The past week on the conversion went well. There was a bit of plumbing done and some definite decisions on where everything is going to be permanently fastened. I am feeling better and better about this venture everyday.
Jenson began with figuring out what parts we would need, and where to drill the holes for the shower, toilet, bath sink, kitchen sink, and washing machine. After looking at where the crossbars were, he informed me that I would have to move the shower towards the front a few inches, in order to avoid cutting through the crossbars (thus weakening the integrity of the floor). We also needed to move the toilet over a few inches. Luckily, we still had some room in front of the street-side dinettes, so we were able to move them forward about 6 inches. I had given myself about 25″ for the washer/dryer, even though they are listed as measuring 23.5″, so I wasn’t too worried about running out of room there. Jenson told me later that we could move the dinettes back where I had them originally, but I found that having them set apart that extra 6 inches gave me a wider birth between the dinettes and there is just an overall better flow from the entrance of the bus. The bonus is, I may be able to put a narrow closet in between the bath and washer/dryer after all. And we all know….I need all of the storage space I can get.
Jenson drew up where to cut the holes and then he let me do some of the cutting with my jigsaw. We needed to attach the vanity to the wall and floor, along with the cabinet I wanted to keep there. This was so that we could make sure the hole Jenson cut for the bathroom sink line would line up and stay lined up. Jenson knew that I was trying to conserve as much room as possible. He pulled out the vanity and cut off the edge nearest the window, so that it would sit flush with the wall, giving me another inch of space in the hallway. He then used the grinder to cut off the ledge.
After pulling off the piece he had cut, he ground it down smooth. After looking at the rest of the bathroom, I realized that I need to just cut off the entire ledge in the bathroom. We attached the vanity to the floor and wall…with much work going into making sure we could get down through the metal floor. He finished some of the cutting and then told me that I needed to cut through the other level of steel (the undercarriage compartments) before he came to work again. Because it would be messy cutting them from below (nothing like having slivers of steel flying down into your face), because the jigsaw wouldn’t reach down that far (there is around 4 inches between the floor and the top of the storage compartments), and because the sawzall isn’t accurate enough or able to cut circles that well…we knew we would need to cut a hole from above, with a hole saw.
Last weekend, Mr. C and I bought a 3″ hole saw. Mr. C spent a good couple of hours trying to get through that layer of steel. None of us had ever used a hole saw on steel before, and Jenson had suggested going backwards on high. Needless to say, this did not work very well….just dulled the blade and frustrated the heck out of Mr. C. We took that hole saw back and got a different one. This time Mr. C used cutting oil and drilled forward…going slowly. After around 20 seconds, the first hole was done…then it took another 20 seconds for the other hole. Lesson learned…use oil and go forward when cutting steel with a hole saw, which I’m sure we will be doing again during the next few months. 😉
While I was watching Mr. C grow more and more frustrated with those holes, I got to looking at the cabinet that Jenson had helped me attach to the vanity. I realized what I had not taken into consideration when we were attaching it…the fact that the door was resting less than a centimeter above the sub-floor. Since I am still going to have to put some type of flooring in the bathroom (laminate), I knew that having the door that low wouldn’t work. I asked Mr. C if he would help me to remove it, so that I could cut it down and add some wood underneath…it’s a good thing that man loves me. We removed it, then I cut it down and found some wood (in our awesome wood pile out back) that I could use for getting it up to where it needs to be.
We reattached it to the vanity, then I attached it to the floor. It is the perfect height for the wood we have, so I am sure it will work for laminate flooring. Speaking of flooring, today I met with Kyle, another fellow I found who is willing to trade service for items. He gave me a bid and now I just need to figure out if it will be worth it to have him help us with the flooring. Anyone have a wood floor staple gun I can borrow in a month or so? 😀
Yesterday, I spent my hour of free time (baby is down for a nap and kids get to watch a show or read) working on cutting some studs for the bath wall. I set them up and, when Jenson came by, he adjusted them to where he wanted them to be. At some point this week, I will be securing them to the floor, ceiling, and wall. I am soooooo excited!!
Once Jenson showed me where he wanted the studs to reside, he cut a strip of wood out across the floor for the freshwater pipes to run through. We will be placing spacers around these to keep them from resting directly on the floor and we will fill in around them with spray foam insulation, cutting the insulation flush with the floor after it dries. Having the pipes inside the bus instead of underneath will help to cut down on the chance of freezing pipes. We have talked a lot about spraying the same foam around the holding tanks. I am trying to figure out if that would be best or maybe just using the foam board to line the inside of the storage compartments they will be in.
Lots to do this week, but looking forward to every minute of it. I thoroughly enjoy building this home of ours…one step at a time.