Finally making a start on self build bus

After the snow had stopped me getting to the DIY centre to purchase the wood, amongst other things I have finally made a start and boy was it demoralising.

The layout I had settled on didn’t survive the first cut of wood unfortunately.  I bought some chalk and started marking out the floor with the location of things like gas cylinders, heaters, sinks etc. and most of the items just won’t work in the location I had chosen.  For example the location of the heater won’t work as the exhaust vent hits a structural member that was hidden behind a wall panel.  I can’t move the heater in either direction.The new location for the heater means that it would be under the sink and I don’t want any water above anything that has electrickery in it.

The new location for the sink means that the dinette seating area has to shrink a little which means the water tank won’t fit under it anymore.

The list goes on.

Another piece of bad news is the saw I bought to cut the sheet wood is not up to the job and I either need to spend more money on a new one or buy the wood precut.  I have decided to go with the precut route as it costs nothing to get the wood cut to the right size.  It will also save me quite a bit of time as cutting wood can be quite time consuming in the limited space I have on the bus.

The other bit of bad news is the  location of the shower intrudes into one of the roof windows so I am having a rethink on that.

The top of the side walls where they meet the roof have a 45Degree angle to them.  I drilled one of the panels off to see what was behind and found a nice channel to run cables in.  Unfortunately it was absolutely sodden with condensation.  I will have to find ways of insulating them all without blocking the access to cables.  Another job on the list.

I have disconnected the pneumatic arm to the rear most of the double front entrance doors.  I am building the bottom step up so it is level with the middle step and boxing this in for the gas cylinders.  I will at a later date remove the door and replace it with a metal panel to make it look nice.  The downside is that I have inadvertently caused an air leak somewhere and as this air system also powers the brakes the vehicle is currently immobilised.   I will be pulling the panel back off tomorrow to fix this.

I have fitted the boiler to the floor and run the cold water pipe and hot water pipe in,  the John Guest system is really good and really fast to use.  It’s well worth the money.  I however need to buy a new drill bit to make the hole in the water tank to install the connector.

I am placing the order for the wood tomorrow for the internal walls that will hold the shower and bed.  This one piece of wood is 18mm think and will be screwed to the side of the bed and to the floor.  This will stabilise the bed and provide a solid wall for the shower.  An identical piece of wood but half the width will go at the other end of the shower.  The sink will be mounted to this and will allow access to the shower.  Finally the third piece of wood will be at the far end of the bathroom area which will separate the kitchen area and the bathroom area.  Once this is in I can start running the cabling for the boiler and install the last of the water pipes.

Another decision I have made is that all electrics will be run at roof height and all water systems at floor height.  With the boiler now having moved to the middle of the bus and the gas cylinder to the front the gas lines are now really short which improves safety and makes the job much easier.  I will be getting a plumber in to connect it all up to ensure it is done correctly from day one.

I was going to have the battery bank at the back of the bus but have moved it behind the drivers seat as the water tanks are now at the back.  This  balances out the load and means I don’t have to run 240V cables from the back to the front.  All 240V systems will now be located around where the battery bank is.  The only 12V systems needed at the back now are the water pump and lights.  This drastically cuts down on wiring costs and time.

Anyway that’s enough for now as I need to go and get on with it.

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