How to Get Your Coaster Bus All Up To Code

Do you own an old coaster bus or something similar?

Check out the modifications we did on this coaster bus to get it all up to code.

We’ve got an old coaster bus that was brought in. You have to be very wary when you buy these things. If it does have gas on it and you want to do any modifications, like change your hotplates or look at a fridge or anything like that, if you don’t have a gas badge or a compliance certificate, then we’ve got to bring it up to the standards now that have come in. They’re a lot safer and everything so well better for you. But it’s just something to think about. We’ll show you what’s going on with this one.

The Job

This coaster that was brought in is an old bus. The owner said when they turned the hot water system on, water started pouring out. So what she was thinking of doing is to remove the old storage hot water system. Then she can have that cupboard back under the bed. And then they just want to hang a Joolca temporary on the side and then be able to hook it up with some quick connect fittings and also put a bayonet on there.

So we’ve just gone underneath and had a look at the hot water system situation. Just looks like the hot and cold line have been joined up together. And when we looked at the back of the coaster as well, the hot water system looks like it hasn’t been connected for a long time. It’s all rusted and the hot and cold are just opened in the area.

Gas Issues

We’ve also looked at other things like the gas stove. It has got no flame failure device. That means if the wind ever blows it out, the gas will just keep continually flowing. So it’s very important to have those. There’s no way that we’ll be sleeping in a camper without a flame failure device. If something does happen and something sparks, you know you’re done sort of thing. So we can’t really hook that stove up.

We’ve gone over the whole camper just to try and look if there was a plate, like a completion and compliance plate, there was nothing there. We can’t find anything that’s been done by a gas fitter back in the day or anything like that. It’s very important if you want to buy a camper or anything like that, just ask the person if it has a gas compliance notice. Otherwise it has to be brought up to today’s standards with vents and flame failure devices and all that sort of stuff along with it. They’re all good things and they make it a lot safer, but you need to have them. You can’t do any other gas work on it until it does. That might be changing over stoves, cutting vents on the side of your van and things like that. So to do any work, the stove has to be disconnected.

Fridge Issues

We’ve looked at the fridge as well, and it’s meant to be a sealed appliance. That means there’s no fume or anything that can come into the caravan when you’re sleeping. We’ve had a look, there’s a massive gap along the top and the bottom of the fridge, so those fumes can come out if they do. We also can’t see any isolation valve for it. It must be underneath there, someone says.

And same with the hot water system, there was no isolation valve. Even the stove has no isolation valve. Back in the days, they’ve never done it. So we can’t hook the fridge back up because it’s just not legal. If someone’s driving across Nullarbor and they go to sleep on a cold night and the fridge is burning away, they could go to sleep and never wake up. And then we’re reliable for that.

Now this is serious stuff. There was a guy up in Wedge Islands, Lancelin. A terrible story. A guy was asleep with his dog and his kid in a tent and they had one of these outdoor fridges in a tent. It burned up all the oxygen and they died of carbon monoxide poisoning, all three of them. So this is real. It’s not made up stuff that they’re super worried about. This stuff happens and it’s devastating for people. So it’s very important to keep it safe.


What we’ve suggested is just to run a new gas line. Even the gas bottles are not bolted down or strapped down or anything. It’s got a flexible hose going off it. So we’ll put a new gas regulator in, run it to the other side, put a gas bayonet in for for the Joolca that she can hook onto. And then try and get the water coming out the side, so it’s just easy, quick release too and she can use a shower and stuff inside. And then may put an extra bayonet for a marine barbecue if they want to put that or a little cooker in the future if she wants to cook inside. Because we just can’t hook that one up inside now while it’s unsafe.


A quick rundown on what we did. We just disconnected the hotplates. We’ve cut out the line to the gas fridge as well because the fumes could get into the cabin, so that’s not cool. So that’s all disconnected now. So really, the only thing that we’ve got on gas were just these couple of bayonets down here. We’ve just run a whole new gas main. We’ve welded the T. So any vibration’s not going to come loose or anything like that, which is great. Originally the gas line came out of the bottom of the gas locker. So we’ve made that come out the side a little bit higher up, less rock damage and stuff and then tucked it all up underneath.

Hot Water System

The hot and cold line were joined together underneath. Now, the owner said that she lit the hot water system, but no hot water came out. We thought she just recently bought this because she told me that she did. She found the hot water tank. So she lit it up and got it going, but no water. The water wasn’t getting hot. But when we looked under the bed, it wasn’t even connected. So she had that flame going inside an empty tank heating up. You imagine what that would’ve done to the foam and everything, if she left it on there.

All they did with the hot and cold water underneath was they just joined them up so they just looped. So we’ve cut that and then brought them out the side here. As you can see, we’ve got the hot and cold main and two bayonets coming out here. She’s going to get one of those Joolca brackets to hook on it. We’ve got the short 1.5 meter hose, so if she wants to put it up a bit higher, she can do that. So then you just hook that on to the gas. You can either plug it in the bayonet first, or hook it onto the hot water system first. Either way, it’s going to be the same. No gas will leak out.

Shower Outside

Now we’ve got these lines that we make up. There’s just a pipe fitting from Bunnings, 8mm, and then we’ve got the other fitting that feeds this one. The pump’s on at the moment, so as soon as we plug this in, it’ll start pumping the water out. So now we’ve got the cold there. But if we did it on the hot side, nothing would happen. So, all we have to do is grab the shower here for the Joolca. It’s got that magnetic base on it here, that little clip. So you can pop it on the side as long as there’s not much bog on the side of the camper.

We plugged it into the hot side. Then we’ll plug this into the Joolca onto the cold line. As soon as we plug that in, it’ll start pumping the water through and you’ll see it start coming out of the shower. And this is starting to heat up. She’s lit up and then you just got to adjust the flow on it. So you can slow the water down, heat it up to get it to 42 where you normally shower at. So you can shower out there. It’s got a nice temperature now. So quick and easy to do. And that’s just pumping water from the tank.


Now if we want to have water at the kitchen sink or the shower inside, then all we’ve got to do is unplug the cold again, so it stops the water pumping through it. Take off the hot main to the shower. We’ve got a second one of these made up. So that’ll just pump onto the hot underneath and also to the hot into the camper. As soon as we plug this back in, it’ll start pumping through and then you’ll have hot water as soon as you turn the kitchen sink on inside.

We’ll take you inside, turn the kitchen sink on, and you can see it start working now. So we got the cold tap on, it’s all fine with a good pump. And then turn the hot on and that’ll pump out the air in that and that’ll start getting hot too. And you slow the water down, you can get it up to 50 degrees easy. So now you’ve got hot water at the kitchen sink just by having that little hot water system hanging on the side. This is come hot now. That’s great. So, not too long.

Now we’ve got the shower inside. We were testing it out, but that was just leaking. They’ll have to replace that. It’s probably one of those things that you can enjoy to have an old van in all these old parts with O-rings and stuff.

Gas Side

Now this is the old bottle that she had. That doesn’t fit the new regulations, so we’ve just got my little one on there at the moment. But we’ll just be taking this one out and then put hers back in there and she’s just got to get a new bottle. See this has a safety valve on it, so when you open it up, it’s really good. And then that’s the new head that she needs. So this will still take all your old fittings through here, but this is a heaps safer with this one.

So this is what it looks like when it’s got the nine kilograms, it’s got a strap that goes around here and also a strap that sort of tied down either side, so down a bit. And when you snug them up there, she can’t go up or down or anything because it’s got to take the force. Four time its weight sort of thing. They need to take 68 kilos. So yeah, they’re all good.

Badges and Labels

Got the gas badge, very important. That’s done. Gas locker sticker warning not to put any batteries in here. And then all the stuff on the outside for the fireys so they know there’s LPG in here. And then this is all the checks and stuff you need to do. It’s all the information about that you need to have. And we also put a new aluminium vent on here on the door so it’s all legit now, which is good.


So if you’re looking at getting maybe a hot water system, if you’ve got a coaster bus or camper or motorhome that doesn’t have a hot water system, this is a good option just to whack something on the side. And then if it does pack up in two or three years time, you can chuck it, put a new one, and you’re not sort of stuck with this thing that’s installed in your van. And also you can suck water from creeks and stuff, which is very handy. We’ve got other videos about that.

So if you want something like this done, yeah, just call your local gas plumber and he should be able to sort it out for you. But if you live in Perth, then give us a call and we’ll be happy to help you out.