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.