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Taking out the seats

Taking out the seats was our first big step in converting the bus. In our short bus, we had eight rows of seats to remove, however, we chose to leave in the front row so that we would have a passenger seat until we were ready to install our new one. We first had to unhinge and remove the bottom cushion of the seats so that we could used use an impact driver to unbolt the seats from the wall. We then tried to unbolt the seats from the floor with the same method, but found that the bolts were too rusted and stripped to come out.

After many attempts to unbolt the seats, we resulted in using the angle grinder to grind off the bolts and remove the seats. It was a tedious process and rather hazardous with how many sparks we had flying around the bus, but it was very rewarding to get all of the seats out.

Once all of the seats were out, we were able to deep clean some of the bus and remove all of the junk that had been shoved in the corners of the seats. Some of our favorite finds were "get out of Hell free cards" from an old church group, and a small Listerine bottle that leaked and made us think we poked a hole in our coolant line. With all of the seats out, it was much easier to visualize the space we had and begin to plan our home layout.

Tearing out the floor

One of our first challenges in the demolition was removing the floor. The floor consisted of a rubbery laminate on the top, followed by a layer of wood, and lastly sheet metal that was supported by the steel framing under the bus. Peeling up the gross laminate floor was a quick and easy process, but what we found under it was not. The layer of wood was very rotted and soft, which made it impossible to pry out in large pieces like we'd hoped. We tried several methods to efficiently get the wood out, but ended up having to chisel out chunks of wood in very small pieces. On our first full day of working on it we only managed to remove about one third of the floor. The next day we were able to borrow a circular saw which helped in cutting out slightly bigger pieces that we could pry out.

Once the wood was out and we could get a better look at our sheet metal, we were surprised to find that it was not very rusty. However, there was enough corrosion spots that we needed to create a supportive frame with our new floor so that we could disperse the weight off of the sheet metal.

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