Updated: May 28, 2019
WE MADE IT!! The bus is basically finished. A lot was accomplished in the month since the last blog. Hold onto your hats.
We found a cover for the driver's seat so now it looks a bit nicer and the broken plastic doesn't cut into our legs.
The exterior is painted! The "toggle teal" color turned out to be the perfect shade that I initially wanted but assumed I wouldn't get. The swatch looked like a darker, more blue-ish teal. What we got is more of the seafoam-esque teal that I really wanted! What luck! We sanded the whole bus first and then primed it all. I sketched out and taped waves on the sides. I had in my head that I wanted the colors to turn wavy toward the back of the bus and become waves on the back. Amy Jo helped us out by painting the waves! We rolled and brushed on the paint so it has a more textured finish and isn't super shiny like automotive paint. That's fine with me. It's a bus. The Rou Bus also has its name on permanent display now!
Wendy replaced the top red and amber flashing lights with clear lens covers. The lights no longer flash, due to some magical work from Diesel Mechanic Daniel, so we now have outdoor lighting to help us when backing up at night and act as flood lights when parked! Looks pretty nice, too.
Cutting the memory foam mattress to make the sofa-bed cushions was so much easier than I expected. I did it with a large serrated knife! Covering the cushions was a little more work because I didn't have any instructions or even guidance from a blog. Somehow they turned out pretty decent. The back of the covers are closed with velcro so that we can remove them and wash them.
Wendy made the cutest little gate out of old fence boards (I didn't realize we had quite that many fence boards!) to keep the doggies safe. While driving, the gate blocks off the whole driving area so the dogs don't fall down the stairs. When parked, the gate can block just the entrance so the dogs can't escape if the doors are open. I have no idea how we are going to wrangle the cats. I'm thinking this summer I'll have to train them with harnesses and leashes. Should be loads of fun.
Just when you thought we were done with fence boards, Wendy also made a little ledge to put over the side driver's panel when we're parked. We figured the cats would jump up there so we might as well give them a place to chill and stop them from stepping on toggle switches. Neil approves.
We brought the bus to my HVAC friend to install the mini split. We originally wanted it to be set into the shelf in the back of the bus, but that would have blocked the air flow, so we took the bus back home and Wendy built a wall over the opening. After that, it was ready for installation. He had never installed a mini-split (or any AC) in a bus before, so it was a learning experience for all. He gave us great information about managing vibration and making sure all parts were easily accessible for maintenance.
As far as the unit goes, we got the Pioneer 9,000 btu model. It's SUPER quiet and puts out very cold air. The air doesn't quite reach the front of the bus because of our small hallway, so we stuck a tower fan by the closet. It works!
We ordered and installed the Nature's Head composting toilet. We haven't used it yet, but I'm optimistic that it will be just fine for what we need. I got coconut coir from Amazon to prep the solid waste bin. The toilet seat is a bit slim and not the most comfortable to sit on, especially for my tiny, bony bottom. I'm sure I'll end up writing a whole blog post about the toilet in the future.
We had not intended on buying the TVs so soon, but Wendy found some on sale and we couldn't pass it up. These two were on sale for $89 a piece and have built-in fire TV! A steal! The back TV even swings out so we can watch TV outside. Fancy.
Getting the bedroom mattress from the kitchen into the bedroom was a TASK. Approximately five minutes after we got it into place, I fell asleep on it. In my defense, it had been a long day and I had a major headache. The AC keeps the bedroom very cold. It's perfection. I knew I wanted a jersey blanket for the bed because they are just so cozy. Wendy actually picked one out at Target. I was inspired by a skoolie in Australia, whose name escapes me, to hang lights from a stick in the bedroom. This particular stick is a walking stick that Wendy made for me on our first weekend away together to the Forest Retreat in Mississippi. We also used this stick to make the selfie backdrop for our wedding in San Diego.
The refrigerator had been in use in our den since we bought it ages ago. Wendy let it defrost and we managed to load it into place ourselves. Our plan to keep it in place while driving is a couple of ratchet straps. Wendy and my dad changed the refrigerator doors today so that they open to the left. It was quite a feat as one of the very important screws was stripped before they even touched it. One of Wendy's mother's day gifts was this super cute mini Keurig. I only conceded to a bus Keurig because of the color. hehe. We found the cute jar next to it at Big Lots. The top seals so it'll hold Wendy's coffee. The trivet that the soap is sitting on was a neat London find! We stumbled upon a craft fair and a guy who made these awesome wooden trivet/cutting boards. I love it!
Neil LOVES the bus. He pried open the door today to get inside. He also meows at the door to let him in.
The seat belts for the sofa will arrive on Tuesday. After that, really the only thing left to do is figure out an awning. We're leaning toward making one ourselves because the pre-fab ones won't fit over our doors.
This week I'll work on a full transformation blog post and a budget post with a full list of what we used and how much everything costs.
We're ready for our first trip Memorial Day weekend! I'll post a whole blog about that, too! I'll also start planning an open bus day where everyone can stop by and see it in person. Thanks for following along! The adventure is really just beginning!