May 11th, 2009

Ann Vole

Excape the zombie horde bus

I keep the phrase "hope for the best but prepare for the worst" close to my choices. After years of planning the ultimate motorhome, I had come up with all sorts of things I wanted to include in or on my bus-turned-motorhome. First is the choice of base vehicle... school buses are likely the closest thing you can get to a low weight tank. There was a "scariest police chases" video where some military guy went crazy and took a Sherman tank out for a destructive joyride in some city with the police left with the only option of blocking traffic out of harm's way and hope the tank runs out of fuel. Along the way the tank clips the corner of several motorhomes and one greyhound-style bus and they all essentially disintegrated from the stress in one corner of the vehicle. The tank rammed the side of a school bus and the bus just slid sideways until the tires were ripped off then the bus fell over and was pushed a few blocks while destroying several cars and when it finally was jammed, the tank drove over the bus. The whole time the bus interior remained mostly in it's original shape and even took on the weight of the tank with minimal bending.

I like the minimalist look of flat brushed steel for rim covers but I had the idea of preventing people from slashing the expensive tires by extending the rim-cover to cover the sides of the tire too. Then I thought that such a steel plate could act as a wheel if designed right in the event that the tires are deflated. This could also include a plate on the inside of the wheels too.

I want to have all sorts of expensive stuff under the bus like power generators and batteries and some insulated stuff like water tanks and pumps and biodiesel fuel tanks. I also want to make it hard for vandals to damage brake lines or animals to hitch rides under the bus or in the engine compartment. My solution was to cut off the roof of a junkyard bus and install that roof upside-down under the bus. I have it wired up under there with aircraft cable but I need to figure out how to make it easy to remove and replace when working on the stuff under there.

One of the things about Saskatchewan is the unexpected hard snowdrifts that will cross the road and are rather hard on the equipment and cargo (which may be small animals) to go over. I want to add a snow plow to the front bumper to remove any junk on the road including snow drifts, would-be roadkill animals, and logs or rocks on remote trails.

I might be in a hunting area and I might have animals in the bus so I am worried about hunters using the bus for target practice. Vandals and thieves might also want to break windows. Because of this, I am replacing the side and back windows with solid metal surfaces. I want to use the back of the bus as a heated garage for a small car, special equipment, constriction material, or for animal cargo so the back end of the bus is going to be a ramp that folds down. This only leaves the front windows which are either Lexan plastic glazing or are the front safety. Even the mirrors might sport a Lexan cover box to keep the mirror from being adjusted by branches, damaged by vandals, splattered with mud or rain, or frosted over in the cold.

I wanted to cover the holes where the school bus flashing lights were (they were removed when sold presumably to keep people from pretending to be a school bus). Instead I think I will turn them into flood lights shining on the ground near the bus in front for better visibility when off-roading or for lighting some outdoor activity. They may also prove to be superior fog lights in certain conditions. Of course it also helps to prevent vandalism on the regular lights.