After we acquired a bus, excitement filled the air and I couldn’t stop dreaming of what the converted bus would look like. But to get to that dream we had to do a lot of demolition. We had to wipe the slate clean, so to speak, because we wanted to know that the metal frame is solid and not corroding with rust. We unearthed the existing seats, baggage racks, ceiling and wall panels, insulation, and flooring.
When the kids and I stepped onto the bus for the first time, it did not look like the greyhound bus we envisioned. Michael had spent a week gutting the bus and this is how the interior looked when we got there …
And this is how the exterior looked …
The big ticket items such as the bus seats and interior walls were out, but our goal was to strip this bus down to its metal frame. We tackled any air conditioning or heating vents, finish wall panels classier than bell bottoms, and visible ceiling insulation poised to infect us with their toxicity.
Before we continued, our good friend Dick (an expert in bus conversion himself) came by with sage words of advice.
We started work on the bus immediately after Memorial Day, when Dick (Michael’s dad’s best friend) visited us and gave us such great advice on how to convert the bus. Invaluable advice like “save all the screws and label everything.”
Since we were going to tear down the walls (to remove the insulation and treat any rust) and then put them back up, we had to label the panels. “S” is for starboard, and the numbers started from the front of the bus and ended in the back. On the other side we used “P” for port.
We took out insulation from every pore of the bus. The ceiling frame had batt insulation within the hollow metal parts! My little fingers came in handy because I was able to get at the little pieces here and there. Michael had given up on the task and moved on to other manly things like grinding the rivets off, taking out the spare tire, and tearing off the wall panels. Removing the rivets was a two-parter. After grinding off the rivets from the outside, we had to pop off the stems that were left within the wall frames.
This was only half of the insulation we pulled out. Dick periodically came by to advise Michael and would always leave with some sort of trash to dump or items to salvage. Needless to say, he dumped the insulation somewhere.
This was only the first part of the demolition. There was more to do to before we reversed gears and started building our home on wheels.