Hey there! So I spend a lot of my summer on the road between music festivals and other adventures. For a few years now I've been dreaming of buying and making my own camper/party bus. Finally the right opportunity came along and I purchased a 1990 Thomas built (gas, 140,000km) GMC 6000! Was wanting a diesel, but so it goes. Was a convenient purchase, a fair price ($5000CAD) and runs great!
I bought it with all the seats ripped out, a basic floor in, some basic cabinets and a couple furnishings (as seen in photos!). Saves me a lot of grunt work at the least. Needs a new hydraulic hose for brakes and steering, couple indicator lights and reattach a side mirror, but aside from that should pass inspection no problem.
Will be a work in progress, summer only vehicle. Eventually would like to put a toilet/black water tank/grey water tank in, but won't happen this summer. There is a propane tank and camp cooktop inside right now, as well as a water jug/sink/drainage bucket. Will need a table to sit at, thinking of searching for an old RV/camper for various parts. Going to be relatively simple to start, then upgrade as I go.
My plans for the bus:
- First off I want to hook up solar power. I'm not imagining myself using a huge draw, mainly to run interior lights and charge electronics, play some music and run a small efficient fridge (the biggest draw). Solar system suggestions?
- Going to tint the windows right away, recommendations?
- Advice about possibly going to a LP dual fuel system?
- I will be hauling around a PA sound system at times with a couple large subwoofer cabinets, so I need to keep practical storage in mind when figuring out where/how I will set a bed up. I'm thinking either a bed that folds up against the wall possibly, or perhaps a bed I can raise up to the ceiling and lock in place somehow?
There will be lots more over time, but these are my immediate bus needs! Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated!
Oh I know! I also take all summer off work so have quite a bit of time to invest in it. A solar setup and window tint are the immediate requirements, the rest will happen piece by piece as I can make do with what's there for now, then prioritize what comes next as I begin to use her!
Welcome to Skoolie.net from Northern British Columbia
It looks a bit smaller than my 1974 chev bluebird.
Converting to dual fuel is possible. You will get about the same fuel mileage. There have been people do their own conversions. Ford is currently marketing a system made by Roush. It is easiest with a carburetor then fuel injection. The hardest piece to get is a large frame mounted tank, so people have used 100lb tanks mounted to the rear. Also LPG auto propane is different from the vapor propane used for refrigerators, stoves, & furnaces.
Based on your location I'd say insulation is going to be one of your biggest chores, and you'll want to get it done before fall starts. After that you can take your time on other things. But yeah, the tinted windows too. It's to easy for people to look at your stuff through the windows.
You've pretty much got to empty your bus out to insulate it with any efficiency for time. It's good to do that early.
This is a great time of year to start a build project.