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Old 05-19-2017, 02:59 PM   #101
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Congrats! I'm hoping to have my New Flyer "out and about" in a year or so.
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Old 05-20-2017, 11:55 AM   #102
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Today - a Saturday (no work) - it is raining like crazy.

I have plenty of projects but most of my tools and supplies are in the basement.

So, I was thinking... maybe a spiral staircase would be a cool thing. Then I don't have to go outside and open one of the big basement doors.

I know Offgr1d has a hatch in her VanHool to get down there but I was thinking something a bit easier. Maybe an electric hoist that could lower me down and pull me up?!?!

I suppose I should note... I am from the desert. Thus; allergic to rain.
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Old 05-20-2017, 11:56 AM   #103
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Congrats! I'm hoping to have my New Flyer "out and about" in a year or so.

Thanks! Keep after it and she'll be ready before you know it!!
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Old 05-20-2017, 03:05 PM   #104
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Excellent!! 5Ah may be an attainable goal then. We'll have to wait until I stock it. Of course, come to think of it, it is a huge frig/freezer for a single guy - I'm likely to never have it more than about half full.
That's an easy one that I use all the time. Fill clean milk bottles with water. That way you have extra water if needed. And in the freezer make sure some to add a case of small water bottles that can also do double duty as ice packs in a cooler.
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Old 05-25-2017, 10:18 AM   #105
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As much as I would like to think I am a skilled wood worker, I am not. I also wish I had a workshop equipped like Norm Abram's but I don't.

So, I decided to farm out the work of building some cabinets to an actual cabinet maker. He is working on them now. I have grown tired of living out of boxes.

I love a variety of different "looks" (everything from very rustic to very modern) and had a really tough time deciding which direction to go. I finally decided on the modern, sleek, semi-glossy look and picked an oiled olive wood laminate for them.

I haven't done anything with the counter tops yet. I'll have to let the cabinets drive the counter top and floor selection. Slow and steady...
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:01 AM   #106
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This past Saturday was a great day for working on the roof!!

I was able to get all four of my solar panels installed and connected. Making power from the sun is fantastic!!

These are SunPower E20, 435 watt panels, for a total of 1720 watts.



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Old 05-30-2017, 11:52 AM   #107
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Those are the biggest panels I've ever seen. You're going to give people panel envy.
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:14 PM   #108
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Size does not matter.... at least that's what I've been telling myself...
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:22 PM   #109
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Incredible job! When I get to my solar panels (if I ever get to them...), I'll be studying your pictures!!
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Old 05-31-2017, 06:48 AM   #110
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Incredible job! When I get to my solar panels (if I ever get to them...), I'll be studying your pictures!!
Thanks! I added a lot of detail on my blog that might be useful when you get around to installing your system.
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Old 06-02-2017, 03:03 AM   #111
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You have a really nice setup. I am confused, though, as the E20 datasheet shows a width of ~5 feet, yet the panels seem to take up the full width of your bus. Is your bus that narrow?

Also, I like the look of your roof hatches. They seem more durable than standard fare.
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Old 06-02-2017, 06:06 AM   #112
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You have a really nice setup.
Thank you!

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I am confused, though, as the E20 datasheet shows a width of ~5 feet, yet the panels seem to take up the full width of your bus. Is your bus that narrow?
That is the sheet for the 327 watt panels, mine are 435 watt, 128 cell. They are listed as being 41.18" x 81.36". The coach is 102" wide on the outside at the widest point.

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Also, I like the look of your roof hatches. They seem more durable than standard fare.
I'm not sure what is typical on school buses but you are right, these hatches are fairly significant. I'm really torn about what to do with them. Eventually I plan to have a couple of roof air conditioners and already have a Fan-Tastic Vent waiting to install. It seems logical to put them in place of the hatches but the hatches make getting on the roof fairly easy (at least do not need a 16' ladder) so I'd like to keep one of them.

Of course, I kind of blew it when I installed the solar panels. I should have left a gap between two of them so I had space to install the vent/fan in the kitchen/bathroom area. Instead, I got rolling on the install and didn't stop to think. First time that's ever happened...
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Old 06-02-2017, 02:37 PM   #113
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That is the sheet for the 327 watt panels, mine are 435 watt, 128 cell. They are listed as being 41.18" x 81.36". The coach is 102" wide on the outside at the widest point.
Boy howdy, that is the perfect size for a bus! I bet you did some searching. Thanks for the clarification.

Vent mounting complications or not, your pace of work amazes me.

It's clear that you have experience on the road. I've never lived properly in a mobile vehicle, and I currently trudge through my first conversion. Seeing an experienced person go through the process helps in many obvious ways, but one of the understated benefits is the confidence to simply move forward, knowing that growth happens because you're working.

... I dunno if that makes any sense.
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:34 AM   #114
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It's clear that you have experience on the road. I've never lived properly in a mobile vehicle, and I currently trudge through my first conversion. Seeing an experienced person go through the process helps in many obvious ways, but one of the understated benefits is the confidence to simply move forward, knowing that growth happens because you're working.

... I dunno if that makes any sense.
Yes, makes sense - thank you! There is no doubt in my mind that having lived in an RV makes the process much easier. Without that experience, I'm pretty sure I would be lost - or at least really struggling to make decisions.

The other aspect to it is knowing what type of "camping" one enjoys. I've known a few folks that purchased RV's with a particular mission in mind only to find out that they did not like whatever they had planned. Real boondocking is one of those things. People either love it or hate it and it seems the majority of folks fall into the latter - something about being truly alone in the forest. Most folks tend to enjoy the group mentality and being in a campground with others - maybe it is a social thing. It seems that converting a bus without really knowing how one wants to live would be difficult.

I have a friend that thinks I'm crazy. He and his wife spend every night in a campground with full hookups. Having huge holding tanks, huge battery capacity, and solar makes no sense to him. They have tried real boondocking with me once and high tailed it out after one night. Too scary for them.

Anyway... I guess my point is that there is no "recipe" for conversion as we are all different and want something different from the end product.
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Old 06-03-2017, 07:44 AM   #115
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Not sure if it is an actual issue, but what do you do about wind drag when travelling?
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Old 06-03-2017, 08:49 AM   #116
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Not sure if it is an actual issue, but what do you do about wind drag when travelling?
In regards to?? The solar panels?

If so, I have no proof but I am pretty sure the nose of the bus creates a massive bubble and the boundary layer has got to be crazy thick along the roof line (the panels are within a few inches). So, I suspect the panels see very little wind "force" when traveling at 65 mph. It would be great if someone would do a fluid dynamics study but that probably isn't high on any list!

That said, my backup camera system came with four cameras. I've almost decided to mount one of them on the roof so I can see where I stand in low clearance situations (e.g. tree'd backroads) and what is going on up there at speed.
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Old 06-03-2017, 10:50 AM   #117
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I've been considering a roof cam myself. Can be tricky at times to gauge just where a limb or roof edge is. I'm thinking of positioning it near the back looking straight forward.
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Old 06-03-2017, 03:40 PM   #118
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I've been considering a roof cam myself. Can be tricky at times to gauge just where a limb or roof edge is. I'm thinking of positioning it near the back looking straight forward.
Yep - exactly. Those times often coincide with someone wanting you to hurry up. I've found "rushing" to be the number one cause of damage. So, when I feel like I need to hurry up, I TRY to do just the opposite (doesn't always work).

I'm sort of leaning towards mounting mine on the front looking back but that is exactly why I haven't installed it yet. I can't decide which direction would be better! I suspect that the best position will be the one looking away from the sun!! Just something I need to install and see if I like it.
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Old 06-04-2017, 12:11 PM   #119
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I got my queen bed frame mostly constructed this past week. It is the type that allows the top to tilt open to allowing storing stuff inside. I also wanted rounded corners for a "modern" look and one that will, hopefully, be slightly more gentle on my toes when I smash them into it.



It is constructed of 2x4's and plywood. I didn't ask why but 11/16" plywood was about half the price of 3/4" plywood. I guess that last 1/16 of an inch is very expensive.

My mattress is 14" thick so I decided a 14" tall frame would be about right.

I haven't gotten to the siding yet but it is on the list.

Not having to climb off the floor each morning has been really nice!!

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Old 06-04-2017, 02:26 PM   #120
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If so, I have no proof but I am pretty sure the nose of the bus creates a massive bubble and the boundary layer has got to be crazy thick along the roof line (the panels are within a few inches).
I found this page (Aerodynamic Teardrop Trailer) which has two good images of a typical semi-truck about halfway down. One is a wind-tunnel, the other is a CFD flow illustration. Both show that air flow is seriously messed up along the roof line. It sure would be neat to find more detailed data for the roofline.
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