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Since my last update, a lot has happened. If you want to keep up on a more granular basis, be sure to follow this project on facebook at, as that’s where the frequent updates happen… this site only gets updated when one chapter ends and the next begins.

At this point, the interior layout has been completely figured out and refined. We did that by mocking up the entire interior in plywood without any working doors, drawers or wood veneer. We then walked through the interior and made changes. That’s when all the general details got worked out since we could actually get a real feel for how things flow and how much space there is available in each area.

Here’s an example of how the process worked:


The left shot is what Larry initially came up with for the entrance area on the bus. I found that my hand/arm hit that wall cabinet when entering, so I asked him to break it into two tiers. Less than 15 minutes later, Larry showed me the new version. A few more quick tweaks later, and we had that area finalized.



In the example above, the version at left is what Larry at Paradise Coach originally came up with, and the version on the right is what we ended up with after many refinements.

Since the layout is now solid, the entire interior mockup has been removed! Now, they will start adding all the details of wood veneers, real, working drawers, etc. and reinstalling everything. That takes a lot of time.

The kitchen is probably the most refined area where the sink, faucet and storage are so tightly designed that every inch of space is defined for very specific purposes. We ended up using the Kohler Stages sink (Google it) and the Kohler Karbon faucet along with dual induction cooktops.

In general, the layout of the bus has been transformed from my initial design to one that is much more refined. Here’s another example. I originally had all the storage in the bus on one side of the isle. After working things out with Larry, we ended up splitting the hanging storage into two areas that are across the isle from each other and the rest of the storage got moved to near our workstations. It broke up the whole thing so it doesn’t feel like a huge mass.


My original layout for storage in the vintage bus.


The same storage that was shown above is now split where my personal stuff (clothes, etc) is on the passenger side of the hall right next to the bed, while Karen’s is on the opposite side and is a bit wider to accommodate long hang storage. The other storage, which included a laundry hamper, has been moved to the left of the toilet room in this shot. The actual laundry hamper has been relocated to a drawer at the isle under the bed. Overall, it’s a much better layout. That’s all due to Larry supplying ideas and us both refining what we come up with to make the most ideal setup.

Overall, here is how the layout has changed since Larry of Paradise Coach got involved:


At the top is the original layout where you can see two distinctive workstations, one built into the dining area booth and the other next to the fridge with a bar stool-like seat. In the revised layout you can see how the front single sofa has been transformed into a dual sofa arrangement. That’s because the main television has been moved from the bed area in the back into a drop down arrangement at the front of the bus (not shown in the model, but would be right above the dash area). Behind that, you find a back-to-back, dual workstation arrangement on the passenger side and the kitchen on the driver’s side. The fridge has been moved to the drivers side. The closet has been split into three areas as described earlier in this post. The toilet room has been moved so that it is across from the shower.


Above you can see progress on the dual sofa arrangement. Clockwise from upper left: 1) The bases for the two sofas was constructed as a single unit that was bolted to the bus. 2) the middle section of the unit was cut away to produce to independent sofa bases. 3) The driver’s side base is in sofa mode, while the passenger side is halfway deployed. 4) when the two sides are both slid out, they meet in the middle for form a bed-like setup and the back cushions fill in the gap near the wall.

While all that was happening, we were looking at a bunch of samples of wood veneers we could use to finish the cabinets with. In the end, we decided on Makore for the cabinets and Douglas Fir for the ceiling.


Here’s a sample of what we ended up choosing for the cabinet wood:


We also made up our mind on a bunch of the small details. Here’s one example where I decided to use the hood ornaments from a 1938 Ford for the three closet door handles (I sourced them on eBay).


Now the interior mockup has been completely removed and they are working on adding all the details so they can reinstall everything. That means they are adding solid wood around the edges of all the cabinet openings and drawers. They will soon add wood veneer to the flat surfaces and then sand then into those solid wood edges. They are also adding all the door and drawer hardware and more. There is still much more work to be done, but all the large design-related decisions have been made.


Above, you can see the solid wood edges that have been added to a bunch of cabinet doors, getting them ready for wood veneer.

Now that the project is at this stage, Karen and I can back away and let the shop do their work while we explore the rest of the country. I plan to fly in a few times over the next few months to monitor progress, but otherwise will let progress advance without too much attention on my part.