Raising the Roof

Back in February, in a very cold snowstorm in Texas of all places, we were snuggled up in our van and started a conversation about what we liked about our adventure home on wheels, what we didn’t, and what we would do differently if we built another rig. We built our van on a budget – not more than $10,000 invested – and got on the road fairly quickly, within 6 months of selling the house. We knew that we loved the nomad life and planned to continue.

Fast forward to April/May and we started looking for a school bus as our next RV conversion project. We found one in Burns, Oregon and moved it to Lincoln City, Oregon to begin the transformation process – Raising the Roof.

All good renovation projects begin with Demolition! Step one was removing all the interior panels and insulation. That means popping lots and lots of rivets!

Once the interior was gutted, we started working on the exterior, popping the heavier rivets near the cut line and marking and cutting the roof.

We chose this particular cut line because we wanted to preserve all the tinted bus windows. Once the roof was raised it was just a matter of putting the pieces back together again. 16 gauge sheet steel and a few thousand rivets and half a dozen drill bits and we were in pretty good shape.

Structural changes included moving the rear wall forward to create a deck space over the engine, adding “fins” to reinforce and transfer the engine weight to the forward frame, and repurposing the rear roof section to the sloped section in front. Alex kitty was very helpful.

We had hoped to get Moose II painted before we moved, but our Monsta bedliner was back ordered two months, so we went ahead and had it shipped to build site #2 which will be in Texas. I did put up some brown paper and start toying with some designs.

We wrapped up with some welding and seam sealing, then spent a week clearing our our storage unit and getting ready to change our home base from Oregon to Texas. We’re excited to be getting on the road again, and for building the interior of our new adventure mobile.

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