Veggie Van Gogh

Discussions about all things to do with buses, trucks, and the homes made within them.

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Bytesmiths
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 5:10 am
Location: Pacifica Bioregion
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Veggie Van Gogh

Post by Bytesmiths »

There is some AWESOME stuff here! After seeing Damien's rig, I'm a bit bashful to show my own modest truck conversion. (Do you guys allow things other than busses here?)

Image

I guess my design philosophy has been different than most of the other rigs here. I was shooting for simplicity and sustainability first, so a lot of the niceties, like teak flooring and cast-iron stoves, were not in the works.

But we lived in this for two months last year, and most summer weekends the year before. It runs on vegetable oil and 112 watts of solar panels and a 100 ampere-hour battery provide all the electricity we need.

Besides camping, we use VVG to haul our wares around to art festivals, where people come in our tent and say, "This is wonderful! I've never seen anything like this before!" then leave without buying anything. :-(

On the Veggie Van Gogh website are lots of other photos, plus design notes and diagrams for the vegetable oil fuel system I use, as well as a blog where we describe last summer's journey. Last summer, we burned over 300 gallons of waste vegetable oil that we scavenged for free from behind restaurants! Due to time constraints and injury, that was only about 1/3rd of the total fuel, but next year, our goal is a 100% vegetable-oil tour!
:::: Jan Steinman ::::
:::: Veggie Van Gogh, a fossil-fuel-free (mostly) zone! ::::
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dadeo
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Post by dadeo »

i like your van, i just looked at a similar one down the street, but it was in bad shape and they wanted too much (and it dosnt run on cooking oil).
i wonder: what if the oil you happen to get from behind a resturant is mostly, or all, animal fat?? will it accually work??
Sharkey
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Post by Sharkey »

Hi Jan;

Yes, step vans are welcome, for sure. The only reason I don't have more on the site is that I didn't have access to any photos. Vans tend to slip under the radar better than buses or trucks, so getting good examples is more difficult.

I'll spend so time on your site tonight and see what's there.
Guest

Post by Guest »

dadeo wrote:i like your van, i just looked at a similar one down the street, but it was in bad shape and they wanted too much (and it dosnt run on cooking oil).
FYI: I paid $5000 for mine, from a dealer. It had 114,000 miles when I bought it. When I took it in for a "once over," Cummins said the engine should go another 400,000 miles or so before a rebuild.

Diesels will fetch a premium well above gassers. The pulled engine is probably worth $3000! But maintaining the running gear may run you broke on older ones.

I have links on my site for places that sell vegoil conversion kits for diesels. They start about $700. But you can buy parts and "roll your own" for a bit less, or to be more specialized. For example, I made my twin vegoil tanks by welding open-head drums end-to-end. (No kit would give me 60 gallons of heated fuel storage!)
dadeo wrote:i wonder: what if the oil you happen to get from behind a resturant is mostly, or all, animal fat?? will it accually work??
Yes, but perhaps not as well.

Animal fat has higher melt/gel points than unsaturated vegetable fat. If you're in a colder climate, the animal fat will solidify. There are a lot of people burning mutton tallow in Australia, where it's hot.

Personally, I avoid it. The best stuff comes from vegetarian restaurants, but is rare, since veggie restaurants tend to not fry stuff. Next are chinese/thai/japanese restaurants. They tend to have a lot less tallow in their oil.

Low on the list are burger joints or bar-n-grills. Anyplace that makes french fries will have a lot of starch and emulsified water in the oil. If it looks milky, pass it by.

For the step van fans out there, I keep mine alive with the help of Mill Supply. These guys are great, and they stock a lot of odd-ball step van parts. Some of their stuff (like aux heater cores, 12V lighting, large-vehicle suspension parts, etc.) may apply equally to busses.
Bytesmiths
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Post by Bytesmiths »

Damn! It logged me out! Link to Veggie Van Gogh is below.
:::: Jan Steinman ::::
:::: Veggie Van Gogh, a fossil-fuel-free (mostly) zone! ::::
motthediesel
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Post by motthediesel »

Hey Jan,
I just talked to you last week about step van front axles for my flacid diesel Ram, and now you show up here, small cyberworld, isn't it?
Very hard to find those P30 beam axles, -- now looking for 40's/50's Chev/GMC 1 ton axle. Turns out they have 8 lug hubs that will bolt right up to my brand new Dodge rotors, kismet!
Cheers!
moT

Sharkey's site is just the bee's knees, isn't it?
Sharkey
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Post by Sharkey »

Sharkey's site is just the bee's knees, isn't it?
I prefer to think of it was the Cat's Ass....
Guest

Post by Guest »

motthediesel wrote:Hey Jan,
I just talked to you last week about step van front axles for my flacid diesel Ram
Hey!

Still haven't gotten out with my tape to take the measurements you requested -- but it's on my "list"...
pdx

step van gogh

Post by pdx »

I had a Kurbmaster of similar design that ran on propane. Many lessons along the learning curve. It was converted into an experimental living space with a juicer and espresso machine with a 3 burner stove in the kitchen that doubled as a dj booth. Custom cabinetry and a queen sized bed made it a pleasure parade.I loved the "Merkaba"
captainkf
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Post by captainkf »

Do you have any photo's of your "plesure machine experiment"? I'd be keen on seeing it. Nice looking step van! I dig the machines that people have converted to run on dual fuel (veggie and diesel). -Richard
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