Remodeling – First Came the Bathroom, Then Came the Closets

We are completely, totally, 100% insane.

We have family coming to visit at the end of the month and what did we decide to do a week and a half  out? Tear almost everything out. Without finishing the bathroom first.

So the bathroom is in disarray and is half tiled. And we tore out the sofa, the entirety of the bedroom, and the 2 closets over the wheel wells. The bedroom is almost done and will be fabulous as soon as we get it done.

What is done are the new closets and the replacement to the sofa in the front half of the bus.

Our closets before were a real hot mess. We had basically built cabinets over the wheel wells and put the closets there. But the cabinets actually limited the amount of usable space we had and stuff ended up overflowing out of them. And they looked janky…our building skills have vastly improved since they were first constructed. It never looked particularly tidy and they blocked access to the bed. You could only climb on the bed right in the middle since it was enclosed on both sides by the closets. This was…problematic. Finn loved to sleep right in the middle of the foot of the bed so we had to climb over him to get in and out of bed. It was just awkward to get in and out of the bed. This is hard to describe (and apparently I didn’t take any pictures of just the 1st edition closets) but we have a tour here where you can see exactly what I’m talking about.

So when we decided to redo the bathroom we opted to enclose the whole thing- before it was open on one side- and put in a door. This is because we decided to do a “wet bath” where everything (toilet, shower, all that jazz) is together in the same room. We wanted to be able to create some privacy for #2s and a shower curtain is not replacement for a door. Well, in order to build up a new bathroom wall the linen closet needed to come out. It was big and  in the way of both demo and construction. Out it went. In its place we did an exposed copper pipe that we bolted into the ribs on the ceiling and made that our hanging closet.

This is the new bathroom wall and rod.

And the rest of the rod, the flanges are bolted right into the beams so the whole structure is stable while we’re moving.

I liked this a lot better. It was open and bright because the window was no longer blocked by this huge cabinet. And it made the bed waaaay easier to get in and out of.

In fact, we liked it so much that we decided to do the same thing on the other side but there we added in hanging closet shelves for all of our folding laundry, undies, and socks.

It was looking pretty good. But something was still off. 2nd edition closets lasted about for a month or two before we tackled it again.

We decided to take the crazy a step further and redid the bedroom. Before we had a king sized bed which was great but really too much for the bus. It was huge, took up precious real estate, got so weirdly hot that we couldn’t just lounge on it and watch movies, and it was so heavy that I couldn’t access the storage under the bed unless Mike lifted the bed platform and either held it up while I fished around or propped it up using a spare table leg. I’ll write more about the bedroom remodel in a little bit because it was a big project but we did downsize to a full sized bed. It’s big enough for the two of us and Finn to sleep comfortably. We also got what is basically a futon mattress designed to fold in half so we can fold the bed out of the way when we aren’t using it.

All of this meant that suddenly we had TONS of free space in the bedroom area. Seriously, half of the space formerly taken up by the bed was now free. So we moved the closet because 3rd time’s a charm. Now it’s next to the bed and runs the length of the bedroom area. It’s super easy to access, there’s enough space for my long dresses to hang fully down without getting wrinkled and it freed up the wheel wells to become little couches (very handy since we tore out the sofa). Again, the copper pipes are bolted into the ribs and those rods are sturdy. We did use a contact cement to hold the pipes and fittings together and it says not to use it on copper (didn’t read the instructions until after it was done) but so far it’s holding and is super strong. Should it pull apart we’ll re-glue using something different.


Bonus! I took down the curtains on that side of the bedroom and frosted the glass instead. Now with all of the clothes hanging in front of the window blocking out direct sunlight it keeps the bedroom very cool but still light and breezy. We put down a carpet because we hadn’t extended the flooring underneath the bed during the initial construction and that has become Finn’s favorite place to sleep.

3rd edition closets are here to stay I think. Definite win.



  1. Hi Katy and Mike! I’m so impressed!!! You guys are home engineers! Hard to believe a year ago that was just an old school bus! Katy, you look and sound great on camera. Still miss you but am glad you’re happy. Hope to see you sometime. 22 months and I’ll be retired!

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