My first bus was a big Isuzu LT1 bus. It was 11m long. I purchased it in June 2019.  I had originally planned to build my future home and studio workspace in this bus, and put a lot of blood, sweat, tears and money into starting the conversion.

But there was always some lingering anxiety about driving and maintaining such a big heavy vehicle, and doubts about whether I would be able to afford it in the longer term. When life threw me a few curveballs in 2020, I decided, after a lot of soul searching, that this bus was not for me.

Change of Plans

Change of Plans

So it’s been quite a few months since my last update and it’s about time I filled you all in on what’s been happening... I took a break from working on the bus back in October last year, so I could learn how to weld before proceeding with the rest of the repairs. The...

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Learning to Weld

Learning to Weld

Just a quick update on the bus progress - not much to show in terms of physical changes, but I've been doing a lot of behind the scenes planning and designing and thinking. I had the vehicle modification inspector out this week to look at my plans for installing a...

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Bus Conversion Entry Door Remodel Part 3

Bus Conversion Entry Door Remodel Part 3

This week I started to tackle the rust in the doorway of the bus. I'm still not sure how to go about fixing the rust at the bottom of the main pillar, but I did manage to cut away another badly rusted piece from the edge of the doorway, It was my first time using the...

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Bus Conversion Entry Door Remodel Part 2

Bus Conversion Entry Door Remodel Part 2

After stripping everything off the original door, I had a bit of work to do to scrape off the remaining glue and remnants of laminate, and then sanded back the rusty areas to remove all the loose bits of rust. After that, I gave the whole frame a thorough coat with...

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Bus Conversion Entry Door Remodel Part 1

Bus Conversion Entry Door Remodel Part 1

This week I was fortunate to meet one of the guys in my Facebook bus group, who has the same kind of Isuzu bus as mine (with a virtually identical door) and has successfully modified the way the door on his bus is hinged so it now opens fully outward. He did it using...

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Removing the door from my bus

Removing the door from my bus

I've been ticking off some big jobs with the bus lately, and this week, I started another big job that I have been putting off for a long time. That is, to completely refurbish my bus entry door. My bus still has the original door, and although I am not legally...

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Painting the Bus Roof with Thermoshield

Painting the Bus Roof with Thermoshield

This was a massive job that I'd been putting off doing for a long time - I've had this paint since December last year! But I finally got around to doing it this month. It took 8 solid days of work, with cleaning the roof, painting the etch primer, then 5 coats of the...

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Laying the new floor in my bus

Laying the new floor in my bus

Some very exciting progress made on the bus this week - I got the new floor installed! This was a big job because the steel sheet and large pieces of plywood were very heavy and difficult to manoeuvre into the bus. But thankfully, I had my Dad to provide an extra set...

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Prepping for the new floor

Prepping for the new floor

Before I laid the new floor, I spent some time cleaning up the frame underneath and treating the areas of surface rust I found there. I also had a mate of mine come out with his welder and weld in some extra steel beams into the existing frame - mostly across the...

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Removing the Floor of my bus

Removing the Floor of my bus

I hadn't originally planned to pull up the old floor of the bus, but since I'd had so many issues with rust and water getting in, I was concerned there may be issues with the frame underneath the floor. I started by removing the vinyl that was covering the floor. That...

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Time to give her butt a makeover!

Time to give her butt a makeover!

This week I've been working on removing the old safety marker stickers from the rear of my bus. Because my bus is a registered in Queensland, and classed as a heavy vehicle, it has to have an annual roadworthy inspection. Without a current certificate of inspection...

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Operation Watertight!

Operation Watertight!

Now that I'm pretty confident that the aluminium composite panels are a lot better adhered to my bus, I've been able to get to work sealing up the gaps between them once and for all. This has been a really big job and I tried to take my time and get it right because I...

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Removing the old vinyl from the bus floor

Removing the old vinyl from the bus floor

While I wait for suitable weather, and the delivery of supplies I need to finish sealing the wall panels, I decided to continue work on the inside of the bus and finally tackled the floor. Before: Originally I planned to just leave the old vinyl that was covering the...

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Progress on the Internal Framing

Progress on the Internal Framing

I finally finished the basic internal framing in the main wall cavities of my bus this week, so am feeling much more confident that the aluminium composite panels on the outside walls are well stuck on. This means I can finally get around to properly sealing up the...

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Rain Rain Rain!

Rain Rain Rain!

It is no fun dealing with rain when you have a leaky bus! We have had a LOT of rain in SE Queensland over the last couple of weeks. And I mean a LOT! At one stage, we had over 100mm in just three days! Thankfully, I haven't had to deal with flooding, or the bus...

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Starting the internal framing

Starting the internal framing

The day has finally arrived when I am actually starting to out things INTO the bus instead of stripping stuff out! I'm starting on the internal timber framing. The idea with this is to not only provide the framework for attaching everything else inside, but also to...

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Sealing the roof to fix leaks in my bus

Sealing the roof to fix leaks in my bus

I spent most of this week up on the roof of my bus, sealing every rivet and join I could see that might be a potential source of water leaking in. I think I have managed to stop a few of the leaks, so things are looking a little brighter! Lots more to do, but at least...

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Accessing my bus roof despite my fear of heights!

Accessing my bus roof despite my fear of heights!

I'm finally getting back to working on the bus this week, after spending the last couple of months focussing on my business over the busy Christmas period. The first task is to make the bus watertight. It has a lot of leaks! In order to do that, I need to get up onto...

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Bus Leaks, Brain Dumps and Bathtubs

Bus Leaks, Brain Dumps and Bathtubs

There hasn't been a lot of visible progress on the bus conversion to share in the last couple of months. But there has been a bit going on behind the scenes. It's actually been quite a stressful time. Bus Leaks We had the first bit of decent rain since I got the bus...

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Rustproofing the bus and sealing up the gaps

Rustproofing the bus and sealing up the gaps

I reached a milestone with the bus conversion this week - I finally finished the "demolition" stage. I have spent the past two weeks cleaning up the inside frame as best I can, coating everything in Penetrol to protect from future rust and also doing some work on the...

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A disappointing ending to my rust repairs

A disappointing ending to my rust repairs

I got my bus back from the repairer this week and while I am mostly happy with the work he did to fix the rust in my bus frame, I was quite disappointed with the way he put the panels back on the sides. So frustrating given the amount of money the work cost me. Still,...

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Bus frame rust repairs have begun!

Bus frame rust repairs have begun!

Yesterday I made the trip out to the repair workshop to see my bus after the windows and side panels were removed. As expected, there was a fair bit of rust in the rail running under all the windows and most of that will need to be replaced. There are also some...

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New Plan!  Change of plans for rust repairs

New Plan! Change of plans for rust repairs

So since my last post, I found out, thanks to some recommendations from fellow bus owners, that there is actually a guy in my local area who runs a business doing motorhome/caravan renovations! After contacting him, he came out to look at the bus and not only did he...

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Final Layout Design for my Bus Conversion

Final Layout Design for my Bus Conversion

Now that I have a plan to fix the rust in my bus, I need to finalise the interior design so I know which windows I will be replacing, in case the repairer needs to modify sections of the frame. There were a few things I wasn't quite satisfied with in my original...

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The Mechanic’s Verdict

The Mechanic’s Verdict

Since discovering all of the rust in the frame of my bus, I am faced with the decision of where to go from here. Do I just cut my losses with this bus and start again to try to find a less rusty one? Or do I stick with the one I have and make the best of it? It's not...

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I found an Origo stove!

I found an Origo stove!

After all the depressing news about the rust in my bus the last couple of weeks, it is nice to be able to share some happy news with you this week! I finally managed to track down an Origo alcohol stove! Check out the video to see why I chose this sort of stove for my...

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Stripping the Roof and Finding More Rust

Stripping the Roof and Finding More Rust

I removed as much of the ceiling as I could this week to expose the roof frame. I found some small patches of rust but thankfully, it is not as bad as the rust in the walls. However, I also cleaned up the dust and dirt that was covering the floor and sitting in the...

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A Nasty Surprise

A Nasty Surprise

This week I started to strip the inside of the bus. I wanted to see what condition the frame underneath was in, since there was a bit of rust visible under the window seals own the outside, and I wanted to deal with that before starting the fit out. I expected there...

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My Bus Conversion Layout Plan

My Bus Conversion Layout Plan

After playing with ideas for the interior layout of my bus on my computer all these years, it is great to finally be able to see how it will fit in an actual bus! Check out the video where I do a walk through of how I'm thinking of building the inside.

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Getting my bus licence – I passed!

Getting my bus licence – I passed!

Today I passed my driving test and got my HR (Heavy Rigid) licence! This allows me to drive any rigid bus or truck, as long as it doesn't have a Roadranger / crash box type transmission. I only needed an MR (medium rigid) licence to drive my bus, but I decided to go...

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I bought a bus!!

I bought a bus!!

This morning’s emotions are a mix of joy, excitement, sense of accomplishment, and a healthy dose of “what the hell have I just got myself in for” LOL! The thought of all the work that now lies ahead of me is a bit daunting, but I keep looking out the window at the old girl parked outside and I can’t stop smiling.

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