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Skoolie Bus Conversion Tour of Garage and Back Deck Extension & Stabilizer Jacks

Hey all! Here is a video I posted on YouTube a couple of weeks ago on the rear end of Chitty Bang and all the welding we did as rookies lol

https://youtu.be/c5SQ5T2GhuI

That Hobart 210 MVP really was a hoss! And great for beginners! We only used it for flux core but it also does Mig. We used it mostly on a standard outlet, but to do a few welds on the 1″ channel iron extension under the bus, we used a 210 outlet.

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21 Part 4: School Bus Storage Boxes- Finish Work

Now came the time to cover the sides. Chittybang actually sat with her “skirt off” for a month or so I think before we got around to doing the hinges, but it got done! We ordered these piano hinges off of amazon here, made sure they were weldable too.

Then we welded one side of the hinge to a piece of 16 gauge cold rolled steel we cut to fit the rest of the length of the bus so it looked more fluid and camouflaged as much as possible. You don’t want everyone to know you have your crap under your bus…even if they are locked.

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On the backside of the steel we welded a small piece of angle iron with a hole in it, then drilled a hole on the angle iron holding the boxes. Now we can latch the big doors down while we travel. I purchased some cotter pins and hitch pins that work well!

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And here they are…ready for paint! We corrosealed the steel before painting. This became a good habit for us anytime we added steel to the bus. Rust preventive/converter/primer first!

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One door up on the other side…one to go!

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Both doors on both sides are UP! You can see that we used corroseal here and it was drying:)

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We attached more steel where we cut too much of the lower part off. SO to make it look more flush and appealing to the eye, we trimmed it all up by riveting pieces like this up.

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This is gonna blend right in once ChittyBang isn’t Franken-ChittyBang anymore!

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Success! Can’t wait to get her painted!

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21, Part 3: School Bus Storage Boxes & Solar Battery Box

The other side of the bus was going to be a little different. Not only did we have two storage boxes to hang, but we also needed something sturdy enough for the Battery Box, which also holds 4 (made for up to 6) Deep Cycle batteries (CR 260) and they are heavy as HELL!!

Here is the battery box we fabricated. It is heavy. But that is what we knew how to do! SO we did it. SO far so good:)

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Now to hang it! WE hung these boxes the same as the other side. Check out part 2 of Stage 21!

 

We used angle Iron and welded a frame.

Then we bolted the box on.

And Voila! All the boxes are up!

Next Part 4!

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Stage 21 Part 2: Installing External Storage Boxes

Yes, the long awaited part 2 as to how in the heck we installed the storage boxes under the bus. Thanks to a good friend’s knowledge (Logan, thanks man!), he allowed us to pick his brain and helped us develop some good braces to hold the boxes to the chassis of the bus, without having to bolt through the floor. Our dreams were to learn to weld on this project, and thanks to another couple of good friends (Drew and Robbie, Thank you guys!) we practiced and learned to weld well enough to do our projects 🙂 So below is our first welding class…

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For practice, we welded a welding cart or our HOBART 210MVP welder we bought from Home Depot. Great Price for a little machine. We flux core welded off of a 110 outlet!! But it also has the option for 210. I will be posting an article on our welder and welding cart soon:)

Next, it was onto the real thing. Braces made from angle iron.

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Then Spray Painted…

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Next, We need to attach these braces to the chassis of the bus, with the proper spacing as well. With only having access to 110 electric, we did not think that our welder would weld well to the 1/2″ Channel Iron Chassis of the bus. If we had it on 210, definitely. So, our friend Robbie shows us how to weld with his stick welder (with its own generator) and he ends up doing one whole side for us just for the “Robbie Starter Pack”, which consists of a case of Dr. Pepper and some packs of Pall Malls 🙂

One Side Complete as far as the hanging goes! We thought we would be able to fit 5 on each sie, but after realizing we would need some space between brackets and the position of some holes and other large bolts in the chassis got in the way, so we ended up only fitting 4, which i am still very happy with!

We later added some pieces of 3/4″ plywood in the bottom of each box, as well as bolted them down (4 bolts with washers and nuts, 1 in each corner) to the angle iron braces we made.