When a group of Australian friends decided that they wanted to do something adventurous together, they created a plan that was brilliant and wonderfully unique. They were going to transform a standard school bus into an RV they could drive wherever they wanted.
A picture was going around Facebook that inspired them; it showed a school bus with the seats removed and said that you could turn it into an RV. They thought it was a great idea. So, the six Australians quit their jobs back home, moved to Canada, bought a bus, converted it to an RV.
None of them had experience in carpentry or car mechanics, but they were determined to make it work. Project Moose was born and the end result was amazing.
The 1986 Chevy Bluebird school bus cost $3,500 CAD.
“Our “team” consists of 3 university grads, a lawyer, an engineer and a financial adviser.”
No one had experience with this kind of project, but they were prepared as they could be with layout plans.
The first step was buying some supplies.
They loaded up the bus with their tools…
And then removed much of the interior. “We dumped around 500kg of chairs and interior panelling we stripped.”
“We removed the metal panelling above and below the windows to allow us to install the roof and insulation.”
Then, they added even more insulation in the walls.
“We used full sheets of ply and fixed them to the existing roof. They just happened to be the perfect size.”
They also added bench tops from IKEA to the interior of the bus.
Plastic shutters were added to the windows for privacy and insulation.
“We lined most of the bus in ply to keep the theme the same.”
Installing the floor boards; they used the click-clack system and cut to size.
Installing the bunks…
An early view of the bus, from the back.
“Testing out the lights! We fixed a picture rail the length of the bus on both sides and ran an LED light ribbon the whole way down. It comes with an adhesive back so super cheap and super easy to install. “
“Here we are battling to install the shelving. The lack of room to build in here starts to get to you after a while!”
Reverse view of the benches and bunks.
When the weather was warm enough, they’d take the chance to work outside.
Testing out the couches, complete with covers.
“We ended up cutting the middle support to get the tank in and re-fixing it with brackets.”
“The sink and walls separating the kitchen and bedrooms are in. We had to build an air-tight baffling system to direct any hot air from the back of the fridge to the outside vents.”
The electric box. “The switches are for the water pump, stereo, sub, inverter (converts 12v to 110v so we can run the appliances without hooking up to electricity), lights and the fridge.”
“Sink and tap installed. Not quite a cat but these are our bus pets- cacti Keith and Warren.”
“This is about 90% done view from the front looking back. Couches (also act as 5th and 6th beds), kitchen benches and the dividing walls. The door opposite the fridge is a cupboard for storage and our emergency toilet.”
The RV fridge finally installed and the bunks finished.
“The moose’s first bath. 5 days before we leave for Coachella and still not painted. Leaving the bus yellow just wasn’t an option since it is illegal in most states in the US to have a private school bus that color.”
Getting it clean before the big paint job.
“The whole bus was hand sanded and cleaned with acetone to prep for painting.”
“After much “discussion” we settled on white and green. We used tremclad, which is a metal paint with a rust-proofing ingredient. We did two coats of white and three coats of green for the stripes.”
Even though it was freezing, they left the bus in the sun, hoping it would help dry.
Finally christening the Moose!
Celebrating the completion of the bus before taking off!
The first family photo in Montana.
Then, they were off for their 3 month journey!
The friends have been driving around the United States for three months. They have all they need in the Spruce Moose (not to mention lots of happy memories). The days they have spent exploring the national parks have given them an experience in our country that most natives don’t even get to experience.
Their first stop was driving down to the music festival Coachella, but have since moved on to see different parts of the US.
Share their incredible project by clicking on the button below. They deserve all of the attention they can get!