Drivers Side Bay #1

You know, when you first enter into this bus building business, you kind of say to yourself, “These things are huge, I have all the space in the world!”  But then again, reality comes home, you start adding appliances, systems, creature comfort, and open space, well, it just kind of disappears.

Back in the seventies, I remember Steve Martin saying once, “Get yourself an old Greyhound, them suckers will hold thirty-tons of luggage.” 

Not so.

Anyway, space is at a premium on any bus (regardless of type or model) and it behooves you to use it wisely, make the most of it you can.  That is what this bay is about, re-arranging it and trying my best to get the most bang for my buck that I can squeeze into it.  It is the first bay on the driver’s side, it is shared with the Entertainment Center on the other side of the wall.

new wall ribs

TV cable for the entertainment center is behind this wall.  Trying my best to not drill any more holes into the bus structure than I have to, I am fabricating my own wall systems for the new refurbished bay using 1 3/4″ pine, sheet metal screws and 1″ brad nails.  This is what the new walls (1/4 plywood) will rest upon when done.

New wall has to go around electronics for transmission.

Will build a box for the ladder next.

I am also planning on reworking the holding tanks and freshwater tank bay, and moving the sewer hose here to this bay for on-board storage.  Using 4″ PVC with end caps as the base for it to store in.  This will be mounted later on (as soon as I can figure where it is that I want it to be) on either a side wall or on top of the ladder box.

Runners for the new floor. Usually take 3-5 coats of clear coat.

Slowly things take shape in the hot summer sun, the pace is slow, and surely there are more pleasant endeavors to be had, but it has to be done.  Right now, 11:30 a.m. the outside temperature is 108* and inside the shop, a cool 104*.  The ladder box (left side of photo) is now in place, and the cut down diamond plate shelf is installed.  Trim pieces are painted and drying and new diamond plate panels for the back and side walls are being fabricated.  About one week out from completion at this point.

Fake diamond plate and panels are now in place, ladder box has ladder inside and wood floor, trim pieces are installed all around.  Added three new LED lights to illuminate the bay, and they produce ambient light and are not visible (mounted behind plate on ceiling and under shelf).  Next should be the floor runners with snap caps, a little more trim, and then it is detail it out, and it should be done.

New floor and diamond plate panels

Too often, doing all of this entails cutting smaller pieces and then fitting them into the grand scheme of things.  This can be tedious and most certainly, time consuming, I don’t know if it is worth it in the end or not.  Ended up installing the new dumphose holder on the backside of the bay, it was not a good fit on the ladder box.  It looks a lot better than draped over a bracket in the holding tank area, it is out of sight now, and in its new place.  Should work out well.

New hose holder for holding tank dump hose. 4" PVC with caps.

Floor is now in place, all the trim work is completed, and for all intents and purposes, it is a done deal, finished.  From start to finish was about 2.5 weeks, seemed a lot longer because of the heat, it turned out okay, nothing to write home about, but it will pass.

The ice chest box is a major disappointment, no matter where I put it, the thing never seems to work out.  I was sure I had “engineered all of this correctly this time” and low and behold, it isn’t working in this location either.  It is a shame, because it is a nice piece of work.


Ladder box is in place, with the ladder inside (black object in the photo) and that is also done.  One piece of trim needs to be put into place and it will officially be wrapped up.  Moving on to the Road Tool Box next, that is in the next bay.

Place your cursor over the photo and click once and it brings it up close, two clicks brings it up extremely close and you can see all the errors and bad spots.  Hah!  Please feel free to leave a comment in the space provided below.

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January 2011 Index

[0103]  Old Man Time ….  Here we go, third day of a New Year, absolute resolutions.  Here is number one:  “I need all of you to stop sending me these “make seventeen copies of this” and then pass it on for good health and riches stuff.  It doesn’t seem to be working.

[1204]   Short Short … Often in life, it just doesn’t add up.  In my case it NEVER adds up.  Been a slow day here at the goat farm, need some sunshine, I am so far in the dark now, they will have to pump it into me when they do find some.

[1205]  The Short Rows … I like the country Can’t stand all this city strife Guess I want to be on the boulevard … rollin’ Rollin’ all my life. Open the east gate of Yellowstone and let me in! Thinking about Bear Tooth Pass, Cooke City, Red Lodge Montana two-lane highways and cheap gas. Crater Lake, Junction City, Tahoe, Clear mountain streams

[1206]  Second Time Around … What would you do if you had it to do all over again.  Everyone must be out of town, or something.  Visitors to the blog seem to be down and I don’t know why.  On some days, you step back take a long hard look at it and then you think. You know what … I really don’t care.

[1207]  The Hereafter … A friend of mine sent me this thing, about how much life has changed since 1955 and what struck me odd about it all, was that “it didn’t seem that long ago, but it has been quite sometime.”  This is what happens to you as you grow older, and life sneaks up on you.

[1210]  New Deal … Usually I refrain from political issues, but for some reason, I just feel like belting one out this morning.  So here goes.  One feature I find interesting on WordPress.com is the “global dashboard” feature, you click on it and it takes you to a blog, any blog, and often I find myself on one of these so-called political blogs.  Which most of the time, are about as stimulating as a luke warm glass of tea on a hot summer day or kissing your sister.  Not much there.Politics in the Heartland, what is not right in America these days.

[0112]  Its Bikini Season Somewhere … Winter storm rolled thru here this weekend, and it has snapped off cold, bitter cold.  This time of the year always has me thinking of warmer climes, Florida, The Caribbean, Phoenix or any place over 55*F.  Hollywood Hard Bodies video.

[0114]  Modern Day Trappings …  This week has been interesting to say the least, I am finding myself somewhat intrigued by this Facebook thing, is it going to go under or is it going to stay?  Are those die-hard Facebooker’s going to survive or are they going to melt down into some kind of sniveling mass of humanity?

[0121]  Vision And Hope … Some days are better than others, sometimes I am rock steady and at other times, shaky and not so confident. Take yesterday for instance, I was at WalMart getting some salad stuff and I see her, heading my way, down the main aisle. And she is TEXT MESSAGING while pushing a shopping cart ….

[0124]  Twisted Evolution … Three of my good friends called to check on me this weekend, I am pleased.  Put me down as a Happy Camper in life.  Of those, my friend Wynell, was even brave enough to venture an opinion of sorts.  She said that I need to get out of the house more often.  Buffalo wings and other assorted non-sense.

[0126]  Clean Air ... travel in deep space, prose, life in general a little humor, will make you smile.

[0128]  Crossroads … Rushing to meet the new day, standing in the kitchen, apparently not willing to wait for a fresh cup of coffee, in my haste I am tapping the pot for something that is akin to lukewarm, half-brewed brown elixir. Give it to me!  I need it now! A little Carrie Underwood on CMT

[0131]  It Must Be Monday The wind blows hard this morning, it comes roaring across the plains with a vengeance, carrying it with bitter cold.  I don’t know where it is has been, but it has been blowing across snow, it tears at the corner of my eye, and it chills me to the marrow of my bone.