Once Transit Antenna made it to San Antonio, my hometown, Joe and I left the RV in the care of my parents and moved on board the bus with Seth, Jamie, Bob, Dawn, and Taylor. The team had reached a turning point in which we acknowledged that our future together would be challenged by the fundamental differences between our two vehicles. With the bus running on free vegetable oil while the RV required costly gasoline, faster movement was more easily attainable for the bus than the RV, which instead encouraged a slower pace. It was, after all, a Fleetwood ‘Pace’ Arrow. Since Joe and I could not afford traveling the country at 6 mpg, and would definitely not be able to keep up with our friends on the bus, we were forced to decide: continue moving and run out of money quick, or stop in Texas to save up money and reunite with the bus at a later point. Luckily we didn’t have to pick either since the others invited us to live on the bus with them. “We’ve already got five people living on here, what’s two more?”
So, to be able to get this crazy idea to work, we needed to do some remodeling. We drove the vehicles to Comfort, where my dad has a wood shop that we were able to take over for the week, and we got to building.
We started by taking out Taylor’s bed in the front of the bus, behind the driver’s seat. Because it had stood so high, it was never an easy seating area. Now his bed is a lofted bunk of sorts in the back, where the closet used to be. We took out most of the clothing from the closet, built a bed frame for the space, modified his mattress cushion, and Voila! When I asked him what he thinks of his new sleeping arrangement, he said, “I like my new bed better. I like being back there.” He told me that he especially likes climbing into it without using the ladder, instead stepping on his parents bed nearby and then pushing off the hallway wall to ricochet his way into the bed. Maybe he learned it from all the Ninja Warrior we watched in mesmerization during our stint in Comfort with satellite television.
In the space where Taylor’s bed once was, Joe constructed a wooden frame for our bed, which can also be converted to an L-shaped booth during the day. The wooden structure fits over the wheel well and has storage space. The table can be dropped down to the level of the seats, making the flat platform of our bed. Then we lay the bench cushions out flat and we’ve got ourselves a mattress. This kind of versatility and Transformer-ness is helpful in tight living spaces.
Because the closet was mostly removed to make way for Taylor’s bed, Bob and Jamie built a new place for hanging storage in the front, with three drawers beneath. Behind the drawers, we keep the spare tire, which we wouldn’t mind being able to leave there forever. (Big bus tires ain’t cheap.)
Above the front wheel well on the right, we took out a table and put in a box seat that has storage for Taylor’s belongings. Bob added a piece of wood that folds down to make a desk surface for whoever sits up there. It’s turned out to be a nice work station.
Dawn and I built a shelf unit for the kitchen, to store fruits and vegetables. As I never did take any shop class, it was great to have Dawn show me some of the ropes when it comes to power tools.
To increase counter space, Jamie took advantage of unused space above the stove and added a spice rack. It’s a good addition, and it keeps our spice bottles in place when we’re rollin’.
Dawn added a shoe rack in the front of the bus which is great for organizing our shoes rather than having them end up in the entrance walkway.
It has now been nearly two weeks that we have all been living together on the bus. Things are going well despite the new intensity. No MTV drama has broken out, no hotel rooms have been sought. A heap of patience is the rule.
I’m happy that Bob, Dawn, Taylor, Seth, and Jamie have let Joe and I join them on the bus. Our forces our now united. This is a new Transit Antenna.
(Click on the thumbnails in the gallery below to see a larger image. To view descriptions for the photos, please visit my Flickr page: