Monday, April 27, 2015

Its official

I no longer live in Roachville. Yesterday I cleaned and vacuumed my apartment before leaving it for almost the last time. The vacuum was one of those horrid Bissel things. Half way through cleaning, it started tossing big balls of fluff out the back and puffs of dust out the front. Fiddling with it and cleaning out the blockage produced no improved results and being in no mood to mess about, or indeed be messed about by a piece of what was clearly cheap junk, it was hurled with a very satisfying crash into the skip outside. Then it was a case of mopping the vinyl floors and mopping. Even mopping was not straightforward because even the mop broke! I was right enough about cleaning though - a single person living alone does not make much mess. Indeed, this was the first cleaning since March of 2012.

Now I am totally moved into my bus so now starts the process of changing all the addresses on official documents etc. I was exhausted yesterday but not too exhausted to commence construction of my new bedroom door.

Having had somewhat of a false start with 1x2 which was not strong enough nor straight enough (thanks for more warped wood, Lowes), I switched to 2x2 and that was going well until the light failed me. Drat that miserable orbital rotation that removes the light every night!

The plan is to complete that door and build the other bedroom door this week then the partition wall in the bedroom and the desk before erecting the closet rail. Now the closet rail is 9 feet long and Lowes longest is 8 feet. There is, however some galvanized piping that will do the job at a third of the cost. I'll just have to paint it.

Once the bedroom is done, the next stage is to complete the bathroom then the kitchen & dining area.

Friday, April 24, 2015

A small but significant step

Today after loading my SUV with my folding bedframe, mattress, desk and a small chest of drawers, I loaded the mattress into my bus.

This may be a small step but this mattress is where I sleep. I have used this mattress for 3 years so far. This is a move loaded with significance as it marks the movement of my permanent base from a rented hovel to my motorhome.

Although there's lots of construction left to do on my motorhome, it should go faster since I'm now living with my motorhome rather than living in my hovel and visiting it at weekends. There's also a financial advantage in that I'm not now paying rent and my job will have no pasid hours from mid June until September as I work with the school district.

This is the turning point where my dream begins to become reality.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Moving in.

Although the bus consists of a bedroom with no doors nor privacy film over the windows and though the toilet and shower barely exist; though the kitchen is largely theoretical and the dining area has yet to be imagined, I'm moving into my bus. I'm done with paying rent for a beige prison complex overrun at times by spiders and roaches. I am thankful for a companion that visits to clear up roaches and spiders for me. Unannounced, he visits occasionally and removes the corpses and the living.

Given that the bedroom has been designed to accommodate storage boxes and prefabricated plastic sets of drawers, here's the first photograph of the bedroom with things in it. Most things are nowhere near moved in yet but it can't be much longer. I'm assuming maybe another 3 or 4 trips in my SUV.

The landlord's secretary announced I had to pay to have the carpets cleaned and produce a receipt saying I had or I wouldn't get my deposit back. That doesn't sound particularly honest - especially since the carpet was stained and nasty when I moved in.

I'll be so glad not to have to pay rent on that hovel. Thank the lord that with a motorhome, I'm not stuck with rent like that!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The battle for the bedroom

After a later than desired start due to indecision on how to proceed with the bed followed by a trip to Lowes in order to buy some 3 inch screws to put legs on the bed. After returning from Lowes, with the screws, 3 legs were installed on the bed.

The fourth leg was somewhat of an issue. The wheel arch is underneath the end of the bed at one side. I don't like having things flapping loose and couldn't screw a bracket through the wheel arch. Thus, the small ledge on the side of the bus that caused so many problems has come in as a support. Because I'd already put OSB above the ledge, a full piece of 2x4 would have been pointless. Thus, a piece of 2x2 was used.

At the moment the 3 attached legs are supporting the bed and the fourth leg is just propped into place. Tomorrow I'll pull the bed out and paint the underside and legs, the walls and floor by the bed and wait for it to dry. Monday morning or tomorrow evening, depending on how long the paint takes to dry, I'll screw the bed into place and make a start on painting the rest of the floor and lower walls.

The plan is to paint the lower walls and the bed, white. There will be doors and they will also be white. The pink is a little more intense than expected though quite pleasant. At some point I'll have to put a haning rail for clothes, a desk, a secondary partition at the end of the bed and some drawers. I suspect it's going to be better just to put Walmart's plastic chests of drawers in place rather than building sets of drawers in the bedroom.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

The deposit heist

It seems that moving away from rented property is daylight robbery. This is exactly one reason why it's a darned good idea to own rather than rent.

After having to give a month's notice that I'm vacating the property (read give us an extra month of rent}, I'm now told I have to give the landlord a receipt that the (already stained when I moved in) carpet must be professionally cleaned and that I must give the landlord the receipt in order to get my deposit back. I believe I'm not the only one to smell a rat, there, especially since the place wasn't clean when I moved in! The advice of my lady is just to accept I'm going to lose my deposit and not actually bother to do any cleaning. I hate to say this but I rather suspect she's right.

I'm not going to harp on about how bad the place I'm renting is. It fulfilled a need for accommodation when I desperately needed it. I'd been paying $700 a month for a room in a house with access to a shared kitchen and shared laundry. Use of those facilities was no extra charge. I swopped that for a house where I had to pay $30 a month for electricity and $55 a month for internet on top of my $525 rent. Financially I was $90 a month better off. Over the 41 months rent, I saved $3690 so even losing $525 rent only raises my $525 rent by $12 a month or $537 approx. In the grand scheme of things, quibbling over this $12 a month surcharge dishonestly applied doesn't seem to make much sense though I deplore dishonesty.

Where I'm now living is at the end of a dirt track, close to some low-income socially supported housing and to the local jail. Indeed the first building in the access road is a bail bonds office. Despite this, the neighbors are quite agreeable though how many families are crammed into the house next door, I can only guess. My guess begins at 3. There's no dishwasher or laundry facility in the house. Dishes have to be done manually which is fine as far as I'm concerned as I don't generate that much. There is a laundry shed with a coin operated washer and drier. In the summers, my $10 wooden drying rack from Walmart eliminated the need for a drier. The big problem with the washer/drier provided was that they were not maintained well and clothes often came out stinking. The front door has a crack down the middle big enough to allow the insects that can't find the bigger gaps around the edges of the front and back doors through.

For some unknown reason cockroaches and spiders would all want to come in. I sprayed every month with a pesticide and after a weekend away, often had to shovel up the corpses of dead intruders. Fortunately, few intruders made it beyond the lower floor with most expiring within a yard of the doorway.

The question now is when I'm planning to move. I have the place until April 30th but feel I ought to give it some kind of cleaning before leaving, for my own morals. Probably the best time is not this weekend but next weekend. That gives me 5 days to clean the place.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The bed

The bed is under construction. Although not shown in this photo, it has acquired a coat of white primer. Its made of 2x4 and 1x3 slats so it is a herculean effort to move but I trust that it will be strong enough to support me.

Move in creeps ever closer. Two weeks and I move out of where I'm living and into my bus. The bed lacks legs and the bedroom lacks doors. The windows haven't been darkened and the bedroom walls and floor have not yet had their final coats of paint. I'm going to have a very busy weekend!

The bed legs are going to be my biggest challenge because one leg is where the wheel arch is located. I either have to box that in or put some kind of bridge over it. That's challenging!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Color changes

Today I should have added the skirting board along the inside of the bus but instead chose to paint the bedroom and storage room with white undercoat/primer. This was achieved largely with a roller but my girlfriend's sister's boyfriend decided to lend a hand with a spray gun.

This is the view from the drivers seat to the back of the vehicle. It looks worse than it is. The bedroom and closet behind it take up half the length of the bus so a positive view is that I'm half way done.

The bedroom walls, floor and ceiling are now white as is the storage room. The storage room will remain white. The bedroom will be colored pink later.

This is the view from the bathroom area through the bedroom. Looking the other way it looks about the same. Given that (again viewing from the bathroom), the back looked like the following picture, I think I've done well this week.

I have a ton more to do though, including bedroom doors, skirting boards and bedroom furniture.

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Today I did a spot of painting - just for a change. I have both end walls for the bedroom complete though as yet there are no doors. I did go to the store with the bus to buy supplies. While I was there, since I've been doing the partitions as 57 inch chunks plus a top, I had the OSB pre-cut to 57 inches and a remainder of probably 3 -4 feet that I can use as partition tops.

The painting was hard work even with a roller so tomorrow, if the spray bottle can be located then I might have a go at spraying the OSB. It certainly seemed to soak up paint!

I haven't yet completed the skirting board but was anxious to feel as though I'd done a lot. I'm behind schedule due to the heat. No box bed and no desk. No wardrobe either. I'm going yo have to really crack on with this and I haven't been idle.

The heat here is vicious. Once I get hot, it takes 3 times longer to cool down. At these temperatures, heat exhaustion is something I regularly get. Beyond heat exhaustion is heat stroke, which I don't want to get.

Tomorrow the plan is to complete the skirting board and paint. Maybe I might fill some crevices at the same time.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Busy week

This week I have off work so I have been very busy. I've built and completed the closet wall, installed a door lock, replaced two missing interior light covers with plexiglass cut from a sheet that was over a missing window that I replaced earlier.

My biggest problem thus far is heat exhaustion. I can only put in a few hours work before I'm exhausted. Sure, I go inside to cool down but even so, the heat burns up a lot of my time.

The plan was to finish all the walls today and do the skirting boards but the heat got me. Still, I'm doing well. The bedroom will be ready for move-in by the 20th.

The priority is the bedroom. In order to work on the bedroom, I had to finish laying the bathroom floor. That afforded the opportunity to secure the wall. The wall bottoms are ready but the tops are what I wasn't able to complete.

I don't know whether Google's photo spheres will work for everybody but here's a photo sphere from the bedroom.

The plan is to finish bedroom construction this week and paint the bedroom and closet with undercoat then paint the bedroom with topcoat. The white undercoat will be fine for the closet.

As far as bed and other construction are concerned, they were planned for this week but might get pushed back a little. The plan is still to move in on the 21st. That's two weeks from now!

Friday, April 3, 2015

A whole day

It has taken a whole day of hard labor and I'm not finished yet. I'm putting a key lock on the rear emergency exit on my bus. It takes a key outside and has a knob inside.

I don't have a workshop or a vice. Thus I'm doing my best with a power drill and an angle grinder.

The door is slimmer than the portal which meant building up the thickness with some spare aluminum. The aluminum was attached to the door with rivnuts.

I cut the hole in the outer skin of the door with a hole saw. The hole saw disintegrated as soon as I'd got through the outer skin. Thus the inner skin had a square hole cut with my angle grinder.

Before I'd cut the square hole, I'd drilled a few holes for screws and the lock activation bar. Being somewhat unused to installing locks, I'd got the lock and keyhole misaligned.

Starting afresh with a new piece of aluminum, I cut the new square hole and drilled holes for the rivnut screws. By this time, the light had gone so I didn't have a chance to re mount the lock or to re mount the receiver. Oh well, a lock that took 2 days to install! Mind, having to streak to the store for parts didn't help.