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Old 03-21-2021, 02:28 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Wilmington NC
Posts: 12
Year: 2005
Chassis: E350 Shuttle
2005 Ford Short Bus Kid Hauler

Hello from NC! First post, but have been reading a ton of the great info here.

Purchased a 2005 Ford E350 with Diamond bus box over Christmas (buddy and me surprised our wives and kids with it, haha!). Between the two of us, we have 8 daughters. Primary purpose of the bus will be hauling all of the kids for joint family trips. Most importantly our annual Daddy-Daughter camping trip to the Smokey Mountains. We need to haul humans and gear, so just seats and storage, no kitchen, beds, toilets, etc (at least at this point).

We removed the wheelchair lift and seats, then purchased a set of Ford Transit seats (wives wanted seats with shoulder harnesses and compatible with car seats for the kids).

Knew the floor was soft and needed to be replaced. Started digging in to it this weekend. Floor is metal grid system, thick plastic layer, 3/4" plywood, then a rubber flooring surface.

This seems like a bad design, it is obvious that water has been trapped for years on top of the plastic and rotting out the plywood.

QUESTION #1: What is the preferred method for replacing this? Have read a lot on here....I am thinking just 3/4" plywood with the underside coated in bedliner then a laminate floor on top. Since the current plan is not to sleep in the bus, I don't think insulating the floor is really necessary. Thoughts?

QUESTION #2: Bus has a 45k BTU under seat heater (Pro Air Power Pak 445). I can feel the hoses get warm once the bus heats up, but the fan does not work. Tested the wires for both low and high switch positions and the power is getting to the heater, it just seems like the fan is broke? Do these put out much heat anyways? Living in NC, it does get a little cold in the winter, but do you think it's necessary in a people hauler that will typically have 10 people in it (lots of body heat). Just wondering if I should just loop the hoses back together and pull it out or put in the effort to repair or replace it.

Current plan is:

-replace floor
-install Ford Transit seats
-install TV/Stereo/DVD/Amp/Speakers/Back-up Camera

This will get us so we can use the bus this Spring/Summer/Fall, we can worry about the rest as we go.

Future plans:

-Rear bumper rack
-Possible replace the walls and ceilings
-Built-in storage cabinets and racks
-Roof rack
-Maybe some Solar panels
-Fold down deck/platform from side doors
-Whatever else we think would be cool/useful once we start to put some miles on it

Thanks for all the help so far!
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