Since things are rolling with the conversion of the bus I wanted to start "official" blogs to keep everyone updated on the progress. Some weeks are slow on visible progress because some jobs take so much longer than expected with way more trips to Lowes than I would like. Some weeks we are surprised at all we complete and are fueled by the progress. Hopefully by the end of this week we will paint the bus, which is so exciting! I am so used to staring at the large yellow thing in the driveway that looking at a large green thing will be crazy. Yes, green! We were so inspired by the beautiful green from our Vermont plates that we ran with it and got a green to match. It will also be nice to complement nature when we travel rather than compete with it by painting the bus hot pink or neon orange. We will post photos of that as soon as it gets going. If you follow the bus on Instagram or Facebook it's the best way to get our great bus conversion photos especially since Nick got a new camera for his birthday and LOVES using it!
I posted a blog a while back that gave a brief overview of where we were with the bus at that time and hope to catch everyone up now. We completed so much since the last update that I might have to do this blog in two parts! I'll start with the front. The bus door is now one piece like a house door and will be easier to lock now since the locking mechanism with the bi-fold door didn't work for us. We like it this way so much better as it gives us a better seal around the door and more safety. Quite a few people had done this before so I picked what I liked best from them and went with it. We will eventually finish the inside of it with wood to match the rest of the bus too. Skoolie.net is such a great resource along with the Facebook group Skoolie Nation. I am so grateful for these fellow skoolies to have their knowledge and experience. Moving into the entry way of the bus not much had changed but we did fit a little bookcase from our house in so that we may eventually use it for shoes and keys and such. Right now it is the perfect dumping spot for tools and hardware and other building stuff. It is important for us to put as much stuff from our sticks and bricks house into our tiny house on wheels.
The kitchen cabinets are in but far from complete as they will be painted a groovy yellow. We scored free cabinets from the local Facebook yard sale site and have customized them and primed them. The one side of the kitchen has a butcher block counter from a table that I picked up for $10. I refinished it and it looks so good! I'm super happy with how it came out. I used the cut-out from the sink to make a cutting board that we can use as a sink cover too. The stove side of the kitchen will have Mexican tiles. I am super stoked to be able to use Mexican tiles, it's a happy accident because when we changed the floor plan, yet again, we didn't have enough butcher block so we had to create with another option. I've always loved Mexican tiles and think it will fit so well with everything else we plan for the bus. I scored the sink and the stove off a yard sale site on Facebook and with a bit of elbow grease and some heat tolerant spray paint they both look new. We got the partitions on either side of the fridge up and eventually finished with pallet wood.
The frame work for our L-shaped couch is in and that's about all that's done in the living room other than some of the window trim but now that the seat belts have arrived and the plumbing is almost done we can do more there soon. Speaking of plumbing, the fresh tanks are in are located under the master bed, the water pump and accumulator are at the bottom of a small closet in the master bedroom which will store some of our hanging clothes and jackets. The plumbing travels past the kids' bunks and into the bathroom where it is waiting for our tank-less hot water heater to arrive. We got a great deal but its definitely coming on the slow boat because if feels like FOREVER since I ordered it, and I'm also extremely impatient. We have a small shower with a little feeding trough tub, I'm building a composting toilet (I will make an entire post on that adventure for sure!) and I scored this sweet little corner sink from, you guessed it, Facebook yard sale with the facet and drain pipes attached for $50. I think it came out of a doctor's office, it's pretty cool.
We bulit a small closet which will house all the solar equipment and stuff next to the bathroom. There is nothing there now other than a big piece of plywood waiting to hang the solar equipment on. One thing that we did was to cut 1/4" plywood to fit the windows we weren't using and paint them black. We inserted these in the windows and insulated before putting stuff there. This happens behind the fridge, in the solar closet, a half window in the bathroom and in the kids' bunks. Jackson and Ida will be in bunks on the one side of the bus with storage under their beds for toys and such. Edie will be in a loft bed on the other side with drawers under it. This will store all our clothes and have additional basement-like storage behind it. We already had under bed drawers in our house under Jackson's bed so we found another unit on FB yard sale and now we have nine drawers. I hope this will be plenty of room for all five of our clothes.
The master bedroom is in the back over the engine, the bed is raised to the level of the windows so we have a substantial amount room under it for the fresh water tanks and other storage. Other than build the platform we haven't completed much else back there. We did put the water inlet in outside the bus which comes in the bus back on the master bed room under the bed. We did just create a cool storage solution for our bedroom but you will have to wait because that's going to be a surprise.
We cleaned the outside of the bus and de-vinyled it, we have also installed two roof vents with fans. I also removed all the emblems, flasher visors and reflectors in preparation to paint the bus green. Nick already painted the roof with special roof paint that will hopefully help with keeping us at our ideal temperature inside.
We have completed so much but have a long way to go. We love sharing our progress with all of you and love all the comments, advice and feedback. Once we are all finished we look forward to sharing our travels and new adventures as a full-time traveling family. Please keep sharing with us by commenting on the blog and on social media and of course when we see you in person. If you are in the neighborhood stop on by and we will give you a bus tour. You all are part of the journey too!