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Old 08-15-2008, 06:27 PM   #431
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

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Hey Elliot....

TANKS

Mk VI Tiger II, 88mm L/71 Main Gun, about 69 tons. Very heavily armored for it's day.
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Old 08-15-2008, 07:06 PM   #432
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Tiger?

Here, kitty, kitty , kitty....

M47. Elliot Naess photo
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Old 08-17-2008, 07:19 PM   #433
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

awesome work! I havnt read it all yet, but the photos alone are very inspiring!
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:00 AM   #434
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Took me a while to go through them all, but righteous work!

BTW, if ya ever get to the Right Coast and want to drop off that 1978 GoldWing, I could use some parts....
I'm FINALLY getting mine on the road. 6 years (eep!).

IF you part it out, please let me know.

TTFN
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:21 PM   #435
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate



(Bzzz - click -- flicker, flicker....)

Good morning, all you nice boys and girls out there in Skoolie land!

And thank you for all your cards and letters. Ryan asked about the Gold Wing, and I can report that the Gold Wing has failed to appear on my premises -- at least for the time being. Seems my friend who owns it was speaking thru his beer glass when he gave it to me, and I have been unable to keep him beered up long enough to actually bring the bike to my house. But I have not given up hope. Recently, while discussing a different topic, he voiced the opinion that he is generally opposed to giving things away for free, and this may have been a hint -- that he would like another beer. Or it might be worthwhile to offer him a hunnert for the bike. No hurry, ‘cuz I don’t have the airplane yet either.

Today’s episode of The Millicent Chronicles is “Something I Learned About Installing Nice Straight RV Windows In A Nice Wobblycroocked #$%^&* Skoolie”.

RV windows are designed to mount to a nice flat wall comprised of materials whose dimensions are known beforehand and unchanging throughout the area of the window. In contrast, Millicent’s walls are invented on-the-fly, wavy, uneven and otherwise out-a-kilter -- throughout the entire bus. The following two images show what happens when these two worlds collide:



This is the outside edge of a large window that was installed earlier. (The house across the street and my chain link fence are reflected in the window glass.) You should be able to see how the window and the wall fail to follow the same path. And you can DEFINITELY see what happens when Yours Truly attempts a quick caulking fix immediately prior to leaving on a rainy trip.


And here is the inside of a similar clusterblunder:



The inside trim-frame of the window fails to meet up with the window proper -- to varying degrees at various points around the window! -- and suitable screws of exact thickness and lengths prove quite elusive, to say the least. Skilled technicians call this an “arghhh”.


Now.... The crack(pot) scientists at the Clearlake Mechaniacal Laboratorium Research & Development Campus of Fairweather Industries have developed a New-And-Improved Method that may solve this problem. To wit:



Tah-dah!: The Riveted Window. This recently installed Wash Room window was installed by the revolutionary method of drilling-a-bunch’a-holes and riveting the window directly to the skin of the bus. (Not all rivets are in place yet in the pitchure.) If we did this to you, it would probably hurt, so do not try this at home without adult supervision. But Millicent is a tough girl, and hardly cried at all. Now we can install the trim on the inside FREE-FLOATING IN RELATION TO THE WINDOW ITSELF, with any-old handy screws, and then we will simply fill the gap -- however uneven it may be -- with black foam weather-stripping or any other material that presents itself as suitable to this non-critical task.

Now, wasn’t that fun?!

We may not be back on the air until after Burning Man, so be good, and obey your parents. Good bye for now!


(dink' ' ')
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Old 08-19-2008, 02:32 PM   #436
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elliot Naess
We may not be back on the air until after Burning Man, so be good, and obey your parents. Good bye for now!
Thanks for the lesson and have a great burn!
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:01 PM   #437
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate



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what would you have done differently? I'm just looking ahead........
Excellent, that's what it is all about, Smitty! Learning as we go, and learning from each other.

Nothing comes between Millicent and her Calvin Kleins.
Well, except insulation. The one wall area that is somewhat finished -- left front -- has fiberglass insulation, and the rest will get insulation eventually.

As for the wavy skin, I had not noticed.
Allright, all right... she's no Prevost. So one thing I might have done differently, to minimize waves, is to line up the outer surface of the window post extensions with the surface below and above the windows, so that the skin would attach to the same plane throughout. I just didn't bother. I figure, once it is all painted like a 1967 hippie shack, nobody will notice a few wrinkles -- and I have only so much time and patience.
An other thing about the wrinkles, is that I used very thin aluminum -- around .050 -- normally used on 18-wheeler trailers. (It was free.)
There is reported to be a trick that can be used to get such skins tighter, and that is to heat the material before installing it. When it cools, it contracts and pulls some of its own wrinkles out. But I have no idea how to heat such sheets beyond what it sees in nature -- who has that huge an oven?!
One thing that can be done, is what I did on Millicent's forehead. That entire forehead is rock hard and there is no "oil-canning" or other movement of that skin at all, period. ...Because, I filled that entire cavity with expanding foam. This is the stuff they pour into boats, to make them (more or less) sink proof. You mix two liquids, and the stuff foams up and hardens at 30 times its original volume, filling nooks and crannies as it expands, and exerting a bit of pressure on its containment -- this last depending on how tightly you contain the stuff as it expands. (People have detonated stuff with it!) But even if you get a nice tight foam filling, this is not going to correct any misalignment of mounting planes and rivets.

To learn more about smooth skin, take a look at the web sites where they convert "real" buses, like Eagles and MCIs.

Continuing.... Oh yea.... One specific answer I can give about the window pillars and skin alignment: When I lifted the roof, I left the window pillar outer skin "strips" on, and slipped the extensions into the "tubes" formed by the "hat sections" and the skin strips. You may have noticed that I jacked the roof up higher than final position in order to do this, then lowered the roof into place. But as soon as that was done, I wound up peeling the "skin strips" off and exposing the interior of the hat sections, so I could perfectly well have taken the "strips" off first, and set the extensions into the hat section from the side. Then I could have used C-clamps and some sort of alignment shims to set the outboard surface of the extensions where I wanted them, just before welding.
This may be THE NUMBER ONE ERROR I made at that stage of Millicent's development. In which case... I did pretty darn well for a first effort, I dare say.

Now. Here comes AN UDDER DING I OURGHT'A AH' DIDDED DIFFERT. Possibly. And this is one of those kicking-myself-to-sleep things. Because now I want to install some sort of roof rack, and I realize that I could have incorporated the legs of the roof rack IN THE WINDOW PILLARS. The idea is to cut little recesses in the roof edges, so that the pillar extensions can continue upward above the roof. Put an other way, when the hat sections curve inward to form the roof bows, the window pillar extensions would continue straight up. It would be fabulously strong, and it would look fabulously neat. The only problem would be sealing out the rain, but this is doable with caulking and paint -- and checking regularly for cracks.
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Old 09-04-2008, 07:29 PM   #438
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

good to see that you survived the burn, hopefully with nothing but good experiences.
when ae we going to see some pictures of the complete 1piece extended door?
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:42 PM   #439
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate


Survived... You bet. I suppose I "do" Burning Man a bit gently and maturely, so no form of survival is much of an issue. In fact, Peter and Jerri and their Baby Sam were with me, and if an eight month old baby can thrive at Burning Man, well... how awful can it be?

Like many things, Burning Man is what you make it. You can camp with the "ravers" at 2 O'clock and A Streets and fry your brain with noise and drugs, or you can camp with me on 7:30 Street and a bit out "in the suburbs" and keep an eight month old baby perfectly happy and healthy thru it all.

Now. We learned some things about three adults and a baby living in Millicent for a week.

The bathroom is too small. I paid $635,- for a top-of-the-line RV toilet, so I could be comfortable, and then I built walls around that toilet that force me to sit almost sideways and to bump my elbow every time I reach for the tissue. I wanted to dedicate as little space as possible to a room that gets used only a few minutes a day. Wrong. I'm bringing this up so you can avoid the same mistake. Watch for a Wall Moving Project soon.
Also, in such a small overall space as a bus, the bathroom should be well sealed off and insulated for noise. It's a matter of common courtesy.

Heat was NOT an issue, even with Baby Sam onboard. We kept the "draw bridge" in the rear of the bus partially open during the day, and the breeze kept the interior cool. This method failed only during the dust storms, when we closed everything up tight, but then the dust shielded us from the sun, so it was still OK, just a tad stuffy. We never bothered to plug in the air conditioner we had brought.

We went thru a lot of water and filled the gray water tank in a hurry. I'm mentioning this also as general advice to install MORE and BIGGER tanks if you are going boondocking in any way. More tanks will be installed in Millicent soon.
Being able to offer people showers with at least a couple of gallons of water to spend is a great treat to share at Burning Man! Some of the most astonished and delighted faces we enjoyed seeing in our camp, were on visitors that we "tossed in the shower" as a treat/gift.

Overhead bunks can be a problem -- hitting my head on them and otherwise in the way. Folded up, they are fine, but then they cannot be used as storage shelves. So watch for overhead bunks to be raised/removed. I DO wish I had lifted to roof three feet instead of just two.

We did not use the dinette much. And the other table, the "clever" folding one behind the driver's seat, we used so little that I tore it out and discarded it when it turned out to be a nuicance. Elbow room can be more valuable in a bus than clever gadgets.

We went to Burning Man with the new door unfinished. I got the latch installed and operational with a bungee cord as the spring that keeps the latched in the closed position. And all the new surface area of the door is still only tack welded together and quite out of alignment. Still, it was perfectly adequate. And the larger door is a true blessing to live with.

Now some bad news. I am fed f-@#$%^&*-n' up with RV equipment. That Thetford Aria Classic "Rolls-Royce-of-RV-toilets" had a rather serious manufacturing defect that took me many hours to correct when I installed the thing a couple of weeks ago. More later, with photos. And the flushing pedal sounds and feels like I am stomping my foot thru a pile of crushed rock. Most likely, it will break soon -- the mechanism is all flimsy plastic. Brand spanking new, never used before this week -- at $635,-!

And the big Dometic fold-out awning that came from the camping trailer I scrapped.... (I have not shown it installed on this forum. Not the little one on the left -- that one is simple enough to work fine.) That big awning has/had the most ridiculous, complicated and flimsy "arms" and "legs" and whatever the folding structure would be called, that the #$%^&* thing proved unmanagable. It has been "returned to the soil". RV crap. Made for "Ma and Pa Kettle" who have nothing better to do than commute to the RV repair shop.

But let's finish on a happy note. We brought 200 pounds of dry ice instead of a refrigerator. Oh... we did bring a refrigerator -- but a dead one, on its back, serving as a big ice chest, installed on the (flat bed) trailer. We put the dry ice in the main compartment and "wet" ice and other frozen stuff in the former freezer compartment. This worked very well. Except that the dry ice did not last long enough. We still consider this experiment a success, as we are pretty sure the dry ice can be made to last much longer with shade over the box, and perhaps additional insulation.
Ice cream is also a good Burning Man treat to share!
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:30 PM   #440
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Re: The Millicent Chronicles; two foot roof raise, big tailgate

great report, and wonderful insight on overpriced rv stuff
look at grain hauler tarp systems that roll across the top of the trailer, and the monster awnings that the racecar haulers use their has to be a combination of those systems that would work and not be to difficult to set up and stow.
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