Busy busy weekend, but still managed some bus work....I obviously have my priorities right.
Finally found time to button up my entrance....skinned with the tin from my walls, Rustoleumed, then insulated and installed the step subfloor. Will have to finish my main floor first so this can match it in height. The triangles will be shorter 6" rises.......if I keep getting older, I might need them someday.
My hatch isn't leaking, but the sealant was crumbly, and one of the corners were bent upwards, and I wanted to paint them, so I removed and refurbished, then used bolts instead of screws to get everything nice and tight. I'll trim off the excess Liquid Nails next weekend and hit it liberally with sealant. I wanted the hatch to be removeable, so added a handle....I'll make a new hatch next spring when I build my deck.
And, while waiting for paint to dry, I experimented. I was going to paint my lower windows black, but saw the mirror and silver glitter paints at Lowes, and picked up a can of each....the glass is just my bifold door glass. Considering I just wiped off the glass with a dirty towel before spraying, I was surprised at the quality of the mirror finish. But I really like the opacity and diffusion of the glitter....that's direct sunlight just above my thumb. Plus the glitter just looks cool.
Decided to go ahead and build the deck now......not the first time I've changed boats in the middle of the stream.
Was out bar-hopping a couple of weeks ago, and a friend drew me up a hood scoop design I liked, so..... Used the same gutter guard for screening as I did on my transom windows. Originally wanted to mount it farther back towards the windshield but the molded air-ducting in the hood was right in the way of my mounting holes. Rubber weather-stripping on the bottom to eliminate squeaking
And built my deck. Wanted it as light and low- and narrow-profile as possible, which is why I used 3/4" planks and added another stringer. All the stringers have rubber weather-stripping on the bottom. Only the outer joists are bolted to the ribs (to reduce the chances of leaks), and I sealed around all the bolts. I'll add a 7" x 7" x 13' box on the driver's side to hold my 12' x 10' awning, which will roll up onto a length of conduit for storing, and some railing mounts that my safety rails will drop into when parked. I'm going to widen the hatch opening for easier egress, and then plank the middle of the deck after that.
That looks badass! I'm a bit confused by the hood scope, though I think it looks awesome.
Does the scoop tie into the air intake channels?
Despite its strange initial appearance and counter-intuitive operation the fiberglass cowl does provide some good air flow to the intake. It takes advantage of the fact that most industrial trucks have near vertical windshields. The air being forced towards the flat windshields at speed creates a high pressure zone. The vents at the back of the cowl encourage the higher pressure air to enter the intake.
I didn't tie it into the air intake routing.......its purpose is just to deflect hot air away from the firewall. Hybuzz put an aftermarket scoop on his bus and said that he could really tell a difference, and I'm all for a cooler firewall in the summer. I'm assuming the lower pressure area under the bus (if a bus actually has one) will suck the engine compartment air downward if the scoop gives it a boost.
I couldn't find anyone besides him that had done it, so it gave me pause to begin with......but if it does interfere with flow to the air filter, it's an easy fix to close off the vents. I was a lot more nervous cutting the holes for my end-cap windows.
And I'm really happy I cut my bottom step off......got anymore ideas I can steal from ya?
Finished off the deck, and applied two coats of spar urethane. Low-profile objective reached......the deck is actually lower than the top of the factory hatch.
After racking my brain and failing to come up with a workable new hatch frame design, I've decided to just delete the hatch frame altogether and use a 3/16 or 1/4" flat plate contoured to fit the curvature of the roof, hinge it on one side, and mount a rubber seal to the underside of it to keep the rain out.
Actually...I have ponderin the idea of forming a little group that could share land around the country. I am also looking at northern NM & AZ with one eye on something on the Arkansas/Missouri border. There are some pretty sweet deals on "unimproved" land to be had even in scenic areas. Even saw a few that either had electric or it was "nearby". No idea how it could work. Maybe just a small annual fee to help cover taxes? I am open to ideas.
Speakin of Big Bend...I'm hoping to make a run out there in the next month or so to see the 5 acres I bought. Nothin' fancy. Just a place to park and use as a base.
That's so cool! Years ago my lady and I were driving around western Texas and New Mexico. We made a point to stay off the main highways as much as possible and see the raw country. There were many remote plots for sale that I imagine go for cheap! It still is an intriguing thought. I could easily spend a winter month hanging out in the desert 👍
Took an old library ladder my boss gave me, cut it down about 6" in total, removed the wheels and opened the hooks up a little, and.....voila! My new access ladder to the roof. This will store on a high shallow shelf above my loveseat. I really wanted to have cabinets with a built-in ladder, but didn't have enough room.
Lowes had some 3/4" x 1 1/2" x 8' on sale for $1.21 ea this week, so I bought a couple of bundles to mock up my framing and make sure everything will fit before starting the real thing. My 5' loveseat will occupy the space where the cardboard is now, and you can see the ladder stored above it. The stepladder is standing where my inverter/generator cabinet will be. Counter height will be about 3" below the top edge of the bottom windows, then a backsplash will come up to that edge to completely cover the bottom windows. Sprayed those with Silver Glitter Blast and will insulate them before covering them up. Will be spraying the back 4 windows on each side, and leave the front 2 windows on each side clear for driver and passenger visibility.