Took me 2 weeks to finish, and it was totally worth it, back in the Ham now, gonna polish the rig up and see if I can make some money before I head to the mountains.
I have been down this road before, so the process went pretty quickly. Surprising how smoothly the process can go when you have the confidence and experience – trial and error zaps your time and energy quickly.
Been wanting this since I left in August, but always thought it a luxury, rather than a necessity. Now I want campfires, and to do that I will need a space to carry logs. I have not carried logs up to this point because of the mess it makes, the bugs it brings in, and the space they would capture in my garage. Now I can carry logs, an easy-access bicycle, a compressor, and any other large, disgusting or filthy thing I want to carry with me.
The project took a week to build, mainly because of daily shopping trips for steel and other supplies, the heat, mosquitos, and exhaustion. I am very happy with the results.
Removed the existing panels, and added adjustable, tilting panels, to maximize the radiation captured everyday. The old panels were converted into folding, moveable extensions of the array. So currently I have 400 watts total mounted panels, and another 200 watts to enable me to move out of the sun if needed.
res·i·dence – noun
a person’s home; the place where someone lives.
For the last few weeks, I have resided in Ebro, Fl. Before that, for 6 months, I was a vagabond, itinerant and peripatetic. Remaining in one spot more than 2 days was the exception. It was common to move 100 or more miles every day. Well that changed when I tired of running from the cold and wind. It seemed comfortable, finally, to find a place to park, plug in, and do some repairs, upgrades, maintenance, and spreading out.
The “spreading out” may be the most interesting, as it was literal, and figurative. I spread out my stuff all over the compound, to clean inside the bus thoroughly for the first time in six months. And I spread out all over the panhandle searching for new and interesting things to do.
4×4 Bus of the Year
A short tour of Arapaho NF, and I certainly got myself into a pickle or two pretending the bus was some sort of badass, off-road RV. Which it is not……supposed to be……but it is? Besides slinging some new stuff out on the inside(stuff that has made it thru some ruff stuff already) the bus never even appeared to be unprepared for ruff riding, jeep trails, not anything you would take the Buick on.
I did lose a strap at the top of the “high clearance vehicles only” section, and realized I might not get a better turn around, so I called it a day……an AWESOME day.
It happened yesterday about 4pm. I walked into the real estate office and signed my freedom papers. I now have no debt, no dependents, and no responsibilities.
Time to close up some outstanding business and hit the road.
It is harder than you think, because the only plumbing in a bus is the radiator – you must customize EVERYTHING else. You want a sink? Drill some holes. You want a shower? Drill some holes. Oh, you want water to flow thru both? Buy a tank, a water pump, mount them both, then run some pipe between them, and make sure the pipes don’t leak. Oh, you want both options to drain? OK, build a drain system, drill more holes….yaddyadda………
Oh, wait, I almost forgot……make sure you test all the installs, fittings, make sure the damn thing does not explode when you fill it with water, because you might be under it when all 470 pounds comes crashing onto your head.
SON OF A BITCH….I have water flow in the bus – and NO LEAKS?
It also represents the two types of electrical current now running thru the bus. DC is battery power that is recharged with solar, while AC is converted into DC from the batteries. It is now also coming in from shore power ( a campground supply, or house, or a generator) which is basically plugging into “the grid”. The big terror, and design headache was – how to integrate two separate circuits into one, with a switch, without spending $1,000 or more. This called for a $70 switch, instead of a $300 switch and a “kit” for RV’s. The switch prevents the shore power from “backfeeding” into a very expensive inverter and melting components.