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Interviewed by Skoolie Today!

Remember last October when we announced we wuld be on Skoolie Today’s podcast? Well after overcoming technical difficulties, it has finally been published and is ready for you to listen! We did this interview after a long day at the lot, so we sound tired! But it was so much fun! And it encouraged us to start our podcast Talking Chitty! We had a great time and appreciated Oscar’s time and allowing us to share our story on his podcast!

Check out all of their episodes and ours, here:

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Our Bus Story in Bus Conversion Magazine- May 2018

It has been one year since Bus Conversion Magazine published our story as their cover and centerfold piece! If you did not get to read it, check it out below at the link or read here!

www.busconversionmagazine.com/bcm-may-2018/

The Cover Photo

Our names are Morgan and Ryon Crabtree and we live in a self-converted 1999 International Genesis school bus we named “Chitty Bang”. Our fellow bus dwellers include our two daughters, Rion and Laila, our English Mastiff, Mila, and cat, Micio. The bus is a 40-foot International Genesis flat nose with a DT466 and Allison Transmission retired from the Independent School District of Arizona and cost us $4,700, Ryon’s time to receive his Class C driver’s license, and a plane ticket to Phoenix from Texas. With 253,000 original miles on her, hrove her home where we started demolition. Overall it took us 13 months to get her 95% done and ready enough to move in. We made changes and renovations as we lived in the bus this last year, figuring out the functionality of these random thoughts we made into our home. We will continue to do that this next year as well. Like every bus converter says, “you are never really done with your bus”.

Inspiration to self-convert a school bus came in many shapes, forms, experiences, successes, and failures over the years. We had been together for over 11 years by 2014 and had a long history of “roll with the punches” and adaptability. Ryon had served in the Army, did a 17 month tour in Mosul and Baghdad, Iraq, and was then medically retired. We both had our corporate jobs, owned houses, received our degrees, had babies, we had it figured out, right? In 2012, we had moved into a new custom home on 3 acres, and just after a few months of living there we experience a total loss house fire that stemmed from the chimney while we were having a fire in the fire place. An “Act of God” is what the conclusion the insurance company gave us. Rising from the ashes and rebuilding was such a powerful experience that we swore we would be the ones who built our next house. We got our little dream of a homestead up and running with our chickens, turkeys, rabbits, and aquaponics farming and filled our new house with lots of new furniture and “things”. As we continued to fill our house, there was an emptiness we needed to fill. Morgan eventually lost her corporate job and we both proceeded down a path of entrepreneurship. After much self-reflection, we decided not to be in the rat race anymore. We knew there was more to Life than keeping up with the Jones’. We checked all of the boxes, now what? We began to take more control of our lives and really started doing what we wanted to do. We wanted to explore with our children and watch them grow.

We started learning more about the Tiny House Movement and minimalism. Eventually that led us to start selling all of our “Stuff” that we really did not need. Every item leaving the house was a weight off of our shoulders. We put our home on the market. We thought, if we wanted to learn how to build a house, what better way than on a small scale? We had no prior building experience other than our homestead projects, and not many tools since the house fire. We didn’t have a truck to haul a tiny house at the time, and we were not really confident in our abilities to build a tiny house on a trailer from scratch. Then it clicked. Why not a school bus? It has the frame, can handle large amounts of weight, and would be the perfect wagon for our pioneer voyage to find a bigger piece of land to start a new homestead. We literally watched every video on school bus conversions and tiny house builds that existed on the internet by February 2015, and by the next month, Chitty Bang was in our driveway.

Our conversion plan was ever changing as the bus came together. We gutted her and used Polyurethane caulk to fill the holes on the floor where the seats used to be, and every rivet and seam on the roof and sides of the bus. We took out, resealed, and re-installed all of the windows, only intending to cover about four windows total at the time. Since the bus was from Arizona, there was only a little rust on the floor, which we used Corroseal to convert the rust and prime the floor for a fresh coat of Rustoleum. When she was stripped down to bare metal we could really make sure we sealed as much as we could, and trust us, you sleep better at night when it’s raining! Next we were onto the actual build-up process.

We are happy to have the International Genesis, as this style has taller ceilings than other Makes and Models. Still, Ryon is 6’2” and every inch counted not only on the floor plan, but also on the height of the bus. For these reasons, we did as much as we could without Ryon being uncomfortable. We took down all of the school bus lights/speakers/exterior lights and covered those and any other holes with 16 gauge cold rolled steel and a mix of steel and aluminum 3/16” rivets. We also used that steel to cover 17 out of 30 windows, which are mostly in the rear. Furring strips were glued and TEK screwed to the floor and we decided the Foam-It Green DIY spray foam kit (a closed cell spray foam) would be best for insulation, especially to help give it an overall seal and structural durability. For the windows we decided on covering later due to draftiness and functionality of the space, we used a 1” piece of foam and foil tape to insulate the inside of the window then covered with wood. 4’x8’ sheets of plywood were used for the subfloor and 2’x4’s for framing all of the walls. Those are mostly ¾” & ¼” sanded plywood (birch and maple) and We painted a lot of them a light gray, Planetary Silver by Behr, and some were stained with Jacobean and Natural stains. We used trim painted white to really accent our finishing work, complete with floor moulding, crown moulding, and everywhere in between. For the electrical, we installed our outlet boxes after we put walls up, so they are set on top of the walls instead of flush.

When entering our home you notice the RV door with a frosted glass window that we use where the school bus door used to be. We fabricated the frame with square tubing, welding, and a couple of L brackets. The steps are set off by a diamond plate backing with Purple Heart Wood steps. To the left is a little cubby with hooks to hold shoes, pet leashes and purses, and to the right are hooks to hold coats and umbrellas. We use the dog house of the bus engine to hold our English Mastiff’s food and the dash to hold our cat’s food, a fan to blow air down the long hallway, and gaming systems we may be playing. The driver’s seat turns into a laundry hamper holder and “outgoing” stuff catch all. If this were a full sized house and the driver’s seat was a room, that would be the one we would keep the door closed on. We use Reflectix to cover the windshield and driver’s windows, and cover it with a light gray curtain to add a homey touch. On the front head board of the bus, above the windshield, hangs a 40” flat screen, taken down while traveling.

The Front Steps to the bus are made of purple heart wood!
The corrugated metal worked really well with the curve of the bus and saved us on head space. The flooring is a very durable and high-quality Armstrong sheet vinyl that looks like grouted tiles. This saved us on head room, as well.)

Standing in the living room, you immediately notice the galvanized corrugated metal ceiling, set off by LED strip lights that run along the ceiling. The living room starts with an 80” long couch to the right, We originally topped these with some cushions Morgan made and upholstered, but recently found a memory foam mattress that we cut to fit. They are really comfortable! There is a nice end table top next to the kid’s couch with two cup holders made into it (That was Laila’s idea!), as well. This is our main living area where we eat dinner, play games, and watch TV.


Next, you would enter the kitchen area which is set off with a beautiful, sleek white marbled granite countertops and backsplash, and a large stainless steel sink perfect for big pots, on the left side. The custom cabinets we built are ¾” sanded plywood and the cabinets and drawers are installed with Blum Brand hardware so they would “lock” in for travel. We added a floor to ceiling pantry on the right side of the kitchen which holds a ton of food and cooking supplies. And above, the recently added Atwood 15021/15026 works as an A/C, heater, or dehumidifier and works really well considering the length of the bus. We also care quite a bit about the quality of our water, so we invested some money in an APEC Reverse Osmosis Filtration System with 5 filters. A few months into our journey, Ryon added a UV light to the RO system, as well as 3 outdoor filters and a portable water softener. Since we never know what the water quality is when we fill our fresh water tank, we figured the more filters the better.

The refrigerator is a Norcold NXA841R two- way (propane/electric), but we have also ran it on our solar for a few hours on a sunny day. We used dry erase panels for the face of the fridge, which are perfect for writing chores, school work, to-do’s, and grocery lists!
Our main cooking surface is an Atwood Propane 3 burner stove top and oven. However, If we are plugged into shore power, a large convection oven/toaster sits on the counter next to the stove so we can save on our propane usage. Otherwise, it is stored in the utility closet.
Right after the kitchen is our “Classy Corner” which has a beautiful accent wall of recycled Pergo flooring from a friend and a gray stone and metal mosaic we found at Home Depot. We also have our Dickinson P12000 Propane Furnace in this corner that has a flue through the roof and a decent fan to blow the heat. Right across the hallway is a full-length mirror to help open the tiny space and give us a spot to primp.

We use curtains to section the house off into different rooms for privacy, climate control, and showering. This also helps also cut down on noise through the house. Passing past the first curtain, the bathroom will be on the left which houses our Natures Head Compost Toilet, our Precision Temp RV-550 water heater (covered by a custom wood box, cover for top coming soon), and a 32”x32” shower pan.

The entire bathroom is paneled with galvanized corrugated metal, and underneath we used Red Guard to protect the framing wood.

On the right, the utility closet is hidden behind a curtain and displays the brains of our electrical system. Hanging on the walls are the “house” breaker boxes which contains our 50 Amp set up  ran with standard 12/3 Romex, and the Solar Set up.

A 2000 Watt Magna Sine Inverter ME2012 and control panel, Tri-Star Solar Charge Controller TS-M-2, and a TriMetric TM-2030-A Battery Monitor connect to 4-270 Watt Solar World Panels on the roof, as well as 4 Crown CR-265 Deep Cycle Batteries in a steel box we fabricated and mounted directly underneath the room.
We added the air conditioner a year after living tiny and after we got to AZ, bc it was hot! We used the Emergency Hatch Hole and just framed it out and added insulation and metal to make it look nice. So I had to move one of the panels up farther on the roof. Easy Peasy.

Next is the bunk room. This area has a large closet space on the right and the kids’ bunk beds on the left which are covered with a rock wall face for climbing into the top bunk, and fun on rainy days. The last room is the master suite complete with a Queen bed, 2 closets with shelves, curtain rods, and organizing boxes, and mirrors to open the small space up.

The kids bunks provide them with their own curtains for privacy, dry erase boards for creativity, and a place to relax. The large closet is where the rear wheel wells are, and this space is organized with a Closet Maid System that holds the kid’s clothes, school work, office supplies, linens, and paper products.

<Insert MasterSuite.jpg (Underneath the bed houses a 42-gallon RV water tank, the city water and fill-up inlet box, and a sur-flo pump. We decided to keep the water tank inside of the bus just in case were somewhere it was really cold. Our dog also has her bed under there as it is a nice, large space for her to lay down comfortably without being in the way.)

The most used area of the bus is definitely the kitchen and living room.

On the exterior of the bus, we added 6 storage boxes underneath on either side and also extended the frame 3’ to add a “garage” area. We fabricated a tool box and a propane cage that are bolted to the extension, as well as a ramp/deck hinged off the back.

The cage holds 4- 20 pound propane tanks, which feed the propane appliances via copper pipe ran under the bus. There is enough room that it can also hold our generator. The tool box carries hundreds of pounds of tools and each box can be locked up. The deck can be locked into its upright position for travel and extra security. We also have an LED light bar on the front and rear of the bus, as well as a back-up camera installed
The Toolbox we fabricated! We actually removed this after this article came out and put it in storage. We were able to move tools we most commonly used to a basement box, and put the bulk of the tools in storage since we didn’t plan on making any big renovations after leaving our spot at that time to hit the road again!

For safety, we also make sure to have at least 4 fire extinguishers on board, working fire/CO2 alarms, and propane sensors at each propane connection inside.

Our first 3 or 4 month spot was in East TX near Morgan’s Parent’s House. It was private property with a flea market that was busy Friday-Sunday. It had Electric and Water HookUps and was far enough away from the market activity, we never had any problems or issues. Cheap to stay and lots of space!

By November 2015 it was time to start our Maiden Voyage where we traveled through Texas just in case we had to repair or change anything before getting too far out. The only plan we really had in the beginning of our journey was to find a homestead. We gave ourselves 3 months in each location to decide if we liked the area/state/land/laws and then we moved on. We mostly visited friends in Family in Texas for the first few months since we had been building the bus that last year plus a few months. It gave us time to figure out a routine and how to even live in this thing.

West TX BoonDocking on a friend’s property for a week on our journey North.

We got the chance to partake in a Skoolie Meetup near Dallas where we met some amazing folks and had a great start our voyage to the Pacific Northwest March 2017. We took about 3 weeks and explored Roswell, the Four Corners, Southwest Colorado, and started speeding the journey up through Utah. We were finding that it was really easy to find water and parking for our big rig, which was awesome because We had no idea what to expect. We were able to easily use Solar power while parked at rest stops on the trip, or plug into shore power at an RV park. Everything was working like it should. The confidence we feel every day from that is just indescribable. If something breaks, we know we can fix it or at least figure it out enough to understand the problem!

Our spot in Washington Thanks to Crab’s Combat Buddy and his Family, the Gray’s! Free Parking, water hookup only. We ran Solar in the Spring and part of the summer in the PNW. We had to conserve energy sometimes over a few days,but overall it wasn’t too bad for the solar to keep up with our energy use.

We stayed in Olympia, Washington for 3 months plugged into a friend’s house for water, and on Solar Power. The panels did FANTASTIC during the cloudy PNW Spring. By this point, we could fully clean the house in 30 minutes, had a regular school work routine, and weren’t bumping into each other as often walking down the hallway. Traffic flow is something we struggled with at first. We decided to get out of the busy city for a while and find a quiet place to try Workamping for the summer. By July, we found ourselves in Klamath, California in the middle of the Redwoods where we spent the summer “disconnected” on the Klamath River, 1 mile from the Pacific Ocean, and it was all one of the greatest things we had ever seen. Our kids were in charge of the Kids Club at the campground and they learned about managing an office and all that real-life stuff because they could come watch and help their parents do it. Roadschooling at its finest!

Traveling down the 101 through the Redwoods. We never thought we would make it this far, and it was definitely an amazing journey that Chitty Bang took us on here.

September rolled around in the Redwoods, our time was ending and we found another workamping gig except this one we would also get paid. To dry out from the soggy Pacific North West, we headed down to Arizona to manage a pumpkin patch, Christmas tree lot, and fireworks stand for the next 3 months. Our opinion as first timers, it was good pay for what we put in and we will be doing it again this year. It was definitely a great way to save some money for our future homestead and get to know an area.

We have met some amazing people on our journey and having a little over a year of travel experience under our belts, we are so excited for this year! We have learned that traveling for long periods without stopping is exhausting. You stress about the engine, your stuff breaking or being lost, and having to always pack things away. Breaks from traveling are good. It also gives us a chance to meetup with some homeschool groups in the area. We can figure out if we like a place in 2 weeks. We can save and/or make money by Workamping. Go when we aren’t happy. That is the point we live in a rolling home, right?

We have loved being able to give our children a childhood of adventure and being able to really spend quality time with them on our journey together.  I know that when we are old and look back, that time we bought a bus and traveled with our kids will still have been the best decision we had ever made. It isn’t always glitter and rainbows. The point is Life isn’t meant to be lived in a box. Get uncomfortable. Let your inner weird out and embrace it. Without all of the money in the world, we have memories, experiences, and a closeness that we never would have been able to attain in another way of life. We think we can live with that.  Until then, we will keep searching for our homestead and enjoy big living, living tiny.

Bor


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Our Propane Appliances in our Skoolie/Tiny House

I go over the 4 propane appliances we have been using for 2 years while living tiny in our skoolie conversion. We had the intention while building it of being off grid and boondocking more so we installed mostly propane with the options of shore or genny power. Over the course of the first year we added the toaster oven, plug extension on the fridge, and a rooftop ac/vent so when plugged in, we save on propane.

I talk about our fridge- norcold NaX841- https://amzn.to/2KHF7qo

*PRECISION Temp RV550 tankless water heater- https://amzn.to/2ShjZtu

*DICKINSON propane furnace p12000- https://amzn.to/2QqQxUG

*Atwood 3 burner stove and oven –https://amzn.to/2PdY4Sk

Comment or email with any questions!

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Full School Bus Skoolie Tour- 2 Years Living Full Time

VIDEO EDIT* @ 15:28 The DRAIN Faucet is for the FRESH WATER TANK not the GRAY WATER! We don’t wash our hands with gray water! LOL!

2 years later I finally did another walk through of Chitty Bang Skoolie! The first one was 4 months into living tiny. Well, we have learned A LOT and changed a few things, added others, and overall have been chillacing and living the easy tiny house life! After the first year, we figured out tiny living and rving…this last year we have actually really been enjoying it even more! I show off our water filter system, our awesome boondocking efficient power system via solar and propane, and how we keep batteries charged when parked! I hope yall enjoy!! Will be adding the links to some products in just a minute, stay tuned! Thanks for watching!

Water Softener: On The Go- https://amzn.to/2QncHn1

PENTEK 150237 #10 Big Blue Filter Housing- https://amzn.to/2Ooz0M2

Water Filters:

Aquaboon 5 Micron Coconut Shell Carbon Block- https://amzn.to/2QnDGih

Pentek DGD-2501 1 Micron- https://amzn.to/2OqWTT3

Pentek R30-BB 30 Micron- https://amzn.to/2OtZyLJ

Reverse Osmosis- https://amzn.to/2R3JPRa

UV LIGHT- https://amzn.to/2R5MQAC

Parts Per Million Monitor- https://amzn.to/2S7Lre8

Natures Head Compost Toilet: https://amzn.to/2yrQi1g

RV550 Water Heater: https://amzn.to/2ytrHsZ

Dickinson P12000: https://amzn.to/2CXWHoO

NORCOLD FRIDGE NA8LXR: https://amzn.to/2PN0x74

PROPANE SENSORS: https://amzn.to/2CZHfZx

Metal storage boxes:

https://amzn.to/2Q0v29R

Steel continuous hinge:

https://amzn.to/2SqWOhd

Metal T Door Holder Clasp

https://amzn.to/2D9JSbl ____________________________________________________________

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Stage 25: Building the Tiny Bathroom And Some on Plumbing, Propane, and Safety

The bathroom was a bit complex bc I wanted a shower that was comfortable for Crab to stand in, comfortable to use the large compost toilet, and have room to put in the American Made RV water heater we decided to go with, Precision Temp’s RV 550. The size of the bathroom was adjustable at this point, but we went with interior measurements of 32″ deep (The exterior depth was the same as the bunkroom located on one side of the bathroom) x 70″ long. (Measured with the corrugated metal we used as the paneling). Exterior length down the bus, the bathroom measures 77″. The shower pan was 32″x32″ from Home Depot. Remember, we ran our electrical after we built because we had no idea what the space would really look like or how it would function really until we built it. Total Newbies!:)

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We went with a 32″x32″ shower pan.

We painted all of the framing wood in the bathroom with Red Guard. Thus was suggested by a contractor We met. He swears by it. It paints on pepto bismol pink, but dries a red plastic covering over whatever you paint. So if water ever gets through, it will save the wood at least! We then used galvanized corrugated metal as the walls and used hex head screws with rubber washers to help seal where we had to install. I used a clear silicone to caulk the seams.in the shower and where the wall met the ceiling.

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We had to cut a hole in the side of the bus to install the tankless water heater and allow it to vent properly. Well we cut it too big….and then hung a piece of metal to cover the mess up lol. We had some experience with metal work so this part no longer seemed so scary and daunting. Confidence was building:) We actually felt good about making a hole in the bus. Wowza…

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As rookie welders, we realized you can not weld the bus exterior metal…total fire hazard with out spray foam insulation lol…but we did rivet it after the failed welding attempt. Poor Chitty Bang looked like Frankenstein during this stage lol:)

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RV 550 Plumbed for water. The piping continues down the side of the wall to the kitchen where the sink is on the same side. We made all water sources on the same side for easier building. Also a good shot of the shower pan!

The Plumbing for the shower looked like this:

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Because Crab is 6’2″, we ran the plumbing so the shower head would be on the highest point of the ceiling. It works ok for him. He only has to duck a little since our ceilings are a little higher than a standard bus’. A roof raise would have been good for this instance though to be totally comfortable.

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We went with PEX pipiing and the crimp rings. We bought the crimping tool and a “go/no-go” gauge at Home Depot. Click the link for a direct link to them on Amazon.

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We ran our plumbing down behind the walls to the master bedroom on the same side where one of the 2-100 gallon tanks were positioned. We created the plumbing system out of pex and will be continued in a seperate Article for just PLUMBING. (coming soon)

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This is an unfinished look of the plumbing we created to fill our tank only. We then used a water pump. That overheated and died every 30 days bc of our RO water system. A later post will show the stages of plumbing we did while traveling. We eventually hooked up a city line which saves our pump, and then later we even scratched this set up and went with typical rv connections…more flimsy i think but more comfortable for us. That is coming soon!

The Toilet:

After much research on youtube and seeing how people liked their composting toilets, we decided to not build a black water tank and just use a compost toilet! The Nature’s Head was what we decided on, as it was really the only one I could find! I wrote an article The Dirty Rotten Truth About Compost Toilets for an in depth look at how I like ours.

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We positioned it in the corner of the bathroom so we would have space to sit comfortably, and be able to vent it properly, and plug it in to a power source so the small fan inside runs to keep it from being stinky.

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The Vent Hole for the Nature’s Head Toilet to be able to exhaust outside. Covered in screen, stapled, and polyurethaned down..

Plumbing Propane: (link to full article coming soon!)

This happened towards the end of the build when we were finished with the propane “cage” we fabricated at the rear of the bus on the extension we also built on. This way, we knew exactly the distance and we were just measuring, cutting, and flaring. We had our great Mentor, Robbie, to show us how to do a double flare that was perfect (we had a lot of re-dos doing the flare at first, but it is very important it is done without having cracks or uneven edges on the flare). A double flare is RV standard for double safety, basically, you can find this out on a google search. However, a single flare will do the trick, but if you already have the Flaring kit, you might as well do a double and be safe. (If you do this, have someone look at it that approves. Try a heating/cooling business, A/C repair. You can even have a licensed propane inspector check it out. Might cost $100 but its worth it if you are not sure. )

We ran copper piping from the propane cage we built underneath the bus up through the floor underneath the water heater. Underneath the bus, right underneath the water heater, we “T”ed a connection to also connect the RV refrigerator to propane since we bought a 2 way by Norcold (info on that in a future article) and it was just a few feet away on the same side of the bus.

Romex is in the gray tube, 12 volt wiring to solar batteris in black loom. Copper is in the black foam. It “T”‘s here, one side going into the bathroom for the water heater/fridge side of the bus, the other running up through to the furnace and splitting to the oven for that side of the bus.

And since we are talking about propane, lets talk safety. NO BUILD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN SAFETY. At every connection (2) inside of the bus, I have a Propane Sensor on the ground (PROPANE IS HEAVY AND WILL DROP TO THE GROUND NOT FLOAT) connected 12 V to the SOLAR battieries and they are on 24/7. That is not to say that spraying febreze or other chemical wont’s set off the sensors…that has happened…but I know they work! We also put on and off valves inside underneath the water heater and fireplace so we could turn off the propane easily in here without going outside.

The Water Heater with the 12 volt wiring hanging out. The 12 volts powers the pilot light on the heater and another set of wires powers the propane sensor that is installed on the box that covers this. Also notice the red shut off valve on left.

Not a Bathroom pic, but notice the shut off valves. This goes through the floor and up to the propane furnace, and right to the stove/oven. Notice the wires hanging out of the loom. Those connect to the other propane sensor we have in the bus. Just not hung up in this picture.

Also, we wrapped our copper in foam insulation so that it would not rub against anything underneath the bus. REMEMBER VIBRATION IS YOUR ENEMY. ALWAYS THINK OF HOW THINGS WILL VIBRATE or TWIST while bumping down the road! And things move! We also attached the foam covered pipe with metal hangers securely to the frame of the bus with TEK metal screws.

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The Black Foam is the copper pipe running under the bus and secured to the chassis. The foam keeps anything from hitting the soft copper and prevents rubbing via vibrations during travel. The black loom is the wiring from our rear camera, LED bar, and wench running to the solar/bus batteries.

FINISHING:

Crab built a box to cover the plumbing, propane, and water heater and I put a basket on top of it for an air freshener, lotion, and TP holding area. We also trimmed around the bottom of the box and the doorways! We should have gotten a type of cover for the top, stone or wood, but we always keep our eyes open for something to add later.

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I originally hung the lights on the ceiling but they fell. Now they are on the actual shower curtain. They are waterproof LED lights. The shower curtain doubles as a homeschool tool too!

I use a friend’s old shoe organizer to organize our bathroom necessities. With 3 girls and guy that shaves his head, there are quite a few pockets filled with feminine hygiene, extra soap, razor blades from dollar shave club, sunscreen, face and hair masks, all of our toothpaste and brushes…etc. It works Great!

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In this picture, the organizer is folded back in half. I have played around with all 4 pockets out, and just 3…we adjust to our storage needs at the time.

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The magnet strip on the shower curtain on either side helps keep water from getting on the floor! I hung a mirror with velcro…a few times lol..and added a basket to hold stuff. The top of the box gets wet sometimes so we are looking for a topper for this. And if the water heater goes out, we will take this all the way out and try out an ECO TEMP that hangs to give us more floor space! *MOST RECENT PICTURE 2018*

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I added hose clamps to hang jars and containers for things we always use and we stack the TP behind the toilet for easy access! The black wire that runs to the toilet is what connects the fan in the toilet to a power source. *MOST RECENT PICTURE 2018*

We have a curtain for privacy when showering that we tuck behind the organizer when no one is in their. I also orginally had a towel hanger there but it was in the way a lot so it was removed and we have since found another place for towels.

DRAIN LINES: (another article coming)

When it came to installing the drain lines, again, this was something never done before. We read the lines should hang at a 1/4″ slant all the way to the end. This lets gravity do its job. So we used some of these awesome metal straps with holes in them (we used these for lots of stuff and hanging things) to hang the 1″ PVC from the sink drain under the bus to the shower, all the way to the rear of the bus to the Gray water tank we installed at a later time while on the road (that will be in the future drain line article).

A Look Back:

The Rv550 has worked decently the last almost 2 years. Here are the issues we had. The first time we installed it, the face that goes on the outside of the bus didnt really fit.

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This did not fit in the hole And the unit’s copper pipe did not fit behind the opening to the left either.

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The company has great customer support. They sent us a new one, no issues. After about 8 months and tracking from Texas to Washington then down to Cali, the water heater sprung a leak shooting water down the outside side of the bus. At least it wasn’t inside. The company sent us another new one, took back the old one, all paid for. It just sucked to have to deal with. Over a year later we traveled from Cali to Arizona and have been exploring the state, no issues. It is hard to find the correct setting for how hot you need it, and lately the hose being in the sun is enough to get the perfect temp shower lol. If it craps again, though, and isn’t covered with the warranty I want to take out the box Crab made to cover it, and install an Eco Temp or other style I have seen other skoolie/tinyhousers use. And we will get some floor space back in the bathroom which would be a cool change:).