Bare necessities! Staying on the road!
Saw (electric is best)
Needle + Thread
I am trying to make the instructions so that you will see what needs to be done on any vehicle and not just a school bus so the exact dimensions won't be listed. For the most part, it is just measuring, cutting, drilling and decorating.
Please enjoy I hope my work will help to inspire and educate you on a traveling lifestyle. I apologize for the lack of photography. I had been working on my project for a while before I discovered this website.
Step 1: Take Out Seats
The first thing I did was strip the seats from the bus. At first, I tried to unscrew them but that took too long with getting under the bus so I got a grinder and ground the bolts until they fell through the bottom. This took a little over one day.
Step 2: Insulate!
I purchased reflectex from a local hardware store in order to cover the entire interior of the bus. Then I covered it with fabric for better looks. Just measure and cut based on the dimensions of your vehicle. Those brown panels and carpet are covering it up.
Step 3: Design Your Layout.
A simple but important step. You need to use space for necessities such as the bed, kitchen, food storage, human waste disposal, additional storage, and (if you want it) electricity. Get some graph paper and mark down all of the measurements of your space. From there you should measure everything that you are putting in it and draw it on the paper. Trust me it is a lot better to go through 10 pieces of paper than building something you will regret or have to redo.
Step 4: Seats
Save the seats you ripped out or just leave a few in.
Step 5: The Bed
A bunch of 2 by 4's
Step 6: Kitchen
I got a desk and a regular old cooler. After that, I made a small cupboard out of 2 by 4's and all I had to do was measure, cut, and drill.
In order to cook, I purchased a propane stove but you are also able to power an electronic cooking device if you have enough wattage coming from the power supply. (we will get into that later)
Step 7: Bathroom
Portable toilet and bags my friends... Have fun ;)
I also keep all toiletries in my desk.
Step 8: Decorations
Go to all of the thrift stores in your area! They have the coolest stuff and you won't break the bank.
I got a board and some blackboard paint for a total of around 15$.
Step 9: Solar Setup Materials
Solar System includes
1x 100w solar panel
1x negative chord between panel and charge controller
1x positive chord between panel and charge controller + 1x 15a fuse or circuit breaker
1x 20amp charge controller
1x negative chord between charge controller and battery
1x positive chord between charge controller and battery + 1x 15a fuse or circuit breaker
1x AGM sealed lead acid battery
1x negative chord between battery and inverter
1x positive chord between battery and inverter + 1x 40a fuse or circuit breaker
Step 10: Assembling the Solar System!!!
WARNING READ ALL STEPS BEFORE BEGGINIGNG YOUR PROJECT.
Step 1: Push the connection cord from the panel to the charge controller through the roof.
Step 2: Run the cord along the wall to the charge controller.
Make sure the positive and negative wires line up with the positive and negative leads on the controller.
Step 3: Take two more wires and connect them from the charge controller to the battery.
If your charge controller does not have surge protection it would be wise to purchase fuses or a breaker and hook it up to the positive wire.
Step 4: From there you just clamp the inverter onto the battery.
It would also be wise to wire a fuse or a breaker to this positive connection as well.
Step 5: After that, I connected the solar panel up to the top wire and mounted it using a solar mounting kit and some weatherproof cocking.
Cover the panel with something to prevent the creation of electricity until the panel is fully mounted.
Don't forget that the charge controller has a socket for overflow current when the battery is full! More free energy!
Save the twisty wraps from the cord packaging and retie them during the setup to keep things orderly.
Buy most of your items separately. Kits are too expensive.