Monday, May 20, 2013


So last week we set about to start building our bed. We (Chris) created a blueprint of how we're going to put it together and we bought all of the materials before we started to realize how much we had to do first before we could actually start to build. In order to start building the bed we had to make the side walls. To make the sidewalls we had to finish putting back the last of the side panels. To put on the side panels, we had to first put back the rear metal walls. To put back the rear walls we needed to finish the wiring, insulate and clean/paint the panels. So we started by scrubbing, rust converting, and painting the rear panels.

We also filled the rear area with insulation
They looked pretty nice back in place

Once the rear plates were back up, we began building the side walls. Our first use of wood! This involved making 2x4 studs to attach to the walls so we could fill between them with insulation.

We cut the studs into two pieces in order to work around the chair rail,
one on top and one underneath it.

I gave my Dad this laser level for father's day a few years ago.
It was just what we needed to ensure the 2x4's were straight!

We filled the area between the studs with insulation. Chris' Grandfathers' staple gun made this part go nice and quick. I'm ready to be done with the insulating phase. So itchy!

And finally, late into the night (well, ok it was like 9) we got the plywood up to finish the back walls!

We plan to add a windowsill on top of the walls.

This is the outline of the bed frame. The mattress goes in the middle and
the side areas are for storage.

Our original plan was to make the frame 20" high to accommodate an 18" water tank, however once we put it temporarily into place we realized it was way too tall. Chris would hit his head on the ceiling trying to climb in and I would need a running start to get up on the bed. So we went back to researching the water tank and decided on a 70 gallon one that is 13" high. This allowed us to make the bed frame 15" high.

We had our first siesta (nap) in the bus this week.  In college, while we were in the Dominican Republic on a medical mission trip we had a Siesta every day. We've decided that when we grow up and can dicate our own schedules, we will Siesta Daily. Siesta on everyone!

Once we got the frame supports in place we put the frame on top and then discovered that the walls are narrower at the top than at the bottom. This resulted in a 1/4 inch gap between the side and the wall, go figure.

We didn't want this gap to forever be there to steal and wedge pencils, earrings and other small and important items so we ended up having to move the side 2x4 over 1/4" in order make it flush with the wall.

You can see the wedge in the corner where the overlap occurs
We also were able to install the last of the roof panels and the very back panel.

Here's all of the back panels installed and the completed bed frame
The 2x2 forms a frame to hold up the plywood that goes under the mattress
We also cleaned the bus, organized all of our tools and vacuumed up the tiny shards of metal and wood that seem to throughly enjoy embedding themselves in my tush when I scoot across the floor. The organization lasted about 15 minutes and the floor was clean for about 20 until we put in the next piece of wood and created new shards of metal and wood.

We really enjoy hanging out in the bus, chatting and listening to music and definitely feel like we're progressing in the right direction. I still have the occasional "oh my god, we're going to live in a bus" moments but I have to admit that it's so exciting to see progress and plans put into action. I know that Chris and I could be happy anywhere as long as we have each other, but I think there will be something really special about living in a place that we built with our own two hands, together. Up next is more appliances, electrical work and building the closets and bathrooms, so stay tuned!

I caught Chris taking a siesta tonight when I returned from work.
P.S. Some people have mentioned that they have tried to post a comment on the blog and haven't been able to. Please let me know if you're experiencing this issue by emailing me at or by posting on our facebook page. We'd love to hear any comments or thoughts you have on our project!


  1. Kelly, things are coming along beautifully! I am so excited for you guys, and look forward to more blog posts! ~Tara

    1. Thanks Tara, we will keep the updates coming

  2. My husband and I have just bought a bus and are in the deconstruction phase... it's been fun to look at your blog and see what you guys are doing!! Good luck and have fun!!

    1. Thanks Amy! We're excited to see your updates as well :)

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  9. What did you use to attach the 2x4 to the walls?