Our friends at Transformation Projects recently purchased a 40′ long school bus to use as a production vehicle for their events company. 40′ is a lot of space, what are a bunch of sauna enthusiasts going to do with it all? Build a mobile sauna, of course!
The vehicle (1984 Thomas) was formerly owned by our own George Rahi, who camperized it with the help of some Danish friends and took it on a tour of the USA including stops in New Orleans and Burning Man in Nevada. The new owners Adrian Sinclair and Andrea Curtis renovated the interior while keeping the kitchenette, and decided 8′ of the rear of the bus would become their new sauna. The sauna area would also convert to seats with seatbelts when the bus is being used for transportation.
Adrian and Andrea moved the big red bus out to a horse farm in Tsawwassen where we set up shop for the conversion. By the end of April the old bunk beds were out and we started working on the new interior. The design features 2-tier, u-shaped benches for seating, and included the full-width bus windows on both sides of the sauna. The arched roof of the bus was also maintained and is one of the sauna’s most attractive features. Our welder Nathyn at Gropps’ studio put together the stove with exhaust manifold improvements from our previous stove design. With our rollout deadline approaching we managed to complete all the major work in time to bring the bus up to Hollyhock on Cortes Island for the SCI in early June 2014 with a dozen or so friends along for the ride.
The inaugural trip was a big learning experience for the owners, both for the bus and the sauna. Although there’s more detail work to be done, the issues were worked out and the bus continued to heat up events during the rest of the year, including a trip to Merritt for Basscoast in July, and more trips to Cortes and other gulf islands. The new bus was featured in a newspaper article syndicated across the country. The proud owners Adrian and Andrea are happy with the sauna and continue to use the bus for event production and mobile sauna rentals around BC.