So, I bought a bus. Now I have to figure out what the hell I am going to do with it.
I want to preface this by saying two things. One, I’m not joking. I really have no idea what I’m doing, and every day has been a learning curve. At the same time, I‘m lucky to have a bunch of mates with knowledge about the steps I need to do this conversion. That is, transforming an old school bus to a tiny home. A tiny home is considered a house or living space that’s under 400 square feet, a slight deviation from the national average of around 2600 square feet. It’s a combination of friends, luck and a bit of trial and error that has gotten us through the first phases of the build out.
This is all complicated by the fact that, in Pennsylvania, you have to have a Class B Non Commercial Driver’s License to drive a vehicle over 26,000 pounds, and my 2001 Blue Bird International is roughly 29,000 pounds. It seemed like a rather minor detail that I overlooked when I bought the bus, but now I’m getting a first-hand lesson in the value of research as I’m paying the consequences in my timeline as a result.
In the meantime, I ripped out as many seats as possible, along with the panelling and sub-floor, while leaving in the first row for the instructor to take the test with me.
To do this, I initially tried undoing the bolts that held the seats down with an impact driver while holding the nut secure underneath the bus. To no surprise, 17 years of rust did not help with this process.
I quickly learned online, and from my own doing, that there really was only one way to expedite this process along with the rest of the demolition of the inside of the bus. That was: Buy an angle grinder, which I did. We were able to grind off the heads of the bolts and then hit the shafts through so they would fall out underneath.
After this had been done, we had the seats and panelling out in a day, also removing the insulation underneath.
There were several reasons for removing the insulation. Primarily, I wanted the metal underneath to be exposed so I could find potential leaks that needed to be fixed. There were two, as it turns out.
I also wanted to remove the old insulation that had been subjected to those leaks so that I could replace with a higher quality alternative.
All in all the biggest piece of advice I found for this and other jobs on the bus is listen to the mistakes of others, they have been there before and taken the time to put it out there for us to find. So with that in mind, if you are doing a conversion, for this step: Just buy the damn angle grinder.