Nothing like starting off a day of hard work with a mild hangover! Our friend Chris came over from Lansing for an evening out in Metro Detroit and we also met up with a new friend, Sera, who we met through Josh (who now lives in San Fran). I’ve added a couple bad photo’s I took from the night prior for reference 😉
Dan, my Dad, and our buddy Jake all took part in working on the bus this Sunday and the affects of that work are visible on all of us. Jake has a couple of burns, he’s covered in PVC cement, dirt and sweat. Dan is sore in the shoulders, back and abs from essentially doing crunches all day to paint POR-15 our new storage boxes that our Uncle Greg built. My Dad, as per usual, didn’t come out unscathed with some cuts on his hands, dirt mixed into the remaining hair he has, and I’m sure a body that will ache all day tomorrow. My Mom, who didn’t help on the bus today, is laid up with the Flu. I think I got off the easiest with my shoes, pants, and hands covered in paint and a couple of scrapes on my shins and hands. There are still vestiges of green paint on my hands from freshening up the wheels on the bus.
Today wasn’t an easy day in terms of getting work done, but we did accomplish a lot and for Michigan in early March it was gorgeous. The sun was shining on us and the temperature climbed just north of 60 degrees. My Pops designed the basic concepts for attaching the grey water tank, but as we worked on it and encountered new issues the original plan got modified (of course). The boxes that will house our battery bank, the generator, and the propane tank are all coated in POR-15. The wheels have been cleaned and repainted in a vibrant new ninja-turtle green. The PVC has been run to finish setting up the sink/shower water to the grey water (the waste valve still needs to be installed, and the PVC needs to actually be joined to the tank. The armored electrical has been placed in the generator box, and the hole for the propane line is drilled and ready to install the propane tank.
POR-15’ing the storage and building the grey water tank mount were the really involved tasks, but they’ve been completed!
So, I’ve been putting this off for too long. In mid February we got a lot of work done on the bus. It was actually still kinda chilly out. High’s in the low 60’s, perfect working weather. We kept trying to find a cabinet shop that could make us custom table tops, and not a single fucking one was open. We tried calling a bunch and leaving messages. Apparently granite is cheap now and most places were only doing granite/marble counter tops. Anyways, we decided to take 2 sheets of cabinet quality 4×8’s and glue them together, sand them and screw them together from the bottom. After that trimmed to our sizes and rounded the edges. Stained and varnished both of them. We also framed out the rest of the area for the shower and got that installed, which was a new experience for both of us. Currently no grey water tank yet, so the pvc is just sticking out of the bottom. We’re not planning on using it until we have a grey water tank.
We also sewed up some covers for our beds. I ended up buying a king size foam mattress off of amazon and cutting it in half to our specs. The covers are pretty durable which should help protect the foam. You can also see the master lock that we got for the front door. It’s a pretty nifty way to do the front, we bought a garage door lock for the back.
Painting. We had originally wanted to paint the bus some ridiculous color like Lamborghini green. There is a beautifully hideous fluorescent green spray paint from rustoleum, unfortunately we were only finding it in spray paint cans and no gallons of it. So, we went with a Behr oil based exterior/interior paint. Before we could paint though, we needed to cleanup some of the stuff on the outside. Most of which involved removing lights and using a wire brush attachment thing for the angle grinder.
Clean up took an hour or two at night. Took off the former painted on school bus lettering. Had some scrapes on the side we had to clean up as well. I was kind of anxious about painting the bus. I’ve never painted a vehicle before and I didn’t know if there were some other things to keep in mind when painting. Anyways, we cleaned up the bus after work so we could get to work the next day.
So we had both canopies going. Started with some foam brushes and our rollers, eventually I got a system down on the sides where I didn’t need the foam brushes for the most part. Really just needed it for the top to get under the lip. You can also see the Roof Paint we used. We ended up using little rollers for that which worked out pretty well. We still need to get up there though and recaulk the seams.
We started with the front of the bus since we figured it would be the biggest pain in the ass to deal with. It wasn’t too bad, Matt stood up on the hood of the bus and painted the top using the roller and foam brush.
Mostly done there. We decided to paint the grill something different so we opted to leave it blank for now. I had braised some cheap beef cut which turned out really well. Fresh green beans and some roasted potatoes, great way to cap off the first coat of paint.
I wasn’t super excited about putting on the second coat. I figured it would take a little under the same amount of time as the first coat. I was completely wrong. We went through the 2nd coat in just over an hour.
We used those Purdy WhiteDove rollers. Those things are a little pricey but they worked out really well. Our roommate Phil sanded down the top light covers and spray painted them for us so we could put them back up. Also, I bought waaaaaaaay too much paint. 2 cans of paint was more than enough to cover the bus. I was thinking we would go through 4.. so for any other short skoolie converters, something to keep in mind.
We were so happy with a bus that was finally painted that we decided to take Sunday off and go to the beach!
So, we couldn’t find anyone to do a paint job that wasn’t going to cost anything approaching reasonable. We wouldn’t have been looking for someone else to paint, but we have this huge oak tree in the back yard that drops gobs of shit constantly.
We went ahead and built ourselves a redneck paint/rain protector. Got the canopy built and the next day we power washed and scrubbed the roof. I was hoping that the power washer would cover it.. but there was too much dirt, grime, and whatever else that it couldn’t take off. Matt ended up climbing up on the roof and scrubbing while I sprayed. Also, thanks to our friend Michael we were able to borrow his power washer instead of having to buy one. Thanks!
Anyways, that all worked up some hunger so I made some dan hash.
Some more photos from Matt: