After the insulation job was done, we moved onto laying the plywood down! More construction and building up! Again to save on head room we went with 3/4″ plywood..or possibly a little thinner than that. We used wood screws, finally, to screw the pieces into the wood furring strips. The hardest part was cutting around the wheel wells and in the front of the bus. Also, the bus is not exactly 8′ wide so one side of the bus it was super easy laying down the 4′ wide by 8′ long plywood, but the other side had to be cut a few inches to fit nicely.
After cleaning the wires up, next step was adding the wires to anything that we wanted to run directly to the bus battery. Why was this our next step? Because we chose to use spray foam insulation and once you spray that in, your wires are there f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Well, unless you feel like cutting them out and risking cutting them…anyway, this seemed right to us, so we did that.
Number 1: BACK UP CAM AND MONITOR/SPEAKER
Crab wired that in with no problem!
This camera works really well! It also has a built in Mic and very clear picture. There is also room for us to be able to run more cameras and hook right into the hardware that came with this kit. It was bought off of Amazon!
During these projects, we also did some side projects so we were not burned out on only electrical. Those will be posted soon, as well. The great thing about working on your own home is that you make the rules. There is no manual for converting a school bus to an RV, and this is the closest thing to it I guess 🙂 So, with that said, a few pics may look like we skipped ahead, but really I am just grouping them all together if they are alike to help keep the blog from being too scattered. The best thing about this project is that we have the ability to bounce around from project to project. Tired of electrical, go do some mechanical work, go sand something, go do some metal work! Great learning experience!
Let me start by saying, I am not an electrician. My husband is not an electrician. We have some electrical experience, but never on a bus. We just never had the confidence because it was a new skill to learn more about. If we are going to have an even more amazing homestead one day, I need to know how electricity works on my temporary home. Old Chitty Bang lost about 30 pounds in unnecessary electrical wire! Thanks to a new and very knowledgeable friend, he got us squared away with removing things I didn’t have a clue what they were for. Thanks Robbie. You are the best….Around…and no one’s ever gonna keep you down…;)
And, of course, Murphy’s Law will always come into play…especially when you have no idea what you are doing. We broke the solenoid in the breaker panel that controls the side yellow lights (clip lights I believe is what they are called), and some other stuff (I told you I don’t know what we did in this process, lol. I just absorbed it). So we found one on ebay for $20 and got a new one. I do want to buy another for our “On the Road Equipment” box we want to make. Two is one and one is none…
We steadily worked on cleaning up the wiring and re-taping and re-looming everything…
I am so happy to say that this part is over. Although, we will be revisiting the electrical for the house part, I am happy to be past this specific part. Why? Because now that we finished that, we were able to move on to running the wires for the speakers, the radio, amp, back up camera and screen, and some LED lights for the exterior! Yay progress!!
I have decided this never ending seal job of leaks will end this day! We went into the bus on a hard rain day and used chalk to mark all the spots that were leaking. We attempted to spray the bus with the hose to find any leaks, to no avail. So we have been waiting for hard rain storms to hit us the last few weeks (thank God we are not in a drought anymore!) so we can get a realistic view of what kind of leaks we are looking at. Almost all of the leaks came from the seal between the glass and the metal and was collecting in the corners of the windows, dripping down to the floor…eventually will cause rust issues and mildew in the walls if we don’t take care of it. And as our Sgt Crab says, Don’t do the easy wrong over the hard right. And I don’t want issues later *grumble* so here we go!
After this, we waited a few days and used the hose to spray all over the bus. No leaks! But, then it rained really really hard one day and I ran out into the bus to make sure (who can recreate mother nature, really?) and *GASP* a few leaks! But they were only around the Emergency Windows (those are total crap anyway and will be covered inside and out with aluminum anyway). SO I just sealed every single crack on them, and problem solved! I did not even have any roof leaks this time! The only leak we have left is coming from the back door, and that is just as easy as replacing the rubber seal around the door. I have been told by my Skoolie thread on Facebook that I can get that stuff anywhere. So that will be next. Then we think we may just go ahead and cover the outside of the emergency windows with the aluminum b/c we have the rivot gun for it, we just need to get the rivots and sheet of metal.
Either way, we are still making slow progress….we did not drop off the edge of the world, I promise! Summer is here in Texas, and so is the heat…and a smaller bus budget so we can do some family stuff…The dream will continue! Thanks to everyone for continuing to follow and support us in this huge adventure of ours! Look for an update on our GoFund Me page I am creating if any of you would like to help us get moving on it too!
Thanks all and have an awesome day and I hope everyone is having a great summer!
With all of the rain Central Texas has been getting, it really has allowed us to get some realistic ideas on if we did a good job with our caulking & foam. Leaks, Leaks, Everywhere!! Ok, they are not as bad as they once were. Since re-sealing the windows, roof, and sides; the leaks have been minimal…but still…I am ready to build. But, first things first…Where oh where could they be coming from…
Time to inspect. They were only on the passenger side of the bus, and it felt wet in the corners of the windows. There were wet spots on the ceiling on the left side only….
Lesson #24 in Bus Renovations…Don’t use great stuff on the outside of the windows. Solution? Darn tootin.
Apparently, it was absorbing water amd making its way through our newly sealed windows…I THINK NOT! We scraped the foam off on the outside only, and used the 2 in 1 Premium Polyurethane (used on the windows) to really gob up the corners.
Next after fixing the windows, I needed to make sure the roof was leak proof. Completely leak proof. Or at least as close as I could get with my experience 🙂 The only thing I had not sealed yet was every single bolt and screw. I did the seams and a few of the bolts that looked “rough”. So, I headed back up to the roof and finished the job!
Ok. Final Drum Roll Please……..
I think this did it. Fingers crossed this did it. I really really hope this did it. LOL. Whatever, live and learn! I will keep everyone posted on if this fixed it! Since we are supposed to have great weather next week I think I will use the hose to find my leaks…ready to tackle and end this beast.
At the end of the month (June 2015) we should be heading to get the electrical stubbed out, and then we will begin building…I hope!!