Author Topic: the steel tent...  (Read 2745 times)

Offline travelingfools

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the steel tent...
« on: July 28, 2006, 06:45:32 AM »
Well, Ive made it as far back as page 33 and Im still interested and still think I want to do this ! Ive read where a lot of folks have used their bus during conversion. I thought that once I got my bus, and after stripping it down and possably installing a new floor, that it would be time to venture out on a short roadtrip. We're comming from tent camping, so we pretty muich have what we need, and Im not above grabbing the tv from the living room and ratchet strapping it to the inside of the bus somewhere, with an extension chord !! A few beads, some throw rugs, mattress on the floor.....

Any storys or advise to share on the steel tent idea ?
John P, Lewiston NY   1987 MC 9 ...ex NJT

Offline Brian Diehl

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Re: the steel tent...
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2006, 06:47:40 AM »
Hardest thing for us was rigging curtains over all those windows!   :) Otherwise, it was a lot of fun to get out on the road and be using the bus.  Go for it!

Offline Casper4104

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    • My site - no bus pics yet.
Re: the steel tent...
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2006, 07:03:24 AM »
The worst thing you can do with a bus is park it.  These big horses don't like to sit.

Many many people have started a conversion and decided not to use it until it's "perfect". 3 years later, when the marble countertops and matched-grain hardwood floors are done, they're finally ready to go, and they discover massive deterioration of the bus itself.  They have now created "the world's most difficult to tow travel trailer", and have to invest big $ to make it a bus again.

I think steel tenting in the bus is the best thing you can do, for the bus, for your enthusiasm for the project, and for you and your family.  We bought an already converted but badly dated bus, and we're working on a significant freshen-up/remodel, but in the meantime we're running the wheels off of the thing.  We like it, and the bus seems to like it.  We did a 1000 mile trip over the 4th of July weekend, and we did it with a cooler inside the nonworking refrigerator and a big hole in the entertainment center where I'd just removed the 8-track player (told you it was dated).

Check it out thoroughly, pack a good toolbox, join Good Sams or some other emergency roadside service club just in case, and then Run it - run the wheels off of it, that's what it was made for.

Have fun, that's why we do it.

My $.02

If a half a hen lays a half an egg in a half a day - how long would it take a monkey with a wooden leg to kick the seeds out of a dill pickle?

Offline FloridaCliff

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Re: the steel tent...
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2006, 07:25:31 AM »
I agree with Brian, There were a lot of windows to cover.

Since you were already tent campers I am sure you have all the portable stuff to make it work.

Making an area with a port-a-potty will be priority while on the road though.

Of course after the first trip I framed in a temp area  for it and put getting all the basement work like plumbing, drains etc up to the top of

the list.

The other thing about using the TENT is waht Casper said.  You can start to find out all the little glitches in the mechanicals, air , etc

that need attention instaed of when your done.

I am in the "Finish stage" all the walls are up, plywod covered,  plumbing and electric in, just need to start

trimming and putting on the final finish. Oh yeah, paint the exterior. :P

I am very glad that we have used it throughout this 1 1/2 years that we have been working on this project so far.

Like us you will change your mind on many things once your out using it.

I made a mock up of the kitchen so my wife could visually check out her plan, decided that she wanted 90% drawers, as stuff likes to shift

around in a cabinet, also ended up with a counter bar for 2 stools when stopped.

Best of Luck and have fun with your family.


1975 GMC  P8M4905A-1160    North Central Florida

"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded."
Mark Twain

Offline H3Jim

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Re: the steel tent...
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2006, 08:52:25 AM »
I have been using mine for trips from the beginning.  I've put about 25,000 miles on it and its still not done.  I've had a lot of fun in it, and everything I complete just makes it more fun.  And I really appreciate each new thing I complete.  As one of the other posters mentioned, it also gives a good idea of what you may need to change, things you have to think about - such as where to put the trash can, where to put a laundry hamper etc.  Dumb stuff, but important.  The more you use it, and take it places, the more of yor friends and family see it, and can be amazed at your progress.  That is also fun and rewarding and can help you keep worrking on it.  It only beats you if you stop working.

As has been mentioned, its important to keep the beast moving.  Going at least 100 miles a session, at least once a month is good for you and the bus.  That big engine and transmission needs to be heated up and eveaporate all the moisture in it.  Its also good to spin all the bearings and seals so the seals don't get flat spots.
Jim Stewart
El Cajon, Ca.  (San Diego area)

Travel is more than the seeing of sights, it is a change that goes on, deep  and permanent, in the ideas of living.