Elvis Has Left the Building

Elvis is currently in my office, peering over my shoulder as I type. And sorry, but the lovely velvet rendition of the king that came with our Travco has already been claimed by friend. It’s not that I have anything against the king, it’s that I don’t have anything at all, no feelings one way or the other on Elvis. So he came out and will be going to someone who does have some feelings about the king.

Here’s an early image of the bus the way we got it (more or less) for reference:

The walls, ceiling and floor of the Travco are also coming out. Stripping them all has been a slow process in part because of the weather — it’s been murderously hot here for a couple of weeks. One day I came out of the bus dripping sweat and thought the outside temperature actually felt pretty pleasant. When I checked the thermometer it turned out to be 97 degrees F. Inside the bus is at least 15-20 degrees warmer.

It’s also been slow going because I’m trying to remove the walls relatively intact so I can use the pieces as templates for the new paneling. I still don’t know what to do for the ceiling, but a fellow Travco owner got in touch and offered up a bench seat and bunk system, which solves the thing I was dreading the most — building that from scratch without measurements to work from. One headache solved. Thanks Paul.

I also started cleaning up the exterior. With help of course.

Detailing a 27ft long 11ft tall vehicle is as time consuming as you’d think, but I think the results are worth it. The finish on this thing isn’t perfect, but it’s still pretty good, good enough that I doubt I’ll do anything beyond patching a few soft spots I found on the roof.

What’s impressed me the most about all this tear down is just how well this thing has held up.

With the exception of the furnace area beneath the sink there is almost no rotted wood. One piece by the door needs to be replaced, but that’s it. That’s pretty amazing for a 46-year-old vehicle. Of course there is a gaping hole in the floor under my sink due to a very poorly installed furnace that lacked any sealing and was obviously still leaking.

So I get to do a little subflooring and an interesting curved cut to match the contour of the side right next to the door.

Once that’s done the next step is to rework the wiring and install a solar setup. Then I can re-insulate and start the fun part — putting it all back together.


Please leave a reply:

All comments are moderated, so you won’t see it right away. And please remember Kurt Vonnegut's rule: “god damn it, you’ve got to be kind.” You can use Markdown or HTML to format your comments. The allowed tags are <b>, <i>, <em>, <strong>, <a>. To create a new paragraph hit return twice.