One Month Bus Build

 After spending our summer and fall in Maine we were looking for an adventure for our winter and spring. After a boat delivery fell through we were on the look out for a short school bus. My Mom and dad spent hours on online marketplaces, and calling school districts trying to find a bus. It was the beginning of November and the first snows had come to the Island when my dad found out about a blind bid at a school district in southern Maine. My dad took the ferry boat in to Portland to cast our bid for a Thomas Minotaur school bus. It was being retired due to rust, and high miles.

 We celebrated when we found out we won the bid. Then we found out that we were the only bidders. “We could have gotten it for a dollar” my little brother cove said.   We were really looking forward to this adventure and escaping the cold so we talked about what we wanted to do with the inside. We love camping so we didn’t want To make it into an RV or tiny home we didn’t want it to be something you have to wipe off your feet every time you come in. We all agreed we wanted to make a bace camp, and that’s where our name for the bus came from. Our good friend printed a sticker that read base camp and we put it over the sign that read school bus. The sticker stuck and so did the name. Winter was coming and we wanted to escape the cold so we talked about what we wanted to do with the inside. My dad and I rode the ferry into Portland every weekend to work on the bus. First we had too take out the three hundred pound wheel chair lift. That freed up a lot of space in the back but we still had to take out the seats. We took out all the bench seats except three that way my brother and I could have our own bench’s. My mom and Zevy would have to share. Over the course of a few more weekends we used a crowbar to rip up pallet wood to build triple bunk beds. I have the top bunk Cove has the middle and Zevy is on the bottom. Next came the loft bed in the back for my mom and dad to sleep on. Under the loft bed is tons of storage that we use to store our surf boards skate boards, grocery’s and climbing gear. Once we had put in the beds we had a four foot space left to put either a bathroom or a kitchen but there wasn’t space for both. After debating which is more important we chose to put in a bathroom. My dad cut corrugated metal for an enclosure and our friend gave us a cassette potty to use. There was a lot more work we had left to do to it but with the cold weather coming in we had to call it good and hit the road.

We didn’t find warm enough weather to paint until we got to South Carolina where we were staying with our grandparents. We chose a light blue green color to paint our bus and my dad painted our bus in our grandparents home owners association. It looked nice and tropical when we finished. But there’s one problem with such a light color and that’s that whenever my brothers and I climb on the bus like we love doing our feet put black smudges on the paint job. 

We knew we wanted a roof rack to store the propane tank and solar panels we planned on getting and we knew just the friends to help us with the job. We stayed with our friends in Jacksonville while they helped us construct a roof deck from  Lowes lumber. It took a week to finish the roof rack and secure our two solar panels and propane tank to the top. They also worked on construction of a pull out table to hold a propane stove we had gotten. Once we pulled out the stove and hooked it up to the propane we could cook. Our base camp isn’t an RV or a tiny home buts it’s a mighty good adventure vehicle for a one month Build!

Bye Kai Stanton Holloway


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