We have a whole lotta love for the Sled Zeppelin
We love motorhomes at Motor1.com, and we especially love crazy projects that turn something ordinary into an extraordinary machine. The black dog you see in the video above could be the most comprehensive custom build we've ever seen, and we mean comprehensive in every sense of the word. Believe it or not, this rig cleverly named Sled Zeppelin started life as a normal Blue Bird school bus.
It's even better than that though. According to the above video from Sled USA, hardcore snowmobiler Ryan Phillips bought this 1990 Blue Bird bus for just $500. It was used by a local school district and had only 23,000 miles, so its bones were in great shape. If you struggle to see any resemblance to a school bus, that's because it was completely cut up and stripped to the frame, with just the front clip and the swing-out school bus door remaining. But wait, there's so much more.
The idea was to build not just a cool motorhome, but one with a sizable garage that could carry snowmobiles, fuel, parts, and all the gear to enjoy epic rides. The full-size Blue Bird frame simply wasn't long enough, so a tandem-axle setup from a Freightliner rig was welded into place. That added 10 feet and an extra axle to the bus, resulting in a heated and ventilated 16-foot garage at the Zeppelin's rear. It's accessible either through the front or by a massive folding rear ramp, and yes, beneath the garage floor is a 100-gallon fuel cell devoted strictly to gassing up the toys.
As you've guessed by now, pretty much the entire project was custom-built, including the walls and raised roof. Even the old Blue Bird dash was ripped out and rebuilt with aluminum. A loft over the cab features a large bed, with a second master bedroom further back. In between is a living room that grows thanks to a three-foot slide-out wall, and the kitchen has everything including a large sink. The bathroom is also complete with a stand-up shower, toilet, and sink.
Power comes from a 12-volt battery system, though an on-board generator and shore power hookups are also available. 600 watts of solar can provide off-grid power, and with the Sled Zeppelin's custom nature, all the electrics are custom as well. Speaking of which, the Blue Bird's stock 5.9-liter Cummins diesel was a bit underpowered when all was said and done, so a larger turbo was added along with water-methanol injection and a custom intercooler that sticks out Mad Max style at the front of the bus. Suffice it to say, power is no longer a problem.
We're fairly certain this project went far beyond the initial $500 purchase price of the bus. A total build cost wasn't mentioned in the video, but for anyone who loves playing in the outdoors with snowmobiles, ATVs, or other such toys we're not sure there's a better stairway to motorized heaven than the Sled Zeppelin.