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Month in Review | September Was a Breeze. Literally.

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

Well another month has passed. Crazy how that happens.

As I write this and reflect on our past month, I am filled with so much excitement about all that we got done! As always, we had a very busy month. I hope you are able to look back on your month and see some achievements and aren't letting the early-fall rains get you down.

It Was a Breeze

September brought some wind and rain for quite awhile. Fall just hit right out of nowhere for us!

The rain and wind definitely puts a damper on our work. Lots of tarps and a canopy are making things possible. Many mornings, we woke up to find our tarp blew off and all our stuff got wet, which was pretty sucky.

Inside the Skoolie

We’ve done a ton of work to the front room! We built our couch that slides out into a bed. We really liked this idea since we love company and want to share our travels with our friends. The system we set up works really well but took a lot of work to make. It’s not completely done, but definitely makes the room look a lot more put together.

About halfway through the month, Matthew ripped out the dash in the bus.

demolition of school bus skoolie conversion front dash to make room for shoe cabinet skoolie conversion
So Much for Being Done with Demolition

I'm so glad he did though! It is incredible how much wasted space there is in the front of the bus. After rearranging some electrical stuff and condensing our switch panel, we were able to remove a lot more than we thought. The reason that I'm so excited about this is that it means a much bigger shoe storage area!

We were inspired by the tambour roll-up desk look and decided to make the doors for the shoe compartment have a similar look. After cutting 3/4 inch plywood into lots of little strips, taking a router to the edges and corners, carefully sanding away splinters, and painting each piece white, we glued them to a strong piece of canvas fabric. This was a very unfamiliar style of building to us, but thankfully we had YouTube on our side. Before the shoe cabinet is fully functional, we'll have to add a handle and wax the tracks to make sure the door slides smoothly.

Another cool project we did was getting all our butcher block surfaces ready. This includes our expanding dining table, couch armrests, and the counter on the TV cabinet. We bought a large piece of butcher block from Lowe's and managed to cut all the pieces we needed out of it. With them all stained and sealed with polyurethane, they’re ready to be installed once everything is painted.

applying second coat of polyurethane to the butcher block table and counter for the skoolie conversion is shiny

There's one project we did that had been pushed off for awhile because it was so nerve wracking. Thankfully, doing the epoxy pour on our live edge table came out way better than expected. After doing tons of sanding, and applying a light coat of stain, the live edge was ready and we just went for it. We did take the bark off to avoid the risk of it chipping off after the epoxy pour and ruining the finish. What's really cool though, is that the edge still has that rough texture and soaked up more stain than the rest of the slab so it still has sort of a bark look to it. We couldn't be happier with how it came out.

This whole time that we've been building the bus, we've struggled with having enough light to see what we're working on. We have an extension cord attached to the wires that control the lights in the front room, so we don't have a problem there. However, as soon as you get into the back half of the bus, the light is pretty limited, especially at night.

Only two days ago, we came to the realization that all the lights are installed in the ceiling and all we have to do is connect the extension cord to the other wires to get light to the back half of the bus. Of course we felt silly for not doing this sooner and got to work late into the night with ease. We also got to have a lot of fun trying out our dimmer switch in the bedroom.

We Actually Did Some Work on the Outside Too!

We finally got our new off-road lights installed above the front windshield. Man, they are bright! It was a tricky process to install them since we had to feed wires through a bunch of spray foam and around a cabinet we sort of built in the way...but it worked out in the end.

With the lights being so high up, we had to climb all over the bus to put them in. Good thing our bus has foot rests and handles all over the place! It’s like a built in jungle-gym and was honestly pretty fun. What wasn't so fun was trying to caulk all the way around the lights to make them watertight. I feel like I got more caulk on my fingers than I did on the lights!

In the last month recap, I mentioned that we installed a new residential door. This month I was able to fill in the gaps with Bondo Glass and then give it a fresh coat of paint. We haven't yet installed the door hardware but it looks so much better than it did before.

Rainy Day Projects

I'll admit that it is a lot harder to be motivated to work when it is cold and rainy outside. So we spent a few days doing indoor projects.

One of the things I worked on was sewing up the cushions for the dinette. We bought somewhere around 15 yards of fabric so I could make everything match. And as much fabric as that is, I'm actually almost out! We're planning on buying two bar stools for our live edge counter that I will reupholster with this fabric, so hopefully I have enough left for that.

While I sewed the cushions, Matthew spent some time designing the artwork that will go on the outside of the bus. It's amazing how artistic he is! He created a really cool design that I think you will all like. While it took a lot of work to design (especially since it's such a large space to fill), he had a lot of fun doing it and I can't wait until the rain clears so he can get painting!

I'd love to show you the plan he has drawn up, but I think I'll keep it a surprise for the grand reveal!

There's Always Some Drama

When we were first installing our windows earlier in the year, we accidentally broke one…

The problem is, we welded in the frame to fit this exact window which we just so happen to not be able to get a replacement for since it’s a weird old RV window. This means we have to keep it and somehow find a solution.

It wasn’t such an issue that we felt we had to fix it right away back when it was sunny. However, it’s time to work out a solution since the rain has arrived and is now able to get in the bus.

One of the worst things that could happen is we get any sort of water damage in the bus. It would be incredibly hard to fix the issue so hopefully we can prevent water damage. In an effort to do so, we have some plastic clamped over the window to keep the rain out. It looks tacky so I guess that’s more motivation to get it fixed faster.

Working in the cold reminds us of when we first got the bus back in January and had to work in the freezing temperatures without walls, insulation, or windows in yet. So glad we’re past that!

Looking Forward

We’re so close to finishing the front room! That means pretty soon we’re going to be getting started on the bathroom. This is both exciting and overwhelming since we finally have to face our fears and build the shower.

I’m sure things will all work out in the end though.

As always, we’re so glad for your support and excitement for us! One of these days, we’ll be done working on the skoolie and can get traveling. We look forward to sharing those adventures with you!

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Meet the Author


Hey! I'm Kaitlynn, a lover of the outdoors and all things travel. I quit my job to travel full-time with my husband, Matthew, in our skoolie. 

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Matt & Kate

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Bringing you travel information and inspiration as we travel to all 63 National Parks.

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