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Month In Review | Skoolie Update December 2021

It seems like the last few monthly recaps have all started off with me saying something about how I can't believe time has flown. I'm usually thinking about how so much time has passed and that we didn't get as much done as we hoped we would.

However, this month was different. For us, December was a month full of celebration and we fully embraced the season. For the last week, we've been in a winter wonderland of snow which is absolutely beautiful. Of course, with everything buried in snow and temperatures in the low 20s, we haven't done too much work on the bus. And for once, I'm okay with that.

With that being said, here's the highlights from the month.

Finished Our Second Pocket Door

If you are not familiar with our skoolie layout, let me give you the quick rundown.

When you first walk inside, you step into our living and dining room which is connected to the kitchen. Next up is the bathroom which is separated with a pocket door. You'll then pass through another pocket door before stepping into our bedroom at the back of the bus.

We really scored at Habitat for Humanity and managed to find two identical doors for our bathroom. One came stained and finished already, while the second did not.

fir wood pocket door getting stained and polyurethane finish for skoolie build
This is the same stain we've used throughout the build.

After sanding the door smooth, applying a matching stain, and finishing it off with a couple coats of polyurethane, it looks just as good as the other door (if not better).

refinished fir wood pocket door for skoolie conversion build.
Can't wait to put this door in!

It would have been nice to get the door installed, but we seem to have temporarily misplaced our pocket door hardware... We'll get around to finding it sometime.

Battled The Cold

Before the snow even hit, temperatures were dropping well below the comfortable range. We bought a roll of Reflectix insulation and cut a piece for each window and the front door. This definitely helped to insulate the bus a bit.

skoolie window in dining room with reflective insulation for winter
This is the window over the dinette with the insulation in.

We also bought a new space heater since out last one finally died on us. Between these two things, we've managed to keep the chill out of the bus for the most part. It sure is a struggle when temperatures have been below freezing for over a week. We are really excited to buy our wood-burning stove here soon. But for now, we have other priorities to put our money towards.

Finished The AC

Woo-hoo! Another thing to check off our list! While we won't need to use out AC unit for several months, it is nice to know we have it ready to go.

We retrofitted a window AC unit to fit inside without a window. This took some work but we got it all figured out and it looks great! We do have to do some paint touch up around the air vent we put in, but we'll save that for the nice weather.

If you'd like to learn about our AC setup, check out this post.

Built the Framing Around The Fresh Water tanks

A while back, we got the supports for the water tanks installed under the bus. Now the water tanks are in with wood framing to hold them in place.

skoolie conversion build with fresh water tanks in underbody storage with wood framing how to
There's the tanks with the wood framing.

We covered the tanks with pressure treated plywood and outdoor carpet to enclose them and create a nice shelf for more storage. Having it all covered up makes it look nice and tidy.

water tanks covered in waterproof plywood and outdoor carpet for storage
You wouldn't even know there were water tanks there with how nicely it came out!

We ordered four smaller tanks that we will be able to fit in the remaining gaps for our gray water. Supposedly they'll be delivered the first week of January, so we'll get to that project next month.

Got the Bathroom Ready for Paint

That's right! The bathroom is just about done!

All the trim and baseboards are in. The doors for the bathroom cabinet are built but we'll wait to install them until after everything is painted.

We also got to install our inset medicine cabinet! This was something we asked for as a wedding gift and we were not disappointed! The face of the cabinet is a mirror which will help to enlarge and brighten the room. Since the cabinet was designed to be inset, it fits perfectly into our wall wasting absolutely no space.

Our shower is like 85% done. Matthew finished the sky mosaic on the ceiling so now all that is left is to grout the tiles and install the shower fixtures.

sky ceiling tile mosaic in bathroom shower in skoolie conversion build
Matthew had fun getting creative with this ceiling!

Last night we decided to stay up late and got a layer of paint primer over the whole room! Won't be long until we see some color in there.

paint primer being rolled on in bathroom walls in skoolie conversion build
They see me rolling...

Went Antique Shopping

One of our favorite things to do together (besides exploring the outdoors) is browsing through antique stores looking for something special. On our recent outing, we found a stool that will be perfect for the bedroom. With the bed so high up and me being 5'3", I new I would need something to help me get into bed. We thought about adding a ladder or some foot holds, but we didn't want it feeling like a bunk bed. Instead, we decided to keep out eye out for a Victorian era foot stool that will give me an extra step up.

antique foot rest stool for step into bed in skoolie bedroom. antique shopping
My favorite part is the claw feet!

I love the character and detail of the stool we found and am excited to use it. It was a definitely a good find and we're excited to see what we'll find next time!

Celebrated Our First Christmas Together

We could not have asked for a more perfect Christmas! Being in Washington, snow isn't really a regular occurrence. Once every several years we'll get a heaping of snow and if we're lucky it will be for Christmas. This year was special since we actually got a white Christmas!

christmas tree in snow family photo in matching flannel pajamas
This photo is almost as blurry as the day was!

It's been snowing for almost a week straight and we're up to about a foot of snow!

Since Matthew and I just got married this summer, this is our first year having to split holidays between families. What began as one holiday basically turned into a week of celebrating with different people. We throughout enjoyed the time we got to share with everyone and are not the least bit sad about taking a break from work.

Between ice-skating, gingerbread house building, sledding, light displays, gift exchanges, and decorating our mini Christmas tree, we got the full December experience.

Matthew even played his cello in the candle light service at church for Christmas Eve. It was so refreshing to take a break from the busyness of the holidays and take time to remember what Christmas is all about.

Began Work On Roman Blinds

This was my most recent endeavor. Since we have such oddly shaped windows, finding curtains that fit properly and looked good was proving to be quite difficult. So why not make my own?

I decided to go with the Roman blinds style since it seems the most practical for our space. Instead of pulling curtains to the side, we can pull them up like blinds. After searching Amazon for fabric for what seemed like forever, we gave up on that idea and headed to BedBath&Beyond. We found long curtains that we liked the look of so we bought some for me to cut up and make the Roman Blinds out of.

The fabric is all sewn up, but we're waiting on the blind hardware before we can make them functional.

After I get the blinds all finished up, I'll write about how I did it. Until them, I'm still figuring things out myself!

Up Next

Not only is today the last day of the month, it's the last day of the year! Tonight we'll celebrate as 2021 comes to an end and 2022 begins. Matthew and I have had a very eventful year and are looking forward to the adventures that 2022 will bring.

There is a lot to look forward to so stay tuned!

Happy New Years!

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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

Project 63 

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

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