First year pictures

Here is the bus “shoe horned” into our drive way.  Parked in front of the garage the way it was really accentuated the length of the thing.

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Here I’ve gotten the overhead baggage rack removed and have started to remove all the duct work, sides, and flooring material.

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My friend, a welding instructor, helping me to weld in the new mounting bracket on the axle for the sway bar.  The sway bar bolts had come lose at some point in time and elongated the mounting holes.  Therefore, the old bracket had to be torched out and a replacement bracket welded back in.

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In the upper left is the sway bar arm coming in to the connecting link.  The connecting link is essentially two “tie rod” ends welded together.  The connecting link mounts to the new bracket that is welded to the back side of the axle mounting beam.

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Later the first summer we had a bunch of fill brought in and had eight inches of limestone put down to make a nice large level parking area.  It was WONDERFUL to have this completed and sure made working on and in the bus much easier.

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Our dog, who passed away January 2004, surveys the new parking area.  Compare this photo to the photo taken of the bus parked in the snow in front of the garage at the beginning of this page.

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In May of 2003 we took our first “steel tent” camping trip.  As you can see it was really rough.  However, we had some lights, a porta potti, a bed and some seats.  What more could you ask?  Notice the good shape of the old wood floor after removing the old flooring material.

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We had a great campsite and really enjoyed the experience.

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Front entry way showing the area where the heater core/evaporator is mounted.

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Here you can see where I had to braze two of the coolant lines on the front heater core.  They were split open.  I assumed they were split due to freezing, but don’t know for sure.

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I pressure tested my brazing job by using household tap pressure. I figured the 60lbs of pressure from the house tap far exceeded any working pressure the heater core would have to deal with.  Many years later and everything is still holding up great AND I have heat in the front of the bus!

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I’m starting to put down the new flooring.  I had removed the original floor under the old restroom and replaced it with new plywood.  Then I put a 1/16th sheet of lead down.  Over that I put 1/2″ of polyisocrynalate insulation down.  Over the insulation I put down 7/16th exterior rated sheathing.  This has held up really well and the insulating layer has made a big difference.  I put the lead down over only the rear drive train and the front axle.  I believe it made a noticeable difference in the noise level.  I think the noise reduction is worth the couple hundred pounds of lead I put down

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Preparing the front for the new flooring.  Hilary is vacuuming old crud out from under what used to be the front ramp.

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The main bus heater/evaporator core can be seen in the middle right of this picture.  On the left in the foreground is what the area under the front ramp looks like.

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Here I am drilling and screwing down the sheeting.  I put a lot of screws in!

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I put spray foam in the seat rack channels that you see on the left and right sides of the picture.

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I have the cross braces welded in to support the new raised floor where the ramp used to be.

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The white piping is conduit I ran from the front bay to the front of the bus.  I also ran fuel lines from the fuel tank back to the front bay while I had the floor torn up (later used to send fuel to the webasto).

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I have the front ramp completely covered up and the lead down.

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The plywood squares on the left of the picture are in place of the insulation where the seats will attach in the future.  This is to provide a surface to bolt the seats down that will not “compress” in any way.

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Wow!  What a difference this new flooring made in the way the inside of the bus felt.

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Here is the start of the bed frame.  The frame is upside down in this picture.  The gap on the right of the frame is for when the bed is bolted to the floor.  I’ll be able to remove a section of the frame to make it easier to get thru the hatch that is over the transmission.

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Here we are getting ready for another camping trip.  The bed frame is in and the mattress sheeted up ready to go.  The cloths pins are hanging from the wires we’ll use to create the sheet partition walls.

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Here I am testing out the slides and tray for my battery rack.  I designed the battery trays to support 4 T-105 batteries on one tray with full slide out tray slides.

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I’ve left room for another complete tray of batteries in the box.  During the fall of 2004 I put in the second tray of batteries.  I now have 450 amp hours of capacity at 24 volts!

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The black box is an Outback FX2024 inverter that boasts up to 98% efficiency.  It has done a great job and runs very nicely.  It includes a 16amp AC battery charger good for about 60+ amps at a 28volt charging rate.  Puts the amps back into the batteries in a hurry.

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I mounted all my electrical equipment for temporary usage (a few years) right on the battery box.  Once I get to the finish wiring the two power distribution panels and my latching relay panel will be located in the bathroom.

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These pictures were taken right before we took a 2 week trip during early September 2003.  I have the furniture, bed, and refrigerator all bolted down and ready to drive!

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