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Old 08-05-2011, 12:52 PM   #41
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Re: Best Home Yet

This is the hole I cut on the fridge wall to house the water tank. This was before we built the bed frame. This is at the foot of the bed. Notice how we insulated the wheel hump with bendable insulation.


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Old 08-05-2011, 01:27 PM   #42
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Re: Best Home Yet

Wow, what an awesome bus! C'est magnifique! I love it! I gotta say though, if it were me, I'd lose the exhaust stacks. I think they would just draw unwanted attention, especially if you are an urban camper - poo yie! But otherwise, I think that bus is the bomb! Laissez les bons temps rouler! Hope I got my french right - my mom is Cajun, but I was raised a yankee! Ah well, c'est la vie...
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:01 PM   #43
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Re: Best Home Yet

Diesel Dan, ton Francais est bon (your French is good). Let the good times roll. I LOVE my stacks. They keep the exhaust up high. You gotta admit that they DO look cool.
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Old 08-05-2011, 02:02 PM   #44
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Re: Best Home Yet

Stanley came over one music night and when I mentioned that I was going to put upper cabinets in the front room, he suggested we make up some mock ups.

I got a bunch of cardboard from the shop and he proceeded to make these things so we could get the feeling of the ergonomics of it.

This is in the front room on the driver's side. Although the final product is not exactly the same, it gave us an idea of what it would be like.


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Old 08-05-2011, 02:04 PM   #45
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Re: Best Home Yet

A different view of the mock ups.


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Old 08-05-2011, 02:05 PM   #46
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Re: Best Home Yet

Passenger side mockups. You will see how they ended up. There are still many pictures.

Notice the front area above. All that metal was covered and the door was replaced with wood. I saved the placard that says ALL AMERICAN.

I only recently discovered that that signifies the chassis that this bus is built on.


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Old 08-05-2011, 02:08 PM   #47
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Re: Best Home Yet

Before I go any further with the building of the upper cabinets, I want to mention that the method I used is very viable. I made face frames with 3/4 plywood. I used L-brackets to secure the sides of the cabinets together from the inside with sheet rock screws. I also secured the bottom of the cabinets the same way. I then secured the cabinets to the inner ceiling of the bus with sheet rock screws and L-brackets.

As you can see from these photos, it is very secure and strong. Granted, I only weigh 145 lbs, but you can see me hanging from that cabinet. It is NOT smoke and mirrors. I don't think I could get that much weight in the cabinet that I am hanging from. It is the cabinet that is directly above the dog bed in the front of the bus. You will see pics of it later.

I know that it is common thought to use some sort of 2x4 framing to build cabinets. Let me assure you that it is not necessary to do it that way.

My method uses less lumber which translates to less weight.










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Old 08-05-2011, 02:13 PM   #48
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Re: Best Home Yet

Allow me to tell you about my dogs. Oh, by the way, would you pass the Grey Poupon? (HUH?) "Oh, I am sorry sir, but it was the usual brown". Well, that will have to do.

Oh, where was I? Oh yeah, dogs. Remember that little 1953 trailer you saw in one of the pictures? I said I had lived in it for five years. It was behind the Dodge motorhome and the bus, in a previous picture.

Well, Buddy (my gelding dog) lived with me for a few years in that thing. The trailer once housed my stained glass workshop. I have some pictures of that. Then it became an amazingly productive recording studio, despite it's size (11 by 6).

All the while, Buddy and I lived and slept in there. Fortunately, I was renting the space to park the trailer and had use of a garage that had a full bathroom and shower. I also had an electrical feed. My spot was hidden away on a friend's property here in Tenn.

Amazingly enough, both Buddy and Emma both found their way to my little trailer. Obviously, they were wanderers. That is precisely why they are are on a life term sentence on the leash. How I wish I had dogs that just wanted to always to be by my side, BUT NO, I have two dogs that in a split second, if they realize they are not "on the hook" , thats exactly what they will do---SPLIT.

OK, let me tell you of their virtues. Let me preface by saying that after so many years of living in vehicles, I tend to think of the vehicles as space ships because they are SO far away from the norm. Sometimes I think normal people might think of me as a subversive character. Well, that is their problem. I am the smart guy. I don't have a giant mortgage. Everything I own is paid for.

Back to the dogs. First, they are good astronauts in my space ship. They have never chewed up any of my stuff. They are very mellow when they are inside the bus, or any vehicle I may be in.

Emma, the black female found me two years after Buddy did. They are both Lab mixes. I am almost sure that Buddy has a small amount of Akita in him because of his front leg stance. Emma is totally black haired. Totally. Kind of a ninja dog. She is always quiet,except for when she sings.

Sings? You say. Why, yes I say. She has command of about eight notes, a very good glissando, both up and down. She has good phrasing. I first discovered her abilities when practicing the accordion. The only time she sings is when I play the accordion.

Noticing that her singing was not just a one time fluke, and recognizing, after a few weeks that there was a consistency in her delivery, I decided to try and find the key she liked to sing in and the style of music that would fit in with her utterances.

It's the blues in C or G. She also wails to an Am tango, but that is really not her key. I have one recording of her and if anyone should request to hear it, I could email the mp3 file.

Now on to Buddy. He does not sing. All he does is howl very loud when the fire engines leave the firehouse that is close to me. He is, however, my eyes and ears at all times when he is in the bus. I provide him with windows to look out of. Depending on his particular bark, I can tell if what he sees is human, animal, or vehicle. He is forever watching. I don't know if it is his nose or his ears that wake him instantly even at three in the morning. He is my RADAR.

Buddy weighs about 60 lbs. He likes to be outdoors during the day. I built him a large fenced in area out back of the bus. It has a real nice and large dog house. I have crawled in there one winter night and cuddled with him for a few hours. I was impressed with how warm it was. Both dogs sleep in the bus at night. Buddy is built like Arnold used to be. You know, the Governator.

Emma wants to stay inside during the day. Lucky her, she gets air conditioning. She weighs about 65 lbs. I walk both of them a few times a day. Buddy gets three cups of dog food in the evening. Emma gets only two cups of dog food. I can't let her explode. Here they are.






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Old 08-05-2011, 02:15 PM   #49
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Re: Best Home Yet

A few years ago, my friend, Bob Halloran gave me a roof air unit. It came off his 1989 Hawkins motorcoach. It also has a Cat diesel.

He wanted to replace both of his air conditioners with new, better ones. Actually, he gave me both of the old ones and I gave one away and kept the other one in storage for a couple years.

When I got this bus, the things that were missing, from the days of when it was an emergency management vehicle, were the fridge,diesel generator, and the two roof airs.

Luckily, I had the one in the Dodge motorhome and the one that Bob gave me. Shawn and I installed them.

Fortunately, there was the 110 volt wire already there. In this picture, you will see the one I got from Bob. It is in the bedroom area.

You will see at the top of the picture, one of the four original bus lights that I disabled and then filled in with that bendable insulation.

This stuff was stuck to the metal ceiling with that spray glue called Misty. I only used one layer on the ceiling as it already has 1 1/2 inches of fiberglass insulation between the inside skin and the outside roof.

Having raised the floor 1 1/2 inches and lowering the ceiling, this becomes a bus where anyone over six feet tall will have to watch their heads near the roof airs. Lucky me, I am only 5 foot 9.

Oh, now that I mentioned Bob, let me say that he is an awesome guitar player. I met him in LA in the mid eighties. We spent many hours learning from each other.

I could write for hours about him. To be brief, I will just tell you about a festival that we would go to every year.

For three years, we went to a town called Goodnight, Missouri. This was in 2004 to 2007. It was called Love Fest. It was in celebration of Zak and Mahra's wedding.

Zak put it on and there were three days of music, many bands,much food, many people, many golf carts.

Bob and I had already toyed with the idea of two people playing one guitar. We came up with a name for this two-headed guitar player: Bill Biffwinkle.

Here is a youtube video taken with someone's video camera. The sound quality sucks but the audience enthusiasm is very prevalent.

Bob is playing the left hand with the slide and I am doing the fingerpicking on the right hand. Bob had this shirt made that would fit both of us. I just watched it and it still makes me laugh.




OK, back to the ceiling. Following are a few pictures of the ceiling process.


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Old 08-05-2011, 02:16 PM   #50
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Re: Best Home Yet

We started the insulating of the ceiling from the rear and worked forward, removing the hideous five foot long flourescent fixtures as well as the original bus aisle lights. Then we glued the grey trunk mat carpet onto the insulation.

In this picture you'll see that the kitchen and bedroom have been both insulated and carpeted.


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