I am a mechanic at a ski resort in Lake Tahoe, think Snowcats and heavy equipment not chair lifts, and I managed to pick up one of the shuttle busses from the fleet due to a rotten plywood floor. I knew it was a little rough, but as you can see in the pictures it was a little rougher than I initially thought. No worries though, the project must go on.
Still currently in the gutting and fixing phase but I am hoping to have the bus ready for build out by the time the snow melts out. I only get 3 days a week to work on it so it is a tad slow going. Feel free to present ideas and suggestions!
The biggest project so far has been cutting out and paneling the cab floor. It was covered in a loose rubber mat and a lot of moisture got caught underneath and rotted a good portion of the floor. I cut out everything I deemed necessary and patched the holes. I definitely could have made it look nicer but this will be no show car, so it is absolutely function over form. Also, the only part of the rear floor frame with any rust was the front bar which I cut out and replaced.
Looking to be full time in it by beginning of winter 2021. Tahoe is starting to get really really expensive, as opposed to just the really expensive it was when I first moved here. I will hopefully using it a lot for weekend kayak and mountain bike trips around the area. I want to do a full bathroom, toilet inside the shower, and a nice simple buildout for just me and maybe a lady if the right one comes along.
Been working on the bus quite regularly, just haven't had a milestone big enough to update on. Well that has all changed! I finally finished replacing the rotten floor and boy was it a job, though it did go relatively smoothly. I used 3/4in marine grade ply, which as we all know is crazy expensive, that I laid a coat of epoxy on to prep for the fiberglass. I ended up using 5 sheets of wood. I replaced the floor in sections. Due to the way the bus is constructed if you remove the entire floor in one shot there is very little to support the body of the bus. In fact, after removing the rear section of wood I ended up having to use an overhead hoist to left on the body to make room to slide the wood back under the walls. If anyone is thinking about tackling this job themselves, let me know... I may have a tip or two. Enjoy the photo dump!
I am sorry about the image orientation... They all look right when I try to upload them and I have no idea how to decided what they are going to look like. Also, I forgot to mention I ended up using 1708 Biaxial fiberglass resin from U.S. Composites in Florida. They were super helpful over the phone helping me decide how much of everything I need and discussing application tactics for the job at hand.
Many would have bailed on a project like this, but it really comes down to one's desire to get back on the road in whatever rig they end up with.
Especially if the "base" rig wasn't too expensive to start with.
Good luck on the finish, and post pics of the rest of your "restoration"...
Yeah there were a few times throughout this process that I wondered if it was worth it, but luckily I am blessed to work in a shop that allows me to use a bay to work on the bus, plus a wealth of knowledge and people to bounce ideas off of. Not to mention the access to pretty much any tool I need and don't own.