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Old 09-25-2015, 04:30 PM   #721
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A technique Lorna recommended once upon a time, which I sometimes still use especially when writing a long post, is to select my entire message (ctrl-A on a PC, or with the mouse) and copy it to the clipboard before clicking the post button. Just in case the forum decides I'm not really logged in and discards the post. If/when that happens I can log in, get back to the reply page, and paste the message from the clipboard. It's lousy software design that makes this problem possible but at least there's a relatively easy way of insuring the loss.

I'm glad you've decided to give it one more try. Your experiences and experiments have been inspiring for me as well as others.

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Old 09-25-2015, 05:01 PM   #722
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So… that posted, so I have written the “quarterly report” again:

First of all, take a look at this photo:



That’s my trailer behind Millicent – after I overloaded it to grotesque extreme.
It is tempting to say that somebody must have been looking after me that day, because I found the trailer hanging like that – quite literally by a last thread of steel – when I stopped for a routine tire- and load-check in a rest area.
One more bump, or one more ¼ mile, “whichever comes first”, and it would have plowed into the interstate – the safety chains being no match of the tonnage.

So the lesson is… DON’T DO THIS!

Trailers, axles, tires and couplings are all rated for maximum weight, and that’s for real.

I borrowed a sawsall and a drill, bought a bolt-on coupling, and offloaded half the weight before continuing home – almost two days later.


Millicent’s engine continues to drip oil. We have a good truck mechanic here in town who now makes house-calls, so I may contribute to Brent’s Christmas fund this year.

Same with the king pins, which have become noticeably sloppier. They were long in the tooth when I bought Millicent, and Brent noted they were marginal when he was under there a year or two ago. I can certainly feel it in the steering wheel.

And Millicent leans to the right; a problem that seems to be worsening rapidly. Time for an inspection of springs and related bracketry. I have been considering new springs in the front for better ground clearance, and maybe even a spacer or something, so this may be the winter for that also.

Since installing a toggle switch for the radiator fan, I have learned that I can protect the transmission in the mountains and in stop-n-go traffic by running that fan even when the engine does not call for it. Seems that “over-cooling” the engine sucks extra heat out of the tranny.
Theoretically, the engine thermostat will/would still be in charge of minimum coolant temperature, but the tranny temp gauge tells a different story. If the engine thermostat is faulty, I think I prefer it that way!
Of course, I ought to install an extra tranny cooler.

Well, let’s see if this posts, and go from there.
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:06 PM   #723
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Yes, I often write longer posts -- for any forum I am on -- in Word (which I am accustomed to using), then copy that into the forum. I certainly did with the second attempt at the report above.
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Old 09-25-2015, 05:31 PM   #724
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"Millicent’s engine continues to drip oil."

My 5.9 has a tiny drip, more of a weep from the turbo drain. There's a piece of hose linking the hard lines.

Glad to see you're sticking around.
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Old 09-25-2015, 06:41 PM   #725
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Yes, behind the oil filter. But that is dry. The oil is around the left front.
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Old 09-25-2015, 09:30 PM   #726
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I do a "copy" every so now & then when I'm posting in the event I lose everything. That way I have only a few lines to retype. I should try to post to One Note & send it here as was suggested.

I must admit that I haven't had that problem of getting logged off intermittently since upgrading to Win10 so I guess the problem most likely is a combination of the two, the site & my PC.

........AND YES-----------> IT IS FRUSTRATING AS HELL.

Many times I have just posted the basics, a quick note & maybe just some of the original pics I first posted due to this.

But I endure it as I do love this site and all that I can learn from it.
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Old 09-25-2015, 10:46 PM   #727
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I simply cannot imagine any reason not to use the normal phpBB, which is free, functions reliably, and everyone knows how to use it.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
phpBB is an Internet forum package written in the PHP scripting language. The name "phpBB" is an abbreviation of PHP Bulletin Board. Available under the GNU General Public License, phpBB is free and open source software.[2]
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Old 09-26-2015, 12:06 PM   #728
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Seems to me the problems have become worse since moving to their new Wonder Server. I know it must be frustrating for them as well, but I agree...the site has "issues" that need to be resolved.

I thoroughly enjoy this place and want to see it be the best it can be...so, PLEASE...fix this big time annoyance before it drives more people away.
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Old 09-26-2015, 01:36 PM   #729
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Just so you guys know, it is nothing a mod can fix. Have to go higher on the food chain.
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:10 AM   #730
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Well, up peons have to start where we know. I don't know anyone at the top of the food chain so I think we're all depending on "site admin" to pass the word up.
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Old 09-27-2015, 02:27 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, 01:39 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, 08:03 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, 01:38 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, 02:10 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, 05:41 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, 05:51 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, 07:37 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, 11:53 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, 01:15 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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