Here it is! Our bus has arrived! It is a 1997 40′ Thomas with a Caterpillar diesel engine with only 191,000 miles on it! The first thing we need to do is get all of the seats out of it and them the fun work will begin. I had planned on converting it to run on straight veggie oil (svo) but it sounds like that isn’t such a good idea anymore. I hear it has become such a popular option that many people are stealing it! Crazy, right? I hope to be as off-grid as possible so that means solar panels and lots of non electric manual options throughout. I was hoping not to use a water pump but Matthew loves to take at least one shower a day and I am not sure yet how to make a gravity fed shower work with my other plans. We will not have any blackwater to worry about as we will install a composting toilet and we only use and eat natural and organic things. We will not be blocking out any windows and we plan to remove the two escape hatches on the roof and install windows instead that can open for fresh air so it should feel bright, open, fresh, and airy. We plan to install untreated hardwood floors, use no-voc paints, etc. and use recycled, repurposed, upcycled, reclaimed etc. items as much as possible but with our large family I am considering an Ikea kitchen if we can fit it into our budget as they are so smart and efficient for small spaces. I want to invest in a Berkey Water Purifier for our potable water source and their largest size should be enough for us. The filters last for years and clean out just about everything imaginable without stripping the essential minerals when using non city water.
That’s all I can think of right now but stay tuned! I will try to chronicle the entire conversion in detail here!