Monday, August 24, 2015

We Made It!

Well, after some troubles on the road, we made it to OR!

The main events were as followed:
- First day broke down on side of highway - stalled like it did with PMD, put in new PMD and still wouldnt start.... finally started after tow truck pulled up - but decided to have them do the free AAA tow to the local place.  

- Second day find out the local place AAA towed is incorrectly listed as a machanic place, and know one in sight to help with the engine, (or reconnect the drive shaft)

- Had to find a place to come reconnect drive shaft and clean off the joints that I got dirty while trying myself to put it in for $50 - then drove the bus the next day to Fargo

- Fargo guys and Midland Diesel helped quite a bit - installed a electrical relay for the PMD and fuel pump, they had done it in other 6.5L and said it had fixed the PMD from overheating and stalling issue.  He also replaced OPS and tested the fuel pump, all for around $300.

- Next day we made it a few hours to Bismarck only to fill up on diesel but notice a leak coming from driver side driving wheel.   Rust ate out a hole in the BRAKE lines!! Brake fluid was spraying out of the pin sized hole when you press on brake pedal.... we had to veryyy slowly and carefully drive / coast it to a local truck place who took 2 days to replace brake lines/calibrators/and brake pads on front brakes.  $1300

- So from that point we had spent at least $2k on hotels, meals, gas/diesel and bus repairs over 4-5 days and only had made it to the middle of ND!  On top of that the cats were not having fun.

- But after that, we cruised and powered through the rest of it stopping only 3 more times in Billings, Missoula, and Spokane.  Made it to Portland at our new apartment on Monday, around 7 days on the road!

Now the bus is running great, starts up right away now instead of cranking a bunch.  Also installed another solar panel to make it so the 12v fridge doesnt suck the power out in 2 days of camping - now it seems like it would last good for 4-5 days if ran continuously with good sun.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Camping trips and battery monitor

We have gone on a few camping trips recently with no issues.  I replaced fuel filters before last trip and we got better mpg, not sure if the two are related but maybe.  

Today I installed a battery monitor so we know where it's at and we can visually see the solar charge vs pull struggle.  We had an electric site at the last state park, which was nice using the 120v system for the first time.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Sally got solar.

Solar panels and controllers are way cheap now, I got a 100w renogy panel, charge controller, mounting brackets and 20 ft of cord all with free shipping from Amazon for less than $200!

Took little time to install, goes straight to the batteries that charge our 12v stuff.   Should be able to keep it charged and the controller will know when it's full or low. 

Fun project, I am going to do a bit more today like install a digital battery meter and maybe drill holes for solar cords....

Thursday, June 18, 2015

How's that for a glove box?

Karen had a really nice safe but had lost the combo.... So we had to get some sheet notarized, pay 20$ and they sent us the combo.... So I installed it next to the fridge, fits nicely, screwed it from the back and bottom inside to the floor plywood and sheet metal side.... No ones getting that out without the combo without destroying the floor and wall.

Should ease the worry of being in sketchy areas with anything valuable in the bus....

Also, today I tested all the spark plugs and put in a clear hose for the main fuel line to test if any air bubbles are getting in.... Most glow plugs tested fine, but some were suspect, while no bubbles were to be seen in the hose testing, this is leading me to believe the hard start is due to a glow plug issue...

Monday, June 15, 2015

WARNING!! Peace and love!

Painted roof with two coats of white rust oleum.... Should help with heat,,, also cut and rounded stop sign, painted it green then painted it some fun sacred geometry and other hippie art.

WARNING! Peace and love!

Really ties the room together, don't you think?

Friday, June 12, 2015

More rope trim, more screen stuff, safe, back door, etc...

I am grateful for having some nice days and being able to get so much done in the past two days!

Today I was able to:
- re-caulked the windows outside to ensure no water gets in-between walls (it was cracked)
- re-installed overhangs / 'eyelids' over where used to be the flashing warning lights, my wife might paint some eyeballs there :)
- got some smaller rope and did lots of trim, all bathroom trim, also around the fridge area and on the wheel well area (white caulk will turn clear)
- finished the screens with installing 2 screen clips on each window in the middle of the screen on each side, it slides to stop screen from coming out.... Total cost of all supplies for 8 window screens was about $30!
- moved things around a bit to get the safe in... Although still waiting on Karen's dad to see if he remembers the combo, she got it from him years ago and never wrote down the combo or used it...!  :). Worst case scenario we have to write the safe company with pics and explanation and they send back the backdrop combo or something like that
- disabled the back door safe lock where you couldn't start it with backdoor unlocked, had to try a bunch of things but ended up just having to disconnect the piece of electronics that the lock was attached to.....

I think that's it....

Window Screens & More Trim

After going out camping this week for a couple nights we realized our mistake of not figuring out the screen situation before hand.... the bugs were bad and it was hot, so we pretty much were unable to use the bus during the day at all!

We had an amazing spot though right on the St Croix in WI....

So after some research I found there are these 10" adjustable screens from Menards, went to check them out, seemed about right, and they were on sale for $3 each!  I picked up 7.   

They fit perfectly!  Only thing is keeping them stuck in there, so I put screws under them in the windows so they snug in there, then I am going to look for the slider things to keep them in place, like you see on house window screens to remove them easily.   Then we will only use when parked and can use on any of the windows with the windows open or closed as much as we want!

I also custom cut some screen and added velcro to it for the emergency top exit screen.  This is how we were going to do the other windows too, but glad I found the adjustable screens. 

Also did some rope trim on top of the bathroom.