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 VW bus food truck

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a.mckenna

  • Total Posts: 53
  • Joined: 2/13/2013
  • Location: Seattle, WA
VW bus food truck Sat, 03/9/13 11:24 AM (permalink)
And now, for something completely different.
 
Anyone ever converted a bus into a fully functional food truck? In T-minus 4 days I will be able to post pictures and am about to start a really odd project. Gonna start dumping photos on this thread. I figure showing pictures of the process start to finish might inspire some people.
 
The gist of the build is as follows:
 
Already got the bus, 1969 bus with a 03 Toyota echo front end stuffed in the rear. Essentially you have two front ends, no joke you can hook up a steering wheel to the rear and do a complete 360 in the thing. Obviously that is gonna be disabled as it is highly dangerous, I mean what happens if the steering lock comes apart at 75 mph? Epic fail.
 
So, we got a surfer wagon, we got a Japanese engine, only fit to name this one Ninja Surfer.
 
Will be building out a 4ft high fiberglass cap on the top to increase headroom to around 7-8ft in the front, about 6 1/2 ft where the engine is in the rear.
 
Gonna stuff a 4ft deli case in the thing with a side opening that once open exposes the deli case, and above that a small hot case. Beyond that we will be putting in 2 electric 25 cup rice cookers, 3 compartment dish sink, separate hand sink, a bit of counter space. Pretty minimalist build, but the menu is focused on Hawaiian Poke, go google it and you will understand.
 
Most examples of bus conversions you will find are the flip top style where the entire roof opens to one side and creates a open air food cart. Being this cart is going to be operated in the soggy Northwest, I elected to go a little more ambitious and put a full cap on the bus.
 
Got a 6500KW onan generator going in it as well, will be mounted above the drivers seat. That part will make sense as things progress and more pictures are posted,
 
Exterior appearance? Gonna be having a local comic book artist do a super sized comic strip on the cap involving a ninja, a surfboard, a large wave, and a large fish popping out of the water and being sliced in half by said ninja. All the art will be black and white save the innards of the fish, a homage to the freshness of the product being served.
 
The bus itself we will follow the original two tone paint scheme. Bottom half will be black, top half white.
 
Stay tuned, this one should make for a fun progression series.
 
#1
    Adjudicator

    • Total Posts: 5057
    • Joined: 5/20/2003
    • Location: Tallahassee, FL
    Re:VW bus food truck Sat, 03/9/13 12:02 PM (permalink)
    KOOL!  Pics needed! 
     
    #2
      roadkillgrill

      • Total Posts: 174
      • Joined: 8/1/2009
      • Location: Helena, AR
      Re:VW bus food truck Sat, 03/9/13 12:12 PM (permalink)
      I saw one many years ago that had been all hippiefied out.. Can you say ..flashback...lol 
      It was a permanent setup complete with a vintage awning, landscaping, and a very nice patio area. They cooked out the side door (basically cart style), close the door and go home. The back door opened to a closet compartment for storage. The cab was for show only. I THINK I remember that they installed doors on the drivers side to insert the sink area. 
      Best of luck 
       
      #3
        Noodles on the Loose

        • Total Posts: 57
        • Joined: 5/13/2011
        • Location: Wasilla, AK
        Re:VW bus food truck Sat, 03/9/13 12:22 PM (permalink)
        Looking forward to seeing it.  I'm sure pics will help, but trying to wrap my head around mounting the generator ABOVE the drivers seat???
         
        #4
          a.mckenna

          • Total Posts: 53
          • Joined: 2/13/2013
          • Location: Seattle, WA
          Re:VW bus food truck Sat, 03/9/13 12:51 PM (permalink)
          Yup, above.
           
          The bus has a existing canvas pop top, pretty much all those pop tops end at the cab area. Above the drivers seat is just steel roof. Being that I am capping the entire top in fiberglass, the existing steel roof will create a nice platform, turn that portion into a box inside the box and you have a perfect spot for a generator. Rubber boot the thing to reduce vibration and presto, you got a nicely hidden generator. Where else do you put a large generator in a small bus?
           
          It will make sense when I start posting pictures, and dismantle the top, you will be able to clearly see what I mean about the "platform."
           
          #5
            jcheese

            • Total Posts: 739
            • Joined: 3/5/2011
            • Location: Fieldale, VA
            Re:VW bus food truck Sat, 03/9/13 3:47 PM (permalink)
            I used to live in one, so I guess you could work outta one.
             
            #6
              daddywoofdawg

              • Total Posts: 299
              • Joined: 2/23/2011
              • Location: Starkweather, ND
              Re:VW bus food truck Mon, 03/11/13 8:58 AM (permalink)
              Das ninja surfer. your in the NW why no paint it like a killer whale?(my german spelling isn't good)
               
              #7
                a.mckenna

                • Total Posts: 53
                • Joined: 2/13/2013
                • Location: Seattle, WA
                Re:VW bus food truck Mon, 03/11/13 12:58 PM (permalink)
                Because it's a Japanese engine in a surfer bus?
                 
                Ninja surfer is way more catchy anyways.
                 

                 
                Link to the page of the local artist who will be doing the work.
                 
                #8
                  thenoob

                  • Total Posts: 98
                  • Joined: 5/17/2008
                  • Location: Vancouver, WA
                  Re:VW bus food truck Mon, 03/11/13 7:42 PM (permalink)
                  I own the burger bus in vancouver its a 72 that i completely gutted and customized over a year.  It was an incredible build that was a one off, had to design it on the fly because obviously had nothing to by.  we built it ourselves as I dont really have faith in trades people
                   
                  http://www.google.ca/sear...i=mms-Ue77GuH4yAH4yoBg
                   
                  #9
                    a.mckenna

                    • Total Posts: 53
                    • Joined: 2/13/2013
                    • Location: Seattle, WA
                    Re:VW bus food truck Mon, 03/11/13 10:08 PM (permalink)
                    Yea, seen pictures of it.
                     
                    That is a good example of how most people convert a VW bus. Good comparison to how I am going to convert this one.
                     
                    #10
                      a.mckenna

                      • Total Posts: 53
                      • Joined: 2/13/2013
                      • Location: Seattle, WA
                      Re:VW bus food truck Fri, 03/15/13 12:39 AM (permalink)
                      Pictures inbound! Picking up the bus tomorrow, will get some pictures of the thing before I start to work on it.
                       
                      #11
                        daddywoofdawg

                        • Total Posts: 299
                        • Joined: 2/23/2011
                        • Location: Starkweather, ND
                        Re:VW bus food truck Fri, 03/15/13 10:24 PM (permalink)
                        holey cr@p! $11.00 for a burger!
                         
                        #12
                          FriedClamFanatic

                          • Total Posts: 1496
                          • Joined: 7/14/2008
                          • Location: west chester, PA
                          Re:VW bus food truck Sat, 03/16/13 4:20 PM (permalink)
                          thenoob


                          I own the burger bus in vancouver its a 72 that i completely gutted and customized over a year.  It was an incredible build that was a one off, had to design it on the fly because obviously had nothing to by.  we built it ourselves as I dont really have faith in trades people

                          http://www.google.ca/sear...i=mms-Ue77GuH4yAH4yoBg

                          Wow..really nice page! Lot of interesting photos and some luscious burgers!
                           
                          #13
                            a.mckenna

                            • Total Posts: 53
                            • Joined: 2/13/2013
                            • Location: Seattle, WA
                            Re:VW bus food truck Sun, 03/17/13 1:24 PM (permalink)
                            Size restrictions for pictures on this forum kinda suck. Opened a Photobucket page.
                             
                            First pictures of the bus are up, just got a bath.
                             
                            http://s1341.beta.photobu...ja-Surfer-Bus/profile/
                             
                            #14
                              Dr of BBQ

                              • Total Posts: 3716
                              • Joined: 10/11/2004
                              • Location: Springfield, IL
                              • Roadfood Insider
                              Re:VW bus food truck Sun, 03/17/13 5:50 PM (permalink)
                              daddywoofdawg
                              holey cr@p! $11.00 for a burger!

                               
                               
                              My thought exactly.
                               
                              #15
                                EatEli

                                • Total Posts: 8
                                • Joined: 3/12/2013
                                • Location: Vancouver, BC, XX
                                Re:VW bus food truck Sun, 03/17/13 6:04 PM (permalink)
                                thenoob


                                I own the burger bus in vancouver its a 72 that i completely gutted and customized over a year.  It was an incredible build that was a one off, had to design it on the fly because obviously had nothing to by.  we built it ourselves as I dont really have faith in trades people


                                 
                                 
                                I've seen the Burger Bus parked downtown. It looks awesome!! Great work on that!
                                 
                                #16
                                  DWags541

                                  • Total Posts: 174
                                  • Joined: 2/25/2012
                                  • Location: Eugene, OR
                                  Re:VW bus food truck Wed, 05/1/13 7:16 PM (permalink)
                                  There is one here in Eugene. It was converted before he got ahold of it.
                                   
                                  https://www.facebook.com/GastroNomad?fref=ts
                                   
                                  #17
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