I handled several smaller updates this last week before moving on to insulation and adding those lovely bamboo floors.
1. Coolant lines
I obtained the right brass bends to properly reroute the coolant lines after removing the back and front heaters.
2. Air line
I had previously removed the air ride seat because it was bulky and I wanted something smaller and that could swivel. This meant that a pressurized air line was cut and flung around when the bus was turned on. As a solution, I found a pressure fitting for the tubing in plumbing that I then adapted to a larger ball valve for a pneumatic tools. For now I am keeping it closed and capped. But this stray air line turned into a possible source to air up bike tires and such. And I was able to conveniently tuck this inside the storage space below my bus that is empty after removing all the lift equipment. All I need to do is remove the cap and screw on whatever attachment I want.
3. Lock doors
Security has been a concern of mine and how I want to lock my doors. It is not prefect yet, but my bus is now lockable. For the back and side doors, I took the simplest approach, drilling holes in the handles and connecting piece of metal then securing a lock through the holes. The main doors now have a BIG 'OL LOCK on them! When drilling the 3/8" holes for the carriage bolts, the two inner screws ran into some thinking supporting steel beams, which led to getting a diamond drill (I couldn't find a 3/8" metal hole saw). After getting through all that, I had a partially used spray foam canister that I decided to fill that section of the door with to keep moisture out and slightly dampen some sound. Since the two doors don't sit flush, I placed a piece of wood behind one side of the lock, which I will replace with some welded metal sheets in the near future. But in the meantime, it is very secure.
4. Miscellaneous stuff
It rained a lot last week, which was an opportunity to identify leaks. I found some small drips here and there which were easy enough to treat with Flexseal puddy since it was wet. But there was one area that was just gushing a stream of rain in the corner in front of my main doors. Long story short, I spray foamed those leaks into oblivion! And it worked. :) I have been in the bus a couple more times while it rained and all seems well (fingers crossed).
No photographed -- I also climbed underneath and completed the dirty task of removing the remaining tubes from the old AC units. I swear I had dirt and debris all over, including inside my ears! So glad that bit was done. The silver lining was becoming even more familiar with the underneath of my bus.
5. Got it running again!
I had trouble getting my bus started again a few weeks ago and have since removed a LOT of wires. So I was anxious to double check I hadn't removed anything I shouldn't have. I was methodical about tracing wires before cutting...but I am not an electrician.
Get the bus going again wasn't so straightforward. Finishing the coolant line reroute was part of it. Then I had to filter and add there coolant that came out of the lines (approx. 5 gallons!). I have also been dealing with some oil leaks. It took about 2 gallons to get to the middle of operating range. Last, I went a head and got two deep cycle marine batteries in case it was a battery issue. So after all these steps, I got her running again and she is doing great -- and no electrical issues! Yah!!
So this is what she looks like at the end of this trip.
When I return, I will have one of my closest friends, Richard, coming with to help with the upcoming projects:
While cruising FB marketplace, I found approx. 200 ft2 of bamboo flooring that someone had pulled out of their house. The price was reduced to $60 -- I was on it!
I debated whether to floor the entire space then build up furniture and counters or to add flooring after the other items. Since I have so much and for such a great deal, I might as well just cover the entire flooring and allow myself more options for the future. It helps that I am only 5'4" so the additional space does not impact my comfort moving around.
Soon after I finish the subfloor, I will start on the flooring. Cutting off the nails will be tedious but still very happy with my find. They will just live in the back of the bus until then!
This week I have been building the subfloor with 1x3 furring strips, foam insulation, and 3/8" plywood. Supply chain issues and increased cost of materials has been a challenge but I am managing to find a middle ground.
The work has been slow but steady with some awkwardness maneuvering 4'x8' sheets alone but I have been enjoying the workout. That and it has been real hot and muggy here in Asheville.
My bus has two cutouts for the diesel tank and access to the engine. I am going to keep both accessible, which means some additional planning and cutting. I am very happy with how they are turning out.
I am wrapping up the subfloor tomorrow! I already have supplies for the next projects... :)
Today the bus bit a chunk out of me! I was moving 4'x8' sheets of plywood around the inside of the bus because it was raining. As I lifted one up, my hand grazed a railing in the ceiling (not a rounded rib). I am sharing because 1) be careful! and 2) I found my skin chunk! There it was stuck where it was scraped.
Fortunately, I finished the night with dinner with my chosen family. I brought some tasty dessert!
Of course, I expected some rust. The ceilings were absolutely rust-free, the walls looked great, and under the bus was in good shape with some surface rust. However, we found rust once the floor was exposed. In particular, the wheel wells had pretty significant rust and the back corners as well.
Thanks to my friend, Lucie, we were able to treat, remove, and patch the rust! And just for good measure, I caulked the seams.
Last, my favourite part was cleaning everything up, sealing holes, and painting white rust-o-leum! Now it feels like a blank slate to be filled.