Day 19 – LED String Lighting Installed

Sept. 22, 2017 – Today I added some 110vac LED string lighting to the inside of the bus.  Even though I have several fluorescent light fixtures on the ceiling of the garage very little light actually comes inside the bus.  This makes it very difficult to work when making precise measurements.

Each light string is 48 ft. long and has 15 light sockets.  The LED bulbs are 2 watts each, therefore the entire string is only 30 watts.  I placed a string on each side of the bus for nice even lighting.

After the bus conversion is complete I won’t be using them inside any longer as I will be installing all 12vdc LED lighting.  The good thing about the string lights is that they are indoor/outdoor so I’ll be able to place them on the outside of the bus and have some great night time lighting for wherever we are boondocking at.

Here is a before shot:


And the after shot:



Day 18 – Framing for the side walls

Sept. 6th, 2017 – Well, we survived the great Houston, Texas floods that hurricane Harvey brought with it.  Our area did not flood at all and we only lost power for a day and a half.  All in all we fared pretty well compared to others.  My heart goes out to those affected by the storm.

Today I got all the framing done that will be needed to put up the side walls.  On the bottom near the floor I used 2×2 lumber as it is actually 1 1/2 inchs in width as is the chair rail above it.  Notice that I screwed into the side of the 2×2 and into the bus wall, and that I did not also screw down into the plywood. This allows the plywood to shrink and expand underneath the 2×2 with any climate changes.


Then on top of the chair rail I screwed down 2×4’s that I placed on edge, as once again it is the exact same thickness as the chair rail.


I attached the 2×4’s with Tek screws that are made for attaching wood to metal.


First I drilled a pilot hole through the wood and also through the metal ribbing where I was attaching it to, using a drill bit made for #12 screws.


Then I screwed in the Tek screw to just below the surface of the wood with a #3 phillips head bit.

There will be a slight gap at the top of the 2×4 caused by the thickness of the chair rail metal.  To keep from having the 2×4 slant inwards I used a wood shim just the right thickness so that it would be attached perfectly perpendicular.


Once I attach a 2×4 at the bottom of each window sill it will give me a perpendicular surface all the way down to the floor to attach the side walls.  Also, as a side benefit, the 2×2’s at the bottom and 2×4’s above it give you places to anchor your floor cabinets.  Here is a completed shot without the 2×4 under the windows.


Lots of people want to remove the side chair rail.  In my opinion it is a bad idea.  It is an integral part of the bus that helps with side impacts if you ever get into an accident.  Also, by using it to your advantage with the framing it creates a 1 1/2″ gap that you can use to run your electrical wiring behind the walls and out of sight.  Making for a much cleaner look.