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Old 09-06-2015, 11:36 AM   #21
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Dragonpop and nat_ster, thanks for that info. My favorite part of build threads is reading all the knowledge other members bring to them, so I'm learning a lot from stuff like this.

Nat, are you recommending cutting directly through the rails with the wood blade and then removing the bolts another way? The bolts are the real problem (they're steel), and even if we cut through the aluminum rails, they don't budge. Mr. phoenix tried cutting straight through the aluminum (unsuccessfully, he used the abrasive blade), but said he'll give it another go with the wood blade and see what happens.

Dragonpop, we'll pick up a split point bit today and give it a try.

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Old 09-06-2015, 02:47 PM   #22
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Tried cutting through the rails using a wood saw blade, and it worked all right, but still doesn't do anything to touch the bolts. Working on a few ways to drill them out.

But in the meantime, I got this Wedgewood apartment stove (will convert it to propane) on craigslist:



I love vintage stoves; they are built like tanks. It looks big in the picture, but is only 22" wide. It needs a lot of cleanup, but for $50 it was a pretty sweet deal.
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Old 09-06-2015, 06:15 PM   #23
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That's a beautiful appliance!
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Old 09-06-2015, 08:17 PM   #24
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Ohhhh...nice! --- I'm also a fan of the early appliances. Had a Chambers many years back. Best damned stove I've ever owned. I would take one of them over any fancy, schmancy Viking or Wolf any day.
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Old 09-06-2015, 08:37 PM   #25
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Yeah your $50 cool stove may trump my free one.
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Old 09-07-2015, 12:44 AM   #26
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Once you use the wood saw to cut the aluminum rails into sections between every bolt, you can pry the rail chunks up, breaking them from around the bolts. Once you remove the plywood around the bolts, you can use a angle grinder to cut the head off the bolt.

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Old 09-08-2015, 03:42 PM   #27
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7 of the 10 rails are out, with a combination of cutting, prying up the plywood, and using an angle grinder (disc). Slowly but surely.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EastCoastCB View Post
That's a beautiful appliance!
Thank you! I don't get excited about engines or tools, but the superficial stuff like appliances and finishes is pretty thrilling. It was nice to take a break from the more tedious jobs and just do something fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
Ohhhh...nice! --- I'm also a fan of the early appliances. Had a Chambers many years back. Best damned stove I've ever owned. I would take one of them over any fancy, schmancy Viking or Wolf any day.
Those Chambers are beauties. My last oven was an O'Keefe & Merritt--to me, perfection. I would choose a good vintage stove any day too, no fussy electronics and you know exactly what everything does.
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Old 09-08-2015, 11:19 PM   #28
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Progress is good.

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Old 09-09-2015, 06:20 PM   #29
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Glad to here your making progress on getting the rails out about to start on getting them out tomorrow.
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:47 PM   #30
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Yes, progress is definitely good! Rails are out. Plywood is out. And we found the rust we were looking for under the coolant heaters:



The massive Ricon wheelchair lift that came with the bus is out. I advertised it on craigslist for $400 and had some interest, but the interest disappeared once people realized it weighs 450 pounds. Donating it was also a possibility, but in the end we couldn't find a place that would work.

Some posters have had luck lowering it to the ground and them disassembling it, but the bus is too close to our fence for it to extend fully. Since we knew we wouldn't use it anyway, mr. phoenix laid it down inside the bus, cut it up, and removed it in pieces. That big open door has such a nice view now.



The Webasto heater and two under seat coolant heaters are also out. mr. phoenix cut the lines, drained the coolant, and looped the hose in on itself.



Note the Tecate box in the photos. I can't believe we went without beerspiration for so long.



The rails, lift, and heaters felt like the biggest hurdles. Here's the bus now.



Next is grinding down the rust, treating it with ospho, and painting with Rustoleum.

The small area under the driver's seat still has the rubber floor and plywood intact. Is there anything I should keep in mind before unbolting the seat and pulling it all up?
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Old 09-14-2015, 06:57 PM   #31
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I can't even be in my bus without a beer!
Keep up the GREAT work!
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:13 PM   #32
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Quote:
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I can't even be in my bus without a beer!
Keep up the GREAT work!
haha, we are realizing that too. And thanks!
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Old 09-14-2015, 07:51 PM   #33
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Here's a quick floorplan in sketchup, not precise or to scale. I'll do an accurate 3D version later.



The kitchen sink, shower, and bathroom sink are all placed close together so that all the plumbing/water can be in the same area.

There are five storage bays under the bus. The fourth isn't labelled, but it's located under the bathroom area and the fresh and gray tanks will probably go there. I'd like to do something like this for heating water, but I don't know how all that weight on the roof will work:



Maybe 2 55-gallon food safe drums for the fresh tanks, 1 for gray. No black tank because we'll do a compost/humanure toilet.

We'd like 300-400w of solar on the roof, but I'm not sure where to put it. Last week, I literally didn't know the difference between watts, amps, and volts, and this week I'm reading through handybob's rv battery charging puzzle, so it's been a steep learning curve. We need a lot more education before deciding where to place panels and batteries, what gauge of wire to use, etc., so this is in no way fixed.

I'm aware of concerns about having lots of weight between the axles, but not knowledgeable enough about this to know what amount of weight would be a problem. There's also a possibility of towing a vehicle, which might change this.

A lot of space is dedicated to dining/cooking/living because we homeschool, and being able to prepare full meals and hang out together in the space is important.
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Old 09-14-2015, 09:46 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix View Post


The small area under the driver's seat still has the rubber floor and plywood intact. Is there anything I should keep in mind before unbolting the seat and pulling it all up?
The wood fence protecting people from falling out the open doorway is a nice touch. I like it! (I know.. it isn't really.. but that's the way it looked to me at first glance!)

Does that driver seat have any compressed air features (lumbar support, etc)? There might be a 1/4 inch air tube feeding to it. If so, just disconnect it neatly. If it has a connector in an easy-to-access place that's great, otherwise, it's just 1/4 OD nylon tube so you can cut it square and re-assemble later with a compression or push-on union.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
Here's a quick floorplan in sketchup, not precise or to scale. I'll do an accurate 3D version later.
The kitchen sink, shower, and bathroom sink are all placed close together so that all the plumbing/water can be in the same area.

There are five storage bays under the bus. The fourth isn't labelled, but it's located under the bathroom area and the fresh and gray tanks will probably go there. I'd like to do something like this for heating water, but I don't know how all that weight on the roof will work:



A lot of space is dedicated to dining/cooking/living because we homeschool, and being able to prepare full meals and hang out together in the space is important.
Your floor plan looks a lot like ours, and for the same reasons. We're doing 3-level bunks on both sides; with the 16" roof raise we'll have about 21" vertical space open in each bunk (allowing 5" for each bed and some storage space below).

I can't quite tell what the water heating apparatus is. Looks like a coiled dark hose? That wouldn't hold more than a few gallons of water, would it? Weight of that would be no problem at all.
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Old 09-14-2015, 10:18 PM   #35
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Familywagon, thanks for the tip on the seat.

That sounds like a fun bunk room! We're doing two on each side, sized to fit IKEA kids mattresses, which are 63" x 27.5".

The "water heater" is just a black hose--or copper tubing, which I would prefer, but it doesn't hold heat well and movement might be an issue--coiled in a frame with glass over the top. It wouldn't hold much water, hopefully just enough to mix with the cold and give something resembling a warm shower for a few minutes.
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Old 09-14-2015, 10:33 PM   #36
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Oh yes, weight-wise that kind of heater won't be any trouble at all. If you don't mind getting ideas about other home-made solar water heat collectors, you might have a look at builditsolar.com. There are lots of ideas to be had there. For example, if you find that you want heated water into the evening, or all at once in a larger quantity than the collector can hold, you could make or buy an insulated storage tank and circulate water between the tank and the collector.
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Old 09-14-2015, 11:30 PM   #37
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Good to hear about the weight. Thanks for that site--wow, what an amazing and comprehensive resource! Great ideas.

For evening or early morning showers, I thought about just heating water on the stovetop or heating this in the sun: Chapin Handheld Sprayer, 3 gal., Stainless Steel 1749 | Zoro.com
It migh not be the best for everyday showering, but would also be nice to have available for washing dirty/sandy/food-covered kids before getting back into the bus.
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Old 09-20-2015, 01:59 PM   #38
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Update: we've been removing gobs of adhesive, floor nails, and exterior lettering.

Today, mr. phoenix is pulling up the remaining floor around the driver's seat and front stairs, removing leftover odds and ends, and maybe grinding off excess rust to treat it with Ospho.

We also just realized how useful the Webasto heater (Air Top 2000) could be. I'd prefer some kind of radiant heating vs. forced air, but one regret I keep reading about is that someone didn't incorporate their existing heater into the build. We planned on using an infrared plug-in heater (probably has a huge energy draw) instead of a wood/propane stove, since we'll be in cold areas so rarely. But the Webasto would be easy to keep in the bus; it's already in the right spot. So for now, it's staying connected to the diesel line until we can sort that out.

He's also removing a Webasto Thermo Top coolant heater. Has anyone had luck selling one of these?
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Old 09-20-2015, 08:16 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phoenix View Post
We also just realized how useful the Webasto heater (Air Top 2000) could be. I'd prefer some kind of radiant heating vs. forced air, but one regret I keep reading about is that someone didn't incorporate their existing heater into the build. We planned on using an infrared plug-in heater (probably has a huge energy draw) instead of a wood/propane stove, since we'll be in cold areas so rarely. But the Webasto would be easy to keep in the bus; it's already in the right spot. So for now, it's staying connected to the diesel line until we can sort that out.

He's also removing a Webasto Thermo Top coolant heater. Has anyone had luck selling one of these?
I just gotta say this: you want radiant heating, and you already have half of a radiant heating system (the boiler), and you're concerned about energy draw of electric radiant heating... and you want to sell that Thermo Top?

A neighbor-friend of mine has just taken off down the open road with his young family to full-time in their bus conversion for a while. Their bus had a big Webasto coolant heater in it, but for some reason he didn't want it. Says they'll be parked most of the time and won't need it. (Maybe he's planning on campgrounds with electric hookups for heat?)

I snatched that up fast! I plan to combine it with PEX loops in the floor and shower walls (radiant heat), some of the heaters that came with my bus (forced air heat), and a heat exchanger for heating the domestic water too. I haven't tested this Webasto yet, but I hope it works! Sure am looking forward to running all that off the 100 gallon diesel tank I'm already toting around anyway, and reducing if not eliminating the need to have a propane system.
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Old 09-20-2015, 08:33 PM   #40
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There are a few members here with in floor hot water heating.

I will also be using it in my bus.

I started a thread a while ago on the subject.

http://www.skoolie.net/forums/f13/hy...-bus-9024.html

Nat
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