Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gettin' Down on the Floor and the Mountain

Today, we finally finished the sub-floor.  The joists are down, insulation is in, and the OSB frosting is layered on the top.  This has all taken quite a while, but not because we have been lazing about. No siree Bob!  We've been hard at work; traveling to West Virginia for a wonderful thanksgiving feast with great company, and climbing our way to the top of snowy Mt. Princeton in the Sawatch Range in Colorado.  More on this at the end of the post.....

Cammy cutting the foam board.
Method = measure, draw, and slice with a knife.
After installing our sub-floor joists, which consisted of a series of 1x2 and 1x3 furring strips (Douglas fir, of course), we installed the insulation.  We went with a 3/4" poly-iso rigid foam board, which snugly filled the void. We are supposed to be building green, right, you ask? Well, what is heck is this polyisocyanurate crap then? Truth is, we thought about using wool (but decided to spare the sheep) and recycled blue jeans (but decided we'd rather not have water logged pants behind our walls, in case they ever got damp, and we will just assume that would happen).  However, the R-value (the metric for how well the stuff insulates, duh!) of poly-iso is fantastic; making it far superior to other more natural insulation. The way I see it: the poly-iso will keep our bus warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. My point being, it will ultimately reduce our energy consumption and save......the.....entire.....planet! Yay!

 Space foam, er, I mean...foam board complete.

Highly technical circular saw cutting in progress.
Next, we slap the actual flooring in.  Plywood? No. OSB? Yes! OSB whaaaaat?  Yeah, it stands for oriented-strand-board, for the way that small strands of wood fiber are oriented in a generally perpendicular pattern to give the panels super strength. Sometimes, OSB gets a bad rap; being compared to particle board and inferior OSBs of the past.  However, much is this is more myth than reality. Actually, forestry practices for obtaining OSB raw materials are considered much better than plywood, which requires older, larger trees to be harvested. We found a brand of OSB called Advantech, which is not only great quality, but it uses a soy based glue to bind fibers together rather than formaldehyde, which may cause cancer and, potentially spawn mutant zombies. And no, we did not try to make any tofu from the OSB!

Tomorrow, we start our next phase of construction: the walls.  We plan to use 2x2 studs to save space, but still allow us to install adequate insulation.  Things will start to get interesting as we will then begin to install our systems like electrical and plumbing.

Cammy: ready to fight-off formaldehyde spawned mutant zombies
with her anti-zombie caulk gun  (which actually contained adhesive for
 bonding wood to wood, along with screws of course)  

Mission subfloor complete:
 Approximately 5- 4x8 panels were used to complete the floor.
That's the equivalent of about 160 square feet of floor space.

Now, what is this about an expedition to the top of Mt. Princeton?
Let's let the photos tell the story:

First off, the dogs have had their style cramped for months now, teetering on the brink
of husky depression.  We haven't been on a hiking adventure with them in a while.   So,
we loaded the 4 Runner, the dogs plunged  into the back, and off to Buena Vista and the
Sawatch Range we went.  As you can see from  the photo; any husky depression was
instantly cured once on the mountain.

Then we put our boots to the ground and began our 9 mile trek to the summit.  The hike starts near a communication tower off County Road 322 which follows a steep 4x4 road through a unique Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine forest.  We tried to drive the road up to the comm. tower the previous night, at midnight, but were turned back by a thick crust of hard packed snow and ice that sent the 4 Runner sliding backwards.  This was a little nerve-racking at the time, but we managed to find a camp spot along the road without the 4 Runner sailing down into the rocky gulch below.  Princeton summit is at the top right of photo.

Panorama of the Sawatch Range and the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness from the top of Mt. Princeton: one of our favorite places in Colorado.  

Summit selfie.

I actually had ulterior motives for doing this particular hike.  Yes, the dogs were depressed and we both needed some adventure as well as a break from the bus.  My real reason was to ask Cammy to marry me, Colorado back country style.  I asked her at 14, 196'.  She said yes :)  

I like this photo.  She is either really happy about the proposal, or she is delirious from the lack of oxygen at the summit.  I suspect it was a little bit of both ;)

Inspiration for the post title:  weird video, but great song.


  1. I love you proposal story, so romantic. The bus is coming along very nice . Are you going to leave the ceiling as it is? I love it that way!

  2. Hi! We are actually planning on the leaving the ceiling as is for now, with the option to finish it later if we choose. I think we both want the bus to retain some of its "bus charm". We plan to retrofit the original bus interior lights with some LED bulbs and fixtures on a dimmer switch.

  3. I am just now reading this post. Yay for flooring! And that proposal is a pretty good way to end the story! (For now.)