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School Bus Hauler Doubles As A Camper
When Steve Rossiter, Lewiston, Idaho, wants to haul his snowmobiles or ATV's somewhere, he goes in the comfort of an old 60-passenger school bus that doubles as a camper.
  The bus holds four snowmobiles abreast front and back. Homemade ramps hook onto the rear bumper so the machines can be loaded through homemade double doors at the back. They can be driven out the side of the bus through a 6-ft. wide, hinged door that Rossiter installed. The door is raised and lowered by a 2-in. nylon strap attached to an electric boat winch, and is held secure by a pair of 12-in. long stabilizer legs. A solar panel on top of the bus keeps the winch battery charged.
  Inside, the bus is fitted with plush bucket seats that can be swiveled around to face backward. And there's a propane cooking stove for camping.
  "I paid $1,500 for the bus and sold all the seats that I removed from the bus to a metal scrap yard. It was a lot of work to get all the seats out, but it had to be done. The bus is now classified as a conversion van so insurance for it is unbelievably cheap," says Rossiter.
  To make the side door, he first cut the bottom out and welded the hinges on. Then he cut out the rest of the door. He also welded 1-in. sq. tubing onto the edges of the door to reinforce it.
  Wheel wells stuck up about 10 in. on each side of the bus and were in the way of the snowmobiles and ATV's. To solve the problem he welded together a frame made out of 1 -in. tubing. The frame gradually rises from the rear double doors up to the top of the wheel wells. He had a length of steel rolled out of 1/8-in. thick diamond plate to contour off the wheel wells back onto the floor. Then he bolted -in. thick plywood on top of the frame.    He replaced the driver's seat with a swivel bucket seat and installed a double passenger airplane seat behind it, which can be reversed to face backward. Another swivel bucket seat out of a van is mounted across from the airplane seat.
  "I plan to replace the bus's existing 360 cu. in. gas engine with a more fuel efficient engine. And I plan to add fold-down beds on the walls and attach a propane heater to one wall," notes Rossiter.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Steve Rossiter, 1808 13th Ave., Lewiston, Idaho 83501 (ph 208 743-0444; sirossiter2003@yahoo.com).

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2009 - Volume #33, Issue #6