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Old 06-05-2012, 08:53 PM   #101
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Re: The Roach Motel

I'm sure I missed it but what is your floor covering? It looks good and looks not to need high maintence?
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Old 06-06-2012, 10:58 AM   #102
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Re: The Roach Motel

The floor is some jute-backed linoleum that was left over from a previous renovation at the building where I work. It is nice, heavy stuff but was a bear to work with, especially for a first-timer like myself.
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Old 06-09-2012, 05:13 PM   #103
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I've spent the last week sanding out the fiberglass body in preparation for buffing and polishing. That is WAY too much like work!

Where the tape stripes were is nice, shiny fiberglass while the rest is oxidized and dull. I started out wet sanding with 600 grit wet/dry paper but that wasn't aggressive enough to blend the two areas so I got some 400 grit paper which did a pretty fair job even if I did have to go over it several times. Surprisingly, the 400 grit left the fiberglass with a low gloss which was way better than what it was before. I followed the 400 grit with a quick pass with 600 grit then another pass with 1000 grit (all wet sanded). I can still barely see where the stripes and lettering was and I'm hoping the rubbing compound will erase all traces of them. Stay tuned.

The roof, in particular, was a rough, dark, nasty grey which soap and a sponge wouldn't budge. The sandpaper took the grunge off quickly and left a smooth surface. I have one more side to sand out then I'll use some rubbing compound and a low-speed buffer to bring back the gloss. After THAT cones a pass with polishing compound then a good coat of wax.

I also sanded, primed and painted my rusty wheelchair door frame, patched a big chip at the back corner of the body and built an accumulator for the water system. The idea is to trap some air in the system which will be compressed when the water pump runs. The next time water is needed the trapped air will force water out giving the water pump a rest. I just used some 4" PVC pipe with a tee at the bottom. It'll be a while before I can test it out.

Here's the body patch. I used Bondoglass to patch the chip then sanded it smooth with 80 grit sandpaper. after I took this shot I put on a coat of white gellcoat and tomorrow I'll sand out the gellcoat. Hopefully I won't have to put on another layer of gellcoat.



This is the cobbled up accumulator

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Old 06-09-2012, 09:56 PM   #104
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Re: The Roach Motel

Your air tank should do the job. They used to use a vertical section of pipe next to the old fashioned radiators in buildings to buffer the energy of the steam going through the system. Worked then, works now. I still want your floor!
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:24 PM   #105
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Re: The Roach Motel

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Originally Posted by ol trunt
Your air tank should do the job. They used to use a vertical section of pipe next to the old fashioned radiators in buildings to buffer the energy of the steam going through the system. Worked then, works now. I still want your floor!
Yeah, I couldn't think of any reason why it wouldn't work. All it's missing is the diaphram separating the air and water. In time air in the chamber might combine with the water so I put in a bleeder valve at the top to make it easier to drain down the water.
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Old 06-10-2012, 07:56 PM   #106
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Re: The Roach Motel

i wonder if you could build one of these and use a blood pressure cuff bladder... i bet that would work if sealed properly... and a bleeder like halfway up on the tank, like my well tank has.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:02 PM   #107
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Re: The Roach Motel

Hadn't thought of building an accumulator tank! I'll bet it works good enough the way it is, I have also seen a similar setup on residential plumbing to eliminate water hammer, they just used a capped vertical piece of whatever diameter pipe was being used.
In the metro atlanta area, expansion tanks are required on all new waterheaters, just a small tank with a charged bladder to accept the expansion of heated water (without causing the emergency relief valve from lifting) since most municipalities are now requiring check valves to be installed just after water meter, Although the application is different, the concept is the same. Thanks for the idea! Hope you don't mind if I use it!
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:15 PM   #108
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Re: The Roach Motel

Accumulator tank with an RV water pump lessens the pump run (if large enough) when you flush the toilet in the middle of the night and big after market addition as many RV's have pumps mounted to where they make a lot of noise. Also lessens the pulsing water when taking a shower. Lots' of DIY how to's on how to make one. ModmyRV has one here.
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Old 06-11-2012, 11:48 AM   #109
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Re: The Roach Motel

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Thanks for the idea! Hope you don't mind if I use it!
No one gets to use this idea! This is MY stolen idea!

Actually, I remembered my brother's well tank which had a bad diaphram. It worked well enough that he didn't replace it for a year or two.

Edit: After looking at Lorna's link it appears that I stole their idea. I put my valve in a different location but otherwise the two are identical.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:52 PM   #110
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Re: The Roach Motel

These PVC Pipe accumulator tanks have been being made for years. Earliest one I knew of was in a Mother Earth News Mag (1970's?). So the link I posted certainly wasn't original.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:32 PM   #111
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Re: The Roach Motel

I remember Mother Earth News from my hippie days!

This accumulator idea is another instance of me coming up with an idea that turns out to be widely known already. About three years ago a friend of ours was looking at some old coach buses on an online vehicle auction site and I thought to myself "one of those would make a cool RV." The next day I did a quick Internet search and found that my brainstorm idea had been known almost as long as there have been buses.
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:12 AM   #112
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Re: The Roach Motel

PVC accumulator tank are a great idea; make them any size you want and still far cheaper than the ones you buy already made.
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:25 AM   #113
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Re: The Roach Motel

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PVC accumulator tank are a great idea; make them any size you want and still far cheaper than the ones you buy already made.
By making them any size, you can fit one into an odd space or a specific sized space that you could not put a manufactured unit into.
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Old 06-14-2012, 04:31 PM   #114
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Re: The Roach Motel

It's shiny and CLEAN!!!!

After almost a week of sanding, buffing, polishing and waxing it's finally done. Take a good look 'cause it will probably never be this clean again.

So what I did was wet sand the entire fiberglass body with 600 grit wet/dry paper (the stripes and letters got sanded with 400 grit) to get rid of the severe oxidation then followed that with 1000 grit wet/dry paper to begin bringing back the shine. Next I broke out the buffing machine and went back over it with rubbing compound followed by polishing compound. Last of all was a good coat of wax to keep all that virgin fiberglass clean for a while at least.

Where the tape stripes were can still be seen if you know where to look. I sanded hell out of those spots and they still barely show through on some of the body panels. Other panels gave up without a fight.



My fiberglass patch didn't fare so well. The gel coat patch is white and the bus is white but not the same white. I'll probably sand off the white patch and look into some tape stripes to give the beastie some color and also cover the patch.

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Old 06-14-2012, 06:44 PM   #115
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Re: The Roach Motel


Nice improvement
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Old 06-14-2012, 09:02 PM   #116
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Re: The Roach Motel

The reason the lettering shows is because the finish under it has been protected. To have it not show requires that you "wear" the paint under the letters to match the unprotected paint. Your bus looks great and the patch was done very nicely.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:23 AM   #117
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I sanded like mad to get down to where the letters and stripes would blend but I started worrying that I'd sand through to the fiberglass below. The ghosts bug me but sanding through would be much worse. I can live with the ghosts.
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Old 06-24-2012, 08:38 PM   #118
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Re: The Roach Motel

This week's project was to get the shower trimmed out. I had picked up a nice molded 3 piece shower surround that was designed to work with my existing shower base but unfortunately it wouldn't fit. I ended up using FRP (fiberglass reinforced plastic) panels instead. It was way more work custom fitting the panels but at least I saved a hundred bucks over the molded panels.

After spending two days fitting the plywood shower walls and FRP panels I've decided that CARDBOARD is the essential bus conversion tool. Even after carefully making my cardboard templates I had to trim the panels over and over to get a good fit (I cut it 5 times and it's STILL too short - LOL). Another problem I ran into is the slope of the roof. I'd scrounged a nice shower curtain rod but the right side of the stall ceiling is about 6 inches lower than the left side so I would have had to put the curtain rod at eye level. Not too cool. Finally I put in some J hooks to hang the shower curtain.

I also got the porta-potti base built and used some of the left over FRP to make a panel to cover the utility chase behind it. The mattress in the picture was originally purchased to be cut up for dinette cushions. We're going to try it out this weekend and if it's comfortable enough we'll keep it intact.



The entrance is now trimmed out. I had put down some red rosin paper and a door mat to protect the linoleum while I was bopping in and out and when I pulled it all out to give Roachie a good cleaning I found that the lino had discolored where the paper and rugs had been. This really bummed me out until I looked online and found that the discoloration will go away once exposed to sunlight. I REALLY didn't want to replace that flooring. The Anderson storm door is working out well but I noticed that the lock mechanism was rattling a lot as we bounced down the road. Today I pulled it out to see if I could quiet it down a bit and found that someone had left some screws loose. I can't figuire it out since I'm the only one who'se worked on the thing and I don't make such mistakes.



We have another camping trip planned for this weekend. Will Roachie finally have his shakedown run? Stay tuned.
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Old 06-24-2012, 09:09 PM   #119
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Re: The Roach Motel

I still love that flooring! On the topic of the door lock rattling---good help is hard to find--especially when you do it yourself

Let us hear how the camp out goes and pics too.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:51 AM   #120
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Yeah, good help is the key. I tend to work on one project until I run out of parts then move on to another until I run out of parts, etc. So it may be a day or a week before I finish the first project. That leaves me plenty of time to forget that I didn't fully tighten the the bloody screws.
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