Been doing a lot of panel work on the body to cover up the windows. Starting with the rear, I welded in some angle iron hardpoints that serve 2 purposes: to give the large metal panel more connection points so it won't flex, and to provide a strong location to bolt in exterior brackets to mount a bike rack or other items.
MuddaEarth: I looked at your build and the way you did your rear window covers gave me confidence to mount mine on the exterior instead of the interior. My concern was that I wouldn't be able to cut the curves good enough to make it look decent, but seeing you work with the grinder inspired me.
Both small rear window holes are now covered. It's not going to win any awards for good looks, but my goal is to look more riveted, armored and deliberate. The 18gauge steel is backed with a wide band of thick 3M VHB tape providing extra adhesion and weather sealing. I sprayed the inside with rubberized underbody coating at the seams in several layers after priming just to make sure.
Also did the emergency side door window. This is the bathroom door.
It took a while to figure out how to get a metal piece fabricated to fit the opening at the old driver's window. There's still some creative work needed to make sure this piece is sealed. The panel is angled slightly, 1/4" in the front and overlapping the external body in the rear.
As I wait for the solar panels to arrive, I'm cutting the telescoping aluminum tubing for the tilt bars. I'll have to take them somewhere to get them precision drilled for the different settings. All of the raw tubes for all 10 panels weigh about 14 pounds, and will be a little less when I cut all of the pieces out of them. They also will take up minimal space which I am pleased about.
I have begun prepping the front dashboard area, getting ready for a major flooring fix, and then sealing it all off.
There are quite a few hidden air passages. That's important to me because I want to create as sealed of an environment as possible. I selected a 3" inline bilge blower fan that I will connect to an Amsoil Ea nanofiber series filter to draw in fresh air. I was hoping to create a slightly pressurized environment, but concluded that in a vehicle this size, it would be impossible. Also, the cat box area and bathroom will have one-way exhaust tubes, so any pressure I may create would natually flow out of those areas anyway. I also doubt I'll be able to 100% seal the entry and side doors.
Looking into the future of the environmental systems for the bus, I plan on having powered fan and duct systems, computer controlled based on temperature, that will do the following:
- move cold air from the floor to the ceiling
- move hot air from the ceiling to the floor
- exhaust hot air from the ceiling
- exhaust cold air from the floor
- cycle air through the bedroom at night
The plan is to actually be able to see the air tube, and have huge PVC ball valves to open and close primary systems.
The computer will just check various temperature sensors and power the corresponding fans one way or the other for a set amount of time.
Back to the present: does the bus even start? No. Does it even have a door? No. A driver's seat? Nope. These will be the next priorities. I'd like to get it able to drive around town by the end of September. We shall see. I've missed every self-imposed deadline so far.