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Well, none of that worked. Can someone tell me how to deal with a word doc? Thanks, Jack
Band-aids and stuff.
Figure I might as well get the bad stuff out of the way first. In my last post of 2018 I was just heading out for a Christmas camp out—it was the only excuse I could find to keep from having to attend another boring and seemingly never ending family affair. We stayed at a natural hot mineral water “spa” near Death Valley. It never occurred to me that a scorpion would take warm refuge in the RV electric hook up box until I had been stung twice on the left arm I was using to prop open the electric box—ouch!
Late in Jan, ’19 my buddy while preparing to “steam clean” the upholstery in my new to me Tahoe as a return favor for my work on his son’s Honda found the release latch for the spring loaded rear seat. He released it just after I had stuck my head in its path. The seat corner whacked my head just above and in front of my left ear. My eyes rolled around like they were in a pinball machine. Wifey dragged me to the ER where I was told I had a class I concussion and to take it easy for a week—ouch.
In May, ’19 just before our annual week in Yosemite National Park I managed to kick one of the legs on an oak futon I was passing in the dark braking two bones in my foot. I’ll blame that on my wife because she moved the futon—never mind that it was over 10 years ago when she did. We went camping anyway and I gimped around in my cast and managed to enjoy the scenery.
Still one more to ring out the old year. My buddy (same one as above) needed some help replacing the electric fuel pump on his too low to the ground ’56 Chevy truck. I backed my Tahoe under the open garage door and lifted my floor jack into the back and closed the hatch. Just then I spotted the replacement fuel pump sitting on a short stool about 5 feet away. I cursed my stupidity, re opened the hatch, walked over to retrieve the pump, turned around and promptly drove the top of my head into the corner of the not completely open hatch. What I remembered next was wifey and the paramedics looking down at me with concerned faces and realizing my hair and collar of my shirt seemed stuck to the ground. I simply don’t remember the cat scan or the MRI or much of anything else during that first day (except the raging headache and inability to track with both eyes). ‘Ol sawbones informed me that I had a class III concussion this time with brain bruising and a cracked skull and that I’d better try not to do it again—Duh. A month later I still have an occasional slight headache and my vision is mostly normal again and I have a little project I want to start on my bus so I guess I’ll get started.
Fate had other plans for me. One year and one day after buying the Tahoe It was soundly rear ended while we sat waiting for traffic to clear. The Tahoe was shoved into the car ahead of us so it is mashed both front and rear. Fortunately, none of us was seriously injured. I managed to snap a pic of the car that started it all.
The repair estimate for the Tahoe is over $8,000 so the insurance guys are still trying to decide if it should be fixed or junked—we’ll see.
Meanwhile, back at the bus, here are a couple of pics of two upgrades completed in 2019. The first is the installed BB1230 battery charger and the second is the air pressure gauge related to the new digital air pressure regulator I added to the compressor. The regulator maintains my desired pressure of 60# within +/- 2 PSI.
Our annual October trip to Yosemite was mostly just more of the beautiful same as was our early November trip to Lake Mead Nevada. We did encounter cold (for us) weather on the way to Lake Mead with night time temps at freezing. I discovered that the sections of uninsulated water lines in the bus had dropped to 2*C but hadn’t frozen. That started me off learning about heat cable. It is pretty cool stuff. It amounts to a pair of stranded wires separated from one another by a carbon based temperature responsive jell. The jell contracts as it cools which brings the carbon molecules closer together thereby allowing a flow of electrons between the parallel + and – wires which produces heat. When the cable heats up the jell expands, the carbon molecules spread out and current stops flowing between the wires all done in a self regulating manner. The heat cable came with no information other than it was 12 volt so I concocted a couple of tests to see just how many amps it drew. I was pleasantly surprised to find that at full draw it used only 2.7 amps/meter and produced a max temp of 107*F. There are two sections of water pipe not properly insulated so I installed a dual thermostat control that turns the power on at 3*C and off at 8*C to keep the pipes from freezing. There wasn’t much room for insulation where the pipes were installed but I was able to add some spray foam to cover them somewhat.
When I built out the bus I installed two water pumps. One pump for cold water and one for hot because the on demand water heater required constant water flow and pressure to operate. Functionally that worked fine. However, when I wanted a mix of hot and cold water at the tap both pumps ran for short bursts producing water pump based version of dueling banjos that set my teeth on edge. The cure was the installation of an accumulator tank on both water lines—no more dueling banjoes!
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My first project for 2020 was the installation of a medicine cabinet in the wet bath. I wanted an all plastic unit with a glass mirror and I finally found one. Cheap at $16 at Home Depot. I narrowed the cabinet and mirror by 3” and fit it in the bath wall over the sink. I now have no more excuses for not shaving just because we are camping.
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Well, that sort of brings things up to date as of 1/25/20. Jack
The medicine cabinet looks good - like it was made for that. I was able to copy/paste the links and one image came up to see.
Yosemite is gorgeous! It has been too long since last visiting. Got to get back there!
I used 120vac heat tape on the trailer water supply for 12 years while living full time in it. They are great things to have! I used pipe insulation tubes around the hose, then sewed a sleeve out of the vinyl used for boat tops and it lasted well the whole time. Had to replace heat tape once. By the end, the vinyl was starting to get a little stiff, but had not cracked. Survived one tornado destruction event, too!
Hope things are smoother this year! Always good to hear about the adventures - let's me live 'vicariously' through others who are getting to do some travel and camping!
I keep forgetting to ask - and this is open to anyone with a bus. My long term insurance company - won't say who, but Jake is wearing khaki's - has seen fit to truly hose me on insurance! I stopped it for about 3 years while it has had some problems that I couldn't attend to, so just sat for those years. Now, going back for quote, it is about 5 times the price from those long lost halcyon days!
Jack, do you, or anyone else out there have any recommendations or good things to say about an insurance company? Would love to hear, if so! Bad things are ok, too, if you just wanna vent, but I suspect I could outdo at every turn...!
Wifey wandered in from her gallery last evening with this water color of a school bus in the rain. She told me that it is similar to a painting by Merve Corning which became a cover picture on a 1970's Westways (AAA) magazine.
Because of cv19 we haven't been able to camp and the painting got me hunting for a way. As it turned out this next week will bring the reopening of a local KOA and we got a spot--face masks and all! Jack
Well, it is Crazyville, USA here. As well as most of the world. Have been distracted for last couple months, so haven't taken time to post anything. The 'Rona' is the big thing most places, so will start there.
Friend died from it first week of March.
Sister got sick a month ago and survived/recovered and got out of hospital a week later. Her boyfriend had a friend from work who got it, went to same hospital the same evening as sister, and he died two days later - waited too long to get medical help. If you catch it early, they have a chance to do some good!
Another friend, more like one of our kids, who lives a few hundred miles away now caught it and recovered. All in all, guess it is what it is.
The farm is in process and doing pretty well. Only had a very small veggie garden this year - 5 cherry tomato plants, but we got about 20 lbs of tomatoes from them so far. Seems like we are picking every other day and getting 3.5 to 4 lbs. Good haul! Wish I had been able to plant some more... next year! Have had no time to travel anywhere. Really want a road trip!
Hasn't been much happening here, so I just figured I would say something just for grins and giggles... stay safe!
I am going to see what it would cost to tow to the new place, but it is 40 miles away and I suspect a few hundred dollars to move, which I can't do now with all the other things demanding attention on the farm! Since we are trying hard to get moved there by middle of next year (or sooner!), I will have to wait til then to start looking for another bus! The dream is not dead, just in remission for now. The next one will be diesel and automatic tranny, if possible. Hopefully same year (1976) or earlier!
Jack, sorry to hijack your thread, but couldn't think of better place to put it than the only active bus conversation....
I'll try to post more regularly myself. Jack
What with this Covid 19 thing still holding on getting much camping done has been problematic. We only go out for 1 or 2 days at a time and then only mid week as our favorite campground is empty at that time. We do miss the social aspect of meeting new campers etc. but at least this way we can say and feel like we've actually been away.
Much as I like the pneumatic parallelogram plug entry door on my bus, the pair of boomerang hinges and the round corners have made it difficult to come up with a workable screen door. After our last short camping trip a couple of weeks ago and a billion “no see’ems” I finally came up with a screen door that isn’t too hard to open and close and that works with the hinges and corners.
The screen is comprised of only three parts and yet it took me a full week to get it all worked out. First there is a set of traditional aluminum framed window screens that flank the hinges. Next there is an upper track that supports a screen curtain that slides across the upper portion of the door. This is followed by a vertical roller shade whose material has been substituted with fiberglass screen material. The trick was to come up with a screen door that didn’t interfere with the actual door opening when it was not in use and yet was simple enough for an average adult like me to use.
The biggest problem with the door is that unless it is in direct sun light it is nearly impossible to see it. Twice I have nearly stepped through it for that reason. I’ll need to come up with some sort of light colored marking to catch the eye or soon I’ll have no screen. Jack
The plan was to go to the local tire shop I've used for the past 35 years and have new tires put on my bus. However, when I arrived I learned that a long time employee--the one who did parts ordering and all the billing-- had died of melanoma and the shop felt like a run away train. Since the tires I had special ordered had been delivered I felt like I needed to see the deal through. My bus was assigned to a trio of what looked to be 12 year old first day on the job tire busters. I demonstrated the use of my paint saver discs that keep the lug wrench from wrecking the paint around the lug nuts and turned them loose. They managed to remove one dually set without a problem. At that point the whole affair turned into something like herding cats. One buster stayed with the bus where he managed to spin the inner wheel lug nut free from the hub before getting the outer wheel lug nut removed. Easy to do if you don't know how to handle a 50 pound 1" drive impact wrench. When the nut began to spin the buster lost control of the wrench and the socket and extension came loose and beat around the wheel badly dinging the thing up. While that was going on the other two busters were busy destroying the finish on the first dually pair by placing them good side down on the tire removal machine. The buster who messed up the lug nut explained to me that my wheel would have to be sent to another shop where the nut could be torched off and then replaced like they had to do on another truck. I took over at that point and showed the guy how to get the pieces apart without cutting. By that time the other busters had mounted the new tires on the first pair of wheels and busily slapped them on the bus without using the protective shields--more screwed up paint. Twice because I'd explained that I wanted to use my dial indicator to check the rims both before and after tire replacement on the front bus hubs but they forgot. The spin balance was the next fiasco. When I spotted the three 3" weights lined up on the outside wheel lip I knew I'd have to teach the busters how to mount a wheel assembly on the spin balancer--can't have any radial or lateral runout if you expect a decent balance. They finally managed to get all 6 wheels back on my bus and I coughed up the $1000 I owed and left. Surely the hardest work I've ever done to spend a grand.
It took me three days to repair and refinish the wheels with their tri color combination and all sorts of back masking. Jack
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