Saturday, February 16, 2008

Gray water tank, etc.

Finally starting to feel just a tiny bit like a home in here....

Finished the plumbing for the sink's drain. Used ABS and PVC for the s-trap. Braided pvc hose goes down into our gray water tank. PVC and ABS are yucky but there's not really any better options out there short of copper or galvy...and that's kinda crazy for our drain. Also, the sink came with ABS fittings and the gray tank has PVC fittings glued onto it so we just went with the path of least resistance there. At least it's not for drinking water.

Here's our gray water tank all bolted into place! We were able to position it right under our sink for an easy drain. Used more scrap metal from Shnitzer Steel to make the cage. Bolted the box steel onto the ribs underneath the bus.

We also built the skeleton for the bed. The whole structure (with the exception of the 2x2 ledges on the perimiter of the bed) is removable. This way if we need to take things in and out of the back door we can. We used some old plywood sliding doors from Julia's old closet for the platform.

Our fresh water tank insulated with foil bubble wrap. We had a problem with condensation forming on the outside of the tank. Hoping that this solves that problem.

More foil bubble wrap for the covered over windows. We figured out that the oven part of our stove operates with a direct vent system. This means that the reason there are 2 vents (one nested inside the other) is that the outer-most vent sucks combustable air into the appliance and the inner-most vent pushes combusted air out of the appliance. We can't just bend up some sheet metal around the outer-most vent and call it a day because it won't work....they 2 need to be separated on the way out and they need to terminate in such a way that they wont get involved with one another....hard to explain. Anyway, it's back to the drawing board with that. We are looking into ordering the parts for it right now. If it starts to look expensive, we are thinking of scrapping this thing altogether and pulling another stove out of the RVs they have at the pick n pull right now.

Found a bunch of this gorgeous tile at Bring Recycling!!! They match our woodstove! We're going to use this to tile over the kitchen countertop. Still hoping to do a swirly broken-pieces mosaic over the heat walls around the woodstove.

Also found these awesome pieces of junk at Bring. They are little archetechural thingies that I personally ripped off of a piece of rotting Victorian house that someone donated to Bring. Hoping to clean the up, refinish them and mount them somewhere in the corners of our bus...maybe making an archway in the hall? Not sure yet. I'm really excited about them though.

In other news....we've decided to put the propane tanks in a sealed box underneath the bench/couch. It's making the most sense to us right now. (Thanks to Richard for his encouragement on this topic!) It'll be a way for us to really shorten our run from the tank to the appliances which is always a good thing - less pipe, fewer connections, fewer places to leak. It'll also be cheaper than buying a super-expensive under-mount tank. We found a couple used under-mounts from the 70's with no OPD valves...that looked kinda rusty...and decided that we'd be better safe than sorry on this one. Pretty sure that's what we're going to start working on tomorrow. =)


Lizz said...

Coming right along! Looking great inside and thanks for all of the technical details.

It's all just so exciting!

richard said...

You are going to be venting these to the outside of the bus though right? Are you creating a sealed box under your couch for your tanks? How tall is your couch going to be, based off the height of the tanks? They must be kept upright (which I am sure you knew).

Keep up the good work.

Here are a couple of links to pics of my tank boxes. They are mounted under the bed at the rear of the bus. The interior is sealed from the tanks.


3 moons and the sea said...

looking good! I bet you and Julia are so excited! You have amazing clothes btw. I'm still trying to take off some post-partum wt, but when I do, I will be placing an order :D

Erin said...

Thanks for all the kind words you guys n gals! We are getting pretty excited about how it is coming along, too. =)

Richard - I can tell by your comment that you don't want to be held responsible when we blow ourselves up with our propane! No worries. We are definitely venting to the outside - sorry I was vague about it in my last post. Ditto about our tanks being upright. We sure do want to avoid the flame-throwing affects of tilted LP tanks and rv stoves. Thanks for the pics! Very helpful. The bench/couch is going to be about 2' high...just a few inches up from where we had it previously. It'll seem a little high with the cushions but I think it'll be ok. We are leaving a rib in the center of the opening for our box for extra protection - when I saw that you did that, too I thought it was an even better idea.

Richard said...

Erin, I am not trying to cover myself. I am trying to be helpful and very clear in my suggestions. Propane is not something to be toyed with and I have a healthy respect for it (as do you both from what I have read so far). When I started my conversions I found the best help was simplified and very descriptive (with pictures for me as I am a visual learner). Anyhow, I just want you both to know that my long winded suggestions are coming from a positive place and concern for others.

Good luck and keep up the progress. It's easy to get discouraged.


Erin said...

We really appreciate everyone's ideas and advice. =) It's true - working with propane IS scary and it is easy to get discouraged with a big, unusual project like this. That's one of the reasons why having you all on board is so wonderful!

...4 Sawzall blades later, we're on our way to a sweet propane storage box! Wooo hoo. Pics to come.

(Important note: We bought these giant Bosch glow-in-the-dark sawzall blades at Bimart. They are sooo cool.)

Today is our first day off in probably 2 weeks. When you start to feel like an old lady, you know it's time to take a break.