- Dennis The Bus Dweller
- Seasoned Nomadicista
- Posts: 1861
- Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 9:33 am
- Location: Southold N.Y.
Sorry for not directly updating this thread. I am very happy to say that we have now got our house on the road and have completed our first trip away. We are now finishing little jobs off before we move to Nelson to start that horrible 'work' thing. We have found a nice place to stay there in the truck until we have settled in. Very happy now that the house is finished.
Anyway to avoid having to type it all again I will copy and paste the last two updates from oldschool onto here.....
10/6/11 (or 6/10/11 for them stateside
Woo hoo!!! We now have a fully road legal house! Yesterday was a day of many little jobs like putting catches on anything that may fly open around corners, fall and smash or just move about marking things. Finally after waiting till all the traffic died down and the cars parked opposite had left I swung the house out wide onto the road, avoiding taking out the gate we drove up to Taylor dam - a nice spot about 8 kms from home in the country.
The truck was surprising to drive- its actually far less slower than I thought it would be and rode much smoother than I was expecting. I'm not used to driving such a long truck but that aspect was fine. What did scare me is not being able to see exactly where the front overhang finished- I kept thinking I might take out a sign with our bedroom. Hannah just sat there insisting we were really close to the curb- but thats what all passengers say eh? Steering is fine- steers like an old truck but at least it has power steering which the Bedford didn't have.
Brakes felt fine. But the gear change is sloppy- I really want to tighten up the linkages as its tricky to find the gears on downshifts.
The gearing is really low- 80 kph will be tops unless I rev it hard. Its sits on 80 fine though. Its low geared for sure but at least its good for acceleration and around town/hills. At 80 I'm doing 3500rpm and off the green sector on the rev counter.
Parked up by the lake/dam and chilled out for the evening- really kind of weird not hearing town but instead hearing ducks and other birdlife.
We slide out just one pop out and tried the invertor out- watched a dvd. Annoyingly our new 'pure sine wave' invertor seems to create a hum through the speakers if we play the dvd sound out through the headunit. If we just use the TV speakers there is no hum. Both the invertor and the stereo are off the same battery. Can I put some sort of filter on the power feed to the stereo?
In the morning we woke to a chilly but not frosty clear day. The views are great out here- so close to home but so peaceful. I took some photos, hannah made coffee, I got nervous as it was test time.
The Ned (950m) in the distance with morning cloud...
We arrived at Blenheim's VTNZ about 9.30 and there were 2 trucks in front. The guys were well interested in our house and all piled indoors for a looksie. They loved it and gave lots of praise which is nice. Every thing was looking. Dave who works there and has been helping with info on certain requirements like windows etc mentioned we could change the usage over to motor home- this knocks licencing from $600 a year to $400!!! Cool.
The truck flew through the test until it came to the rear brakes. The came up imbalanced so given it was cold plus we hadn't hardly used them at all Dave suggested taking it out for a good session, work the brakes and get the truck weighed while we were at it. We needed to know the weight for the reclassification plus for buying more road user charges. The nearest weigh bridge was about 7 kms away and all the way there I kept doing hard stops and some left foot braking in true rally style. A lovely welsh lady at the coolstores weighed the truck. Its max weight allowed is 11.5 tonne. We were hoping it would be under ten. To our surprise it was under 9!! 8.4 tonne. Cool- that saves another $32 per 1000 kms.
We went back to VTNZ- no queue this time- straight onto the brake rollers and much much better. Its a pass. They reckon they should get better with some more use too.
The brake dials of doom...
So Hannah did all the paper work involved with change of usage and I showed more of the workers plus some random truck driver inside the truck.
As we wouldn't be able to get back into my olds place while cars on the road we decided to head to the beach. Bought some hot pies on the way to celebrate (yeah- I'm hardcore) and chilled out at the beach for the rest of the day which was awesome- so cool to have the door to our house open out onto the beach. No one else around. Lovely sunny day too.
I took loads of photos- they aint great as I only have my phone. I must borrow mums camera next time.
On way out to beach...
Settled in nicely thank you..
View from back door...
View from window in spare room...
This evening we watched another movie with the sound of waves in the background and then we packed up and headed back to my olds about 9pm knowing it would be clear to get truck back through drive. And here I am now- back in wifi zone uploading photos- very very happy I am. In two weeks we plan to head south in truck to the Kaikoura coast for the winter solstice. That I am very much looking forwards to. Still lots of jobs to do but at least our house is legal now!
Just got back from our first proper trip away in the housetruck. Man it was cool. So much chilling out was had- we finally got to properly just sit back and enjoy our new home in an amazing enviroment. I'll sleep tonight and probably dream the sound of waves.
We started out trip off last monday after a few last hectic days of final little jobs including building an extra folding support for assisting with rolling the pop outs in and out. I can just take the weight to 'walk' them but Hannah cant and its awkward. So I built an extra frame work that hooks onto the rope rail with adjustable legs. Then with a wheel on each of the two outside corners the popout is then free to roll right on in with out any heavy hernia inducing lifting.
Once this was built, tested and ticked off I had to build a storage box to hold the frame plus some stabilisers I had built. Oh yeah- I built some stabilisers as well. They are just there to stop the truck rocking in the wind. So I built a nice big box which is bolted up under the back. Also blocks of wood used for levelling etc will go in there too.
So come Sunday night after final packing of gear and a shop for supplies when the roadside outside was clear we took off out Taylor dam for the night. And a lovely peaceful night too. The truck seemed easier to drive but I think thats me getting used to it already.
Monday morning dawned blue and chilly.
Off on our trip! We drove out to the local truck stop, filled up and then while on nice hard concrete in warm sunshine
we greased the kingpins. This is a job we used tow do often on our Bedford TK and it makes a huge difference to the steering efforts. The Hino has powersteering which can hide stiff kingpins and greasing them can get missed till they wear out so its a job I want to keep on doing. We also bled the clutch slave but I think it or the master may need new seals.
Greasing the kingpins at truck stop..
The driver of this Kenworth wants to build a housetruck- he had a good look about ours while I sat in his cab pretending to own it. The Kenworth has an 18 speed auto which he said couldn't be easier to drive. Oh and his truck does 1.85 km per litre of diesel....
Then we hit the road and the first test was how the truck went over the dashwoods- just a 200 meter climb out of town but twisty. It was fine- down 3rd gear which was slightly too low- 4th being to high but thats what I expect in a truck thats only got a 5 speed box. The handling is quite wobbly- i spoke to several truck drivers at the stop- they all said it'll be a handful due to its age, the length, the hight and weight over the cab plus the fact its on leaf springs. They all just said slow down, chill, dont give a shit who is behind me and pull over to let anyone past. One said take all corners at least 10kph slower than the recommended speed signs.
So I slowed down, Its low geared and starts revving its tits off at above 80kph. So I sat on 70. Cruisy as! Very little traffic. One thing I noted was how polite cars and trucks were to me. It was really good. We got lots of waves too.
On way to Kaikoura coast..
We made it to our favourite camp spot just north of Kaikoura and within half an hour had the truck all set up. I then mucked about jacking the front up onto blocks of wood so to get it level. Lovely evening and so peaceful.
The intention was to stay just two nights but the next two days were pretty windy/wet and we changed our minds deciding to stay an extra night. tHen another, then another. It was just so nice there. We collected driftwood for the fire and I made a trip into Kaikoura for more wine on my bike. It was pretty laid back. The first day of cold weather brought loads of snow on the mountains looking over the spot. Magical. Went running/cycling. Coming back to the truck with the fire going and having a hot shower then chilling out with yet another hot coffee looking over the beach was heaven. Oh yeah- the shower works bllody well- first time we had used the trucks shower since we built it and we had fears the old califont might not be good enough but it was awesome.
I had borrowed my mums proper camera and took many many photos. Here is a selection of some. We took some of the inside because I don't think there are many up to date photos of the bedroom etc.
Today we drove back and filled up the tank again. The 220 km trip used 50 litres which works out at 12.5 MPG. I'm pretty happy with that really. I was hoping it might be around 12 as our TK would do 15 but weighed 2 tonne less plus offered much less wind resistance.
My brother had come over from Nelson on Saturday and stayed the night in the spare room. He took these two photos on the way back.
So now back at home there are some little jobs to do like make some proper rear steps that attach to the deck, get the 240 camp powersupply cable then a electrical WOF for that. Then its off again and back to that working melarchy... bugger. Kind of used to this long 'build a home' holiday idea but unfortunately our savings are seriously dwindling.
One thing that is really cool is discovering the truck only weighs in at 8.5 tonne plus that it will return 12.5 MPG. I don't think that is too bad for a big old(ish) truck with the aerodynamics of a billboard. Certainly looking forwards to more trips away but first we must earn some more money.
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I especially liked seeing the last too pictures. I used to line haul up that piece of road every night, when I was based in Nelson. I used to do the Lewis pass on the way down and up the kaikoura coast and across from Blenheim to finish the loop. Kind of spoilt me from any other commercial driving.
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