Blogs

Blog much?

Well no, not really… we mean well, we promise! Since our last post we’ve gotten a fair amount of visual changes for the bus. We’ve been in high gear for the last month or so. We’ve also been accepted into the tiny house festival St. John’s County Fairgrounds November 17th through the 19th. This has especially kicked our butts into high gear with doing as much as we can with our resources and time. In the last post we had FINALLY gotten the roof painted and it’s been holding up just fine. The emergency hatches on the other end are still a huge pain in the gas can. We still need to figure something out about the back one as that will be the one we’ll be keeping still. The front hatch will be replaced with a rooftop RV a/c unit eventually.

Surge has been busy with Daytona Biketoberfest and the Panama City Biker rally. For Biketoberfest we got the opportunity to take La Extraña Cosa out for our first dry camping adventure. Well for starters it wasn’t really that bad. We definitely need screens for the windows though as the bugs were quite annoying (it IS Florida). The weather was great though, however without insulation the bus can become a hot box. We aren’t going to do insulation till after we get electrical wired and the plumbing done…. Gotta love the little wins we finally got our Nature’s Head toilet…..hurray we can poop today! It was a HUGE investment but it was something we wanted to get out of the way and have, even if we’re dry camping somewhere. We’ll update about how we like it.

We also got the window block panels in 2 double and 3 singles. Unfortunately they were all an inch short so we had to make some modifications to get them to work (we’ll blame the sheet metal company lol…).

We also got our refrigerator from Home Depot, it was on sale and we just couldn’t pass on the deal. It was exactly the right size and color that we had been looking for.

We finally got new shoes for the bus! 6 standard semi truck tires, 11r 22.5. We had the guys at Boulevard Tires in Daytona on Nova Road do them for us. We got there Friday morning for our appointment and it didn’t take long at all. A BIG thank you to Jamie’s Grandma for making new tires a possibility. We can now drive anywhere without worrying about bad tires. It was weird seeing them lift up the bus and remove the tires.

We have a lot to do before the festival and it’ll be here before we know it so we’re going to try and do as much as we can. Jamie is planning on doing details such as painting the countertop/cabinet, laying pennies for the counter, making screens for some of the windows and other small things to pull it together. We’re hoping to get the bus painted beforehand but not so sure that will happen due to the amount of prep work needed and time we have left before the festival. Jamie also just got hired at vip kid, which is an online company that teaches children in China the English language. She’s really excited about it cause she can choose her own hours and it’s very rewarding. We’re hoping to do a video very soon showing off everything.

Surge and Jamie

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Blogs

Week 1

So week one was interesting! We went to Polk County last Monday to pick up the bus. It was surprisingly way easier than expected that’s for sure. We had the maintenance men on hand to help us in getting the bus jumped (as it had been sitting for a while) and explained to Surge how to drive this behemoth of a machine. Surge got it in no time and off we went, 3 hours Northeast back to Daytona. The trip couldn’t be complete without torrential downpour of course. At one point I-4 was traffic jammed and I could barely see the bus in front of me. But other than that we had no issues whatsoever. We got it to our temporary location in Daytona where we’ll be prepping it to get it registered and ready for Missouri.

 

Now the fun part: removing the seats. From what we read we knew this would probably be the most tedious thing on the bus. We first removed all the bolts along the outside of the seats (bolts closest to the windows). This was not too bad for the most part, just a lot were corroded and a tad difficult to get out. But onto the hard part, Surge thought that taking an angle grinder to the inside bolts may be the easiest solution but that was not the case. With the exception of the few seats that were not easily accessible under the bus  the rest of the seats were removed by one person on the bus and someone else under the bus holding the nut for the bolt. It was lengthy to do it this way but worked efficiently enough. The angle grinder to ALL the inside bolts would have taken even longer.

So as of Day 3 the bus seats have been completely removed. We are planning on scrapping them but we aren’t sure what we will get for them, hopefully something worth the time and effort but we will see. We were told that the bus more than likely needs a battery as it needed a boost to start. However, we have been starting it every single day with no issues, which is great, one less mechanical thing to worry about. In fact, everything is running perfect, the oil pressure, water temp, etc are all normal. The only issue we have at the moment is that the rear signal lights don’t work (probably a bad fuse). We are going to address that issue at a later time when she is closer to getting on the road.

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One of the few seats left

After we got all the seats out we started removing all the metal trim on the floor. Once we got all that out we started working on removing the actual plywood floor. It was incredibly heavy as the rubber flooring added a ton of weight! As of day 7 we had scrapped the bus seats, a measly $38 but hey that’s still $38 dollars we didn’t have before. In this time frame Surge also started taking apart the dashboard for cleaning and modifying. He figured that the cockpit of the bus should be taken care of first since it will be utilized first when being driven all the way to Missouri and I think that makes a lot of sense.

For one week I sure feel like we got a lot accomplished. We in no way have unreal expectations that the bus will be transformed overnight. We know it’s going to take a loong time and a lot of hardwork, blood, sweat and tears. Week 2 coming soon as well!!

-Jamie

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