With the polar vortex that came sweeping through the US, we decided it was time to set up a better heat source for the bus than the electric space heater we had been using during the build.
Our main source of heat will be electric (Touchstone Fireplace and Mini-Split), but we have been thinking about redundancy recently both for our heat source and for cooking. Which is why we decided to buy a diesel heater as a backup.
We chose to go with the Vevor Diesel Air Heater as it is fast heating, low emissions and low noise. It is an all in one system, meaning the diesel tank is within the same unit and not connected with the vehicle's tank. This made the most sense for us as it is our back up system. Don and his dad made a few additions to it for safety and set up a temporary rig. It worked great! It raised the temperature a good 40 degrees in no time. It is not the most eco-friendly set up, but it is just our back up and we were very impressed with how quickly it could heat the bus up so we didn’t need to run it for a long time. We’ll set it up more permanently in the future and it will be housed in the vented bay under the bus. This was also a good time for us to buy a Carbon Monoxide Detector for safety.
With a very warm and cozy bus, we got to work building our closet in the back of the bus.
We started by building a couple vertical walls in the closet out of ¾ inch plywood and pocket screwed them into the bus (bottom step of the engine, back wall and ceiling). We then connected these vertical structures with braces, which would hold up our closet shelves and help secure the vertical walls in the center. The shelves just sit on top of the bracing and the finishing on the front of the shelves has a little lip to ensure the shelves (with our baskets on the shelves) can’t slide out the front when we are driving.
Our closet is built over an engine hatch which we must leave accessible should we ever need maintenance. For this reason we made the bottom shelf removable, with a layer as vapor barrier, underlayment and ceratex insulation underneath it. We also added metal boat hatch handles to the bottom shelf to make it easy to remove.
The second shelf above the hatch is also easily removable, it is not glued down. By simply removing a couple pocket screws the entire shelf can come out making it easy for someone to work on the engine.
Our Mini-Split will be mounted at the top of the closet, but we’ll share more on that when we get to install it.
Our clothes closet only takes up about ⅔ rds of the back wall. The other side will be storage for all our tech gear (hard drives, cameras etc) and Don’s desk. Before we can build his desk we must complete our walls as the desk will be built in front of it.
We add tongue and groove planks to our walls.
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Vevor Diesel Heater
Air diesel heaters can be used for trucks, ships, car trailers, RVs, campers, caravans, and all other diesel vehicles. It is equipped with a complete set of assembly parts and screw accessories. Separate air outlet design, the warm air blows out quickly, will not cause the heater to wear; meanwhile, it can effectively reduce the noise and extend the heater life.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
Keep your family safe with this easy to use digital-display, 10-Year battery operated carbon monoxide alarm; Battery powered alarms provide continuous monitoring of CO levels, even if there's a power failure