Manual Labor – Noah’s Update

I wanted to get an update out about what has been done to the bus so far.  Without a lot of fluff, here is the manual labor side of things.

All the photos in this post are the ones that were posted on Craigslist when we bought it.

bus interior

Looks great, doesn’t it? You have no idea the disgusting things that can happen to a vehicle when you let it sit for a decade.

Floors are always the first thing that stand out to me – probably because I spend a good deal of time down there.  When I was growing up my dad and I used to wrestle every night and it was a big deal to me, so now I take on 3 kids almost every night… down on the floor.

Carpet is a filth magnet in general and the bus was a prime example.  So, first things first: the carpet had to go.  In general, pulling up carpet isn’t that bad; always wear a dust mask and safety glasses though. I’ll tell you, every funky thing embedded in the carpet will free itself as you pull it up and they will become projectiles that have a knack for finding your mouth – like tiny disgusting homing missiles.

The only problem I ran in to with the bus was that upstairs the walls had been built after the carpet was laid down which meant there was more cutting than usual.

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Once the carpet was done I moved on to other projects. Other projects that had nothing to do with the bus.  I had the idea to build an awesome arcade cabinet out of old computers to play all the video games I had when I was a kid because everybody needs one of those, right?

Then we got the letter about having to move and my hard drive with my arcade setup died so… back to the bus!

Once I realized that we were actually going to be moving into the bus I figured there were a few main areas that needed to be addressed.

Cleaning:  Top to bottom filth removal.  I work at a place governed by the FDA so I’ve learned a lot about cleaning things. I tried to follow a similar makeshift procedure: I removed all of the curtains and anything fabric as well as anything that was attached to the walls that could collect nastiness and threw them away.  Then I swept and vacuumed every nook and cranny using a shop vac with a hepa filter (while wearing a good dust mask, glasses, gloves and long sleeves).

There was carpet all over the bathroom area - aside from a tiny bit of vinyl around the toilet.
There was even carpet all over the bathroom area – aside from a tiny bit of vinyl around the toilet.

After all of the dust and debris were removed I filled a garden sprayer with 50/50 bleach solution and soaked every inch of everything – the bottoms of shelves, ceilings, walls, floors – everything and let that sit for 30 minutes. Then I went back through and mopped everything with 50/50 bleach.  Again, walls ceiling floor shelves etc. Note: this whole process makes your face feel like it’s melting. Be sure to wear latex gloves. Make sure those latex gloves don’t have holes… that might result in a chemical burn. Not that I know from experience.

Valances, wallpaper - everything had to go.
Valances, wallpaper – everything had to go.

Utilities: In addition to the bus we will also have an RV on the land with a working stove, fridge and air conditioner. The main focus for the bus is sleeping and bathing, so water and lighting/electricity are the only things I have been concerned with.  The cold water had a few leaks, but it was just PVC so that was easy to fix.  The hot water line was run in copper and had frozen so with the help of Sarah’s dad we soldered all the leaks in that.

We plan to have a normal sized hot water heater set up inside a shed on the property, so I will need to hook that into the existing system.  Electricity-wise: the AC power (generator) is fine and I haven’t had any problems with it, but the DC (battery) power, which we will run most of the time, is a mess.  My friend Scott from work is helping me get that squared away.  Once that is done the utility systems will be good to go.

We also plan to purchase some solar panels and look into wind-generated power as well. The more power we can generate ourselves, the better.

All of this is, of course, in addition to paint and flooring and trim and curtains and stain and false cabinet bottoms that I plan to install.

So, there we are in a nut shell.

busontheroad

Here she is back in her heyday, all shiny with a working radiator.
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16 thoughts on “Manual Labor – Noah’s Update

  1. Thanks! It’s coming along nicely- I’m almost recognizable, not sure if my finger tips will ever be the same though…

  2. Wow. What an awesome bus! I came on over from To Love Honor and Vacuum, and man. I love the idea of living in a bus! Of course, I’m probably not patient/unselfish/tough enough to actually do it… but what a great lifestyle!

  3. Your bus is going to be awesome! Back in 1968, my grandparents converted an old school bus in to an RV for a huge road trip through the eastern states. They had four adults and four kids living in it for at least a month as they drove south from Montreal (I can’t remember how far south they went) and back again. I think they may have had radiator problems too ;-). My great grandmother wrote a memior of that trip, as well as a children’s story from the point of view of the bus. It’s adorable.

  4. That is a fantastic photo too! My dad has converted buses since I was a kid (at least three of them), so I guess it must run in families. Maybe you’ll wind up with one too someday 🙂

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