How did you start? What steps Should I follow? I started by gutting the bus, I used a chisel and hammer for the rivets. I then insulated. But prior to insulating, I recommend if you're going to do a roof deck, do that next, it may save you if you have leaks. Also, make sure your electrical is all set and you have the wiring for any lights you may want. After that is the ceiling, I used 3/4" wood paneling. Next Comes the frame work, get your lay out down perfect and you're not far from there.
Do you have a bathroom, shower? I had a bathroom (compost toilet) after a test run, I found I didn't need it..Rather the space was more important. I bought a stand up compost toilet from Walmart that folds up in case of emergency such as food poisoning. I also don't have a shower, I try to use the ocean, lakes or rivers with biodegradable soap..Aside from that I also have a planet fitness membership..Use campgrounds and make friends. If you do want a shower, one system I like is a black PVC pipe on the roof, it heats up - make sure you have a pressure valve..and with gravity you can have a quick shower.
What about batteries/charing/lighting/Solar? On top of the white elephant are 2 100w solar panels that connect to a 1400w Goal Zero power bank. The solar panels charge the power bank faster than a house electrical supply could. I wish I did more solar, but I also have 2 deep cycle batteries under the bus and a 1500w inverter. The deep cycle batteries are charged when I'm driving the bus through the alternator. The bus itself also has 3 Led lights and 2 of its own batteries, I have 1 Led bulb in my lamp and a set of string lights around the windows. When using the lamp and string lights, I am running 15watts/hr. The lamp also has a USB charger for the phone. When the sun out and above the bus, I get about 170w/hr charge.
Wheres your water tank for the sink? Fridge? Under the sink is a 7 gallon container - the sink opperates by a hand pump, so no electrical is needed. I also have 2 - 3 gallon containers as extras, and a number of 1 gallon jugs mainly for my dog. Theres no fridge, there's very few things I find I really need a fridge for. There is a Siberian cooler under the couch..when the ice melts, its runs out a 1" tube out the bottom of the bus which has a standard hose valve that I can close and re-use the water for Everests (my dog) bowl.
Why this bus? Finding a reliable engine is important. I suggest everyone to do your research on that. This bus has a 6.5 turbo diesel engine, there are some risks with diesel but overall I felt it would be more reliable and so far (knock on wood) it has been. It is also from Arizona originally, being below the salt belt relieves a lot of problems you would get with a 20 year old van or bus from the north. I also really wanted a bus that's 4 windows in length. It can be parked in a normal parking spot, easy to drive and I felt It would be more of a camper/van feel rather than a full length bus that eats so much more gas and I felt with a larger bus, I'd end up next to a lot of RVs.. when I really wanted to be off grid as much as possible.
How do you afford everything/afford to live on the road? This is a question that usually doesn't help too many people. I flipped houses for the past 6 years while also working for the New Jersey Devils as a scout in New England & bought and sold stocks. I did really well.. and on the side of those jobs I also did real estate photography and various other photography gigs. One thing I've seen many do is to rent their house - but be aware that a landlord that isn't present means you would probably need a property manager. In my case, I've sold everything, my house, my car, furniture and put a huge chunk of it into a CD while enough in the bank to make me feel safe if I need a heavy amount of cash for any mechanical issues..as well as enough for food, campgrounds, gas, park passes, cave tours, surf board rentals, dog boarding... a long list.. I feel the entire amount is there but I also plan to do some work on the road with my camera if I'm able to find it..or feel I need to, but mainly..I'd prefer and plan to volunteer for environmental issues.