The bedrails were next and in hindsight, probably should have been installed weeks later. I cannot tell you how many times we had to climb over them and our shins bore the full brunt of not lifting our legs high enough. We have many bruises to show at this point. However, it was another important element to tick off the list and ensure that our planning and spacing was correct.
We used the same 25mm box steel that we used in our decking frame and bolted these to the side walls. The spacing of these was determined by the upright supports that we had to bolt them to and also the load capacity weighting of each rail.
The bed slats that go onto this frame have actually been salvaged from an old conventional bed that we purchased off Marketplace for less than $100, but more of that later when we come to install the bed in coming weeks.
Whilst dealing with all things flooring, there is a hatch near our front door which is the access point for our bus batteries. These batteries are not to be confused with the battery that is connected to the solar panels on the roof which supplies us with power for lights and appliances. I am talking about the batteries that actually power the bus, just like in a car. We have two 12v batteries run in series to power our 24v bus system.
I remember removing the panel for the first time a few weeks ago and as I lifted it up, small rust flakes started dropping off and the whole thing rattled. That rattling was actually more broken and rusty pieces that had fallen inside the frame. On closer inspection, I could poke holes in it with just my finger, so back to Marketplace to try and find a replacement.
Top tip: Wherever possible, we like to find a genuine replacement from the same vehicle that may be used for wrecking, rather than buy an aftermarket part. This not only saves you so much money (believe me parts are expensive, if you can find them new), but it also means that there is one less piece of rubbish filling up landfill.
I couldn’t believe it when I found a replacement in our home state and the new/old hatch had come off a bus that had been wrecked. It was in a much better state than ours and with a new piece of carpet on the top and our three step paint process, it was better than a new one. These pictures are of our old hatch and the newly refurbished on.
The very last task on this week’s long list was to finally determine where the old roof lining would be cut back to. Many people who have Coasters have removed the entire roof lining in the drivers cabin as well as the main cabin. However, ours was in such great condition, it matched our colour scheme and with Herb being so tall, we liked the additional head height, so elected to keep it in place and not lower the roof height and add in additional storage.
This area above us in the driver’s cabin also houses our air conditioning system, which we have kept intact, so it was essential that we didn’t alter this area. It also had the added bonus of keeping the costs down.
There were multiple things on this weeks to do list, but as you can see many of them only took an hour or two. There was lots of time between paint and glue drying, so we made the most of our downtime and tackled many of the foundation items. If you have read this far, I applaud you, this was a tough one to write with so much going on. But in the interests of transperancy and so that you get a true sense of the build, thank you for sticking with us.
If you have questions about anything that you have seen or read, please reach out via DM on our Instagram page @hello_mr_pemberton
(I would love to hear from you!)
Until next week…