After we built our last bus, we wanted to go at it again and apply everything we learned to a new one. There were a couple things here and there that we felt were lacking form the old bus to really make it perfect for us, so we decided to go at it again.
The old bus is a 1982 Thomas rear engine that was a Texas A&M transportation bus that was well maintained by the university before we got it. Everyone in on it graduated from Texas A&M, so we kept the color theme the same on the outside and incorporated it inside was well. It is reliable, but we were just looking for something different once done.
The new bus is a 1996 bluebird rear engine with only 146,000 miles on the Cummins 8.3L. It is rated to tow a combined 50,000lbs with it's current setup, but could tow more. Once it is all said and done the total weight with the trailer attached will be in the 40,000 lb range, so we should be in the clear. The three big things that the 1996 has over the 1982 is it is four feet longer, has under bus storage compartments, and the more powerful motor.
The weird thing about when we bought it I was looking all over eBay in Iowa and North Carolina and the one I ended up buying happened to be about 10 miles down the road. I called the guy with the number posted in the ad, as it just said Houston, and the place happened to be right down the road form me. 45 minutes after that phone call I had the title to a new bus.
The inside has already been gutted, the outside painted, and replacement welded bumpers have been made for the front and rear. Those still need to get powder coated, but I am waiting to finish up the bull bar design I have for it.
The whole thing should be ready by May and used for our June TWS ChumpCar race.
Excuse the first round of pictures as all I had at the time was my phone.
We got a killer deal on this generator and it is diesel, so it is powerful and doesn't need a separate fuel source. It will power both a/c units and pretty much everything else at the same time.
Insulating the hell out of the walls helps immensely and can not be overstated how important this is.
The back of the bus is the bedroom and the middle part is the bathroom. you can see the framing for the walls here:
We were stoked to find an overhead lighting fixture that would fit in the ceiling. There is only about 2" to work with up there, so this is our only option. In our old bus all of the lighting had to come from the side, which isn't really that big of a deal, but these fit the bill quite well.
Better shot of the front bumper: