003 slide out

Tiny house school bus conversion Slide Out
In this podcast we start to explore the needs of adding a slide out and how we might go about it and some of the steps we need to consider before taking on such a huge project.

Podcast 003 Slide Out transcript

Hey guys, thanks again for downloading my podcast. So, I’m really enjoying all of the emails and questions that you’re sending me, and I’m going to be putting out a whole set of podcasts related to those emails and questions. So, just give me a little time and, you know, I’m trying to setup a roadmap to be able to answer that all.

Also, as far as today’s podcast goes, I still am trying to gather information on what exactly the direction is of this podcast. Am I going to break them out? Am I going to put them all in one? I’m not sure. As of now, they’re all going to go into one. I’m just putting all of my different ideas into one podcast, you know, because the information is still. The feedback I’ve been getting from you guys: it’s kind of split up 50-50, where it’s just put it all out on one. Some people are saying, “No, kind of break them up.”

So, as time goes on, you know, we’ll figure this out together. Today I’m basically just going to talk about the bus again for just a little bit. Tell you where I’m at and what I’m doing at this very moment. What I’m doing right now is I’m on the step of building the slide out. A slide out is this thing, you know, on these RVs that add room. It’s like a piece of the RV where the wall actually moves out. And they move out anywhere from like a foot, or I’m not even sure, but let’s just say the wall will slide out about a foot, maybe two feet, three feet, maybe four feet. And depending on how big they are, it can add a significant amount of square footage to your bus or RV.

Think about it. If something slides out three feet and it’s five-feet-long, you know, you add an additional 15 square feet. Now, it might not seem like much, but when you’re talking about these small spaces, you can add a couch on that, that slides out and it gives you all that additional space, or you know, a table, a dining table on that and it slides out. So, what sold us on the idea was, you know, when we went. Before we bought the school bus, you know, we went to an RV show, looking to see if maybe that would be an option for us. And when we went around and looked, you know, obviously these RVs, at the end of the day, didn’t turn out to be an option for us because they were beautiful, but they’re built for vacations.

The layout wasn’t going to fit our needs. We would find some with enough bed, but then the layout just wouldn’t be right, like the beds, the way they were laid out, and we kind of wanted to build some separation between our bed and the kids’ beds. At the end of the day, it just wasn’t going to work out. That’s why we kind of went with the bus, because we knew that we can buy this shell and we can build the inside the way we wanted to build it. But the one thing that we did see, well, that I saw and that I knew from the moment that I saw it that I needed to do it was I saw these slide outs and I knew that this had to be a piece of the puzzle to make what we wanted to do work.

You know, by doing these slide outs, I knew that we would be able to add a significant amount of space and help us with our layout as far as the kid’s room and the living area. Also, that’s when we knew that we had to raise the roof also on the school bus. When I looked at these slide outs there, I took some mental notes and a couple of pictures, and we went back home and I went on the hunt, trying to find someone else that has done it. And I did find some people on the Internet that did it, but there wasn’t any clear step-by-steps on how to do it. Luckily, I had enough pictures, and between the pictures of the RV show of the actual slide outs, the couple pictures of the people doing this stuff on the Internet, I was able to put a mental roadmap or, you know, thing in my head exactly how I was going to do it.

Now, I’m not going to go into all the steps here on this podcast because this is just not the right platform for me to show you and explain how I did it. You know, I’m about to put out a video and I’ll give you more detail, close-up view, and explanation. I’m going to point them all out, show all of the things that I did, and I’ll be able to just give you a better explanation over video. But at the end of the day, the slide out has become a very important component for us. You know, I kind of did some rough math. Again, this is one of these things that I should probably have all of this stuff written down, but I don’t. I just don’t.

The way I work with this kind of stuff or any kind of stuff, any time I build anything, I measure on the spot and I do notes on the spot, but for the most part, all this stuff is in my head and I just go with it, and I build it as I go along. So, here we go. The bus is roughly we have square footage as far as on the floor. We have like I think like 245 square feet, roughly. The slide out for the kid’s room, which is in the back of the bus, is going to slide out three feet and I think it’s roughly three feet wide, so it’ll add another square feet. And the one in the living room, from what I remember, is roughly – again, that one goes out three feet, and that one is, I think, also. I think we’re doing it seven feet wide roughly, so that adds an additional 21 square feet to the bus.

Again, it might not seem like much, but the one thing, when you start doing measurements and measuring out beds and couches and stuff, I mean this is a significant amount of room for such a small space, in addition to upwards. You know, the space that we added up. You know, we did the whole school bus. Moved it up about two feet roughly, and that adds all of that square footage. You know, when you’re build these kinds of tiny homes, the square footage is just not the physical square footage like on the floor. It’s what you get up. You know, the whole space in this home you have to take into consideration. You know, and I’ll go into all of that on another podcast, but for now, let’s just stick with this here. The slide out.

You know, so far it’s moving along pretty good, and I’m just about complete with this portion. I don’t have much left. Basically I have all of the slide out components cut, measured, and created. I’m just waiting. I ordered a set of washers that should be here any day now that it’s basically the last piece that I need to make all of this work, as far as I know. Again, this is all in my head. I know I just, as I need stuff, order it, so I’m just. You know, these are one of these things where I started to create these pieces where it would hold these casters on the side to kind of hold everything like in place so it wouldn’t move side to side, and I started to build these components. And it took me so long to manually build them that I said, you know.

I did the measurements, I looked around, and I found some washers that would do it. It was like 15 dollars. It’ll be here in four days or five days, whatever it takes, and I don’t need to sit there and manually create each of these pieces by hand, which took me forever to make a couple of them. So, I’m super excited about that and I know you guys might be wanting all of these measurements and stuff like now, but I just don’t think this is the right place to bring it to you. You just think of if anybody has seen the whole theory behind the slide out. The components I’m building for this slide out is kind like an engine hoist, where these things that you use to put in engines into cars.

And basically it’s an outer tube with an inner tube on the inside. You know, a square tube. The square tube on the outside and a square tube on the inside, and that square tube on the outside kind of moves in and out, kind of like a tripod. If you can imagine a tripod, a tripod has the smaller legs that kind of move into the larger legs and in and in, and till kind of like it’s really small so you could put it away, or you know, vice verse. When you come to take it out, it’s like this small, you know, it might be 12 inches long, but then you unscrew the tripod and it kind of like telescopes out, and then you screw it in. Well, that’s how it is. The inner part kind of telescopes in and out of the outer one, and I just needed a way to make that stuff slide in and out nice and smooth.

I wanted. The idea behind it was I wanted it to be smooth enough that I don’t need to add a motor and have it all motorized. That I could kind of just go out there and do it by hand, either pull it out or push it in. That way, you know, in theory, it’ll save me some money and we can use that money on something else. Also, I just figured the less mechanical parts, the less chance of stuff breaking. All right, so the important thing here: I’m not sure yet if it would’ve been more cost-effective for me to just purchase it or me building it. You know, instead of me building this piece, part of the building process for me in all of this is the actual. I get joy out of creating these things.

I like the fact that when you create something from scratch that you look at it and you know you’re the one that created it, and you know, it just gives you this sense of satisfaction. Also, I wasn’t able to really find too much information on where to purchase these things. I ever went to an RV place here, down by my house, down here in Homestead. There wasn’t really any. As far as they told me, there wasn’t really. It was like they wanted me to purchase it and then bring it to them, and they would’ve installed it. Either they were just not wanting to give me the information on where to buy this stuff, which I could kind of understand that, or usually I think they just come from manufacturers with these things installed on these RVs.

I did find some people selling some used components of a slide out on EBay, but it was running like six hundred dollars, five hundred dollars just for these pieces that make the slide out go in and out, and those things are like mechanical, so you would need to buy like the motor. All the stuff. All the mechanical portions of it, which I was looking around and it would be an additional like six hundred bucks or something. So, either way you look at it, if you were to buy premade slide outs, for each slide out you’re probably close to spending – I don’t know – anywhere between six hundred to a thousand dollars, and I’m nowhere near a thousand dollars. You know, I’ll have all the expenses once I put the blog post and the video out with it, but if I was to guess, I’m three hundred to four hundred dollars for everything as far as the slide outs go.

So, in theory, I should be able to save a lot more than half. You know, maybe 70 to 80 percent of the cost of two slide outs. I’ll be able to do it for, you know, 30 percent of that, which, when you’re doing such a big job, every little bit counts as far as money. We have a lot of stuff that we want to buy and put into this bus, and in addition to that, we have a lot of things going on. So, all the money we have is accounted for and being spent on something, and it’s all these huge projects where all of these funds are going to.

I think that’s about all that I have for the slide out. If you guys have information that might help me, if you guys have any questions, feel free to ask me. Send me an email. You know, contact me. I have multiple ways of contact. My email address. You can email me at [email protected], or you can go to the website. We have a contact form there at LemonheadPress.com. You know, we have a YouTube channel. You can go there. If you just search Lemonhead Press, we’re pretty much coming up in multiple locations. We have a Twitter: @LemonheadPress. That’s about it. That’s all I have, guys. I know it might be a little rough, but I’m trying to work out all the bugs. Let me know how the sound quality is. If you guys have any complaints about that, or maybe you guys like it. I’m really trying to make it sound as good as I possibly can. Thanks for your time and I’ll talk to you guys next time.

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