March 2018

I never thought it would take years to convert this bus. However, I never thought I’d end up converting it myself, so.
I cannot constantly focus on the bus. I have kids and a husband, friends and responsibilities. I am sometimes lucky if I can make one cut, or install one piece of wood a day. Sometimes I do nothing on the bus at all. Then I have days when the planets and stars align just perfectly and I can complete 11 projects at once. It is all about balance, people. 😂

The good news is, I can see the end. I’m no longer overwhelmed by the list. I made it over the hill and finally, my list of accomplishments is now longer than the list of things left.

I ordered the majority of my off grid electrical components last week. Soon, this bus will be useable while underway, or over night or three in the middle of nowhere. We did not order solar panels just yet. We decided to invest more heavily in our battery bank instead. We are going with 16 180Ah Lithium Ion batteries. This system is going to be monsterous. I’m pretty pleased.

The construction of the interior is going well. I’m kinda stalled out because the next thing is the bathroom. I would like to raise a section of the roof to accommodate taller showerers. However that is still just a bit intimidating to me so I’m putting it off a while longer. We have access to showers usually so it isn’t that big of a deal. I am also having issues with our bus seat. I originally bought them to go on the starboard side, however I changed the layout and now I need them on the port side. I’m considering just installing seatbelts on the couch and that will have to be fine. It is just so hard for me to justify having a bus seat in here when we only drive occasionally. We shall see. Now here are some photos, because I know that’s why you really come here. Although Instagram is probably your best bet for that. This place will be more for my in depth thoughts on this whole adventure. Hop on over to Instagram and check out the pretty photos there. @4carrsinabus


(Short) Update #5

Hey guys! It’s been over a year! We all know how much can change in a year right? Well, we still live in our bus and I (Meagan) have taken over the build entirely. We are not traveling yet, we are completely stationary while I work towards getting the bus completed. Traveling while converting just wasn’t something I wanted to do. This will be a smaller broad scale update and then I think I’m going to start blogging more regularly now. Let’s go ahead and show you what the bus looks like now!

I still have so far to go, but I have made satisfying progress this year. Within the next few months big things will be happening to this bus including paint, lots of finish work, and…… SOLAR! We are finally ready to order the parts and install our photovoltaic system.. I cannot adequately describe our excitement.

Also, I did create an Instagram account for the bus and if you want daily updates and snippets, you can follow me @4carrsinabus!

Continue reading “(Short) Update #5”

Update 4


I am really glad I started this blog. Whenever I sit down to write I always go back and read my last post first so I can get a scope for what all I need to include…THINGS HAVE CHANGED SO MUCH. Spencer went back to work….for two different employers. His normal work hours are from 8 am to 10 pm with a small half hour break between jobs. He did this for many reasons. He wants more padding in our bank account before we take off on our aventures. Just in case. He doesn’t have the patience to sit and study for hours and hours and hours and hours on end like I do. Consequently….I was constantly telling him what to do. Bleh. Meanwhile, I am not productive at all when he’s around. It has always been this way in regard to housework and projects and activities. when my husband is around I don’t want to do anything except hang out with him……and no it doesn’t count if we are working. So the bus was going nowhere. Now he is back at work and I have taken over the bus building. I have a love/hate relationship with this situation. I mean, I’m a nut so I basically wish he was here to help me work all the time and then when he is we don’t work at all. 😂 If we do, I get irritated with his lack of information quickly….. So now I just do it all by myself.

I haven’t accomplished a whole helluva lot, because kids and no experience whatsoever….but here is what I’ve been up to.

We went to a Skoolie gathering and met a bunch of really awesome other bus dwellers. In preparation, we had to get our seats installed. So first I built a wall. I did this for a few reasons. I wanted to separate the passenger riding area from the house area. In case of an accident anything that comes flying forward will be stopped by the wall. It will give me a shelf area on one side and a cool spot for a wall decal on the other.

Before I could insulate and cover the other side, I had to box in the wheel well. honestly, that was trickier than the wall…but I finally got it done. I used 2x2s to make the frame, faced it with 1/2 inch ply, and used a pack of this green fiber insulation that we got for odd places. You just stuff it in..

I don’t have a photo of it finished, but I just put ply over this, and then we installed a bus seat with seat belts for the kiddos’ carseats. I did insulate and cover the wall, but I left the top open so I can run wire for a receptacle.

Then we went to the skoolie gathering and it was AH-MAZING. I found my motivation there. Really. It was so much fun. The people were great, their busses were fantastic, and the whole thing was very life-affirming. Someone said, ‘We arrived as online aquaintances, and left as family.’ I got so many ideas and so much inspiration by hanging out in all the different busses. I was given an excellent tutorial/safety lesson on my new table saw by an experienced carpenter. At one point I found myself sitting on an outdoor carpet, listening to drums and didjeridus…I was grinning from ear to ear. I couldn’t stop smiling and I just felt so at peace with everything. I know we made the right decision. Our lives have been so much more fun and eventful and fulfilling since we ditched the stick and brick and moved into the bus. Yes, parts of this life are hard, but we are adapting with ease and things are only going to get easier.

After the party was over….it wasn’t. We followed some new friends back to their campground and stayed another night out. They are park hosting at Whitney Lake and it was actually kind of on our way home. It was a  very pretty place. There was also a park right behind our campsite. BONUS!

Upon our arrival back home, we discovered our fresh and gray water tanks had arrived! I didn’t waste any time getting the fresh tank in place..I had to modify our bed platform and that sucked, but only because 3/4 inch plywood is HEAVY. So is my bed. The gray tank is going in our basement, and I have begun making room for it down there, but I haven’t put it in yet.

I made and installed some screens for the bus. THE FLIES! I hate them so much. It is becoming a slow simmering lake of lava hatred…….I want them all to leave me alone! There are sooooo many. My neeeeeiiighbor is a horse. I don’t mind her in the slightest….but the flies.

Weeks after installing the screens….I still have flies. I don’t even know what to do about that.

Also at some point, (no idea when exactly I did this….I think it was before the gathering.) I put one of the roof hatch trim pieces back in the bus. I cleaned and painted it first…….


I’m trying to install some type of weather stripping to go around the whole thing, because my ceiling depth changed and these don’t quite sit where they used to…when it is installed you can see those gaps…

So right after the tank thing, my knee became inoperable for a few days……now I realize it was me lifting the plywood and the bed alone that caused the strain…so I had to sit down for awhile and it sucked. I could only handle it for about a day and then I found a small scale project that I could do…….I put in a windowsill next to my bed. We have painted the bottom portion of most of our windows. This one I added insulation to and put the tongue and groove pine siding on it. I made a template of all the nooks and crannies of my window and with a few weird cuts and a moderate amount of sanding……

It’s not a huge project and it doesn’t make a huge visual difference, unless you know specifically to look over there, but this little piece of work really gave me the confidence I needed to proceed with the rest of the bus. I love that windowsill. Seriously. There is something so satisfying about climbing BACK into bed with my mug of coffee and setting it there.

So, the next few days I spent prepping an area on the left side of the bus for cabinets. I had to finish applying my thermal break and insulation and I had to put in studs to attach the plywood to. I had to figure out where they were going and take measurements…..I got very overwhelmed very quickly and sought the assistance of a man that is an expert at building cabinets. His bus is called The Calypso and you should most definitely check it out on Facebook, because it’s a freaking masterpiece. He graciously offered to assist me and drew up some plans after I told him what I wanted and planned to do. They were spot on and absolutely perfect.


The first day I did the toe kick and the rest of the platform. I am using my blue stain pine for the toe kick and 3/4 inch plywood for the rest. My buddy Andy came over and helped me do the platform install and I love him dearly for it. I almost gave him a heart attack or two, but all ended well. 🙂

The next day I put together my face frame. First I cut the tongue and groove off of each side. Then I ripped each piece down to 1 1/2 inch strips. I cut each piece to the length needed with my table saw…..(love that miter gauge!) I used wood glue and a pocket hole jig to attach all of the pieces together. I really enjoy the kreg jig….


Deez bee de tools I used.

So then I brought the frame inside the bus and made some marks to show where to put my plywood bulkheads. I laid it down flat and marked just the front. I used a big framing square thing to make a straight line from that point all the way to the back. It had to be perfectly perpendicular to the frame and they had to be perfectly parallel to each other. More pocket holes and glue and a firm grip and the bulkheads were in.

To get the face frame in place, I used glue and finishing nails. I attached one top corner and then the other top corner. From there it was super simple to get it all glued and nailed down.

I did have a screw up and I suggest making sure your plywood bulkheads are scribed to the back wall properly. Do not ever assume anything is square or straight….. This mistake will haunt me forever. The fix is ugly, although you’ll never see it. I can’t really describe how I fixed it, I just recommend you don’t make this mistake in the first place…..if you do, email me and I’ll do my best to explain it to you.


I also fixed a buck of leaks in our roof. I had to do some sanding and I used job weld because I have tried everything else and this is what a welder friend told me to do……BTW his Bus is called Transcendence and he has a YouTube series about his build. It is amazing. He is a very talented metalworker. I really enjoy watching his videos. I don’t have any photos of my roof work, but it’s just boring patchwork so no biggie. Now, the rain is here and will be for several days so I am taking some time to re-organize the bus and rest my sore muscles. I am devising a game plan for plumbing and waiting on drawer glides (soft-close!) to arrive in the mail. Hopefully within the next 4 days the rain will clear, and I can get back out and cut all the pieces for my drawers. I can’t wait!



Potty break!

I never thought a toilet would excite me. That was before I spent two months without a fully functioning one. I’ve actually been grateful that one kiddo is still in diapers…I won’t go into the details of what we’ve been doing, but I will say that it involved going to town a lot and an occasional impromptu trip to the grass. Our toilet is a Nature’s Head self contained composting toilet. We chose ours because it negates a black tank from our bus equation. Also, it doesn’t need any water, so our fresh water will last SO much longer since we don’t have to use it to flush; which is better for the environment anyway.


The installation was something we thought would be tricky because we have seen suggestions for hiring a handyman to do it if you don’t feel confident. We don’t feel confident in about 85% of our build and we are handling all that, so we did our own. Confession time: We used our toilet without installing it first. Like, a lot and for a while. We stopped a few weeks ago though, because the toilet doesn’t work properly if it isn’t installed. We were having issues with all the things you’d be horrified about. Smell, bugs, and once even leakage. It was terrible. I Googled my butt off and realized that the ventilation is more important than I’d originally thought. You’re probably thinking, “Just install it, what are you waiting for?” Well, we didn’t know where we were going to put it. I am about the most indecisive person I know. I have had quite a few floor plans that I just knew were perfect,  and I’ve decided against every one. It’s actually working for us to live in it while we build for this reason specifically. I’m getting the opportunity to really see and feel where I NEED things, not where I thought I wanted them. Originally, the bathroom was basically at the foot of the bed. In the very back of the bus…now, it is right behind the drivers seat. See? Things change. Finally though, my mind is made up and we set out to install the toilet.

First we read the intruction manual…..again. For the 15th time. Then we watched a few YouTube videos. Then we went to bed.

The next morning, before I even had coffee brewing, Spencer is marking holes and measuring windows and the floor. He went under, drilled a hole and was just a bit off. Now, here’s where I get to brag and someone else can make fun of me. I absolutely suck with numbers. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I measured for his new hole and relayed the measurements and for once, they were really good. I even took a picture.


The off center hole is his approximation of where he needed to drill and the actual centered hole is what he did when I told him where to go.

This hole is for the vent hose. He used a hole saw and cut out a perfect hole for the PVC pipe to drop through. Eventually, our gray water tank will vent up through this hole and our toilet will ‘T’ off from it.


I don’t have a photo of underneath but he connected the vent hose to a 6 inch piece of PVC that sticks out of the bottom. He siliconed around it because bugs and put some window screen around the bottom of the vent pipe also because bugs. This was all relatively easy. I assume it’s the next part that requires a handyman for some folks. Most people have to wire this toilet in with their house or purchase an adapter for the wall outlet. We don’t have either one available so my lovely husband wired two 6V batteries in series to make one 12V battery. 20161011_075542

I’m not sure how long this will power the toilet for, but it should be awhile. The fan is so tiny. That’s all this is for. A tiny little fan that blows stinky air out through the pipe.


So there you have it. The toilet is installed and I am so relieved…now we can build the bathroom walls….

Update 3

Hello to those of you who read this blog…all 2 of you.. 😊 it’s been awhile because blogging requires more of me than I originally thought. At the time of the last update we had (most of) a subfloor in. We were also still living half in our apartment. That was the end of July…now it is October 2ND and we live in the bus full time. We have since August 1. I can’t believe it’s been two months already. The bus is slow progress. I thought we would work on it every single day before we bought it, but I forget life has a way of distracting you and changing every so often..we’ve traveled a slight bit..mainly staying on friends and families property. Ft. Worth isn’t very skoolie friendly, so we were booted from there shortly after we got settled in.. we stayed on my aunts property for awhile, but the mosquitos there were unlike anything we had ever seen and all three of my family members are allergic to them so we ended up leaving there as well. We are back in the Brazos Valley, parked at a friend’s house and we will most likely be here throughout the winter. I wanted to be off traveling by now, but it was too much of a rush to complete the bus and we honestly couldn’t have done it. We have to learn how to do each piece of the project as we go. Since July, we have accomplished a few things. First, we installed our ceiling. It’s blue stain pine tongue and groove siding. We still can’t believe we did it. It was hard work. First we had to figure out how to lay them as far as seams go. It took us about a week to work that out. Then we had to insulate the ceiling as we went because we couldn’t get tape or staples to hold the insulation in for more than a few hours at a time. It was a pain in the rear. We used fiberglass batting against the roof and polyiso foam board applied onto that with the wood panels holding it all in place. Some people told me that was a bad idea because it compressed my fiberglass insulation a bit, but as it turns out, I had zero problems keeping the bus cool in August. We only paneled the ceiling up to the back of the drivers seat. Everything in front of that has been left stock. We’re calling it the cockpit.

After we installed the ceiling we moved in and building got put on hold for a couple weeks while we figured out how to live in a bus. It isn’t a converted bus, so it wasn’t just an adjustment to smaller living quarters. Our water comes from a 5 gallon jug with a spigot and our electricity is an extension cord. We bathe and wash dishes in other people’s homes generally. It probably sounds terrible, but truely, we are loving our new life. It’s like camping all the time. If you hate camping, this is not the life for you… we cook on the BBQ pit most of the time, but the waffle maker has proven to be a highly versatile machine. I never knew the value of that thing until now. I can make eggs, bacon, crescent rolls and cinnamon rolls in it for breakfast and we really enjoy toasted sandwiches for lunch. That’s just the tip of the iceberg. For a couple weeks we also did laundry at other people’s house, but I couldn’t handle being so dependent on other people so we bought a Panda washing machine. It’s great for the bus. It doesn’t take much power or water and it gets my clothes very clean. So once we worked out all the basic necessities, we got back to slowly building out our home. The first thing we did was build our bed platform. We have a sort of loft bed with room underneath for the kiddos to play and keep their toys. Charlies bed is also under there. Chloe sleeps up my but these days until she moves in with her sister.

I don’t have a finished photo of it, but I will. At this point in bus life, there were tools EVERYWHERE. The floor, the shelves, the seats, everything always had tools on it and I couldn’t ever find anything. It was driving me nuts because I felt like we lived in a tool shed. So we made one. The area behind our bed is above our engine bay. We decided not to insulate back there or put up ceiling because the tool shed had always been in the plans. We were losing tons of cool air back there and so we closed it off from the front of the bus and put up peg board in the back. We also drilled a 1/2 inch hole through our emergency window hatch handle to put a padlock through until we decide on something more…sophisticated. eventually I want to deadbolt it, but this is simple and effective for now. Spencer took a day to organize all of our tools and it did wonders for the interior of the bus. Because all of the tools from inside and from our basement storage were now relocated to the shed, we had so much room!


Our bed turned out to be a problem for the two year old. Up and down without help was not an option. We had to build steps. I was insistent that they not be traditional ‘stairsteps.’ I wanted only two, really wide steps. I gave Spencer that description and he built me this:20160909_172235.jpg

Take some plywood and some paneling with a tiny rug thrown in and you get usable steps..

Please keep in mind, we live in here, so taking time to move the house around for a project is difficult. It’s a complete mess all the time and I’m having a hard time with that. There are no cabinets or closets or counters or tables to hold items. We have had to improvise with a few pieces of furniture; two of the Kallax Ikea expedites serve as my main source of storage. One is strictly for clothes and towels. The other is kitchen, bathroom, art and laundry supplies. I have a shelf unit for kitchen wares and a small 2 shelf pantry. That’s it. It amazes me how much we have changed as a family. A year ago….I wouldn’t have believed you if you told me this was coming. I have started habits again. Reading, painting, gardening. Things I ‘didn’t have time’ for and things that I always said ‘one day when…’ One day is here…..and it’s beautiful.


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Update 2

It’s been so long since I gave you an update, and I swear it’s for good reason. Right after my last update, a friend came over and helped install a tricky piece of plywood, it had to be cut around a few different obstacles, so I let someone with a little more experience assist. (He did it all while I watched.) Then the rains came again….this time with severe weather attached…tornados, lightning, downpours of rain…I live in the Brazos Valley and there was flooding everywhere….when it was over–it wasn’t. The majority of my family lives downriver and in an extremely low lying area to boot. I knew it was all headed their way and so  we took our bus on an impromptu trip to try and help with evacuation of lives and property. We took our kids mattresses(one twin, one crib) and some couch cushions and made one big sleeping pallet. We took an ice chest and went. We ended up not leaving until very late at night due to reinstallation of a seat for the kids…I slept on the bed the whole way there…Yes, I do know that is unsafe but really, the first night in the bus felt awesome…it was so hot and there were mosquitos but man…it was cool.   …Unfortunately, no one really believed the flood was going to get very bad and did not take our assistance. I try not to dwell on the should-haves and the why-didn’t-we’ one could have predicted what happened. The worst flood in memory before this was 1992 and people just didn’t imagine it would be very bad……a week later there was feet of water everywhere….ranging from just a couple of feet all the way to ten. Most of my family had water in their homes. I believe only one house was left dry on the inside..

In the way home from the evacuation attempt, our bus began overheating. Luckily we were only about ten miles from home and we made it without damaging our engine. I’m thankful our first trip was the perfect length to diagnose our bus without harm. A sensor popped up that looked like a rectangle with a droplet inside and it had a little thermometer next to it. When we got home, I stayed up all night googling and determined that the indicator light was for my hydraulic cooling fan. That terrified me…I’m no mechanic, that’s why I spent more money on my bus….to avoid mechanical issues until I had time to brush up on how to work on them. So instead of continuing our build, I had to drop that and dive into my engine. When we bought it, they told us it was due for service, so I decided to start there. I figured, in the process, I would learn a little but about my engine and how it works. So I changed out the filters and fluids and in the process discovered that the thermostat in my cooling system was stuck closed. So I replaced that too. The oil change was not fun. The oil pan plug felt like it was welded in there. At first I thought my girls arms were the culprit,but two grown ads man attempts later, I realized I’m not at fault here. My mechanically inclined buddy, Lee, used a blow torch and vice grips to finally get the drain plug out. I was slightly skeptical, but we had tried everything else, and the next step was going to be dropping the oil pan. Once I was finished with fluids and filters, the issue was resolved (thermostat) so I didn’t have to mess with the hydraulic cooling fan at all.

Lee and his wife Liz, agreed to letting us park the bus at their house and I am terribly grateful. Liz lets us use the electricity for air conditioners so we’re not having Texas heat strokes and I love her so much for that.

We have decided to move to the flood affected areas to help rebuild, so our priorities in the build have shifted. There is a general order of operations when building a housebus, and we’re having to deviate a bit so we can move in sooner. We’re putting up all the insulation and ceiling panels first so that we can live in the bus as a glorified tent for a little while. We’re working on our game plan now, but everything is so crazy…. I’ll try to update more.


Originally, I wanted to label all posts by what day of construction it was. Unfortunately, we don’t get to work on it every day due to weather. That, combined with the general busyness of life, means that I have no idea what day it is…I think we’ve put in three days worth of work since my last post.

We got our bus completely legal! Donna at Western Bus Sales had our paperwork sent over so fast, I didn’t even have time to stress about it. So we went and had our inspection done. This involved  re-installing the driver’s seat and seatbelt. The day we removed them, the seatbelt rolled up into the retractor and got stuck. Spencer tried and tried and finally decided we just had to buy a new one. I am part of two groups of Skoolie Converters on Facebook and those people are amazing. I rarely even use Google for the bus anymore. If I can’t search it in their group and find the answer, I just ask the group and there is so much experience there I usually have a solution within minutes. It’s beautiful. I dunno how people ever did this without internet. So I brought my seatbelt issue up and someone linked me to a video which showed me how to fix the problem. You can either ‘pull really hard’ (oh yeah….like I didn’t do that for an hour!) or-this guy suggested soaking the retractor in a bucket of soapy dawn water to get all the built up gunk out of the internal mechanisms and give them room to move…so I dunked it in the bucket, and we went to the big box store for some supplies, and we went to lunch. When we returned we had a working seatbelt! This meant we could get our inspection done! So we did, and although we knew what the guy was going to inspect for, we weren’t prepared for his general giddiness about our bus……he didn’t check half of what he was suppose to…..So although we’re fairly sure our bus is completely legal….we’re hoping there aren’t any problems that may have been discovered during a proper inspection. After that, we went over to the title office and switched the title into my husband’s name and applied for an in state title. Our bus is road legal!

We really wanted an excuse to drive it around, so we helped a friend who is building a traditional sticks and bricks house get some lumber and supplies to his house. We also picked up a small deep freezer off of craigslist! I’m going to convert it into a refrigerator…we almost have every appliance we need. We still need solar equipment and water tanks, a water pump, filtration system, and of course, wiring and pipes. I am fairly certain I have everything else. My house is a disaster again….hahaha.

The following day, we got to work putting in plywood subfloor on top of the insulation. My husband cut the wood and helped me glue it in place. We only got one sheet glued in that day. Spencer did get some others cut though. The next day, he stayed in with the kids, and I went out and glued two more pieces in, before he ever made it outside…then we spent a lot of time trying to decide which windows to take out. That’s hard work right there….we STILL don’t have a concrete floorplan. I do hope we agree on one soon…otherwise, things are going to be even tighter than they are now. We took out one window and removed all the old caulk. That’s when I realized we have to remove the windows before we can frame the interior. If we frame the interior first, then the windows cannot come out. They are screwed in right where the wall stud is going to be. So we closed up and went in for the evening. We had a lot to consider.. That was Sunday. Monday, Spencer went back to work….he’s been off for 6 weeks. Now the bus falls to me. I’m only kind of stressed…heh. So, I went out, and put down 3 more sheets of plywood subflooring, which by the way….HEAVY. Also, we have this rail that runs the length of the bus on both sides. It’s what the outer side of the bus seats were bolted to. It is about an inch wide and so you have to tilt the plywood up until one side is under the rail, the you have to slide one corner of the other end of plywood under the rail at the emergency door where there’s a gap. So. Much. Juggling. I had to jump back and forth to push and pull, and push and pull. There was much cursing and shouting a grunting  and at one point I looked out and someone was just watching me like an asshole. No, we cannot take the rail out. Its structurally integral and handy for  attaching furnoture to.. Finally though, I have 80% of a subfloor in place. The last two pieces are not cut, and I am not to be trusted with any sort of numerals…that includes measuring…so I have to wait for Spencer to cut them before I can glue them. In the meantime, I continued caulking my roof. We have leaks everywhere and I still have to go up there and caulk some more….I just know it. However, I did do a lot, so hopefully, I got the majority of leaks. I caulked and taped every seam for the insulation that is still showing and I went to Home Depot and bought (another) case of caulk and (another) case of construction adhesive.  I cleaned the bus a bit. There was trash and dirt and (still) rust dust on the dash. Tools were scattered all across the bus…ugh. So I tidied that and called it a day.

Here’s some photos…I have so many, and putting them all on this blog will be a project for my next rainy day…promise!


Spencer and Jake making the first cut.


Front passenger window removed. I love the look of the open window versus the half windows…I’m now literally, window shopping…


Before Mama got to work Monday.


Messy bus…


I left my bucket up there….but I’m not going back…who’s gonna take my bucket?


The littlest little, having a snack while mom works.


After Mama put in work.

Day 12, 13, 14….and lots of ‘other’ stuff

The weather sucks. In about a week we have only had 3 good working days. It’s so frustrating. The first day we had available after the rain started I went outside and there was water all in the back of the bus. I should have finished caulking the rivets and seams on the roof that night, but I quit. Nothing really got ruined, and I am glad to know where those leaks are, so, it’s no big deal. I finished caulking the roof and Spencer sealed the floor with Rustoleum. We spent almost an entire day and a half sealing the metal floor with oil based sealer and caulk. The seams and all the holes we had missed before…then the rain hit again and we were stopped. The reason we cannot work on the bus in the rain is because our kids can’t be in the bus right now..too many toxins in the air. So they have an area next to the bus where they play while we work. Our babysitter situation is a joke. When the rain cleared up all aired we got to work putting down our vapor barrier and insulation on the floor. We mistakenly spent the first day gluing the plastic down before we realized in a floating floor you don’t have to…the rest of that job went very quickly. Now my entire bus floor has insulation! We can put down plywood now! I am so excited to putting materials into the bus instead of pulling them out. I feel like we were in the negative and now we’re finally going somewhere. Except it is raining again… we’re taking a moment to focus on other things. Our house is a full blown disaster. Crisis mode. Paths everywhere….I have one room devoted to donations/for sale/new bus materials…. not organized at all….piles and piles. There is lumber in my hallway and somehow cat litter got all over the stairs…all of the regular chores are all out of hand and I was getting very overwhelmed. So this morning I got up, drank half a pot of coffee, and got to work. We now have an almost empty upstairs, a slightly more organized catch all room and the dishes are almost complete. I really really need to have a garage sale, but that a is so daunting. It’s so hard to just sell all of our things. Most of our furniture is inherited from relatives who passed and it’s even harder to let that stuff go. Then there’s the fact that it’s have an entire storage unit I haven’t even looked at in ages. It all has to go.


The other day Spencer went to the title office to see about getting a trip permit and putting the title in our name, but it turns out even though we have a bill of sale, our title wasn’t actually signed over….so we had to get a form sent in from Oregon. We did get a trip permit so we can drive the bus around and get a state inspection, it starts tomorrow at 10am…so excited! We haven’t moved the bus since the 5th I think. I can’t wait. Today our form came in (Thank you, Donna!) and now we can get it in our name and legally drive it all the time. It’s just going to be expensive.


Yesterday morning, I realized we had been so busy with the bus and other stuff that solar had been put on the back burner. Not good. So I read handy bobs solar blog and then I read it again. I sort of understand what I need. I’ll need to read a few more blogs and then read his again before I’m ready to install it, but the solar/appliances/Floorplan is all tied in together, so I at least have to order the parts and know the specs of all my equipment. I’ve had to calculate how much power we need in the bus and let me just say, that was not fun. I am still not sure I have it right, so I’m going to check it again tomorrow before I call back the nice man I spoke with at Backwoods Solar.

Lots of stuff going on over here….and in the midst of it all, Chloe is cutting her first molar and she’s letting the whole block know about it…hahaha. No photos today…sorry. Well, maybe one….20160518_172047

It is finished now, but I don’t have that picture….things are crazy! I will make up for my lack of photos very soon, I promise!



Day 9, 10 and maybe 11……

I’m losing track of days y’all. I am very tired at all times, but so happy at the same time. It’s so satisfying to put actual work and effort into making your dreams come true; watching your end goal get closer everyday….it’s beautiful.

Deconstruction of the bus is officially OVER. So happy. Things are about to get even more fun. The last few days we have been doing little things all over the bus. Our friend Weston came over and he applied bondo to the bolt and nail holes all over the bus, the  he sanded them all down smooth. 20160513_114417Originally, I used polyurethane construction adhesive for this, but it just popped right out when you tried to sand it so I spent half a day on a creeper rolling around with a pocket knife, popping it all out. Spencer took this time to remove the remaining bits o&f radiator hose we no longer need from the front of the bus. Yesterday I spent the entire day on the roof. I forst washed the roof with Dawn dishsoap. Then I washed it again. Someone remarked how clean my bus was when I bought it and It is still dirty and I’ve washed it almost three times. I actually gave up and started caulking rivets and seams on the roof. 13235275_533509046820378_4862059095579921695_oI’m using elastomeric caulk because I’m going to apply elastomeric paint to the roof. We currently have a yellow roof and during the day, it cannot be touched. It is so hot inside the bus, it makes work a lot harder. So I plan on applying this thick white reflective paint to the roof and according to bus legend, my roof should be a bit cooler to the touch afterwards. I sure hope so. I am sunburnt from head to toe…I’m going to be a piece of leather by the time this is over… 13198501_533508986820384_3336681946132590757_oThe other day the same man who has removed most of our scraps returned, and he helped to hammer bits of rivets back into the body rib so they don’t protrude out, which means, we can begin insulating and paneling the ceiling soon because he also took us to get all of our lumber and insulation! Well, what we think we’ll need anyway. We most likely will have to make another trip…but that’s alright. Spencer and I were out there pretty late last night. Spencer painted the floor with primer while I caulked as many rivets and seams as I could by streetlamp.. I haven’t seen it yet, but hopefully today we can seal the floor for real. I want to start building so badly, and all this prep work has me chomping at the bit…


At the moment, our bus is parked at our home outside in the visitors parking area. We have cleared this with most of our neighbors, the city, he police, and both businesses in the vicinity. Then the landlord says we have to move it because it is ugly and it’s renting season. I understand that I’m making it harder for them to lease the property, but I can’t actually move my bus right now. It’s not properly titled or registered, it has no drivers seat or seatbelt, and the radiator doesn’t have enough coolant. All of this is fixable, but I had to reprioritize my to do list. Painting went from the end to the beginning because we have decided to stage the bus..we’ll put a bed and a toilet and a camp stove in there with some homey touches and it will qualify for a title conversion. Then we can move the bus freely and not worry about getting fined for driving a commercial vehicle without a cdl. Lots of legalities….but also lots of loopholes…so I’m racing time as fast as I can to get my bus drive-able before I’m fined by my landlord or possibly towed… I also have to have a garage sale to purge all of my possessions. So much stuff has to go. I’m so overwhelmed by that I haven’t done anything. I’ll work it out…eventually..FB_IMG_1463184074308

Now we have rain and awful weather for at least a week so we are at a standstill…I’ll keep you updated…



Day 6, 7, and 8

Oops…3 whole days. I wish I could say that so much got done in those three days..but really I feel like our pace has hit a crawl. Mainly because we have kids and we can’t both work constantly like we want. It’s been a one at a time deal for a few days… Spencer removed most of our heaters and hoses and looped the system back into itself.20160510_124940 We had to cut the hoses, drain as much fluid as possible, and feed it out through the holes in the floor. Then he had to use a piece of metal tubing and radiator hose to make a loop for the coolant to pass between engine and radiator. Then he had to run all the coolant through a silk screen to filter any gunk we got in it out, and then pour it into our coolant resevoir.20160510_125020 We are fairly certain he did this properly, we cranked the engine and let it run for about half an hour and it did not get hot. It ran at normal temps all across the board. When that project was over, he rented a small handheld jackhammer to get the ceiling panels off. It took him an entire day to remove the ceiling and wall panels. I couldn’t be in the bus while he did that because the girls didn’t have ear protection, so we stayed inside and did some cleaning.

When he finished taking down the panels that evening, I got to work grinding down the rust on the floor. It was already dark when I began, so I used a headlamp the entire time. I had to suit up in jeans, a hoodie, a vented respirator, eye goggles, ear muffs, and a bandana. In TEXAS. Ugh, it was awful. I powered through it as best as I could. Needless to say, the job wasn’t thorough…


4″ Angle grinder with a wire cup attachment 

The next morning, we went out and did a bit of floor planning. We have decided to give the girls their own space in the back of the bus. I think we’ll all survive bus life longer that way. 😉 Our bathroom will be between their room, and the rest of the house. The toilet will be over the wheel well, with the shower tub in the middle of them. We plan on chalking it out tomorrow. I’ll take pictures.  That was all we were able to decide on. Which is huge progress, because the floorplan is overwhelming to both of us. After that, Spencer finished up some heater removal, and I cleaned out the bus for the 10th time this week.The same man who used our seats for his wrap around porch returned and took the ceiling panels for a chicken coop. I was so glad to see that stuff go!

We took a trip to the lumber yard and we figured to what we’re going to use for the build. Insulation, framing, plywood, all of it. We came home and took measurements for those materials, and tomorrow we are going to either rent a truck to get them or have them ordered for delivery. I know what you’re thinking, “Why don’t you just use the bus?” Best u haul ever right? I would love to, but the trip permit we had expired, and we can’t move the bus again until the conversion is complete. Bleh. When we finished with measurements, I got to work spreading the rust converter over the floor of the bus. I just poured it on and then spread it with a masonry brush. I got it cheap at home depot..The directions instruct me to let it dry overnight. So here we are. Waiting. Tomorrow, I bet we’ll grind more rust. Fun fun. After that though demolition is officially over and we begin putting stuff in  the bus…like a floor, and wiring and such…I’m so excited and so tired. I feel like I’m forgetting quite a bit of crucial information, but there isn’t much to be done about that. I’ve been working hard…I THINK this is what the bus looks like right now:


The floor is covered in rust converter and there isn’t anything else on the floor. Everything else is picked up, but this is the state of the bus…in 8 days…we took a fully seated bus and gutted it. 

So, I’m gonna rest, so friggen much to do….