Bus Build: Ceiling Prep & Battling the Elements – S03E11

We knew that converting our bus outside in the Midwest would present some weather obstacles. In the summer we had dug out a big hole in the ground and prepped it to lay concrete for a level pad to park the bus on.  However we had not yet had more than 4 days in a row without rain and as we moved into winter it was just impossible for the ground to dry out in that amount of time with very little sunshine during the day.  So we have been unable to pour the concrete and the bus pad had basically become a swimming pool!

What we could do was prep our ceiling even though it was only about 36 degrees Fahrenheit in the bus.  We waited to do this job until after we had our floors down, as we thought it would be too dangerous to use the angle grinder while standing only on the metal beams of the floor. Don put a 4 ½ Inch 60 grit Aluminium Oxide flap disc on the angle grinder and removed as much of the surface rust as possible from the metal beams in the ceiling.  We were hoping that by painting the roof with Henry’s Tropicool we had sealed off any minor leaks in the roof that caused this rust in the first place.  When we had a non-rainy day, we opened up all the windows and spray-painted the metal beams with Rustoleum Primer

We were still unsure about a few things in our floor plan, so we decided to go check out an RV Expo happening close by.  We took our measuring tape and measured out bathroom and hallway sizes, took notes on things we liked and layout designs that worked well.  We had no aha inspiration moments, but we did learn a few things, like a bathroom with a small square footage can feel spacious with a good design plan.

The next step in our build was to put the skylights and fans into the roof before we insulate and put our ceiling up.  With the weather the way it was, snowy and cold, we were not able to move onto this step.  Don had to travel to California for work, so we decided to just turn the work trip into a month-long road trip adventure in the hopes of returning to a kinder climate for roof work. In hindsight we are really glad we took this trip, as only weeks after our return from this adventure the COVID19 Pandemic would hit the States and we would be forced to stay home. 

Our drive west was pretty easy but quick and we had a great time visiting friends in Los Angeles in between Don’s work commitments.  I was able to pick up some Pilates apparatus parts from my old Pilates studio that we will be using to build Pilates apparatus into the bus.  Stay tuned to see what we do!

On our way back home, we took the Southern route, visited family in Texas and spent a few days exploring the French Quarter in New Orleans. We had an absolute blast, listening to lots of amazing live music, sampling the Cajun and Creole cuisine and seeing a few sites and tours.

After our month of fun we returned to our bus, ready to start work on the ceiling. But as life would have it, things never work out quite that straight forward.


Up Next
We find some problems we need to fix and we settle on a floor layout that we both feel confident with.

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4 1/2 In. 60 Grit Aluminium Oxide Flap Disc
This disc did a great job at sanding off surface rust on our metal beams, formulated for long run times without needing to change discs.


Rustoleum Primer Paint
We used this Rustoleum primer to coat our metal floor beams. It is a durable protective coating with excellent rust prevention to be used on metal only.  It provides a base for excellent adhesion and withstands demanding, heavy-use environments. 


By Mela & Don

Mela and Don are sharing their journey as they make conscious decisions to live a more healthy, environmentally friendly life together.

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