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Old 09-27-2015, 01:27 AM   #731
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Elliot, that looks like a Bulldog coupler. You must have had it loaded down like crazy for that to happen. Where's the picture of what was on the trailer?


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Old 09-27-2015, 12:39 PM   #732
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Yes, the coupler is a Hammerblow, sold under various names including Bulldog. Known as the best there is. This model is rated for 5,000 pounds trailer weight and 750 pounds tongue weight. They have bigger ones.

I was coming back from Burning Man, with bicycles, rugs, refrigerator, work table, scaffolding, tarps, much else.

The trailer started life as a boat trailer and has the axles close to the rear. This is normally an advantage, because the deck can be low to the ground without the rear overhang scraping. This allows me to load things by myself.

Of course, the front must be kept light.

Packing up at Burning Man, it looked like it would be a struggle to get everything onboard, so I piled bicycles high in the front, to ensure I would not run out of room. Joyful sleep deprivation definitely had something to do with this.

My real mistake was to start loading in the front. The trailer walls are removable, and I could perfectly well have set the tailgate in place and started piling things high back there. It would have been awkward to do, but it could and should have been done. The trailer would still have been over-weight, but the tongue weight would have been closer to reasonable.

So that's the lesson I want to share: When fatigued, make a deliberate effort to think clearly. When a little voice in the back of your head whispers "Hey Elliot, this doesn't seem right", stop, and take as long as it takes to think the situation thru.

The same thing happened when I arrived home. I backed Millicent into her usual parking spot -- and smacked the corner of my garage. And I actually KNEW that I was off course and closer to the garage than normal. But in the fog of sleep deprivation I chose to chance it.

I love doing Burning Man, and I don't mind the fatigue as such -- I have 11 months to rest up, so to speak. But from now on I will do things a little differently.

For one thing, the rugs and the scaffolding are off the packing list, being replaced by lighter materials. But the biggie is a heightened awareness of how easy it is to screw up when I am not at my best.
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Old 09-27-2015, 07:03 PM   #733
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Come to think off it, I remember seeing a bus pulling a trailer piled high with stuff. I didn't know that was you. I would have had a beer with you. You were so loaded that you were taking up three lanes.
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Old 10-02-2015, 12:38 PM   #734
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Just finished reading this whole post (and got pretty nervous when Elliot started to sign off when he was selling Millicent and again when the board made him crazy)! Sure glad that it stayed here long enough for me to read everything! I really enjoyed all the adventures and ideas for my little bus...
Thanks for taking the time to do this!
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Old 10-02-2015, 01:10 PM   #735
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My pleasure!
Yeah, that time when I thought I wanted to sell Millicent was a rough time. But the doctors fixed me good as new, and I wouldn't dream of selling her now.

Also, much of the credit goes to my buddy Peter, who has been my partner in this adventure all along.
In fact, Peter is driving her right now, on his way to Port Townsend, Washington, for the Kinetic Sculpture Race this weekend. That's too long a drive for me, and I have so much to do at home.

Millicent needs a lot of work this winter, most of it mentioned above.
It appears this board is keeping me logged in now, so I will try to continue the Chronicle.
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Old 01-20-2016, 04:41 PM   #736
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"Quarterly update."
We are receiving wonderful rain now, here on the West Coast. If this continues a couple months -- and the forecast seems pretty certain it will -- it will make significant inroads on the drought.

Which reminds me.... When the weather is dry, I keep Millicent's windows open --those with bug screens, that is. And of course I close her up when it rains.
And I close her most evenings, because of dew and fog.

Opening and closing takes a couple minutes, but moisture is the enemy. Mold mildew and rot must be avoided!
So after rain, I even open the tailgate and the front door during the day, and sometimes even run a box fan inside to move air thru.

I mention this, because you just might want to do the same.
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Old 01-20-2016, 04:51 PM   #737
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Excellent advice! --- Big tin boxes that are constantly going from hot to cool can condense HUGE amounts of water. Whether you notice it or not.
And nothing clears it out better than a lot of airflow (unless of course you happen to own a giant 220v hair dryer).
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Old 01-20-2016, 06:37 PM   #738
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Condensation, yes, and also rain sneaking in. While the factory no doubt designed the bus to be reasonably weather-resistant, some rain is sure to get in, and specially so when the wind blows.
Then there are the "holes" many of us create in the conversion process. I readily confess to assorted "breaches" in Millicent's body. So I am very meticulous about airing her out year round.
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Old 02-22-2016, 10:53 PM   #739
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Hello Elliot,
I just finished reading your entire thread, phew! Only took me 3 days! We are just starting on our short bus project and have enjoyed the ideas we get from this site. I felt the need to give you a shout because 1- I have family in clear lake and know the area well,
And 2- both my husband and I are born and raised Humboldtians. We love love love the kinetic sculpture race over memorial weekend! I am sure we have seen you there as we go as often as we can. Anyways, thanks for the long read! Onwards and upwards (upwards as I am headed to the bus roof tomorrow for the first time for cleaning and sealing)
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Old 02-23-2016, 12:15 AM   #740
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Hey Maffei!

My only appropriate response must surely be: Oh, I'm so sorry. Three times.

(Kidding!)

I have not personally competed in the KSR the last couple years, due to a bum knee, but I'm always there doing something. Setting up some of the course markers, for one thing. And of course, I bring at least one vehicle for someone with good knees to race.

I'm not up on short-buses, but there are plenty of them here in Clearlake. (Gallows humor.)

Yeah, I have certainly made many wonderful friends in Humboldt, and now I can be proud to count you among them. Please keep in touch!
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