I left off the last blog with "next up we’ll Wendy will grout the tile and install the counter top". Ha ha ha ha ha. The grout came in TODAY. Wendy tried to order it from some website that shipped it from China. In the meantime, she called the flextile people and they shipped it out in less than a week. We're still not sure if the grout from China will ever arrive. Live and learn.
Quite a bit has been accomplished in the meantime.
Wendy cleaned up the bus and put the outdoor cushions on the sofa so that we could take the bus across the river to her sister's house for Roussel family Christmas. Most of Wendy's family lives across the river and beyond, so they haven't seen the bus in person. Wendy drove there and I drove back. Wendy backed into her sister's driveway like a pro! The only scary part was the very narrow road with no shoulder between Chackbay and Vacherie. We also got our very first bus-warming gift- alpacas! Or llamas, probably, but we can pretend.
Wendy installed the rear-view camera that she found on Amazon. It plugs into the cigarette lighter outlet and shows us what's happening behind the bus since the walls block our ability to see. We may end up adding a couple more cameras to put on the sides of the bus, too. We enlisted the help of Diesel Mechanic Daniel to help install the radio and speakers. Wendy picked up a basic radio with bluetooth capability and four speakers from Walmart and found some white speaker covers on Amazon. It works pretty well!
I really wanted to paint the dashboard since it refuses to come clean. Instead, we decided to put in wood panels instead of the faded black metal panels. One side is finished and looks amazing! At first, Wendy reused the original screws, but they all backed out from the vibration when we drove across the river. She tried some bigger screws and hopefully they stay put. Then she added a cup holder which is one of the Target plant holders that we used as cup holders in the sofa console. It was a tiny bit too big for the console but works perfectly on the dash.
My dad came over on Christmas Eve and built a frame for our gray water tank and helped install it under the bus. Wendy purchased the angle iron and my dad planned out the frame and welded it together. They bolted it to the bus frame. I helped Wendy tighten up the nuts which was not as easy as you'd imagine due to the very tight spaces between the tank frame and bus frame.
Wendy finished installing the bathtub which included quite a few test pitchers of water. There were a few leaks that needed to be patched up with putty or silicone. She has the interior pipes ready to go. The shower head set that we purchased came with a very large square rainfall type shower head and a wand. Due to the very limited head space in the shower, we had to go with just the wand and nix the fancy shower head. I'm sure once we use the shower we'll figure out how we can make it even better. For now, wand it is. That will be installed after the wall is finished, I've been informed. I thought it was up now.
She also put the water heater in the cabinet, which will hopefully last forever because we had to lift the counter top to fit it in the cabinet. It's too wide to fit through the cabinet doors. Oops.
Wendy finished up putting the paneling on the ceiling and in the bedroom. She also finished up the cabinets above the windshield and the back door. The radio speakers are built into cabinet doors so we can easily access the wires in the future for the speakers and the outside bus lights. Once that was finished, I helped paint everything "cool gray". It's white, basically. The same color we're painting every other surface in the bus. I helped until my muscles gave out, then Wendy finished up. She also put up the wood panels on the wall between the toilet room and the refrigerator and the outside of the shower wall next to the bed.
After seeing some of the showers in the skoolies at the Tiny House Festival, we decided to put cedar planks on our shower ceiling. The planks in the shower have been siliconed and polyurethaned to protect against the moisture. Sealing them really brought out the colors and it looks stunning. We also decided to put the cedar planks on the ceiling in the toilet room because they're pretty and they smell so lovely. Hopefully they will mask some of the toilet-y smells!
Lastly, because Wendy couldn't WAIT to buy and put up the strip lights, we now have fancy strip lights. I posted a fun video on Instagram if you want to see them in action. We'll eventually buy another set to put around the bedroom in the back as well, because why not?
For Christmas, my mom and step-dad commissioned my BFF to paint this SUPER FREAKIN AWESOME picture of the Rou Bus and our fam! It's the greatest thing ever!! I mentioned Amy Jo in my previous posts. She is a very talented photographer and painter and you should check out her work and then commission her for a painting! It's truly a great gift. OR if you or someone you know is getting married, she also does live wedding painting!
Next up, Wendy will finish the back splash with the grout that came in today and finish up the plumbing. She got some fittings from Coburn's today because the ones she had didn't quite fit on the water heater. Once all the plumbing is in place, she can mount the sink and the counter. She's also going to finish up the window frames above the back splash and give those a fresh coat of paint. We want to get some mirror window tint for all the side and back windows to help with privacy and we'd like to install the curtains soon so we can put the floor down. Wendy is scared that the sun will fade the flooring. Those are all things we can do now since we already have all of the materials. We have to be conservative from here on out so we can save money for the rack for the back, the air conditioner, the Nature's Head toilet, and the mattresses. Donations accepted. HA. Better yet, everyone buy a Rou Rags Mardi Gras shirt! Those will be available for pre-order the first weekend in February.
A very productive winter break, but now it's back to the day jobs!