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Old 02-17-2021, 01:36 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Maryland
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Zora the Bus

My name is Jazmine and my partner, Tiana, and I are currently converting a 2008 Chevy Express 5 window-bus in Maryland into our full time home. We've currently taken up the floors and plan on building out from the ceiling and side panels. We're looking forward to documenting our journey here and welcome any suggestions and encouragement!
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Old 02-17-2021, 03:24 PM   #2
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Welcome
Looks like you have your hands full at the moment. Once you get the floor done things will start to look less intimidating. I've seen some really clever builds starting with just what you have there. I look forward to following along on your project.
Good luck
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Old 02-17-2021, 04:44 PM   #3
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Should be fun!
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:00 PM   #4
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Welcome to skoolie.net! Your floor's looking a wee bit rusty there, but not as bad as mine was, at least. Welding sheet metal patches on is going to be the best way to fix those holes. You may have that lined up already, but if not and if you can make it up to Philly, I'd be happy to weld it up for you. Now that I'm all done with rebuilding my own floor I kind of miss that stuff.
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Old 02-17-2021, 05:40 PM   #5
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Location: Galena, Alaska
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Always glad to see another Short Bus build. I picked an older bus, but similar length and interior dimensions. Old slow short and heavy. No regrets. That being said, you all did good... no worries about the old and slow part on your bus. I saw one just like this in Canada at Laird Hot Springs on my last trip from Alaska to Lower 48 (pre-covid).. I was a bit jealous. They had similar room inside, but could climb hills and do the speed limit. NICE!... I love being able to park in regular parking spots. I will follow your progress with substantial interest.
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Old 02-17-2021, 09:00 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Rwnielsen View Post
Welcome
Looks like you have your hands full at the moment. Once you get the floor done things will start to look less intimidating. I've seen some really clever builds starting with just what you have there. I look forward to following along on your project.
Good luck
Thank you!
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Old 02-17-2021, 09:04 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
Welcome to skoolie.net! Your floor's looking a wee bit rusty there, but not as bad as mine was, at least. Welding sheet metal patches on is going to be the best way to fix those holes. You may have that lined up already, but if not and if you can make it up to Philly, I'd be happy to weld it up for you. Now that I'm all done with rebuilding my own floor I kind of miss that stuff.
We have quite a few holes, way more than we wanted, (a few from the crowbar when prying up the floors, ) but we’re planning on covering them with metal sheets using adhesive. We’re facing a snow storm this weekend or I would definitely take you up on that! Thank you!
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Old 02-17-2021, 09:06 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Originally Posted by crowcreekcabin View Post
Always glad to see another Short Bus build. I picked an older bus, but similar length and interior dimensions. Old slow short and heavy. No regrets. That being said, you all did good... no worries about the old and slow part on your bus. I saw one just like this in Canada at Laird Hot Springs on my last trip from Alaska to Lower 48 (pre-covid).. I was a bit jealous. They had similar room inside, but could climb hills and do the speed limit. NICE!... I love being able to park in regular parking spots. I will follow your progress with substantial interest.
Main reason for choosing this size was the ability to park it anywhere! We’re working on it in someone’s driveway and it’s been super breezy.
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Old 02-17-2021, 09:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jjacks47 View Post
We have quite a few holes, way more than we wanted, (a few from the crowbar when prying up the floors, ) but we’re planning on covering them with metal sheets using adhesive. We’re facing a snow storm this weekend or I would definitely take you up on that! Thank you!
FWIW a healthy steel floor is immune to crowbars. Those holes you made were in rusted steel that needs to be replaced anyway. You should in fact really go to town on your floor and keep smashing away at rusted metal until you get to healthy stuff that you can't do anything with (the healthy metal might still have a little surface rust on it). Then "square up" all your holes with a cutting wheel on an angle grinder (and/or electric shears) - which means make the holes into perfect rectangles.

Then treat the floor with Ospho or Rust-Oleum rust converter (most likely multiple applications will be required), then clean it, prime and paint, and only then should you glue down (or weld) rectangular patches that are just larger than the holes. Nothing glued to a rusty surface is going to last long (and welding onto rusty metal is difficult although not necessarily impossible).
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Old 02-18-2021, 08:23 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by musigenesis View Post
FWIW a healthy steel floor is immune to crowbars. Those holes you made were in rusted steel that needs to be replaced anyway. You should in fact really go to town on your floor and keep smashing away at rusted metal until you get to healthy stuff that you can't do anything with (the healthy metal might still have a little surface rust on it). Then "square up" all your holes with a cutting wheel on an angle grinder (and/or electric shears) - which means make the holes into perfect rectangles.

Then treat the floor with Ospho or Rust-Oleum rust converter (most likely multiple applications will be required), then clean it, prime and paint, and only then should you glue down (or weld) rectangular patches that are just larger than the holes. Nothing glued to a rusty surface is going to last long (and welding onto rusty metal is difficult although not necessarily impossible).
Got it, we definitely didn’t think about treating the rust before the holes. Hoping to have updated photos of the floor this weekend!
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Old 02-20-2021, 06:21 PM   #11
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Floor Update

We are going to redo the floors completely and replace the resisting sheet with new sheet metal. We are going to focus on sanding and priming the bus tomorrow for inspection this week. Hoping to do the floors next weekend if inspection goes well!
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