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Old 08-13-2005, 01:02 AM   #1
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The White Elephant

All right, gang. I said I'd send up a flare when I got some pics of The White Elephant up, so. . . P-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-F-BOOF!

And now, for your spewing...er...I mean viewing pleasure, can you find the elephant at this link? http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/view...=WhiteElephant
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Old 12-30-2005, 10:26 PM   #2
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The Process Begins AT LAST!

Finally got to start some of the actual interior conversion process: low-tech, low-budget, nothing fancy, but fully functional. Posted a few pics in a new album here: http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/Conversion_Begins%21

I guess I'm not much of a photo journalist, I keep forgetting to take pictures of each step the way a lot of you other folks have. It really makes for a better idea of what you did and how. I'll try to do better in the future.
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Old 01-01-2006, 08:39 PM   #3
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Good going, Griff!

Those sloping walls are a nightmare to work around, aren't they? I know they cost me a few hours of swearing and throwing tools...

Pics look great. That's going to be a nice big closet. If you haven't already acquired a mattress (and if the funds are available) have a look at the Therm-A-Rest products by Cascade Designs. They are self inflating camping mattresses. We have some that we have used for about 15 years, and they are still as good as the day we bought them (except the one I dropped a steak knife into last month - gotta repair that).

What kind of camera are you using? Those pics look good.
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Old 01-01-2006, 10:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric von Kleist
Good going, Griff!
Thanks, Eric!
Quote:
Those sloping walls are a nightmare to work around, aren't they? I know they cost me a few hours of swearing and throwing tools...
The first one took a little time & effort, but I made a pattern so the second one was easy, as should be the rest.
Quote:
Pics look great.
Thanks again! I'm not much of a photographer.
Quote:
That's going to be a nice big closet.
There will be a small chest of drawers in there over the wheel well, too.
Quote:
If you haven't already acquired a mattress (and if the funds are available) have a look at the Therm-A-Rest products by Cascade Designs. They are self inflating camping mattresses.
Thanks for the tip, I'll check them out! I am currently using the worn out mattresses that came with the bus, but I too, plan on using air mattresses. To date though the only two I've found that will work are a little narrower than I would prefer. One of them is no longer available and the other is this one: http://tinyurl.com/bynxx
Quote:
We have some that we have used for about 15 years, and they are still as good as the day we bought them (except the one I dropped a steak knife into last month - gotta repair that).
Man, I HATE when that happens! They don't make good Mumbleypeg game boards, either!
Quote:
What kind of camera are you using? Those pics look good.
I am using a new (to me) Kodak Easyshare C300 that I got in trade for some computer repairs / upgrades. It has a lot of features that I haven't tried to learn (and probably won't), but the pictures you have seen are just point & shoot, then upload to the computer. I haven't done anything but push the shutter button and hook up the interface cable. I love the simplicity of it. A new one can be had for around $100.00 or less.
The other camera I had been trying to use did not have the resolution that this one does, as seen by the grainy texture (see http://www.skoolie.net/gallery2/T_Handle_Lock for example.

Overall, I can't even hope that my final conversion project turns out as nicely as yours & others, (I'm trying to see through my green envy there, Vonslatt ), but I think it will be a couple of steps above hovel!
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Old 01-02-2006, 09:51 PM   #5
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Bassproshops has this item 38-636-544-05 , which is the Therm-A-Rest Base Camp mattress. This is similar to what I have, but a newer model, and a bit thicker. I guarantee you if you try one of these, you will never touch another mattress. If you get one and don't like it, I'll buy it from you. They make another model that costs more, but this one (in the large size) is wider by a few inches, which is nice.
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Old 01-03-2006, 05:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
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I guarantee you if you try one of these, you will never touch another mattress.
I'll take your word for it, and as soon as I can spare the $60.00 & change, I'm gonna get one to try. Right now I'm only able to put about $5.00/week away for stuff I want to buy for TWE, and there are higher priorities at the moment. . .like screws, paneling, plumbing & electrical supplies. . .the list goes on, but the Thermarest Basecamp has been added to the list! Thanks again for the point in the right direction! The width would suit my needs much better than that Coleman mattress I was looking at.
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Old 07-20-2006, 08:14 PM   #7
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Score!

I finally took a couple pictures of the generator I got. It's an older Craftsman 1350 watt gennie that I got for a song. More details here:
http://www.thewhiteelephantstale.com/120Vac.html
It's a sweet little unit, runs smoothly and quietly! It just doesn't have a very large fuel tank, but I'm gonna see about changing that!
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:31 PM   #8
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Re: The White Elephant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
Griff, glad to hear you've improved with your health, I hope you continue to do so. Be interested to hearing some follow-up regarding some of your upgrades/projects. Reading your post should raise a big flag with others to insulate during their conversion. It's a whole bunch easier and cheaper to do it at the beginning, than trying to go back after the bus is finished...
Pulled this over here, Smitty, didn't want to completely wreck TygerCub's thread, she's got enough problems. I wish I had a diesel so I'd know what to suggest besides the already mentioned filters/pumps/injectors...

Thank you very much for the well-wishes! Like I said, I know what you (and a few others on this board) are going through and sympathize. I hadn't mentioned my situation as I didn't want to sound like I was rubbing it into anyone's face. It's been a long, arduous road to get some satisfaction, but finally some healing/pain relief is happening (even though I'll never get back to 100%)! Too bad...now that I'm getting some satisfaction Abominationcare is going to relieve me of future satisfaction(s)...

Yeah, I think additional insulation is a good idea, especially before building. Regardless of climate, additional insulation, done in the right places and with the right types, can help save a wad of resources in maintaining consistant inside temperatures, especially if you're trying to minimize grid dependence...and I am...

As far as some follow ups, it's also been a long, hard road - my TWE site is down for reconstruction (along with my other sites). Much has changed since I got TWE and the original plans have been just about totally scrapped. I will be posting updates to my TWE site after reconstruction. There probably won't be step-by-step construction pics, more like "before" & "after" pics. I always end up getting so involved when I'm working on it that I forget to take pics "during", heh!

Anyway, some of what I've got on paper, in prototype and in material gathering stages:

exterior - a fair bit including:

* paint, obviously, but will just be white, maybe with contrasting blue rubrails...am still deciding on whether or not ceramic paint for roof as 90% plus of roof will be covered by deck/solar...
* roof deck on rear half of bus roof...
* manually positionable (2-axis) solar panels on front half...
* deck will conceal powered/manual roll-out hard cover for solar panels for travel/severe weather...
* have rough design for my own awning using sail canvas/semi-trailer tarp/tarp bows, pvc pipe and miscellaneous hardware - may be either manual or powered...
* insulation/small item storage between floor joists and/or fabricated storage beneath...
* possibly adding a 4' back porch/deck and hitch for toad...(or maybe just skip the toad and opt-in on a "Hoveround" while I still can! )

interior - GOBS of stuff including:

* in addition to existing factory installed incandescents; low-draw led lighting throughout (with a some special wiring plans and materials), a couple 12vdc flourescents and a couple 110vac high-intensity area lights...
* reversable, ducted, air circulation utilizing low-draw computer cooling fans of various sizes/types, pvc fence post & picket materials and pvc rain gutter/spouting materials...
* front seating/dining/storage convertible to additional sleeping...
* utilization of space inside partition walls for small item storage...
* possibly pocket doors with counter balanced inserts that match the roof curve. The inserts will raise to close the gap between the straight top of the door frame and the curve of the roof when the door(s) is/are pulled out, and retract into the top of the door when the door is pushed back into the wall...
* utilization of space beneath overhead cabinets, i.e. having "trays" that cantilever from under the cabinets to store small items like flatware in the kitchen, bathroom toiletries, my small electrical/zircon-encrusted hand tools and parts over my R&D and computer tinkering benches (in my diabolical tin-foil encased lahBOHRahtohry) ...
* since the "new" "office" is now to be across the back door/wall but I still want to be able to use the door, there will be an overhead cabinet that will have a false front in the middle from which my computer monitor will lower and raise (hopefully utilizing a Dodge Durango power window set up I was given), the "desk top" itself will either be a simple lift out and set-aside, or (more likely) a split-centered, outside drop-hinge that will allow the two halves to just fall away. Either way, the rear door will not be blocked during travel or moments of sleep...
* the aforementioned cabinet over the rear door will also house some of the ducting from the a/c unit that will either be mounted in the door similar to how it is now, or by removing the top "destination" signage/glass and mounting it up there (so I can put my back door glass back in)...

There's much more (like Savonius windmills/turbines made from computer hard drive parts...), but that's plenty for now. Like I said, I'll be trying to get TWE's site back up in the next month or so, depends on what other stuff happens in between, heh, heh!

Like you, I've had a lot of time to think and plan, since I couldn't "do", but am fortunate enough to be able to think and plan in TWE. Sure wish you could find your bus!

If ya have any particular questions in mind, don't hesitate to ask, and I'll answer as best I can.
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:28 PM   #9
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Re: The White Elephant

How much of a factor are the chair rails in regard to structural support of the body of a bus (in this case TWE's Thomas body)?

I have an idea I'd like to incorporate in TWE, but it will require at least one, possibly two 1" notches to be cut in the chair rail between each wall rib on both walls, but I want to minimize loss of structural integrity if possible.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:41 PM   #10
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Re: The White Elephant

I would say go for it. I may be mistaken, but I think the chair rails are just that- a lip for the seats to attach to. I don't believe they are critical to anything structurally. They may add an iota of side impact protection. Cut away!
You could always firm up either side of your cuts in some way if it was going to cause you to lose some sleep.
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