The portrayal of building or owning a bus looks very glamorous and exciting but honestly it is stressful. Everyday you’re fighting your heart to have patience, working through blood and sweat, and trying to find balance in it all. Some weeks you only get a day of work in and others you’re busting your ass in 102-degree heat trying to prepare for the next step. The saying “hurry up and wait” applies heavily here. Either you’re waiting for materials, people to be available, or trying to work around your own schedule. The biggest hurdles I have been faced with is trying to let those helping know how much you truly appreciate them, trying to breathe as you throw thousands of dollars at this shell of what will one day be “home”, and working around Luke’s schedule to insure he feels like he’s contributing. I work everyday planning, researching, and working towards the final goal, a home. I found peace in the little victories, the exciting steps, and with the support of family it has started to make me appreciate this process. I know others flow through this flawlessly and deal with it much better but I over think and worry about each step so its difficult to relax and go with the flow.
How has our family and friends reacted to this sudden lifestyle shift? Well honestly it has been very mixed but mostly supportive. You will get tons of questions and what ifs thrown your way but just remember who you’re doing this for: You. Your life and your decisions. As long as it makes you happy everyone will support you in the end. Also if you’re lucky enough you will have someone like my dad that helps you build the darn thing! (Full support and he gets to make sure I am safe while on the road.)
So what do the first few months look like when converting a bus? Luckily in the beginning besides purchasing the bus you spend very little money as you prepare the bus for building. Long days of pulling out seats, hammering away at rivets, and prying up floor boards will make you thankful for the moment you get to start adding to the bus. This is when you make the big decisions like: Do we raise the roof? What appliances should we purchase? Air conditioning? Power wall? Where will we mount everything? Store everything? Take it one step at a time. For us it was raising the roof. We were so torn between raising it or not and we truly couldn’t be more thankful we did. If you’re in the same position, just do it. Then do your homework and decide the floor plan and appliances that best fit your needs. We will add a list of the appliances we went with and why soon so you can see some ideas. After the raise was complete we decided for us it would be best to start with exterior paint. Windows were already out, the bus was clean, and from there we could begin to mount the skylight, air conditioning, and all of the solar without having to work around it for paint. My dad (Josh) and Chollo (Amazing Welder) set off cutting the hole for our front window, framing the air conditioning hole, under storage, final welds, patching stuff up, and truly just putting tons of work into the final touches. Luke and I set off removing lights, decals, and cleaning up the exterior. It has been a process to get to this step but I know when we go to pick Zoe up beautifully painted all the hard work will be worth it. She’s going to be absolutely stunning and we can’t wait to share photos of her all done.
Where to next? Once Zoe returns from the bus salon we will set to work mounting the air conditioning, solar, camera system, brackets, re-wiring the exterior lights, skylight, running all the interior lighting, and then we finally can spray foam! Moving forward is so exciting because the gut is finally over and now we get to transform her into a home. We are so appreciative of everyone that’s helped us thus far and can’t wait to finish this journey. If you have any questions or want to reach out to us please do! Shoot us an email at ZoeBus.Official@gmail.com.
P.S. Although we don’t officially have a complete schoolie yet we see a lot of buses come through the Las Cruces/White Sands area and we would love to meet up! Yeah we want to check out your bus and will probably ask too many questions but mostly want to make friends that we can meet up with once on the road.
P.S.S. If you’ve made it this far you’re committed and awesome! Please send feedback on the blog with what you’d like to hear more of, like to see, and ideas. Every little bit helps us be better. Thanks!