I decided to add a full length deck partly because I wanted some larger solar panels and a deck would allow me to fit all four up front along with room to comfortably and safely access them all. And I cannot wait to spend time up here!
Today was rainy and HUMID! I am hoping for cooler, dryer weather to finish the rest tomorrow!
The last couple of days have been some awesome benchmarks. It is beginning to feel cozy. As I am wrapping up what I can before my final trip to Detroit, I am anxious about completing plumbing and the propane hook up for my stove. But I can budgeted a couple days after returning to Asheville to wrap up unfinished stuff before taking off.
The bedroom area is done! Including hydraulic lifts for the bed frame, an outlet in the headboard, and shelving above the bed. In addition to the nice sized dresser, there is still plenty of room under the bed area for storage. My fresh water tank and diesel heater will be under there as well. And the bedroom privacy walls/shower and bathroom walls are secured.
Though it is still pretty cluttered, it is less chaotic since we installed the countertops! (Thanks Brendan!) I followed Alan's suggestion to get butcher block counter tops and just keep them natural (simply just oil).
The appliances have started to come in! So far just the fridge....next the oven. Also based on Alan's suggestion, I went with a larger sink (27"x18"x8" deep under the counter) so that I could use it for additional storage. I will post photos once I get the faucet and sink mounted (my first attempt at installing an under-the-counter sink).
Since it has been extremely hot and humid this week. And with all the rain, i have been working on how I want the living spaces to look. I found a dresser that will fit perfectly in the space between the shower and toilet while also providing solid support for my bed area.
The composting toilet is coming along... I could not rationalize spending $1000 on a fancy composting toilet. So going the old fashioned route. I might change my mind later, but this will do for now. I forgot to snap a photo after the top was cut to match the angles of the walls. but it is looking pretty cool. If only I had remembered to either not write on the wood or cut it so that the side with writing was on the inside! It's okay though as I will be painting it with a white enamel.
Last, I have been putting the constructing the couch area. Not attaching it to the wall until after I run all my 12 volt and Romex wiring as it will be housing all the solar components, including the fuse and breaker boxes. but I can't wait to be lounging on this couch looking out my big old side door!
I was thrilled to add my lights as a motivator to work on wiring! These are LED lights within acrylic and they are very bright. You can see how bright one is from a battery test. I think my collective eight will keep it pretty bright inside at night,
One of the first things I did was remove the panel above the door. And ever since, I have wanted to create a little storage area there again in wood. Today, I did it! I still need a good way to attach it. But I like it :) It is fun little touches like this that I enjoy so much about bus builds.
I decided to add a full-length deck so that I could attach my solar panels to them as well as have an area to hang out. It also acts as a such block for the roof, which I anticipate will help cool the inside.
For anyone looking to build their own deck on a curved surface, I used Skoolie.com's deck braces, which are very well designed. For protection, I painted them with a rustoleum primer and then regular rustoleum black paint).
Huge gratitude to Alan and Lucie for helping me hoist the whole thing up there and get the first four supports balanced.
I have since completed the rest of the 12 braces and it is extremely sturdy once everything is tightened down.
It took several days to complete, but I absolutely love how it turned out. I originally wanted to use shiplap but found some really inexpensive 6'x5.5" wood that was listed as "art wood" that worked beautifully.
In order to circulate air well while still planning for a deck, I added a fan to the back wall (thanks for the suggestion, Alan!). Also, a big deal cutting another huge hole in my bus, especially since it has been raining a lot here in NC. Unlike the rooftop cut, this was a bit more complicated. there were support beans, a curve in and out at the top of the bus, and a rain bar. But I was very pleased with how it all fit. I even reused the rain bar above the far.
Since I have a little bit of a roof raise (I believe it was because my bus had a wheelchair lift), the front panels angle down and inward. So I cut the wood in half to accommodate the slope. After the fan was installed I completed the tedious labor of love fitting the curve of the back wall around it. I like how they turned out.
i even had enough of the wood leftover to cover a couple of side walls! (I forgot to take photos of the two in the far back)
On a less impactful but important note, I caulked above the windows to help keep water out. Several areas had considerable gaps in the rain bar (both where you can see in the photo and at the top of the seam), which allows water t drip right into the window and splash inside. In two spots, it pours right in! So this was a high priority since it rains a lot in Oregon (and NC).
Short post of mostly photos...
Walls are up
I also screwed some 2x2 furring strips into the ribs that will support my other trim and possibly upper storage later. The planned trim will hide my wiring and hold my lights.
One of the scariest things so far was cutting a 14"x14" hole in my ceiling. It sure is nice to have my fan installed though!
I am fortunate to have an amazing person here who is a former diesel mechanic who has patiently given me a crash course in diesel engine care and eased my anxiety. They spotted the source of my oil leak to a new rocker housing that didn't sealed well when replaced. So I my bus to a referred mechanic to fix the leak and get it all ready for driving from NC to OR!
During the few days away from the bus, I plan to work on putting together my solar system! I have everything at the house including the panels. I am glad I planned far enough in advance that I have all the essentials to avoid delays due to supply chain issues.
Working on my bus continues to be more and more exciting as I finish and task and see it coming together, all while spending quality time with my chosen family before I relocate to a dream job in a region that I love. This is a summer I will never forget.
Turns out the piece was poorly installed and cracked. So it needed replaced. I was VERY lucky to have people who know people, who are awesome. So It was all fixed in two days. And I got right back to my 11-13 hour days working on getting it livable asap!