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Old 08-11-2011, 07:05 PM   #251
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Engine: CAT 1160 V-8 Diesel
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Re: Best Home Yet

Getting away from the garage side, I'll post some pics of my pet tree.

Recently, I trimmed it back. It was getting too tall. I also put it in a larger pot.
After the trimming, it looked like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree.

I knew that it would grow many more leaves. It did.

I had wondered how I would get the tree in "drive mode".

I solved the problem most eloquently. As you can see in these pics, I have it secured on the engine cover where I can view it while I am driving.

It will give me love and joy during my travels.








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Old 08-11-2011, 07:10 PM   #252
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Re: Best Home Yet

Here is a report on my 60 mile test drive.

The first stop was at the tire shop. I remember that Jesse had put 100 psi in the tires.

I was confused when I saw, on the side of the tires, that they are rated at 120 psi.

I asked Jesse about this. He said he only puts in 100 psi because when the tire heats up while driving, the pressure will increase to 120.

I can assure you that after a half hour of driving in 90 degree weather, the tires were very warm.

It sounds like it makes sense to me, but I am not totally convinced.

The next part of my little jaunt was going to the camper store to get propane. Either my gauge is malfunctioning or the tank is smaller than I thought.

I am almost certain that it is at least a 50 gallon propane tank. I could only get 33.9 gallons in there. I saved some money there. The bill was $101. I got the propane for $3 a gallon.

Next was a trip to the truck stop to get diesel. It appears that my fuel gauge is also malfunctioning.

It was just under 3/4. I figured that it would take 25 gallons to fill it up.

I am laughing as I write this because I realize that I have a 60 gallon fuel tank, not a 100 gallon fuel tank. Therefore it would only take 15 gallons to fill up.

Fuel was $3.79 a gallon. So I also did not spend as much as I thought I would for fuel. The bill was $51.35.

Strange thing is that the fuel gauge still reads 3/4.

Now on to the drive to see a friend.

I got a good handle on where I was situated on my lane. Conceptually, I hugged the yellow line. From the driver's seat, it appeared that I was actually ON the yellow line, but after many visual checks through my side view mirror, I learned that I was 4 inches on my side of the line.

The steering is a little squirly but not bad. It just takes some getting used to. I never felt in peril.

I got the bus up to 60 mph. It sure is loud, having the engine right there next to me.

A diesel engine sure is different than a gas engine. On this bus, you just press the pedal to the floor and let it do its thing until you get to the speed you want.

The 4 speed Allison automatic transmission shifted well. On flat grades, it wouldn't stay in third too long before shifting to fourth.

Actually, there is not much of a difference between 2nd and 3rd. However, you can really tell the difference when it goes into 4th.

I did notice that when you are going along at, say 50mph, and you let off the gas pedal, the bus really doesn't slow down much.

I can see that if I was going down a long hill, I would want the transmission to be in a lower gear.

The brakes performed very well. There was a street light that turned red. I was very close to it. I was impressed that when I stomped hard on the brake pedal, the bus stopped quickly.

Having gotten all the items in the bus in (drive mode), I am happy to report that nothing went flying. Most things, like the computers, lamps, and studio gear on my desk are screwed in.

Some things in the rest of the bus are bungeed in.

Apparently, I must have a lot of weight in this bus. I did a quick estimate of having added 3600 lbs of stuff in this bus. It may be even more.

There is a fairly (steep?) hill to get to my friend's place. It is perhaps 3/4 of a mile.

I was disheartened to see the bus slow down dramatically. Fortunately there was a passing lane. I stayed in the slow lane.

I sure wish I had a six cylinder engine. But, I got what I got.

Had that hill been a long grade, I would have downshifted to 3rd gear.

I DO have a switch for flashers that is very accessible.

All in all, it was a successful journey that boosted my confidence in driving this bus.

OH! I forgot to mention how I love the (bouncy bouncy) of the air ride seat.
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:12 PM   #253
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Re: Best Home Yet

Here are two pics from when I did my 60 mile test run.
I had gotten the fuel tank filled, and the propane tank filled.

These are photos of where I was visiting my friend, Dottie.




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Old 08-11-2011, 07:13 PM   #254
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Re: Best Home Yet

On my 60 mile test drive, I noticed that the stink from the holding tank was entering the bus.

That happened because the tank was full, and the smell was entering the open windows from the vent pipe at the top of the bus.

Here are a few pics of the "tube of gloom". I emptied the tank contents into the stub-out for the septic tank at Danno's place.

Dottie gave me some RV deodorant to put in my holding tank. No stink on my big trip.

It is a STANKY proposition to fill the tote tank and wheel it over to the stub-out while holding the tube up.




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Old 08-11-2011, 07:15 PM   #255
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Re: Best Home Yet

My GPS (Sony) hooked up and ready to provide information. I inherited this from my Dad.

It was very useful for telling me my MPH, as well as figuring out the mileage, which I used for computing my MPG.

The shaft of my speedometer cable in the bus is bent. The speedometer just goes wacky and the speedometer needle bounces all over.


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Old 08-11-2011, 07:17 PM   #256
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Re: Best Home Yet

Pics of loading the two storage bays on my bus.

This first photo is of the bay on the passenger side.

In this bay there is my telescoping ladder, 4 diesel tanks that are five gallons each, two hydraulic jacks, two jack stands, and three funnels.

Also, in the photos after this one, you will see how I planned for the tote-tank to fit exactly into the bay as well.








Here you see how well the Tote-tank fits perfectly. (Yes, I did plan it out).






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Old 08-11-2011, 07:19 PM   #257
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Re: Best Home Yet

Here is the driver's side storage bay.

It contains a bunch of 12 volt lighting fixtures, two power converters (120 volts AC to 12 volt DC), The muffler for my generator (which is not hooked up yet), various motor fluids, the "tube of gloom", and a sundry of other items.


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Old 08-11-2011, 07:21 PM   #258
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Re: Best Home Yet

Soon I will get to the report of my journey.

For now, here are some pics from the day before I left.








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Old 08-11-2011, 07:23 PM   #259
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Re: Best Home Yet

My bus and my dogs.










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Old 08-11-2011, 07:28 PM   #260
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Re: Best Home Yet

AND NOW, the moment you have been waiting for. The Report.

The day before I left, I had a nice meatloaf dinner that was given to me by my friend, Dottie.

The day I left, I ate a big piece of Quiche that my friend Paige gave to me.

Actually, I discovered that my trip was a little over 500 miles.

I left at noon so that I could get through Nashville when it was not rush hour. During those hours, the freeway traffic is not much different than being in Los Angeles.

Of course, when leaving, I had to drive on the narrow road I lived on. That is still a tricky endeavor.

By the time I got to my destination, I had a good idea of where I was placing my bus towards the center of a road.

In getting close to my destination, I had to drive 12 miles on windy narrow roads. I went slowly and safely. I never once went off the right hand side of the road which is a good thing because the shoulder was lower than the road.

I left the small road on which I lived and headed to the truck stop about 12 miles away. I filled up on fuel and got my bus weighed.

I am a little confused about the weighing results that I received. It stated that my front axle was 10000 lbs. (ten thousand?). The back axle was 12000 (twelve thousand?)

Obviously the total was 22000. I think that I may not have been situated on the scales properly.

From the truck stop it was just down the street to the interstate (Hwy 40).

AH NOW! My first highway driving experience. HERE WE GO!

As I approach the entrance ramp, I press the GO pedal all the way down.

With some trepidation I feel unsure of how it will be to drive this bus for several hundred miles.

GO RUDY GO!

The bus takes a bit of time to get up to speed. There is not much traffic.

It was "pedal to the metal" all the way to my destination. Top speed is 67 mph on level land. I did get it to 72 while going down hill.

There were a few uphill grades that got me slowed down quite a bit. (45mph). The transmission never did downshift though. I can imagine going 25mph in third gear up some grades out west. That is a scary thought.

Driving on the highway was comfortable.

As you know, my steering is a little squirly. At top speed, with no tractor trailers close to me, the bus steered very easily with not much play.

When following tractor trailer trucks, the turbulence behind them made it a little difficult to keep a good straight line. Also when they passed me, it was the same.

I had to keep both hands on the steering wheel for the whole trip.

I made a thermos full of Earl Grey tea. The bungee cord that hold my plant was a convenient place to support my old Alladin thermos.

I was so busy concentrating on driving that I just drank the tea out of the thermos instead of filling a cup.

Coffee works for keeping people alert. I can only drink a half cup of coffee and then it wigs me out and upsets my stomach.

Tea keeps me alert and does not upset my stomach.

So, it's pedal to the metal, and I am cruising at 67mph. It is a semi cloudy day and the temperature is in the 70's.

The speedometer needle is going wacko. The GPS gives me my speed indication.

The oil pressure gauge is maxed out at 100psi. The temperature gauge reading varies from 180 to 195 degrees depending on whether I am on flat land or climbing grades.

The ammeter gauge read in the middle. The batteries were plenty charged.

The air gauge remained at 110 psi. The brakes functioned flawlessy. Plenty of braking power.

The fuel gauge never reads over 3/4 of a tank even when the fuel tank is full.

It is quite loud while sitting in the driver's seat when this bus is moving. I had a hard time hearing people who called me on my cell phone.

At 67mph I got 8 miles to the gallon. My Dodge class C camper had a 440 cubic inch gasoline engine with a four barrel carburetor. It weighed 10500lbs and only got 6.5 mpg.

I was surprised at how smooth the bus rode, despite not having air bag suspension. My bus has humongous leaf springs and shocks that are probably as old as the bus.

What really made the ride comfortable was my air ride driver's seat platform. It was GREAT.

The first day, I drove a little more than 250 miles.

The only thing that was sore was my leg from having to keep the GO pedal all the way to the floor.

Coming up next are some pics from where I stayed at Wal-Mart overnight.
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