Friday, February 19, 2016


I had opportunity to continue thinking today. Normally, I just don't get a chance to do my own thinking so I have to buy pre-prepared thoughts from Walmart in the thought aisle. Usually I prefer the Indian spicy throughts with a side of Nancy's Nook. Anyway, I left Walmart with a couple of bottles of ideas in an unmarked brown paper bag.

Today I looked at different ideas for cooking, power and ventillation on the bus. That was prompted by the fact I am about to close-up a large aperture under the bus and that as it is, two compartments could replace the existing one compartment.

One idea I had was to put a gas bottle compartment for cooking and water heating. Lowes has some 4.25lb propane cylinders that are 9 inches tall by 12 inches wide. That sounded pretty interesting. Obviously it would have to be well ventillated so some kind of mesh would make the floor and sides. I have some mesh too though it's very rusty. New mesh is cheap enough. In the end though, I decided against this route as I don't really see the need for extra gas power.
For electricity I was thinking I might use those external cell-phone batteries and charge them from a folding solar panel rested against the windshield from the inside. Now that would charge my phone, tablet and mifi pad but not my camera batteries. Well, that's what I thought until I saw this website Actually, having discovered that site, many of my power problems are solved. Basically, I realised the only things I really need power for are my cellphone, mifi pad and tablet. Lighting is taken care of with an LED lantern powered by D cells. My toothbrush and hair clipper both run off AA batteries. My shower head runs off D cells too and in the event the batteries are dead, a manual option can be employed for all but lighting.

For ventillation I had the idea of using a fan to pump air from the ceiling in the bedroom out through a hole in the floor created by the hillbillies. That would be complicated. Better to close-up that ridiculous hole and make a roof vent instead. Now I looked for roof vents and found some interesting ones on the Amazon British website. They were horribly expensive though and only worked for single-skinned vehicles. Going further and back to the electric fan option, there are some solar fans. Perhaps mounted on the outside of the bus with suitable ducting and filters, they might be the solution. They'd need an on-off switch but would be a zero power option. They're also dirt cheap.
So, I don't need an underbody compartment for batteries or gas cylinders. This means I can just weld a plain sheet of steel over most of the exisiting hole. Had I realised earlier that I could have put the master breaker inside the bus, I could have just had steel conduit taking the cable to the power socket and done away totally with the underbody breaker box. Of course, one lives and learns. I didn't know anything about most of the things I have done before I started work. I am not a handyman. I am an office worker. I am prepared to persist and am not afraid to try new things.

Thinking ahead about water, I did see somebody else's conversion in which they had a handpump to pump water from a 5 gallon bucket under their sink. I deliberately have not installed a handbasin in my bathroom or kitchen. In the kitchen, it seems so pointless because everybody washes their dishes in a plastic bowl as it retains heat better than a metal sink. As for water disposal, I can simply chuck it down the shower drain. In the bathroom, the handbasin can be replaced by a bowl and a jug of water. Again the water can be chucked down the shower drain. I have thought about using a footpump to pump water out of an underbody tank. Now the downside of an underbody tank is that they freeze. I'm not worried about that with the waste tanks because 90% of the time, the drain cock will be open and it'll be draining to the ground. The waste tanks are just there for times when an open drain isn't desirable. The upside of an underbody tank is it can hold more. The upside of 5 gallon jerrycans of water mean it's unlikely to freeze as they can be stored inside.

Going back to ventillation, solar powered ventillation over the cooking area and the bedroom look very possible. The downside is they only work during the day and they will look a little odd from the outside. 

In terms of electrical supply, I have already experimented with a $5 USB charger and found it lacking. The other day I ordered a much larger capacity USB charger from eBay for about $9. If that works well then I have my power solution. I didn't realise I was so close to being completed!

In other news my rivnuts for the shower curtain supports arrived. I forgot to pay for my screw eyes so they will be a few days late as it was a few days before I remembered to pay for them.

No comments:

Post a Comment