Category Archives: Magic Bus

Color Is Added

Color

The couch bench has been built. The construction has been finished. Time to add some color. I have lots of paint just going to waste. So I decided to open them up and see what I had. I found a full can of yellow latex indoor paint. I liked the brightness, so I decided to paint the bathroom panels with it. It really adds a punch to it. The inside of the bathroom has not been painted yet. It will get more Rustoleum enamel paint. That’s coming soon.

I found another full can of purple paint. So that’s what I painted everything else with. There is just something about covering raw wood that makes it final. For one, it seals the wood and protects it from moisture. Paint keeps mold and mildew from growing. It also just looks interesting.

The color really brightens the place up. Starting to look like a Magic Bus now!

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Construction Begins

The construction begins. I decided to make wooden slat that was three quarters inch by one inch, and use it as framing. I used eighth inch Masonite as the paneling. The panels make into the section that will become the shower, sink area, and toilet. I scribed the panels to contour the curved walls of the van.

The other section will be the kitchen area. Underneath will have a small camping propane tank and my water jug. Which I have already purchased, as you can see in the pictures. I am actually thinking I might just make a little oven in there as well. I figured I could make a box out of concrete board, put some sort of door on it, and run the propane to it. This still needs lots of work and thought. There will be a box for the propane tank. A sealed box for the tank with a vent hole to outside.
The opposite side of the Magic Bus is the work space. Storage area and counter top. This is where the battery compartment will go. Another place for a sealed box. The only thing not shown is the couch bench.

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Bus Construction 5 Bus Construction 4

The Paint Job

The paint job. There is no better way to make something clean than to just paint right over it, and nothing does it better than some Rustoleum enamel paint. Paint cures all. That seals up everything and now it smells like paint. Before I painted everything, two coats by the way, I used expanded foam everywhere there was nooks and crannies, and there were lots. There was a trough that was created when the top shell was put onto the van, and just left there and never filled. All around the perimeter was a catch all for every nasty thing that happened to enter the van. I cleaned out as much as I could. I then filled it completely with expanding foam, then trimmed it down flush. Not the prettiest thing, but it will do. The van will evolve, no telling what will one day cover it up. The main thing is, it is sealed up.

Once the paint was dry, I laid down some fancy black marble peel and stick tiles. Nothing but the best for me. I knew it wouldn’t want to stick down. I leveled uneven areas with epoxy. When I laid the tiles, I sprayed 3M spray glue down as well. This helped make sure these tiles stick down. It didn’t work completely. For some odd reason, it’s impossible to make all of the tiles stay down. No matter what. Yet, when you put one down crooked, you sure can’t get it back up to fix it.

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Bus Painted 3

Bus Painted 2

Bus Painted 1

The Van Purchase

I purchased a 1977 Dodge Sportsman Van, that I found on craigslist. After some bargaining, I paid $800 for it. The pictures tells most of the story, but what you don’t get from a picture, is the smell. It was the smell of mold, mildew, and an old ashtray. The first thing I did was clean it all out. Then I washed down all the wood that someone else had put up, with vinegar and water. Then I did it again with bleach and water. That really didn’t do all that much for the smell. It now smelled like bleach, vinegar, mold, mildew, and an old ashtray. It may not of got rid of the smell, but it killed the mold and mildew, that’s for sure.

The inside is six foot and one inch. I can easily stand up in there. Only a really tall person would have any difficulty. The section over the cab has a piece of one inch plywood that extends out into a sleeping area. A very nice addition. It leaves all the floor space for the living space. The slim windows up top slide open, as does the screen that covers them. The vent up top opens and closes.

The engine, for its age, is in good shape. Its a big hefty eight cylinder. The only reason why this thing is running, is because for one, it was taken care of. Two, these engines are behemoths and it was made back when they didn’t skimp on anything.

Bus Outside raw

Bus Inside raw 1

Bus Inside raw 2

The van purchase.