🎶 I want it...i want it...i want it...too much the Magic Bus 🎶
...Every time I get in our rolling magnificence of adventure fun I hear The Who belting out that tune in my head! 🚐 🎼
I mean really, what would living in the dog friendly, outdoor activity paradise of Asheville NC be without a "magic bus" to transport us and our pups? Plus, with our logo plastered all over the back courtesy of Asheville Fastsigns, it's a great mobile advertisement for 3B's Inn. Owning an Inn doesn't allow a lot of vacation time but we've made a couple short trips since we set up the van this past fall . We always carry plenty of flyers and business cards and have been spotted (even recognized) as far away as Florida!
** Warning Tech Blogging Ahead (I may run on a bit 😉) **
Our project started with a Ram Promaster cargo van that we converted for work & pleasure. For those unfamiliar, the Promaster is pretty much a front wheel drive cargo version of a Sprinter type RV van. Our problem with Sprinters, aside from cost, is layout. The factory builds them with so much stuff that it feels cramped. There's no ability or room for cargo, let alone us and two large dogs! 3B's Inn Bed Breakfast & Biscuits is always a work in progress, and we need to haul lumber, firewood and groceries, as well as lawn mowers and 4wheelers when we're not "playing" in the Magic Bus. So in between other ongoing projects at the Inn, Ann and I took on this as another DIY and Here's what we came up with...
Starting with basic insulation in the walls and paneling over that.
Adding an unfinished cabinet that we stained and mounted for storage and as a bulkhead for electrical components, carbon monoxide detector, indoor/outdoor thermometer etc.
Here's the cabinet mounted. There's wall lighting and under cabinet lighting over a 3 foot long table that locks to the wall when folded down.
Next came the bed. Full size built over a framework that can be completely removed from the van by removing 4 quick release knobs. With the bed out and table down we're pretty much back to cargo van in a flash.
Under the bed is a large storage area accessed through the back doors. Plenty of room for folded dog crates, a large cooler and anything else we might want to bring. It's also where we set up our aux. battery, AC power inverter and fuse panel. For additional storage and things like kayaks there's cargo roof racks too.
For the comfort and safety of our pups if we leave them unattended in the van, we had BRAV in Fairview NC install a 12 inch, 10 speed, rainproof, roof fan. We can program the desired temperature and the fan turns itself on and off automatically whether the van's running or not. Pretty slick!
While some may have other priorities and needs, we were more interested in a multi use, open floorpan vehicle. Comfort for us and the dogs, while driving around town or from one Hotel/VRBO to the next, with NO serious intentions of doing any real "living" in a van but...it's really well equipped for a couple nights if we're feeling adventurous.