33
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
Well I can't give you enough thumbs up on this one
That's some great work you got going there.
Thanks for the pics, your bathroom door with storage may have just solved a dilemma for me. It looks very thick, can you provide more details on the door?
Keep up the good work and stay warm.
Cheers

Oscar
Thanks Oscar!
not sure what you are referring to as the bathroom door as i didnt think it was shown in any photos? The toilet door is just 18mm plywood as shown in the below pics. When the door is closed the room is completely taken up by the toilet - no wasted space. Check the floor plan design i posted earlier in this thread to get an idea of how its all laid out

Or maybe you were looking at the wall between the shower and kitchen with the ladder on it? As the shower just has a curtain at the moment!
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Old 02-10-2021, 05:14 AM   #34
Bus Crazy
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Fraser Valley British Columbia
Posts: 1,041
Year: 2007
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freightliner
Engine: C7 Cat
My mistake, yep it's the ladder wall. In one of the pics it looks like wall has a small gap over the bathroom sill and I thought it was a slider. So I was planning on making a barn door for my bathroom, seeing your ladder wall and thinking that was A door I was thinking a thicker door could have an insert in it to contain an open type pantry/spice racks.
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Old 02-10-2021, 10:33 AM   #35
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Chassis: 1 ford 1998 e350 4x4 7.3 2 mercedes 2004
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Nice work, Like the ladder wall, and seeing it is next to the kitchen it can double as a towel rack.. .The next step a heated towel rack??


Where did you get the drain trough? We had to make two convential kitchen drains on each side of our shower pan to be able to minimize the water for the recirculating shower.


In a previous bus that had a wood stove we had stainless mirrors behind the stove since they reflect the heat forward, not sure how good it looked.
We had an uninsulated pipe to extract more heat and later on a pipe with water tubes in it that was attached to a floor heating.
In that case you will need some safety pressure valves,, Haha,,unfortunately I know.


Johan
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Old 02-10-2021, 05:08 PM   #36
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar1 View Post
My mistake, yep it's the ladder wall. In one of the pics it looks like wall has a small gap over the bathroom sill and I thought it was a slider. So I was planning on making a barn door for my bathroom, seeing your ladder wall and thinking that was A door I was thinking a thicker door could have an insert in it to contain an open type pantry/spice racks.
oh yeh that gap is just to avoid the wood contacting wet tiles
I was thinking of doing a barn door here, but I dont think there is enough height for it to work. Plus a curtain ended up being a lot easier for the time being!

Interesting idea - always gotta maximise storage space!
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Old 02-10-2021, 05:13 PM   #37
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeblack5 View Post
Nice work, Like the ladder wall, and seeing it is next to the kitchen it can double as a towel rack.. .The next step a heated towel rack??


Where did you get the drain trough? We had to make two convential kitchen drains on each side of our shower pan to be able to minimize the water for the recirculating shower.


In a previous bus that had a wood stove we had stainless mirrors behind the stove since they reflect the heat forward, not sure how good it looked.
We had an uninsulated pipe to extract more heat and later on a pipe with water tubes in it that was attached to a floor heating.
In that case you will need some safety pressure valves,, Haha,,unfortunately I know.


Johan
the shower drain was just on amazon - search linear tile insert drain

in hindsight I wish I had the wood stove sitting a bit lower with more flue
Very cool idea to run water tubes off the flue for floor heating! i think I'm a bit far along to make any big changes now!
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Old 10-28-2021, 02:54 PM   #38
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
Sliding Pantry

update time - first a few photos of the pantry build
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Old 10-28-2021, 03:13 PM   #39
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
Storage

need more storage space!
-kitchen drawers in front of the water heater (double wall exhaust vent, cabinet is vented externally with exhaust fan triggered by thermostat during/after heating)
-dresser drawers below the main bed - chinese diesel heater below drawers
-futon base and large drawers added below
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Old 10-28-2021, 03:23 PM   #40
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Calgary
Posts: 51
Chassis: GMC B7 T042
Engine: GM 454 7.4L Gas
Rated Cap: 66pas
countertop refinishing

when I bought my countertop, the raw acacia butcher block I had been eyeing up to fit my kitchen was sold out and only walnut stained remaining. I eventually got round to sanding back the stain and finishing with tung oil. Very happy with the result as it really brightened up the space!
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