Winterizing our bus

The rainy season for Oregon is on us and we are still preparing our bus. Whoops! Since we are more exposed to the elements than a normal house, a few winterizing steps are necessary.

We started with the roof. A couple leaks had become evident around the emergency hatch in the ceiling. Nearly two-thirds down the length of the bus, the hatch sits between our closet/storage area. We used the spray on rubber sealant you see on TV. You know, it’s from the infomercial where they cut a hole in the bottom of a boat, fix a screen door over the hole, and cover it in the spray. Miraculously, the boat floats. It seemed like a logical tool for the job. So Derek and I climbed up the ladder and perched on the roof of the bus. It took one and a half cans to cover, and was a simple task. A breeze compared to some other projects we’ve tackled.

We noticed on heavy rain days that we still have one very small leak. My plan is to get back up there the next time we get some sun.

Next, I started to tackle the holes in the floor. The previous owner attempted in floor heating and failed miserably. This fix was a quick and dirty job. I plan to come back with a more permanent fix down the road. With a little aluminum sheeting and some duct tape, I covered the hole an laid carpet over it.

The carpet was a freebie from family that we hauled with us from Colorado. This is also temporary. We have some new carpet that will go down in the spring/summer once the permanent fix is made.

Right now I’m tackling the curtains and window insulation. The curtains that came with the bus are polyester, mismatched, poorly sewn, and totally not our style. These curtains seemed too bulky and visually took up space. Even more so in our bedroom, pictured below.

With a budget in mind, I pulled a hack from my college years. I once used a canvas drop cloth from Home Depot to cover my thrift store couch. It was great. Durable, removable, washable, and neutral in color tone. Plus, it was cheaper than canvas from the fabric store. It also came in handy when I needed fabric for a Halloween costume. Being the poor college student, I turned it into a lovely strapless dress and cloak for an amazing amazon warrior costume. I’m not a sewing wiz, but I have a can-do attitude with my Grandmother’s sewing machine. As long as it runs, I can do it.

I chose to give the pockets for the rods more room and finish them to fit the window snugly. No over hang, no bunching. The cleaner lines and thicker fabric add space, warmth, and polish to this small space.

The back windows of the bus are also in our bedroom. I’ve noticed these let in more cold than the side windows. For these I will make new curtains and cover them with a temporary insulation.

Before insulation…

After insulation…

After a few weeks of use, I have noticed that condensation collects under the insulation. However, this coincides with the general condensation problem for the bus. A strategically placed electric heater has been helping with that at night.

What’s left to do? I have two more vents to cover, and we are contemplating some sort of skirt for the outside. There are many options, including hay bails. For now though our bus is warm and comfy. We just had our first bus-guest and she said that was the one surprising thing, she didn’t expect it to be so cozy.