Updates from (September 2-6, 2018) we got some systems installed, we have some painting being done, and we are getting ready for a final polish. This week we are also going to be dry fitting our equipment to figure out the best layout for the kitchen.
Installing systems in the bus means finding a place to put 90lbs of propane, water tanks, ventilation, and figuring out where to run all the tubes and wires. Thankfully on a bus we have a plethora of space below where things fit in quite nicely. The propane tanks are going to be mounted to the wall with industrial strap that will be easily accessible for refilling when we are empty. The plan is to have our system running off of 2 tanks at a time, and when those go empty we switch over to the third. This will give us at least another day and a half of operation as we refill the two primary tanks.
The water system is required for a 3 bowl sink, hand washing sink, and an instant hot water system. The fresh and grey water tanks are going to be mounted on the support wall with the drains toward to outside of the bus for easy access for filling and draining. All the pex tubing will be installed later when we take the bus in for the final build with Kevin from Sugar and Spice.
The front of the bus roof, and the back corners, were not made from the same coated wood material as the center panels, they were aluminum panels. This made the process a little different when I was finishing the ceiling. The sander was a bit aggressive for the aluminum and was cutting it deeper than I liked, but I needed to remove the glue to have a smooth surface to repaint. After much trial and error I found that a finer grit on the sander with light pressure was enough to remove the glue but not cut into the aluminum. This made it possible to get a smooth service that was then primed and painted with a new bright white color. Doing this really brightened up the bus and gave the ceiling a more complete look. There are some finishing touched that need done but it is coming together nicely.
Luke had all of the kitchen equipment ordered and ready to install. After a long day of borrowing our friend Frank's truck, we made all the trips to and from the kitchen space to the bus to start un packing.
The hardest part of this was trying to get our 2 coolers in the bus. One cooler measured 25" when we removed the top panel, and the other measured 27.5" which are rather standard measurements. The issue was the fact that the front door to the bus (the largest opening besides the windshield) at its widest part is a tight 27". We were faced with a lot of resistance from the bus, but we were able to get the 25" cooler into the bus.
Next was the 27.5" cooler. This one was a bit more challenging. We ended up having to remove 4 parts of the door including trim, railings, and lights to create and opening that was just barely wide enough to fit this cooler through. After a difficult 45 minutes of trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, we had to call it a defeat. This cooler defeated us, and the bus would not allow this piece of equipment though its door. It was late and dark outside as Luke and I begrudgingly reinstalled the pieces to the door to lock it up for the night. This was the first big hurdle that didn't end up working out. We are going to adjust our plan and order smaller table top coolers to compensate for the loss of this bit of equipment. All hope is not lost though, in a later phase of this truck we plan to install a tap system with large cooler that will require us to remove the windshield to bring it into the bus, at this time we will bring in larger coolers to the kitchen.
Thank you so much for continuing to follow this story, it is a challenge and we are excited for the final product.