My new bike hauler- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    My new bike hauler

    I picked this up last week.

    I plan on converting the interior into an RV, with room to load 4 bikes plus gear inside underneath a sleeping loft in the back of the bus. The handicap door on the rear of the passenger side will be used to load and unload bikes. The bus will have a full kitchen, and sleeping space for 3 inside, but no bathroom.

    I'm just finishing tearing out the old bus interior, and will post a few photos of my progress as I move forward. The wheelchair lift is going, and I'm pulling the floor out, and the interior metal walls and old insulation out, taking the bus down to the steel frame and exterior skin. I need to seal up all the holes in the floor, replace the old leaky roof vents, and then insulate the shell before I start to build anything. I also need to paint it a new color before my neighbors start to hate me.

    Before buying the bus, I wanted a full size van, but the amount of space in a bus is so nice, and it was cheaper than any van that I looked at. I'll have 13.5ft x 7.5ft with a 6'3" tall interior space to build within (the drivers seat and front stairs are not included in that.) The bus is only 20ft long, so it's barely longer than my old pickup truck. If I had a longer flat driveway, I would have bought a bigger bus. The gas mileage doesn't get too much worse as they get bigger, and the price are actually lower for the 35-40ft long buses. My mileage is supposedly 12mpg running the 6.2l diesel engine. I haven't driven it far enough to confirm this, but I have my doubts. I'll be using it for weekend camping/bike trips. I have alot of options within 100 miles of me, so I shouldn't have to sell my kidney to afford the fuel.
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  2. #2
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    bunch of mtbrs in the short bus. this will be kick ass

  3. #3
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    Always wanted to make an RV out of a small bus ala Partridge Family. But the cost of fuel will be too much to make it worth it on long drive.

  4. #4
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    pretty sweet! can you say Road Trip? Just don't forget the talking dog!!
    Build in progress and can't wait for it to be done son!!!

  5. #5
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    Looks Great!

  6. #6
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    That completely kicks azz!!! Nice score!! Plaster a bunch of MTB stickers all over it....I would love to road trip in that thing!!
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  7. #7
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    Awesome.. Looks real cool. how much will the investment cost you about?

  8. #8
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    That is one S'Cool bus!

    Sasquatch, nice to see you posting, haven't seen or heard from you for ever. Hope things are good!

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  9. #9
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    Thats cool. I would put a set of handle bars on the hood like cow horns.
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  10. #10
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    Awesome!! I've always wanted a school bus

  11. #11
    ballbuster
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    I have a bud who was in a Stoner Rock metal band. He used to tour in a small bus like this. He painted it flat black, and it was way bad ass.

    I suggest you paint yours flat black.

    Ha! If anybody in the Bay Area or Central Valley has the same idea, I just found a GMC School Bus on Craigslist for $2800!

    93 chevy school bus

  12. #12
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    sweet. cant wait to see the progress pics. Wish you were my neighboor, I would be helping you rip that sucker apart in the hopes you invite me on the bike trips.

  13. #13
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    Way cool. You'll probably get somewhere close to 12mpg. That's pretty bad for a car, but it's great gas mileage for a house. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.

  14. #14
    ballbuster
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    Yeah. badass, man.

    If I had the land to store it, I would totally do something like this myself. Bolt an awning to the front you can pull out for a 'kick back, bbw, and drink beerz' area, some fold-up bunks in the back for sleeping space, solar heated shower on the roof, ha! Maybe even a flat roof deck with ladder that can double as added cargo racks. I see tons of camper/RV kinda conversion potential, here.

  15. #15
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    Just needs a hitch so you can tow a boat or a trailer with a Port-o-Potty on it!

    Just got off of Facebook before reading this thread. I swear to you I was looking for the "Like" button when I saw the bus. Good luck with the build. Keep us posted!

  16. #16
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    Ah

    You need to install a turbocharger on that. Yup.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot View Post
    I have a bud who was in a Stoner Rock metal band. He used to tour in a small bus like this. He painted it flat black, and it was way bad ass.

    I suggest you paint yours flat black.

    Ha! If anybody in the Bay Area or Central Valley has the same idea, I just found a GMC School Bus on Craigslist for $2800!

    93 chevy school bus
    Flat Black is my preferred color. I could do it easily with primer and have it look decent with little effort and expense. It may make it too hot for summer camping, and the safe/sane side of me says to paint it tan or beige, but the rebel/hipster side of me says to do it black with rasta color stripes on the rub rails
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  18. #18
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    I am nearly finished ripping out all the interior of the bus. I had trouble finding a home for the wheelchair lift. Some people told me I could sell it for $1000 or more, but I had trouble finding anyone to take it for free. I ended up giving it to a friend who plans on taking the hydraulic motor to build a rock hoist for trailwork. It'll be awesome if the wheelchair lift ends up helping fix our local trails, but I'm just happy to see it gone.

    I've got all the interior ceiling and walls out as well as the old wet insulation. I also removed the rubber floor liner and the plywood subfloor. The metal basefloor is in good shape, with some minor surface rust, so I will hit it with a wire brush, and then paint it with Rustoleum rust converter primer. Next, I'll use caulk to seal the dozens of holes in the metal floor from the seat bolts, and the holes in the walls from the old stop sign and the wheelchair lift supports. I also need to pull the old roof vent that leaks, and replace it with a better vent that will not leak on me. Once I have the bus sealed up from the weather, I can start to insulate it and frame the interior for walls and the built in furniture. I'll be hiring a pro to handle my propane lines as well as the plumbing and electric work.

    I also have a shop that does custom welding and fabrication that will be installing frames for a freshwater tank, greywater tank, and a propane tank to run my stove and heater. There is plenty of room beneath the floor of the bus to fit the tanks where they will be well protected from road hazards.

    Here are a few photos from today, near the end of demo, and ready to start sealing the shell.









    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  19. #19
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    I suppose you've been here: Skoolie.net About

  20. #20
    I got the velcros
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    This is such a cool project. I have a VW bus so I can appreciate what you're doing here, especially for here in the NW. To have everything inside and be able to hang out inside after some riding is pretty badass.

    What kind of products do you have in mind for insulation?
    Any more details on the interior layout besides the bikes/loft area in back?

    Keep the pictures coming.

    Wood stove. Do it.

  21. #21
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    This is pretty awesome! Keep it up! cant wait to see the final result

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtec View Post
    Wood stove. Do it.
    Nice idea.

    VW Bus WoodStove - YouTube

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsdc View Post
    I suppose you've been here: Skoolie.net About
    You know it!
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtec View Post
    This is such a cool project. I have a VW bus so I can appreciate what you're doing here, especially for here in the NW. To have everything inside and be able to hang out inside after some riding is pretty badass.

    What kind of products do you have in mind for insulation?
    Any more details on the interior layout besides the bikes/loft area in back?

    Keep the pictures coming.

    Wood stove. Do it.
    I'll be using sprayfoam to coat the interior walls and ceiling with 2 inches of closed cell foam. It will provide a radiant and vapor barrier. The ceiling will be covered with outdoor carpet glued to luan panels. The walls will be framed with 2x2 studs and will be covered with 1/2inch plywood veneer that I'll stain. On the floor, I'll be laying a vapor barrier and then 1.25 inches of rigid foam insulation and 3/4 inch plywood with a cheap vinyl or cheap tounge and groove floors.

    No wood stove for me. They are very popular, but I don't see it as practical in my bus. I want simple heat that takes up little space and I dont want to worry about igniting my clothes, or my dog. I'm having a propane tank mounted under the floor of the bus, along with a fresh water and grey water tank. I'll have a propane heater built into a space in the base of the closet.

    There will be a kitchen counter top unit with a propane stove with mini oven, a sink and a small fridge. I'll be building a 6.5 ft booth seat that converts into a bed, and will have room for a small close and a desk with a flat screen tv mounted to the wall above it. I had a design worked out that made room for a 3rd person to sleep, but it seemed too tight for 3 people to hang out in that space. This layout will fit 3-4 comfortably to hang out, but only 2 can sleep inside.

    I'll be mounting an awning, and I'm converting the old flashing lights in front and back at the top of the bus into flood lights that will light up forest roads for night time travel and will light up a campground when needed. I'll be covering several of the windows with steel covers to help insulate the bus, and because the kitchen, closet and tv area will need the full height interior wall space.

    My power set up will rely on a generator, the motor, or plug in electric power to charge a battery bank that in turn powers my electrical needs inside the bus. I've got a guy with the knowledge to handle setting up this system (including a converter, a switch box, and built in plug ports on the exterior of the bus.)

    There wont be much exciting progress for the next few weeks. I'll be installing a new ceiling vent and painting and insulating the floor before sending it out for electrical work and then sprayfoam insulation. Once those are complete (and I get back from 8 days in Maui,) the fun stuff will begin.
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  25. #25
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    Sweeeet! I can't believe you gut that sucker so quick!

  26. #26
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    You're done man!

    Throw down a mattress pad, sleeping bag, a grill or camp stove, toss your bike and gear in there, grab your buddies and a cooler full of beer and GO!
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  27. #27
    I got the velcros
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sasquatch View Post
    I'll be using sprayfoam to coat the interior walls and ceiling with 2 inches of closed cell foam. It will provide a radiant and vapor barrier. The ceiling will be covered with outdoor carpet glued to luan panels. The walls will be framed with 2x2 studs and will be covered with 1/2inch plywood veneer that I'll stain. On the floor, I'll be laying a vapor barrier and then 1.25 inches of rigid foam insulation and 3/4 inch plywood with a cheap vinyl or cheap tounge and groove floors.

    No wood stove for me. They are very popular, but I don't see it as practical in my bus. I want simple heat that takes up little space and I dont want to worry about igniting my clothes, or my dog. I'm having a propane tank mounted under the floor of the bus, along with a fresh water and grey water tank. I'll have a propane heater built into a space in the base of the closet.

    There will be a kitchen counter top unit with a propane stove with mini oven, a sink and a small fridge. I'll be building a 6.5 ft booth seat that converts into a bed, and will have room for a small close and a desk with a flat screen tv mounted to the wall above it. I had a design worked out that made room for a 3rd person to sleep, but it seemed too tight for 3 people to hang out in that space. This layout will fit 3-4 comfortably to hang out, but only 2 can sleep inside.

    I'll be mounting an awning, and I'm converting the old flashing lights in front and back at the top of the bus into flood lights that will light up forest roads for night time travel and will light up a campground when needed. I'll be covering several of the windows with steel covers to help insulate the bus, and because the kitchen, closet and tv area will need the full height interior wall space.

    My power set up will rely on a generator, the motor, or plug in electric power to charge a battery bank that in turn powers my electrical needs inside the bus. I've got a guy with the knowledge to handle setting up this system (including a converter, a switch box, and built in plug ports on the exterior of the bus.)

    There wont be much exciting progress for the next few weeks. I'll be installing a new ceiling vent and painting and insulating the floor before sending it out for electrical work and then sprayfoam insulation. Once those are complete (and I get back from 8 days in Maui,) the fun stuff will begin.
    That's a comprehensive plan you have, sounds like you'll have a full fledged camper when its all said and done, not just for weekend trips, but for some longer road trips too.

    Consider a solar panel if you're feeling extra motivated and its within your budget, I put one on my bus and not ever having to charge your house battery (even in the NW) is pretty amazing.

    The reason I said wood stove was because of this old hippie:
    The Seattle Times: Video


  28. #28
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    Good job!

    What a great project!!!
    Lot's of work ahead, but if you take it one step at a time it is going to be a nice home on wheels..
    Current ride(s) 2011 Santa Cruz Blur LT and a Norco Threshold SL with Di2

  29. #29
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    Love this project, now I want to do one too! My wife is going to kill me and its going to be your fault.

  30. #30
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    Unique, id love to do something remotely similar to this, damn cool, but ive got no real need for anything of the sort. It'd be epic none the less. Maybe a bike hauling, stripped out, pimped, armored personnel carrier or something lol

  31. #31
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    Duallie with two-ton capacity for 27-lb mountain bikes...LOL. Looks like a fun proj, and even more fun later. Power to ya!

    Mike

  32. #32
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    Great project.

  33. #33
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    damn good

  34. #34
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    Awesome! Can't wait to see the finished project!!

  35. #35
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    Cool project. If you plan on keeping it for a long time I would suggest something like POR15 for the floor. It is going to set you back a bit more money and the application is a little more involved than the Rustoleum but it is a much better product for keeping rust away.
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  36. #36
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    Squatch, that thing is nice! I can't wait to see the finished hauler.

  37. #37
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    Where is MTB stickers,i didn't seen this.I think interior of this bus need improvement badly........

  38. #38
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    I've always wanted to do this with a mid or full sized bus. Back half is parking for quads, dirtbikes and bikes and gear. middle ground is camping (bunk bed style cots) with table and benches on each side and then the road trip portion in the front.

  39. #39
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    That thing needs to be painted all black for sure.

  40. #40
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    How about some updated Pics.......don't leave us hanging. :

  41. #41
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    Yeah Squatch, cut lose with some updates!!

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    Yeah Squatch, cut lose with some updates!!


    We're waiting..............

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by TXRR View Post
    We're waiting..............
    Yeah Squatch, we're waiting man!

  44. #44
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    Wow...there's one for sale on our local CL, Already redone inside, comes with a stripper pole.

    Custom Rigged Party Bus - GMC 1987
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  45. #45
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    So, any updates?
    Better 2 ask 4 pardon than 2 ask for permission. Recall that nxt time U feel you have 2 ask ur wife if U can buy something

  46. #46
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    Sorry guys, this story does not end well. I ended up bailing on the project. I sunk $3k into building a camping set up inside of the bus, and just when I was close to finishing the inside, the transmission started to go bad, so after talking to a mechanic and getting alot more bad news about the health of the engine and drivetrain, I decided to cut my losses and sell the bus. The guy who bought it let it sit on the street for almost a year before he sold it to some other rube.

    I still dream of owning a camper/RV/bus but the expense and hassles keep scaring me away. Meanwhile, I still camp in my REI tent or in the back of my Honda Fit.

    Sorry to let everyone down. Reality sux......
    I love mankind - it's people I can't stand. ~Charles M. Schulz

  47. #47
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    Bummer!
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  48. #48
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    Dang, do you even fit in the Fit? lol

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