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Old 07-02-2011, 08:54 PM   #11
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Re: Green Energy Project

While shower and bathroom sink water are considered "grey water" a lot of states consider kitchen sink water to be "black water" due to their high solids content, i.e. food particles, and food grease and cooking grease. This "black water" designation means kitchen sink water (water collected from dish washing) is legally considered "sewage". I certainly do not recommend disposing of sewage down any storm drain. You will make friends with the local law enforcement very fast. Besides, isn't dumping any used dishwashing water down any street drain "when no ones looking" kind of the opposite of what your trip is about? You are afterall traveling the country documenting how cities are implementing "green technology".
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Old 07-03-2011, 12:36 PM   #12
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Re: Green Energy Project

So after a morning of research we have discovered that you are exactly right. I had no idea storm drains didn't connect to sewage drains and don't end up at a treatment facility. Richmond has a Stormwater Utility program that everyone pays tax on but they simply maintain the drainage system which among other things helps prevent sewer backup. (http://www.richmondgov.com/common/faq.aspx) The question I still have is if you use all natural cleaning supplies such as baking soda, salt, borax, soap flakes, white vinegar, or eucalyptus and tea-tree oils what is the real environmental impact of dumping these and food particles in the woods since they all biodegrade? I came across an interesting website (http://planetgreen.discovery.com/travel ... mping.html) that outlines a "green" method of dish cleaning for campers using just such natural cleaning supplies. We are also considering having a food scrap compost bucket that may help reduce our waste problem. But as for the water it does seem that if we stay in cities, regardless of the real environmental impact, the law may force us to use conventional greywater storage tanks and find appropriate dump sites. We hope no one is under the impression that we are advocating illegal activity or bad environmental practices, quite the opposite. Neither Angie or I were environmental studies majors and this whole project is a learning process, including sharing our own learning experiences. So thank you for your input and sharing your knowledge!
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:04 PM   #13
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Re: Green Energy Project

Your biggest problem is that you are trying to apply "fixed position" environmental practices to a "mobile" life. You have to change, adapt and/or find alternatives. Like having solar panels that are able to be tilted in more than one direction and still be able to lay down flat on the roof. Many common "green" activities simply are not practical when you are on the road. As for composting... vermiculture (earthworms) is probably just about your only option. And you would have to keep them inside (under the kitchen sink) when the weather gets too cold or too hot. As a full-time RVer, that alone tends to be "greener" than many folks would think. We live in a smaller footprint, we have less material "stuff". We heat/cool a much smaller area. We generally use less fuel and travel fewer miles in a year than stix-n-brix folks. We use less water because we live in a smaller home and have fewer clothes to wash, fewer plates & cookware to clean. We had metered electric when we were in TX. Our electric bills tended to be pretty low because we have fewer electrically powered "toys". RVers also tend to be more aware of what they are putting down their toilets and drains. After all, we carry it around with us and deal with it more often.

BTW, pretty much everything eventually biodegrades.. some things just take longer than others.
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Old 07-03-2011, 08:18 PM   #14
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Re: Green Energy Project

Unfortunately they don't right laws for certain lifestyles. Even if you are using earth friendly cleaners and it's only a few food bits that will eventually decompose it is also the cooking grease and such. If someone who operates a mobile food preperation vehicle, which is one of the things the laws were written for, can't just dump his/her dishwater on the ground then you can't either. It seems silly since in your case it is a small amount but as mentioned by a previous poster if everyone started doing it then it would have a hugh environmental impact.
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Old 07-04-2011, 10:58 AM   #15
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Re: Green Energy Project

Found our scooter! 2001 Honda Elite 50cc 3kmiles for $450. Little cosmetic wear and tear but runs fine and right in our budget .
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Old 07-16-2011, 02:29 PM   #16
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Re: Green Energy Project

Update:
Shower wall is getting there.. We decided just the wood panel made it feel too small and compartmentalized, so I added some windows from scrap plexiglass I had and it opened back up pretty nicely. Still needs a "u" shaped curtain rod, plumbing underneath, and a coat of oil paint. The shower base was a little flimsy after I cut it down, so I built a box around it and filled the voids with spray foam. Feels good now.



Built some shelving, probably for our clothes. The metal studs are easy to use but I'm not sure the weight difference is worth the extra time and aggravation dealing with self tapping screws... grrrr But I have a few lengths left so I'll probably build some more shelving above the cabinets and probably in the trailer.



And finally I got the uprights for the trailer enclosure welded up with my little hobby welder. Not super stoked about the quality but its all I have to work with unless I want to spring for a rental which wont be cheap. I think by the time I'm done it will work fine for the trailer but I'm more concerned about the roof deck supports. Just have to wait and see.

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Old 07-16-2011, 10:56 PM   #17
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Re: Green Energy Project

hey hey hey!!! i am so excited to see your build and your plans, my fiance is from Charlottesville and we are probably driving our skoolie, a 78 pax thomas up there in a few weeks on our way to canada!!!!! on vegg also but doing the conversion myself, it will be the fifth one i have done and i have used greasecar kits for all the others and liked them. very good product and glad you upgraded to the heavy duty components.

anyway let me know if you guys will be there. i would love to check out the bus and chat and maybe even find out where the good grease in Charlottesville is as we are only there a few weeks of the year and almost always have our own supply with us anyway.


check out our build on the full size section it is called the G-bus

Edit i just realized it sounds like you bought it in Charlottesville and drove it to richmond. we do have plans to score some veg in richmond too either on the way up or on the way back so anyway good times .... the other guy (we are meeting to get some oil from) has a ford e350 skoolie too, maybe you guys could do battle and my bus could judge the winner?!?!??!?!
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:31 AM   #18
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Re: Green Energy Project

RJZ-no veggie system pics?
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Old 07-17-2011, 12:01 PM   #19
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Re: Green Energy Project

you first... but seriously i am just actually doing it now so it is not converted yet. i have all the hardware(hopefully) i just need to get out there and do it.

with what i suspect is bronchitis and a heat index of 110 if has been difficult.

are you putting your WVO tank under the bus or inside the cabin? also you will better your electrical knowledge when wiring the valves up. they are so simple it may all start to make sence,

try thinking about it as water, like a stream from the battery through the wire to the bulb or whatever, only it has to get back to the source somehow (ground) usually through the metal body of the vehicle but sometimes with a separate ground wire.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:15 PM   #20
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Re: Green Energy Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by rjz5400
you first... but seriously i am just actually doing it now so it is not converted yet. i have all the hardware(hopefully) i just need to get out there and do it.

with what i suspect is bronchitis and a heat index of 110 if has been difficult.

are you putting your WVO tank under the bus or inside the cabin? also you will better your electrical knowledge when wiring the valves up. they are so simple it may all start to make sence,

try thinking about it as water, like a stream from the battery through the wire to the bulb or whatever, only it has to get back to the source somehow (ground) usually through the metal body of the vehicle but sometimes with a separate ground wire.
viewtopic.php?f=16&t=5937&p=75668#p75668
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