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Internet for Tiny House/Bus Conversion

Reliable and fast internet for the tiny house/ bus conversion is key to running my business and leading this digital nomad lifestyle. I stressed a lot over the internet options before entering tiny house/bus conversion lifestyle…

I’ve had great luck with T-Mobiles unlimited internet cell phone plan. I get two phones + faster internet option added to one of the phones for $125 per month. Both phones have unlimted internet/4g hot spots available. Although only one of the phones has the faster speed option enable. You can browse web pages at the slower speed but anything else will require paying the $25 per month for the faster 4g option. My older Samsung S3 phones both have hotspot options built into the phone.

The service seems to be truly unlimited.  I’ve already used 300 gigs this month and we are only halfway through the service period! Although tmobile will deprioritize your 4g connection after you go over 50 gigabytes. This only affects you if you are in a high use area while a lot of other users are online. I only had this happen during peak hours in Portland a few times. Most of the time this isn’t a factor that will affect you.

The service has worked great in the Oregon and Washington area. I’ve found this T-Mobile 4g coverage map to be accurate so far.

 

Feel free to ask any questions in the comments. I will definitely respond when I get the chance.

Installing a Mr. Heater Buddy in the Bus to Tiny House Conversion

Installing Mr. Heater Buddy in bus conversion / tiny house

This 12-foot long propane hose was $30 from Amazon.

 

Installing Mr. Heater Buddy in bus conversion / tiny house

You are supposed to use one of these filters when attaching a large propane tank to a Mr. Heater Buddy heater. This one was about $12 from Amazon

 

Installing Mr. Heater Buddy in bus conversion / tiny house

Locating the propane tanks in the existing storage area.

I was lucky enough to recover two horizontal propane tanks from an old travel trailer. It was $15 a piece to have the tanks recertified. The process was quick and easy. A local propane supply place offered the propane tank recertification service.

 

 

Installing Mr. Heater Buddy in bus conversion / tiny house

Drilling an exit hole with a metal hole saw.

 

Installing Mr. Heater Buddy in bus conversion / tiny house

Drilling an entry hole through the underside of the bus. I used the metal hole saw for all these holes. All sharp edges filed and hole filled with foam insulation. The propane line will enter the bus in the kitchen cabinet.

 

Installing Mr. Heater Buddy in bus conversion / tiny house

Safety is number one priority when drilling above your head! This face shield was $3 at harbor freight.

 

Installing Mr. Heater Buddy in bus conversion / tiny house

Drilling entry hole inside the kitchen cabinet for the propane line

 

Installing Mr. Heater Buddy in bus conversion / tiny house

Connecting the propane line to the tank. I still need to drill holes and bolt don the tanks before moving the bus again.

 

Installing mr. heater Buddy

Line entering under the kitchen cabinet and exiting in front of the cabinet

 

Installing mr. heater Buddy

Hose and filter connected to Mr. Heater Buddy propane heater. There is enough slack to allow about 5 feet range of movement with the heater. The bus temp stays comfortable here in Oregon with the Heater set on low (6000 btu). A 20-pound propane tank last about 100 hours. I’ve got four propane tanks so that allows me to go about 16 days between refilling. The cheapest I’ve fund propane is $1.89 per pound. $2.39 per pound is what I’m currently paying. Heating the bus ends up costing between $2.50 and $3 per day

 

Installing mr. heater Buddy

I already had a smoke detector but add a propane/carbon monoxide detector. This unit as about $40 from Amazon. There is a battery back up 9 volt but the unit is intended to be plugged in. There is about a 10 foot long plung and cord that deploys from the back of the detector.

My experience with bus conversion insurance

I called Progressive and describe the bus conversion project. They agreed to insure the bus under a commercial policy with restrictions being that the bus would stay within a hundred miles of my mailing address and that there would be no passengers or trailers towed. The commercial insurance plan was full coverage but only covered the $3200 purchase price of the bus. The monthly cost for the commercial policy was about $80 per month. It was only an additional $10 per month for full coverage.

The Progressive commercial plan would cover me during the build process. My intentions were to get a National General RV insurance plan once the bus conversion was completed. At one point I was actually under the impression that this was my only option for insurance on a bus conversion. Once the bus was to a respectable point I made an attempt to switch to National General. I was denied because of a previous accident where I wasn’t at fault but my insurance company had to pay out money until recovering the money from the at fault insurance company. National General said this incident would make me ineligible for three years.

I saw someone in a forum mentioning a school bus conversion being insured through State Farm. I called State Farm and got a very helpful agent. She managed to arrange a plan where the bus was fully covered for a value of $27,000. The only catch was I had to insure my car with State Farm also. The total monthly cost for my car insurance(minimum) and bus conversion insurance(full coverage) is $180 per month. I was paying $160 per month to insure both vehicles through Progressive. Here is the State Farm agent’s email in case you are trying to get bus conversion insurance in Oregon shonna.pierce.smq0@statefarm.com.

Now I can tow the dingy car behind the bus conversion and there is no mileage restriction on the adventure. Also, it’s nice to have the peace of mind that months worth of work is insured. Makes me a little less hyper-vigilant about the bus conversion.

Want your own self-hosted WordPress blog like this one? Web design is how I pay for The Bus Experience. Feel free to call, text, or email me for help with making your website ideas a reality.

bus pic with mount hood and home depot_opt

Railing for Bus Conversion Stairs

 

The Bus Experience

Using Home Depot’s parking lot to work on the railing for the bus conversion stairs. #ProductiveVanLife

 

 

skoolie railing

I built the railing in place then removed it for staining. Here is the first board screwed down with 3-inch screws. #improvcarpentry

 

 

School bus conversion stair railing

 

School bus conversion stairs railing

Got the 2 x 4 frame together. Used 3-inch screws and predrilled

 

 

School bus conversion stairs railing

The diagonal handrail clamped in place for marking where the cuts will go. I found that using a razor knife to mark cut lines allowed for more precise marks and then cuts.

 

School bus conversion stairs railing

Diagonal handrail cut with a cordless circular saw. Attached using longer trim screws coming from multiple angles.

 

#productivevanlife

Still working after dark. The Home Depot manager came to check out the project and seemed amused by the gypsy shenanigans.

 

School bus conversion stairs railing

Cracks filled with wood putty and then sanded using 220 grit sandpaper.

 

 

School bus conversion stairs railing

Black cherry stain applied.

 

 

School bus conversion stairs railing

Two coats of semi-gloss polyurethane applied with a foam brush.

 

School bus conversion stairs railing

The stair railing screwed back into place. It didn’t turn out bad. I was too aggressive with the sand paper which seemed to damage the wood in certain spots.

 

School bus conversion stairs railing

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Click here to start at the beginning of the bus conversion project

Finishing the Bus Converion Flooring

Time to finish the flooring.

School bus conversion floor

 

School bus conversion floor

 

Adding 1 x 2 furring strips

School bus conversion floor

 

Adding 1″ OSB subflooring

School bus conversion floor

 

Using Home Depots lot to finish the flooring.

School bus conversion floor

 

I put the flooring in place then marked the cut line from underneath.

School bus conversion floor

 

School bus conversion floor

The flooring is pretty straight forward. Now I can add the railing and trim.

School bus conversion floor

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Next Page: Staining and installing bus conversion trim

Finishing Bus Conversion Walls

I used 220 grit sandpaper and oil based, satin polyurethane to finish the bus conversion walls and kitchen counter. For simplicity, I will keep the focus of this post to one section of the bus. Same process applies for all the walls.

School bus conversion counter

The kitchen counter is a prebuilt unit but didn’t come with finished side panels. So I had to add some sanded 1/4″ lauan plywood. This is the same material I used for the bus conversion walls.

 

 

Finishing bus conversion kitchen countertop

Here is the lauan plywood cut and test fit.

 

 

Skoolie kitchen counter

Prebuilt counter after being hand sanded with 220 grit sand paper.

 

 

Boondocking work spot

Improvised work spot by the side of a river in Oregon.

 

 

sanding bus conversion panelling

Sanding the walls panels that aren’t already attached. The attached walls were also sanded with 220 sand paper.

 

 

skoolie wall panelling

After polyurethane is applied. The polyurethane was easier to apply on the unattached wall panels, less worry and monitoring for drips. I used a roller to apply the polyurethane then went back over the surface with a foam brush. I felt like this sped up the process.

 

 

polyurethane on bus conversion panelling

The polyurethane drying on the panels for the side of the kitchen counter.

 

 

Finishing kitchen counter

Clamping, wood gluing, and screwing the finished panels in place. I used trim screws instead of nails.

 

 

100_5439_opt

An example of how the finished walls turned out.

Want your own self-hosted WordPress blog like this one? Web design is how I pay for The Bus Experience. Feel free to call, text, or email me for help with making your website ideas a reality.

Click here to see the last of the flooring being installed

 

 

 

 

 

Installing Trim in a Tiny House School Bus

Tiny House School Bus Trim Install

I chose trim screws over nails because of the bus moving and shifting. A lot of these pictures don’t require too many words. Feel free to ask questions in the comment section below and I will make sure to answer.

 

Tiny House School Bus Trim Install

 

 

Tiny House School Bus Trim Install

The window sill trim only had to be notched out around the emergency exits.

 

 

Tiny House School Bus Trim Install

Wheel cover

 

 

Tiny House School Bus Trim Install

Wheel cover

 

 

Tiny House School Bus Trim Install

Trim around the counter

 

 

Tiny House School Bus Trim Install

Start of the trim around the bathroom.

 

 

Tiny House School Bus Trim Install

Trim around bathroom. I cheated by using multiple 3″pieces of trim to complete the curve.

 

Tiny House School Bus Trim Install

Trim around bathroom. Click here to see all the trim pictures on one Pinterest board.

Want your own self-hosted WordPress blog like this one? Web design is how I pay for The Bus Experience. Feel free to call, text, or email me for help with making your website ideas a reality.

Next Page: Stair Railing Install

Staining Trim for a School Bus Tiny House

staining trim for school bus conversion

Improvising a work spot while traveling.

 

 

staining trim for school bus

I used cheap 1×2 and 1×4  furring strips for the trim. Hand sanding with #220 grit sandpaper worked well enough. But I started using a palm sander later in the project and now wouldn’t recommend hand sanding. The sander was much faster and made a better final product.

 

 

staining trim for school bus

The exact stain that I used for the school bus tiny house trim. It came from Home Depot.

 

 

staining trim for school bus

The trick to the stain was figuring out how long to leave it on before wiping. Keep mixing also or your stain will get progressively darker throughout the project.

 

 

staining trim for school bus

I underestimated how much trim the bus would take. It ended up being three days of just sanding and staining trim. I cut these longer pieces as needed then touched up the cut ends with stain.

 

 

staining trim for school bus

Trim with two coats of semi-gloss polyurethane.  I’ll add a third coat to the entire bus conversion when I have more time and a controlled environment to work in.

Want your own self-hosted WordPress blog like this one? Web design is how I pay for The Bus Experience. Feel free to call, text, or email me for help with making your website ideas a reality.

Next Page: Trim Install

 

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How to Make a Penny Countertop p1

Penny counter top

 

Here is an Amazon link to the Epoxy I used for the penny countertop.

Penny counter top

 

Pre-cut pennies for the edges. This ended up being too many. Cut them as needed. Metal shears worked well.

Penny counter top

 

Pre-cut pennies for the edges. This ended up being too many. Cut them as needed. Metal shears worked well.

Penny counter top

 

Tracing the sink for the cutout.

Penny counter top

 

Empty parking lot where I stopped to make the penny countertop

Penny counter top

 

Drilling holes in all 4 corners of the sink outline.

Penny counter top

 

Using the jig saw to cut out the sink outline. With the drill holes allowing you to make the turns at each corner.

Penny counter top

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Next Page

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How to Make a Penny Countertop p3

The resin curing process slows down below 70 degrees. It ended up taking a few hours to harden which forced me to stay in this parking lot overnight.

Penny counter top

 

Sink still fits

Penny counter top

 

Penny countertop in place. The edge needs to be sanded.

Penny counter top

 

Close up of the surface.

Penny counter top

 

I sanded the edge with a belt sander.

Penny counter top

 

Polyurethane the underside of the countertop to prevent the wood absorbing moisture.

Penny counter top

 

Simple backsplash cut from sanded plywood. Then 3 coats of polyurethane.

Penny counter top

 

Counter installed with the wood edge painted black. Eventually, I will epoxy cut up pennies to this edge.

School bus conversion penny counter top

School bus conversion penny counter top

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Next Page: Finishing bus conversion walls