Day 5 – Ceiling Removal Complete

Oct. 2016 – Well, I finally got the entire ceiling down and the old fiberglass insulation out and removed.  I still need to clean up the old insulation residue left behind before putting in new foam board insulation.


Here’s my first video that I made regarding the bus.  My apologies for the quality and narration.  I’ll get better over time :-).

Next item on the agenda is the removal of the side panels on both sides of the bus.  Stay tuned.


Day 4 – Ceiling Removal

Oct. 2016 – I was lucky that my International Bus ceiling was held up by Phillips head screws and not rivets. To be more exact it’s actually a square drive #2 Robertson bit that fits perfectly into the opening.  It fits much better than a Phillips head and just different enough to not strip out the screw head.


These steel ceiling panels had to weigh at least 30 lbs. each.  They are easily disposed of by folding them in half and then folding one more time into quarters.  Just a word to those who don’t take theirs down.  After 15 years of use the fiberglass insulation has lost all it’s efficiency and can harbor lots of mold and dirt.  Not only that, but if you don’t take down the original ceiling you will never find out where all the leaks are in your existing ceiling and your bus will continue to rust from the inside out.

Just as luck would have it the last one is always the hardest to get off.  Murphey’s Law got me on this one but I persevered and finally got it down. 99% of the 1,200 screws came out as planned but some of them were rusted in place and the heads had to be taken off with my angle grinder.  Which is why I had a problem with this last one.


Day 3 – Floor Demolition Continues

Aug./Sept. – Taking up the floor is one of the harder parts in a bus demolition.  The heavy duty vinyl is glued to the plywood and the plywood is screwed to the steel bus floor.  The majority of the screws are rusted in place so the plywood is very difficult to get up even when using a long pry bar.

But persistence pays off and I’m finally down to the bare steel floor.  Now to dispose of all the old plywood flooring.


Once I started taking the floor up it was also time to remove the old floor heaters.  There were two of them, one in the middle of the floor and one towards the back.  Make sure to use some kind of bucket or tub to make sure you catch all the anti-freeze that will drain out of the line once you cut it open.  Then to close the system back up I used a 1″ brass U-fitting.

Now that the floor is up it’s time to put my tool chest in the rear of the bus so I can store all my tools in it and get them up off the floor.  It’s actually going to stay there permanently once I prep and finish the floor in the very back.  I’m measuring in 2.5 feet from the back door and that will be my electrical/solar battery/storage room.   I’ll then build a wall across the width of the bus and that will be the back wall of the bedroom on the other side.


I am storing all my tools in the bus which is parked in a storage lot while I do the conversion.  To keep out the thieves it’s time to put a lock on the front and back door.  The back door lock will stay on permanantly.  The one on the front bi-fold door is only there during the conversion.  Right at the end I’ll install a nice looking RV style door with a nicer looking home door style lock.

Day 2 -Now Starts the Demo Process

With so much to do it’s sometimes hard to decide where to start.  I jumped right in and started removing the upper side panels.


Since it was right in the middle of August in Houston, Tx. the outside temps were hot and even hotter in the bus.  So it was time to install some temporary A/C that I could run off  my generator.


Once the A/C was in it was time to start taking up the old floor.  Lots of people skip this step.  They look at the top part of the plywood and if it looks fine they figure the underside is fine too.  Big mistake.  If you do not pull up the old plywood completely you will never know if you have rust underneath and possibly even exposed holes from where the floor has rusted all the way through.

Day 1 – My 32,000 lb baby comes home.

Here is where it all started.  On Feb. 17th, 2016 I put our bus on layaway with a great company called BGA Bus Sales.  I took delivery on August 13th a Saturday and started the conversion process.  My goal is to take this 1999 International Amtran 40 ft. school bus and turn it into a full time livable motorhome.  The engine is an International DT466E mated to an MD3060 5 speed automatic transmission.  When it’s complete it will have all the amenities one can comfortably fit into 240 sq. ft..  This will include a living area, kitchen area, full size shower, combination washer/dryer, bathroom, and bedroom area.  Follow along as I go through the transformation.  Enjoy !


I paid the bus dealer to remove the seats for me as this is one of the more unpleasant tasks in the beginning.  So this is how he came delivered to us.  Not only that but BGA Bus Sales also re-titled the bus into an RV for me before I took possession of it.  Which makes it much much easier to get insurance.  Another good thing about BGA is they also deliver it right to your door.  Mine came all the way from Florida.  All in all BGA is a great bus company.