Full-Time Couple in a Short Bus

zelseman

Observer
My wife and I shopped most of 2016 for a conversion van or panel van that we could use to make our escape from NE Oklahoma in search of all things adventure. We found and really liked the idea of a school bus conversion and set off to find a bus that fit our budget and needs. Enter a former school/church short bus. The 6.5L engine had only 107,000 miles on it and the entire bus was in fine shape.

The plan is to be ready by April 2018 to sell most of our belongings, rent our house, and hit the road for 6 months or as long as we can make it. We are young and tired of the 9-5 and all of the crap that comes with it, trying something different.






And this is the setup as we took it on it's first long trip to Colorado for skiing.





As soon as we got it titled, insured and back from a successful trip to the mountains, the build began.

Remove seats and rotted floor...✔️



Patch holes and paint floor...✔️



Patch Emergency Exit hole and install Fantastic Fan...✔️





That's all for now. I will try to update with more pictures, but in the meantime check out our Instagram page @okienomads and our website at www.okienomads.com.
 

chilliwak

Expedition Leader
Cool looking van Zelzeman. I like were you are going with this. Please keep us updated with lots of pics. Cheers, Chilli..:)
 

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zelseman

Observer


Frame in the wheel wells with 3/4" OSB and some of the insulation that we plucked from the rest of the bus. This is one of the most awkward areas of the bus to build out as the whole rest of the kitchen (drivers side) and dinette bench (passenger side) is based on building over the wheels.

Threw down a sheet of 3/4" Poly Pro solid insulation in between the furring strips. The plan is not to insulate the bus perfectly, but well enough to make a difference.







Put down some 3/4" OSB on the floor. Although this is not the BEST choice for a bus floor, it was significantly less expensive than the real deal. This is a budget build, so compromises will happen throughout.



Started planning out the layout with painters tape. The bed will be in the back, approximately 4' off the floor. The kitchen will line the drivers side and a dinette will line the passenger side.


And how she sits.
 

chilliwak

Expedition Leader
I understand that this is a budget build Zelseman, but osb is probably not the best choice for moist conditions. You have come a long way and its looking great. Perhaps give the osb a good coat of primer and some exterior paint. This should help with the gasses that osb gives off. Looking forward to seeing more pics. Keep up the good work. Cheers, Chilli..:)
 

Haf-E

Expedition Leader
Even a small amount of insulation will make a difference - since its the inverse of the "R-value" actually - the first couple of R's makes the biggest difference:

heat loss = 1 / R-value so, if the 3/4 inch poly-iso foam has an R-value of 2, then the losses are cut in half (1/2) !

My only critical comment is to loose the stop sign on the side... or at least change it to "GO" or something fun.
 

zelseman

Observer
Even a small amount of insulation will make a difference - since its the inverse of the "R-value" actually - the first couple of R's makes the biggest difference:

heat loss = 1 / R-value so, if the 3/4 inch poly-iso foam has an R-value of 2, then the losses are cut in half (1/2) !

My only critical comment is to loose the stop sign on the side... or at least change it to "GO" or something fun.
That is good to hear about the insulation. We have been using great stuff to fill in the gaps and cracks.

The stop sign will be long gone soon, stay tuned!
 

zelseman

Observer
We got busy building out our cabinets and bed platform. In hindsight, I should have built the kitchen cabinets completely in the shop, then tacked them into the bus, but this was my first time building anything like this, so I am learning as I go.





I have a problem where I can't stay focused on any particular area of the bus for very long, so I built a bike rack while being bored with the cabinets. I will eventually add fork mounts to either side of the rear door for 2 extra bikes when time allows.





That's all I have for now, more to come soon.
 

workerdrone

Fulltimer
Awesome. DW and I did it over 2 years ago and still going, zero regrets not for one minute. Sold the house too though. Smart to rent yours out if it's in a good area for it. Ours wasn't.

Go go go!
 

SDDiver5

Expedition Leader
Check out solidwoodworx on Instagram. He does awesome work and will prob give you some ideas.

Nice job so far! Whats the plan for insulating all the windows?
 

shortbus4x4

Expedition Leader
Nice. Have you been on skoolie.net? Lots of helpful ideas on there. Before you start road tripping in it you will need to remove all the school bus signs, lights, etc or you'll be talking to the cops alot.
 

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