If you haven’t noticed by now Johnny is the methodical, researcher type that takes his time building and knows when he has found a stopping point. On the other hand, I like to move fast and erratically through multiple projects at a time. If I get bored or overwhelmed with something I simply push it to the side, at whatever degree of completion (which Johnny thoroughly enjoys), and move onto another project and circle back … they all need to get done right?
So right about now I am DYING. I have been the one that has been planning the finalized look, watching skoolie conversions on the ‘Youtube’, and have pinned our future home through Pinterest.
Right now, I just want to frame everything out, start building the sections, and call it a work of art; but of course, there are always things you need to do to prepare your space. So, even though I want to move at “holy shit they are quick” pace, I have to respect the priorities of certain tasks and sometimes you have to go slow down to set up for success down the line. So here are four things we had to do to start building out our skoolie conversion.
After the floors were removed we inspected the metal for rust issues. We were super lucky! But then again, we also had hopes that the route we chose in buying a bus would provide a well-maintained bus as the company we bought it from was well-known for maintaining busses that have been retired from the system. After inspecting the floor we caulked down some pennies with liquid nails around the bolt holes from seat removal and sealed our floors. Then we rolled on metal floor primer to treat the minimal surface rust and seal in our bus floors. We used a white color to evaluate any spots that might require extra attention or if it was dripping through the bottom we’d be able to see with a flashlight and minimal searching under the bus.
Striping Walls & Taking the Ceilings Down
Removing the screws from the ceiling and walls is such a tedious task and a shoulder workout! We decided to remove the current insulation in the walls as they were SUPER dusty and Johnny kept saying it was other people’s skin cells. But, as we started to remove the ceiling panels, we decided to keep the insulation because it was basically brand new. We think that with the insulation already in there and wood ceilings should “buffer/absorb” the heat and noise depending on our location more effectively. Ideally, we will be living in temps that are below 85F, and hoping that will be enough insulation for our lifestyle. Time will tell!
When we first started discussing the flooring we struggled two concepts. The first was a framing technique with insulation being placed in between the frames and then secure the subflooring down to the frame. The second was a gluing and pressure framing technique in which the 4×8 sheets of insulation are directly adhered to the metal floor and then the 4×8 sheets of ¾” subfloor are glued directly to the top of the insulation and tightly cut to press against the bus walls. Many other Skoolie Converters mentioned that the second option was the easiest and that framing was unnecessary.
Now that we have been walking back and forth on the floors daily with no other framing, in terms of rooms and other components of the bus, we both agree that we feel its solid to build on.
Design & Layout
This is this most fun and frustrating for me. I love spatial designing and figuring out how to make things work best for each space, so I have drawn probably 20+ designs. It will probably continue to change as you build because as we expected there are always unexpected things coming up. Just try to remember as you are building “measure twice, cut once”. Well, it’s more like measure many times, talk with building partner, and THEN cut.
Now we have an empty shell ready to be built on and I cannot begin to explain how excited I am!
Love, Momma Me-Ugh,