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It’s been a long time since my last update because it’s been a long time since major progress has been made on the chassis upgrades. The mechanic who is updating the bus has had a bad year. He’s gone through a divorce, his mother died, he was injured and some changes happened at his work which has prevented him from taking time off to work on my bus project.

Since my last update, a lot has happened over a long period of slow progress. This has included:

  • A Cummins ISC engine has been installed, but still needs to be plumbed and wired before it can be fired up.
  • An Allison 6-speed automatic transmission has been added
  • The rear end from the donor RV has been transplanted to the vintage bus
  • A brand new torsion bar suspension is now installed


The following work remains before the interior or paint work can be started:

  • The engine needs to be wired and plumbed for cooling
  • Power steering needs to be installed
  • A powerful 24V alternator should be installed to charge the house batteries and to supply electrical needs while underway (120V loads will be supplied via an inverter)
  • 7.5KW generator should be installed
  • Convert windshield wipers from air to electric
  • Install air suspension drivers seat
  • Add leveling jacks

We’ll try to have the bus running by the end of the year and then move it on to the next stage early next year.

In the mean time, I’ve done extensive research on many of the RV systems I plan to use and have determined that:

  •  I’ll use a Espar Hydronic 10 diesel-fired heater for heat and hot water while boon docking
  • A 10-13 gallon electric hot water heater will be used to supply hot water while on shore power
  • A heat exchanger will allow me to pre-heat the engine via either of the two systems mentioned above and will allow me to heat the interior and hot water using residual engine heat while driving
  • A 5.7GPM variable speed water pump will be used
  • Two Cruisair split-system air conditioners will be used with heat strips. The heat strips will allow them to also be used for heating
  • A few electric toe-kick heaters will supplement that above system to supply heat when on shore power
  • Trace SW 2440 inverters will be used. These are great because they can synchronize their waveform to shore power to supplement it from battery power when power needs are higher than available shore power. That will allow me to run lots of stuff when I’m plugged into a standard household outlet without tripping the breaker
  • An 120V induction cooktop will be used. I originally planned on using a diesel-fired cooktop, but now prefer the idea of using one that can use shore power as well as being run through the inverter.