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New bus owners :-)

Discussions regarding bus to motorhome conversions are welcome here.

New bus owners :-)

Postby belleebutton123 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:46 am

Hi everyone!

My partner and I have just purchased a converted Mercedes LO812 Bus, which we plan to live in with our 2 kids near Canberra :-)

We are complete renovation newbies, so I'm sure I'll be asking lots of silly questions in the next few months while we are fixing up the bus to suit our family.

A lot of the work has been done already, but there are still some things left to do, including:

- Installing water storage tanks
- Fixing 2 large solar panels to the roof
- Installing brackets for gas cylinder and batteries
- New floor to be laid.
- Storage system to be built for under bench seat and under bed
- Customise bunk beds to suit our kids (will need one to be a cot)
- exterior paint job and painting inside etc.
- Remove bus door and put in regular door(??)
- Include some sort of heating system.

We hope to be able to run the bus totally off-grid.

Does anyone have any tips for where we should start with the above list, or tips in general?

Look forward to showing our progress as we go along :-)
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Re: New bus owners :-)

Postby Denv12 » Thu Jun 15, 2017 6:49 pm

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Re: New bus owners :-)

Postby rustbucket » Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:53 am

You don't mention what size solar panels but even 250 watt ones, you need more than 2 if you are not going to have any other power source.
Educate yourself about Lithium batteries as well, far, far better system than lead acids
Other than that, realistically it is a small vehicle for 4 people to full time in, cabin fever can set in pretty quickly during inclement weather.
There are a lot of stock water tanks around, if you can't find something that fits, if you are handy, they can be made from fg and plywood. Or custom plastic is also available I have a good contact for that.
If you want to be warm but off the grid you are restricted to diesel heating I suspect, there are several European options available plus one other I think, not sure where that comes from but quite a bit cheaper.
You show no bathroom arrangements, that means caravan park, getting up in the middle of the night for a pee ? No thanks.
You have said live in but not the situation, travelling or static ?
Is this an alternative accommodation situation to save for a house or something ? Hope not, can turn out an expensive option.
Good luck
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Re: New bus owners :-)

Postby CCCC » Fri Jun 16, 2017 5:22 pm

Hope you got good heating plan for anywhere near Canberra , hope its insulated well.
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Re: New bus owners :-)

Postby belleebutton123 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 1:07 am

Thanks for the tips and links!

@William -

We have some land organised just out of canberra where we can set ourselves up with a little backyard, veggie garden etc. We also like the idea of buying a caravan (or another really cheap bus!) to use as a second indoor space / area to get away, and build one of those pallet decks etc. Only occasional travelling plans for now.

Not pictured, but in the bus is also an airhead composting toilet and full size shower. But we both also have 24 hour access to a nearby gym and shower facilities at work, so might save on some water there.

Bus came with 300ah batteries and 400w solar system, red arc inverter and mppt control charger. Still looking into what that all means(!) but definitely not against buying extra panels etc if needed :) Will look into lithium batteries! My partner and I both work (and kids go to daycare) so a lot of hours would be spent elsewhere.

Reason for going into the venture is mostly to fulfil a long-held dream of mine to live in a bus - though saving would be a nice side effect if we don't go too crazy (I hope! We'll see!)

@cccc -

Canberra definitely knows how to turn the cold on! Previous owners advised they insulated, and insulation put in under the floors also. Will look into the diesel heater option.

Thanks again!
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