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Old 03-19-2010, 07:05 AM   #21
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Re: Adventure Awaits!

I spent some time at the scrap metal yard the other day, and scored some shelving steel that I am going to use to attempt to close up the warning light holes. I also got some square stock that I was going to use to build some stairs that can go in the rear hitch, but this morning I woke up with a brainstorm. While I was there, I also spotted a large piece of aluminum ramp, that was used for wheelchair access. It is complete with aluminum railing, and some bracketry. I didn't think much of it until this morning. Then it hit me. I have to have this!

No, not the entire EcoRoamer, though that would be splendid. The tailgate/deck! I haven't much use for a rooftop platform, but a deck out back, that would be cool. It would mean relocating the lights, and not being able to see out of the back window, but that's okay, I think. I can put up a camera, and use some shallow LED lights.

The scrap yard has lots of aluminum tubing, I can use for adjustable legs, and at one forty a pound, it's not too bad either. Especially for a prebuilt platform like that. I am so excited about it, I think I might go and purchase it today at lunchtime. I am going to remove the railings, but keep the hardware for them. The railing is kind of bent, and unnecessary anyway.
Hee hee hee!

I also purchased a two thousand watt inverter at Harbor Freight the other day, as it was on sale. What are people's thoughts on that piece? Is it worth one seventy? Will it last long? We aren't exactly going to use the heck out of it, not fulltiming or anything. I probably didn't even need one that large, but it was there, and on sale... well, you know. I also got a new welding hood, auto darkening, because it was on sale for Fifty! As well as a lot of other odds and ends for the project, consumables mostly like cutoff wheels and brushes, etc.

I still need to hammer down the final location of all this cabinetry, and bolt it to the wall. I planned on welding nuts to the steel channel behind the wall, and bolting through the plates that are in the cabinets for this purpose. I do love Ikea cabinets. I was also considering putting a bar across the inside back, and bolting them down in more than two places per cabinet, but not sure it will be necessary. I am also planning on putting rare earth magnets in the faces of the drawers and doors to keep them shut while traveling. I have a collection of small magnets I used for a project at work, and they are totally underutilized, holding scraps of paper in my van. Probably another trip to Ikea in the next few days for more cabinetry. Hopefully they have replenished the as is section.
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Old 03-19-2010, 09:46 AM   #22
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Re: Adventure Awaits!

Quote:
Originally Posted by dentedvw
I also purchased a two thousand watt inverter at Harbor Freight the other day, as it was on sale. What are people's thoughts on that piece? Is it worth one seventy? Will it last long? We aren't exactly going to use the heck out of it, not fulltiming or anything. I probably didn't even need one that large, but it was there, and on sale... well, you know. I also got a new welding hood, auto darkening, because it was on sale for Fifty! As well as a lot of other odds and ends for the project, consumables mostly like cutoff wheels and brushes, etc.
Harbor Freight rules. They just put one in near my house (I used to have to order and have it shipped). It's the Ikea of tool stores .

My two cents on the inverter. I decided to buy a large cheap modified wave inverter and I'm planning to buy a small true sine inverter. I figure the real difference between a cheap one and an expensive one (aside from price and perhaps reliability) is the quality of the power that it makes. For most things the power quality doesn't matter. Box fans, refrigerators, microwaves, etc will run fine on ugly power. For the things that do matter, like flat screen TVs or stereos, use the low wattage nice converter. Our computers, (all laptops) change the AC power to 18V DC. So they are unaffected by the modified square wave.

Nice work by the way. I'm heading to Ikea next weekend to start my kitchen.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:32 PM   #23
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Re: Adventure Awaits!

Your rear deck idea with the scrap metal sounds cool. The cabinets are really nice, everything looks like its coming right along
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:46 PM   #24
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Re: Adventure Awaits!

Okay, so I spent a few minutes at the scrap yard this morning. Came away about $160 poorer for it. But, I got the aluminum deck, the adjustable leg hardware, one railing, some tread plate aluminum to make steps out of, and a few other odds and ends. I mocked it up real quick, and it looked like this:


Sure, it's crooked, but it's sitting on one leg and a kids picnic table. Yes, I walked on it, I am a clown. I am going to weld a mount for it so that it plugs into the trailer hitch, and has hinges to fold up against the bus. It's not as fancy as the one I posted a picture of, but I spent thousands less, I think. It has to be narrowed a bit, because it's about six inches wider than the bus. I first mocked it up so that it was hanging off the long way, but it would be taller than the bus by about eight inches, so it's a wash. It has to be cut down either way. I liked it the other way, but my wife liked it this way. Probably goes on this way.
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Old 03-19-2010, 12:49 PM   #25
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Re: Adventure Awaits!

And yes, it will have to have some lights put on it, they will plug into the trailer harness, which is handy because the deck plugs into the trailer hitch.
I can see us now, barbecue grilling on the back, only a short walk from the "kitchen". Maybe have to make an awning for this thing too.
I wanted a camera on the back anyway, this is just accelerating that idea. Easy for me, because I work with cameras every day. Not these kind though.
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Old 03-19-2010, 01:59 PM   #26
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Re: Adventure Awaits!

Aww man now I want a deck! Shame on you, giving people deck envy
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:45 PM   #27
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Re: Adventure Awaits!

I was thinking of using some kind of Trex decking. It doesn't seem to be too heavy and it won't rot. I'm planning on making just a little 4x8. How are you going to store the deck when traveling. Is it going to just go up against back door?

Bus looks great

Jackie
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:58 AM   #28
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Re: Adventure Awaits!

Thanks Jackie! Yes, it will fold right up, and sit against some rubber stops, and probably have a latch to keep it from rattling about when we are traveling. It will be hinged about four to six inches above the trailer hitch, perhaps more. I will hopefully start on the hitch attachment soon, but it's not pressing. I would like to have water on board and working by the end of the month, for our first trip, and things like that take precedence at this point.
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:59 AM   #29
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Re: Adventure Awaits!

Thanks Jackie! Yes, it will fold right up, and sit against some rubber stops, and probably have a latch to keep it from rattling about when we are traveling. It will be hinged about four to six inches above the trailer hitch, perhaps more. I will hopefully start on the hitch attachment soon, but it's not pressing. I would like to have water on board and working by the end of the month, for our first trip, and things like that take precedence at this point.
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Old 03-21-2010, 07:42 AM   #30
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Re: Adventure Awaits!

We went to Ikea again yesterday. The inside of the bus is starting to look like one of the Ikea displays, you know the ones. They have a sign that says "living in 200sq feet!" Unfortunately, the couch we chose dominates the front of the bus. Since it's only made of steel, wood, plastic, foam and fabric, we are thinking of hacking it to be less obtrusive into the walking area of the bus. Haven't tried sleeping on it yet, but it seemed like an okay choice.
Also bought the cabinet doors. Whoa. There went our water heater money. Looks like the only hot water we will have is from a kettle for a while. Drat. It's okay, I didn't have enough to buy a shower yet anyway.
Assembled and installed one more cabinet, the one that will house the 120-12 converter/fuse panel/battery charger. Going to cut it in and start cabling today.
Also received the under dash stereo mount that we will use on top of the dashboard. Hope to get to that today too. And some plumbing of fresh water, and grey water. Need to mount the tank. Doubt I will get to all those things today, but we will do what we can.
Leaving for Texas next week! Or, somewhere. And I still need to find the coolant leak. Too cold to do that today. Snow should melt in a few days. And make the bike run, the carb needs to be cleaned. Aghhh!
I will take some more pictures today.
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