Friday, July 7, 2017

A journey of a thousand leagues

As the Chinese proverb says, a journey of a thousand leagues starts with the first step. I feel like I have a journey of a thousand leagues in front of me. It's time to start moving construction detritus out of the bus - tools I'm not likely to use again in the bus, leftover parts etc.

There are still things I'd like to do. One of those is a plumbing system for freshwater from a standpipe. I wasn't going to bother initially but I can see it is an idea with merit. The next step to that is putting an instant hot water heater that can supply hot water to both handbasin and to shower.

The toilet is probably going to remain as it is. I cannot imagine anything more foul than having to transport a used sewer hose! Bags of human waste can be stored in a sealed container then quietly disposed of where possible - either in landfill or some other way.

I have had thoughts about a built in gas hob. Those are demonically expensive however. Installing would be a straightforward case of passing tubing through the floor, sealing and plopping a 20lb gas cylinder on the ground outside.

Extra green power could be readily provided by turning my mini generator (the one I derided) into a small wind turbine that can be set up outside. Even solar panels could be placed outside then packed away for transport.

Today I went onto the bus and it was 104F. Putting the thermometer outside got me a reading of 97F. It felt cooler because of the moving air. I'd already started work, cutting slots into a piece of sewer pipe then gluing an end cap on it and mosquito mesh around it. I started mounting brackets to hang it from, on the ceiling when thunder began to boom. Fortunately by the time it began to pour with rain, I'd pretty much completed putting my ventilation filter in place. That meant I could throw the power cable out of the back door to close the door and keep the rain out.
That's what the ventilation looks like as of now. It is complete but with the same caveat as everything else of until I come across a better idea. At the moment, there's not too much power but if I pool my front and back panels, the power available should double. Throw external panels into the mix and we are talking tons of power.

Underbody cabling is in the plans but it's a future upgrade. In the winter I might go underneath and put some more cables but only when I'm sure spiders, ants and other nasty insects have gone away for the season. I even saw some of South Carolina's scorpions yesterday!

Yesterday I mentioned my mirrors. I'd replaced two eroded mirrors with new. It is possible to replace the mirror glass. The bizarre thing is it's cheaper just to replace the entire mirror than the mirror glass. The manufacturer wanted $45 per mirror for two mirror glasses. I bought a pair of mirrors for $35 or less than half the cost of fixing what's there.
I do not like those long West Coast mirrors. They take up a lot of space for very little gain. The bottom mirror is the one I just added (there's one the other side). Because I had to lower the drivers seat in order to make accessing the pedals more comfortable, the bottom mirror needs to come up as much as possible. I'd like to replace the 16 inch west coast mirrors with an 8x8 scquare flat mirror then up the top, put another rectangular convex mirror aimed downward. The busboy mirrors really need to be replaced with Hawkeye mirrors. The trick is finding it all at sensible prices.

As I sit writing my blog, the interior temperature following the rainstorm is 91F. My desk fan is keeping me cool and the extraction fan is currently roaring away. A tissue held up to the induction filter did not remain in place until the tissue was wrapped 2/3 round the filter. That tells me that my filter is big enough that it's not reducing airflow. That's important!

The next stage of motorhome construction will be to remove all the leftover construction components. Fortunately I don't think I have a lot too much. I barked up the wrong tree more often than I'd have liked though. I could have totally avoided buying a welder by just riveting a panel on the side of the bus where the hillbilly hole had been located. Still, I fancied welding and did learn a new skill even though with all the welding projects undertaken and not used, I could have been done 6 months ahead of now.

My biggest regret is the materials unused or used on projects that were later abandoned as they represent money not spent wisely. My other regret is wasting my time on some of the Internet groups. Whenever I sought an answer, nobody knew and whenever I showed off my handiwork, it either had no comment or something negative. That, I can honestly say, hurt.

Another thing needing to be done is to sort out the retitling. The previous owners never retitled the bus as a motorhome, which they should have because that's how it had been constructed. That's now my task!

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