We’re thinking ahead to Grey Fox this year. This is a nice memory from last year.
When we last left off, we still had water flowing uninterrupted into our precious living quarters. Well, maybe it was only a trickle, but it was still entirely too much. With the bus stripped back down to bare metal, we tried to figure out a solution. But the bus still had obligations to meet.
Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hill, NY. The bus was profoundly missed last year, and this summer was a welcome change of pace. The deck added a fun perspective to the weekend, and held a few brief jams. We’ve been nothing but impressed with its strength.
We spent Grey Fox without a splinter of wood inside the bus, and when we returned home we went back to stopping the leaks. It was Nishi who discovered how to properly seal the windows. It doesn’t take too much caulk, but it does take a lot of time and patience – her prop skills continue to be valuable. After dealing with the worst windows, we reached a place where we were no longer concerned with water ruining our hard work, and resumed construction. In early October, some friends of ours were getting married, and we made that our deadline for a presentable interior of the bus.
We used new insulation on the walls, thinner than what we had before. Though the insulation I had scored off craigslist had been the right price, the fiberglass paper sides were a tremendous nuisance, and they protruded past the ribs making it impossible to square anything. These thinner, foil covered boards are a breath of fresh air, and will still keep us plenty warm.
Our old insulation fit easily in place on the floor, and we covered it with 1/2″ plywood this time instead of 1/4″. This does give us a more smooth and even subfloor to build on. We skipped the rosin paper entirely this time, as it seemed to provide no benefit.
We insulated the wheel wells, and began the process of reinstalling everything we’d taken out. We were able to get the counter and the 13′ port bench installed by the wedding, and the two starboard benches were installed shortly after returning home.
We did run into one mechanical issue – the lift pump in our engine stopped working. In brief, the lift pump is what supplies fuel from the tank to the high pressure pump on the engine. Luckily, it was a relatively easy fix, and we were on the road in no time.
Charlie came along to the wedding, and it turns out he’s quite the bus-dog. Though he doesn’t much care for the highway, he’s pretty happy lounging around on the benches and looking out the windows.
Passive solar heating continues to impress me. We have the entire port side of the bus facing South, so sunny days heat it up nicely. 40 degree differences are common so far, and it’ll be interesting to see how that holds up as the outside temperature drops.
And one last note, we’ve officially changed the domain of this site to bus.life (much better).
We finished the roof deck yesterday. Lots and lots of work, but we’ve increased our living space by about 50%!
We started by drilling 9/16th holes in the ribs of the bus, on center. The drill needs to go through both the rib and the sheet metal of the roof. It’s important try and keep everything as straight as possible, or else the bolts will come up crooked.
Next, we ran boards along the center line on top of the roof. We ripped 1″x6″ boards in half, and lined them end to end. We drilled up through the holes we already made, to make perfectly aligned holes in the boards. We then moved the boards aside to put a rubber membrane in place. We rolled out and caulked the membrane, and then placed the boards back on top.
We found center on our 93.5″ 4×4 beams, then drilled 1/2″ holes through the center. We don’t have a drill press, and we had to find a drill guide to make sure we could make perfectly straight holes through the 4×4. We cut a larger hole around this to countersink the nuts and washers that will attach to the bolts.
These beams are placed perpendicular to the centerboard on top. Our 1/2″ bolts come up through the ribs, rubber membrane, and beam.
We made an 18° cut into 4×4 posts, which will support the beams on the outside.
We cut gaskets to match the footprint of these posts.
Before we placed these posts, we drilled 1/4″ holes for our structural screws to come through the ribs.
The posts were put in place, and attached to the beams with handy post caps. We drilled up through the ribs securing these posts to the bus with structural screws.
With our frame firmly in place, we started screwing down the decking.
This is the finished product. The main decking area that will be used for recreation is in the back, and the walkway towards the front runs between the voids where our solar panels will be mounted.
Access to the deck will be mainly by a rear mounted ladder (not yet installed).