Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bus Design

Why we chose this design
When I set out to design our new bus/RV, I was in need of capacity, because I have a large family, 8 of us then 10 of us now. I needed beds to sleep all of us and seats to sit in while we traveled. Places for kids and parents to have some peace and quiet, and some privacy also. I need storage, with that many people living in the bus we would allot of clothes, shoes, tools, toys, books and FOOD!
 (When I say live, initially, I thought of it as a vacation, then a summer, and then I realized it could be full time.)  It all had to be orderly and neat.
 Everything had to have its proper place, and everyone needs their own spot or place or room. The other thing that was a must for me was I had to be able to “walk".
 I cannot stand to have things constantly under my feet. As you can see I was facing a very large challenge and I think our bus has met that challenge, and it has proven to be very comfortable to travel and live in. 
Each item was painstakingly thought of in its design and function, and most things have multiple functions. I also feel that the hand of providence was upon the design and the outcome. Because as the process went on and needs became evident the design of it all allowed the addition to fit perfectly.
 I hope you will enjoy your bus as much as we have enjoyed ours. Your needs can be different than ours, we encourage you to sit down and make a list, be realistic about your needs, then listen to your heart while building your bus, and make changes in design where needed. 
We offer other programs which can assist you in your custom designs. 
Welcome to peace and Safety.  

Wes & Dee Gordon Family

Reasons for a bugging out.

Bugging out means to be able to move away from your current location very quickly, often under fire, because your position has been compromised. This bus gives you the means to be able to do so.

There may be many reasons you may want to "bug out". 

 From life threatening situations such as, warnatural or economic disasters or 
maybe for personal reasons such as a much needed family vacation, or a way to spend time together in a secluded location a w a y from the TV and video games, bonding relationships through precious time spent together.

 This bus allows you to do both, it allows you to flee to Safety, whatever the danger may be, and be comfortable for an indefinite amount of time. 

It is named "THE ARK" for this reason. Being able to safely preserve your family and loved ones, by offering shelter, food and comfort while the world falls to pieces.  

Not quite as big as Noah's ark, but large enough to meet your needs and wants.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Preparing & Designing The Ark

Our awesome blue bird bus named "The Ark"  Services we Offer

This very dependable bus is 39'6" in length. It has a Cummings turbo charged diesel 5.9 engine and an Alison automatic transmission. It averages 10-14 miles per gallon. It has under belly storage, and is built like a tank. It is extremely capable of fulfilling whatever desires you have in an RV/ bug out vehicle. We use implement (tractor) paint with added hardener, which has been holding up great. On this side of the bus you can notice the wood stove pipe, the water heater door painted to match water tank filling point along with a pressurized water hook up point. also the 2 belly cargo boxes, the black and grey water tanks behind them. Behind the rear wheels is a large propane tank, the diesel fueling point and an 50 gal accessory tank for gasoline for the generator with an electric fuel pump which can be used to fill other things such as chain saws and motorcycle's

Master bedroom
A great view of the master bedroom looking forward to the front of the bus. Resting on the comfortable full size queen bed you can notice the shelves on the left for books and folded clothes. The A/C of which half of it blows into the master bedroom all night keeping you nice and cool while you sleep, while the other half blows toward the 4 bunks. The smaller shelves on the right are used for organizing shoes and provide a nice cubby to empty your pockets at night. Next to that there is a large closet for hanging your clothes which will accept full length dresses keeping them clean and wrinkle free. And last but not least don't forget the locking bedroom door for some privacy.

Single seat
This seat sits in front of the wood stove. Before the wood stove was there it used to be another dinette and bed or a sofa. The table top doubled as an counter top to extend the sink counter, great for large piles of dishes. Now this expandable counter top is going to be used as a cutting board also that rest nicely in the sink basin covering the sink making extra counter space there when it is in place. This is my son’s favorite place to ride in his car seat when we travel. All the kitchen seats have seat belts.
Top of Form
Bottom of Form

Kitchen dinette which turns into a full size bed, with large storage area underneath the seats

The BIG garage
This has been wonderful. Its 6'6" deep and 8' wide and can hold an enormous amount of totes and stuff. My plan is to add another very large fresh water tank inside of this heated area. It has great access from the rear door and from the front of the master bed room through a sliding door
The back door
This is the second exit in the bus. Which is great to have in an emergency? Also it gives you a peek at the large storage bay underneath the bed. another thing I like about this door being right by my bed is I have fast access to combat the "enemies" whatever they may be, outside in the middle of the night. or to just enjoy a shot of cool fresh air while you’re sleeping.

Overhead cabinets in master bedroom
This picture shows the large cabinets over the bed in the master bedroom. they were built to be as large as they can without you hitting your head at night while lying down and sitting up. They will hold a large amount of essential items you will need while living or bugging out in the bus. And like everything else on the bus they have been made bomb proof out of solid hickory and Baltic birch plywood. Also it provided a great spot for 2 reading lights.
Storage bays
These bays are tough and large; they come with a rubber floor and 2 heavy duty doors with locks. The red 7 drawer tool chest is permanently mounted and will not fall out or slide around and provides quick and easy access to your tools. A 5 gallon bucket fits perfectly in side and 2 of them fit nicely behind the tool box utilizing all available space. A great place for the sewage hose with built in divider. I am able to keep allot of firewood on hand and it can be piled 2 stacks deep once again utilizing all available space. As you can see the uses for these boxes are endless. There is a matching pair on the other side of the bus. The boxes have rubber gaskets to keep out dirt and dust while traveling.

Master bed and the nursery
Roomy enough here for a full size queen mattress and a toddler size mattress also, with space in between them. If you did not need the nursery this area could be used for a dresser drawers or storage or you could flip the mattress sideways to have extra room in the front of the bed room for something else. Also you could have made the closet that much bigger. But we enjoy the cross breeze provided by the opposing windows
Bunk beds and master bedroom door

These bunk beds are full length at 6'3" the will sleep adults, or in our experience 2 or 3 happy kids and a dog. They also are built out of solid hickory and Baltic birch plywood and will easily hold even the largest of men. They have a lovely book shelf at the head which you will NOT hit your head on, with a reading light. And a larger shelf at the foot which will hold a weeks’ worth of folded clothes and shoes for the occupant. The shelves all have a 2 inch lip on them so things like iPods won’t fall off. Speaking of iPods, each bunk has its own 110a/c and 12 volt power supply, to keep the kids charged up. There is a rail along the top of each bunk that is for a track to hold a privacy curtain, which we are debating to install, on our bus. Underneath the 2 bottom bunks is storage, which we use for food, blankets and the power inverter. It’s hard to see in the picture but the foot shelf can be used for a ladder to get to the top bunk, and has been designed for and tested by a 250 lb man.
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
bunk beds with a shot of the forward sliding door to the garage
Top of Form
Bottom of Form

Washing machine
This spot is ready to receive the full size front loading washing machine. After which an upper cabinet will be built in place hiding the back wall and providing more storage. There is a pedestal built to raise the machine and also house the heater core and 2 powerful fans which heats the rear of the bus while driving.

Looking from inside the bathroom  
The bathroom is 36x60 
The Pantry. If you’re going to live in a bus in a bug out situation or boon docking for long periods of time, you are going to need to store and have access to allot of food. This pantry will help in that area and it will make accessing the food easy. As you can see there is plenty of room in there and it’s built strong so go ahead and load it up. In the future there is going to be a spice rack on the inside of the door, which will hold a large amount of spices. After some quick math it looks like you can hold 162 cans of food on the middle shelf alone! And don't forget you still have all those cabinets up front, under the bunk beds, the 3 dinette seats, 10 large full extension drawers, and the large garage. That should last you awhile

 Super strong drawers with full extension drawer glides. Ready to hold allot of weight, or be used as a ladder for little boys

It works awesome heating the entire bus with ease, so far the coldest night was 9 degrees . There is also plans for a coil of copper mounted on the tile wall to be used as a way to heat water. 
Top of Form
Bottom of Form

5 things to consider for surviving a bug out situation.

Five things to consider for surviving a bug out situation.

#1 safety

I believe our bug out bus named “The ARK " is the best insurance available, for you and your family, against natural disasters, economic and governmental collapse, loss of home, or a medical pandemic. 

It gives you the ability to flee to safety from harm’s way. It could be used for a 72 hr. escape or could even become a permanent year round home, even being able to ride out the hardest winters.
 Like the saying “If ye are prepared ye shall not fear". The greatest peace of all comes from being prepared. 
The best money was spent on the best design, for the safest bus ever made, for our greatest resource, our children. Have you ever seen an R.V. in an accident?  It looks like a pile of wood and insulation sitting on the side of the road. 
Have you ever seen a school bus in an accident; it looks like, well, a school bus. 
There is no comparison between the two. Having the ability to support you and your loved ones at all times is important. It is also prudent in today’s uncertain times the best place to place your money is in the ability to always be able to provide shelter and food for your loved ones, thus the need for . . . the bug out bus.

#2 Shelter

This brings us to the topic of shelter during a bug out event. No one knows what time of year a disaster  will happen, nor do they know how long it will last.  It seems reasonable that you should be prepared for anything, whether it is a warm summer day or a below zero night in the dead of winter. Which proves to be a challenge for the best bug out shelters let alone a bug out vehicle, to add to this challenge is the ability to be able to stay out indefinitely. This may all sound over whelming, but we have found our bus meets this challenge. With its cast iron wood stove and its soon to be solar and wind power, its large battery bank and its large multi-fuel supply, it is capable of providing you shelter in any climate. With it being just less than 40 feet long it has ample room for you and your family and all of your supplies.

#3 Mobility.

Another problem with bugging out is having your supplies with you when you need them. With the bus parked next to your house it will always be ready to go and you are able to keep a close eye on it. Unlike your house far away in the woods, where it is vulnerable to theft and vandalism.  Since it is a super R.V., you take it with you when you travel. So if disaster strikes while you’re at Disneyland with your wife and kids, you’re ready to go.Your stuff is not buried in some hill a thousand miles away. Being able to adapt and overcome is priceless in an emergency situation. Not being bound to one location or limiting yourself to one chance of survival, truly gives you freedom and independence. Being able to move to a safe location, dependent upon the situation, instead of a permanent guess is key. We all know there is strength in numbers and you cannot be a one man army (unless you are John Rambo). Being mobile allows you to travel in groups of people of one heart and one mind, while being able to be flexible in your destinations with each other. If one area becomes hostile you could go to another, or even move with the seasons, or move to advance your positions of offense or defense against your enemy. You could take your bus to go and rescue grandma while on your way. With a 1400 mile range between fill ups you could cover a lot of ground without stopping. It’s really hard to do all those things with a bunker buried in a hill some place you figured would be safe only to find out it wasn't. 

#4 Multipurpose

  My family spent 5 months on the road living in "The Ark" it traveled 22,000 miles up and down the east coast then out to the west coast while on a U.S. history tour for my home schooled children. Now that was a field trip! The bus was very comfortable and very capable.  We averaged 12miles per gallon. That's as good as our suburban! If your wife or significant other is not into prepping, build her an awesome "R.V.", like I did. Then take her and the kids and go travel and camp, spend time with each other, without fear, knowing you’re prepared for just about anything. Our bus is also a fueling station, with a 50 gallon tank just for chainsaws and motorcycles. Or filling up the Honda Civic. The bus can also be a great place to have the in-laws stay when they come to visit, or you could stay in the bus when they come to visit. It could be your new full time home, being capable of living totally off grid using only the sun, wind, wood and veggie oil to power, drive and heat the bus. Wait, all those things are free!  The point is you can enjoy your bus now. If you have to move to a new location, say for work, you can take all your preps with you. You don't have to leave them behind buried in the dirt. Some of you may be saying that bus is too big it cannot maneuver well enough to travel down the mountain road or down the long dirt roads in the desert. That's what they were designed for. (That reminds me of an adventure my wife had in the bus being lost in the backwoods of West Virgina at 4 am, but that's another story). Anyways, anybody that has lived in rural America has seen the routes these buses have made every day come rain or shine. Not everybody cancels school when it snows. As you can see its one heck of a machine.

#5 Comfort
The last thing I want to talk about is comfort. There is nothing more soothing to a person than being warm, comfortable and full of food during a “disaster”. When it seems the world is collapsing all around you, your family, your wife and children won’t be soaking wet from a leaking and flooded tent, they won’t be shivering uncontrollably with the wind howling and the temperature well below zero, making it hard for your furnace in your motor home to keep up or perhaps the propane just ran out, nor will there tummies be growling for some hot and tasty home cooked foods. They also will not be sick because of exhaustion, because of lack of sleep, because of the cold hard ground and wet and dirty sleeping bags, but they will be warm, dry, comfortable and safe, eating a hot cooked meal, enjoying the flicker of the flames coming from the wood stove and their own soft dry and comfortable beds. These things will become priceless to you, if and when your world collapses. Having your bug out bus will prove to be one of the wisest decisions you have ever made. Remember, food, warmth, comfort, and mobility will soothe the troubled soul like nothing else will, except, of course, your spirituality, but even then you will be cold wet and hungry. Be prepared!

For more info and complete list of items in the bus along with pictures and stories go to...