Wednesday, March 21, 2012

How to secure your bus from your standard 8-12 year old trespasser

One of the challenges I have faced building the bus has been trespassers. I’m not talking about crack heads trying steal the copper wiring to sell for their next fix. I am talking about your standard 8 to 12 year old trespasser. How do I know I have had an unauthorized entry? Remnants of a clandestine Barbie party, a blanket and pillow spread out on the couch and the TV left on. All these are tell tell signs of someone breaking into the bus. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was one afternoon I came out to work on the bus and the door was left open, and the neighbor’s cat was snuggled up on my bed just a purring away. I knew something needed to be done.
Please understand that I have built the bus for the family and I don't want to deny my kids from using the bus. To be honest I have used the bus as an escape pad when the house is loaded with family and I just need a quite place to have a soda, lay down for a bit and catch a movie. But I draw the line at neighbor cats.
And I should be clear that I am not fooling myself that this lock will keep out those that really want to get inside. I know my 8 year old daughter could take a wrench to the door keeper bar and get in if Barbie was in danger. And I know if given the chance my my twins would break out the cut off wheel and make quick work of that eye bolt to gain access. This is just slowing down the honest.

 The next project that I have been working on was some lighting on the floor. Using the halogen ceiling lights are great but when it is dark and those go on it can be quite a shock so I set up some LED lighting under the bunks. This will work great while traveling at night and when you just need to see where you are walking when everyone is asleep.
The next trip we take is going to be to the Easter Jeep Safari so I have been working on getting the bus set up to flat tow the Jeep. One of the challenges was the exhaust was exiting the bus right out the back bumper and would blow diesel exhaust on my Jeep while being towed. So my solution was to move the exhaust and help the engine breathe a little better so I now run a straight pipe out the side. The performance is a little better and I would be lying if I didn't say it really sounds great.
The last update was to a problem with the height of the bed in the back. When I was in bed I was even with the windows. The light is great but it was like sleeping right next to your front window so a little privacy was in order. I just used some of the left over aluminum from my window blanks and painted the outside black and the inside white with an edge cover over the top so it finishes off the top nicely. These windows will have drapes, just haven't got to them yet.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Yes it has been a while, but baby it's cold outside

It has been a long time since I have updated the bus build and I have been working on the bus, just not at the pace I had last summer. There are a couple large pieces that I have been contemplating and trying to figure out before I commit and start cutting holes in the bus. The water system is started and I have a 200 gallon water tank installed under the bed (pictures to come) and I have the furnace installed. The furnace was a scarry project. I had to cut a 16" x 9" hole in the side of the bus.
I took all day to make sure I didn't make the hole too large and I am very happy with the install. I painted the ouside door of the furnace the same color as the bus so it looks like it belongs there.

A couple months ago I found a seat on the surplus page I found my bus. It was new and in two pieces with limited information but I waded in and bid $13.50. I won the seat and put it in the drivers spot and really like the way it feels when driving.
   The driving position is really good and getting in and out quite a bit easier.

Another quick project I took on was one Saturday at Lowes they had a open box of cherry wood flooring for $18. I jumped on the box and installed it that day. I was really happy with how it turned out.