It all started as a doodle on a piece of paper in class my sophomore year at Rutgers. Well after countless hours researching every possible scenario and coming up with a bus that was cheap enough that others would be a part of it. I offically bought my RUTGERS SKOOLIE! Cheaaaaaaaaa! It's a 95 Chevy Bluebird mini-bus with 41k miles on it. It's gas, which I rather have over deisel because of costs. It was used as a handicapped bus by a small community for 15 years. Everything checked out on the car fax report. I will keep you guys updated with pics every step of the way of course.
Here is a drawing of the design, for some reason it's cutting off the back but in the back of the bus will be bunkbeds and a sink in the back corner. I can't decide if I am going to use that corner couch as an area for a recliner. I guess it depends if I can find one on the street haha.
Here is an item that goes along with our tailgate. We made it ourselves in November in the cold garage. That is the baddest pong table in NJ.
I also used to play football for Rutgers. I was a captain and made a few all league selections as a senior. Unfortunately my NFL dreams stopped at a mini-camp with the Chicago Bears. I am a loyal guy though so I quickly bought some season tickets and rooting on my alma-matter is my sanctuary now. Here is an old pic of me playing, I think it speaks for how I played the game. #97 baby. BTW - this game was on ESPN nationally televised on a Thursday night.
I look forward to everyone's help along the way...
Haha I've actually never gone camping. Who knows though? For now - it's strictly tailgating. Oh, and that wasted space...I am considering using that area to put a keg there and then have a tap on the outside of the bus so people could tap their beer outside of the bus. It would look like a kegerator.
UPDATE: My buddy and I set off to start on the bus last night. We got banged up before we got there which was funny I hit my buddy in the elbow with a crowbar while we were packing stuff in his car (by accident). I cut my finger starting the generator by pulling the cord too hard, we couldn't start it so I kept pulling. My buddy went down to hear if the motor was catching and as he dropped on all fours to put his ear near the motor I yanked it, started it and it sounded like a gun shot went off. My buddy came up laughing holding his hear because of the deafening sound. After being a bunch of knuckleheads and not even being able to take the wheel off the grinder we finally got going. I worked on tearing up the floor,seperating the seat cushions from the seats and removing garbage while he removed the seats. A few things...
1. THE FLOORING ON THE STEPS....SWEET MOTHER is it hard to get up. They have to use the worlds strongest glue to secure the flooring on the steps. I didn't get all of it last night.
2. GARBAGE, GARBAGE, GARBAGE. I read on here of all the garbage you will find when you start taking the seats out but you don't realize it until you do it. Thankfully there was a dumpster we could use and we were able to remove it.
3. BRING A DRILL...my dumb butt was using different screwdrivers to unscrew stuff from the floor and wall. I definitely got a lot of forearm work in last night, that's for sure.
4. BRING A "HOE". Some of you call it a razor scraper but it's a gardening tool or ice breaker and it makes taking up the floor so easy. So does a crowbar!
To wrap it up. We got all the seats out, removed the bottom seats from the metal, unscrewed 267,000 screws and tore up 80% of the floor. Next week when we go back we will finish taking up the floor, unscrew the brackets along the bottom of the floor and hopefully clean the floor with rustoleum. All while blasting Pantera or Disturbed on our portable radio.
Oh...we only needed to use 2 discs to get out 9 seats. $1.89 per disc. Also, the angle grinder is so much easier than having someone sit under the bus holding the bolt while the other person un-screws it. We also bought a $15 flood light since we were doing this at night. It ran off the generator we borrowed. A few final bolts we started screwing around and just ripped the seat off the floor like the Incredible Hulk. I was too exhausted to upload pictures when I got home but I will do so when I get home from work today.
Rolling up the floor to start things off
First seat out
Part of the seat that will be used as cushions for our couch
Okay, I'm torn on whether to do this or not, but we have time until we get to this part. I am debating insulating the bus with a vapor barrier. Something thin that would just roll out and be stapled down to the floor. Basically I am worried about the plywood floor and drywall on the sides warping from bad weather. I am also trying to trim costs wherever I can because we are going to be cutting it VERY close with our budget. Obviously if there is insulation the bus would be warmer in Nov/Dec but that's the only time of year we'd possibly be sleeping in there when it's cold out. I don't mind throwing some blankets on, I am more worred about the wood warping. What do ya'll think?
One thing I can guarantee you...if you use drywall it will warp. Vehicles undergo too much variation in temperature and humidity to support standard household drywall. You will need to use something much more stable if you want it to last. As for vapor barrier, some do, some don't, and as long as you seal all your holes in the floor with urethane caulking it will actually be your vapor barrier. Metal is waterproof and airtight, at least the last time I checked it was, but that depends on how much rust is on the floor. Seal the floor well, fill the holes, and you should be just fine.
As far as I know, the bus doesn't have great AC/heat anyway. If I prime and caulk the floor and then lay plywood to the metal I will be okay. If I use drywall for the walls then I am guessing I MUST insulate the drywall? What material did you guys use for the walls? Plywood? Cementboard? Greenboard? I have until next week to figure this part out, I am going to gut the rest of the bus tomorrow. This wall/floor stuff is a little frustrating but I am figuring it out.
As for the holes in the metal floor, aluminum duct tape or caulk work best to close them up. Then most put down a coat of paint which slows/stops any rusk and seals any small holes. Rustoleum is probably the most popular type of paint to roll on thick.
After the paint dried, I used red rosin paper (designed to wick away small amounts of moisture), 1/4 foam insulation to knock the chill off (the kind that goes under metal roofs) and then plywood sheeting which is nice and flat to put stuff on. The plywood I used was 1/4" but others have used 1/2" to 3/4". Others also use thicker insulation - it's a personal preference.
As for the walls, most use some sort of framing with 2x2s all the way 2x4s which are screwed into the floor/walls/ceiling. Then almost all use polystyrene insulation (blue/pink foam) to fill in the gaps between the framing. The insulation is usually glued in with a liquid nails type adhesive. Sheeting of the framing is usually some sort of 1/4" paneling which is much more flexible and cheaper than plywood. I don't know of anyone on this forum using drywall as it will most definitely crack going down the road.
I hope this is helpful and I understand your design frustrations. There are many opinions on this forum which is more good than bad as many options are explored.
I like the idea of red rosin paper, that will make me feel better since I am forgoing insulation on the floor. I was going to use screws to screw down the plywood, BUT...I read in another thread that this can lead to squeaking while driving? Am I just over thinking it now at this point? I would use liquid nails (but again expenses) to secure the plywood to the floor as an alternative but since I am over-stocked with caulk would caulk work to secure the plywood to the floor? Forgive me for any ignorance. I think I will name the bus 1,000 questions.
So last night we were supposed to work on the bus...then a blizzard hit NJ. So we went and worked on it anyway What a nightmare! In 4 hours we got 75% of the molding up. Some of the screws were stubborn so we started cutting them off with the grinder. We spent the majority of the time ripping the handicap wheelchair lift out of the ground. We had to cut a bunch of wires connected to the lift and rip stuff out of the panelling and then screw the panels back in. (Don't worry the bus still works fine) While it was a great relief to get that beast off the bus it appeared like we got nothing done. I started wire brushing a corner of the bus but we called it quits at mid-night. I only managed to get one picture of my younger brother who I brought along for the experience. We don't believe in child labor laws, he worked like a daaawg!
We made nice progress on the bus this afternoon. I usually don't have weekends when I'm free so I was happy to work. We FINALLY got every piece of molding/flooring/screw up that we needed to get up. THAT felt good. There is a huge pile of metal behind the bus that I need to sell for scrap but that's okay. We used a black & decker wire brush attachment that was $6 and it cleaned the entire bus. We got up the majority of the rust and I was satisified with how it looked. We then measured out dimensions and put tape down of where things on the bus would go. We started priming the metal and I nearly suffocated from the fumes. We used a total of 4 cans ($3.50 a can) and we caulked the holes once it dried. There was one crack on the bus that scared me when I first saw it, but it was easily fixable.
A special guest brushing some rust away for us
Drawing out the dimensions. Sink in the back left corner. Bunk beds in the back right. Bench along the right and a two seat bench a long the left - storage for tailgate tables/grills in the back and a possible area for a keg as well.
After priming - a few dirty footprints, but it was dry
I originally wanted to paint the inside roof of the bus white to make it look a little sharper when the bus was finished. However, when I factored in the costs of paint, rollers, yada, yada, yada. I scratched the idea because I knew we had to stay on a budget. Then it dawned on me to look in a few workshops to see if old paint and supplies were laying around. Lo and behold we found two gallons of white ceiling paint. I put 1/3 of a gallon to good use today with two coats on the roof. It was tough painting a bending roof and I got a nice shoulder workout from lightly sanding the old material. We also didn't lay any flooring down yet so I didn't feel bad about spilling some drops of paint on the floor. The first coat I was just worried about getting the paint to sink in - the second coat I put on real thick and it looked great but I couldn't take pictures because it got dark out. I didn't paint everything because I wasn't sure what else we might paint, but I am happy something was done this weekend.
We're going to be installing the sheet metal over some windows next week. We're going to use sheet metal screws to apply the sheets to the bus instead of rivets. It gives us the option of taking them off if we ever needed to. I don't forsee a problem, but if anyone thinks that's a bad idea speak now or forever hold your peace!
putter - I think I am going to put some caulk around the screw just to have peace of mind. Smitty - I plan on putting in the fake hardwood floors that just snap together like a puzzle. I was thinking of using luan plywood for my walls because it would look nicer than the cheap particle board plywood, but I am split between that, maybe wood panels (if I can find it cheap) or the plywood that I used for the floor because it looked nice at least.