Skoolie Conversion Update #4 | Reskinning the Bus

Hello friends! It’s definitely been a few weeks since our last post, but life is crazy and it turns out working full time + traveling + promotions + converting a school bus into a tiny home doesn’t make content creation very easy. But, I figured I’d hop on and pick up right where we left off in July: the roof raise.

In June + July we raised the roof of our school bus 14 inches for a plethora of reasons. More headspace, more room to insulate, more storage space, etc. We couldn’t be happier with how it turned out and even though it caused a few headaches, we really think it was the best decision for us!

To raise the roof, you basically have to cut the bus all the way around and jack it up until it reaches your desired height. Then, you weld in new iron pieces that hold the roof up in the air. Finally, you take new steel and wrap it around the empty space, riveting it in to create new sides of the bus. Sounds easy, right? Not exactly.

While for several people, the task would be pretty simple, with just one person it was a pretty tough job. Each sheet of steel is 80 pounds, which Levi had to lift himself (since I [Rachel] was at work during this process). He wound up using ratchet straps to help lift and then using a bunch of heavy wood scraps to press the steel up against the hat channels so it was flush enough to rivet in.

It was so difficult, in fact, that doing one sheet would take him hours. Luckily, I was able to come out and help so we could work on the other side of the bus together. That made it A LOT easier and we were able to get the majority of the driver’s side done in just a few hours. Then the only issue was the sun bouncing off the steel and cooking our flesh like eggs on pavement. Wear lots of sunscreen when school bus converting, folks!

It’s been a few months since this major project and both of us are still so pleased by how it turned out! What do you think?

That’s it ’til next time, guys! I promise one day I’ll actually be able to post on here AS we do projects instead of months later. But, if you want real-time updates on our conversion process, check us out on Instagram at @justbetweenbus!

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