Thursday, May 3, 2018

Joe Omundson

Empty Inside: Bus Build #4

5/2: I sold the individual seats! Got $70 for them. A church in Hillsboro wanted them for their bus. I removed all the legs and drove the seats over there in my minivan. I happened to be going to Hillsboro and figured I could save them the drive. I used to go to that same brand of church back when I started college and it was surreal to be in a church environment again, to see the youth group kids playing basketball.

The other appointment I had in Hillsboro was to meet the guy I mentioned in BB#1 (BB is short for Bus Build now, OK?), the guy who is also building his van and offered to let me use his shop sometimes. Seems like we'll probably get along well and the shop area is pretty nice! I'm really glad to have that as an option right now.

5/3: In the morning I separated the legs from the bench seats and got them all outside the bus, finally. Cleaned out all the other clutter, gave it a good sweeping. You can see I've got the three back windows propped open a bit, too.

Empty floor, yeah!

The bus came with two entry handrails, one of which you can see in the above photo. I decided to delete the other one; the rail pictured above is actually much more useful for keeping momentum when entering the bus, and serves a second purpose as an attachment point if I decide to build my kitchen in that corner. I may decide to remove it later. But I know for sure I don't want the other one.

I deem this handrail to be superfluous

After removal:

Every cubic inch is precious! I can use that space for a shoe rack, or a plant, or a fan, or...

Later in the day I unbolted the luggage racks and my dad helped me take them down. They were actually way lighter than I expected, but at 13 feet / 4 meters long they are a bit unwieldy for one person. I left them in the bus because I'm probably going to recycle them tomorrow. I'll throw everything that I need to take the dump too.

Ahhh, so much more spacious without those racks! 

I started peeling up some of the rubber flooring in the back, where there's been the most leakage. There's definitely mold and rot; some sections where you can poke a screwdriver through the plywood.


It's especially rotten in the corner. You can't see the plywood here because I hadn't pulled up the flooring yet, but you get the idea from the general rust and grossness how rotten it might be).


That little box is a heater. It's crazy -- engine coolant runs along the bottom of the whole bus to provide the heat for it. That seems like an insane volume of coolant, and if it somehow ruptured anywhere along the bottom it'd make the bus undriveable until repaired. If I want to heat my bus, I'll use a propane furnace; I'm not going to start my giant engine and let it run up to temp just to use this shitty little heater. So I'll definitely delete that.

Anyway, since the floor is rotting, I think I'm going to replace the whole thing. It's just a layer of plywood. It shouldn't be too expensive, and it's such an important, integral part of the build. I don't want a bunch of mold and rot in my living space. Plus, if I take it all apart and build it again, I'll have a really good understanding of what I'm working with, I'll have more understanding and confidence to make the modifications that suit my needs.

I took this pic today just for reference, in case I forget the number in future years. My dad did the math: with 336,950 miles, and 23,670 hours of runtime, the average speed over the lifetime of this bus is 14.2 miles per hour. I predict that number will increase if I calculate it again in a year.


Since I actually made $70 selling the seats, that counts as credit against the overall cost! So now I'm down to $2953.50.


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