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Old 01-21-2014, 07:03 PM   #341
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Work has been slow for the past few months, but I caught up with all the other threads that Iíve neglected and it gave me a boost of enthusiasm. For the past couple days Iíve been working on the fresh water plumbing and shower drain. When I used a hole saw to cut the hole for the drain pipe, I had to be careful to not hit one of the lateral i-beams that are spaced about ten inches apart.

I screwed into the floor to find the underlying i-beams and thought I had found the ones on either side of where I wanted to put the drain hole. After cutting through the 2x4 bottom plate of the shower wall, I thought, ďLet me check again ... just in case.Ē Sure enough, there was another i-beam under the floor. Apparently, there are two beams right next to each other here. Since I hadnít yet cut through the flooring, I could simply move forward a few inches and cut. This does add a complication: Iíll have to adjust the location of the gray water tank under the floor. Not a big deal, but itís an annoyance.


Something for you to envy: My floor construction. The disk (1) is the plastic (maybe fiberglass ... whatever it is, itís very tough) sheet that covers the entire underside of my bus. It protects the layer of foam insulation from road debris and dirt. The insulation (2) is sprayed in between the i-beams that support the floor. Itís between 1Ĺ and 2 inches thick. The floor itself (3) is a layer of ĺĒ marine-grade plywood topped with ľĒ plywood.


Hereís a shot showing the i-beam under the floor. Close call.


Once the drain plumbing is mounted through this hole, Iíll foam around it to keep out the elements and hold everything in place.

I needed to at least test the fresh water plumbing for leaks before I finish the shower, so I connected the garden hose and applied pressure. Immediately found one connection that I failed to cement and it sprayed a bit of water before I shut off the pressure. Fixed that and then found two small leaks elsewhere, including the NPT fitting at the inlet connection. Fixed all of this and re-applied water pressure. Good to go. Wired the water pump and it works, too. Until I get the rest of the plumbing installed, Iím only able to recirculate the water in the tanks, but at least I know everything works. Now I can finish the shower and once thatís done, the side walls will support a lot of other stuff including the wardrobe over the water tank platform.

Oh, and I installed a third LED ceiling light. Lots of light in there now.
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Old 01-22-2014, 10:11 AM   #342
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

For those who may be curious about the LED ceiling lights Iíve installed (three of Ďem), this is what they look like under the acrylic diffuser:


This is the brand and model, available at Home Depot for less than $30 each. My local store has only this model, but they also come in a 3000K color temperature version and one with a black aluminum housing.


The first one I bought was defective. It would get really hot (not typical of LED lights) and flicker randomly. I returned it and got a replacement as well as a second, and then bought a third with a Xmas gift card to complete my ceiling lighting. I love the color (very close to daylight-balanced) and they put out a lot of light in a smooth pattern all over the room. The best part is they only draw 10W each. I will eventually install pull cords in each housing so I can shut them off individually and use only the light I need, but still have the ability to turn off all three as I walk out the door using the wall switch near the entrance.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:33 AM   #343
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Ha!
PD, those are the same LED lights I'm putting in my laundry room and a closet in my house. Four in the laundry room, one in the closet. (I'm remodeling my basement...maybe when I finish that, SWMBO will let me work on the bus finally.)
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:38 AM   #344
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by Locutus
Ha!
PD, those are the same LED lights I'm putting in my laundry room and a closet in my house. Four in the laundry room, one in the closet. (Iím remodeling my basement...maybe when I finish that, SWMBO will let me work on the bus finally.)
Nice, arenít they?
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Old 02-07-2014, 02:52 PM   #345
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

For anyone thinking of using one or more chest freezers as refrigerators (using a remote thermostat controller), you might be interested in this dual-zone freezer I saw the other day. It has a deep freeze and a ďsoft freezeĒ section with separate controls for each. The smaller, warmer side can be set between 21-50įFóperfect for use as a refrigerator! My only complaint was the warmer section is so small, but I guess the manufacturer doesnít really intend for it to be used to store lots of daily-use food items. Itís a HiSense FC-33DT1HA, 9.0 cu. ft., $399.



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Old 02-08-2014, 01:03 PM   #346
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

On those led lights are the 110v or 12v? I am also curious as to why you got rid of your generator if your original plan was to be able to be in a remote locale for long periods. Wouldnt a generator make your seemingly all electric setup work better? I dont think that you will likely run very much 110 items off of batteries through the converter for long. My only experience is with inverters we use in our police cars to run printers and computers. Those items do not have high wattage draws and the dual battery system can run them for about an hour before the voltage is too low to operate and the vehicle must be restarted. In the fifth wheel my family lived in for a year we had 12v lights that ran off the coach battery as well as the heater and fridge controls. Our coach battery would last 24 hours as long as the heat was not running and we did not run the water pump much. I am by no means trying to belittle, rather I have been in great aww over what you have done so far and you seem to know what you are doing for sure. I am merely trying to use knowledge from your practical application to apply to my own build plans. One last thing about the dry ice, dry ice is actually carbon dioxide. Carbon Dioxide and confined space can and has equaled death. You should be fine as long as that freezer is 100% air tight. Look for a Carbon Dioxide detector. A local McDonalds had a woman die in a bathroom when their soda fountain machine had a rupure in the CO2 feed line.
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Old 02-10-2014, 11:20 PM   #347
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

The ceiling lights are 110V, drawing 10 watts each. Each will eventually have a pull chain installed so I can use only the one(s) I need at any given time. Iíll still be able to switch the whole circuit off via the rocker switch at the door.

I got rid of the generator because that thing was WAY too much generator for anyone building an efficient motorhome conversion. I could start every electrical draw I will ever have at one time and not need half of what that beast was capable of giving. Plus it was needlessly heavy and loud. (Watch the video I posted to hear just how loud it was.)

I suspect that the police car inverter/battery system wasnít really intended for long-term use without restarting. (Why should taxpayers foot the bill for a system that will run your computer and printer all day when you can just start the engine to recharge?) A set of four deep cycle batteries will easily power for a full day a few low-draw items and occasional use of high-draw appliances. I also intend to have a few solar panels on the roof to recharge throughout the day. If I can avoid buying even a small generator, I will do just that.

I donít know which post you stopped at, but Iíve decided to use two chest freezers for freezing and refrigeration instead of the dry ice solution. I suppose either of these would also support a dry ice block if the power died completely, so I still have that option. On the other hand, the CO2 may be a problem with the propane catalytic heater I plan to use, so I will still probably invest in a three-way gas/propane/CO2 detector. (I think I saw one at Lowes the other day.)
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Old 02-11-2014, 12:45 PM   #348
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Small update; doing some shower work.

Checking shower opening to make sure all the sides are flush and parallel:


The strings just touched with no tension at all. I also tried this with the strings reversed and they did the same thing. My luck never seems to run out.


Got the control hardware installed:


View from inside the wall (since I forgot to take a picture before I put up the wall and installed the escutcheon plate):
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Old 02-24-2014, 02:27 PM   #349
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

My side entrance door hinge was pretty badly worn when I got the vehicle and I decided that it was only going to get worse. It was already binding at the extreme limits of its travel and the bottom left corner of the door wasnít even closing all the way. Itís a full-length aluminum piano hinge, but because this was a public bookmobile, I suppose there had been a lot of open and close events over its history and they had taken their toll.

This was what it looked like recently. Where you can see the exposed hinge pin is how far down the door was out of alignment:


The previous owner tried to fix it by installing a few washers between the bottom two hinge joints to lift the door closer to its original position, but even this was only a band-aid solution and wasnít doing much to fix the problem:


I removed the rain gutter over the door so I could completely remove the hinge pin. After removing the door, I ground and filed the hinges on the door and jam to square their respective surfaces. Using 120 stainless steel washers (six at each of 20 joints on the hinge) carefully placed at each joint as I hammered the hinge pin back into position, I ended up with what I think will be a permanent fix. I think as long as I keep it oiled with good lubricant, the surfaces should wear evenly, and certainly slower than when this was seeing dozens or hundreds of opening events per day.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:48 PM   #350
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Re: The Camel Conversion Project

Sweet fix!
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