Some of our most dedicated readers might remember that right after we purchased our bus in Fall 2016, we traveled 1500 total miles with Rachael’s family to go skiing at Monarch Mountain, near Salida, CO. The drive was incredibly helpful in figuring out how the bus drove on the interstate (i70 is fun), what kind of gas mileage we could expect, and any potential issues that might arise. The most annoyingly obvious problem that our fun little bus had was a drafty front door. The bifold doors had seen better days and let in all sorts of noise, cold air, and probably critters. My wife and I wanted a house door for the appearance, security, and heat/cool retention, so a house door was going to happen.
Skoolie Tip # 002: Always check your tires! By check, I don’t mean kick a couple of times and look at the tread. I mean jack the vehicle up and look at the rotation of the wheel and tire. We had a flat spot on our two front tires (likely from sitting) that were causing a very obvious shake in the steering at 62.3 MPH that was discovered on our first long trip in the skoolie. We replaced our front tires in Wichita, KS and the rest of the trip was smooth.
Like many of our projects, it starts with me, Rachael, and/or her father finding something of interest in a thrift store, dumpster, or Habitat for Humanity Restore and bringing it home. On this occasion, Rachael and her father found a solid wood door on one of their adventures and brought it home to be used on the skoolie. The door was significantly narrower than the bus opening, so some building was required.
I created a frame out of 2×4’s and mounted them into the steel frame of the bus with self-tapping screws. The screws hold very tight, but if necessary I will reinforce the frame with bolts through the exterior of the bus. Next, I chiseled out slots for the hinges on the door and the frame and installed the hinges. As with most of our bus build pictures, I remember to take pictures of the easy stuff and not the hard stuff.
I hole sawed out the holes for the door lock and handle and installed those promptly after. Everything fit as expected and the lock secures the door as desired.
There was a certain rush in getting the door hung as we were about to leave for a two-week trip to the Canadian Rockies and didn’t want to leave the bus unsecured in our absence. If you want to read more about our trip to Alberta and BC, check out a couple of links below:
All done! Well not quite. We still need to trim out the inside of the door frame to stop the door from closing too far, insulate the small imperfections and gaps, and trim out the the interior and exterior of the door. I will update this post when we get that completed, but until then our bus is secure and looks 100x better than the old bifold doors.
If you have any questions about the door addition or comments, let us know! We love hearing from people that are following our adventures and progress.
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