Epic Trails Bus Conversion -Week 3 – Boards, beds & bedlam

Queen bed frame

This week’s focus was getting the beds installed.  We did get the “master” bed installed and the fresh water tank installed under that.  With the help of my father-in-law, we made the unused portion of the space under the queen bed as storage.  We installed gas cylinders to lift that section so it is easier to use that space.  Understanding the correct angle to install those cylinders was a challenge.  I think I mounted and remounted the bottom of them five times!  You have to get it at the right angle that they fold out of the way, yet fully extend.  In the end, it works really well.  It doesn’t help much with the initial lift, but after 1/2 way up it can take over.

The tank also required stops to keep it in place while traveling.  I used a long 2×4 on the front of the tank to distribute the pressure if I had to brake aggressively or God forbid hit something.  To stop side to side motion I used the existing handicap bolt rails.  I drilled some holes in a piece of channel iron that came off somewhere in the bus.  I then mounted a 2×4 vertically to support the bed in the middle.  Thank you Dick.


My dad came over and helped build the bunks which we built over the wheel wells to use that space.  I also made the bottom bunks board on a hinge to give us some more storage under that section.  It is limited because of the wheel well, but we definitely can put a lot of little things into that space.  I plan on having 1/4″ x 4″ x 75.25″ angle iron to support both top bunks.  Dick said he would make those for us this week.  Thank you Dick & Dad.


We put the fridge inside the bus this week because it won’t fit after we get all the bunks installed.  If it ever dies I will have to deconstruct the very rear bunk.  Not ideal, but doable.  I did run the fridge for almost a week before putting it in the bus to just make sure it was good to go.  Sara, Dad, Dick & Ben all helped get this thing lifted in the back door.  Thank you all.


Can I do this project without our parents/family….yes, but it would suck!  Thanks everyone for your help.  It is pretty awesome just hanging out with you all.


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