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 in itself was a massive job.
Once I removed the vinyl, I discovered that the plywood floor underneath wasn’t in great condition. In fact, there was a section in the back that was rotting and there was a hole right through the floor!
So I was forced to add ripping up the plywood floor to my list of jobs that needed to be done.
I have to say, that removing the floor was by far the hardest part of my bus conversion so far. Both mentally, and physically. The wood was not only screwed and riveted into the frame, but was also glued down. And let me tell you, even after 30 years that glue was super strong! Coupled with the fact that the plywood was actually huge 7m lengths, rather than smaller sheets, and the awkward angles in the frame made getting good leverage with the crowbar quite a challenge, it meant that getting the wood up was an extremely difficult task. There were a a lot of bruises, a lot of worn muscles, a few busted thumbs and a few crowbar throwing tantrums as well! I did question whether it was really worth all the pain. But I decided to persevere, if only for my own peace of mind. I knew if I didn’t, I would always have doubts about the floor and niggling worries about the condition of the frame.
I’m glad I did in the end, because I did find some more sections of rotten wood, and a few more patches of rust. Thankfully, the rust was minor, and will be easy to treat. Removing the floor also gave me a great view of the mechanics running underneath, so I feel as though I have a much better understanding of how the bus is built too.
I still have a bit of work ahead to clean up the frame and treat the rusty bits, but I am very glad that the hardest part is done and I’m looking forward to getting a new solid floor in.