Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Update! Walls, Electricity, and What We've Been Up To

Blog world! We are still here!

Bus update:
Walls are framed! We used 1x1s, [edit: I mean 2x2s!] and will provide structure for our insulation and for finished walls.
Wall framing!

Pretty beetle kill pine.

We will insulate with 3/4" [edit: 1.5"!] polyiso foamboard after we install all the inner workings - electric, plumbing, all that good stuff. Some spots took us forever to figure out. The driver's side rear window will be in the bathroom, and is going to get blocked off for a toilet vent. Rounded back corners were tricky. We had to decide how we were going to do window framing, and window sills. I think we have a clear path ahead though once we're ready for the final look.

We have made huge strides in electricity! Not only have we learned how to safely wire DC and AC, but we've installed our first AC outlet! The existing bus DC wiring is surprisingly simple, once we figured out that the interior lights are not run on a loop circuit (that was a puzzle for a while, we're learning!).
The first outlet!
Trying to figure out the interior light wiring.
We have a nice dimmer switch ready to go in for the interior lights. AC wiring is roughed in and receptacles are mounted for all the outlets. We have 5 outlets total: bathroom GFCI, back passenger side, kitchen counter, kitchen table, driver's area, and the utility cupboard. That will allow us more than enough configurations for everything we might need AC juice for. The goal then is for everything without an AC plug to run on DC (lights, water pump, vents, etc). Fridge and water heater will be propane.
Scheming the electrical layout.
The plan is to run the electricity fully off-grid with solar power, so we are researching panels and inverters and charge controllers and all those good things. The front runner so far is stuff from Go Power! (you can find them on Amazon). They have a range of solar packages that come with everything we'd need for however much power we calculate we need to install, plus stuff like flexible panels and portable panels (so we could park in the shade on a hot day and still charge).

I'm getting ahead of myself though! The solar setup is the second biggest expenditure of this project, other than the bus itself, so it will probably be a while before we move forward with it.

Other happenings:
Have you guys seen this book? Teff Love! We are in love. I recipe tested for this book, and did you know that our staple weekend breakfast is now Ethiopian sorghum porridge with spicy berbere oil? Holy crap you guys that stuff is GOOD!! My other favorite is anything tibs!

We celebrated Christmas and New Year's and our 6th anniversary! We toured wedding spots and did other wedding planning stuff (websites and guest lists and lodging and catering, oh my)! Erik started a new semester at school and went on a bunch of work trips, we planned a trip so Southern CA for next month, I joined the local volunteer fire department then dropped out (renting is sad sometimes). We hiked and snowshoed and birdwatched and survived snow storms.

Deep snow hiking - Kita taking a break.

RMNP from the northern boundary.

Adorable pair of Pine Grosbeaks.
We cooked a lot, we cursed satellite internet, we watched Doctor Who, we researched bus toilets and hot water heaters and water tanks and plumbing and bed designs and OH YEAH WE GOT A TUB!!

Til next time!


  1. That picture of Kita in the snow is ADORABLE. Followed closely by the photo of Cammy in the tub.

  2. AWESOME post Cammie. LOVE LOVE following your bus journey - thanks for taking us along for the ride. Super interesting. Also - great wildlife pics. Glad to see you two survived the past month's multiple snow storms.