New Member, New Tour Bus and First 2000+ mile road trip...
Iím new here and thought I would start off with a little background. So for some reason I woke up one day and though that it would be awesome to have an old school bus to use as a tour bus for my crew and me. So here is my story and where Iím at with my bus at the moment.
Iím part of Outlander Armour, which is a fabrication and production company that creates costumes, props and other special effects for live action, film, and still photography applications. We travel a lot to different parts of the country for conventions and other work. For the last few years weíve been using a Chevy conversion van and a few cars to travel to these conventions. So sometime after Halloween I decided we should find an old short bus to use in our travels.
So with my limited budget I started looking around the internet trying to find some info on this subject. I eventually found this site and found it very useful in helping in understanding what a bus conversion is and what it takes to get it completed.
After many hours searching and test driving different buses I found one that seemed to be a great bus to start off with. So this is what I eventually purchased; a 1987 International S1700 Blue Bird that has a seating capacity of 34 people its 24ft long and has 15ft behind the driverís seat.
So I bought the bus and only had 4 weeks to convert it for a trip we were taking at the end of the year. So I bought it and removed all the seats (which was surprisingly easy since they were already removed once before). We enclosed the back 3 feet of the bus for storage and built in seating for 10 people comfortably. Got a tune-up and checked the tires before our trip. The bus is far from being in a finished state but we needed to get ready for our trip so we had to deal.
We loaded up the bus and started out on our 1000 mile trip to Austin Texas, we left as a major storm was rolling through the south eastern part of the US which caused quite a lot of white knuckle driving. At one point around 3am somewhere is Louisiana it was raining so hard that we couldnít see more than 10 feet in front of the bus and couldnít go more than 25 mph, and at times the bus was going sideways. It started to get worse and we decided it was time for a break and started looking for a rest area, as we started to pull in the rain just decided to stop, so we kept on truckin`. It started to rain again but wasnít so bad for the rest of the trip. We arrived in Austin and had a blast and left for home in Atlanta. So here are 10 things we learned about the trip about the bus.
1. Buses might seem large but you place 10 people into them along with all the junk we carry with us that space is limited.
2. That I need to added more storage in the cabin area over head and underneath, all suggestions will be welcomed.
3. This bus is insanely bouncy at times and researching on ways I can fix that, any ideas?
4. This bus burns about 4 qts of oil every 900 miles or so, is this normal?
5. I must be insane to have taken on this project (or so everyone would seem to think so)
6. People love buses and want to know about them
7. The trip was enjoyable minus the bounciness of the bus, but over all better than being cramped into a smaller vehicle.
8. The bus gets about 9.5 mpg, not to bad comparing that we only got 12 with the conversion van we used earlier plus the other cars that had to caravan to fit 10 people and all the cargo that went along with us.
9. At first I was pushing the bust at 65 mph trying to go as fast as I could like I do with a car. I found that cursing at 55 mph was actually nice after I got used to it, and even better if I chose to travel off the interstates and used other roads, much better scenery. It took us 20 hours that would have taken only 16 if we drove it straight with a car, but it was quite an enjoyable drive.
10. I still have a lot of work to do on this thingÖ
Iíve got photos and video of the trip and bus, will soon have it posted soon