Help Arrives By this stage, my folks were back up from Sydney. This time, Mum was going to help out with the kids, and Dad was going to help me with the bus. This was going to be fun, ….. One of the first jobs I had for the old boy was to help me paint the roof with insulation paint, what was supposed to be a relatively easy process turned out to me more than we bargained for. Tip: Read the instructions before you start.
I know now why they said to buy a motor home that was finished and not do it yourself from scratch. It wasn’t till after getting the paint and reading the fine print that it said there should be no moisture on the bus between coats, and that it should remain under cover for up to 30 days after the last coat. Yeah right, this is the Sunshine Coast, what are the chances of no rain in the next month, and where was I going to find a shed big enough.
Only solution I could see is that we make one. It was a spur of the moment decision, a quick trip to the hardware and a truckload of timber later. As we drove back in Michelle asked, “What’s all the timber for.” “I’m building Honky a shed was my reply.” Knowing full well she didn’t believe me. She went out for three hours and when she got home, you could see it written on her face, “He wasn’t kidding about a shed.”
A shelter for Honky
We had fun that afternoon, standing on top of a 3 metre bus and balancing 4.2 metre long sticks like a tight rope walker. ‘Leonardo De Vinci’ (my dad) yelling instructions from below and saying, “You Crazy” every 5 minutes. What a bonding session, it took us about two hours and we finally had the frame up.
Then it was time to start painting and this is when the real fun began. Watching Dad get up and down the ladder was funny, watching him try to step over and through one of the trusses, that was hilarious. It was just not going to happen. So he decided to crawl under, backwards.
Here he was, a 74 year old man as he kept reminding me, doing his best impression of a well fed caterpillar trying to get out of its cocoon, cursing and swearing about the things I made him do while he was on holidays. Then he got stuck, and it took me the best part of 5 minutes to help him free, as I was laughing so hard.
Dad gets stuck on the roof.
We finally got the first coat of paint on, and then it was time to put on the tarps. It took us a while, but there she stood, built from the sturdiest roofing batons we could find, tied down with rope, strings and rags to old rio pegs, tarped with the finest two dollar tarps. We had ourselves a shelter. A good strong wind and I reckon we resort to Plan B, but we let it stand and went to bed, half anticipating finding the whole structure either collapsed or missing by the morning.
It holds up !
But, low and behold, our “Hopra House” as Dad called it, stayed up for the night, and better still, it kept all the dew and moisture off the bus. I was feeling pretty good about it especially when it was still in place three days later. But as soon as dad went home the rain came down. But still, the shelter did its job, sort of. Sixty mills of rain in about an hour is enough to test out the best of shelters, let alone those made from cheap tarps.
It was filling with water fast, almost touching my roof, there I was 10 O’Clock at night, pitch black, trying to get the water to run off. One of the supports snapped, so it was a quick repair, but believe it or not it lasted the night, and the roof was mainly dry. And, to this day, the paint has stuck, hardened and the cooling system is working well. Not bad for a $50 shed.