Monthly Recap | March 2022
This past month, Matthew and I have been doubling down in an effort to get as much done as possible. This was mainly because we had an open house/going-away party planned for the last weekend in March. We wanted to have the bus as close to done as possible and cleaned up nicely so we could show it off to all of our friends and family.
Naturally, not everything went as planned and we had to show off our new home with a few unfinished projects. Oh well.
Despite that, the open house was a blast! We were happy to show off the skoolie but also a bit sad to be saying goodbye to so many great people.
As you can see in the last photo there, we used our fold-out table for the first time! It was fun to see our table in use and are so happy with how easy it is to unfold. To read about how we made our table and how it works, head over to this post.
While the goodbyes were bitter-sweet, my cupcakes were not. As a fundraiser, I made 1,000 cupcakes over the weekend. Yes, 1,000 cupcakes! It was quite the feat, but it paid off quite literally. Thanks to our generous friends and family who supported us, we can now buy the composting toilet we really want along with some other much-needed items to finish the build.
Probably one of the most noticeably different things about the bus is the granite countertops we put in. Countertops have been a long-awaited addition and we couldn't be happier with the pieces we found!
We got our granite from some old business friends at Take Me For Granite. Since our countertops are small enough, we were able to use scraps from previous jobs they've done which made the pieces cheaper. We were also able to cut the price down by doing all the cutting and installation ourselves. We were super blessed through the whole process and walked away with both pieces for only $400. That also came along with some nervousness about us having to cut the countertops ourselves.
I say "us" like I helped cut the granite, but it was really Matthew who took on that challenge. And he did great! He cut a hole in both countertops to fit the sinks, along with the faucets, and was able to round over all the edges which looks really professional.
We still have to fully secure the pieces in place, install the sinks, and will be adding a built-in knife block to the kitchen countertop, but it is so nice to finally have somewhere to set things!
Another big change for the bus is our electrical system. We finally got around to installing a breaker box and getting all of our wires sorted out. Until recently, our wiring was pretty sketchy and not everything was connected to electricity, so it was nice to get this done.
We have our breaker box installed under one of our dinette booth seats. This keeps it out of sight, makes good use of the otherwise wasted space under the seat, and is easily accessable.
Having power going to all the outlets meant we could plug in our fridge! We were relieved to see that it worked and could start using it.
As has been true throughout the whole build process, the bedroom is the furthest from completion. However, I did get a lot done on the room this last month.
The main thing holding us back from finishing the bedroom is the scarcity of Brazilian mahogany, which is our wood of choice for the room. Both the piano cabinet and the headboard are Brazilian mahogany so we want to keep that look. Turns out, that this type of mahogany is endangered which makes it very hard to find, and when you do find it, it costs a pretty penny.
The plan is to have floor to ceiling cabinets on both sides of the bedroom covering the wheel wells. We have some mahogany, but not enough to build them, so we are holding off until our stash is large enough.
We are also going to add a mahogany veneer to the back wall where the piano door is so it all looks like one cabinet. For now, I painted the back wall so it isn't bare plywood. It looks better than before, but the piano door just looks out of place without the veneer.
I also installed carpet in the bedroom! We really wanted to have different flooring in each room of the bus, which helps make the rooms seem separate from one another, but also added a lot more work.
We found a killer deal on a rug at Habitat For Humanity (one of our favorite places). We bought it for $45 and later found out that the same rug brand new cost $900. I can't say it enough, but we have been so blessed through this whole build process!
Knowing how expensive the rug really cost, I was a bit nervous to cut it up. Thankfully the process was pretty smooth and I didn't need to buy a new rug. To add some insulation and cushion under the rug, I added an underlayment. This was the same underlayment we used under the herringbone wood floor in the front room.
The rug is beautiful and perfectly goes with our victorian vision for the room. It's nice to climb out of bed and have a soft place for our feet to land.
We've been doing so much work on the inside of the bus, but haven't done anything to the outside for a while now. Last month, we changed that.
For starters, we washed the bus for the first time since we painted it. After sitting for several months under a tree throughout the fall and winter, our white bus was starting to look a bit green. After FOUR HOURS of washing the bus from top to bottom, Basecamp is finally back to its bright and shiny white.
We are hoping that we'll be better about rinsing off the bus regularly so we don't have to spend four hours scrubbing off grime again. I'm sure it will also help to not be sitting under a tree for as long as it did.
Washing the bus wasn't very fun, but some of our other exterior projects were. Like adding house numbers! Basecamp is our home, so it was only fitting that we have a house number. We went with 11 since it was previously bus #11 back in its regular school bus days. We wanted to keep that bit of history around.
We also finally got around to installing a front doorknob and lock! Such a small addition really changed the look of the door. It truly looks like a front door now. We decided to get a keypad lock since the chances of us losing a key on one of our adventures or forgetting to pack one is pretty likely.
Another fun project I did was add hickory flooring inside the front underbody storage compartment which will become Matthew's grill station. This is where we will store our Traeger Ranger, the pellets, and all the fun grilling gadgets Matthew could ever want. The flooring adds a finished look to the box and looks really neat.
With all these new additions to the bus, along with some that I didn't mention here, we felt the bus was ready enough for us to begin moving in. After working on Basecamp for over a year, we decided we just wanted to hit the road and could live with some unfinished projects for now.
It has been fun, but also difficult, moving in. We have to be really good about only bringing what we absolutely need, since we don't have room for unnecessary things. This has been especially hard for me when it comes to paring down my clothes and shoe collection. Downsizing from a walk-in closet to a small cabinet is a lot harder than it should be.
Thankfully, stocking the kitchen isn't as hard. Although, we have probably rearranged the items in the cabinets about 20 times already trying to figure out the best system. I'm sure this will change over time as we get more used to living in the bus and figure out what really works best for us.
The last few things holding us back from hitting the road is finishing the sink and shower plumbing, installing our composing toilet, and finishing the registration process. Once those things are complete, we'll be headed to California where we will spend our first month in Redwood National Park!
We are so excited to finally be starting our travels! It has been a long awaited journey, but at the same time, it seems like it is happening so fast!
Hopefully the next time I write a monthly recap, I'll get to share some travel updates!