It’s All Coming Down!
After taking out the living room furniture and kitchen, we spent the next few weekends taking apart the bus one piece at a time. Each day, we didn’t know exactly what would come next. We would start with a general plan, but you know what they say about best-laid plans, right?
The first thing we wanted to do was get the carpet out of the bus. I wish I could convey in words how gross the carpet was. Maybe that was the main source of dust and allergens (and maybe smell?).
We started out by dismantling the beds in the bedroom so that we could pull out the carpet back there. Easy enough. Wait, what? There was a different burgundy-colored carpet under the beds. My guess is that there used to be a queen sized bed in the middle of the room with that burgundy carpet on the sides. When they decided to switch to twin beds on the sides and recarpet, maybe they left the old carpet?
After maneuvering parts and pieces around the passenger chair by the front door, we decided that the chair needed to be removed to make it easier to get in and out of the bus during the demo. We also needed to remove the carpet that was underneath that chair, so it was as good a time as any to unbolt it and get it out of the way.
Okay, let’s start ripping up the carpet! The first to go was the carpeted stair risers in the bus entry. We discovered the original “Watch Your Step” sign painted on the steps.
Cool!! And true! We continued with the rest of the living room carpet. As we started pulling it up, clouds of dust and debris came billowing out of it...imagine the dust cloud around Pig Pen from Charlie Brown.
Thank you respirator masks for allowing us to breathe through all of this! When we pulled up the pad underneath, we almost could have gotten out the sand toys to start playing. Seriously, there was so much dirt under there. Why in the world does anyone put carpet in an RV that you take camping? I don’t get it. We also discovered that what looked like a green-tinged shag carpet was originally a brown shag carpet. Yikes!! What was living in this carpet? Just getting that out of the living room made me feel better.
Next, we moved back to the bedroom and ripped out the carpet in the center that had been between the beds. The old burgundy carpet that had been under the driver’s side bed came out next. Then, we went to remove the burgundy carpet from the passenger side, except for some crazy reason, it was under the sidewall to the hall closet! Apparently, the original owners didn’t think it would be a good idea to cut that carpet out before they built the closet.
What? This little issue led us down a totally different path for the day.
Have any of you ever read the children’s book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie? Basically, it depicts a domino effect - one thing leads to another which leads to another, and so on. This is exactly what happened to us at this point. In order to get that burgundy carpet out, we had to remove that closet side wall. In order to remove the wall, we had to remove the upper cabinet in the bedroom. In order to remove that upper cabinet, we had to dismantle a bunch of wiring. In order to dismantle a bunch of wiring… you get the point. Basically, we had to gut the entire room before we could even get to that wall. I guess it was a good thing because we made a lot of discoveries in the process.
We found out that whoever wired this bus made some strange choices. Also whoever constructed the cabinetry was not a carpenter. Everything was held together with a mish-mash of flathead screws, Phillips screws, and nails of every sort and size, lots of nails. It was almost like he had a bag with an assortment of hardware, and he just picked at random which one to use next. So annoying! We kept having to switch from our drill to a flathead screwdriver to a prybar to just ripping things out. I suppose they did hold together well enough for plenty of years, but who builds like this?
Remember in the walk-through video how I said that we would probably just paint the cabinets and maybe put new fronts on them? LOL! Um, yeah, that’s not happening. It’s all coming down, everything!!
At that point, we realized we weren’t going to try to save any of this. We just wanted to get that darn carpet out of there! When we finally got to the point that we could remove that side wall of the closet, we got stuck again. There was a metal cylinder sticking down from the roof blocking the way.
As we would later find out, these metal cylinders are all down the bus ceiling. Maybe this is where the original overhead storage bins were attached when it was a passenger bus? Anyway, it made it impossible to pull the wall out toward the bedroom. We were going to have to pull it in toward the inside of the closet. Here we go again! Now we had to remove the whole entire closet. The back wall was attached with some crazy humongous screws. We also had to deal with more wiring, furnace vents, etc. Finally, finally we were able to get that darn wall out, and the last piece of carpet was removed.
The bedroom and hall closet just had to get demolished in the process.
Well, that was fun!
After the bedroom, hall closets, and carpet were all removed, we started taking out the ceiling covering which we have heard referred to as “mouse fur”. I can see why. It is kind of like an outdoor carpet that had been glued to the original bus ceiling and painted white. Then, after seeing how the upper cabinets were really constructed, we decided to go ahead and pull down all of the rest of them that were in the living room. Bye-bye storage! We also started taking out the framework and insulation from the back of the bus.
This beginning of the demo process led us down a rabbit hole, for sure. But, what we discovered is that while this renovation is going to be a bigger project than we originally thought - basically a complete redo, wiring, plumbing, the whole enchilada - it will be so much better in the long run. The wiring won’t be all spliced together randomly, cabinets won’t be built poorly, and we will know exactly how every single piece of it is put together because we will be the ones doing it.
Watch the video below to see the demo in action.
If you can't see the embedded video below Click here to view it on YouTube.
Next up: the first trip to the dump, bathroom, and floors.