Cleaning up the wires.

How many lights do we really need? Life is not always about needs. Nevertheless, we are running enough wires to light the place up like a Christmas tree. On the last vessel that we owned, Chief Yoga guru used to turn all the lights on and go outside. With the added lights on this new machine it will take her a bit longer to turn on the lights on. My mom would not be a happy camper to if we did such a thing in our house growing up. To make matters worse, we can now turn on all the lights, the air conditioner, open the windows and then go outside.

There is lots of talk about the correct way to run wires. Don’t do this, do that. One rule is don’t run 12v and 120v wires parallel to each other. This is a tough rule to follow on a small bus.

We purchased electric panels from the Marine Connection Outlet in Fort Pierce. This store sells used boat parts. We spent about 2 hours in there “shopping”. We used to shop here for our boat supplies.

The electric continues. Maybe tomorrow we will install the distribution panels.

Happy First month anniversary working on Lucky 8!

The first month of converting our shorty school bus past by very fast. Every day around 8 am, including weekends, we diligently driving to work on our project. On the way to work we stop either at the Home Depot, or Loves, or our local neighboring construction store. We missed only two days of work on the bus! What did we accomplish in the first month? We gutted it, installed trucks for solar panels, fixed the subfloor, skinned the windows, rubber seal painted, electrical – removed excess wires, rerouted exhaust, found the air tank problem, made under carriage mounts for tanks and propane, fixed the engine squeak, patched holes in the ceiling, framed ceiling and walls, and put floor insulation.

A bit tired, but happy to work on our bus!

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.

Exhaust System Rerouted

Exhaust out the side

So in order to free up some precious space underneath the bus we needed to reroute the exhaust pipe. It originally ran from the front of the bus all the way to the very back. This 4″ exhaust pipe occupied a lot of space and nothing could be close to it because of the heat.

So, we removed the pieces of exhaust that were pieced together from the bank of the bus up and over the rear axel stopping 2 feet before the muffler. Now all we needed was an elbow which we got from NAPA to make the turn out the passenger’s side. The next step was to cut off about a foot of the exhaust pipe still remaining and then place the elbow on that shortened exhaust pipe. With the elbow in place we were able to use a piece of the tail pipe we removed to attach to the elbow and run it out between the fuel tank and the rear tire.

The only part you really see is the cool cheap stainless steel exhaust tip.

Tank Supports Installed

Tank Mounts

Building a bus in Stuart has it’s challenges. Stuart is not a metropolis for building material. While Stuart does offer Lowes and The Home Depot as well as two electrical supply stores right next door to each other, what it’s lacking is selection. The Aisles of this Home Depot are not long enough to show the curvature of the earth as they are in other cities. In fact you can walk across the entire store in about 30 seconds. So with the limited floor space, this also limits selection.

Of course we try to order things online, but when times get tough and lack of planning stumbles upon us, we spend a lot of time at one the big box stores. Marina knows exactly where the restroom is in both stores and is pretty fluent with the Hardware and Electrical aisle at this point.

Nevertheless, we have the supports for our 4 tanks almost up. It’s always almost. Four tanks all the same size all 40 gallons. Two for water and two for black and gray water. The tanks still need to be ordered and that will take about 4 weeks. I better get on that.

We have not had too many clean jobs.

Dirty Jobs

So far our work has been dirty. Whether it’s removing fiberglass insulation, sanding old glue, angle grinder dust (lots of it), painting the floor, washing the under carriage or just sweeping up the debris, Marina always looks like a bunny

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