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This is a reanimation of the Vicaribus blog as lived by Miro Kazakoff and Ehren Foss in 2004 and 2005. The photos may be spotty.

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September 19, 2004 near Cruftlabs | Printable

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Design

Posted by Bus Conversion

The Tuesday after the roof raise we started to take stock of the challenges of bodywork. The roof looked slightly precarious, held far aloft on thin sections of steel.

Throughout the fall we were able to gauge our progress via the backhanded compliments of the truckers servicing the Shaugnessey lot. After the roof raise one of them offered "Color me impressed. When I saw it this morning up on those little tin sticks I thought for sure the wind would blow it down by mid morning." After a few days, after I had rented a welder to run a precarious bead along the newly fasioned structural joins, another said "Yeah, you boys will be all right, if you could weld. Which, clearly you can't." In my defense it was at least partially the welder's fault. The bus was so far away from the outlet from which we were borrinwing electrical power that by the time 200 feet of extension cords were run the voltage was so low the welder had to cycle: 2 seconds on and 1 second off.

Anyway, let's talk about how the rest of the bus was put together.

The only easily accessible structural elements were the vertical roof supports. We formed the interior structure of the bus from these supports, bolting 3/4" plywood sheets to them, with liberal amounts of liquid nails to provide resistance to vibration and to spread the load. Every section of wall, cabinet, kitchen, or bedroom extends perpendicularly from the roof supports. We were therefore confined to fitting everything in such that it would line up with at least one of the vertical supports. Part of the support for Miro's floor attaches to the first beam, abreast the driver's seat. The front bathroom wall and Miro's staircase attach to the second. The third is empty. The fourth anchors the 9" thick utility wall. The fourth through sixth anchor the lower and upper kitchen cabinets, and the seventh through ninth hold the desk in place. The tenth through twelfth support my room. I think I must have missed one, since I remember there being fourteen windows. Anyhow, the extra one is probably in the kitchen.

Miro's room is smaller -- volumetrically about half the size -- of my room. This is only partially due to my control over the blueprints. In order to increase the height of his room, we would have needed to move the cockpit floor down. As is, I have exactly one inch between the top of my head and his floor. The width of everything is confined to around 92", limited by the width of the bus. Some adventurous converters install their own slide-outs (rooms which extend from the side of the vehicle while parked), but we were content having structural excitement behind us. Moving the back wall of Miro's room further would have compressed both the bathroom and the entry way so as to threaten the usability of both (for instance, disallowing a door into the bathroom). Similar problems exist with the design of my room: Every wall in the bus is necessarily 28" inches from any other elements.


Photo Album

Ehren's Posts:
(Aug 1): This Is The End
(Jul 28): Tulip the Bulldog
(Jul 25): On Fumes
(Jul 23): 500 Miles
(Jul 20): Oofda.
(Jul 19): Are we there yet?
(Jul 18): Leaving the North Country Fair
(Jul 16): The Greatest Province on Earth
(Jul 14): My name is Gus, I'm a Longhorn Steer, and I weigh 1600 lbs.
(Jul 12): The Million Dollar Rodeo

Miro's Posts:
(Jul 27): Minnesota
(Jul 23): Angry Blacksmith
(Jul 17): Aurora Borealis
(Jul 13): Cowboy Up
(Jul 3): A selection of Butte's finest
(Jun 26): A Continent divided
(Jun 18): Snow in June
(Jun 12): Smelly Cat is an Excellent Campfire Song
(Jun 11): Interior Canada
(Jun 9): Yuk Yuk

See all log entries.

Miro's Recipes: (See All)
(May 25): Zhurek (Sour Polish Soup)
(May 23): Atomic Noodles
(May 22): Campfire French Onion Soup

Bus Conversion: (See All)
(Oct 9): Electrical System
(Sep 19): Design
(Sep 10): Roof Raise

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