A Most Awesome Eagle Bus-Conversion that is beyond your normal customization! - Luxury Coach Lifestyles
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:35 PM   #1
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Default A Most Awesome Eagle Bus-Conversion that is beyond your normal customization!

I recently discovered a beautiful fully custom Classic Eagle bus-conversion owned and converted by some great folks up in Rochester, NY. Lynn Allinger and Gary Stam created a wonderful master piece out a 1990 Eagle highway bus that had been used for a decade making runs between Los Angelas, CA and Mexico City, MX then coming off the road in 2000. When later the bus was acquired by I-44 Bus Sale Inc. whom gutted it, added dual slides and raised the roof making the bus ready for Lynn and Gary to unleash their extreme artistic talents onto it.

I coudn't resist asking Lynn if I could share about this beauty and of course she obliged, add she also told me that their wonderful Eagle will be featured on the HGTV show called: "You Live in What" this coming January 2013. We will definitely be on the look out for this wonder. I will keep everyone posted!

Please enjoy these pictures of Lynn and Gary's luxury Eagle coach. Their awesome business is full of artistic creations from them and many friends. You might even find a treasure you can't do without! Next time in Rochester, NY I will surely look these guys up.

For awesome art, please visit their website at: Craft Company No.6, American Artisan Jewelry, Gift and Decorative Accessories

Lynn and Gary's Eagle Bus - Early Stages
Gary's lifelong dream was to do a bus-conversion on a classic Eagle Bus probably because Willy Nelson had one and he thinks Willy is a pretty cool guy. We became RV'ers in the mid 80's. At that time we had a second craft gallery in Coconut Grove, Florida called American Details. We spent the winter months living in Florida but had a tough time finding a decent apartment that would accept dogs. Gary came up with the idea of getting an RV and living in that. At first I was horrified by the idea of living in an RV, but after we started looking at them it seemed like it might be fun. Over the years our RV's grew in size from our first small conversion van to a 45' 5th wheel with three slide-outs. That 5th Wheel that now resides happily with our friends in Melbourne, Florida. >>>>
We did lots of customizing to our last RV (the 5th wheel) and this really inspired Gary to want to due a big scale bus-conversion. He did lots of research on the Internet about where to find the right bus and who to use to do the initial steps that he couldn't do. He eventually decided on I-44Bus Sales, Inc. a company that sells empty bus shells for people who want to do their own bus-conversions. Eagle buses are no longer being made, but are very desirable among "bus nuts" like Gary.
Our bus was built in 1990 and traveled daily from Mexico City to Los Angeles. It was retired in 2000. I-44 Bus refurbished the bus to the point where Gary could take over. They raised the roof, put in a new engine, new exterior skin, 2 slide outs (shown at right), new stainless steel bottom and paint job.

Gary rented a wood shop in Bakersville, NC where we will live while working on the bus-conversion. This is a big project, similar to building a house, and Gary estimated it would take about 2 years since he wouldn't be working on it full time year round. Well we're now into year 3 and its still got quite a ways to go!

Here are some pictures of what the interior of the bus looked like when we picked it up. I love the "WATCH YOUR STEP" sign in both English and Spanish and want to find a way to work this into our finished design.

The first image to the right>>>> shows the empty shell looking toward the front.

The next image is looking to the rear of the bus. The bed will go on top of the slide-out mechanism and a closet will go across the back end. >>



<<<< The first steps in the bus-conversion were mostly tearing things out and working on things that didn't show like insulation, wiring and plumbing. After tearing out the insulation Gary painted the metal frame work with rust- proof paint. >>>>>>>>


<<<< This image shows some of the wiring and plumbing under the floor.



Gary replaced the old insulation with new and covered in that with plywood.>>>>>


<<<<<<This image shows the bus with its plywood cover. The blue tape marks and foam cut-outs are how we laid out our floor plan and divided off "rooms."
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:40 PM   #2
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This image shows the closet in the rear, now lined with cedar. >>>>



I had originally done a bus-conversion floor plan in Photo Shop that we used as a guide for marking off the the actual space on the floor of the bus. We have pretty much stuck to this original plan, but some changes are being made as we move along. We needed the plan to work well while the slide-outs are in as well as out. Remember that we will be using the bus with slide-outs in while driving and also if we park in some small spots.

<<<<This image shows the framing for part of the kitchen where the refrigerator will go. Gary built walls that will divide the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen.

Kitchen counter with cabinets above.
>>>>>>



The image below gives you a good idea of our kitchen layout.




<<<<<This is our bathroom layout viewed from the rear of the bus toward the front.

Gary took advantage of the good weather in Summer '05 to work on the bays under the floor of the bus. This is were the heater, waste storage tanks and that kind of stuff go. We will also have bays for storage and one will be an outdoor entertainment center.


The ceiling in the bus was a bit of a challenge because of the curves on the sides and the wiring and AC that needs to run down the center. We decided on American walnut for the interior paneling.


As you can see we are making progress and now have the refrigerator installed and lots of the paneling done. There's even a chair for all the visitors who stop in to check on our progress. Marge and Buddy Ray were very happy to see the chair arrive.




Tiling the bathroom area was where I got to contribute. I first did a design on the computer and then actually laid the tile. This was my first experience tiling and it was fun.

Those little white plastic spacers really helped to keep the tiles straight and grout lines even.


<This is our shower stall with a glass door. Details below.


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Old 12-20-2012, 09:41 PM   #3
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<<Next came tiling the top of the vanity. Here is Gary cutting a hole for the sink and the finished vanity top below. The sink is hammered copper.

Washer and dryer in closet.>>>>>>>>



<<Pull out pantry will go where you see plywood next to stove and microwave.




Here is the finished front console for the TV, DVD player, controls, etc. >>>>>>
Details below




<<<The ceiling over the kitchen and bath areas is press tin with a patina finish. The round wood pieces are AC air diffusers.
We are now at the really fun part of the bus-conversion project; the furniture and finishing details. Sticks™ the furniture and object art line that we carry at Craft Company will be doing the doors for the back closet headboard for the bed, closet doors in the bathroom and some living room furniture.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:52 PM   #4
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Lynn and Gary's Eagle Bus - Completed
Our converted Eagle bus motor coach was completed in the fall of 2006 and currently resides on our land in Bakersville, NC. We started living in the bus in January 2007. The stone patio was completed in the spring of '07. In the background you can see our current project, a guest cabin.















The panel on the door of the bus depicting the Eagle Bus logo and landmarks from New York to Florida welcomes visitors with the favorite Willie Nelson verse "On the Road Again."
The "Watch Your Step" sign, in Spanish and English, on the entry steps is original from when the bus ran its route from San Diego to Mexico.













As you walk up the steps into the bus is a panel with coat hooks inviting you to "Hang your hat and sit a spell". A small door in the panel opens for storage.





Under the driver's seat is another custom panel by Sticks to hide the base of the seat. The original driver's seat was reupholstered in distressed leather.
Diamond plate steel was used on the accelerator pedals. Note the cool ash rings that cover the steering wheel panel.

The image below shows the beautiful walnut dashboard cover that Gary made. The panel for all the controls is birdseye maple. Ash was used on the side walls and floor.

Rubber flooring was used on steps for durability. Note the small cabinet door in the image above under the dashboard, which is convenient for storing dog leashes, gloves, hats, etc.

This is the main living area of the bus. Over the windshield is the entertainment center with TV and stereo. The windshield curtain can be rolled up tight when on the road.

When let down, the windshield curtain, made from Marimekko fabric, depicting tree tops.

The ceiling really speaks for Gary's woodworking talents. Wiring and air-conditioning ducts run down the center. The round disks and holes are vents for the air-conditioning.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:53 PM   #5
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The leather sleeper sofa is in the front slideout with the dining booth. When the bus is on the road the slide out moves into the room.
Lynn's purse hangs on the horse head hook, handmade by ceramic artist, Dana Major Kanovitz.












This image shows how the living room transitions into the dining area and kitchen. Custom Sticks is used in many areas of the main living area of the motor coach including the dining booth with chandelier, tray hanging on the wall, cowboy lamp, half round table with lamp, corner seat, ottoman and set of tripod stacking tables.
The half round table with matching custom table lamp above was made to a custom size and wall mounted to fit over a wall heater. Among the many things at which Sticks excels is upholstery. Take note of the AMAZING stitched and painted detail on the leather corner seat and ottoman.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:54 PM   #6
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The custom table top with matching chandelier and tray were made by Sticks. The hooks to hold the tray were made by Gary. By the way, Gary, a woodworker and graduate of RIT, did the entire renovation and all the woodworking including the amazing booth seats shown here. Under each seat is a drawer for extra storage. The back of the booth seat next to the sofa flips down to make a handy sofa side table.
Kitchen countertop, sink and appliances are stainless steel with aqua glass tiles for the backsplash.
The microwave is wall mounted over the DeLonghi stove hood.
The rooster, pig and goat pewter door pulls and stag head salt and pepper shakers are handmade by Sylvie Goldmark.
Pressed tin (shown right) is used for the ceiling in the kitchen area and booth slide-out.
Next to the stove is a pull-out pantry with pull-out trash and recycling bins underneath.
Across the aisle, next to the refrigerator is a pantry cupboard.
Ash was used for the floors in the living room and bedroom and ceramic tile on a diagonal in the kitchen and bathroom.

The door with Sticks panel is the door to the commode. When open, as shown above left, it makes the rear bedroom and bathroom private from the front.
The image to the right shows the same hallway with the door closed.

Now, please step to the rear of the bus!

The amazing Sticks custom closet doors with matching header and bed headboard are the focal points of this room. The king sized bed fits into the rear slide-out (pop out on the bus) so everything for the headboard area was custom made by Sticks using Gary's templates to fit in this area.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:55 PM   #7
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The closet doors were made to be a trompe l'oeil painting of what you might see
while driving down the road and looking out the rear of the bus. We requested landscapes
depicting mountains, farmland, desert, lakes and tropical palms.

Note how the closet doors work with the bed and desk area.

The bed headboard area was a real challenge to get to fit properly. But Gary and Sticks skilled woodworkers figured it out. When the bus is on the road this area slides into the bus.
It is so cool to lay in bed and look at the amazing details of this headboard area.

The branch with two carved birds give great dimension to the bed header.

A small but important detail: a drawer on each side of the bed in the slide-out.
Ceiling in the bedroom is ash and floor is walnut, the reverse of the front.

Desk lamp and chair made to match the closet doors and bed headboard.


Bedroom storage details: Shelf under window lifts for jewelry and makeup storage.
Under the bed is a giant drawer for bedding.

Across from the foot of the bed is a TV and Raven Tata wall mirror.
Sliding doors close off the bedroom from the bathroom and front of the motor coach.

Bathroom vanity and shower on right of hallway. Tiled shower with seamless glass door.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:57 PM   #8
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Bathroom Vanity with copper sink.

Fish and fisherman towel bar and from door pulls by Sylvie Goldmark.

Bathroom hallway. A custom Sticks plaque that was a gift from a special friend when we started the bus project.

Closet doors and door with mirror to commode.

Closet doors open to reveal stacking washer and dryer on one side and clothes closet on the other. The door with Sticks panel goes to commode.
Sticks panel in door to commode shown closed and open.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:59 PM   #9
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Inside small room for commode which contains a closet for vacuum, ironing board, robes, etc.
The closet is behind the refridgerator.

Custom mirror by woodworker friend Leo Doyle. Dog heads holding towel bar are Harry and Sally.

Ernie wants you to remember, "Home is where the dog is."

Marge, Bob, Buddy Ray and Dixie Belle all have their favorite spots to nap.
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Old 12-20-2012, 11:40 PM   #10
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OMG! This is a truly amazing Eagle conversion. I'm a little bit jeolous..
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Old 12-21-2012, 05:52 AM   #11
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This is a super nice motorcoach and I really look forward to seeing it on the hgtv show. Thank you for giving us a peak at it. I would love to have a Newell equipped like this.
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Old 12-21-2012, 03:28 PM   #12
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WOW! that is a gorgeous bus conversion!! The details, woodwork, furniture, paintings, art you name it - all magnificent! You can see the hard work they put into making this coach superb! When I see bus conversions like this one I can't help but smile.
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Old 12-21-2012, 04:54 PM   #13
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Beautifully done!
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:05 PM   #14
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The ceilings are very cool! Every part of it really is full of detail. Lovely coach!
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Old 12-22-2012, 05:30 PM   #15
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this coach is stunning. it's custom! they did an amazing conversion. i look forward to seeing it on hgtv.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:10 PM   #16
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Gorgeous coach! That fridge is HUGE! The bathroom vanity with the copper sink is just my style and the pulls are super cute. I dream of redoing our Newell coach into something like this. Then I quickly snap out of it and tell myself I don't need all this fancy pants stuff. However, I enjoy viewing others beautiful work and this coach sure does shine with hard work and unique craftsmanship. It deserves to be featured on HGTV!
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