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Old 10-29-2011, 09:01 AM   #61
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Re: Green Energy Project

Eww! The only oil I would put in my vehicles is the stuff in the cubie on the far right of your picture. That's what the oil I get looks like. I've been burning it for 4 years now. I've gotten oil like that other stuff in your pic, and to me it's not worth the effort and risk to deal with it. I'd stick to the good stuff.
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Old 10-29-2011, 09:10 AM   #62
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Re: Green Energy Project

Ewww-throw out the middle 2.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:33 PM   #63
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Re: Green Energy Project

We are nearing the end of our stay in Baton Rouge, for details of our visit see our blog: bigeasybus.blogspot.com As far as bus news there has been a few learning experiences this month.

First, the filtering setup I tested at home did not work out for us for several reasons. Back in Richmond I had used the 12v pump to push veg. oil through 2 filters and the water separator resulting in a pretty heavy flow, but I had forgotten that the guy I bought the setup from had thinned down his oil with diesel. The filters were also only 30micron and 10micron, plus I was testing in the middle of the summer heat. When I tried to pump the oil I collected in the above photos I was using 2 new filters @ 5microns, the veg. oil was not thinned and it was only 60deg. outside, all of this resulting in only a trickle of filtered oil. That would have taken hours and hours and killed my battery so I have switched to gravity power. I still need to take a picture of the new setup but its much more simple. I'm pre-filtering through blue jeans into one barrel, then manually crank pumping into the second barrel through 16" bag filters @ 5microns (bought 25 offline for $80). It still takes some time but I'm not burning up batteries and I don't have to sit around monitoring anything. I'll describe the process in more detail when I get some photos.

Last week I had the bus idling while I was using a 12v pump off the engine to collect some more veg. oil. I started hearing splashing under the bus and discovered fuel erupting out of the relief valve on the veg. tank after a day of taking everything apart and back and forth with greasecar I finally figured out that my supply valve was bad. The spring that was suppose to keep the veg. oil supply shut was hung up and therefore diesel was pumping backwards into my tank causing it to overfill. I sent them the bad valve and have since received a replacement but I'm a little discouraged and nervous about this $60 mishap (fuel lost and shipping) happening again..

Also, the plastic T's I had on the coolant line warped causing a steady leak so I replaced them with these way overkill heavy duty metal fittings.


Finally got the vinyl sticker on..


Lastly we decided we wanted to get some more exercise and were encouraged by all the bike riders in town that we finally got our own. I had to do a little adapting to the trunk rack for mounting on the bus but it works.


I've also started painting the bus.. more to come on that as well.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:23 PM   #64
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Re: Green Energy Project

I have read a little about titration but perhaps I should give it another look.. From now on I will most definitely be testing the oil for water BEFORE i get it into my drums. We are in Austin, Tx right now and the drive from Baton Rouge to here mixed up all the oil I had settled. Unfortunately the weather changed and it got VERY cold. Night before last was in the 20s and my oil turned to jello:


Fortunately we are staying with relatives here and I have moved enough of the oil for our next leg into their garage to warm up. Hopefully it will be ready to refilter and put in by the weekend. I haven't come up with any solutions to keeping the oil warm on the road that are financially feasible at this point.. I will be getting this solar water heater panel for the shower water when I raise the money, and I emailed the company about whether veg. oil might work with their systems. They replied that the panel would be fine but a different pump would be necessary... but I'm not sure how well that system would work especially in weather like this. Overnight freezing would probably gel up the oil even if it was 60-70deg. during the day. And thats a high estimate of what a single panel could maintain 30-40gal. of oil. This is the site anyway: http://www.heliatos.com/Home.html

Also, we cleared another mechanical hurdle upon arriving to Austin. About 110miles out of Baton Rouge the bus overheated. By cracking the cap on the reseviour I was able to relieve enough pressure and keep the coolant from being pushed out so that we could travel 200 some miles before a refill was needed. Once in Austin I had to order a new thermostat and install. Fun Fun Fun! Austin is a really neat city though, we have really enjoyed our visit. Next stop: White Sands National Monument, New Mexico!
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:42 AM   #65
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Re: Green Energy Project

Are you still in Austin? I could hook you up with some WVO that does not solidify in cold weather. When I have extra WVO, I sell it off at $1.00/gallon filtered, which is like a third of what the local commercial vendor charges. I know you prefer to get it free directly from restaurants, but I thought I'd put it out there just in case. I've got like 75 gallons I'd be willing to part with. If you want to take it directly from my restaurant source, you're welcome to it for free. Not sure how much is in my collection barrel right now though - it might only be like 25 gallons. I've also got lots of tools if you have anything that still needs fixin'.
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:46 AM   #66
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Re: Green Energy Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by dangie
... Next stop: White Sands National Monument, New Mexico!
You just want to see the stupid lights in the sky! David saw them again last week (2 sets of them). They were multi-coloured. We decided they have their "Christmas lights" on. The ones we see tend to be plain white lights.

My daughter went with a friend to White Sands a few months back. She thought it was great.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:04 PM   #67
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Re: Green Energy Project

DieselDan- we could definitely use some non-gelling oil for this next leg. I tried to email you, my address is johnsondL2@yahoo.com. If your available this afternoon or tomorrow we'd love to come by.

Lornaschinske- I haven't heard about any lights actually, but that sounds even more exciting. I've only ever driven through the desert, and nothing like the pictures I've seen online from there. The forecast is dry but cloudy and in the 50s, so shouldn't be too bad.
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:58 PM   #68
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Re: Green Energy Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by dangie
Lornaschinske- I haven't heard about any lights actually, but that sounds even more exciting. I've only ever driven through the desert, and nothing like the pictures I've seen online from there. The forecast is dry but cloudy and in the 50s, so shouldn't be too bad.
You haven't heard about the UFO's and Roswell? The "lights" are all over NM, especially over the deserts. The first time we saw the lights here in NM was driving on I25. Watched them for over 15 minutes (between Belen and the Reststop near Socorro). We have seen the light often enough that we really don't pay them much attention.

Don't miss the Lava flowon US380 (get off at San Antonio south of Socorro and go est). There is a public campground there and I believe is open year round ($18 with electric). Beautiful in a strange way. 380 runs right thru it and you can stop on the side of the road and walk out into it. Carrizozo is the nearest "town" and they aren't much. Diesel & gas are available at the crossroads of US 380 and US 54. Get your groceries before you leave and larger towns. Socorro (Exit 147 & 150) has a Wal-Mart and you can park overnight in the parking lot. Casey's RV Park at Exit 147 accepts skoolies (there's one still here across from us... the "back wall "row E" has full hookups and the cable/HBO TV ). We leave for Roswell on Saturday as the roads have pretty much cleared off finally. Stacey will still be here (in an old class C) and would love to see your bus if you stop in. She works all the time. Family Dollar (at the other end of town, west side of the main road) also allows overnight parking if you need it.
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Old 12-12-2011, 08:33 AM   #69
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Austin Visit

Hey "Dangie" it was great to meet y'all the other day! Too bad I forgot to take any pictures for the board. Oh well, hope the rest of your journey goes well and you soon find warmer climes. Safe travels!
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:17 AM   #70
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Re: Green Energy Project

A GMC bus pulled in next to us last night. Says "BioBus.org" on the side of it.
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Old 12-12-2011, 10:05 PM   #71
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Re: Green Energy Project

We finally made it to Alamogordo, NM today, and had a hell of a time doing so. Things started off great back in Austin, where we met up with DieselDan who had 70gal. of non-jello oil for us (which we've already burned through, thanks again!).



But Dan you jinxed us!!! Your story about your trailer breaking and sparks flying behind came back to haunt us as we crossed into Carlsbad, NM. We were about 8miles from our Walmart stop when we hit a bump and saw the sparks flying.



I'm still not sure exactly how it happened. I inspected everything the next morning and nothing was broken other than some metal scrapping and the tip of the kayak ground some. The latch still appears to be fine, nothing bent... I guess the angle of the trailer and the ball was just right.. who knows. I bought a heavy duty ratchet strap to help secure the trailer to the ball, and we drove on.. until we overheated (again) crossing the mountains just before Alamogordo. I think it was just the stress of the mountain climbing, but if we can make it to Albuquerque I think I'm going to have to get it looked at. We have a lot more mountains to cross on this journey and if there is something wrong with the radiator we need to get it fixed. Anyway, weather isnt looking to good for our white sands visit tomorrow Just have to wait for the morning and see...
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Old 12-13-2011, 09:38 AM   #72
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Re: Green Energy Project

Currently www.wunderground.com is saying...

Today: Tuesday
Mostly cloudy with rain showers. High of 61F. Winds from the NE at 5-15 mph. Chance of rain 40%.
Tuesday Night
Mostly cloudy with a chance of rain. Low of 41F. Winds from the South at 5 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

Wednesday
Partly cloudy with a chance of rain in the morning. High of 48F. Winds from the ESE at 5 mph. Chance of rain 20%.
Wednesday Night
Partly cloudy. Low of 30F. Winds less than 5 mph.

Thursday
Clear. High of 52F. Winds less than 5 mph.
Thursday Night
Clear in the evening, then partly cloudy. Low of 28F. Winds less than 5 mph.

Friday
Partly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 46F. Winds less than 5 mph.
Friday Night
Partly cloudy in the evening, then overcast. Low of 36F with a windchill of 28F. Winds from the East at 10 mph.

Saturday
Overcast. High of 50F. Winds from the ESE at 10 mph.
Saturday Night
Clear in the evening, then overcast. Low of 37F. Winds from the ESE at 5 mph.

I use the "BestForecast" (Experimental) version. More accurate since it is based on the immediate local readings but varies widely & changes often (usually temps and by a couple of degrees). This is for Alamogordo as of this AM. BTW, there is water about a foot below the sand! All that sand and it is sitting on water.

Have fun! Temps start dropping again on Monday... as of this time.
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Old 12-13-2011, 01:03 PM   #73
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Re: Green Energy Project

Quote:
Originally Posted by dangie
...But Dan you jinxed us!!! Your story about your trailer breaking and sparks flying behind came back to haunt us as we crossed into Carlsbad, NM. We were about 8miles from our Walmart stop when we hit a bump and saw the sparks flying....
Noooooooooo! Not the dreaded trailer sparks!

Ah well, thank God for safety chains. Glad to hear the trailer is still hangin' together. Maybe you just need to tighten up the hitch connection? I haven't used a trailer in many years, but I think the part that locks the hitch onto the ball is adjustable, no? And you have a pin or padlock or something to lock the release lever in place, right?
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:11 PM   #74
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Re: Green Energy Project

DieselDan- I'll take another look at the bolt under the ball socket part, it felt tight but perhaps it could be tightened further. I do have a padlock on the lock mechanism. We made it to Albuquerque without further incident so the ratchet strap may be helping as well.

The white sands was really a site to see. It rained off and on while we were there, stopping long enough for a rainbow to poke through the clouds at one point. We are definitely going to have to come back when its warmer and camp for a night here.





Thanks to Lornaschinske's suggestion we stopped at the Valley of Fires on 385 as well. There was a light but steady rain during our visit, but it was amazing how vast the lava flow was.





We are now in Albuquerque visiting with a friend. It's verrrry cold, 40s/20s everyday this week. Unless we find a local veg. supply or a biodiesel place near by, we're going to have to stay here until we raise the $400+ to pay for diesel to get us to San Diego because its too cold to filter any. I have some mural jobs lined up but we'll see if they follow through.
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:21 PM   #75
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Re: Green Energy Project

Angie's mom and sister flew out and met us Friday in Albuquerque and we went to the Grand Canyon for the weekend. Very cold time to visit but it was beautiful. Now back to finding money to move somewhere warmer.... If anyone knows someone in San Diego or southern CA who might be interested in helping out a pair of amateur traveling filmmakers with a place to park their bus let us know! We're hoping to ride out the rest of the winter/early spring there but it doesn't have to be that long term.




We saw lots of elk, mule deer, and a few coyote but no mountain lions or bobcats one day...
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Old 12-19-2011, 08:38 PM   #76
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Re: Green Energy Project

Yummy! Venison!

Want to lots of wildlife? Go up to PieTown and make sure you lock everything (foodwise) up. The 4 legged critter are rampant!

You could go out to Quartzsite or the Slabs. Go To SKP forum and search for Quartzsite and Slabs or Slab City. Quartzsite seems to be more popular and safer. It is a combinations of two or three BLM LTVA. I've heard everyone needs to do Quartzsite at least once. We may, we may not. I do have other places to see while still out here (like the Grand Canyon among others)

If you go to the Slabs, bear in mind that it has gotten a little rougher. You may want to keep your "stuff" locked up and keep a gun handy. Slab City info they do have a solar powered internet cafe

This is dispersed camping at Quartzsite....

http://www.planetizen.com/node/43369


RV show http://www.roadtripamerica.com/rv/Quartzsite.htm
http://www.quartzsitervshow.com/

BLM website
Boondocking guides has info on BLM boondocking

boondocking website that may interest you
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:18 AM   #77
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Re: Green Energy Project

Big Easy now in matchbox size!
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Old 01-02-2012, 01:08 PM   #78
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Re: Green Energy Project

360 Degree Panorama of Slab City in case you are interested.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:41 PM   #79
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Re: Green Energy Project

Ever since I watched 'Into the Wild' Slab City has been on my list of places to visit, we will definitely try to make it there at some point. We have just arrived in Phoenix, AZ today. Not much else to report, had to replace a headlight but otherwise smooth (and slow) sailing. I'll be trying to renew my license here tomorrow, as mine expires on my birthday at the end of the month. Hopefully I can pass whatever test I might need to take, and AZ licenses are valid for 25years!! Thats amazing compared to VA (5 years ) Before we left Albuquerque we visited the hot springs @ Ojo Caliente which were fabulous..



We will be here for the next 2-3 weeks while we continue to look for someone to stay with in CA. If you know anyone send us a message! Thanks!
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Old 01-12-2012, 10:25 PM   #80
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Re: Green Energy Project

Thanks for the offer! We wont be headed back that way until summer but we appreciate it
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