Prep Work

Published by on December 21, 2016 at 7:06 pm

After spending Thanksgiving with our families, the clock started ticking for us to head out West. Our original plan was to leave on the 26th, but after getting back from our Florida/Texas trip, we knew we would never make it out there in time. Zack’s niece and nephew are going to be riding out there with us and we want to stop at some cool places along the way. So with the deadline moved to the 22nd of December, we were really feeling the pressure. We did a lot of jerry-rigging on the road and had a list of things we knew we needed to get done when we got back.

  • Air in our fuel lines: This became an issue on our way home from Florida. Occasionally when the bus was parked overnight, we could not get it started again because we were getting air in our fuel lines. It turns out a dirt dauber made their home in our fuel lines. We got the lines cleaned out and all is good!
  • Speedometer/front panel controls not working: When driving the bus back after originally purchasing it (over a year ago), the front control panel would intermittently go out. Eventually it just stopped working. Our fix was a speedometer app Zack downloaded on his phone and a phone mount to the front window. It worked pretty well but it is something we have been wanting fixed. We tried to trace the source of the problem but only recently discovered where it was.

The finished job

          The wires that are tapped up in the picture were corroded. Some were missing & broken. They were previously laying on the metal base and rubbing when                    driving. We had the wiring harness fixed and the wires secured it so they won’t hang & rub the metal.

  • Fan replacement: If anyone has actually been reading these posts, then you know we have had some problems keeping fan belts from ripping off the mount. Remember when we got the bus stuck?? Well, that little incident turned out to be very costly. When trying to pull the bus out, the fan blades got torn up and the mount has been a little off kilter ever since. You can get a new fan for a mere $600. Not what we were expecting. We were able to find one a little cheaper. When the fan was being worked on, some issues were found with two tensioners. We went ahead and had those fixed too. So with all that done, we are hoping our engine is good to go for awhile.

The speedometer wiring, fan work, and cleaning of the fuel line was done by CTS in Conway. They were great to work with and did the research to find us a cheaper fan, which we really appreciated. They work on diesels, if you are ever in the area and need some work done.

  • Leaking radiator fluid: somewhere along the drive back from Florida, we noticed a lovely red liquid sprayed all over the back of our bus. When we opened the back engine hatch, the liquid was everywhere. For a patch job, Zack got some JB weld and put it on there. It seems to be doing okay for now. I’m sure this issue will crop up again later. With the expense of all the other things we had to get done, we felt this could wait. Now we just travel with extra radiator fluid. 🙂
  • Install horn/fix ours: Like a common theme, somewhere along the way our horn went out. We decided an easy fix that we could do ourselves was to install an air horn. We already have air lines for the seats, so we just had to mount the horn and put a T in the line. It’s super fucking loud. And on a side note, our regular horn started working the other day. So, now we have two horns…until the other stops working again.

Our little mascot & pull for the horn

  • Fix backup camera: Zack fried the backup camera monitor when he tried to jump the bus batteries with the house batteries.  Unfortunately, having them connected whilst starting the engine sent a surge back up the line and hosed the backup camera. Luckily, the monitors are cheap so we  just had to replace it and we have a working back up camera again.
  • Connect the house batteries to the chassis batteries so the house batteries can charge while the bus is running. This was the one thing that didn’t get done. The automatic charging relay that we ordered didn’t have enough amperage throughput for the alternator.
  • Tow jeep: We decided this summer that we wanted to tow the Jeep. Do to the cost and the fact that we didn’t really need it until we left, it got put off until the last thing. The very last thing. Three days before we left we finally got around to it. Zack ordered the stuff to do it himself. He got the hitch on the Jeep and all the wiring done no problem, but when he started on the hitch for the bus, he realized it wasn’t going to work. The tow bar sat only a foot off the ground. There was a brief moment of ‘oh shit’. We ended up calling Dark Threat Fabrication, the guys that made our roof rack. They THANKFULLY fit us in and knocked it out in one day (two days before we needed to leave). And as always, they did an awesome job. We highly recommend them if anyone is looking for custom metal fabrication!!

Andrew hard at work

In Progress


And last but not least, we had to get Stormy decked out in her christmas lights! So only one thing didn’t get accomplished. I’ll call that a success!

A born and raised Arkansan, Annie has always had the desire to get out and travel. To explore new places and experience new things. It wasn't until she was in college that she really discovered her love for the outdoors: biking, hiking, kayaking. Growing restless with her 8-5 job in a cubicle she and Zack were looking for ways to get more fulfillment out of their lives and to do what they really loved. So what better way than to buy a school bus and travel the country!

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