Would Life On The Road Continue With Our Bedford

Was life on the road going to continue with our 40 year old Bedford motorhome? Or was a quick fix up and resale the best option so that we could look for something that was a little bit more trouble free?

The Big Decision

Having seen most of the problems that came with our forty year old motorhome it was time to weigh up all the information and come to a decision. Was our old bus worth saving? Or would it be better to do a little bit of work to make it usable again and sell it for whatever profit we could get?

The points in favor of us keeping it were:

  • Being a 1970 model meant that everything was basic (no electronic engine or gearbox management) which meant I could have a half decent crack at fixing mechanical problems myself.
  • Despite some of the furniture being damaged, it was already fitted out. Much more cost effective and easy to work with than starting from scratch.
  • There are a lot of old Bedfords in wrecking yards around Australia. So finding second hand parts should not be to hard.
  • It has a very large rear boot which gives us a lot of storage room
  • There was plenty of natural light inside because the majority of the original windows had been retained.

The points against keeping it were:

  • There are only four beds. This is something we knew when we bought it but I could not see a way to add three extra beds  to the existing layout
  • All the window rubbers are perished and need replacing
  • Most of the window sills have rust holes in them that have been filled and painted over
  • The rear bedroom furniture wall linings and carpet are all water  damaged and need replacing
  • There is water damage to the ceiling  and lounges from a previous leak in the roof hatch
  • The 24v electrical system is a messy patchwork of wires that needs to be rewired  and separated into two systems. A house system for the interior lights,pumps, inverter, fridge and a system for the bus motor,wipers headlights etc

After weighing all of these points up Lisa and I decided that fixing the bus up and selling it was the best option We agreed that life on the road would be much easier if I did a bus conversion from scratch and turned it into a motorhome that suited  our requirements. It was decided that I would fix what was necessary and  give it a paint job so that we could hopefully sell it for a profit.

A Surprise For Lisa

I had started to rebuilding the rear robes and overhead cupboards for the main bedroom as well as research  potential suppliers for the other bits that I would need to complete the repairs, when one morning I started thinking of how much extra work it would be to do a bus conversion from scratch. I was beginning to feel that I was wasting a lot of time fixing one motorhome just so that I could build another one.

It was at this point that I started looking past the problems of the motorhome that we already had towards the solution of how I can make it work for us. When Lisa came home that evening  it was her turn to look shocked and supprised all at the same time when I mentioned to her that I could make our old Bedford work for us and no longer wanted to sell it.

In my next post I will describe how I addressed Lisa’s questions as she discovers how some unconventional thinking  changed how we will  live our life on the road.



New Life On The Road

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10 thoughts on “Would Life On The Road Continue With Our Bedford

  • November 17, 2010 at 12:09 am

    Hi David,

    I don’t have that kind of skill like you to fix the motor car. I always throw my problem to the car repairer and cost me a lot. I loving coming back to read your next post about life on the road.
    Wilson recently posted..How Can I Sleep Better

    • November 17, 2010 at 8:34 am

      Hi Wilson,
      I have always enjoyed building and reparing things, but sometimes I bite off more than I can chew and end up wishing I had given it to a mechanic. I am glad that you are enjoying our story:)

  • November 17, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Hi David,
    I was a little disappointed when I read you were selling your old bedford bus but then at the end you changed your mind so all good again. You sound exactly like my husband. I suppose there isn’t room to make triple bunks where the original beds are, I have seen this done in caravans.
    Jackie Stenhouse recently posted..5 Easy Tips on Getting Baby to Sleep

    • November 17, 2010 at 11:00 am

      Hi Jackie,
      To change the bunks to a triple I would have to lower the bottom one down to floor level, but unfortunatly the wheel arch prevents me from doing that. In the next post I will tell you about the solution that I came up with for that problem.

  • November 19, 2010 at 10:24 am

    Hi Dave,

    Sounds like a project. I can understand your decision to fix up what you already have as starting from scratch would run into mega dollars. Look forward to the next post.
    Leo Bookham recently posted..Solar Powered Yard Lights

    • November 19, 2010 at 12:06 pm

      Hi Leo,

      Starting from scratch definatly would have cost more and the extra time involved would have draged it on for at least another 12 months.

    • November 21, 2010 at 12:03 pm

      Hello Benji,

      Sure will be great to see what name you come up with 🙂


  • June 27, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Im just starting out on my rebuild to motor home specs of the old Bedford I have, doesnt scare me one bit having worked wrecking yards for many years and been around vehicles all my life, Im loving every second of it and I love reading all these stories of the people who have done it and are now living there dream, I get so many ideas on things where Id be sitting and scratching me noggin trying to picture it in my mind, well done Im watching this one, Cheers Andy

    • June 30, 2011 at 4:40 pm

      Hi Andy,
      The great thing about these old bedfords is that everything is fairly basic and easy to work on. If you have any questions that I may be able to help you with leave a comment on our new life on the road facebook fanpage.



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