Conversion Progress: Week Five | Slow Rolling Home Journey

3년 전

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While we love the rain and all that it brings, it's really slowing down our parade! Day after day this week, it's rained so hard that we couldn't work with any windows open, making for stuffy mornings and short afternoons.

Our experimentation with rivet-removal is going (frustratingly) well, as we're seeing that the best course of action will be to use power tools the whole way. Yes, we did attempt to do this by hand, one of us punching the center out and the other using a chisel to remove the head.


Drilling takes a toll! We've probably gone through at least 3-4 cobalt bits, working through the ceiling. Panels are loose and about ready to come down, but we both agree it's important to make sure we're ready to handle and dispose of the insulation before we let those giant metal sheets come crashing down.

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After all that rain, progress abound!


Okay, you can tell that I am just a little bit excited to share that the bus is now COMPLETELY GUTTED. No rivets - no metal panels - no insulation, just an empty tin can of possibilities. Here's how we treated that shell to make sure she stays nice forever (ideally):

  • Clean the devil out of it with a pressure washer and some Simple Green Heavy Duty Degreaser - note: make sure to THOROUGHLY RINSE your surface if you need to apply anything to it, which was an issue we ran into.
  • Corroseal rust-converter rolled on thick. We may have overdone it, as not all the parts we painted were rusty (we got lucky with this bus!), but those black spots you see are surface rust that had been ground down as much as possible, converting to a primer.
  • 3M 5200 Sealant, which is a marine-grade product. Alhen's experience in the marine industry made this a clear choice, because if it can seal anything to each other on a boat and be long-lasting and impervious to living its life in the water, it's good enough to plug the 100+ holes left in the floor.
    The makers of school buses must be applauded for making a product that is practically impossible to disassemble and that is so well put together (with glue, nails, and everything in-between), that they last as long as they do. This can make for some frustrating work!


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We had an enormous pile of insulation, steel, and rivets outside the bus that we are a little stumped on what to do with. It isn't exactly scrap-able, nor is it a walk in the park to cut it all up. We shuffled it into a pretty pile, but there's really no disguising this rubbish.

As two self-described sustainability-conscious hippies, it's kind of concerning how much waste this project is creating. We work diligently to reduce waste in our lives (reusable packaging and food storage, recycling, etc), but this stuff seems like its destined for a landfill. We were able to dispose of it at a local recycling firm but who knows what they'll do with it.

Up next, we're finalizing the layout and preparing for the sub floor!

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Hi, I'm Amelia! It's nice to meet you.

I'm a writer, minimalist, tiny home dweller, and maker living in East Tennessee, USA. My blog has lived at until I discovered Steemit, where I now post most of my work. To learn more about me, check out my introduction post, get up-to-date on my school bus tiny house conversion, and follow me for articles on slow living, sustainable fashion, self-expression, and quality curated resteems!

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I was just thinking about your bus house today when I read your introduceyourself, so awesome you made another post about it, I am excited to follow this transformation haha


Thanks @kotturinn. I typically use the tag #slowrollinghome so it keeps track of all the progress posts. Happy to have friends along for the ride. 😁


I will keep this in mind, thank you! :)

Very nifty project. I'm always very interested in heating. You should check out this amazing idea.

Your living my dream! Been trying to aquire a bus for a year now. But time and time again I get out bid or can find what I want. I will follow with jealous eyes...


I remember those days. We found this one hiding in the back of a NEW bus lot. The church who owned our bus bought it from the lot in 1990, then used it as part of their trade-in when they got a new bus in 2017! So, we ended up with this beautifully kept, one-owner < 100,000 bus. Don't be afraid to look everywhere!

great post Respect

Wow I am already excited for you! Nice!👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

Wow, your hard work is starting to pay off. Cant wait to see the next steps.


Thank you, @thriftymum! It's moving right along!

  ·  3년 전

I'm all about mobile tiny houses! Did a few posts back in the day about converting my cargo van into a living space.

I've been on hiatus for a few months, but I'm back now. Definitely going to follow you and your awesome bus conversion series.


That's awesome @jdc. Do share photos and progress for your van! I'm hoping to get the #tinyhouse tag going strong here on Steemit.

  ·  3년 전

Once the weather clears up I'll be able to get things out and install the bits that are supposed to be in there. That will be included in the next Van update which will be one (rather large) picture post.

Right on! You're making some progress, for sure! Waste is excessive in almost any building project. I won't even talk about how much we've created building our house. smh Hope you get a break from the rain. Up here, it's been snowing SO MUCH! lol! :)


Oh gosh, I can't imagine trying to convert a bus in Canada. SO COLD ❄️

The rain is not my friend right now. Still making great progress though. Nice!

Awesome work! I hope you are having fun and looking forward to read hot it is going it the future! :)

Whoa, this is a truly crazy and amazing adventure! You might try to ask the recycle company if you can sort of 'follow' your bigger pieces of trash - film it / photograph it, and write a piece about it. It would be a cool piece of journalism! Just an idea, I can imagine you have a head full of tasks right now ;-)


@soyrosa that would be SO COOL. I will take a look at what we have right now and see if that can't be a possibility​.

Its been a dreary couple days here in Ktown. I would love to connect with you and even help work on this project with you - that’s what Volunteers do, right? :-)


Yes! Hello fellow Tennessean. Let's get together in Knoxville soon. Find me on Discord?

nice progress!!! cool idea!!! keep in touch and good luck with everything

you know, that really brings up a good point about what we do with all the "guts" of the vans, busses and trucks we're ripping out, gotta think more about what we could do with all those raw materials collectively, or maybe we could start some sort of "scrap swap"- I bet someone at SOME point could use those raw materials- especially other van dwellers


you've got a new follower in me friend, can't wait to read more!

Such an exciting project. With all its challenges, what a wonderful stage to have reached. The blank canvas of your art.

I'm excited for you and so interested in following your journey now. Resteemed. 🦋

yeah so happy to follow your build, I have always loved the demolition part, there is something satisfying about pulling things apart to create something new, especially when it is your home, good job x