Bus Conversion

/Bus Conversion

The documentation of the bus conversion process.

Bus Conversion: How to make an awesome kitchen countertop from a door

We spent a lot of time trying to decide what to do for our kitchen counter top. There were two primary requirements - it needed to be light and it needed to be durable - and for a bonus we were hoping it would be cheap!  Once you start talking about light weight, you pretty much eliminate all stone countertop choices and durable takes away glass, ceramic. I’m no expert, but this pretty much left us with wood - solid or laminate.  We started exploring the butcher block style, and while it met our criteria being durable, relatively light and relatively [...]

Bus Conversion: How to make an awesome kitchen countertop from a door 2017-08-17T17:15:28+00:00

Bus Conversion: Power Up

We spent over half of our initial budget on a top of the line power system from Victron Energy. And by we, I mean I. You know what they say about initial budgets anyway, "It's like that unicorn you thought you saw.. turns out some guy just glued a horn to his pony. Never gonna happen." One of my favorite sayings. So, why did I go all out on the power system? I'm a hardware hacker. I like technology. I like fancy technology. And, I like data. The Victron Energy systems give me all of that. They have some really nice [...]

Bus Conversion: Power Up 2017-08-04T16:20:15+00:00

Bus Conversion: Getting Decked

When converting a bus, one must prioritize the order in which things get done. Without a doubt, building a rooftop deck is one of the highest priority steps on the path towards a safe, comfortable and livable bus. Right? Actually, we ended up prioritizing this step early in the build because we thought it would involve putting holes in the roof - screws, bolts, something. Turns out the design our fabricator came up with didn't require an holes in the body, but hey now we have a deck! The deck ended up being 8 foot by 10 foot, and hangs off [...]

Bus Conversion: Getting Decked 2017-08-04T16:17:50+00:00

Bus Conversion: Getting Tanked

In this episode of the Vicaribus bus conversion blog-a-thon we will go over the Vicaribus water system and installation. You'll not want to miss it, because it includes bonus footage of slow motion awkwardly positioned welding by our good friend Chad at C-Squared Studios. When adding a water system to a bus there are lots of options as to how you can go about it. You will typically have a fresh water tank, a grey water tank, and possibly a black water tank. The fresh tank is your sparkly clean fresh water for drinking, cooking and bathing. Your grey water tank [...]

Bus Conversion: Getting Tanked 2017-06-22T16:43:09+00:00

Bus Conversion: Insulation and More – Floor, Walls and Ceiling, Oh My

Before Michelangelo could craft a masterpiece, he first had to create a blank canvas. As it goes for Michelangelo, so goes it for Vicaribus. After the teardown was complete, the next step was re-insulating and boarding up the floor, walls and ceiling so that we could have a nice clean medium in which to apply our handywork. If you peruse the skoolie forums, you will find lots of discussion on whether or not to insulate and if so, what type of insulation to go with. Even though we are leaving most of our windows exposed (bus windows are quite the thermal succubus... ha, pun [...]

Bus Conversion: Insulation and More – Floor, Walls and Ceiling, Oh My 2017-06-20T17:56:23+00:00

Bus Conversion: Tearing down the house (Part 2 – Getting floored)

Part 2 of the teardown did not prove to be as hard as part 1, though I'm not sure if I feel this way because it was entirely true, or if it is because I waited so long to write about it here. Time distorts the memory. Lucky for us, our bus came with the seats pre-removed by the previous owners, so that was a task we did not have to endure. These owners also laid down a nice looking faux wood floor that, for it's purposes, looked pretty good. Unfortunately, this flooring had to go so that we could get down [...]

Bus Conversion: Tearing down the house (Part 2 – Getting floored) 2017-05-29T08:06:40+00:00

Bus Conversion: Tearing down the house (Part 1 – The walls of tribulation)

Bus Conversion: Tearing down the house (Part 1 - The walls of tribulation) Before you can make something beautiful, you really need a blank canvas for which to work your magic on. I mean sure you can put lipstick on a pig, but is it beautiful? Most people would say probably not. For a serious bus conversion, and I do mean serious, this means ripping out the insides of the bus. This ripping would typically include seats, walls, insulation and flooring. In part 1 of tearing down the house, we are just going to cover the walls and insulation. No need to [...]

Bus Conversion: Tearing down the house (Part 1 – The walls of tribulation) 2017-05-16T16:51:31+00:00

Bus Conversion: Remove the really cold dual A/C systems

Why on earth would one remove two - yes, two - very cold, very working, custom A/C units from a bus that one also plans to live in? The answer is very simple, and two part. They took up too much room, as we have a very small bus. And, they are only useful when the bus is running. We will be using something else to keep ourselves cool, and intend to follow the weather as best we can while traveling. I didn't actually get any good picture of the systems while they were on the bus, but this is where the [...]

Bus Conversion: Remove the really cold dual A/C systems 2017-04-15T09:49:33+00:00

Bus Conversion: Make engine’s presence less known inside

This one was a quicky that went way better than I expected, though I haven't really tested to see if there is any actual improvement. The situation: the engine on this bus sits further back, pretty much in the cab of the bus. This provides some benefits, such as visibility improvements and a unique look. The problem: this bad boy is loud and hot. The solution (not really a complete solution): replace the sound/thermal lining on the interior of the access cover in the cab. From this: To this: To this: To cover this: Using this: http://amzn.to/2p22C5z I was surprised how easy it [...]

Bus Conversion: Make engine’s presence less known inside 2017-04-19T11:14:00+00:00

Bus Conversion: Replace rusty old fuel sender unit

About 100 miles into my first ride in the bus, I realized the gas gauge hadn't moved. For the next 2200 miles or so I just guessed as to how much gas I had, which didn't always work. (See 2000 Mile Shakedown) The first hunch is always that the fuel tank sender unit isn't working. After some poor multimeter testing and some weird behavior from the dash I incorrectly determined the issue was with the fuel gauge itself. 90% percent sure now that it was indeed the sender unit. Fortunately for me, some previous owner had cut an access panel to the [...]

Bus Conversion: Replace rusty old fuel sender unit 2017-04-15T09:49:50+00:00