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Editing Our Life Part 4: Selling the House & Moving

We finally did it! We finally sold our home for what we needed and were able to become debt free and pursue our renovation of Chitty Bang. We hustled. We got rid of even more crap, and began the next step of our lives. We packed what was rest of our stuff, loaded up the u-haul, and with the help from some amazing friends (Thanks Amber, Brent, Barbara, Mike, and, Anne & Drew:)) were out of our home and on our way to West Texas to finish the bus!

Loading the UHaul. Only the furniture and tools left:)
Loading the UHaul. Only the furniture and tools left:)
The night before we moved...still had a lot of work ahead of us!
The night before we moved…still had a lot of work ahead of us! Notice the sleepy kids lol

IMG_4733

Loading Chitty Bang
Loading Chitty Bang
A Quick Moving Selfie :) Can you tell I am excited?
A Quick Moving Selfie 🙂 Can you tell I am excited?
Getting on the road! Convoy: Friend in car with kids, Friend in UHaul with Uhaul trailer, Me in the truck with Mila, and Crab in Chitty Bang.
Getting on the road! Convoy: Friend in car with kids, Friend in UHaul with Uhaul trailer, Me in the truck with Mila, and Crab in Chitty Bang.
I led the convoy, and everytime I looked in my side and rear view mirrors I was reminded of the life I was leaving and the Life I was heading towards. It was an amazing feeling, and I will never forget it.
I led the convoy, and everytime I looked in my side and rear view mirrors I was reminded of the life I was leaving and the Life I was heading towards. It was an amazing feeling, and I will never forget it.
In West Texas and chitty Bang is full. All I could think was "How the hell am I going to fit all my crap in a bus?" lol
In West Texas and chitty Bang is full. All I could think was “How the hell am I going to fit all my crap in a bus?” lol

Thanks to another fantastic friend, Jim, we have a place to stay while we work on Chitty Bang at his house. Now, we are focusing on that:) So far, living without a majority of our stuff has not been that bad 🙂 We have clothes, our necessities, the girls have a few toys (About a large shoebox full and their electronics), and our tools. And what we order for the bus of course. It feels like it did after the fire, but more at home and with the knowledge of this all being my choice…instead of a choice made for me. Since we have left over 3 months ago and began working on Chitty Bang, I have not regretted our decision once. We have been surrounded by some pretty awesome people that each know a lot about something specific that we want to learn more about. We also have a place to stay where we all feel so welcome. Although it will be just another small moment in our lives, we have already learned more about ourselves and each other 🙂

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 Last Seal Job *fingers crossed*

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!

About to start the last of the sealing job!
About to start the last of the sealing job!
Crab getting down to business!
Crab getting down to business!
The grey looking seal on the glass is super old. So re-sealing these is really common sense.
The grey looking seal on the glass is super old. So re-sealing these is really common sense.
After using the 2 in 1 Premium Polyurethane by Loc Tite. Yeah it is messy, but really I don't care. Our counters will actually be a little taller than the bottoms of the windows anyway, so I won't see it. And I can sacrifice some looks for a job well done.
After using the 2 in 1 Premium Polyurethane by Loc Tite. Yeah it is messy, but really I don’t care. Our counters will actually be a little taller than the bottoms of the windows anyway, so I won’t see it. And I can sacrifice some looks for a job well done.
We also sealed in between each window to prevent any other leaks from appearing. We plan on painting this white anyway, or covering with trim to make it look all fancy schmancy. We will see though:)
We also sealed in between each window to prevent any other leaks from appearing. We plan on painting this white anyway, or covering with trim to make it look all fancy schmancy. We will see though:)
Don't forget the last and first windows on the edges! We also ran out of the white polyurethane and finished up with the regular polyurethane by loc tite, the stuff we used on the bolt holes on the floor.
Don’t forget the last and first windows on the edges! We also ran out of the white polyurethane and finished up with the regular polyurethane by loc tite, the stuff we used on the bolt holes on the floor.

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!

Now you can check out:

Previous Sealing Jobs On Bus

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STAGE 11, Part 2: Remove Windows/Side Panels & Insulation, Re-Seal and Replace Windows

STAGE 11: Remove Windows/Side Panels & Insulation, Re-Seal and Replace Windows

Part 2-Day 2

The next day I was certain we would not get to complete our project because of the rain. The Universe was looking out for us though because by 3 PM it was clearing up. So, we all got to work on other side of ChittyBang!

We removed the windows successfully! The guys started in on the side panels, while I worked on cleaning and scraping the windows.

JB removing fiberglass leftovers with the wire brush on the drill.
JB unscrewing the panels and Crab confidently cutting the panels off at the top.
My littlest Crab hammering stuff.  It was cute for a little while, but then Mommy's ears needed a rest :) She helped me spray the windows off and get some of the screws ready for the windows.
My littlest Crab hammering stuff. It was cute for a little while, but then Mommy’s ears needed a rest 🙂 She helped me spray the windows off and get some of the screws ready for the windows.

The Panels were removed much more smoothly on Day 2 🙂 We got everything smoothed out on the frames, the insulation totally removed, the windows cleaned and scraped…now for the last stretch!

Scraping the old caulk off of the frames before Putting in the windows!
JB taking a break before Scraping the old caulk off of the frames.

Finally done!

Completed Door Side View!
Completed Door Side View!

We also put some caulk on the screws/rivots that were on the walls under the windows to make sure no water was coming in from here. Some insulation was wet, so we needed to be sure there was little chance of any more leaks. We are not professional bus renovators, so we do what makes sense to us as we do it. I want ChittyBang as leak proofed as possible 🙂

We are finally done with demo!!!

Now onto foaming, and re-sealing the roof and side seams!!

STEP 12

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Check out how we decided to start this whole project:

Editing Our Life Series

 

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Stage 10: Heat It, Scrape It, Sand It, Seal It

Stage 10: Heat It, Scrape It, Sand It, Seal It

This past week, besides finishing the floor prep, we also tackled some of the more tedious, but necessary tasks that we would eventually have to complete. Also, we have had some amazing weather the last few days here in Texas, but it isn’t going to last long:( So we work with the weather since we can’t park the bus under anything.

Removing the reflective tape and lettering….everywhere.

Why? The reflective tape was cracked, so when we repaint it, that will be the first thing to go and chip off. I have to say, 360 degrees was monotonous to the say the least:) But I can find some joy in those types of mindless tasks. Anyway, We started with a sander with wire wheel attachment. It was taking a while to remove the stickers and was really eating through the paint easily as well. Just using the paint scraper on the letters was working ok, but the old, cracked reflective tape was a b****. So, I jumped online to skoolie.net and found a few great solutions.

Paint Scraper with Heat Gun- to start, if this doesn’t work..

Rub Diesel/Paint Thinner on It and let it set for a few minutes..then Wipe It off…Finally..

Sand It All Down

I remembered Crab just received the Heat Gun (Wagner $20 from Amazon) he ordered for a separate Didgeridoo Project we want to tackle:), and grabbed it out of the garage.

Applying the heat gun and scraping the reflective tape at the same time. Remember to wear gloves when scraping, it gets really hot!!
Applying the heat gun and scraping the reflective tape at the same time. Remember to wear gloves when scraping, it gets really hot!!
Side by Side of (left of rivets) Crab's Sanding only Side and (right of rivets) the scraper and heat gun side. The heat gun was much more efficient!
Side by Side of (left of rivets) Crab’s Sanding only Side and (right of rivets) the scraper and heat gun side. The heat gun was much more efficient!

We finished one side and the rear of the bus in one afternoon. Although we were able to remove the stickers, the sticky residue was still being a problem. We figured we will try sanding it off when we were done removing the stickers.

Back of ChittyBang- BEFORE
Back of ChittyBang- BEFORE
Back of Chitty Bang: After School Bus Sign, Emergency Door Lettering, and reflective tape all removed via heat gun and paint scraper..and a ladder...and a stepstool...
Back of Chitty Bang: After
School Bus Sign, Emergency Door Lettering, and reflective tape all removed via heat gun and paint scraper..and a ladder…and a stepstool…
Driver Side BEFORE
Driver Side BEFORE we take off reflective tape. Crab had removed these letters already.
No words, no reflective tape on this side of Chitty Bang. The next day, we tackle the front and other side.
Driver’s Side After No words, no reflective tape on this side of Chitty Bang. Except around the emergency windows and the AMTRAN sticker. Darn It!

Day 2 Sticker/Tape Removal

Moving on over to the passenger side of the bus 🙂

Passenger Side BEFORE
Passenger Side BEFORE
Passenger Side: After Sticker/Tape removal
Passenger Side: After Sticker/Tape removal

We are DONE! SIKE!

DAY 3 Sanding/Sealing

Of Course I thought we were completely done with sticker removal, until I glanced out the kitchen window and realized, nope. We forgot the tape around all four emergency exit windows and their letters! So, the next day, I went back up the ladder and finished the job…for real this time!

Of Course I thought we were completely done with sticker removal, until I glanced out the kitchen window and realized, nope. We forgot the tape around all four emergency exit windows and their letters! So, the next day, I went back up the ladder and finished the job...for real this time!
Tape & Sticker Removal Complete. FOR REAL This time!
Crab getting work done:) After removing the stickers we sanded the sticky residue the best we could. It really just smeared it around. But it was smooth!
Crab getting work done:)
After removing the stickers we sanded the sticky residue the best we could. It really just smeared it around. But it was smooth!
Gotta get a side beard pic :)
Gotta get a side beard pic
🙂
Get Work done Son! Crab Sanded the top row, and I would sand the bottom row. Whoever wasn't sanding, was using alcohol to clean the area, and then applying corroseal just to make sure rust wouldn't form between now and the real paint job of Chitty Bang!
Get Work done Son! Crab Sanded the top row, and I would sand the bottom row. Whoever wasn’t sanding, was using alcohol to clean the area, and then applying corroseal just to make sure rust wouldn’t form between now and the real paint job of Chitty Bang!

A couple of hours later…..

Bus is completely Stickerless (made up a word! What up Webster?), Sanded, and Sealed.
Bus is completely Stickerless (made up a word! What up Webster?), Sanded, and Sealed.
FRONT AFTER Chitty Bang Sticker Removal
FRONT AFTER Chitty Bang Sticker Removal

All in all, I don’t really know if we wasted time by just not sanding first. Maybe we could have if we had a better tool for that job. But I think this process worked for us and the tools we had.

Next up , More Demo and the story of making Chitty Bang Legal!

Stage 11…

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back to Stage 9

or

Stage 1

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The Editing Our Life Series

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Stage 9: Rust Prevention

Stage 9: Rust Prevention

Up Close & Personal. Is it odd Crab was drawn to Hunter Green? Looks like Army green to me ;)
Up Close & Personal. Is it odd Crab was drawn to Hunter Green? Looks like Army green to me 😉

After the slaying of the Rust, we have to do our best to prevent it from happening again. The last step in the floor prep is painting the floor with Rustoleum. We figured the color did not really matter since it will be covered with frame work, insulation, and then flooring, so Crab grabbed Hunter Green. Cool.

Our plan was to include the kids as much as possible, and what fun could painting a whole bus floor be?! The previous day Crab and I spent bent over filling holes, so it was time for a Crab Team Effort. The girls were excited, of course, and did an excellent job!

Cheap Labor :) Sneaking a peek at the chirren working on the future dream:D Crab is supervising, kind of. Lol.
Cheap Labor 🙂 Sneaking a peek at the chirren working on the future dream:D Crab is supervising, kind of. Lol.
Starting the crack and lower wall painting.
Starting the crack and lower wall painting.

The girls started with the prep work of filling the cracks and lower walls with paint brushes. They got pretty bored with this by the time they reached the front, but a little under 300 square feet, really doesn’t take too long to paint 🙂

From the Rear. Almost complete
From the Rear
These guys did an awesome job on the paint job :)
These guys did an awesome job on the paint job 🙂

What I have loved most about this Tiny House experience is that this is a project we can all pitch in and create. The dream for our family is not everyone’s dream. It is not for everyone either. Through our experiences of Army life, deployments, the effects of war, and just plain crazy things that happen in life, we made the decision together as a family to get out and travel, to live in a tiny space together, and eventually find a place where we all want to set up our Crab Homestead. We want to create a lifetime of memories and adventures, and it took a long time of trial, error, admitting being wrong, learning, appreciative and humbled at being right at times, researching, sacrifices, and hardships. It is just so exciting that this is only the beginning (or really another chapter) of our Tiny House experience. And I appreciate all of the days we are out working on the bus together, *ahem* even the really really dirty ones 😀

Now, while the girls were painting the floor, Crab and I were scraping letters and reflective tape off of the bus. Which leads me to

Stage 10: Heat It, Scrape It, Sand It, Seal It……could be a new song…:)

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The Editing Our Life Series