Monday, January 18, 2016

Now I'm really getting there.

It might not look exciting but it is a significant step forward. The plumbing descends from my shower via a U bend to a bucket placed underneath the bus. It might not be very high tech but it does mean I can now claim my bus has adequate plumbing. The pipes are held in place by clips attached to the brackets I welded the other day. The aim is to install the barrels I bought the other day but this is dependent upon finding the right plumbing adaptor. Now that could be very hard to find so for the moment I'm sticking with a bucket. 

As you can see, the pipe comes down, ending in a cap that protrudes slightly below the skirt. This is not intended to remain so but is rather useful for locating where to place the bucket. One thing I will add is a hook to hang the bucket from so that it won't blow away. In summer, evaporation should see the level of the effluent reduce through evaporation.

When I went shopping the other day, I bought a little gas cooker and some cooking items. These will make a huge difference as the gas will take care of the biggest power drain in any home. Cooking uses absolutely the most power. I have not tried a raw food diet but I gather raw food involves no cooking. It does require refrigeration though which is a constant power drain.

It really is a nifty little gas cooker. The kettle is nifty too. I don't as yet have an extraction vent above the cooker. This, by the way, is the bathroom vanity and not where the cooker will be situated. I was thinking of having it situated there when I'm gas cooking and just leave the microwave where it's currently situated. Thinking about it, and in view of my adventures with the roller blind, it might well be better just to swop the microwave and gas cooker around as required. That way I could put just one vent.

The cooker had all kinds of wacky reviews, mostly centered around being unable to find gas cylinders and the price of the gas cylinders. They were right next to the cooker, in Walmart and were $2.40. The small print says 8.8oz of gas and the cooker says that a single cylinder can last up to 1 hour, 15 minutes. I presume that's on low. Given that most meals take 15 minutes or frequently less to make, that doesn't seem to be much of a probem to me. In any case, this bus is intended for electrical plugin operation, not off-grid though I'm making sure it can be used off-grid.

Going back to an old problem - the china I had was all 9 or 10 inch round plates. I found that they are now 88 cents each in Walmart. My solution to the china not fitting my drawer was to give my existing china to m'lady who sadly did not want the matching mugs that I'd struggled to obtain. In Walmart are some 8 inch square plates. I might get a couple of those and a couple of square dishes too. That way I have something that won't roll in the drawer.

Today I turned my mind to the blinds. I bought a single blind the other day. It was way too wide and I'd reckoned I might be able to cut it down with my angle grinder. Thus it was - I cut it down and it actually worked. The edge on the cut side is a little ragged but that really doesn't matter. I'd like it to be smooth but I'm not prepared to pay massive amounts of money to buy a smooth blind of the right size. It's way overlong but that shouldn't be a problem. I did think about mounting it but the light had already gone by the time I considered that. Funny how that always seems to happen when I get to the interesting bits.

If you notice, at the top of the picture are two of the wobbling flower solar decorations. I won't be carving those up as they were gifts but having seen inside one, the wobble is caused by a magnetic coil that's charged by the small solar cell built into the base. I looked at the coil and am wondering whether one taken from such a decoration could be the solution to my front door unlocking problem.
Areas of the paint had peeled on the outside of the bus. That has been referred to before. Today I pulled out a pistol drill with a paint removing brush. I brushed areas where the paint was flaking and found the flaking to be of a local nature. I suspect I'll have to spot brush the whole bus wherever the paint is flaking and reapply the paint. Eventually it'll all stick. I found some cheaper spray paint in the dollar store but it seems to be slightly lighter in color which might not be a problem after a couple of weeks weathering.

Today's big fail was Rustoleum self-etching paint. I tried it and it sprayed well for a second or two then started spraying lumpy paint. Then the nozzle suddenly frothed and it stopped spraying. No matter what I did, nothing helped the situation. I had a can of Rustoleum rust killer that did this a while ago. I'm not that keen on Rustoleum - its just not good paint. It's cheap and that's its only virtue.

I looked again at the hillbilly cable compartment. The cable comes down on the left, very close to the front of the compartment. As I'm not needing to carry a big battery now, I looked at the compartment and looked at my massive construction and decided I could get away with a much smaller compartment. I will have to build a new, smaller compartment. 

Looking at the body ribs, I'd been worried about putting rivets in case of water ingress. Looking at the construction, they're not sealed at the ends anyway. The only question is how thick they are. I'm going to assume they're 15 gauge like the rest of the body. I can probably weld that quite satisfactorily. I think building the new compartment which will be purely a breaker box compartment with a plugin either underneath or on the side, I won't build it completely then try to weld it on. I'll build it in pieces, welding each piece into place. It won't have any great weight to carry which is a huge bonus.

Thinking about batteries again, the only thing I really need batteries for is to charge my cellphone, tablet and or a mifi pad. That could be achieved by simply charging cellphone charging batteries from a small solar panel. Those are cheap enough and put in a tin box insulated against fire, I could charge a couple.

I can't really see needing to charge much else. Charging my camera could be interesting. It's probably time to change camera systems. I suspect my 10 year old monster is not as good as a secondhand 5 year old marvel of technology. The thing holding me up there is that it's paid for and would barely fetch a single peanut on the secondhand market. My income wouldn't result in donation being a worthwhile tax deduction either. In fact last year I got back more in tax refund than I paid in tax!

The huge hole in the side of the bus will have to be filled. I'll have to see what I can do about that. I want to do something better than just rivetting a patch over the side but I suspect that's going to be the most expeditious solution.

The big news though is that today I consider it worth sending off to get my bus registered as a motorhome. I hate to think how much money I have spent on things I didn't end up using in my conversion process. Still, that's probably the same for everybody. Not everybody gets it right first time, particularly when there's nobody else in one's immediate and trusted circle doing the same thing.

I need to finish doing the blinds, to put something over the bathroom windows to maintain privacy and to put up a shower curtain. As far as the blinds are concerned, I can either put pairs of trimmed blinds over the windows or put cloth curtains with velcro attachments.

Looking at the paintwork today, the pain was peeling in the middle of the logo that said 3800 DT466. The first logo just came off very easily using just finger pressure. The second - on the other side needed a screwdriver and broke as it came off. They're off now. I might give the same treatment to the International logo on the front. I cleaned up where the logos had been and sprayed grey paint after filling the attachment holes with rivets. I don't know about my readers but I just don't like carrying other peoples' advertising. It's like shirts - if a shirt has a logo on it advertising some company or other then that shirt had better be free if I have to wear it for work or if it's outside of work then some company had better be paying me to wear it.

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