The morning after my first taste of life on the road ended we returned to our new motorhome to have a really good look at what we had bought. Had we bought a bus or rust bucket?
Discovering What We Have Bought
What had we bought? All that we new about our new motorhome was what the EBay listing and the vendor had told me as well as what I had discovered on the journey home.
After reading all the records dating back to 2002 that came with the bus and a lot of research on the web, I discovered that we had bought a 1970 model Bedford Comair VAM 70 bus with the original Bedford 466 motor and four speed gearbox still installed. It had gone through a professional bus conversion to a motorhome some time before 2002 by persons unknown.
As you can see from the photos externally almost everything is still the same as the day our bus took its last paying passenger. It even has the air operated door with its old number 42 on it behind the fly screen.
The interior has been professionally fitted out with a queen size bed in the rear, bunk beds forward of that, shower, robe and vanity opposite the bunks. In front of the bunks is a full size gas oven and a sink. Opposite that in front of the shower is a gas electric fridge with a microwave above and a bench with cupboards underneath forward of the fridge. At the front just behind the drivers seat is an L shaped lounge and table with another straight lounge opposite.
Looking at the layout and trying to imagine seven people living life on the road and traveling Australia in such a small space with only four beds just was not working for me. Could I come up with a solution? Or would we have to sell our motorhome and start from scratch?
It was then time to check everything from top to bottom and front to back to determin what condition the whole thing was in.
Opening A Can Of Worms
I had already experienced how well the engine and drive train were operating and a quick visual inspection confirmed that everything looked to be ok there. The electrics seemed to be the week link in the operation of the bus and would need a good tidy up and some repairs. The internal fit out had a few nasty surprises in store for me though.
The first area that I checked was the rear bedroom. On close inspection of the robes I found that they had all been water damaged in the past and would need replacing. The headboard of the bed was in a bad state also from water leaking through the rear window which had a faulty rubber seal.
Closer examination of the other windows revealed previous water leaks and signs of rust under the seals also. There was water damage to the back of the robe opposite the bunks as well as the backs and fronts of the two lounges also. The rest of the fit out seemed to be ok though it was a bit looking tired and worn. Everything was in need of a sand back and a coat of paint.
The Outside Story
Externally the windows had been resealed with silicone and the rubbers looked like they needed replacing. There were some places at the bottom of the windows where some rust had been previously patched up also. Up on top the luggage rack had some rusted sections that would need replacing. Overall the original paint job was starting to peel in places and needed renewal.
It was time to weigh everything up and decide wether we could live our life on the road and travel Australia in this motorhome or to sell it and find something more suitable. For the answer to that decision you will have to wait for the next post.
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New Life On The Road.