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In my last update, I had just dropped off the vintage bus and met with Larry at Paradise Coach about what I had planned for the project overall. Since then, the shop finished up work on the 1947 Silverside project they had been working on for the last two years. I was there when that bus pulled out. Before it left, Karen and I got a chance to create a video tour of the interior of the bus they just finished and I spent a good amount of time creating light paintings of the exterior. Light painting is where a subject is lit using a flashlight during a long exposure. It’s a technique I specialize in… you can learn more on my other web site at

The 1947 Silverside pulling out of the shop. That’s my current bus on the left.

These two light paintings were lit with a single flashlight. This is actually more than 160 photographs combined into one image.

Once that project was out of the shop, the guys spent some time cleaning up the shop and finishing up odd jobs that had accumulated over the last few months. Next, they turned to working on my bus! Here’s what’s been done in the last two weeks:

The above image shows what the interior looked like before Paradise Coach got started on the project.

So far, the existing flooring, ceiling and vintage insulation have been removed to expose the frame members. Then, all the windows were removed to make it easier to move materials in and out of the bus and to make sure they don’t get damaged during the project. The windows will be refurbished by having the old window tint replaced, having all the old rubber gaskets replaced and getting the aluminum frames polished. The first thing the crew at Paradise did was to rip out the old floor boards so they could see the water and waste tanks that had been fabricated back when the bus was in Texas. That also allowed them to see all the tank fittings and any extra space that was available under the bus. We double checked things like where the fresh water reel will fit and where other systems might be located. 

That’s Jeff removing the window tint off of the first window they removed. 

Here you can see the frame members exposed on the ceiling and they are starting to install 5/8″ marine grade plywood on the floor.

Spray foam insulation installed in the ceiling. 

Once they had the interior stripped, they proceeded to install a plywood base layer on the floor and they sprayed foam insulation in the roof. I also spent a good amount of time confirming that I can fit all our clothing and essentials into the storage space we have planned for the interior. I also added the ceiling frame members to my 3D model, which helped to determine how much space I’d have in upper kitchen cabinets. I was relieved to find that the microwave/convection oven I wanted to use will indeed fit in the upper cabinet without having issues of having the curvature of the roof pushing it too far forward or down.

Here you can see how closet space would be allocated.

General kitchen layout with fancy sink and induction cooktops.

I also spent some time with Larry of Paradise Coach, hanging out in the interior of the bus and talking about possible layout changes. He had some great ideas. One of which was to install a hidden television in the ceiling above the entrance area. There was an opening in the ceiling framing that looked to be perfectly placed to hold a TV with space for the lowering mechanism within the destination sign area. If we went with that option, we could also install single-armed sofas on each side to hide the wheel wells which would create a nice area to watch movies from. I’m not yet sure if we’ll end up with that layout, but I was happy to see some creative ideas about how to layout the interior since Larry has many more creative ideas than I could ever come up with.

Here’s a 3D rendering of the TV position (when flipped down) and the two single-arm sofas we’re considering.

That rectangular area to the left of the brown overhead destination sign is where the TV could be stowed when not being used.

I flew out to spend the holidays at my fiancé’s parent’s place and have since flown to Hawaii to get married. I’m looking forward to hearing more of Larry’s creative ideas when I return in just over a week. Larry is taking a perfectly timed vacation in the meantime.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention: A photo of the vintage bus is featured on the cover of the January issue of Family Motorcoaching magazine. I also wrote an article for that issue that details my lifestyle and how I got interested in the vintage bus. I just noticed that you can read most of the article online (not all the photos are there though).