We have had our bus for a few months now and the work has begun. I'm going to use this thread as a way to keep track of what has been done before I forget what has gone into it...
The bus-that-has-yet-to-be-named is a 1998 E350 5-window by Girardin. It's a single rear axle and narrow (78" interior width). The body is not steel - much to our surprise.
It must have been an elementary school bus because I have just a few inches headroom (I'm 5'3" on a good day); DH brushes the ceiling. We were happy to find an almost blank slate. We bought it from the school district mechanic (now retired) and his son. We know who serviced the bus for its first twenty-five years. They used it for about six years, toodling around the PNW.
We aren't planning on living full time in this but finding that happy middle point of what I would like to do and what the DH is willing to do is the challenge.
We are planning for this to be a three season bus. His other requirement the bed has to be convertible, keeping the aisle clear to the back door. Given we will be using this primarily as a weekender, it's a reasonable ask. I've narrowed down the design - I'm not thrilled about losing storage space but there will be some under the bed/benches. (I wanted a fixed bed across the back for maximum storage).
There will be a kitchen pod with a foot pump sink. I would like a hidden shower - an extension of the counter unit - with a minimalist shower (a Geyser shower or something similar). I don't want to haul a ton of water. Either a dry toilet (Trelino) or a composting unit (Cuddy) for when we aren't near facilities. Both are small compared to other non-flushing toilets. Either will easily fit in the shower box.
We took out the remaining four seats which were arranged to make two single bunks. Ripped up the linoleum and plywood after much, erm, discussion. Once he saw it my way
, it was fairly smooth sailing.There was no rust because, surprise! the floor was aluminum. The few actual steel pieces did get a coating of Chassis Saver (entry stairs and side battery cover).
After cleaning, painting and patching the floor, we have laid down a layer of 1/2" insulation and 5/8" plywood. DH is adamant that he be able to stand up so if the floors are cold, I'll be wearing shoes. For the floor covering, we want to lay down sheet linoleum - basically what we took out of the bus but new. The Forbo product is 79" wide which means we should be able to do this with no seams.
During this floor work, we found a local guy who will do the electrical things that are above our pay grades. He swapped out the steering wheel so we now have cruise control! A back up camera is definitely on the docket.
We found a passenger seat at a wrecking yard - it's temporarily installed - that will be on a swivel. It's situated to the left of the entry way as you enter. It's not the optimal location but he'll have to turn up his hearing aids when I'm the navigator.
That's all for now.