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Old 07-20-2013, 12:06 AM   #281
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Oooooo, snazzy light, I like it!

Then again, I'm just really enjoying this build, sooooooo. Yeah.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:25 PM   #282
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Das Mel
Oooooo, snazzy light, I like it!

Then again, I'm just really enjoying this build, sooooooo. Yeah.
I'm glad you're enjoying it. I just wish it were moving along a little faster.

Kinda hard to work in this weather. Even if I use the garage to cut wood, getting from the bus to the house is an adventure when the rain is really coming down.


Still, I managed to get a few things done today. I printed a label for the breaker box:


And installed a few more wall panels:
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:37 PM   #283
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LED ceiling light update

An update on the LED ceiling light I installed earlier in the week: I had installed a pull chain switch in the light and intend to do the same for all the ceiling light fixtures. I want to be able to turn them all off at the wall switch by the door when I leave the bus, but want also to be able to turn them on or off individually to conserve electricity.

After having the light on for a while, I noticed the light output was flickering. It would drop down to about half its brightness for a few seconds, then come back up to full power. It was maddening. Switching it off and on would fix the issue, but I didn't know why it was happening.

This morning I checked the extension cord I'm using from the house to the shore power connection, and cleaned the conductors really well, then taped the end of the extension cord to the 50-amp adapter to minimize any chance that the connection was intermittent.

As I worked all day I watched that light to see if the problem was gone. I think it's okay, but the rapid response time of LED lights tends to show every fluctuation in the power delivery, so every little increase in the load (AC or freezer condenser kicking on, power drill being used, etc.) shows as a momentary flicker in the ceiling light. Maybe this is something I'll have to get used to, or maybe the circuit I'm plugged into at the house isn't sufficient for the load I'm putting on it. We're planning to replace the outlet with something a little heavier duty.
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Old 07-21-2013, 06:32 PM   #284
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

I can't believe how much work I'm getting done lately! It's so nice to work in the air conditioned bus that I really don't mind spending all day in there.

So, today I finished all the walls that need to be covered in the luan paneling. The bed wall is a separate task and I'll do that tomorrow. I studied it for a while today and I think I've come up with a good design for that wall. It has to be strong enough that I can build some handholds into it for climbing into bed. That's tomorrow's job.

There are lots of little gaps where the corners meet, but all of that will eventually be hidden behind cabinets and shelves.

Passenger side:


There is a gap in the paneling where the shower walls will cover the studs, so no need to panel that area. The gridwall panels (white things) are part of my photography display booth for an upcoming show.


Towards the front (lots of tools and stuff in here):
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Old 07-21-2013, 08:18 PM   #285
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Looks like it is coming together really nice. So will your AC be freezing your feet or your head when you sleep?
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Old 07-21-2013, 10:56 PM   #286
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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Looks like it is coming together really nice. So will your AC be freezing your feet or your head when you sleep?
Well, my feet will be under the AC unit, but I'm going to fabricate a duct from the AC all the way to the cab area that will distribute the cool air all around the bus interior. The duct will have registers that vent the airflow across the ceiling and one of the registers will be in the bedroom, pointing towards my head. The registers do have louvers that should help to keep the airflow spread across the area, but we'll see what happens once it's installed.
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Old 07-23-2013, 10:27 PM   #287
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Got my new Johnson Controls thermostat controller today and used it to convert my chest freezer to a refrigerator:


The chest freezer is so efficient that it took a couple of hours for the temp to come up to the new set point for the A419 controller. Once this thing is filled with food and drinks, it should be even more efficient (the contents will add a certain amount of thermal inertia).
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Old 07-24-2013, 01:54 AM   #288
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Perfect! That's our plan, we'll hit you back for an update in the next few months and see how it works out for you.
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Old 07-24-2013, 12:15 PM   #289
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

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Perfect! That's our plan, we'll hit you back for an update in the next few months and see how it works out for you.
I looked at a few different options for the thermostat controller, but found the Johnson Controls model had the most features. I like the "Anti Short Cycle Delay" that prevents the freezer/fridge from cycling too often and should help the compressor last a bit longer. I bought this freezer used on craigslist ($50) and the JC controller cost about $75 on Amazon, so my total cost for a chest refrigerator is a little less than a new freezer on sale. In fact, I saw this same model freezer on sale at Target for $127 and should have bought one to use as a freezer, but missed the opportunity. Still regularly scanning craigslist for another one.

Only one problem I had was closing the lid of the freezer with the wire for the thermocouple draped across the opening. The wire is about an eighth-of-an-inch thick and the lid and body of the chest are quite tightly sealed with matching rigid plastic parts and a rubber gasket. The plastic parts normally fit very close together and the wire was holding them open, creating a small gap even between the rubber gasket and chest body. The gap let in a little warm air and was causing formation of condensation around the opening, so I added a strip of soft weatherstripping to compensate. My freezer is an Emerson CF450, so this may not apply to other models or manufacturers.

I'm also going to place a bunch of jugs of water into the fridge to simulate a chest full of food and drinks and watch to see if this keeps the temperature a bit more stable inside.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:38 PM   #290
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Busy day today.

I cut and installed the wall between the bedroom and the rest of the interior, including a crawl-through opening with handholds. Once the steps are in, it will be super easy to get in and out of bed. The opening and hand holds were rounded with a router on the front face and smoothed in back to prevent splinters.


Here you can see the AC duct adapter I had to make (back in the dark corner) to get the cool air from the AC unit to the rest of the bus. I had to use two register boxes to adapt the AC outlet to 6-inch round tubing. (The bed platform has become my new storage area while I work.)


I bought insulated flexible ducts to bridge the gap between the adapter plenum and the wall.


I needed to have a place to mount a register for the bedroom and still vent the cool air to the front, so I built this box.


Tomorrow I'll connect the flexible ducts to the box and install the register. With the register closed, all the air will vent to the front (where I will eventually install more square ducting to send it where it needs to go). The only reason I had to use the flexible duct in the bedroom was so I could gain access to the AC if I ever need to remove or replace it. A rigid duct would be too ungainly in the small space and I'd never get it to fit right, anyway. While I would prefer something a little less "ghetto," this is the best I could come up with. Besides, it's over my feet so I don't need a lot of space down there.
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