somewhereinUSA out and about

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somewhereinusa
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somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby somewhereinusa » Sun May 19, 2013 2:34 pm

Mumsywumsy and I went to our first bus rally this week. The Great Lakes Converted Coaches chapter of FMCA held their annual Surplus & Salvage Rally in Elkhart, IN. My son Scott and I combed some of the surplus dealers looking for ideas and deals. He got some of the things on his list, and I got the rain gutters I had been wanting. We both scored some 24 led light fixtures for $2.00 a piece. Here is a link to a page with pictures of the buses in attendance. As you can see everyone is welcome.



Mumsywumsy seemed to enjoy herself even though since she doesn't like the salvage places and stayed back at the bus. She even put up with the lack of real comfort that a finished bus would have. We do have a toilet and hot and cold running water.

Looking forward to the next trip.
Dick

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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby ol trunt » Mon May 20, 2013 1:44 am

Hey Dick. Looks like fun and I can hardly wait to do the same. Now a bunch of questions-- how far did you travel? What was the fuel consumption? How did the bus drive etc? Jack

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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby somewhereinusa » Mon May 20, 2013 9:23 am

Hey Jack,
Elkhart campground is 75 miles north of here. Fuel mileage with figures corrected for speedo error looks to be about 10.5. I was surprised by that, previously best had been about 8. The bus drives great, much nicer than my semi. If it wasn't for the fuel prices and the parking problem, I would take it a lot more.
The bus people are great, although there seems to be two distinct groups. Those that "built" and those that "bought". The built group includes those that bought an older coach that was already converted and have done remodels and upgrades themselves.
A lot of the do it yourselfers seemed to be retired engineers of some sort or the other. The "boughts" were friendly enough, but I didn't really fit in to their conversations. Our circles would never intersect anywhere else. They also seemed to be less proud of their bus, just another toy I guess. The ones who did it themselves on the other hand are glad to show and discuss at length. They all thought my sliding screen is really cool, but almost all have doors that aren't a rectangle, and an odd hinge system that everyone pretty much came to the conclusion wouldn't be possible.
The MC5A(second from me to the left) was probably the most modified, but from his description probably in the worst shape to start with. He has a really cool cruise control made from late model GM parts. He gave me the wiring diagram, it's pretty easy stuff. Depending on what I can get the module for, I would think less than $100. The signal generator is going to be the hardest to come up with. I have an electronic speedo driven from a signal from the Allison, but you can only drive one thing from it. He changed his speedo back to the front wheel system, but I never had one of those. His pulls on his throttle pedal, witch will be quite easy on mine. It's early yet and I haven't done much research yet. It should be doable on pretty much anything.

I was definitely low man on the totem pole as far as cost and "fancy" goes. My son is next, but his bedroom and bathroom are finished, mine is just barely "usable"
The H3-45 Prevost is way on the other end, don't know what it cost, but those factory slides on a Prevost are $100,000 each. :)

Dick

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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby ol trunt » Mon May 20, 2013 2:19 pm

Hey Dick, thanks for the newsy update. Like you I'm no engineer but that doesn't keep me from learning their secrets (I can't spell either--hence 'Ol Trunt). It is particularly fun to see their faces when they see that we lowly ones actually can do everything they can. On the other hand, I've befriended several engineers and we've had a good time picking each others brains--they are not the ones I'm talking about.

Take a look at the after market cruise units on e-bay. They are dirt cheap (even cheaper at a junk yard) and work really well. The only draw back is the vaccuum requirement. If you don't have a vaccuum source, the small 12 volt pumps are strong enough to operate the actuator as long as the accelerator spring isn't too stiff (which can be overcome with a bell crank). These units use a magnetic coil pick up dealy mounted on (near) the driveshaft and have their own mini computer to operate them. I've probably installed a half dozen of them over the years and never have had one not work. Just a thought.

The speedo on my TOAD is off about 10 MPH which also jacks up the odometer. Rather than fix it I've been using my cheapy GPS maper which gives MPH and distance traveled making gas mileage easy to figure. Oh, and 10 plus MPG is way better than 8 so maybe you need to drive your bus more! Jack

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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby somewhereinusa » Tue May 21, 2013 12:30 am

Jack,
I have used those after market cruise controls, and they do work well. What i liked about this is that the late model GMs use a stepper motor, no vacuum required.
I have an app on my cell phone that is a speedometer/odometer.

One of the guys at the rally had his batchlors degree in engineering. From what I could tell all he could do is talk, not do. One of the buyers. My son on the other hand is an engineer and can do. Check out the pictures of his bus.

http://somewhereinusa.x10.mx/mciinterior.html

And the ladder to the roof hatch.

http://somewhereinusa.x10.mx/ladder.html

Everything is designed and made by him. :thumbup:

Dick

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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby stuartcnz » Tue May 21, 2013 12:57 am

That ladder is a seriously impressive bit of kit.
https://stuartcrawfordmedia.com/
https://nomadichome.org/
https://hubzilla.nomadicista.org/channel/stuart
https://ethicallogistics.com/ Challenging the way you think.
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sip:stuart@nomadicista.nz (TLS connections only)

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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby ol trunt » Tue May 21, 2013 1:39 am

Hey Dick, guess I stuck my foot in my mouth again--my apologies to your son. Now thats some engineering! Jack

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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby Stealth Camper » Fri Jun 14, 2013 6:24 am


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somewhereinusa
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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby somewhereinusa » Wed Sep 25, 2013 1:48 pm

We're in the middle of our first camping trip at a campground. Here are some pics from today.

http://www.somewhereinusa.x10.mx/visited.html

Dick

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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby stuartcnz » Wed Sep 25, 2013 2:04 pm

Looks like a very good use of you time!
https://stuartcrawfordmedia.com/
https://nomadichome.org/
https://hubzilla.nomadicista.org/channel/stuart
https://ethicallogistics.com/ Challenging the way you think.
JID:stuart@nomadicista.nz
sip:stuart@nomadicista.nz (TLS connections only)

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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby Stealth Camper » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:50 am


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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby Dennis The Bus Dweller » Sat Oct 12, 2013 10:47 am

Wow, great place
Peace along the way
Dennis the bus dweller N.Y.

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somewhereinusa
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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby somewhereinusa » Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:33 am

I just got back from my weekend in Wisconsin. The heat works great. I have only actually finished the bedroom and the thermostat isn't installed yet. It's all manual, I woke up in the middle of the night and had to turn it off for a while. I do really, :D really, :D really :D like warm floors.But, Molly doesn't, I think that's the first time she has not slept in my bedroom. I guess I'll have to figure out some kind of bed for the dogs where they aren't on the floor. The front is using, right now, just the original heater the floor heat isn't in yet. It got a little chilly while driving. I think that when I get it all finished that problem will be solved. Nothing that a blanket over my legs didn't solve. Boiler worked flawlessly. Fuel mileage is really bad, but I also don't have to buy propane. One thing that almost caused a problem. I forgot that the front heater fans are still powered from the start batteries. When I started it Monday morning, it only turned over once,slow. Since I have the engine cooling system plumbed in with a heat exchanger the engine was toasty warm. I don't think it turned a whole revolution before it was running. :D :D I lost my headlights going through Chicago and have developed a power steering leak, all minor details.

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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby Mark R. Obtinario » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:23 am

I am glad you think losing headlights in Chicago is a minor problem. :)

Most of the time the problem is in the dimmer switch which is an easy fix with parts available just about anywhere.

If it is a headlight switch problem it still is a relatively easy fix if you can get to the switch.

Nice build out by the way.

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Re: somewhereinUSA out and about

Postby somewhereinusa » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:27 am



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