So, today is the beginning of the next chapter in the bus. We’ve stripped the seats out; pulled out the rotting 29 year old subfloor, and today? Today we build.
Move in date for the bus is May 1, so we’re focused on the interior at this point. We have been studying up on composting toilets, which will probably be our biggest adjustment, but I’m pretty sure we can handle it. As we’ve been studying, it occurred to me that it probably is more accurate to call it an “aerobic waste disposal system”, as to compost to a “safe” point, you really need a secondary composter. It’s a whole lot of ick if done wrong (which is why it is impractical to implement on a widespread scale), but done properly it can be hugely beneficial. I may get into the sordid details later on, I may not, but I do believe it is something that everyone exploring off the grid living should learn.
We will temporarily get by with an ice chest, as our solar supply at the moment is 90 watts, which is not adequate to power a fridge, which will easily be our most energy consuming appliance most of the time. For showers and hygiene, we will temporarily boil our own water, but are looking into a propane tankless heater that we can mount inside the bus. We have a water pump that we will be installing to pull the water for the shower; it will likely have its own separate, smaller, solar charger so that it does not pull off of the house supply.
A backup generator is available to carry the load should we need it. Since it is spring, it should be several months before we have to worry about the extra load that comes with heating and reduce solar capacity.
Today, though, we will start building the loft beds for the boys. The girls will sleep below, in bunks constructed from the bus seat that will convert into a daytime dining area. One of the nice things about the bus is it is a blank canvas.
In measuring everything out, we will be putting a storage area behind the bathroom in the rear of the bus that will make it easier to load and unload.
There are so many things to consider, and this is one of the joys I have found. We are so accustomed to everything being provided for us that we rarely stop and think about everything we have. And while off grid living is less expensive than traditional living, it requires a rather steep learning curve, and the setup can be a little costly.
Our deadline for full conversion (including mechanical) is October 31. But move in day is 36 days away!