Here’s a little bit of background about this video! But if you just want to watch the video itself, click here to jump ahead.
Like many, many things in life, the process of building this bus has not been linear. I’m one of those people who gets a bit overexcited categorizing and organizing (I do love when things are neat and pretty, despite–or maybe because of–how much I also love my chosen career/lifestyle of relative instability and chaos). I put all our video clips of conversion into categories, and when I post them, it looks as though the process itself has been equally as organized.
You guessed it, though: it’s not.
Pulling out the wheelchair lift, AC, and heater were individual and extensive projects that each interrupted the process of pulling out the wall panels, ceiling panels, rubber floor and plywood subfloor (see my previous blog post if you want to check out what that was like; and you’ll have the added insight that it by no means a smooth and continuous endeavor).
The wheelchair lift had to come out before we could get all of the floor out, and the floor had to come out before we could see how the bottom panels of the walls were attached. Sadly, we were not able to find a new home for the lift, much as we wanted to. It was in good shape, but because it was used and because it was over 15 years old, liability rules meant we couldn’t donate it, and we didn’t find anyone who wanted to buy it. Even if we had, though, I’m not sure how we would’ve gotten it out of the bus in one piece. We had a tough enough time getting it out with the option of pulling it apart.
Like with the lift, the AC and heater were a roadblock when it came to completing the removal of the walls, and the air conditioning wasn’t actually working anyway. All of the pieces were big and bulky, taking up more space and more weight than we ultimately would have liked, which is why we opted not to keep them. Instead we are going with an RV rooftop AC with heat pump, a diesel heater, and maybe a little electric space heater on back up as well. Also multiple vent fans for cooling and air flow.
So, for the HVAC, we decided to have a professional evacuate the Freon rather than try to deal with so much of the dangerous chemical ourselves. There was still a bit remaining in the hoses, so we had to be careful while pulling them out and capping them, but it still seemed the safest option. The only unfortunate thing is that the back air conditioner and cab air conditioner were part of the same system, meaning that we no longer have working heating/cooling in the dash. We’ll have to dish out the cash to get that put back in eventually; but, since there was some kind of problem with it when we bought the bus, we would’ve had to do that anyway.
Now that you’ve got some context, here’s an idea of what all of that looked like! Let me take you back to fall of 2021…