Category Archives for "Bus Conversion"

Bus Build: Custom TV Lift Cabinet • FREE Plans – S03E17

By Mela & Don | Bus Conversion , Bus Life , DIY , Lifestyle , Travel

With the stay at home orders in place for the pandemic, we found ourselves waiting for supplies to arrive by delivery. Not to worry though, while some projects were at a standstill, there are always others to be done.  We decided to tackle a project that we have been excited to get going for a while now - our entertainment center and fireplace cabinet.

We were gifted the Touchstone Recessed Electric Fireplace for our wedding and have been using it inside the house.  It kept us nice and cozy during the cold Midwest winter nights so we have no doubt it will do the same in our tiny house on wheels. We were inspired by other bus conversion/RV renovation designs who had built in an electric fireplace with a TV lift behind it.  This design is perfect for our needs, to hide the TV during the day and not the views out the window yet have a TV accessible for Movie nights or as a monitor for a standing desk.

Big thanks to our friends at Touchstone for collaborating with us and sending us the SRV 32800 Pro TV Lift to make our dream entertainment center in our dream tiny home. It holds up to a 50" TV and up to to 175 lb. It has a safety stop to detect if there is an obstruction, so your TV will never get damaged by accident, and extends just over 55 inches by using I of the 3 remotes provided.

Don used the 3D modeling software Fusion 360 to design our cabinets. It’s definitely not an easy program to learn but very helpful. Using this software, he made a very elaborate document breaking down the cabinet into modular parts and a detailed cut list.  Sign up below to download the Tv Lift and Fireplace Cabinet Blueprint PDF if you’d like to copy our entertainment center.
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We are thrilled with how the cabinet came out and are feeling much more confident now as we plan to make all our kitchen cabinets, murphy bed and wardrobe ourselves too. To finish the cabinet cabinet, we plan to make the face of the entertainment center match our kitchen cabinets. We also plan to have a seemless countertop that expands from our Tv Lift/Fireplace cabinet across our kitchen cabinets as well . Once we have finished our walls in the bus we will bring the cabinet inside, mount it to the bus walls and complete the finished look. So let’s get those walls built!

 

Up Next
In order to get our walls and ceiling built, we need to make some decisions on insulation. The one gift this pandemic has given us, is lots of time to research the options.

Some of the links we share are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, Rehabit8 will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that we have experience with all of the products we post and share them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Touchstone Pro TV Lift
For 50-inch TVs and smaller. Full extended height: 55.125 inches. Advanced technology including RS232, soft start and stop, safety stop up and down, and 3 remotes (wired & wireless RF and IR). 

 

Touchstone Recessed Electric Fireplace
The Sideline 40 allows you to change the heat, flame intensity and color using your electric fireplace remote. It is simple to set up, easy to use and has kept us warm so far during a Midwest Winter living in a basement!

 

Bus Build: Fan Install on Curved Bus Conversion Roof – S03E16

By Mela & Don | Bus Conversion , Bus Life , DIY , Lifestyle

To help ventilate our bathroom we chose the Maxxfan Deluxe by Maxxair. It has an intake and exhaust fan, an electric lid opener and remote. We chose this model as you can set it to auto function. When the temperature increases past the maximum degree (whatever you choose to set that to) it automatically turns on and begins venting. The lid also has a hood that will keep rain out, so you can use it come rain or shine.

We made a wooden frame for the fan to secure it to the beams on the ceiling of our bus in the same way that we made our skylight frames. Check out this blog for directions on how we made the frames. The only difference was that the fan is 14 x 14 inches which is smaller than our skylights. We made the 14x14 frame but added an extra ladder like piece to secure it to the roof beam.

We jacked the frame up into the ceiling and marked off where to cut the hole. Used an angle grinder with a diamond blade to cut the hole, then glued and screwed the wood frame into the ceiling. We used a few more screws this time then the skylights needed, as the fan sticks up above the surface and will have to withstand the force of the air as we travel.

Up on top of the roof we used butyl seal tape to secure the fan frame (provided with the Maxxfan) to the roof and a silicone sealant to the bottom and edge of the mount to ensure it was watertight. We used 16 screws to secure the fan mount into the buses aluminium roof and the wooden frame we created.

The Maxxfan frame bends to the slight curve of the bus roof quite easily however once you slide the actual fan into this, it’s a little trickier to get the fan to fit to the curve. It is designed to sit flush with a flat surface. With a little persuasion however we were able to screw the fan in place.  Once again we used a sealant to seal the screws and prevent any leaks.  

It was a fairly simple process to install. We hooked it up to a power source to test it and were very impressed with how quickly it began to cool down the bus.

 

Up Next
Juggling multiple projects and with limited opportunities for getting supplies, thanks to the Covid19 Pandemic, we took the opportunity to learn cabinetry skills and create our TV lift and fireplace cabinet.

Some of the links we share are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, Rehabit8 will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that we have experience with all of the products we post and share them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Maxxfan Deluxe by Maxxair
Powerful 10-speed intake and exhaust fan. Thermostat to control room temperature. Provides over 900 CFM to keep you cool and comfortable. Fits all standard 14" x 14" roof openings. Electric lid opening with remote control. Fan runs with lid closed to circulate air (Ceiling Fan Mode).

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Rustoleum Primer
Ideal for use on ferrous, non-ferrous metal, wood, concrete, masonry and other such surfaces to prepare surfaces for painting, provide rust protection and a tough finish that withstands weathering. We painted this onto our wooden frame to protect that wood from any moisture.

 

Butyl Tape
Ideal for sealing uniquely shaped joints, in our case - the curve of the buses roof. Apply along unusual patterns. Because the sealant is on a continuous roll, installer can work fast and be virtually assured that there are no skips or runs in the seal

 

Guerilla Glue Silicone Sealant 
Best for sealing gaps or cracks between two surfaces; works on window, door, kitchen, bath, gutters, auto, marine and more.  It dries a translucent clear and won't yellow, shrink or crack.  It is 100 % waterproof, and mold and mildew resistant.  We used this to seal the edge of the fan frame against the roof.

 

OSI QUAD Window, Door and Siding Sealant
OSI QUAD bonds without a primer to most common substrates like cedar, painted or stained woods, fiberglass, vinyl, coated aluminum, steel, metal, brick, masonry and concrete. With resistance to UV and extreme temperatures (20°F to 120°F) and proven wet surface application, OSI QUAD is the versatile and durable choice for professional contractors. We used this to cover the screws and make sure those holes wouldn't leak.

 

Teks 2-3/4" Wood-to-Metal Self-Drilling Screws
For attaching wood to thicker 20-12 gauge metal. Special winged fasteners ream a hole in wood preventing thread engagement during drilling. We used these to secure our wooden frame into the buses ceiling beams.

 

Teks 2-3/4" Wood-to-#9 1-Inch Teks Sharp Point Roofing Screws Metal Self-Drilling Screws
Teks hex washer head sharp point roofing screws with washer provide secure, weather sealing for all metal to wood applications, stable hex head & sharp point allow fast penetration. We used these to secure the fan's frame to the bus roof and into our wooden frame below.

 

Bus Build: Removing the Air Conditioning Unit of our Bus Conversion – S03E15

By Mela & Don | Bus Conversion , Bus Life , DIY , Lifestyle

When you are doing a bus conversion there are a million jobs to be done.  You really want to do the exciting ones, like putting in skylights or building walls, but some of the less exciting jobs still need to happen.  It was time to tackle the demolition of the buses original AC unit as we will be putting in a mini-split instead.

HVAC Removal

Now we couldn’t do this part of the demo earlier, as the aircon contains R22 which if vented is very harmful to the environment and ozone layer. It is important to find a certified professional to remove and dispose of the refrigerant according to the requirements of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

We found an air conditioning company who came and removed the R22, so now we could get to work removing all the air conditioning components.  This took out some considerable weight from the bus, plus it offers us more space to store things under the bus. This bay is closed off with a grate, providing the venting needed for storage of our propane tanks. In tiny living every space must be considered!

Planning our Lighting

Inside the bus, we began planning out our 12 Volt Electrical wiring and how to run conduit piping across the ceiling and where we can hide wiring in cabinets or behind decor. We have decided to go with a different variety of LED lights: dimmable flush mount lights overhead throughout the bus, touch lights under the overhead kitchen counters, string lights to run down the side of our bus for mood lighting and 2 light fixtures over the couch area for reading.

Simple Wiring Diagram

This allows us to plan out how many lights we will run per circuit and plan out which groups of lights are on the same circuits.

Will We Ever Complete our Bus Parking Pad?

If you’ve been following our journey from the beginning you will remember that we dug a big hole in the ground and framed out a pad for a level parking space. However with the rain and icy weather we have not been able to pour the concrete and it has just been a muddy swimming pool or ice rink for the squirrels!  Well, it finally dried up enough for us to fill the pad with gravel in preparation for the concrete.  We also used some of this gravel to fill in the muddy hole left in the garden from where we recently pulled the bus out the mud.

Thinking we were about to complete this project, things took a turn as we found out that our State would be going into a Safe at Home Order due to the coronavirus and our concrete contractor would not be able to come over.  So once again the parking pad will be put on hold but in the meantime there is still plenty of work we can do on the bus while staying safe at home.

 

Up Next
We rethink our bathroom design and install a Maxxfan Deluxe Roof Vent and a skylight over the shower.

Some of the links we share are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, Rehabit8 will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that we have experience with all of the products we post and share them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Dimmable Flush Mount Lights 
These 12V LED lights offer super slim space saving recessed design for a camper/motorhome/boat. Durable, delicate and easy to install.

 

Touch Lights  
We chose these RV 12V LED lights to place under the kitchen cabinets to provide a little extra light when cooking that can be controlled by their simple touch switch. They are dimmable so you can control how much light you need.

 

Fact Check

Bus Build: How we made Custom Skylights for $72 Each for our Bus Conversion – S03E14

By Mela & Don | Bus Conversion , Bus Life , DIY , Lifestyle

We looked into various options for skylights and decided to try our hand at a very inexpensive DIY approach using a wooden frame and polycarbonate.  The first skylight turned out fantastic, so we are putting in more! 

For only $72/skylight in material costs, we were able to build and secure our DIY custom skylights in place. And how are they holding up? We have experienced some pretty severe storms since we put them in with a tornado ripping through our local area and hurray - no leaks!

Here’s the steps and materials we used for our Skylight:

Plan out Where the Skylight Will  Go

We planned where to attach the skylights between the beams of our bus and checked for obstructions on both the ceiling and on the roof being careful to account for where seams and rivets were mounted.

Make Wooden Frame

We cut down 2x4’s into 4 pieces. As with most buses, our ceiling is curved so we followed this curve by tracing it off the beam of the bus. We then cut out notches where there were obstructions (rivets and seams) so the wooden frame would sit nice and snug up against the ceiling. We used corner clamps, wood glue and screws to secure the frame together.

COST $2.84 for the 2X4 lumber

Paint Frame for Protection

We chose to spray Rustoleum primer onto the frame to help protect the wood from any moisture.  

COST for Rustoleum primer $4.16

Cut Polycarbonate to Size of Frame

For our skylights we choose AmeriLux polycarbonate that is rated at 100X stronger than glass. We got ours from Menards. We were advised to use a blade with a carbide tip on the table saw to cut the Polycarbonate to the  size of the frame, keeping the protective film on.

COST for Polycarbonate $44.49

Drill Pilot Holes in Polycarbonate & Frame

We removed the polycarbonate protective film only from the sides where we made the pilot holes to continue to protect the skylight from getting scratches. First we made pilot holes about  2 inches apart through both the polycarbonate and the frame with the drill bit, then we removed the polycarbonate from the frame and used a bigger sized bit to make larger holes in the polycarbonate.  This is important as you want the screws to bite into the wood, but you don’t want the polycarbonate to splinter and web out from the screw.  We checked with the manufacturer to find the recommended size drill bit for our polycarbonate.

Mark then Cut Roof Metal Flush with Frame

We mounted the wooden frame up against the ceiling with a couple jacks so we could mark the inside of the frame onto the ceiling.  Then took the frame down and used an angle grinder with a Diamond edge blade to cut the hole for the skylight.

Mount Frame to Bus Ceiling Beams

First, we drilled pilot holes through the wood frame and metal beams.  Then applied Loctite Polyurethane Construction Adhesive to secure the wood frame to the metal ceiling and Teks 2-3/4" Wood-to-Metal Self-Drilling Screws to secure the frame to the beams.

COST for the Polyurethane Adhesive $4.68

COST for Wood-to-Metal Self-Drilling Screws $7.46

Sand Roof Metal Flush with Frame

We used the angle grinder with a 36 grit sandpaper face to buff and smooth the edge flush with the frame.

Align Polycarbonate to make Pilot Poles in Roof Metal

Next we cleaned off the area around the skylight hole, then aligned the polycarbonate in place and marked off the holes to make the pilot holes into the roof and wood frame.

Glue Polycarbonate to Roof

We applied Henry’s Roof Sealant to the roof (the same silicone sealant we used to paint the entire roof) and placed the polycarbonate on top, being sure not to get the glue too close to the edge because as you screw the polycarbonate down the glue will spread.

COST for Henry’s Roof Sealant $11.97

Screw Polycarbonate to Roof

We used #9 1-Inch Teks Sharp Point Roofing Screws to secure the Polycarbonate through the metal of the roof and into our wooden frame.

COST for Teks Roofing Screws  $9.33 for a 110 CT

Seal Polycarbonate Edges to Roof

We used Henry’s Roof Sealant all along the edge of the polycarbonate. Silicone sealants do not degrade in sunlight.

Glue Over Screws

We covered the screws with OSI QUAD Window, Door and Siding Sealant as an extra precaution to prevent any leaks around the screws.

COST for QUAD Window, Door and Siding Sealant $6.25

Remove Polycarbonate Protective Film

And finally, now that we are done we remove the protective film to reveal our beautiful skylight!

We are so in love with our skylights, they make a huge difference to our space. One of the reasons this is such an economical way to install skylights is that once you have purchased the screws and sealants your only remaining costs are the polycarbonate and wood for each additional skylight. Once we have built our ceilings we will add a metal frame to the inside of the skylight to finish it and are considering adhering a ceramic tint film to the polycarbonate to ease the heat transferred through the skylights and to protect our furniture and floors from the sun damage.  We’ll keep you posted on progress for tinting and finishing the interior of the skylights when it happens.

 

Up Next
While all we want to do is get to the big exciting steps, there are a ton of little jobs and lots of preplanning that must take place beforehand.  We remove the buses original AC, make an electrical plan, get a little further along with our bus pad and more!

Some of the links we share are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, Rehabit8 will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that we have experience with all of the products we post and share them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Rustoleum Primer
Ideal for use on ferrous, non-ferrous metal, wood, concrete, masonry and other such surfaces to prepare surfaces for painting, provide rust protection and a tough finish that withstands weathering

 

Amerilux Polycarbonate
Virtually unbreakable, lightweight, and transparent, polycarbonate is the premium replacement option for glass.  It can be used in applications such as garage door windows, safety shields, and other home repair applications.

 

Loctite Polyurethane Construction Adhesive
Premium quality commercial grade sealant developed especially for forming permanent, water and weather resistant seals in most exterior gaps and joints. Outstanding durability, tear resistance and a movement capability of +/- 25% which accommodates construction material movement to protect the original seal

 

Henry's Roof Sealant
For best results on your roof use Henry 884 Tropi-Cool 100% Silicone Roof Sealant. It provides strong adhesion to many different building materials. Features of the sealant include UV resistance and weathering characteristics with no hardening, chalking, crazing or cracking. It's also mold and mildew resistant.

 

OSI QUAD Window, Door and Siding Sealant
OSI QUAD bonds without a primer to most common substrates like cedar, painted or stained woods, fiberglass, vinyl, coated aluminum, steel, metal, brick, masonry and concrete. With resistance to UV and extreme temperatures (20°F to 120°F) and proven wet surface application, OSI QUAD is the versatile and durable choice for professional contractors. 

 

Teks 2-3/4" Wood-to-Metal Self-Drilling Screws
For attaching wood to thicker 20-12 gauge metal. Special winged fasteners ream a hole in wood preventing thread engagement during drilling

 

Teks 2-3/4" Wood-to-#9 1-Inch Teks Sharp Point Roofing Screws Metal Self-Drilling Screws
Teks hex washer head sharp point roofing screws with washer provide secure, weather sealing for all metal to wood applications, stable hex head & sharp point allow fast penetration.

 

Bus Build: Creating a Skylight in Our Bus Conversion – S03E13

By Mela & Don | Bus Conversion , Bus Life , DIY , Lifestyle

We were quite nervous about cutting holes in our roof, especially since we have been dealing with leaks over the past week, but it was time to face our fears. 

There are different ways to install a skylight and after much research we found an option that was both affordable and matched our skill level. We are absolutely thrilled with how the skylight turned out and of course it rained shortly afterwards. Success - no leaks! Cutting a hole in the roof turned out to not be as scary as we thought. We love our tinted side windows, as no one can see in the bus, but it does make it dark so the skylight really helps to bring in natural light.

This whole journey is a BIG learning curve for us. When we started we dived in before we really knew what we were doing, but that hasn’t always been a great method.  So now, even if we are itching to get started on a project, we take the time to research, then research a little more and then even some more.  This may mean things take longer but it is the best way to have a well built home. We now always read the instructions/directions/warnings (even if we think you know what you are doing), and carefully plan out the order and steps we must take to complete the project. 

After such success with our first skylight, we look forward to sharing the details with you as we put our 2nd skylight in.

Up Next

As we put in our 2nd skylight we break down the steps into a “How To Install a Skylight” video.

Bus Build: Virtual Bus Conversion Tour of our Working Floor Plan – S03E12

By Mela & Don | Bus Conversion , Bus Life , DIY , Lifestyle

Having spent a month traveling, we were excited to get back into the bus and get down to work.  We revised our layout on the computer. Having visited the RV Expo we had gathered more ideas on design and it had helped us figure out what kind of bathroom design will feel comfortable for us without taking up too much valuable square footage.

We went into the bus ready to tape out our new design only to find there had been a slow leak through the ceiling and onto our new floors!  We were gutted.  It wasn’t a lot of water but it had rained and snowed a lot over the month we had been away and this slow leak over time, that never (or rarely) was able to dry, had begun to mold the wood.  We were confused why it hadn’t leaked previously and why it began to leak while we were away, but later that afternoon it began to rain again and we could see where the leak was coming from.  As we suspected, the leak was through the old antenna in the bus ceiling.  So as a temporary fix, until we can take it out and seal it properly, Don’s dad covered it with plumber’s putty, which worked well.

We took out the floorboard that was moldy, we will probably be able to cut out the moldy area and use the rest of it somewhere else in the build.  We bought and cut a new piece of plywood and we really hope that our floors 3.0 will have no further problems!

In the meantime, we needed to change over our Bus Registration to a new State.  We needed to get the bus weighed to complete the necessary paperwork. Problem was that with all the rain and moisture, the bus had sunk into the mud.  Yup, we were stuck in the mud!  

Don first had to reconnect all the lights (as during demolition some marker light wires needed to be snipped in order to take out the luggage bins), check that all lights were working (headlights, brake lights etc.) and then Don and his dad spent a good ½ hr trying to get the bus out the mud. This was no easy task but eventually we did succeed.  All went well getting the bus out of the long muddy driveway, we got the bus weighed (we had taken out about 15,000 lbs in the demolition!) and back onto the property to park in the driveway this time.  We really needed to get our bus pad filled in with cement, but with all the rain it was looking unlikely.

So much time has been spent just solving problems. These are things you just don’t think to account for but are a reality of doing a bus conversion. Finished with addressing issues, we taped out our new floor layout and created a virtual tour to share with you. We are feeling very confident with our design choices and hope you enjoy the video tour.

Up Next

Post leaks, we were very nervous about cutting holes in our ceiling. But we did it!  Stay tuned to see our skylights.

Choosing a Bus for Conversion, Tag, Title & Legal – How We Did It

By Mela & Don | Bus Conversion , Bus Life , DIY , Lifestyle

As we have been sharing our journey in converting our 1996 MCI D3 Coach Bus we have been asked a lot of the same questions from people who are considering a bus conversion themselves. We did a lot of research on buses prior to picking our Coach Bus so we thought we’d make a resource video and answer these FAQ.

In this video we discuss:

  • The Pros and Cons of School Buses and Coach Buses

  • How to get Legal (registration and insurance)

  • Driving and Safety in a Coach Bus

  • Demolition: The first steps to get your bus ready for your build

The Pros and Cons of School Buses and Coach Buses

There’s a lot to consider when choosing your dream bus, I highly recommend you do a lot of research before you purchase a bus but we hope this video will help you consider some of the basics of which kind of bus is right for you.

How to get Legal (registration and insurance)

Here are some helpful links with regards to getting your bus legal that we talk about in the video:

Register your bus as an RV in Vermont

CA DMV RV Registration

Driving and Safety in a Coach Bus

View the Pre-Trip Inspection Video here

Download the Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist we created to use before we drive the bus anywhere

Demolition: The first steps to get your bus ready for your build

Often people burn out after the demolition and give up on their bus conversion. If you can find a bus that someone has already taken down to the bare bones I would highly recommend you consider buying it, or at the very least with the seats removed. The demolition is tough and having gone through the process we can understand why so many people give up at this stage. 

Knowing your limits and capabilities is important when taking on such a venture. Our demolition was exhausting but it did not break us. Watch our series of demolition videos here to get a taste of what a coach bus demolition looks like:

Full Playlist of Bus Demolition - Season 2 

Bus Build: Ceiling Prep & Battling the Elements – S03E11

By Mela & Don | Adventure , Bus Conversion , Bus Life , DIY , Lifestyle , Travel

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.

Some of the links we share are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, Rehabit8 will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that we have experience with all of the products we post and share them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

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. 

 

Bus Build: Planning the Floor Layout for our Bus Conversion Tiny Home – S03E10

By Mela & Don | Bus Conversion , Bus Life , DIY , Lifestyle , Travel

Our original bus floors were made of ¼ inch plywood and in order to keep the engine hatch (at the back of the bus) accessible it made complete sense for us to use ¼ inch plywood for our new floors too.  However, once the floors were completed we were not happy as it did not feel solid enough. Especially over the area where the ramp had previously been which we built up to all be one level.

If we could go back in time we would have put down ¾ inch plywood everywhere except the back of the bus where it needs to be ¼ inch near the hatch.  In order to keep the conversion moving forward, we decided our best option was to just put another layer of plywood on top.  

We chose to put an underlayment down on top of the ¼ inch floors to insulate and act as a moisture barrier, then placed ¾ inch plywood on top of that.  This was much easier the second time round as we were screwing wood to wood and didn’t need to worry about securing down to the metal beams.

We have been working on our floor plan since before we even bought our bus but now that we finally had floors we could tape out our design and get a feel for it.  There are so many details to consider and we found that once we were actually in the bus what looked good on paper (or the computer) didn’t necessarily translate in the space. We had prioritized the kitchen countertop space, yet taped out of the floor we questioned if it was really big enough.  Were our hallways too narrow? Would the bathroom feel claustrophobic? We found ourselves going back again and again to our design and considering many different variables.  

This phase of the build was getting us particularly excited as it was all getting a little more real.  Especially as we began receiving gifts from our wedding registry, like an electric fireplace by Touchstone and my dream kitchen sink, a stainless steel farmhouse sink by AKDY.

We set the fireplace up inside the house and it has been working great at keeping us warm on these chilly winter nights. Above the fireplace we were looking for a solution for a TV Lift as we shared in our inspiration video.  Thanks to our friends at Touchstone for helping us turn our bus conversion dreams into a reality by sending us a Touchstone SRV 2800 Pro TV Lift.  It can accommodate up to a 50 inch TV and extends up to 55 inches.

We are so excited to start building our entertainment center, but first we must finalize our floor plan.  Coincidentally there was an RV Expo happening around this time, so we headed off with our tape measure and measured bathroom, hallways, countertops and more.  This was a great opportunity to really feel what felt too big, too small or just right for us!

 

Up Next
We learn a lot at the RV Expo and come back more sure of what we want in our design.

Some of the links we share are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, Rehabit8 will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that we have experience with all of the products we post and share them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Touchstone Pro TV Lift
For 50-inch TVs and smaller. Full extended height: 55.125 inches. Advanced technology including RS232, soft start and stop, safety stop up and down, and 3 remotes (wired & wireless RF and IR). We look forward to setting this up and showing you how we do it.

 

Touchstone Recessed Electric Fireplace
The Sideline 40 allows you to change the heat, flame intensity and color using your electric fireplace remote. It is simple to set up, easy to use and has kept us warm so far during a Midwest Winter living in a basement!

 

14 Small Space Design Ideas for Our Bus Conversion

By Mela & Don | Bus Conversion , Bus Life , Lifestyle , Travel

As we work to plan out the layout of our bus conversion, we reflect back on some of flats and apartments we stayed in on...

Posted by Rehabit8 on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

During our honeymoon we stayed in some small Airbnb apartments and a tiny hotel room in Europe. These are typical sizes for the areas we were in, but we realized this was an opportunity to take notes on what we liked and what didn’t work for us while living in a small space. 

We gathered ideas from our accommodations and turned them into notes for things we want to look into including in our Bus Conversion Design.

Watch the video to see our ideas!

Some of the links we share are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, Rehabit8 will earn a small commission. This commission comes at no additional cost to you. Please understand that we have experience with all of the products we post and share them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.

Chase Travel Sapphire Preferred
This is the Chase Sapphire credit card we used to earn points to purchase flights for our honeymoon.

Apply for the card through our link and earn 60,000 Bonus Points and we will get 15,000 points for the referral.

Get $55 off your first trip with AirBnB 
​​If you are new to AirBnB, use this link to sign up and receive a $55 discount on your first trip.  ​

 

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