Dave's Bus Conversion


Most bus conversions and RVs are designed to "dry dock" for very short periods of time, such as a day or two. Dry docking is when the vehicle is parked but without water/electrical hookups. Oftentimes the RV only has minimal water and power availability when dry docked, such as 12V lights and no air conditioning.

To me, this is similar to hibernation. Only acceptable on a temporary scale. I want to have full power and utilities even though I won't be docked at a campground. For non-vehicles, this is called "off-grid" living. My intention is to design the bus so that it can live off-grid with full power and utilities for over a week.

This makes my intentions and design very different from your classic RV.

Here's an initial look at the infrastructure - more info later.

Infrastructure / Energy

Water: Have large enough tanks for 1+ week of operation. Probably 200 gal fresh, 100+ gal grey, 50 gal black.
I'm looking into using composting to replace the black tank, and keeping the grey tank organic-only, so it can be dumped. If that's possible, I'll only need a friend to loan me a hose for fillup.
Use a flash (instant) water heater (propane?).
Electrical: A big battery bank covers battery needs, recharged as needed from a 10kW genset and 1kW of solar panels.
Fuel (WVO): Convert diesel engine to vegetable oil (same power output!)
Get 250 Gal tank for veggie oil, recycle restaurant oil for free, each fillup is approx 1200 miles!
Network: Use 802.11 with Yagi antenna where possible. Cell phone as backup. Satellite?
Refill: At RV/gas stations or friends house's when needed. Only sewage dump and water fillup needed on a weekly basis. If I get solar and a composting toilet, and I don't need A/C, then I could conceivably only need fresh water for extended periods of time.
Transport: Carry a motorcycle and mini-scooter for immediate transport.
Possibly tow a mini-garage with my car and tools.

GetDave.com - Get your Dave today!         All material © 2006, David Ljung Madison