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Welcome to The World School Bus Project daily blog! We’re a traveling, world schooling family of five who sold everything we owned to live life outside the box. Currently, we’re converting an old school bus into a tiny house on wheels for an amazing, open-ended road trip around the United States! Follow along by bookmarking this blog and liking us on Facebook and Instagram!

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DEATH TO SCREWS

After three days off due to crappy weather and me (Sarah) getting a cold, we finally got back to work on the bus today! Unfortunately, we had to pick up where we left off, unscrewing until our arms turned into jello. If you read our last update, you know we finally gave up on the drill and started grinding the screws down after hours of being unable to get them unstuck. Grinding was definitely working, but it was making our metal ceiling sheets look terrible and we had been hoping to re-use them. (More on that in a few minutes!) Online, I read that squirting a little WD-40 and hammering the screws might help to loosen them up enough to drill them out, so we brought along a small bottle of WD-40 and a hammer and gave it a shot. Henry was using the drill, so I grabbed a screwdriver to see if the “loosened up” screw would budge and to my surprise, IT DID! Just as I was about to proclaim “THIS WD-40 IS MAGICAL!” I thought, “this screwdriver fits into the screw so much better than that stupid drill.” I mentioned it to Henry and he said “yeah, well that drill bit sucks.”

What? It does? WHY DOES IT SUCK? IS THAT OUR PROBLEM?! 

You guys.

THAT WAS OUR PROBLEM.

As soon as I switched out the drill bit, the screws started coming out! A few of them were stubborn and had to be grinded down, but we got SO MANY screws out with the drill today! I probably shouldn’t admit how simple the solution was, since it makes us look pretty stupid, but hey, I told you guys we don’t know what we’re doing. Now you have proof!:)

One of these bits is awesome. One of them SUCKS. Can you tell which is which?

World School Bus Project, skoolie, bus conversion, rv, tiny house, tiny home on wheels, school bus, unschoolers, unschooling, home school, travelAfter unscrewing most of the rest of the screws and grinding a few down, almost all of the metal ceiling was down, leaving just the old insulation. Most of the insulation looks clean and dry, but in a few spots, it’s black and gross looking, which tells us the roof isn’t fully sealed. Once we get all this old insulation out, we’ll have to figure out where it’s leaking and make sure it’s sealed up tight before we put the new insulation and ceiling in.

Which brings me back to the should-we or shouldn’t-we reuse the metal ceiling question. We originally planned on putting the panels back up and painting them. I like the look of the metal and thought it could look kinda retro-cool if we kept it. After a little more research, though, I think we’ve changed our minds and decided on a wood plank ceiling. There are a couple of reasons why :

1. Once all our framing is up (for the bunk beds, cabinets, closet, etc.) it’ll be impossible to put the metal ceiling back up without cutting it. Who the hell wants to cut a metal sheet?! Sounds like a royal pain in the ass. Wood planks, on the other hand, are easy to cut and would match the wooden framing.

2. Metal will be freezing in the winter and hot as hell in the summer, even with a layer of insulation behind it. Wood would stay a pretty constant temperature.

3. It’s super easy to paint and won’t scratch as easily as painted metal.

So, it looks like we’re going with a wood-plank ceiling. Keep checking back to see how it goes!

That’s about it for today. Sorry for another uneventful update. Who knew screwing could be so boring?!:)(I’ll never get sick of screw puns!)

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This is what grinding does to the metal ceiling panels … NOT pretty!

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And this is what the insulation looks like! Pretty decent shape, considering this is an almost-20 year old bus!

World School Bus Project, skoolie, bus conversion, rv, tiny house, tiny home on wheels, school bus, unschoolers, unschooling, home school, travelWorld School Bus Project, skoolie, bus conversion, rv, tiny house, tiny home on wheels, school bus, unschoolers, unschooling, home school, travelSome spots are definitely gross, though …

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Something I’m really not looking forward to … electrical work!:(

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What the kids were doing today while Henry and I screwed (PUNS FOR DAYS!) … skateboarding …

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… and stick fighting …

World School Bus Project, skoolie, bus conversion, rv, tiny house, tiny home on wheels, school bus, unschoolers, unschooling, home school, travel

See you tomorrow!

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Welcome to The World School Bus Project daily blog! We’re a traveling, world schooling family of five who sold everything we owned to live life outside the box. Currently, we’re converting an old school bus into a tiny house on wheels for an amazing, open-ended road trip around the United States! Follow along by bookmarking this blog and liking us on Facebook and Instagram!

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SCREW YOU, SCREWS

This post will be short for a couple of reasons :

1. My arms are broken. No, no, no. The bones aren’t broken. MY ARMS ARE BROKEN. As in, they don’t work anymore. My hands are also broken. It’s a miracle I’m able to type, you guys. Other parts of my body that are now broken : legs, feet, rest of lower body, shoulders, neck, rest of upper body. Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m probably dead. RIP, me.

2. We only did one damn thing : try to unscrew screwed up screws that didn’t want to be unscrewed. In other words, we dropped a lot of f-bombs.

So what happened?

The goal for today was to finish ripping up the rubber floor (EASY! SO EASY!) and then remove all the screws from the ceiling panels and side panels to see what condition the insulation is in (HOW HARD CAN THIS BE?!) The first few screws came out super easy, but about 10 screws in, they started getting harder to remove. I was pushing the drill as hard as I could, but I just couldn’t get them to budge. I moved over to another panel and tried those. A couple of screws came out easy, but the rest were hopelessly stuck. It all seemed so random, which made it super frustrating. After an hour, my arms felt like jello and I had hardly made a dent. If you’ve never noticed how many screws there are holding up the ceiling of a school bus, let me tell you. THERE ARE TEN MILLION. It’s insane. It’s like whoever was in charge of buying screws to build buses fell in love with the screw salesperson and told her “give me every screw you have” to sweet talk her into going on a date with him. And then when the other bus guys were like “WHY DO WE HAVE TEN MILLION SCREWS?!” he was like “yeah, sorry about that, guys. Just screw ‘em into the ceiling!” SO THEY DID. Bastards!

After lots of trying and trying, we decided to just angle grind the heads off every damn screw. It’s not easy and messes up our metal ceiling a little bit, but at this point, we just want the damn things out. If we have to replace the metal panels, so be it! Before we knew it, we were out of daylight, but we brought a light with us today, so we stayed a while after dark to get as many screws out as possible. Tomorrow we’ll be back up there doing it again and will hopefully get it all done so we can check out the insulation situation. From the small side panels we were able to pull off today, it’s looking like we made the right choice to reinsulate. There are some gross black spots that are probably mold, which is not what we want to be breathing in our new tiny house on wheels! Better to do the hard work now than wish we’d done it later.

Okay, I’m off to soak in a tub of epsom salts. Look at some pictures, go like us on Facebook and come back tomorrow!:)

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Welcome to The World School Bus Project daily blog! We’re a traveling, world schooling family of five who sold everything we owned to live life outside the box. Currently, we’re converting an old school bus into a tiny house on wheels for an amazing, open-ended road trip around the United States! Follow along by bookmarking this blog and liking us on Facebook and Instagram!

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GOODBYE AND GOOD RIDDANCE, BUS SEATS (and disgusting rubber floor!)

First thing on the agenda this morning was getting rid of all the rest of the bus seats. We started unbolting and pulling them out yesterday, but ran out of time before sunset. As soon as we got to the bus today, we got back to work! Henry didn’t need any help unbolting the seats from the wall bracket, so the kids and I started pulling up all the screws that were holding the rubber flooring down. At first we used a regular screwdriver, like dummies. Then we realized we had borrowed two super long extension cords from a friend (THANK YOU COURTNEYYYYYY!) and could plug in the electric drill! YAY FOR ELECTRICITY!

TOOL UPGRADE!:)

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World School Bus Project, skoolie, bus conversion, rv, tiny house, tiny home on wheels, school bus, unschoolers, unschooling, home school, travel

Before we could finish getting all the screws out, though, Henry was finished with the bracket bolts, so it was back to the two-person unbolting job that we started yesterday. Henry crawled back under the bus while I ratcheted from above. (That sounds like some kind of hoochie mama dance, I know, but I promise you it was not nearly as fun as it sounds.) Within a couple of hours, we were finished and the bus was EMPTY! You guys have no idea how good it felt to throw that last seat out the back door. Goodbye and good riddance, bus seats. You will not be missed!

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After getting all the seats out, we went back to unscrewing the flooring. There were two metal strips going down the middle that were a BITCH to remove, but we made it work with our trusty crowbar. Kai was so excited to use the crowbar, he actually begged for us to let him pull them up. It was hard work, though, so him and Roxy took turns and I jumped in to help with the really stubborn spots. Once it was all out, we could see the metal floor below and were pretty grossed out by the amount of wet, slimy rust we found. It doesn’t look like the metal rusted through in any spots, though, so we know it won’t be too hard to sand it down and make it shiny again.

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World School Bus Project, skoolie, bus conversion, rv, tiny house, tiny home on wheels, school bus, unschoolers, unschooling, home school, travelWorld School Bus Project, skoolie, bus conversion, rv, tiny house, tiny home on wheels, school bus, unschoolers, unschooling, home school, travelWorld School Bus Project, skoolie, bus conversion, rv, tiny house, tiny home on wheels, school bus, unschoolers, unschooling, home school, travelWorld School Bus Project, skoolie, bus conversion, rv, tiny house, tiny home on wheels, school bus, unschoolers, unschooling, home school, travelWorld School Bus Project, skoolie, bus conversion, rv, tiny house, tiny home on wheels, school bus, unschoolers, unschooling, home school, travelAfter an hour or so of pulling up the floor, Henry jumped in to unscrew a metal bar that went across the floor at the wall. A few of the screws wouldn’t budge, so he had to bust out the angle grinder and cut them off. The kids thought the angle grinder was the COOLEST THING EVER because it gave off a ton of sparks and left a really strong metal smell. Marley said “that smells sooooooo gooooood, mom!” She’s a weirdo! The kids didn’t get to try the grinder today, but I think I might let them give it a shot tomorrow when we start the other side. Roxy is really loving the power tool experience, so I know she’ll be first in line to make those sparks!

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Once the metal strip was off, just as it was getting dark, Henry finished pulling up the rest of the rubber floor on that side of the bus. We had a light with us and could have kept working for a while, but the kiddos were starving and we were all pretty exhausted, so we decided to call it a day and finish pulling the floor up tomorrow. After that, we can sand down all the rust and start getting it ready for a REAL floor! So excited!

That’s it for today! Be sure to check back tomorrow for some more progress photos. And if you’re not already following along on Facebook and Instagram, go do it! It’s better than pictures of people’s lunch and/or cat videos, right? (Well, maybe not better than cat videos.)

See you tomorrow!

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Welcome to The World School Bus Project daily blog! We’re a traveling, world schooling family of five who sold everything we owned to live life outside the box. Currently, we’re converting an old school bus into a tiny house on wheels for an amazing, open-ended road trip around the United States! Follow along by bookmarking this blog and liking us on Facebook and Instagram!

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TAKING OUT THE BUS SEATS!

The weather finally cooperated with us and we were able to get to work on the bus today! First step? Taking out all the bus seats! Each seat is bolted to the floor and to a metal bracket on the inside wall of the bus. The bolts in the floor are the hardest to remove because somebody has to crawl under the bus and hold the nut with a wrench while a second person is inside the bus with a ratchet, turning the bolt. In states where rust is a problem, it’s even harder to deal with these floor bolts, because the bolts and nuts have rusted together so much. Since it can be such a pain, most skoolie converters use an angle grinder and cut the bolt head off instead of trying to turn it. This was our plan until we got to the bus and realized our extension cords weren’t long enough to reach from the bus to the nearest power source. Whoopsie! Since we were there already and didn’t feel like driving to Home Depot to buy another extension cord, we tried turning the bolts with a ratchet and to our surprise, they came right out with NO struggle at all! It was so easy, our kids took turns with the ratchet while Henry held on underneath the bus. Even our five year old took turns and within a few hours, half of the seats were completely out! (To see THE CUTEST VIDEO EVER of my kid using the ratchet, jump over to my Facebook or Instagram page!) Since we got a late start today and didn’t have a light, we called it quits at sunset, but we should have the rest of the seats out within a couple of hours tomorrow morning. How exciting is that?! I’m so glad we didn’t have to cut through the bolts with an angle grinder. That looked so, so difficult. Yay for happy accidents!

Tomorrow our plan is to remove the rest of the seats and then pry up the rubber floor to see what’s underneath. I have a feeling it’s 100% rotted, disgusting plywood. Gross. That should be fun to get rid of (not!) After the floor is up, we’ll have to patch all the bolt holes (and any rusty spots) and put a sealant down. FUN FUN FUN! Check back tomorrow to see how it goes!

A few thoughts from today …

1. I never knew I could love something covered in dirt and grime and filth SO MUCH. (Well, except for my 9 year old who showers once a month, if I beg him.) I can’t wait to turn this bus into a home!

2. I freakin’ LOVE watching my kids use tools! I remember my dad building things when I was little and I always loved handing him the tools he needed. I never really learned how to use them, though. My kids learning this stuff and literally helping us build our home from scratch makes me so incredibly happy.

3. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive husband who always has faith in me and my crazy ideas. I love how he throws himself into every plan we make and always does the hardest jobs without a single complaint. He was crawling around under the bus today, in the mud, with spiders and bugs all over the him, while I was there taking pictures and posting updates on Instagram, and I’m sure he never once flipped me off behind my back.:)

4. As much as I complain about Texas, today Texas made my life easier. No rust, no snow, no insanely cold winter weather. Thanks, Texas! Today we were friends.

5. I don’t really have a 5th thought, but I couldn’t stop at 4. Hey, I guess that’s a thought! So there you go.

Some pictures of the kiddos helping us out today … (video coming soon!)

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Rox and Kai were SO ready to grind those bolts down! They had protective gear and everything!

World School Bus Project, skoolie, bus conversion, rv, tiny house, tiny home on wheels, school bus, unschoolers, unschooling, home school, travel

World School Bus Project, skoolie, bus conversion, rv, tiny house, tiny home on wheels, school bus, unschoolers, unschooling, home school, travelWorld School Bus Project, skoolie, bus conversion, rv, tiny house, tiny home on wheels, school bus, unschoolers, unschooling, home school, travel

FIRST SEAT OUT! WOOHOO!

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  • January 4, 2016 - 5:30 am

    Ross McMaster - Well done on getting started on your conversion. All kids should learn how to use tools. Great shots of the crew!ReplyCancel

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Welcome to The World School Bus Project daily blog! We’re a traveling, world schooling family of five who sold everything we owned to live life outside the box. Currently, we’re converting an old school bus into a tiny house on wheels for an amazing, open-ended road trip around the United States! Follow along by bookmarking this blog and liking us on Facebook and Instagram!

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RAIN, RAIN, GO AWAY

When we woke up this morning, it was cold and rainy. In the afternoon, it was cold and rainy. At dinnertime, cold and rainy. Guess how much work we got done on our bus today? If you guessed ABSOLUTELY NONE, you would be correct! Since we were stuck inside all day, we gave the kiddos a big stack of colored paper and scissors and they got to work on an opening sequence for our new World School Bus video series! Henry cut out the cutest little bus from blue paper (since we hope to eventually paint the bus blue!) and the kids made a bunch of different scenes for the bus to drive through. It’s going to be ridiculously adorable, you guys. I can’t wait to share it with you!

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FIGURING OUT OUR TRAVEL SCHEDULE

The other project I worked on today was trying to nail down a travel schedule for 2016. I’m a photographer and portrait sessions are how we make money to travel and live. During our five month camping trip across the US, I shot more than 50 portrait sessions in 21 states! This year, we’re hoping to hit some of the states we missed the first time around and possibly even jump up into Canada during the summer months. The problem is we have absolutely NO idea how long this bus conversion is going to take. Maybe we’ll be ready to go in two months. Maybe it’ll take six. WHO KNOWS?! We’re hoping to keep it pretty simple, but even the simplest jobs will be complex for us with our lack of building experience. All this uncertainty makes it hard to start booking sessions for later in the year. Hopefully once we get started, we’ll be able to figure out a reasonable timeline. Fingers crossed!

And since I brought it up, I might as well throw in a little plug for my photography business. I’ve been a wedding and portrait photographer for ten years and would love to photograph you and/or your family! If you’re in need of some new portraits, check out my website and send me a message! I’d love to work with you! Here’s a link to my website : Sarah Q | Photography for Happy People.

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