Author Topic: Bug Out Bus???  (Read 122721 times)

Offline statesofmind

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Bug Out Bus???
« on: December 13, 2010, 04:13:44 PM »
Here's my latest bus.  This will be my 3rd and largest.  I'll include much of the same systems as the one I just sold.  It will have 12v on-board power throughout utilizing a bank of 6 deep cycle batteries and 4 100w panels.  Heat is from a propane furnace and a slick little woodstove.  I have a buddy who makes these stoves for marine use and/or ice fishing.  They work perfect.  Fridge is 12v and propane.  I will have onboard 50 gal. h2o storage for drinking water.  Wastetank holds grey water.  I have a water pump that is mounted on the engine and uses drive belt to pump new water to tank for filtration.  I do not have a full lavatory since I spend all my time in the woods.  I will have an on demand propane water heater with small shower, water will be stored in grey water tank.  This has worked well in the past.  I will use this for hunting/fishing trips to BOL.  This bus will be a 3 year project to complete, but I plan to use it this coming spring for April fishing trip.  2 weeks in the woods.  It's a 3 year project to complete.  I have a trailer that will hold my second vehicle, pulls with no problem. 

I love these for BOV because of the amount of gear I can carry.  They are rugged as hell and basically bullet proof if you buy the right vehicle.  Much more durable and better made than RV's.  Lots of work.  I'd love to hear from anyone else with experience or ideas. 


Exterior when I bought it.  Obviously a paint job is required to blend into my Maine woods home and BOL's.


Interior after is was gutted this fall.


Floor and wall insulation and sub surface almost installed.  Last Month or so.


Begun with back bunk and side bunks/storage.  One of the mid furnaces is in view.  Not enough to heat, but works well in spring-fall. 


Looking Forward.

I have gotten more done in the past couple weeks.  Batteries and most wiring is in.  Wood stove is in, so I can work on interior during the cold Maine winter.  The galley and counter areas are now in.  I'll try and take some more recent pics if there is any interest.
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Offline joeinwv

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2010, 05:03:58 PM »
definitely keep pics coming - interesting project

Offline daved

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010, 05:40:33 PM »
I'll try and take some more recent pics if there is any interest.
I'm interested as well. This looks fantastic. :popcorn:

Offline reefmarker

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2010, 08:37:35 PM »
Cool!  What are the overhead things in the second picture left and right?  Air conditioners?

Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2010, 08:41:19 PM »
Great job so far. Keep the pics coming.

 :popcorn:
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Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2010, 06:28:23 AM »
Those are indeed ac compressors and ducting that went around the bus.  There were also 2 matching compressors hidden under the sides of the bus along the outside.  I have removed all of this to gain headroom for cabinets andstorage bins will be contructed for the outside.  propane tanks have taken over 1/2 of one of the outside areas.  In Maine there is very little need for AC, and I may eventually put a roof system on... not sure.  I sold the compressors along with all the interior seats.

The wheel chair lift that you see was removed and donated to a local person who installed it into an elderly mans home to assist getting him into his house.

Thanks for the interest.

P.
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Online Docwatmo

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2010, 06:58:20 AM »
That is a great project.  I can't wait to see it progress.  Definitely keep the pictures coming.

Docwatmo

 
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Offline TANK

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2010, 07:32:39 AM »
I have got to know about the cost, the bus and finished cost, that is something I might be interested in doing.

Offline Wimary

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2010, 08:22:20 AM »
Love this kind of stuff, keep the pics coming.  I have been thinking about a rain water catch system for a RV, do you have any plans for this? Just curious.
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Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2010, 10:03:15 AM »
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.  I drove it to Maine.  I like Bluebirds, rear engine (much quieter on the road), MUST be deisel.  Keep an eye out for rotted floorboards.  It's not a huge deal, but it is a pain.  Living in Maine, I rip everything out to the metal and start from scratch with a vapor barrier, thicjk insulation board, then the subflooring. 

There are some hurdles in terms of weight and CDL needs.  The bus is 30,000lbs. with air brakes.  In Maine, I needed to throw a mattress and a portable toilet in the back to get it reassigned as a motorhome.  Once I got new plates and registered as a motorhome, no CDL is needed.  I did recieve a transportation temp. permit to get it home without a CDL. 

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.  It is doable if you get creative, hell you can do it for alot less if you get really creative.  My biggest overlying concern is weight.  I take that into account with each and every step.

Rain collection....  I have thought about using a temporary tarp system to collect the water.  I will have a 50gal storage tank for potable h20, 50gal. another tank for unfiltered h2o, another 50gal for grey water.  I saw a guy who stored rain water in 2 big sealed P8" VC tubes that were mounted on each side at the top of the bus.  He then used gravity feed to bring the water down inside the bus.  Not sure if I'll do that, I may just feed the rainwater into the unfiltered water storage tank.  Something else to think about. 
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Online Docwatmo

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2010, 10:45:02 AM »
WOW, I am amazed, I had no idea it was really that affordable.   Now that is with coach or commercial buses right?

What about old school buses?  Have you done a build with one of those?

Great info.  Thanks.

Let me give you your first +1 for a great project and great information.
Docwatmo

 
Father of 3 wonderfull little men, and lucky husband to an amazing woman. 
"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne
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Offline archer

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2010, 11:49:07 AM »
neat project! i'm very curious how it goes.


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Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2010, 12:31:50 PM »
Thanks for the +1 Doc.  Appreciate it.  I wasn't sure how this "project" was gonig to be accepted.  Glad to hear that we have some vision here.  I get a lot of funny looks here where I work.  I tell them it's like the movie "Field of Dreams"... either you see the baseball players or you don't.  You all obviously see them.

School buses are about the same.  The are cheaper, and in many cases in better shape because of gov. restrictions.  There are many sites online that deal with bus conversions.  The big thing with school buses is the paint and lights... you have to remove them by law to eleviate any confusion. 

Here's a couple cool links.  I think Jack mentioned the "Schoolie" site one time.

http://www.vonslatt.com/bus-main.shtml  (This is a VERY good site.  teh one that got me thinking)

http://www.skoolie.net/  (The one Jack mentioned)

Have fun.  Keep the questions coming.  It's nice to know that there are other's as crazy as I.
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Online Docwatmo

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2010, 12:43:33 PM »
I've wanted to build out my own bus for a long long time but always figured it would be WAY too expensive (So expensive that I never bothered to look for a bus, DUH).  It may actually be a viable option for next year.  I know I'll never be able to afford a fancy motor home and a van just isn't big enough for a family of 5.  My wife's father had a school bus up until we got married (I was hoping to get it in trade with his daughter LOL)  It still had 3 rows of seats up front (12 passengers) and then 2 bunk beds and a master bed in the back and a toilet/sink/cabnets etc.  He sold it to a cousin of his to make room for a pontoon boat.  :'(

Only problem I have is parking, but I have a spot close by that a friend may let me use, if thats the case, I'm golden ;D.   Just got to get my own daily driver in Feb and then I can start looking at (and convincing the wife  ;) ) to let me do the bus thing.

You have given this man renewed hope.  Thanks
Docwatmo

 
Father of 3 wonderfull little men, and lucky husband to an amazing woman. 
"Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway." John Wayne
"Don't prepare for everything, prepare for anything." Doc 
"Gods Speed, Jenkins, Gods Speed" - Nafterize

Mark II, Mod 3, gas operated, self lubricating Inflatable Goat type 1
Ever watchful for the deadly Blue Winged Pecker Snapple
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Offline Amator

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2010, 01:06:27 PM »
Very cool thread.  I've also spent time over the past few years at Jake Von Slatt's site and at Skoolie.  I want to do this in about five years once I'm living at the (future) BOL.

Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2010, 01:12:03 PM »
It is alot of fun... frustrating at times, but fun.  This bus will sleep 2 in back, 2 mid bunks and I use a standard futon to fold out for 2 more int he front.  It's doubtful I'll ever sleep 6, but if I needed to I could.  I really like these because of the durability and storage it allows me.  It's amazing how much I can bring comfortably onboard and stow away. 

My last bus, a bit smaller was self sufficient in terms of power, water and heat (woodstove).  I took a 3 week fishing trip, totally off grid.  Watched TV & DVD's all the time, ran my radios and lighting.  Obviously I couldn't be a power hog, but I was living large in the Maine woods for sure.  I ran into others who were camping nearby and they were blown away by the set-up.  Like I said, I don't deal with a bathroom, it's a major hassle to install and mantain... and it's way too easy to set up a privy... and I'm blessed with a girlfriend that has no problem with that, a rarity for sure.  A shower is easy and a must for long trips.

Also as far as parking, you'ld be shocked at how little room I have at my house and was able to park this monstocity neatly in the back.  I'll try and take some more pics this weekend and post.  The turning radius on a flatnose type bus is outragious, better than most full size pick-ups.

Have fun & Take Care.

P. 
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Offline Diver55

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2010, 01:01:56 AM »
I really like the idea of a bus not only as a BOV but just as a general camper. In my opinion, most factory built campers just don't live up to the mechanical demands but as you said, a cummins and an allison.......pretty hard to beat. I have a suggestion on the shower, you could make an alternate exterior one that sort of just swung out from the side. In the middle of no where you could just rig up a tarp or something and presto now you would have to bother filling the waste water tank if you don't need to and it's just plain cool to shower and be necked outside haha. great job love the project.

Offline teton traveler

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2010, 09:08:14 AM »
Great job!. I have a professor who did this with a school bus, but I don't think that it is quite to your level. Keep the picts comming!

Offline Dan

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2010, 05:13:34 PM »
I always like build threads like this. I find it interesting to see how others re task things, there is an art to it.

The wheel chair lift that you see was removed and donated to a local person who installed it into an elderly mans home to assist getting him into his house.

I'd give you a pat on the back if I could for that.
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Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2010, 10:27:49 AM »
Cool! I can't wait to see the progression on this project.


Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #20 on: January 02, 2011, 02:41:32 PM »
Absolutely on the exterior shower!  Rough in the winter up here in the north woods, but viable 8-9 months out of the year. 

The quality of these types of buses is excellent, both mechanically and structurally.  No new pics, I'll try and get a few this week.  I did just install the small woodstove, had my first fire while I was doing soem other work.  The small stove held the interior at 70 degrees while it was 23 outside. The fire was at about 70 percent and only burned for about an hour before it got to temperature.  I think this little stove will do the trick in most situations.  This week some woodwork and more framing.

 
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Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #21 on: January 02, 2011, 05:17:41 PM »
"I want the Magic Bus, I want the Magic Bus, I want the Magic Bus...

I said, now I've got my Magic Bus (Too much, the Magic Bus)
I drive my baby every way (Too much, the Magic Bus)
Each time I go a different way (Too much, the Magic Bus)
I want it, i want it, I want it, I want it ...

Every day you'll see the dust (Too much, the Magic Bus)
As I drive my baby in my Magic Bus (Too much, the Magic Bus)"
Lyrics by The Who

My DH is gonna be so jealous when he sees your bus.  He wanted to get a bus back in the 70's and just tootle around and live out of it - me, I thought not. Now I see the error of my ways. Nice job!
+1 from Mama.
My goal in life is to be as good of a person my GOAT already thinks I am.  ~Author Unknown

America will never be destroyed from outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed GOATS." Abraham  Lincoln

DEV being nice... sorta goes along with GOATS howling, babies bursting into tears, birds suddenly becoming silent, and an ominous greenish lighting spreading across the landscape...

Offline climberaxe

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #22 on: January 05, 2011, 10:38:15 AM »
That is a cool idea!!!!  While not on my short term list of 'to-do' items, it's always been on my mind.  I look forward to your future pictures.
...just trying to get it done.

Offline Sarey

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #23 on: January 05, 2011, 01:53:21 PM »
See now that's the idea... I have a bus out in the back being used for storage all the seats are out except for two and the last time we actually drove it was to take my brother in law out to dinner.... Yes, odd but priceless good, clean fun....


I'll be sharing this with the man....

Love it...
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Offline TwoBluesMama

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #24 on: January 05, 2011, 06:45:13 PM »
Just showed the DH this thread and he thought it was awesome!  +1 from him! (he's saying he had this idea 40 years ago and I wouldn't do it! Yeah, yeah!)

Keep the photos coming!
My goal in life is to be as good of a person my GOAT already thinks I am.  ~Author Unknown

America will never be destroyed from outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed GOATS." Abraham  Lincoln

DEV being nice... sorta goes along with GOATS howling, babies bursting into tears, birds suddenly becoming silent, and an ominous greenish lighting spreading across the landscape...

Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2011, 07:46:53 PM »
Here are a few more pics. 

6am.  16 degrees inside and out. Fire started indside.

Stove roughed in.  Once the floor is laid stove & pipe will get a paint.  Secondary bus heater
element & fan mounted under stove.


Galley Area (very) roughed in. 

Small furnace roughed in. It's only 19,00btu so it does ok in spring and fall.  Not so much
now that winter has set in.

This little thing had the inside at about 70, outside at 25 in about an hour and a half with a
small fan on it.  I have a couple of 12v that will help circulate the heat.   

Making some progress on the wall. 

I use a standard RV cover with a sleeve for the stove pipe to breathe through.
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Offline TexDaddy

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2011, 08:57:22 PM »
Looking good. What happened to the original pics?
"I went down Virginia, seekin' shelter from the storm.
Caught up in the fable, I watched the tower grow.
Five year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains.
And I wonder, still I wonder who'll stop the rain."

...A quote from the book 'Mataroda' comes to mind:
'To do more than your best is impossible, to do less is unthinkable'
WWCD = What would Cedar do?

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2011, 09:05:17 PM »
The project looks to be coming along nicely. Great work!


Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #28 on: January 10, 2011, 05:15:34 AM »
Opps!  I'll repost earlier pics tonight of bus project.  Is there anyway to edit tose postings and re0insert pics?  I erased the wrong folder on photobucket. :)  Sorry.
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Offline statesofmind

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Re: Bug Out Bus???
« Reply #29 on: January 10, 2011, 06:49:27 AM »
I'm getting most of them back.  Thanks agin for the ideas and thoughts.  Please keep 'em coming. 
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