As we continue to live tiny, we are constantly running into issues. Some of the issues are with mistakes we made during the build, some are with the mechanical aspect, and some deal with where we are parked. Many of you have been kept up to date with our adventures and struggles by following The Wolf Bus on Facebook! Thanks!!
Mistakes in the build…
When we ran our water lines, we ran two PEX lines under the bus and to our hot water heater which was mounted under the bus. It was a fast connection at the time and seemed to work! Unfortunately, as it got colder, we had to heat wrap these exposed water pipes that ran under the bus. Unfortunately, our RV hot water heater began to leak, and perhaps it got frozen at one point. We were actually able to get free cabinets on Craigslist (we also built the end cabinet for the stove and blanket storage), a new Eccotemp I12 residential point of use hot water heater, and rerouted our lines and redid our kitchen. We sleep, and shower, much easier knowing all the plumbing is now inside of our bus! We still need to finish painting the cabinets, but they serve us well!! We added childproofing hardware to prevent them from opening during moves.
We got word that we would be moving, and initially were going to move into an apartment. We even put a hold on the unit, and put in a check for a place to park/store the bus. After a talk with Kelsey’s brother Scott, he knocked some sense in us that this was our dream and we could make it work, even with a baby on the way!! So we researched for the best mechanic in Fort Collins, and found Lundstedt Automotive. We strapped everything down and took the bus in for a tune up and brake work. What we thought would take a day and a few hundred dollars ended up taking a week and $1500, but she seemed to run better and our brakes were actually working now!
With the bus running much better, we were able to take it for a vin verification and weight slip. She is now registered officially as a motor home in Colorado!!!
Because many of you have been asking, we just wanted to answer why we decided to move from the lot we had been renting in the Laporte area:
We were elated to finally have running water and adequate power at the lot that we had been renting. We entered into a lease that would take us into August of 2016, which was perfect because we needed some stability for the baby.
We hit some major red flags last year, but kept our faith that everything would work out. The once bubbly landlady began showing signs of mental instability, forgetfulness, and hostility towards us. We put it to the back of our minds, thinking the less we interact with her the better things would be.
Then in the middle of the day on one January snowfall, the disabled landlady texted Kelsey asking to have her walk shoveled immediately to accommodate her impending visitors. Being 7 months along and struggling with SacroIliac joint pain, she ran out and removed the snow to oblige by the snow removal stipulation in the lease despite the continuing snow forecast till the evening. In the past, Justin would always be the one to shovel the snow typically after the snow let up, or when the landlady needed to be to work. The snow was not removed to her liking, and she asked Justin the next morning to fix it, which he did. Little did we know that this one incident would be something that this old woman would hang onto no matter what we did, a very sad symptom of dementia. Weeks later, she continued to harass us every time we saw her, and gave us her version of a “30 day notice” which was a text, and then a letter that said we could leave in 30 days, or we could pay her $700 a month to stay. Having a ticking time bomb in Kelsey’s womb, we decided to go with the first option and get out of this stressful environment. We took the bus into the mechanic a couple of weeks before the date we were paid up till at the Ladys lot, with the impression it would only take about a day at the mechanic. As fate would have it, it took them a week to get the bus running well. We were enthusiastic to be back in our bus after a long week away from home, and pulled back into our muddy lot. The bus immediately sunk about a foot into the unleveled mud, and we struggled in the cold dark to not get her stuck. As most Skoolie owners know, mud is the worst for school busses, they easily get swallowed up. We were fortunate enough to not get stuck, and (strategically) we were able to park her on the driveway, at such an angle to reach our water and power hookups. We hadn’t the time to connect our wood stove that late at night, so we were relying on our electric heat. We have a tiny ceramic heater for the bedroom, and a larger infrared heater for the rest of the bus. After all of the struggle to get it parked, (and having wasted 20 minutes with the landlady stopping us on our way in to tell us that she is so hostile to us because we don’t crouch down to talk to her) we went to turn on the power only to find that she had shut it off. Why couldn’t she have told us this before we pulled back in? Unfortunately, it was back to a hotel again for us to ride out the cold night. The next day, Justin had to call out of work so we could take our bus to greener pastures. Kelsey was thankful to have his help at 8 months pregnant. It was a long day, but we made it to the beautiful Horsetooth Reservoir by nightfall. We were so upset that our crazed landlady had resorted to a self-help eviction, and that she was preventing us from living somewhere we had paid for, but it was hard to stay upset with the beautiful Reservoir views and the lull of happy Canada Geese. Fortunately, we were able to get most everything that we own off the lot before she decided to lock the gate three days before our “30 days” were up. While we are in the process of getting our money back for those lost days, we are elated to be out of that stressful situation. In hindsight, we really should have listened to every family member who advised us to move (most of them), but especially to the kind neighbor who invited us into their home, gave us some delicious meat, and warned us of the toxic landlady. We vow to never make that mistake again, and to leave when red flags begin to emerge. But for now, we are going to be staying at the beautiful Horsetooth, then moving into a mobile home park in order to gain some stability for our little bundle of joy!!!