Extreme (bus) makeover- ideas required
April 6, 2009 4:54 AM   Subscribe

I have a bus. I'm going to take out most of the seats and convert it into a wonderful adventure machine. What are some wild and wonderful ideas for modifying a bus?

This bus has 14 seats, but I'm thinking I'll take out 9, leave 5 at the front, and have a good chunk of space (about four metres long, two and a bit wide, two and a bit high) to play with. I'd like to have some regular camper-van things (something to sleep on, cook on, store things in, etc.) but I also want to do something fantastic with it. Something unique.

So far, I've thought of making the entire thing a sandpit (could be a bit heavy though), a swimming pool (not entirely practical), or a mini-golf course (fun, but wouldn't leave much room for other things). I'm also looking into building an aerial circus rig on the roof to hang a tissue or trapeze from.

Anyway, I'm looking for other wild ideas.

Also, I bought it from nuns. I don't know why that's relevant, but I feel like it needs to be said.
posted by twirlypen to Travel & Transportation (28 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
Slice the roof off!

Also, I bought it from nuns.
Then you need a great name. The Holy Roller is the only one I can think of at the minute, I'm sure the hive mind can improve on that :-)
posted by ceri richard at 4:57 AM on April 6, 2009

A bowling lane!
posted by R. Mutt at 5:31 AM on April 6, 2009

Ball pit!
posted by chiefthe at 5:40 AM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Decorate it the Pakistani way.
posted by headnsouth at 5:53 AM on April 6, 2009 [4 favorites]

An arcade cabinet(s) so you can test passerbys on PACMAN.
posted by Submiqent at 6:14 AM on April 6, 2009

Wet bar with kegerator.

I don't know if I can think of a better way to ensure that people will always be glad to see you pull up.
posted by valkyryn at 6:26 AM on April 6, 2009

I saw an awesome converted school bus at a barbecue competition once which had the backmost 8 feet or so cut open and converted into a patio.
posted by Shohn at 6:27 AM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

I love that bus that does print-on-demand of the Project Guternberg texts. You could contact libraries before a road trip and they would throw you (tame?) parties in every town you visit!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:29 AM on April 6, 2009

Skylights and plant boxes. Grow flowers.

You could also decorate à la Moroccan restaurant - colorful fabrics draped over the walls, oriental rugs, cushions on the floor for sitting and leaning (and sleeping).
posted by amtho at 6:29 AM on April 6, 2009 [1 favorite]

I second the ball pit, though it's a bit expensive. If you don't mind me asking, how much did this nunmobile cost you?
posted by lizzicide at 6:30 AM on April 6, 2009

bunkbeds and hammocks, oh my!
posted by mannequito at 6:37 AM on April 6, 2009

Do be careful with the amount of weight you add. When I was a teenager, my Dad modified a panel van for me to use when traveling. He used real wood inside and unwittingly made it so heavy it kept blowing tires until we upgraded to higher load capacity ones. Must say, I've been unfazed at changing tires since then - so it was a good series of life-lessons.
posted by mightshould at 6:48 AM on April 6, 2009

Combine amtho and ceri's ideas. Cut off the last third of the roof and put in several palm trees, a hammock and some tikiana. Holy Rolling Trader Vic's.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:03 AM on April 6, 2009

Googling "RAGBRAI bus"* turns up some interesting school bus conversions: here's a few good pictures.

(*RAGBRAI is the Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa, and features a myriad of wacky buses on the road each summer)
posted by sararah at 7:06 AM on April 6, 2009

Mini Gun on the roof...think of the crazy door gunner in Full Metal Jacket.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:07 AM on April 6, 2009

A very small merry-go-round.

Or, a complete, authentic night club setup, including smoke machine.
posted by socratic at 7:13 AM on April 6, 2009

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test has some 'great' ideas on zany things to do with a bus.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:22 AM on April 6, 2009

Seconding the Pakistan-inspired decoration suggestion. They're flippin' gorgeous!

(Also, this might just be the most awesome AskMe I've ever read.)
posted by lysistrata at 7:36 AM on April 6, 2009

Rolling Homes
posted by jester69 at 7:55 AM on April 6, 2009

Would that it were I, I'd run it off SVO and use the exhaust as my preheater by wrapping the fuel supply line around the manifold.

But I'd also put air dams on it and/or air bag suspension so that my mileage would go up significantly.
posted by TomMelee at 7:57 AM on April 6, 2009

Put in a zip line to easily, and quickly, get from one end to the other.
posted by geekyguy at 8:28 AM on April 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I was watching John & Kate Plus 8 -- yes, *shudder*, but my wife had turned it on -- and a "fun bus" stopped at their house, which included tumbling mats, a ball pit, and a zip line. An adult version would, of course, turn into the Orgy Bus, but that's not all that bad an idea, either. For those of you above who mentioned ziplines and ballpits: I know you watched John and Kate Plus 8, and you're cowards for not admitting it.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:10 AM on April 6, 2009

Whatever you do, be sure to have a truly awesome and (if at all possible) punny name. Perhaps a nod to its previous life as a nun mobile?
posted by annaramma at 9:26 AM on April 6, 2009

All the fun ideas are appealing, but I'd set it up to live in and hit the road. You definitely need to paint it. The Pakistani buses are awesome, and Guatemalan chicken buses are cool, too.
posted by theora55 at 11:06 AM on April 6, 2009

There's a bus around here that's basically a mobile bounce house. You know, for kids. Stops at parties and at the weekly farmers' market. (I've always wondered if the ceiling is padded, though, because otherwise, ouch.)
posted by mudpuppie at 11:50 AM on April 6, 2009

Response by poster: Fantastic ideas so far! Too many to choose! Now I want to have a bouncy ball pit with zip line out to the patio that's painted wonderfully and with Moroccan rugs. And a merry-go-round. And palm trees.

And Lizzicide, the nuns sold it to me for the bargain price of $5000 (Australian), which is spectacular considering I was looking at regular tiny campervans for $4000.

As for punny names, so far I've come up with 'Back in the Habit' (although that's stealing blatantly from Sister Act), 'In-Habit-able', 'Living on a Prayer', or Sister Anne's Merry Adventure Wagon, since it was Sister Anne that sold it to me.
posted by twirlypen at 4:06 PM on April 6, 2009


That is all.
posted by eclectist at 4:53 PM on April 6, 2009

Practice space for "the band" -- have the roof hinged and hydraulically-actuated to fold open for an instant outdoor stage.
posted by LordSludge at 6:56 AM on April 7, 2009

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