A Study of Art, Adventure, Engineering and Enterprise
Category: School Bus
Welcome to the home of the El Dorado school bus conversion. We know we want a beautiful place to live while we travel around northern America building our online business. Even though the idea is exciting, the execution is full of fearful questions.
Ian and V’s School Bus Conversion
Is this legal? What challenges does owning a 30,000 pound vehicle bring about? Is this something for crazy people? Will I end up wasting too much money?
To be honest, I still don’t know the answer to these questions. But we’re doing it. Here’s our bus:
Left to Right – V, Ian & Jamie. Jamie (of Whole Foods) sold us the bus.
How Much Does a School Bus Conversion Cost?
We don’t know yet. That said, you can see our expense spreadsheet as they happen. Once we’re done, you can look at the below spreadsheet to get a great idea for every expense. That said, we’re in it now, so the spreadsheet just shows you how much we’ve spent this far. Feel free to check it out:
V has completed the mosaic in the bathroom. That was a big deal.
During this period of time, I completed the furnace installation, installed sheer on a lot of the walls and put silicone in the back joints of the cement board to make the shower water tight. It was a big week.
I remember how painful it was to develop this plan on my own, so I hope this helps you with whatever propane system you build on your bus. Also, I hope anyone seeking solutions to their skoolie propane system can find this entertaining.
I don’t know why I went with a different brand on this one. This is the symptom of a scattered mind. But hey, it works fine.
Make Sure to Check Connections
The most important part of a propane system is to check the gas connections. I used about a spoonful of soap (http://amzn.to/2wM6tTF) in a spray bottle. Then I would spray the connections and look for bubbling connections.
Smell was not enough for me. When I turned my propane tank on, I couldn’t smell any gas leaks, but I could see them when I tested for leaks. A bubbly connection looks like this:
Today we finished the tile work in our skoolie. It was a massive project which required a great deal more of our time than we anticipated. Here’s a past video I did on ready set and grout that you might find useful (https://youtu.be/wF5iQQBBdrg).
We are confident that it has been done well so we are feeling very good about it, well at least I am. V is still worried. Today I rewired our battery bank with appropriate wires. A month ago, I connected the AGM solar batteries to our 12v fuse block using ~ 22 AWG wires.
This was probably dangerous. Too much draw could have melted the wires and created a fire. Luckily, a few lovely folks noticed it and gave me a heads up about the risk in a past video (https://youtu.be/TrKu5Zmvsnw).
In this video I run the 4 AWG wires from the solar batteries to the fuse block. In line with the positive, I add a 125 amp fuse link which should protect us from any dramatic power surges. One of the things I cover is how I did my continuity test.
A continuity test is where you set your multimeter to a certain setting so that when you connect two points together, the multimeter will make a noise at you. That way you can tell if two ends of a wire are part of the same wire. This helps if you’ve already run the wires and you have no idea which one is which. This is a simple multimeter practice that I find to be quite enjoyable.