Bus Conversion: Day 1 – Seat Removal

When we adopted Hugo, he weighed 14,500lbs. He weighed a lot less after we were finished with Day 1 of the bus conversion.

Step 1: To remove the 5 rows of seats, one of us had to climb under the bus to hold the nut while the other person loosened the bolt from above. Guess who got the short end of the stick?

Lil used a 1/2″ 6-point box end wrench for holding the nut. Inside the bus, Big used an electric impact gun for the easy bolts. When he needed more leverage for the tougher bolts, Big used a long-handled ratchet with 1/2″ socket.

A few of the bolts were very rusted and wouldn’t budge despite hitting it with WD-40. There was no room under the bus to use the impact gun on the nut side. As a last resort, Big’s dad used a small drill bit to to drill all the way through the corroded bolts.

Step 2: We realized we had to unscrew 2 latches per seat cushion to get to 2 more bolts holding the metal seat frame to the walls of the bus.

Step 3: Once the seats were out, we tackled removing the 2 cushions separating the driver’s area from the back of the bus.

Step 4: We marveled at how much space we had now that seats are out of the picture (literally and figuratively). We have SO many ideas but limited by space, time, and a finite budget – challenge accepted!

Step 5: We were going to assess the cushions after wolfing down lunch to see if anything was salvageable, but Mother Nature happened. I guess we’ll have to take a look once the snow melts! Anything not reusable will hopefully be sold for scraps.

Stage 1: Seat Removal, complete!

Since we got this as a gift, we made use of tools readily available to us, and working on it is a labor of love, our liabilities remain $0. This will quickly change once we start purchasing supplies for the build process and insuring it once it’s ready for the road.

Here’s a quick list Big and I put together of items and estimated costs

Leave it to the accountant in the relationship to calculate our break-even point <3 We roughly estimate spending $5,000 on the build, so we will have to use Hugo 56 days (or 28 weekends) to recover the cost of conversion. We are still figuring out wants vs. needs and can hopefully whittle this cost down (a lot).

The real question is, how do we turn this liability into an asset? We’d love to see your suggestions below!

If you haven’t read how we got a hold of Hugo, check out this post! As always, feel free to check us out on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. We will also have weekly updates of Hugo’s conversion on YouTube with a new episode launching every Friday starting this week (see our first vlog post below) – subscribe to our channel to stay tuned 🙂


Peace and love,

Lil & Big

4 Replies to “Bus Conversion: Day 1 – Seat Removal

  1. Good work guys. We’re doing a bus conversion too so it’s cool to watch your progress. Looking forward to watching your videos.

    1. Thanks so much for reading! We love meeting new skoolie friends. Where in the conversion are you guys? And where can we follow along? 🙂

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