Bunk design

I think at the beginning of this project I had envisioned bunks that were fixed, like little kennels or cubbies that the kids can hide in. Recently though, I’ve come to terms with the limited space inside the bus, and I think that foldable “murphy” beds are the best option.

This setup with a tall ceiling height allows a pretty comfortable arrangement I think. In the photos below, the bed is a full size twin frame, that allows a mattress up to about 12 inches thick without any spring support, or about a 7 to 8 inch mattress with a wood rib support.

Not shown on the dimensional drawing of the bunks is a cross support that the cantilever bunks rest on when open. That is a full 1×3 square tube (one for each bed) that both ties the ends together, and acts as a stop to keep the bunk from pivoting too far.

The hinge pins are simple weld-on pins. I am mulling over the idea of how to cause the top bunk to intentionally over-extend to facilitate making it up (like stretching the fitted sheet over the mattress. Not entirely sure yet.

It’s pretty clear there’s some significant space savings with folding bunks. I’ll use sliding pocket doors to access the bath and shower on the opposing side, so that should afford a little walk way in the night time.










bunk1 bunk2 bunk3 bunk4

Interior framing

I think the first framing to go in will be the kid bunks, and partition wall for our bedroom. That sets the space for the toilet and shower, followed by the passenger seating/common area/dining room.

I should post a sketch of the layout. Remind me to do that soon.

Baby, don’t fear the foam.

Amazingly I can see the light at the end of the insulation tunnel. A couple more finish panels in the cockpit, the rear, and floor is all that is left.

I decided to take a little break from the polystyrene and fix the remote start in the engine bay. I was pretty sure the bus wasn’t going to start in the cold weather but at least it will be ready later. New starter switch and engine bay lamp switch. I cleaned the gauge up a bit too. Now I can fire it remotely which is cool.

Still needs the key switch in the on position though.

Oh OK, here are a few insulated bus shots too. I should draw future window frames on the walls.

Insulation effect

We had some snow for the first time this season. I am pretty pleased with the results on the roof. As you can see the garage which is unheated, has most of the snow melted off it, probably due to the dark roof.

The bus next to it still has snow on it, and the interior is kept at about 68 Fahrenheit with an electric space heater. I’m happy to see that my effort is not in vain.

Even more foam: Prelude to Floor Foam

Floor support rails installed. They are cut down pressure treated 2×4’s to 2″ tall, to accommodate 2″ foam insulation. The fasteners used are 1-3/4″ self tapping hex head screws with a washer head. They are countersunk into the wood. I’ll be applying some sealing primer to the untreated surfaces of the strips, as well as the underside of the plywood that will be laid on top.



The endless foam

The value of insulation is rapidly becoming apparent. It is currently 32 degrees f outside with 30 mph sustained winds. I haven’t started insulating the floor or end caps yet. The walls and rear are getting close. With the small electric radiator I can maintain 65 degrees from the waist up. The first 10 inches off the floor are about 45 degrees. Air temp at the ceiling is about 75.

If I turn on the propane heater buddy it gets too hot to work in about 20 minutes.

I hope my choice of foam panels over spraying doesn’t bite me in the ass later with condensation issues. As a test I pulled a panel back to the metal and it was really cold but dry. Within about a minute condensation started to form on the metal.

This was a skin panel that I originally plopped foam against without even bothering to wipe the condensation off originallly, so I was wondering if it would just get wetter or dry out.

Does anyone have long term experience with a foam panel insulates vehicle like this? How did it fare after a few years? I have three inches of polystyrene panel with foil to the outside and inside.