Thank you for the help you have provided me so far; I have been a stalker on the site for 8 months. Feel free to comment about the proposed plan and budget spread sheet.
In January my family (Mom, Dad, 5, 4, and 3 year old) bought a 40' Blue Bird All American with a 8.3 Cummings. We plan to move into "Brown To Be Wild" in July. I wanted share my plan and progress so far.
We have budget around $27,000 for the build and I have created a Google sheet
to track expenses and links to equipment.
There are 3 "themes" to our buses (besides safety) which has driven much of the design:
1. Boondockability (goal is 2 weeks):
a. Water - Interior mounted 200 gallon fresh water tank with 30 gallon solar water heater on the roof. Composting toilet, low flow faucets, and high efficiency full size washer. Having a full size washer was a must for the wife.
b. Power - 1200W photo voltaic charging 1250 A/h batteries at 12V. Batteries can also be charged by an 3000W inverter/charger (shore power), 3000W generator, and the bus Alternator.
c. Propane - Any device which creates heat will be propane (I may get a tiny wood stove). So off-grid range, dryer, water heater, and heat for warmth. We hope to dry most clothes outside and we are keeping the original bus heaters for backup.
d. Insulation - Took down all panels and spray foamed everything, so about 1.8" (R-12) all the way around. We also laid down 2" rigid foam (R-10) insulation underneath the sub floor. For the original windows and emergency exits I plan to use rigid foam insulation, magnets, and weather stripping if required. Drilled into Emergency exits and foamed them as well.
2. More than meets the eyes.
a. A lot of people are building beautiful tiny houses out of there Skoolie, which is awesome. We plan to keep all original paneling, exits, and windows. Other than a deck on the back top portion of the bus the outline will stay the same (flexible solar panels). In my mind we live on a bus, I want it to look like a bus.
3. Fairness - My wife and I are giving up a significant portion of our bed room and kitchen so our kids can have all of their beds on the same level. This is just important to me.
I got to go please check everything out and let me know what you think.