Stuck in Florida

Our hope was to leave Stuart in June. The sun is really starting to heat things up here in Florida, summer is coming. It’s getting too hot to work outside on the bus so we must be leaving.

Or so we thought. We brought the bus to our apartment in Stuart. Our plan was to load up our things and leave in the AM. Well, on the 3 mile drive from our build location the exhaust was blowing so much black smoke that James Bond would have been impressed.

We had no idea why this was happening, so we decided to go to the mechanic. Stuart is more of a quaint little town with nice shops and a marina, where we stayed for quite some time too. Stuart is not a place to get a heavy duty truck fixed. Fort Pierce is a much better location for that, so we drove 15 miles to Rechtien International Trucks to let the professionals figure it out.

Near the end of the day Rechtien called and said they could fix it. But it will take a bit. We need 1 fuel injector, ICP sensor, fix a coolant leak, and replace one sensor that has the wrong sensor in its place. I must have done that one.

Luckily we had a rental car for the week and we were able to drop the bus off, spend the night back at our apartment and come the next day to get it.

Our hosts at Riverview apartments, Veronica and Armond, were very flexible with us and allowed us to stay longer than we had a originally planned. At this point we were in the weekly notice schedule and moving towards the daily schedule.

Lucky8 is getting ceiling framing, finally…

It’s almost a month we are working on our new home. Finally, we are getting to the fun work – framing inside of the bus.  It’s much cleaner and fun working with the plywood and 2×2. Drills, chop saw, hand saw, and wonderful smell of the freshly cut wood.

Grinding and more grinding


That grinder is earning it’s keep on this bus. Actually we have 3 of them. They are the go to tool lately for this part of the project.

We have removed a lot of stripped screws, pop rivets and extra pieces that we don’t think we need.

Not sure how many blades we have been through, but it’s a lot. And a lot of sanding pads.

Today was a few stuck screws and a few hidden pop rivets. This allowed us to remove the back wall and expose more wires that were not needed and hence removed.

What did we do past four days…. floors, floors, floors..

Removing seats from the bus was very easy and quick task, but removing the tracks where seats were mounted took us four days! We extracted 366 bolts from the floor, one by one… The question was, what do you do to patch those 366 bolt holes??? We tried three different methods, which two of them totally did not work: Bondo Hair from Walmart (it was gooey disaster on the floor), then Bondo Putty from Home Depot (the putty just fall down through the bolt holes). Finally, we bought a fiberglass tape at Home Depot. Both of us working very quickly (before putty hardens) we applied putty over the tape. That solution seems helped mostly, but not 100%. Then we sprayed Rust Oleum over the floor to prevent/cover rust. The next day we got rubber sealant from Home Depot and spread over the floor, we hope that will help against leaking through original 366 bolt holes. Will see.. maybe..

366 bolt holes covered by rubber sealant paint

Removing 400+ bolts which hold the chair tracks

Too many bolts!

It took over 2 days to remove all those bolts laying there on the floor. Those tracks were secured with bolts that went through the floor and a nut was underneath which had to be found. It’s another dirty job. We will reuse these tracks for the solar panel mounts and the roof storage rack

Chair Track Removal

Oh those tracks

The chair removal was easy, it’s the damn tracks that take so long. I sure wish we would have stopped by a car wash on the way home. Every time you touch something under the bus a blast of dirt falls from the bottom and lands in my eyes.