THE RESSURECTION of FURTHER
well, i'm new to the site, sort of. it was several years ago that i first came across this site while researching alternative living styles. somehow the idea of living mobile really appealed to me, particularly, being in b.c., where we have several geographical zones to choose from. i myself rather enjoy the arid, desert like interior of the province. however, as i write, i am residing in the city of vancouver and it is here that i bought my first bus last september. if i've made any serious mistakes thus far it was having jumped quickly on buying the bus without realizing that it was from another province, that being. alberta. and so, i am having to deal with bringing it up to mechanical and safety standards before getting it certified in this province.
since taking possession of the bus i have to deal with many frustrating issues. first of all, the previous owner had allowed me to keep his, alberta plates and insurance on the vehical, while i finished paying him off. i thought this was great as i could park on the street at my place of residence and work on the conversion while close to home. well someone complained (i hadn't even begun work on it) and the by-law came and slapped a $100.00 ticket on it for being over the height and length allowed to be parked over night. i was told i needed to move it. so the first thing i did was took it down to a safety inspection garage. the inspection cost $250.00 and the guy gave me this ridiculous quote of $3,000.00 to do the repairs needed. well, i wasn't into paying that as i knew i could probably do the repairs myself.
what i needed now was a place to park the bus where i could do the work on it while still being reasonably close to where i was living. i run an ad in craigslist and got a couple of responces right away. i was offering $200.00 a month for a place that would include hydro. i ended up renting a space in a back alley behind a car wash. however this already proved to be too far from home and i never really done much with it aside from removing the valve cover to replace worn gaskets and installing new front shocks. i had already removed all but two seats while it was parked at my residence, (the seats btw came out without a hitch, i didn't have to do any grinding what so ever as they were simply screwed through the floor, no turning nuts to deal with either). so really i was ready to go except that funds became a real factor as the work season was slowing down, (i'm a painter by trade).
when i finally paid off the bus in february and turned the plates over to the previous owner i phoned icbc to see about putting storage insurance on it while i did the repairs to get it certified. they informed me that because the bus was not in an enclosed compound and because anyone could gain access to the bus that they were not able to insure it.great, i now had in my possession a bus, which i had paid $1,800.00 for and sunk a few hundred more already and was unable to insure my investment. so for the next couple of months the bus sat locked up and while there was nothing of real value in it i was never the less left to worry and hope for the best.
finally about the end of may the weather started warming up some and i found myself slowly starting to disect the interior. i didn't have the money to further the mechanical needed for inspection but it wasn't costing me anything to start taking the interior apart. slowly the bus started to fill with expensive tools and my laptop. at the same time i started to notice the four regular crack heads which pan the intersection where i am at. security definately became a big concern then and so at the beginning of april, i set up house in the bus. i maintain my residence which i share with three others but i spend my evenings in my bus. it's comfortable enough with heater, small fridge, internet and cable provided by shop owner. actually i feel quite at home here and that is good because ultimately i plan to full time for a few years or more.
i was thinking of doing the whole conversion first and have it registered as an rv, but this will take too long and as more work progresses on interior i know i need to get this insured as quickly as possible and so i plan to get on to the few remaining items which are required for the inspection and register it as a commercial vehical. this will be more expensive than an rv but my options are limited at this point. i need to protect the investment.
the things that needed repairing were, left front shock (oil on it), i replaced both, a hole in the floor behind rear wheel well, i patched that with steel and screws. i replaced the valve cover gaskets (no more leaking oil. the head lights didn't work, solution: replaced the dimmer switch which was corroded and broke. emergency window wouldn't open, i got it working. what remains to be done is this. replace right tie-rod end. i can do that. replace motor mount. i can do that. propane tank needs to have surface rust removed and repainted. i can do that.the only thing that i can't do is figure out where the heck this guy came up with a quote of three grand to do these things.
anyway, in spite of all the hardships i have faced thus far and may face yet, i feel the bus and i were meant for one another. i bought it from a guy who runs with the 'burning man festival'. he wasn't able to do the conversion and only hoped that the person who bought it would do what he could not. so, be what it may, this bus and i are in it together whether it be towards an experience of a lifetime, or a bitter end. i was working on the bus one day when this guy pulled up beside me. he said four words, "the ressurection of further" i liked that and so this is the title of my thread and most likely will be the name that sticks for my first and hopefully not last skoolie.
i've got a 1979 gmc, bluebird, 5 speed, converted to propane. at this point the interior has been completely gutted. no cieling, no walls, no floor. it's stripped down to the bare ribs. 12 of the sixteen windows have been removed and are skinned over using the panels from the cieling. tomorrow i will try and post some pictures and begin sharing some of the details about how the job has progressed thus far.
lastly, i just want to say that i have found this site to be an incredable source of information and without it, i may not be sitting here now writing about my first conversion.