The last update was in February and then I kinda fell off the blog-wagon for a while as I was/am overwhelmed with all we have going on. The bus has changed so much and so has everything else. When you last heard from the Nomadic Doula and family we were busy getting a lot of interior things done on the bus. Walls were getting covered in pallet wood. The kitchen counters had been installed and all the windows had been trimmed. The bathroom door had been painted a jazzy yellow and we put some finished wood up in the bathroom and kids' bunks. Many of the bus's systems were unstarted or unfinshed and we hadn't gotten around to listing our house for sale yet.
So, so, so much has been done and is happening, let me fill you in.
THE SOLAR PANELS HAVE BEEN INSTALLED! I had to yell that because it it so exciting to be generating power from the sun! We put 800 watts of solar on the roof or 8, 100 watt panels. We purchased a whole package deal from Renogy and are happy with its proformance so far. We were advised by Renogy to buy an inverter that ended up not being what we needed. So more money later we bought the right one and sold the old one. There are three, 12 volt, 200ah batteries in our battery bank and some other components like a charger, breaker box, fuse block. We still have a bit of work to do with wiring and getting the AC & DC to play nice together. We have some great help from our friend Travis though and our new friend Neil who owns a company called Diversified Vehicle Services and guess what they do? Specialty vehicle conversions! He has given us a ton of great info and some great deals on some stuff for our eletrical system, including the new inverter. Travis came over last week to layout the system and tell me what I needed to still buy and he's coming back to help us get it all going. I'm so excited because the electrical system is the only system not installed. Once that is in we can live on the bus!
Over the past month I installed both the propane system, the grey tanks and drain system. I spent many days under the bus getting that all sussed out and now it is done! We installed a 12.2 gallon horizontal RV propane tank under the bus and it fit so perfectly bolted to the frame. I couldn't have asked for a better fit. We also installed a door in the skirt of the bus to access everything. It looks pretty sweet. We also installed two grey tanks for a total of 92 gallons under the bus, we used the Super Strut system and it worked great! I found out about this way of mounting from a YouTuber named DIYSkoolie and his video made sense to me so I went with it and was really happy how it turned out. I installed the dump valve and the inlets with the use of Uniseals and was pretty impressed with them. It's really great to get that all in and gets us one step closer to living on the bus.
Speaking of living on the bus, our house is under contract so we need to get moving on finishing the bus. We close on the house at the end of June so thats less than two months to get everything else done but we are pretty close. At this point it is easier to tell you what we haven't done which is amazing. The ceiling insulation and tongue and groove finish material needs to go in after all the wiring is complete. The flooring needs to go in, which I image will go pretty quickly because there isn't much floor space. We are going to go with a wood-look vinyl plank flooring in a grey-ish, driftwood color. When that floor goes in you know we are going to be pulling out of this driveway soon! I have to make screens and curtains for all the windows but that will probably happen this summer before we leave Jersey while we are parked on our friend's land. We also have to paint the bus which can also wait until summer too. Our priority is getting the bus livable.
We are so excited for the progress. The kitchen cabinets came out amazing and the work in the drivers area worked out better than expected. The bathroom is definitely on of the best things on the bus so far. I had a vision and it came out so much better than I could have dreamed. The wallpaper was so much fun to do and it adds so much color! I just love it! The wall paper in the kid's bunks is so fun and I finished off the bookshelf in Edie's bunk with cute little doors so she can hide her stuff from her brother and sister. I'm working on a big canvas book holder to hang in Ida's bunk for her books as well. We also have ordered custom cushions for our couch and they are on their way. It's all falling into place!
We are continuing to meet people and tell our story and almost everyone is so excited for us. We keep getting invited to stay on people's land and farms and that is so great! We love making these connections. The universe and Paulie are pointing us in the right direction and letting us know that we are doing exactly what we should be doing right now. I love this journey and look forward to what comes next.
To see many more pictures of our progress follow us on Instagram @nomadicdoula and @livetowanderbus