Leaking roof

Before I painted, I used body filler to patch some rips and holes in the roof (from a tree limb?)  Sanded and painted over, along with many other questionable and rusted rivets, I felt confident that I had fixed most of the roof issues.  I was sure there would be more in the future.  Heavy rains last week demonstrated some issues, and it looks like most are seams, as they all stopped when I moved the bus uphill – all but one. The one dripping on to the driver’s dash. The primary suspect is this guy. Not sure what it is or purpose, or even what problems I will cause if I caulk it/remove it?


Inside, beneath the vent, the ceiling looked like this….


Advice from the skoolie.net crowd yielded the advice the vent was not needed, and was often problematic, so I got to pryin and cuttin.

then I had to administer a beat-down, to make the roof “flush” for the new patch.

post beat down



patch installed, lotsa sticky jelly underneath and around edges



Front drip over the dash? GONE
3rd Passenger window drip? GONE
2 of the 4 rear leaks? Gone, but only 2 of them.

the 2 remaining drips are most likely due to the fact I skipped some rear seams, and was stingy on the other rear seams to conserve the 212 – yes, I knew what I was doing. So I had to crawl back up there, but at least I am confirming the 212 works.  Now waiting for a bigger storm to confirm, no more leaks.  Maybe I can build some cabinets now?


Engineering challenge #1

#1 challenge appears to be solved, with 2 bolts, 2 nuts, 4 washers, and a $14 c-channel, cut in half and drilled, combined with an aluminum ramp I had already.  The only other addition is a kickstand platform, to keep the bike from leaning too far.

Works pretty damn well.

And the bike as it sits in the rear of the bus.


My new home is in the driveway

20150328_075205600 miles to Ohio, and 600 miles back – a great ride back. but rolling in at 2:30 in the morning was pretty suck.  The preview to my new adventure got off to a good start, with no catastrophic failure.  Not sure I could have even recovered from a bad tire, after spending almost all reserves on the bus  and travel expense.  Cutting it close, but I need to get started now while I have a base.

20150328_155131Ripped out the seats, and cleaned the rubber puke mat, after the fail of attempted removal of flooring.  I estimate it has 700 bolts that must be CUT out from UNDER the bus, and I doubt that I can even get to them all.  So the puke mat stays for now, I will build on top of it.



20150402_091149My next challenge is to refit the wheelchair lift to allow me to lift a motorcycle, and load it into the rear of the bus   Right, it looks as simple as extending the ramp about 18 inches to get the bike UP to the bus.

Auction Closed – High Bidder: ME!!!

bus-winner Why yes, I am the winning bidder. I won the auction on a bus in Ohio.  I know, but I have been working on this for several months, and this is the best deal, latest model, lowest mileage vehicle I have seen.  The last similar vehicles went for more than twice as much, so I don’t mind riding to Columbus.  Excited, terrified, all at the same time.  I have never bought ANY vehicle with looking and test-driving before.

Driving to Columbus tomorrow.


The most common question I am asked is  – WHY?  “Why do you have to sell everything?”   Many are trying to “help” me by finding alternatives to my new alternative.  “If you sell your house, where will you live?” TRANSLATION:  Where will you put your stuff?  What most folks do not understand is this new life is exactly the life I have wanted to live most of my adult hood.  In fact, the reason I went back to school in my 20’s, was to get a trade/skill I could use in any state I travelled to, and realistically roll into any state and most large cities and get a job quickly and easily.  An RT certificate would allow me to do that.

The only trouble was, life became very comfortable as I began my pursuit of the American Dream.  Buy a house, accumulate stuff, start a family, then die young with a bunch of toys and debt.  Never much interested in the family thang, but I did enjoy collecting toys.  I realized pretty quickly the dangers of debt, and decided that my new dream was to own  my house before I died – my new idea of freedom.

Fast forward 20 years – four houses, and a divorce, and my ideas about happiness started to take a radical turn.  With the absence of dependents, new doors suddenly opened up, and I started exploring some of my alternatives.  The ideas of travel/working I had in my 20’s started to flood back in.  So now I only needed to figure out how to LIVE while travelling.

For many people, making a living on the road would be quite an overwhelming task.  Or one that would require them to take a large cut in pay, while performing menial tasks, or at least jobs that focus more on general labor, than skill.  For me, that is not a problem, as I have been making my living from the web for the last 10 years.  In theory, I can do that anywhere that I have web-access, I hope.

So then the issue became – where and how will I live?  This has been a long journey.  I started with the idea of reducing the expenditures to ease the requirements of flexible living.  I looked into how I could live in the west, midwest, and Appalachians.  In the process I found the Tiny House Movement, and started to realize that you could reduce your yearly living expenditures by reducing your footprint on the earth (square footage)  The idea of living in a tiny house quickly overwhelmed me.  I started to feel guilty about the way I was living.  Why do we need all this SPACE?  I live by myself, in a 2,000 sq.ft. house, which is easily 5x as much space as I really need.  Much of the space is used to store CRAP that I never use, but most of the space is COMPLETELY unused.  WTF?  Not only am I paying for this HUGE house every month, I am also paying to heat and cool it, and CLEAN it.  Don’t get me started with all the yard work.

So I was sold.  Tiny space, yep, I can do that.  So I started looking into sail boats as an option.  Then I realized how hard it would be to get a motorcycle on board, and I put that idea on hold.  Another idea evolved from the fact that building tiny houses is ILLEGAL in almost every community in America.  Many builders skirt local building ordinances(min. size) by building onto a trailer platform.  Once you put wheels on it, ALL codes and requirements go out the window.  I like that.  I also liked the mobility aspect.  Crank it up, hitch it up, move on.

tiny-homeSo I played with the Tiny Home on Wheels idea for several months.  Mostly because they looked SO COOL, and they had many of the assets I was looking for.  Then I began to realize how heavy, bulky and expensive they were to build.  The idea that the real design of a more permanent structure on wheels (mobile home) became less appealing.  So the RV idea came into the picture.  Class A, Class C, all pre-built, ready for the road, and living inside.  For about the same cost or less of building a 400 sq.ft. home on wheels, I could purchase a used RV, built for rolling down the road for 100,000 miles or so.  So I went shopping.

After looking at several hundred traditional RV’s, I decided what I wanted was a solidly-built chassis, with quality construction on the inside as well.  This does not exist in the real world, outside names like Prevost, and Wanderlodge.  So a typical RV, I discovered, was cheaply built trailer, driven by a pickup truck.   The problem is, a typical used RV is well withing my price range.  A used Prevost is not.  Even a 10 year old Prevost is a quarter million dollars.  I started looking for more alternatives.

I knew that some people turned used school buses into RV’s.  In fact, Wanderlodge uses Blue Bird frames and engines to construct their luxury version of an RV.  Additionally, sometimes it is very hard to distinguish a converted school bus from a $1.5 million dollar Wanderlodge.  The call them Skoolies.  The projects range from basic, redneck-engineered “campers”, to really nice luxury coaches.  My plan is to fall somewhere in the middle.  I plan to document THAT journey here also.


I am the high bidder on 2 used buses currently.




In the beginning….

Friends and family have asked repeatedly – WHY?  After trying to explain a few of the reasons in a short period, many, many times.  I finally decided I should come up with a thorough long-form explanation, so I can point everyone to “the place”.  I will try to explain it all here – why this radical change in my life, and why I am embarking on this foolish adventure.  This will also serve as a place to store and document my adventures – you know, the whole sharing thing.