Monday, March 14, 2016

In the post

Today I did it - I posted the application to retitle my bus as a motorhome. As far as I know, that should get to the DMV in a few days. I'll doubtless have to reinsure my bus as a bus before they look at it and change the title since the insurance is up in about a week. The insurance company has been reminding me for the past six weeks to renew my insurance. They just don't realise that I don't ever give anybody free use of my money when it can stay in my own account earning interest until I really have to spend it. Thus, I normally get my insurance on the day before it's really due.

The socket cover I painted yesterday looks really good and matches the rest of the bus rather nicely. I meant to try scraping the paint to see if it comes off as I have little confidence in paint thinner making anything stick to my bus. It seems to reject just about every attempt to prepare the surface for fresh paint. Even stripping down to bare metal could be challenging as the steel is zinc plated. I did get brake fluid just for this but had forgotten about it until now.

In other news, the hour advanced on Sunday night leaving me now with over an hour after I return home before sundown. Had I not been so tired today, I would have worked on my bus. 

I am giving thought to alternatives to power and to attaching my barrels. It strikes me that U bolts could be used to tighten chains and coincidentally would be a load cheaper than using turnbuckles. If I'm right, it could be possible to attach the barrels without needing to do any welding whatsoever underneath the bus.

As far as the house battery is concerned, I suspect plugging into the cigarette lighter socket when I'm driving could well work best unless I can tap into the alternator circuit. Combining that with a charge controller would be an interesting approach. Indeed, looking at the LIon batteries I have been looking at online, I could probably fit them into a small ammunition box. I'm a big fan of small ammunition boxes as I can pack charge controlers, battery meters, cables and USB sockets etc into them as well as the batteries. In other words, a complete and portable power source that can be carried inside the bus. Truth be told though, I'd really prefer to use a supercapacitor

One of the things I'm a fan of is simplicity. Why go to the trouble of slinging things under the bus if it's not essential? The extraction fan for the bedroom can be solar powered on the basis that it's there to remove heat, not ventillate as the bus has plenty ventillation anyway.

With the LIon house battery in a portable case, it could be charged on 120v just about anywhere. The beauty of a standard solution is it can be put together like Lego blocks. Supercaps aren't mainstream which means it'd be a build-it-myself solution and even following published plans, those things don't always work. I really like the idea of building my own electronics but 75% of the time they don't work even when made from a kit and checked scrupulously. Mind, that's petty much my experience of ready-made electronics anyway.

So, the upshot is, tasks remaining to complete:
1. Replacing self-adhesive blinds with roller blinds.
2. Installing waste water tanks.
3. Developing a house-battery solution.
4. Installing a set of bungie cord anchors for the back closet.
5. Replacing or blocking the back door lower window.
6. Replacing or blocking the two back windows.
7. Developing and installing a front door unlocking system.
8. Blanking the school bus flashers.
9. Replacing the arrow indicator lenses with amber flasher lenses.
After all that, I'd say the bus is probably about as ready as it'll ever be. I would kinda like to put some kind of handbasin in the bathroom but a bowl will do quite well.

One of the interesting things that has come to my attention is urine disposal. I hear that peeing in a composting toilet makes the whole thing stink. I'm not quite sure how it will be affected by the fact my toilet is modelled after a cat litter tray. The deposits are simply covered with cat lit. The other day, there was an article in which one bus conversion owner complained she and her girlfriend discovered they had to go and pee in the forest rather than their composting toilet. The upshot was that in the end they replaced their composting toilet with a flush toilet though the domestic toilet they used would use about 10 gallons in a single flush. That's fine for campsites but otherwise, not so great. I would not be too surprised if in the end I decide to install a black tank and a camper toilet. Now the water from that could be pumped from the shower grey tank or if the handbasin empties into a 5 gallon bucket then that could be a source of flush water.

Well, in a few days I should hear more about reclassifiying my bus as a motorhome. I think there's enough there for it to work.

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