Posted on 1 Comment

22: School Bus Build Mistake #1- Hanging Walls

So if you couldn’t tell by the title, we messed this step up. Not really messed it up, but just did the work and realized it was not going to work in the long game. We thought covering the walls was next. We bought some wainscotting panels and cut and..


Then we hung it up with TEK screws. About a days worth of work too. If you have ever screwed a tek screw into metal, you will inderstand how exhausting it can be!





Then we thought about this decision over the next week or so while we worked n other parts. How will we anchor the furniture and other things we need to later on? Does it really matter that the spray foam is still exposed even if furniture is covering it and will never be seen? How much money did we just waste? LOL. I am happy to say this was the only time in the project we spent money on a supplies and our time, and it just wouldn’t work.


And since we cut them, we could not return them. So we turned them over and used some as a floor cover after we put the linoleum down, so it was not a total loss:)

You can either go on our journey until we corrected it:

Stage 23: Ceiling Material, Some Prep, and Completion

Or Skip to Where We Corrected This Problem

Stage 25: Framing The Side Walls

Or Back to

Stage 21: Installing External Storage Boxes Part 1


Posted on 6 Comments

20: School Bus Windshield Replacement & RV Ladder Install

We ended up getting a big nasty crack in the windshield. I think it was due to the rubber around the windshield being stuck behind in the glass in some places causing pressure points in the glass. Either way, our friend was friends with a glass guy, Lucky Us! Thanks Jim! So he came out to the house and took the windshield out, and replaced it with a brand new one! And the rubber is seated correctly now:)

Looks great! Thanks John! If you are ever in West TX (BIg Spring near Midland and Odessa area) call John up! I want to say it only cost about $200! Info below:


The transformation is in the making:) Once she is all painted, she will look brand new, or close:)

Next, we had ordered a ladder from Amazon that was a universal RV ladder. It was about $100 free shipping with Prime. I am not sure I am 100% sold on it. We bought better bolts and added lock nuts and washers. It only came with some screws…and we overengineer everything…so we added better hardware. The ladder was made for RVs, remember, so our bus is missing the hump on the top, which meant the support posts on the top were too short. We added some blocks of wood to take up the space.

Stromberg Carlson LA-401 Universal Exterior RV Ladder

Watching Crab work from the roof since my only way down was the ladder we were installing 🙂 Talk about motivation!

Now that we are about 3 months past this project and know how to weld, and want a “garage” on the back of the bus about 3 ft. out…we may cut hte ladder in half, or make something on our own. This part will be to be continued… 🙂

Here is a bigger shot of the bus windshield! Even got her some new windshield wipers:) The grill is off on this picture to be bondo’ed and re-painted.


What’s Next?!

Stage 21: Installing External Storage Boxes-Part 1


Back to Stage 19: Floor Prep 2-Laying Plwood

Posted on 2 Comments

19: Skoolie Flooring Build

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.

Even had a little helper…Homeschool Woodshop 101!
Just how I like my men; Shirtless, Bearded, and wearing a tool belt 😀
Construction zone…what what?!
The difficult last bit!
The pic explains itself really 🙂
Plywood Doneskies!
Plywood Back to Front

Posted on 1 Comment

18: Skoolie Insulation- How We Spray Foamed Our School Bus

The moment had finally arrived! We were about to spray foam the bus. That meant that the electrical for the bus was done, the metal prep work was done, and the furring strips were laid. I can not begin to explain how excited I was that Chitty bang was no longer looking like an old rusty bucket, or an old stripped out school bus. This was her first step into “House-Hood” in my eyes 🙂

First, we Prepped!

Windows taped off and floor covered. Foam it green boxes assembled…ready for action!

Energy Efficient Home Insulation Kit

We decided to go with Foam It Green‘s DIY Closed Cell Insulation Kit. We purchased it form their website in October 12015 and it came with 17 free things; goggles, gloves, booties, Tyvek suit, lots of nozzles and fan tips, and ky jelly packets. The kit we ordered was for 1200 sqft and was $1500. It included four boxes (2 part A’s & 2 part B’s), the hoses, and mixing nozzle..and the above listed. If I didn’t have three trash bags of overspray, that would have been enough for the ceiling, walls, and floor. Unfortunately, we were messy so we had to order a smaller kit, Foam It Green 202 Kit -200sqft kit (one small part A tank and one small part B tank)which was $400. So our whole project cost $1900 plus the $20 respirators we bought. You can apply it between 65 & 78 degrees.there is a temperature strip on the tanks that let’s you know if it’s good or not. Also, we are in no way being paid by Foam It Green to review this product. This is based on our own experience using it on our Skoolie conversion.

It is closed cell foam, which is better for metal buildings according to my research. It actually seals so well that it helps structurally, with noise reduction (hence the reason we sprayed on the wheel wells), water resistant, and mold resistant. It cures in 30 seconds to 2 minutes. At least the door and Windows were open when we worked in it afterwards! Had respirators and all while foaming and didn’t go in again for a few days just because we had to buy supplies and plan the next steps.

Foam it green has lots of videos of how to do it (you have to watch these before you do it per instructions) and it was super easy too. The tanks attach to a dual hose with two different color foam ingredients. They go into a mixing nozzle and is combined while you spray. One hose/tank is white the other blue. It comes out green. They do a good job of showing how to do ceilings and walls. One inch is r value 27 I believe….their website has lots of info.…/spray-foam-stories.html

They also have a kit for 600 sqft, Foam It Green 602 Kit, if you need that size. Every project is different though.

If you stop for more than 30 seconds you change the nozzle (they give you like 10) and add petroleum jelly to the nozzle (supplied) and trigger so it doesn’t crystallize. I only stopped two or 3 times but we were prepped pretty well. Crab took the front and one side of the bus, and I took the other side and the back. It took us like a couple of hours to prep for this project, and just a few minutes to actually spray. We had to wait for the second shipment to come so we could finish foaming, as well as filled in any gaps we may have missed from the first spray. All in all, I am super impressed with the Foam! It is much cooler in the summer, and stays at least 10 degrees if not more warm in the winter. I will only use Closed Cell Foam in the future, and may save myself lots of money by doing it myself again! Our recently sold 2400 sqft house cost us $8000 for someone to open cell spray foam it…no thanks!

So Next, we Sprayed Foam!

Us in our coveralls covered with Tyvek Suits and other gear and the Foam Job COMPLETE…almost! We ran out on the floor towards the front of the bus. Per the website instructions, you first spray foam the ceiling, then the sides, then the floor.
Got the second kit in and finished the foam job. Where the chair rail sits on the side of the bus walls there is a large cavity below it. We filled that to the top with foam and had a lot of overspray from this bc we did not leave enough room for expansion. Regardless..this baby is sealed TIGHT!

Then we Cleaned!


IMG_20151030_102216 (1)
After we were totally done with the spray foam job, we used drywall saws and the reciprocating saw to clean up the overspray. 3 LARGE trash bags later….(although they were super light, we totally could have finished the job with the first kit we bought if we did not have so much overspray!) Cleaning was not that bad though!
All Foamed, Scraped to be Flush, and almost cleaned!

So there it is!

Energy Efficient Home Insulation Kit

Chitty Bang Approved!:)

Onto More Flooring Work!

Stage 19: Laying Plywood

or Back to

Stage 17: Flooring Prep 1


Posted on 4 Comments

17: School Bus Metal Floor Prep

After moving to West Texas and all of the dirty bus electrical we cleaned out, it was time we cleaned Chitty Bang again. We were also ready to start building!! What…what is that I said? YES! No more Demo! We are constructing things now! Well almost…..first things first:)

First, the girls and I cleaned…again..

A clean Chitty Bang…Again! After the move she got really dirty! I also love this pic bc my little Crab is super cute 🙂
ALL CLEAN! Girl pic:)

Next, we decided that since the floor was pretty scratched from all of our moving crap that we would go ahead and repaint the floor to prevent any rust from coming in and spreading like cancer…we also sanded any spots that needed to be…probably only 2 small spots though.

The girls starting to paint
They are so cute and great helpers!
Back to Front Painted
Stairs Painted
Floor re-painted white!

And lastly, we had to install some “furring strips” so we could have space between the metal and the plywood we laid down later so the closed cell foam we were going to spray would have room to insulate the floor as least a half inch to an inch. We also had to save any head room we could since Crab is 6’2″ and the bus height of the ceiling was inches from his head. Which is why we opted to lay them flat instead of on their sides.

Furring Strips laid with some self tapping metal screws. Gotta put some ass into any screws going into this tin can!
Back to front of the furring strips. We also put some polyurethane (that stuff I love and used for all the holes and in previous blogs) on the bottom of the wood for extra can see the zig zag of a moved board closest to camera.



or Back to Stage 16: Covering Windows, Lights, ETC