Wow - here I am, I've just created this blog, my first, ready to tell the story of Chantelle, our beautiful 1963 Bedford Marshall bus that is going to take us on some wonderful adventures. I'm going to write this for fun, for all those people whose eyes lit up when we told them about her, and for anyone else wanting to do the same thing, so we can share what we find out. And maybe because just because I'm so excited about the whole thing !

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Fit out plans

Every time we think about what we want in the bus, we realise how much there is to do.

We started with a floor plan of the bus, what we wanted in it, and how we wanted it laid out. Then we went onto some technical plans, elecrical, heating, water etc. Now, we've made a project plan, in some kind of priority order, and think realistically wont get it all done this year, so have to decide between "must have" and "would be nice". Its all a steep learning curve - we discovered from the DVLC, that children can't travel in the front of a vehicle that doesnt have belts fitted, so seats for the kids is the first priority.

We've booked mums front garden for a few weeks around Easter, to start the fit out work. This will be a crucial time, when we get to really inspect the bus for the first time, and work out how to put the paper plans into practice.

Electrical fit out

We think we've planned the electrics now - in essence, when driving, a battery of batteries will be charged up. When parked, if available, these can be further charged by the mains, or by solar and wind, once this is installed. Our overall consumption will be very low, so hopefully a good long drive will give us enough oumph for at least a weekend of camping. We think we need to power

  • lights
  • a couple of 12 volt sockets for mobile phone chargers etc
  • ignition for the heating and fridge, which will then be powered by gas
  • and when they work, the original bell, and automatic door opening

A sceptical friend thought we'd underspeced the requirements, till I convinced her I dont use a hairdryer/microwave/kettle in London, never mind camping ! We've got no plans for IT or TV provision at the moment.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Finding Chantelle a home

One of the biggest worries we've had is where to keep her. We live in a very compact victorian terrace, in a compact street, in a town with no space ! So there would be no way we could keep her here. Whenever we drive out of London we always marvel at all the spare space, which seems to just sit there. We tried loads of places to find parking, ideally hard-standing, less than an hour from London, and not too pricey. Initially we got very despondant, as there were no spaces at anywhere we tried, but finally got a call, to say there was some room in a place not too far away. Went out to visit on Saturday, and it would be fine, less than an hour away, and secure, and best of all, we'd be able to do a bit of work on her while she was parked up there, if necessary.

Good - another step closer.