This School Bus Tiny Cottage Lifestyle Update is a guest post by Marsha Cowan – share yours!
I came home from Arizona to North Carolina to visit with my family for the summer (am parked in my daughter’s driveway), and while here have been able to do some renovations on the tiny red bus in which I live full time in an RV park in Arizona. Almost finished! When I do get finished (hopefully in the next week) and cleaned up, I’ll send some pictures, though the solar vent fan/light I ordered from Lowe’s won’t get in until it is time to leave to go back, so that will have to be installed after I get back to AZ.
Some of the changes have been a stained/varnished floor, new boxcar shelves, blinds on the windows, and Plexiglas shutters on the back windows. There are a few other changes as well that have made life so much easier for me, but as usual, I am still off grid. Can I put in a plug for Goal Zero, my new hero? Lol!
Here are the pictures of the remodeling on my tiny red bus which I call Baby Boy. The biggest improvement was the stained and varnished floor. As with the partitions in the bus which have worked out so well, I used 1×6 pine fencing to do the floor. It only took me about $20 worth, then small cans of stain and marine varnish. So far it has been very easy to keep clean!
Marsha’s School Bus Tiny Cottage Lifestyle Update
Images © Marsha Cowan
The next best improvement was the 1/4″ thick plexiglass shutters that when closed against the insulation keeps out dust and fumes while driving, and will keep out cold air during the winter nights, all while not blocking my views or light. I had wooden shutters before on the inside, but really missed looking out my windows all winter, so this is a great improvement, and it totally keeps out even a windy rain while open, so I get the cool breezes without getting the bed or pillows damp. They can lock when closed, too.
I replaced the former rather flimsy shelves with these “boxcar” shelves which give great ease of mind when I drive as they keep things in place so much better, and are a couple of inches deeper for more storage. Have I mentioned how much I love my Goal Zero solar battery and panel? Those are solar lights in this picture. My 12volt lithium Sherpa 50, charged in about 4 hours of sun by my Boulder 30 solar panel, keeps my lights and fan running at night, charges my iPad and cell phone during the day (while still charging the battery), and runs my fan for hours after that. I have never been so pleased with a solar product. I highly recommend Goal Zero and highly commend their service department. They are a great bunch of people with which to work!
This shot (below) shows my “beloved” butane stove which I use a lot because I cook a couple times every day. There is a camping oven which sits on top of this when I want to bake. Also in this picture is the blue speckled 2 1/2 gallon coffee pot that replaced the red water pump the first week. It worked well, but had metal parts inside that rusted between use so that I pumped out several quarts of rusty water before getting to clean water. Bison is the only pump I know that has stainless steel on the inside and other non rusting components, so maybe one day I will get a Bison pump, but in the meantime, I just dip out this water with that dipper you see hanging there. I have another large coffee pot under the counter if I need more water, but now that I am using the outdoor shower (which I love), the one pot usually suffices. It is simple and easy to fill at the faucet outside and bring in.
I wanted to keep my tall rubber boots, so I stuck flowers in them and keep them by the front door. Never have had to use them, though, but they are there when the need arises.
Hope you have enjoyed these makeovers. The front door is still on the “to do” list, maybe next summer. I’ll send one more picture of the floor in another email. Take care, Alex!
Images © Marsha Cowan
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