Friday, September 08, 2006

Bus to Motorhome

Have you ever thought of getting a motorhome? Something big enough to take your family places but not so big as to break the bank? Lord knows some of those things cost more than a house! But they dont have to break the bank. Not if you make one yourself.

How? Old school buses.

School buses go for dirt cheap once the district is done with them. And they arent gotten rid of because they are worn out but rather because of their age. Each district sets its own rules but generally when a bus gets to be 15 years old it is put out to pasture regardless of its mileage. Regular buses are sold for about $2000, and the SpEd buses go for $500-800. What you get out of the deal is a cheap platform that has been well maintained. Much better maintained than a used motorhome would be. Also a bus is made to carry a LOT of weight which means that everything is heavy duty (axles etc.) and the bus must meet much higher safety standards as it was designed to carry the most precious of cargo.

I found the site of a guy who did just that. Jake Von Slatt purchased his 75 passenger bus (approx 40 feet long) for only $2031 on ebay. He then transformed it from an ugly yellow bus into what you see in these pictures. I am planning on something similar but smaller. While I like the blunt nosed buses better because of the way they handle, the smaller buses rarely, if ever, come like that.

My plan is to have it quite similar to what you see in the pictures above. The table and benches right behind the driver seat and a comfy captains chair on the right side so I can have some company while driving. Directly behind that chair would be the kitchenette and opposite that (behind the table) is the bathroom/shower. Then a wall would seperate this area from the back which would be the bedroom. The bedroom would have bunks on one side and I am thinking a full size bed on the other that could be folded up into the wall when not in use. This setup would leave approx 8 feet from the back door to the wall which would allow for plenty of room for toys such as a kayak perhaps? or skis.

The only quetion in my mind at this time is whether or not I want to cover up the side door. The wheelchair door. Beds on both sides would require that it be covered but it is a full height door whereas most rear doors are something you have to hunch over to get out of. Most likely I will just cover that side door as I believe it would be easier to get the beds situated then trying to do some weird mounting of a bed to the back.

One word about the type of bus to get. Make sure it is a full sized bus. Not the vans with the smaller wheels. You could make one of the van-buses into a motorhome but it wouldnt be as sturdy and the visibility sucks in those things (trust me on this)