Demo and Insulation

Bob (Lyon) the Builder was a huge help in deleting the two factory air conditioners.

We were eager to jump into the demo mostly because we needed to see the blank slate before we could begin to envision and plan the build. We decided – against the advice of many – to remove the two chassis driven air conditioners. We felt that because they took up too much interior room, took up too much underbody room, and would become a major maintenance demand we couldn’t justify their use only while driving. Pulling those was one long physically exhausting day, with the help of our dear friend, Bob.


Once we had the condensers and evaporators pulled, we had to trace and delete the electrical runs from the air conditioners. This was in fact very complicated, with wires back to a distribution panel in an outside bay. From there, we had to trace the lines back to the inside switches alongside the driver’s seat. Any misstep here could cause a glitch preventing the bus from running.

Fuses and distribution panel for factory air conditioners

All of this was to service the two factory air conditioners. Once I got it all out, this would eventually become the home the the three Group 31 chassis batteries – freeing up a larger bay for storage.

‘No Child Left Behind’

Since the bus was originally for grownups and not kids, it was not equipped with the mandated ‘no child left behind’ wiring – used to force the driver to check all seats and whack a button at the rear of the bus before sidling home for the day. This wiring was added later. The aftermarket wiring was a hack job, and pretty troublesome to remove. All of this ties into starting circuits, so the smallest mishap could disable the bus.

Deleted factory condensers and evaporators

These are the two condenser and evaporator units we pulled from the bus.

David George picking up the old units

It was clear we weren’t going to get money for the old a/c units. We ended up offering them to a new friend, David George from Chattanooga. What a great guy! He has done a remarkable bus conversion, and provided much high quality, level-headed advice to us during the build. We can’t wait to visit him on our travels.

Removing ceiling
Removing the ceiling

Next, we removed about eight million screws so we could remove the ceiling and walls.

Grinding off bolt heads
Grinding off bolt heads

All the bolt heads from the seats needed to be ground off, then we pulled up the floor and removed the subfloor.

Ceiling, walls and floor removed

Ceiling, walls and floor removed. We also removed all the insulation from the ceiling and walls.

Filling holes

We treated what little rust there was, filled all the holes left behind by the seats, and primed and painted the floor.

Locating the Maxxair fan

That feeling when you put the first hole through the roof of your bus . . .

Before we insulated, we installed a Maxxair roof fan.

Sealing around the fan opening
Installing the fan
Setting pipe plates for the roof deck
Holly sprays the foam insulation

We sprayed every surface with foam insulation.

Spray foam insulation – the aftermath

This was not fun. Once all this was cleaned up, we were ready to lay the floor and begin building!

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