If you would have asked me when we first bought our bus back in April how long until it would be done, I would have told you it would be road-ready in just a couple of months 😉 Yet, somehow here we are just passing month ten of our school bus conversion……and we are finally DONE-ish!!!! As many know, back in April on my birthday, my husband informed me that he wanted to buy a school bus to convert into an RV…..from New Mexico. The very next day, he traveled down to New Mexico! Then, that same day he purchased the school bus and began the drive back to Montana. Missed the “why a school bus”? Click here for the full story!
What it looked like at month nine
As a reminder, this was what our bus looked like a month ago. If you saw the post on where we were at month nine of our school bus conversion build, then you know that by that point, the bus was pretty much “done.” Nine months of consistency and hard work had put us in a position where we were mostly done. But if you want a more detailed look at what we had done by that point, here is the post.
Where we are at now
We are DONE-ish!!!! This is my new favorite word when it comes to our school bus conversion. This word means the bus in done in the sense that it is usable. However, there is still a list of to-do items left that we need to complete. But in complete honesty, part of me wonders if even once this list is done, will we be fully done? I have a feeling between repairs, adjustments, and upgrades; this is the type of project that has the potential to never be done if we allow it.
Obviously, our goal was to have the bus finished before we left. However, sometimes you have to pivot and change your expectations when converting a bus. A major cold front was coming through with -17 degree weather. Therefore, we faced two choices. We could either finish the to-do list and risk being stuck (because up until this point, our winter had been very mild with very little snow). Or, we could literally stop all jobs, shove everything into the bus and take off. We chose the latter:)
So on February 6th, we literally threw everything into the bus and took off. Gone were my plans of a Pinterest worthy take off, or clean and organized bus. It was a literal disaster. In fact, it still is haha! I didn’t even have time to completely go through my packing list. Yet here we are almost on week two of traveling and I wouldn’t change it.
But, here is what was left of our list that didn’t get finished before we hit the road.
- finish the stairs
- make shoe storage
- figure out legs/support for our pull out couches
- tint all bus windows
- make shelf/storage for electric piano under the table
- cabinet faces installed under kitchen sink
- poly the wood in the bathroom
- finish built-in shelves
- make boxes for the USB ports for each bunk
- make fold-down desk
- make lid for built in cubby
- install latches on foldable railings
- attach cedar planks to the side of the deck
- add tension wire to create deck railing
What’s been good
Handy hubby: Being able to finally put the final touches and then seeing the final product come to life has been awesome!
Mama bear: This last month was great because not only did we get to a point that we could even consider leaving, but we are finally getting to enjoy all our hard work over these last 10 months.
What’s been hard
Handy hubby: Both the mental pressure to finish and get ready to go was overwhelming. Also the anticipation of what would work or not once on the road and accepting that not everything would be done. And there would be things we would have to figure out while on the road.
Mama bear: This month might have been one of the hardest emotionally with our bus build. With every other deadline we set for ourselves, I knew within a day that we wouldn’t make it. That kept the desire to keep going but also removed the stressful aspect. A part of me was fine with the changing take-off dates because it gave us more time to get ready. There is a lot that goes into leaving a home and moving a family into a bus.
But, this last month we have been so so so close to finishing, that each day we picked to leave honestly felt like we could make it. So when we didn’t, a part of me kept wondering if it would ever happen. And also at the same time stressed because it was the final push and everything had to get done. Time was up:)
When will it be done?
Yay to not hearing this question anymore! I finally can say that our bus is DONE-ish. We finished it to the point that we were able to leave and hit the road. There are still parts on our original list that need finished. However, after being on the bus for a few weeks now, I can already tell that even once we complete the original list, there will be little upgrades here and there we will want to do.
With my husband’s DIY abilities, I can also see us making minor changes along the way to make every square inch of this bus usable and best organized for our family.
Plus, in all reality, when people begin a skoolie build, most have an idea and/or plan of what they want to do. However, no matter how thought out these plans are, there are certain things you can’t possibly know until you actually begin traveling in your rig and use the space on a daily basis.
As a result, now that we are actually on the bus, I am already finding little adjustments I would love to make at some point to make our bus even better suited for our family of six + 4 cats and 1 dog 🙂
But for now, we are going to work on wrapping up the initial to-do list, enjoy all our hard work, and hit the road!
Thanks for following along on this crazy adventure of ours! Questions for us? Drop them in the comments below!