Its been over a month since the last bus update and even though the cold weather and the holidays have slowed down progress we still got a lot done. I am anxious to do more and finish more. Some big projects that didn't happen this fall will have to wait until the weather is warmer. We hoped to paint the bus and get the solar up already but we didn't. Its just too cold to paint right now and we are waiting to get the solar and electrical in before we do the insulation and ceiling in the inside. To be honest with you I need to get something big done soon because I feel like I'm losing momentum. Winter is a downer for me and the slower progress on the bus is bumming me out a bit. If we got something big done I think it would invigorate me, and I need it.
The kitchen area of the bus is pretty much the same as last month. I re-sanded and re-primed the cabinet frames because I felt like the primer wasn't adhering well. We are going to paint the cabinets yellow, Valspar's Morning Sunrise to be exact, and I want that paint to stick. I am second guessing the decision to do Mexican tile on the stove side of the kitchen but don't have any great ideas, do you? I want it to go with the butcher block on the other side and go with the yellow cabinets, let me know if you have any ideas for me. Moving on to the "living room", we did some of the pallet wood on the walls which looks really cool. The couch has been pallet wooded too and the the hinged storage that will go under the cushions is installed. I also put in seat belts for the kids that go down and bolt to the frame of the bus. I ordered longer belts than are used in normal cars so I would have the length to do this. Fun Fact: The only people that need to be belted in an RV are the driver and front passenger. I just had a problem with the kids floating all over the bus so I'm going to strap them down.
We made the most progress, this month, in the bathroom, all the plumbing is finished! We also got the drain installed in our stock tank tub. The drain lines are mostly in for all the plumbing too but since we have not installed the grey tanks yet the drains just go under the bus right now. The shower valve and the hot water heater are also in but our propane tank is not so we can not test it yet. We got two walls up in the bathroom as well and now you can't see all the way from the front to the back of the bus, it's kinda crazy. We had been trying to figure out what to put on the walls around the tub and kept going back and forth between this kinda ugly, but functional, plastic wall panels and corrugated metal. At a trip to my most hated store ever, Home Depot, we found pvc wainscoting and decided that would be cool and we will just wall paper the top of the walls. The awesome part is that Lowe's sells it too, my choice for bus supplies, and so I didn't have to make a purchase at HD, YES! I also built the composting toilet! I'm pretty proud of it and would like to do a couple more things to it to really check it off the list but its there and you can use it, bring your own coconut coir because I haven't bought any yet. I will make a whole blog post all about my diy toilet. I'm pretty proud of myself
We installed some pallet wood at the bottom bunk and installed hinges and lift support, strut thingys so that the kids can lift there mattresses to access the storage underneath. Ida's bunk has a pretty spacious toy box and Jackson's has some nice sized compartments perfect for his Pokemon card collection. We also put up some of the finished material that we will wallpaper over in the bunks. They are really coming together. Edie's bed still has some work but hopefully I will get to that real soon. I did manage to get almost all the vertical window trim up and that has made everything look more finished.
One of the bigger things we did was we took out the rear flasher lights and sealed up the holes with sheet metal. I pulled out all the wiring that went with those and we are going to reuse the big piece of metal that was there to close off the back and then build a cabinet in front of it. I painted the metal white which looks so much better than the weird putty tan color the bus was painted. We need to get some screws and it should go up in a flash. Pun intended. We are going to turn the front flashers into spot lights as soon as we figure out how. Hopefully Nick's friend Travis who will help us with a lot of the electrical will know. We also built a long skinny box that will act as a storage headboard for the master bedroom. The bus is wider than a queen mattress so we built a box to fill the void and have some fun plans to finish it off using some metal from some old Coleman coolers that we have had for a million years but don't cool much anymore. I can't wait to show you when it's finished.
Nick just brought home a bunch more pallets and I hope to get outside today to disassemble them. We are using more pallet wood then I thought we would. I'm so glad they are free but it is time consuming to take them apart, de-nail them, sand, and seal them. It will be worth it in the end, the ones we have up so far look awesome. We have way more time then we do money for the bus at this point so free is for me!
Wow, now that I have type this all out maybe we have been more productive than I thought. I'm feeling a lot better now than when I started writing this blog. It's such a crazy experience now that we are in it then this time last year when we were just dreaming it. I am so encouraged by not only our progress but all the people who ask me about the bus and everyone who reads my blog. Every week it seems to gain more readers and I hope we are bringing value to your life. Life is all about the journey, our journey, your journey and I love when we can share our experiences with each other.
I hope you had a wonderful holiday with your family and that the new year is everything you hope for. We are heading into the new year with hope, happiness, and excitement as our journey continues. Our new year's resolutions include finishing the bus, preparing for a life on the road, looking for new ways to benefit others while on our adventures, and to learn more about our country so we can truly benefit the most from our travels. We can't wait to bring you along on our journey! Peace, happy holidays, and happy new year!