Author Topic: Bug Out Bus???  (Read 159378 times)

Offline Exile72

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #90 on: January 12, 2012, 11:10:51 AM »
WOW my school bus never looked like that. GREAT JOB

Offline DocRokRx

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #91 on: January 12, 2012, 05:00:32 PM »
Cost....  Buses are relatively cheap.  I picked this one up off ebay. $3K.   It has a big 5.9 turbo deisel (Cummings) with an Allison auto trans.  Both pretty much bulletproof.  It has 96,000 on it, a drop in the bucket hopefully. 
Insurance is through GMC, cheap... about $400/year. 
I plan to drop 6-7K into it.  I want to keep it to around 10K total.

I NEED TO DO THIS!!!!!!

Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #92 on: January 23, 2012, 10:00:31 AM »
Finally back to working on the bus.  I spend more time in it during the winter cause of gardens and all the other summer stuff.  So now I'm back at it.  Working on the Shower/Tub room. 



I want to keep the original heater intact, so I'm building around it.  This will also allow me to keep water piping warm and re-route some of the heater output into the tub and bath area.



I'm using some free rubber roofing as a sealant and barrier to force air to where I need it to go.









Some finish painting as well.  I found a close match for existing paint to make it cleaner and cheaper.







It's tough using the bus as my workshop too.  Gets a little messy, and I have to clean it virtually everyday to keep it manageable.







I am also beginning to put some walls up in the rear office/master cabin area.



It's coming along.  My plans are to have the interior basically done by May.  Then once the weather warms, I will install full solar kit on the roof.  Batteries are already onboard and operating with a charger. 

After solar, I turn to water tank hook ups, pumps, tubing and all that crap.   Has anyone used the flexible "peel and stick" type solar panels????  I'm considering this for the roof of the bus.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2012, 11:21:44 AM by statesofmind »

Offline thezoo

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #93 on: January 23, 2012, 10:17:05 AM »
you sir have quite a gift, that will be a bus to compete with even the most luxurius of rv's great job so far, as far as the flexible solar, i have never used any type of solar anything so i really cant weigh in on that but it sounds like one heck of an idea, it even gives me an idea for my mobile home, i dont believe my landlors would be happy if i put traditional solar panels on my roof but since my roof is rounded like a bus roof, maybe i can still have my cake and eat it too,

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #94 on: January 23, 2012, 10:59:39 AM »
EXCELLENT!  Well done, SoM!  I want to do this someday myself! 

Please keep the pix coming!  You are inspiring us all.

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #95 on: January 23, 2012, 11:09:44 AM »
Unbelievably great stuff!

Keep us up to date. I can't wait for a ride.  ;)

Offline archer

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #96 on: January 23, 2012, 12:04:52 PM »
is he offering rides yet?

Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #97 on: January 23, 2012, 12:43:06 PM »
Rides?  Hows the old saying go?  Gas, Grass or Ass?  LOL.   

Maybe someday I'll drive her to a Survival Podcast event.... ya never know.  Take care all and THANKS for the kind words and encouragement.

Offline mangyhyena

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #98 on: February 22, 2012, 06:37:36 PM »
First off, that bus is awesome.  What a great idea and excellent follow-through.

What kind of gas mileage does it get?  Would a smaller bus, like a short school bus I see once in a while, do signifigany better in that department?

Offline ChrisFox

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #99 on: February 22, 2012, 08:53:37 PM »
I bow down to you sir. How much weight will all this and how will it affect the drive ability/gas mileage on it?

Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #100 on: February 23, 2012, 06:22:28 AM »
I'm not too concerned about the weight.  I removed so much from the original bus, seats, big AC units, etc.   All  the building materials are basically foam and soft wood.  The biggest weight consideration is the batteries, and that plan has actually changed drastically since my earlier posts.  But this was a commercial vehicle, built to MUCH more tough restrictions than commercial RV's.  It was built to be fully loaded with 30+ people. 

Gas mileage.... not horrible considering.  It was around 12 on the hwy.  But I won't be touring in this vehicle.  it's basically transporting me to and from my land and home.   I'll use it for hunting/camping/fishing trips.  Once I arrive, it won't run until I drive it home.  Most of the trips will be around 60 miles.  Not too bad.

Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #101 on: February 23, 2012, 06:26:46 AM »
Opps.... about the short bus.  Yes they work awesome.  it all depends on your needs.  The very first bus I did was bought in San Diego.  It was a small airport transport bus.  I stripped it and basically used it to move everything from SD to Maine.  Loooong drive.  We had very little money so it wasn't nearly as comfortable as this one will be. But it got us here and I was able to sell it for a few more bucks than I had into it. 

Smaller is definitely better in terms of mileage.

Offline mangyhyena

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #102 on: February 28, 2012, 05:33:19 PM »
This is a stupid question, I'm sure, but is your alternator charging the deep cycle batteries when the engine is running?  If not, can that be done without damaging the deep cycle batteries (charging too quickly) and is it difficult to set it up that way?

Did I mention how Awesomely awesome your project is?

Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #103 on: February 28, 2012, 06:20:49 PM »
Right now the engine batteries (2) are the only ones getting charged from the alternator.  I will probably hook up a three way switch that gives me the option of charging house or engine or house + engine batteries from the alternator.  I don't think that presents any issues with the deep cycle batteries.   Thanks for the kind words, helps to keep me motivated. 

I just installed the new wood stove, tile base and half the flooring in. I'll get some pics up soon. 

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #104 on: February 28, 2012, 06:36:20 PM »
This is a stupid question, I'm sure, but is your alternator charging the deep cycle batteries when the engine is running?  If not, can that be done without damaging the deep cycle batteries (charging too quickly) and is it difficult to set it up that way?

Did I mention how Awesomely awesome your project is?

I use a SurePower isolator to charge the deep cycle in my Project 505. (4Runner)
It charges from the alternator ONLY after the chassis battery is fully charged first.

My motorhome does the same with a generic isolator. Works just fine and an automatic boost from the deep cycles can help start the vehicle should the chassis battery get drained somehow, though the isolator is specifically designed to prevent that.

Offline WVMan73

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #105 on: February 29, 2012, 10:55:31 AM »
Similar to what Goatdog mentioned, the 1986 motorhome my family owned had a momentary switch on the dash that would allow the engine to be started from the "house" batteries if the "engine" battery was dead. Just hold the button down and turn the key. It's basicly like having a built in, backup jump starter ready to go anytime you needed it. I'm not sure if the altenator charged the "house" batteries on it or not though.

Did I mention how Awesomely awesome your project is?

I second that oppinion! Really awesome project! I'm looking forward to seeing those new pics.  ;)

Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #106 on: February 29, 2012, 12:26:51 PM »
Here's a few pics to catch up on my progress.  I built a small desk area in the rear cabin area.  Nothing special but efficient and useful. 




I picked up a small used Jotul 602.  One of the best small stoves made in many circles.  I had to cut into the sub-floor, remove the insulation board and drop in a prefabbed tile hearth pad.  I will be drilling 4 bolts through the frame under the floor to anchor it. 

The stove itself will never be in place when I am on the road.  I will stow it under the desk pictured above.  I have some strong brackets that will mount to the frame under floor as well.  The stove weighs 160lbs.  I picked up some of those little pads that assist in moving heavy furniture across a hardwood floor to move it back and forth.  It's very easy to move.  I can have it set up and have a fire going in under 20 minutes.

I'm using some synthetic flooring that snaps together and is decent looking... and it was a super cheap, closeout sale item.

















I will have some radiant shields for the wall and back part of the stove that allow less than 21" of clearance to that obviously flammable paneling.  I will paint it and mount the shields directly to the wall.  It should look nice and provide ample fire protection. 

Next up... I picked up an old sewing machine and am going to try and make some decent curtains for bunks, master bunk area and front windows.  Fingers crossed.  It looks like I'm on track to have the interior complete by June 1.  Of course I'm certain I'll change things as I go, but at least it's ready to use.  I am putting the solar panels up this spring and planning a maiden camping trip in July. 
« Last Edit: February 29, 2012, 02:14:39 PM by statesofmind »

Offline slingblade

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #107 on: February 29, 2012, 02:05:41 PM »
Are you for hire?  :)
I'm only partially joking. 

Offline Roundabouts

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #108 on: February 29, 2012, 02:32:08 PM »
This looks great.  You can tell you really pay attention to detail.  Can't wait to see the finish product.  Have you come up with a exterior paint plant yet.  I didn't see that posted or maybe I just missed it.

Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #109 on: February 29, 2012, 02:37:07 PM »
I'm still contemplating the exterior. Id love to hear any suggestions  Whatever I decide it will one of the last details.  I'm guessing late this summer or next spring. 

Offline DrJohn

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #110 on: February 29, 2012, 05:50:00 PM »
This is looking very kewl!  Are vehicle wraps an option?  I have no Idea what they cost, but are a very quick way to get the outside done.  As to what the wrap would be, how about just trees! Not really camouflage, but would blend in for sure!

Offline PAGUY

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #111 on: March 11, 2012, 08:17:19 PM »
Looking good.  Glad to see that you have made more progress.

Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #112 on: March 11, 2012, 08:43:17 PM »
I looked into "wraps" but they ranged from 5-8k.  To rich for my blood.  I'd rather spend that money on something more practical. I just picked up a used air compressor and sprayer for free, so I may give it a shot this fall.  I'm painting the roof next, before I install solar panels.   

Offline ChrisFox

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #113 on: March 12, 2012, 09:39:30 AM »
Did the $50 paint job on the Jeep a few years ago. Damn suprised how good it turned out with how cheap it was.

http://www.rickwrench.com/50dollarpaint.html

Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #114 on: March 28, 2012, 02:29:18 PM »
Great Ideas in today's show from Wade!  Give it a listen if you missed it!  New Pics coming soon!!!!!

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #115 on: March 29, 2012, 11:38:12 AM »
Great Ideas in today's show from Wade!  Give it a listen if you missed it!  New Pics coming soon!!!!!

Yeah, I enjoyed that show, too.

Looking forward to more pics of the Bug-Out Bus.  You are an inspiration.

Offline tomtom

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #116 on: April 02, 2012, 08:00:33 PM »
Looks awesome

Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #117 on: May 07, 2012, 12:52:07 PM »
Lots of new stuff to report and a few pics as well.  First up... the flooring.  I started in the rear and worked my way forward in sections so that I can easily remove sections to get to sub-floor and front battery bank. (oops.... I just noticed I already posted a couple of these pics).




I finally got a couple pics of the travelling home for the wood stove.  Obviously I didn't want a 250 pound projectile in case of accident.  It takes me about 10 minutes to set the stove up OR take it down to travel.  It is anchored with 2 4000lb. brackets mounted to the frame and sidewall.  The straps are 3500lb rated.  This should be fine, barring any catastrophic accident... which would probably turn me into road paste anyways.




New Radiator!



New bedding in the master bunk.

Also worked on battery chargers for when I am plugged into shore power.  1 charger (single bank) handles the front battery bank under the floor (6 batteries), the 2nd charger (dual bank) handles the engine batteries and the 2nd  bank of house batteries (4).


Next up.... I have my first 2 PV panels in hand.  I need to paint the roof with a rubberized aluminum paint before I mount them up top.  I will be getting 2 more next month.  These should keep the batteries  in good shape when I'm out in the woods.  I also have in hand many water system hardware items to install.  I have pumps, storage and compression tanks, on-demand hot water heater and a water pump that will run off the engine to fill tanks from a spring located on my NEW PROPERTY!!! 
I just purchased 8 acres in Northern Maine, about 1.5 hours from my home.  Beautiful country and extremely private.  Tons of game roaming all over the place.  best part, it abuts several thousand acres of paper company land open to my use.
So far I have about 10K into this bus, including purchase price.  I have another year or so to go, but NOT a ton more expense.  The way I look at it, about the same cost as refinishing a classic muscle car.... BUT MUCH MORE practical.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 12:59:48 PM by statesofmind »

Offline slingblade

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #118 on: May 07, 2012, 01:12:26 PM »
BIG +1!!!  Good work!

Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #119 on: May 07, 2012, 01:31:16 PM »
Thanks buddy.  Appreciate it!