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Old 02-14-2019, 11:23 PM   #21
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10000 miles later.... Full bus pic taken outside LV.

Back at more improvements. Lower pic that I canít seem to rotate is for the new fridge location. This version will also get a sink, the water tank moved underneath and some other goodies.

I need to get new tires as two of them have something embedded and a third is too low on tread. Here are two Iíve read others having good experiences with:
cooper st maxx tires
Milestar 22275037 Patagonia A/T Off-Road Radial Tire
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:34 AM   #22
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Looks good! It's hard to tell from the pics, but did you remove the chair rails on the side walls? If so what did you find behind them? Any pics? Did you remove the rails in the floor?

Keeping track of this bus as it's similar to my '03 Collins.

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Old 02-19-2019, 06:36 PM   #23
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Hi Chris & thanks for looking! Originally I wanted to take up the floor to add soundproofing and towards that end I ground off many of the rusted bolts from underneath. I ran out of time though and only the one section of seat rail actually was removed before the interior stuff had to start.
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Old 02-19-2019, 06:55 PM   #24
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I'd like more ground clearance without adding a lift. The tire place said the bus can't use a larger diameter tire as that means wider and the duallies are close enough as it is. Maybe they're low on air?

They suggested Cooper AT3s at $1360 for six installed. Or America AT, which I can't find anywhere online, at $990. I replaced my Nissan pickup with the same Cooper tires and it was a huge improvement in turning, bumps handling.

I have at 2 or at best 3 good ones out of the current set, so my thinking is to put the remaining 2 on the inside rear, get 4 new ones, and, if I can, maybe a spare.

Apparently forklifts use liquid propane while stoves and water heaters use vapor, per the propane place, which means the plan to get a forklift tank is not going to work. The guy also did not recommend installing it where it'd fit the best due to exhaust proximity. As the RV tanks are too expensive for the need and the need itself is minimal, back to the plan to use a small one like this and pulling it out for refills. If I need to I can cut out & raise a small part of the floor so it is 100% outside.
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Old 02-19-2019, 07:27 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Epomethius View Post
I'd like more ground clearance without adding a lift. The tire place said the bus can't use a larger diameter tire as that means wider and the duallies are close enough as it is. Maybe they're low on air?

They suggested Cooper AT3s at $1360 for six installed. Or America AT, which I can't find anywhere online, at $990. I replaced my Nissan pickup with the same Cooper tires and it was a huge improvement in turning, bumps handling.

I have at 2 or at best 3 good ones out of the current set, so my thinking is to put the remaining 2 on the inside rear, get 4 new ones, and, if I can, maybe a spare.

Apparently forklifts use liquid propane while stoves and water heaters use vapor, per the propane place, which means the plan to get a forklift tank is not going to work. The guy also did not recommend installing it where it'd fit the best due to exhaust proximity. As the RV tanks are too expensive for the need and the need itself is minimal, back to the plan to use a small one like this and pulling it out for refills. If I need to I can cut out & raise a small part of the floor so it is 100% outside.
There's no difference in the tank between a liquid propane and a vapor propane system. It just a matter of changing the valve for the intended purpose. You can get forklift tanks for vapor supply. Why were they concerned about the exhaust, getting the tank dirty? Certainly not from heat as what comes out the end of the pipe is not very hot after going through a muffler and 30' of 4" pipe.
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Old 02-19-2019, 08:33 PM   #26
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Thank you for the valve info. The propane sales guy didn't know? wtf Yes, the concern was due to exhaust system heat. In this bus, the muffler sits just behind and parallel to the center of the rear axle. The exhaust goes towards the port side and out just behind the wheel. It is about 4' from the wheel to the end; the tanks are 30" or so long.

Another option is to have the ubiquitous 20lb tank, with most of the it under the bus and make a weathertight box for the remaining 5 inches that would otherwise stick into the interior. The box would also provide access to pull it out for refilling. That's a lot less $$.

Or there are vertical standing, refillable shorter tanks that'd be $60 and fit.
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Old 02-19-2019, 09:24 PM   #27
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Thank you for the valve info. The propane sales guy didn't know? wtf Yes, the concern was due to exhaust system heat. In this bus, the muffler sits just behind and parallel to the center of the rear axle. The exhaust goes towards the port side and out just behind the wheel. It is about 4' from the wheel to the end; the tanks are 30" or so long.

Another option is to have the ubiquitous 20lb tank, with most of the it under the bus and make a weathertight box for the remaining 5 inches that would otherwise stick into the interior. The box would also provide access to pull it out for refilling. That's a lot less $$.

Or there are vertical standing, refillable shorter tanks that'd be $60 and fit.
That's one thing on my build where I'm spending a bit more up front so I have plenty of propane for heat and cooking. These 29.3g tanks normally run around $550. There's some on eBay now that one seller jumps from $439 to $479 and back, both good prices for that tank and perfect for under a long bus.

Same company, FlameKing, makes a smaller unit that's 12 gallon, 12" x 28" horizontal mount.
https://www.ebay.com/p/Flame-King-YS...d=253760673036
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:30 PM   #28
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o1marc, those do look sweet. Weíll see! No internal heater here though as we tend to stay where it is not too cold.

Today the rust abatement began. This time, Iím using a full face clear plastic face thing after my prior goggles experience sucked. Much better. Lots of brushing and scraping.

There are 2 places where the Collins boxís cross pieces connection to the side frame has rusted away and some of the sheet metal is barely holding on. The former Iíll have fixed by a proper welder; the latter will get cleaned up, primed & painted, and then screw and epoxy new sheet metal on the underside of the rotted stuff. The photo only just doesnít show the part Iím willing to pay to have fixed.

From what Iíve read, the steps are
1. Scrape with a wire brush or a drill with metal brushes what can be scraped
2. Move on to sand paper
3. Perform any needed welding
4. Prime with the rust remedator
5. Paint with the enamel paint
6. Apply a second layer of primer and painted sheetmetal where needed

Sound right?

Photo is where the 4í x 8Ē x 14Ē Water tank will go.
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Old 02-23-2019, 07:18 PM   #29
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It dawned upon me that the wheelchair lift battery, an agm like the starter, charged by the alternator, served us fine. We only had issues with the fridge not getting power for more than a day, and, even then, during those times we were at friends and I could have run a cord or brought the thing inside. Super helpful was being able to run the electric kettle while warming up. All that to say the solar array plans are tabled for now.

I placed the starboard side cabinet stuff in place. Got to see if the bikes still fit and what that means.

Also cleared out where the foot of the bed storage will go and imagined how itíll go together. Thisíll be where the electronics live and will hopefully make a break in less consequential.

Up is left in the photos.
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Old 02-25-2019, 08:43 PM   #30
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Cut out an opening to access the what has been to difficult to use storage under half the bed from the kitchen side and planed out how to do the bed side storage mostly and even started wow.

Cost and convenience are all in favor of building a floor vented box for holding the common propane tank.

For a water heater, I've been assuming I'd get a small camp shower tankless unit, put it on the bed side of the starboard kitchen wall and leave a window open. However, if I get a 7 gallon electric tank one and heat it while driving. Reheat times per internet are 20-60 minutes and is under the inverter's limit. Still, that's 30 lbs for the tank and 56 lbs of water that'd have to be well secured. Maybe the 4 gallon. It would also resolve what to do about the half counter top empty space under the stove that would remain if I put in the propane tank box.

Here is the floor plan
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Old 03-07-2019, 07:03 PM   #31
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Surely halfway on completing the driver's side storage at the foot/head of the bed. The plans call for two levels separated by a sliding shelf. The locking upper cover will convert into a desk. Inside will go the electronics and there'll be a switched dual usb charger socket that includes a voltmeter off all things hooked up to the house battery. On the stern end will be some hotly anticipated cup holders.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:42 PM   #32
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The fabled storage takes shape.
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Old 03-11-2019, 11:35 PM   #33
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Why not place the battery on the drivers side? It seems like you have more of your weight on the passenger side already thanks to the two stock batteries and the water tank
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:35 PM   #34
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There are more cabinets on the driverís side. Also is the fridge. And me, whose 45 more lbs than my best customer. The battery that is also going/staying there is not a big one too, maybe 35 lb?

Good news in that I was able to get in both bikes!!! There is a stud Iíll have to change though for pedal entrance ease.

Rust remediation and 1 quart of yellow enamel paint applied.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:54 PM   #35
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Regarding inside propane storage reading, this site https://faroutride.com/propane-system/ was interesting and included a link to here https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvis...-Installations
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:32 AM   #36
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Regarding inside propane storage reading, this site https://faroutride.com/propane-system/ was interesting and included a link to here https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvis...-Installations
Very good read. Thank you for sharing. Some points are only directly related to boats, but there are a lot of things I will take into consideration when building my propane "locker"!

Geez! I totally missed the first link! (It's early) Even better reading! Thanks I'll definitely use this!!
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Old 03-24-2019, 07:20 PM   #37
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Yeah their design gives me some confidence in driving around with propane inside the bus. Iíve already put in propane related parts via affiliated links. Heh

Cut out the counter part holding the sink. That felt like a big accomplishment. Drilled and sanded 130 holes in a plywood shelf bottom to hopefully give the fridge more breathing room. Thatís the first wood bought since returning to the Bay Area. The latches for six of the cabinets suck and are going to be reassigned to hold some drawers in place. Will need something darn quick!
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Old 03-25-2019, 09:45 PM   #38
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Ran most of the electric. We had fun deciding where to put the switches and stuff. Putting the wires into the sleeves was a drag. Did my first crimping ever.
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:01 AM   #39
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Mate is there any chance you could give me the true internal dimensions of the 5 window. It's the chassis I'd like to use ?

I'm planning this build from Australia and this information is hard to come by on the internet and I feel like I'm chasing my tail.

the ones I'm particularly after are:

Internal height at the window
Internal length from drivers seat to rear
internal radius of curvature of roof (if possible)
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Old 03-26-2019, 09:46 PM   #40
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I am over in Martinez if you ever need a hand or want to trade ideas. I am just starting on my Collins 6 window.
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