⅛” birch wood. One, go to hell! Haha! Two, I would not recommend this ceiling option unless you have the magical capacity of some of these others skoolie conversion types who made it happen. Good on ya! After struggling with this material and determining we could use it as a finished wall option instead, we decided to call around (well Shiang-ling did) and find the other recommended tongue and groove style wood that met our needs.

Success! Not only did NC Lumber and Supply have what we needed in stock, they offer was too good to turn down. So we grabbed the kids and headed into the business district of Wilmington, NC.

It was hot out and the wood was just long enough that we had to finally come to the conclusion that keeping it all centerline, for the sake of right and left turns not to punch out light lenses on the car, was the best option but not before we were both completely soaked in sweat and happy about our new choice. 

Of course, after finishing up what do you do with a friend’s empty trailer? Give a ride inside it back to their house with the kids in it. Memories right? It’s what we cherish as we age.


The next day we began the adventure of ceiling installation. I call it an adventure because it truly was in terms of the time and effort it takes to get a tongue and groove wood system up on a ceiling.

Johnny’s 5 Tips To Installing Your Tongue & Groove Ceilings

  1. We were initially using a portable circular saw with a speed square to guide the cut on each board. This was effective but not the best option overall and we ended up buying a Kobalt Miter Saw which not only proved more effective with the ease of cutting each board but sped up the overall process and timeline.
  2. Work from the centerline point on the ceiling and then come outward. This will hopefully prevent any extreme oddities that can’t be covered by a trim board or other “clean” technique.
    1. A key point here; once you reach the critical curve on the ceiling, do not screw in the lowest screw until you have the next board within the groove. Check out the video above around 13.56 mins.
  3.  Wear your protective equipment when applicable. Metal shavings are unforgiving and once they settle on the skin, eyes, the bottom of the feet etc… It becomes a nuisance and slows you down.
  4. Pay attention to what the wood is telling you. If you see your last technique is not working, adapt and find another path. I.e. Shiang-ling and I found a leapfrog type approach once the boards started down the critical bend in the roof.
  5. Know when to take a break! If you try to hard to maintain all cylinders on physical fitness, work, education, personal business’, children, etc… you’ll eventually burn out. So find a happy medium and make the best out of it all. Don’t forget, this is supposed to be fun!



Always enjoy building with the person you’re with… because the more exhausted you get, the more aggravating you’ll be and the less you’ll want to work. We haven’t had anything crazy yet, but it can get frisky in there!

We decided to move the bus because the location was not receiving any airflow, which is odd as the area around us outside is usually blowing bushes and tree branches like crazy, and we couldn’t take it anymore.

P.S. Always treat the people directing bus movement outside of the bus as though they want you to crash the bus 😉

P.P.S. Side help with a beer in their hand doesn’t make you feel any more confident in their abilities.

Once I had finally moved the bus to a sunnier location, hoping it would dry it out more and get fewer bugs falling out of the tree, I got back to work getting rid of old wood we had left on the property. Very convenient with the property. Shiang-ling and I then walked out to the animals to give them a bunch of worms that came up from the old bus parking spot which they enjoyed thoroughly.

To end the day, we “carefully” loaded the (2) 100-gallon freshwater tanks on the bus and celebrated with some good ole fashioned rib punches, playful pokes and cold water toss, and comedic conversation. Jenni says hi by the way…