School Bus AirBnB – Final Upholstery Project and Driving the Bus to SoCal

When we started this school bus Airbnb back in March, we had no idea what was in store for V and me.

The Bus at Red Rock Canyon

We thought we would be able to wrap up the conversion in about three months. Back in that spring of 2017, we expected to finish the project in time to go on a tour of the country, attending the Burningman art festival in August, spending a few weeks on the road and finally bringing the bus to Huntington Beach where we would rent it out as an AirBnB while we left the country to visit Australia for a wedding and some surf.

If you’ve been following along on this journey via our YouTube channel, you’ll know our plans were laughably optimistic. Burningman came and went while we worked on the bus, then the weeks between the art festival and the Australia trip passed. V actually left me with the bus while she flew out in time to make her sister’s wedding. I was left alone to finish the bus.

So I pushed on for another month or two. Finally, all the systems were in and the bus was ready to go. Again, I had problems with mechanical stuff. The fuel pump needed to be replaced and the bus needed to be registered legally. I wrapped those two projects up in Reno while I watched my parent’s house while they were out of the country.

That’s where this video comes into play.

The first eggs cooked on the bus

What Now

Now the bus will become an AirBnB property in Southern California. That’s the goal.

You see, when I started, I wanted to drive the bus around to national parks and work online from the comfort of a dusty road. Now, I just want to leave the bus behind and start recouping a bit of the investment.

While driving from Reno to LA, I realized the bus has a new oil leak and the power steering leak became progressively worse. It seems that the more time I spend with the bus, the worse the problems get.

Therefore, it makes sense to allow the house to start taking care of its self.

The next few videos will be about getting the bus ready for a vacation rental. Once that is complete, I plan on having a point where we have no plans.

I’ve planned my life out for the last 5 years. It’s time to create an opportunity where I can wake up one morning and think, “Today we are free to do and go wherever¬†it is that we want to.”

Recent Thank You

Mom and Dad -Mom your emotional support has fortified me through some very challenging times. Dad, if you didn’t teach me to build stuff, this project would have been 100% impossible.

Lauren – You’re a best friend sis’. Also, you’re able to sew like a pro, despite being an am. ūüėÄ

David Vu – Your excitement to take on business challenges and work with V and I is a life saver.

Scott Siller – Thank you for reaching out via the YouTube comments and supporting me in the Nevada Vehicle Registration process. I was afraid of the process until your calm explanation made it feel like a simple hurdle to jump over.

The Kinsinger Family – Thank you for keeping me at your Thanksgiving dinner. It was an absolute delight.

Quick Check – Ian’s Wikipedia Search Tool

In order to achieve the front end developers certificate from FreeCodeCamp.com, one must build a tool to search Wikipedia. Here is mine:

Ian’s Wikipedia Search Tool – Quick Check

wikipedia search tool
Ian’s Wikipedia search tool

This challenge was very challenging for me in the best of ways. It utilized the algorithm practice that I love with complex new libraries. You could say that I’m learning to love jQuery and AJAX.

When adding HTML and CSS into that JavaScript mess, the project was a real challenge for a junior programmer like me.

Process and Design Notes

I focused on simplicity when designing the front end.

FreeCodeCamp.com¬†stipulated in the challenge that we were to design a button which would initiate the search. I broke that rule. My API calls were triggered by a ‘button up’ event, rather than a button. The idea is that the user gets immediate feedback and thus would find the tool more useful.

If you’re interested in the development process, you can see the different version updates on my GitHub project.

Though I built the button into the project initially as per spec, I removed it towards the end. If a search is triggered by the last button typed, there is no need for a search button at all.

Registering a Skoolie in Nevada

Registering a skoolie in Nevada is not as challenging as I initially anticipated. It’s just like registering a salvaged car. Check out the video to get an idea of the story. I’ll add additional information related to costs and document types on the blog below.

How I Registered My Skoolie in Nevada

More to come shortly.

The Best Free Code Tutorials

What follows is a list of the best free code tutorials in my opinion. I’m proposing only the programming tutorials that I found taught me the fastest and the ones I enjoyed participating in.

best free code tutorials

There are many slow, boring video series I’ve gone through in the hopes of learning to program, but what follows are the programs that I found to teach me the subject quickly and were fun to complete.

Overall Best Free Code Courses

  1. Free Code Camp –¬†http://freecodecamp.com/ – Free Code Camp is an open source, game-like software course that teaches everything from HTML to computer science ideas like
  2. CodeFights –¬†https://codefights.com/ – I would suggest this is more of an intermediate way of learning. Once you get good with algorithms, this might be a great way to get on the radar of interesting software engineering companies.
  3. Codecademy –¬†http://codecademy.com/ – These exercises are the best for getting an initial introduction to any technologies covered on their platform. Also, if I want to revamp some skills quickly before approaching a new project, bashing through Codecademy is a great way for me to freshen up on skills.

Best Specific Code Technologies

JavaScript

JavaScript is a very important language for the internet. If you want to have a good idea of what JavaScript looks like when navigating the web, go to Chrome>Preferences>Content Settings and shift the “Allowed” tab off. Once you’ve turned JavaScript off, go to your favorite websites and see the difference.

NPM

What is NPM? Node Package Manager is a protocol for using JavaScript to build applications. At this point, all I know is that it empowers the programmer to use the terminal to build web applications in JavaScript.

Regular Expressions (RegEx)

What is a regular expression? A RegularExpression is a line of text formatted to get you a result. For example, if you wanted to find all the dollar amounts from a tremendous text document, you can use a regular expression to pull out all the numerical numbers after a “$” symbol.

jQuery

What is jQuery? jQuery is a library of JavaScript which makes using JavaScript easier on web pages. For example, you write a HTML search box into a webpage and you want to process the input from the user to do something. You could use jQuery to take the user information and put it into a JavaScript algorithm.

Learn.jQuery.com –¬†http://try.jquery.com/

SQL

What is SQL? SQL is an acronym for Structured Query Language. Pronounce it, sea quell, rather than S.Q.L.  This is a database language for retrieving data and creating data. Note: a basic understanding of RegularExpressions will help before starting the SQL tutorials.

Expample Format
SELECT <something>
FROM <dataset>
WHERE <attributes you care about>

SQL Bolt –¬†https://sqlbolt.com/

Best Free Code Tutorials – Parting Words

I’m no expert at this. In 2016 I spent a year deep diving into software engineering, but I ran into a wall and decided to build a school bus home. That home took me about 9 months to build so I fell off the programming horse during the months from March to¬†November¬†of 2017.

For me, there is still a haze obscuring my path to understanding software engineering. Though the haze has lifted consistently during my studies, I still feel considerably lost in it. The above suggestions were from the tutorials that cleared the haze out the fastest. I’m sure it’s not a complete list, but it is the list of technologies that helped me the most.

Please add any suggestions in the comments below. I would really appreciate learning faster ways to blow the haze away.

Soft-Close Ball Bearing Drawer Slide Installation and Building 3/4″ Plywood Drawers

This video is a more complete documentation of building the custom drawers and Installing soft-close ball bearing drawer slides.

If you’re finding this because you plan to do the project yourself, I suggest checking out my previous video on¬†soft-close ball bearing drawers as well.

Additional Drawer Installation Video – Click Here

Custom Drawers

Notes on Installing Soft-Close Ball Bearing Drawer

The devil with installing ball-bearing sliding drawer rails is in the details. The reality is that I spent a lot more time contemplating and measuring. These videos appear as if it was a quick, easy process to plan what to do next.

Drawer Slides

Because the drawers are square and the hardware is straight, it is critical to measure carefully. I was off by 1/4″ in terms of square-trapezoid shape. That difference in sliding rail measurement differences was enough for the hardware to function improperly.

Installing Soft-Close Ball Bearing Drawer

Questions?

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask below. If you ask pertinent, important questions relating to the topic of installing drawer slides, I can respond below with my thoughts. Those comments are public to everyone else reading this post. With luck, we can build a great resource here for future people.

Ideally, I’d like to have a great resource for others while learning the ways that others can improve the installation process.

Skoolie Pocket Door

In this episode of the bus conversion story, I install the skoolie pocket door.

Pocket Door Installation Tips

I believe my adhesion of the poly wall to the door was insufficient. This is only something I wanted to do because the door is there to keep water from going into the hallway.

The second thing I wish I had done was that I wish I had installed the handle before I put the door up. Here’s an example of the handle hardware:

Pocket Door Handle Hardware: http://amzn.to/2z5A797

One thing that I struggled with was getting the door in place. I learned, through trial and error, that the best way to get the door to hang was it get it in place and then pry the door up using a corner. I then used the back side of my utility knife (this one specifically) to push the slider onto it’s mount. Once that first slider was connected to the door, I pried the door the opposite way so that the other mount met the sliding hardware. I hope that helps.

If you have anything to add, or you have any questions regarding skoolie pocket door installation, please let me know in the comments below.

Pocket Door Materials and Tools

If you’re hoping to do this, here is a link to the hardware I used to build the door:

Pocket Door Slider Hardware: http://amzn.to/2z47KIl

I used the 60″ version of the hardware, but I believe I cut the hardware down a little bit. My door turned out to be about 26 inches wide and the door way is 24 inches wide. Therefore, two inches worth of door stays hidden behind the wall at all times.

Finishing Shower Floor

It’s this video that I actually make the drawer work well. Here is a link to the sliding door hardware I used:

Sliding Drawer Hardware: http://amzn.to/2hoZRG4

. For me, it was all about moving the supporting struts around so that the drawer slid back and forth smoothly.

To be honest, I didn’t quite get it perfect, it’s just good.

Next I do some more table saw work. I added in a little outtake from one of my favorite carpenters. You can find the whole of Jimmy DiResta’s table saw tips here:

Next, I went about addressing the footpath between the shower and the kitchen. I used silicone, grout and epoxy to span the gap. Here is a link to the heavy duty two part epoxy that I used:

Two Part Epoxy: http://amzn.to/2gQdM7a

When I made the pocket door, I used liquid nails and white silicone. I’m not 100% confident in that job, but here is a link to the stuff I used if you want to give it a try:

Liquid Nails: http://amzn.to/2iNAr8C
White Silicone: http://amzn.to/2iNAr8C

Music:
The Man – Clueless Kit
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5KUrUgkE8anJzXrY5o6JxA