I happened to notice an old air tank sitting in the weeds, and an idea formed instantly. The idea began to take shape after I asked what the plans were for the tank and the response was “It’s yours if you want it”. I snatched it up and began plotting the conversion into a useful addition to the bus. I had an idea of how I wanted it to work, so I went to work with a plasma cutter and welder. The girls loved watching (with proper safety equipment of course) as the sparks began to fly and my idea began to take shape.
Fabricating the grill shell was not very hard at all. It only took about 2 hours, part of which was fighting some settings on the welder. I came up with a plan for mounting the grill to the bus, it took some thinking but it worked out great. We wanted to have a good location for using the grill that would double as a storage location. The front bumper was the best choice, so I designed a hinge system using a couple pieces of pipe and some bracing. I didn’t have the steel for the braces, and I also lacked the material for the fire grate and cooking surface. I took the grill shell and the bus to a welding shop where they attached it and cut the grating to size for me. One of the pictures shows me painting the grill with high temp paint before I get it ready to cook on. I had to build one fire to burn the paint off of the fire grate, it is made from the same material our walk plank for pop-up access is made from.
Later that day we fired it back up and grilled some dogs and sausages, it worked great… I really put it to use when we made it back to East Tennessee. I cooked some pork chops, hot links, turkey burgers, and a bunch of chicken leg quarters. They all turned out great, we have a tendency to cook a lot of meat when we fire up the grill. We will refrigerate the leftovers and make several meals out of it. It really saves a lot of time and charcoal too.
It isn’t very often you see the front of a bus smoking and it is a good thing 🙂