Li’l trickster six-window adventure bus for six people – page 3 – school bus conversion resources nanoxia deep silence 5

My first thought was: a king-size mattress is exactly three times the width of the narrow bunks in my bus. I’ll be able to cut this thing into thirds, so that along with a futon pad on a bottom bunk, I’ll have legit mattresses for the four bunk spaces!

I email the person, ask if I can come get it, etc. The reply comes after I’ve already arrived at my office, dressed for work. The person says it’s really heavy and I’ll need help. I’m thinking, meh, it’s a big foam mattress, it can’t be that bad, but I say I’ll bring help, so the person gives me the address.

We get there and there’s snow on the porch and I’m not really dressed for manhandling large objects across slippery decks and onto vehicles.


And it’s a large object for sure: the mattress turns out to be a foot thick. But it is clean, and by now I’m committed to it. I get the thing home and put it in the garage and go back to work. And yes, I’m thankful to have a job that gives me the flexibility to go and get mattresses when they pop up for free on the Internet.

After work I get home and start grokking this thing. What am I going to be able to do with a foot-thick mattress? The clearance in my bunks is already low, and I built them with four-inch mattresses in mind. social phobia meaning in hindi Now I’m looking at tripling the thicknesses? Well, I remove the zip-off cover and take scissors to the sewn-up fabric outer layer. I do the latter with a bit of heartbreak, because in the interim I’ve googled the make and model, and have found that this thing is worth more than a thousand bucks brand-new, and it’s in immaculate condition.

Inside, the mattress is made of three layers: the base is about seven inches thick, and then glued really tightly onto that is another three-inch layer, and finally, there are two inches of memory foam. They’re definitely not made to come apart; I work the corners a little and it almost seems like the layers are melted or fused together. Bummer.

Oh yeah, a word about methods: I put the thing up on a bunch of plastic bins, which, in my garage, are generally used as sawhorses, regardless of contents. I let the one-third I wanted to cut basically hang from the edge of where I situated the bins, so that as I cut, gravity would pull the cut wider and I’d be able to slice deeper and deeper into the mattress. The knife blade was only about ten inches long, so I had to work at it like a samurai with the world’s tiniest katana. Still, it was quick work — probably ten minutes total.

The memory foam is kind of rubbery, so I expected to be able to slice it smoothly. The puffier, drier yellow foam underneath, though, worried me. I worried that the blade would tear it rather than slice it, and I’d end up with a really ragged cut with a lot of ripped and balled-up pieces of foam. True to the word of a million serrated-bread-knife advocates online, though, it all worked very well. Thanks, Pioneer Woman™; five stars for your knife, although I have no idea how well it cuts bread.

I think the first big cut was better than the second, because on the first, I worked slowly and didn’t cut too deeply, and used several passes to slide deeper into the mattress. On the second, I got overconfident, and also got a little too into the samurai thing while my seven-year-old cheered me on. I was sinking the blade all the way in, the way a hungry neanderthal goes to work on a mastodon carcass. The knife turned out not to be quite vertical, but in the end, all three pieces were basically the same width.

Only the middle piece was knife-sliced on both sides; the other two, of course, each had a smooth, factory-cut side that I could face outward. Probably doesn’t matter, though, because now I’m on the lookout for free/cheap fabric that I can sew around the mattresses.

The young Padawan expresses doubt. anoxia meaning in urdu And rightly so; at the very bottom, you’re seeing a tiny strip of wood, and then foam foam foam, more foam, foam, and memory foam, and then a coffin-sized space where a person can squeeze in. Up top, it’s even worse:

Hard to see in the photos, but look how the mattress basically covers the windows completely. All you end up with is the curved roof space above the windows. Sure, for sleeping, it’s pretty great, on a Princess and the Pea level of luxury. I’m thinking if the kids complain, I’ll be like, 333 dollars’ worth of mattress had to die for you to enjoy this comfort. But it also means that the bottom bunks are useless as seating, and with six people potentially crammed in this shortie on a rainy day, it’s not going to work.

Then the Padawan says, "Hey, Dad, look: the sections of the mattress are loose right here, and we might be able to pull it apart." Sure enough, he’s right: maybe it was all the bending and hauling and cutting, but a couple of places along the edge of the mattress have come loose, and the layers can be slowly peeled apart where they were glued.

For about the next hour, I worked my way around the corners and edges, peeling one of the mattresses into two layers. One was the seven-inch-thick regular foam, and one was the five-inch-thick layer of regular foam + memory foam. I figure those are still thick, but they’re thicknesses I can work with.

With a lot of patience, and occasional help from the Pioneer Woman™ when the layers started to rip rather than peel, I got about 2/3 of the way through the first mattress. anxiety meaning in marathi It was looking good, though. But it was dark, and about 30 degrees outside, and time for dinner.

I’ll finish it, and rip the other sections, ASAP. But I’m kind of pumped; now it looks like I’ll end up with six quality bunk mattresses. I’ll probably use four for the bunks, and continue using a futon pad up front for when I fold out the big sleeping platform (which I’ve finished…more on that later!), and then have two of the foam pieces left as spares.

I’ve pretty much finished the big stuff in the rear of the bus. At the very back, inside the back door, I have floor-to-ceiling shelving on both sides. It takes up less than one window’s worth of length, but each shelf is about 24"x26", and they vary in depth. Right now I’m storing a dog crate that holds our two small dogs, a full-size cooler, a bunch of stacked-up camp chairs, a huge duffel bag that holds everyone’s sleeping bags, a bin full of camping equipment like hatchets, rope, Coleman fuel, etc.

Oh yeah, and I turned one of the "shelves" into a countertop, pulled the sink out of my derelict pop-up camper, and installed the sink so it drains into my two-gallon "gray water tank," which is a repurposed wide-mouth plastic bottle that used to contain kitty litter. Up above the countertop and sink is a shallower shelf where I can throw a bunch of gallon jugs of water.

In the previous update, I talked about getting a foot-thick king-size memory-foam mattress (so many hyphens!) and cutting it into thirds, to provide padding for three of my four bunks. I also talked about how that didn’t turn out well, because the mattresses were just way too thick.

But…I also mentioned the possibility of pulling the layers of the foam mattress sections apart, to create six bunk-sized pads instead of three. Well, I succeeded in doing that with two of the three sections. nanoxia project s midi This left me with five-inch-thick pads for the two top bunks, each covered with a layer of memory foam. They’re perfect. It also left me with two seven-inch-thick mattresses, made completely of high-density yellow foam. I put one on the bottom bunk, and actually slept on it for a night to test it.

It wasn’t great. It works well when I’m driving and people are sitting on it, because it absorbs the bouncing created by my bus’ terrible suspension. But while I’m great with a firm mattress, this was just a little too firm for sleeping. I did find that if I threw one of my old Coleman cot pads on top, it was fine, but that eliminates a little more headroom. So I’m still working that out. If I had a hot wire foam cutter, I’d slice the thing the long way to thin it out, and then throw the softer cot pad on top.

And see, back behind it, you can see some of the storage area in the back. Originally I didn’t like the idea of fully partitioning the bunk area from the storage area, but I’m going to, mainly to keep gear from flying forward in the event of a sudden stop. I have a bunch of narrow boards from deconstructed, non-chemically-treated pallets, so I’m going to put those along the back "wall" of the bunks. It’ll fit with the, ahem, tough and rustic aesthetic that’s already fairly well-established in there.

The front area has taken me the longest to figure out. As you may remember, this shortie has to fit six people, and occasionally, two smallish dogs. So the set up is, dogs in their crate in the rear storage area, kids on the bunks, and me and my wife in the front. The front section is only about five feet long, though, so the bed has to go across the bus.

My solution for that was basically a loveseat that flips over to create a platform. The sofa is the same depth as the bunks — about 26 inches. Flip it and you get to 52 inches — not long enough for anyone bigger than an Oompa-Loompa. So on the other side, I built a bench about 19 inches deep, and its top flips open too, to connect with the flip-over sofa. anxiety testimonials So you end up with this massive platform. The cushion on the loveseat is a folded up futon pad, so you just throw that thing across the platform and you’re done.

I know some people hate convertible furniture, like drop-down dinettes and the like, but I kind of like the solution I’ve come up with. And I’ve tested it out in the course of a driveway campout with everyone inside, and it’s not too bad. Anyway, I don’t have pictures of it all opened up, but here’s how the sofa looks:

Here’s what I still want up in the front area: some kind of table that I can pop out over the small bench when I need it, so I can cook inside if I want to. Most of the time, when we’re camping, we’ll just cook outside. But the way we use this bus already, I use it during the week with the kids to take little outings to parks, or up to ridgelines to look at the changing leaves and stuff, and it’s really nice to just set up the two-burner propane stove and make hot chocolate or heat up some apple cider. I like that I have this mobile basecamp that I can use at a moment’s notice, and being able to cook something up really quickly is a huge asset. So, more to come on that, for sure.

But space and organization are SO important in this thing overall. anxiety attack My project last Sunday was to get a shelf up over the sofa as a much-needed catch-all up front. The downfall of convertible furniture is that you can’t put stuff on it and keep it there — nighttime comes and you want to crash, and you realize you have all this junk spread out all over the table. So I want to keep the front uncluttered, all the time.

I didn’t reinvent the wheel here or do anything that clever — just basically ripped off the thing I’ve seen lots of people do on this website. I screwed some 2x2s into the ceiling and made a basic frame, jigsawed some plywood for the ends, cut a piece of ply for the bottom, and voila, a shelf. I have some trim that still needs to go around the front, but I feel like it’s a pretty decent light-duty storage area. Yep, I just threw it right up there, overlapping the front headliner, because I don’t really care, and I kind of like having that headliner up there; I just notched the 2×2 so it would go over the metal trim piece and still lie flush on the ceiling:

I kind of come from a family of warrior-poet types, whose idea of summer vacations was to go up to the ancestral hunting cabin in northern Michigan and explore the woods by day, and read and tell stories under the flickering gas lanterns by night. I have raised my own family the same way, so for us, it would be impossible to have a proper adventure bus that wasn’t stocked with decent books. The inner lip of the shelf keeps the books in place, but it’s important to have some other ballast up there to keep them from tipping forward where they form stacks and then slide out sideways. So the shelf ends up being a good place for a bin of coffee mugs, some duct tape, and a horizontal copy of the kids’ poetry book Where the Sidewalk Ends: