Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Propane box, Ice box and *the* box

Long time, no post.

Well, we're 99% finished with the propane box except for a few silicone touch-ups here and there. Phew...that was an ugly battle.

In other news, we decided to give up trying to resuscitate our broken fridge. In our year of collecting pieces, we had 2 back up ice boxes just for this sort of occasion! We plumbed the ice box in and even made a nice little s-trap for it by bending up the pex just so and screwing it down with plumber's tape.

We went to Portland yesterday to hit the re-building store there and also to visit the Bins. We scored some really nice hardwood siding at the re building store, as well as a weather collar for our bathroom vent. Oh yeah - I also made some curtains for the bedroom! We are going to move our bed in as soon as we finish the bathroom walls....call me crazy but I have a thing about sawdust in the bed.

Me battling it out with the sawzall....don't know why this was so (*&%ing hard.

Ooooh...propane box lookin' kinda pretty. =) We used lots of flashing around the edges in part because my cutting job was not that pretty and in part because it made finishing the whole thing a breeze. Dig the locking hasps. We used some old interior rubber stuff from the bus to create a little "umbrella" above the doors.

The inside. We are going to paint it. Matter of fact, we're going to paint everything - inside and out - white. We caulked the nuts off this box. Weatherization for this thing is turning out be a P.I. the A. because the metal doors we made bow out when we lock the doors. We're going to add some clasps on the sides to make them cleave a little more snugly to the bus.

We tested the propane lines the other day and they are totally holding pressure!! The kind folks at Collin's Bike shop downtown lent us a specialty bike pump that screws on (rather than snaps on...not tight enough for our purposes) and measures the PSI of whatever it's pumping. We did this before we did the old soapy solution test because we thought it was a bit more scientific and to the point. With capped pipes (not hooked up to appliances) our pipes held their pressure which means there's no leaks! We were able to make a bike pump adapter out of a bushing and a little bicycle tire sized nozzle thing from Jerry's.

Here's what the box looks like on the inside of the bus. We raised the bench up a bit so that it would clear the box and not rest on top of it - we thought that the added pressure of our butts might eventually contribute to breaking the seals in the box.

What a disaster area. =) Note the ice box to the right of the stove. Pantry to be built above it.

Drain line coming out of the ice box with home-made little s-trap. The second piece of plumber's tape has a little scrap piece of 2x2 supporting the underside of the pex hose, creating the the "s" shape. I wrapped the pex in little pieces of pipe insulation to keep the tape from cutting into it.
There's the ice box drain coming in on the right towards the bottom of the sink drain. It switches from Pex to PVC at the end because that's what we had laying around the house. =)

The bathroom begins!

More bathroom detail....storage for extra sawdust below buckets...we're planning on making ours like SeanF's on skoolie.net....time tested, bus-freak approved....he has a fan driven vent out the roof and lots of provisions for airflow through the compositing mass. He also diverts the #1 into another tank...in our case we're going to divert it into the gray water tank. More details on all of this to come.

Here's some nifty stuff we bought at the new green store in Eugene. It seals plywood and prevents off gassing. Even though the plywood in our bathroom is recycled, it's probably still got some more offgassing to do - which is why we sealed it with this stuff before we installed it.

Here's some of the simple curtains I made for the bedroom. Dumpstered the curtain rods a million years ago...finally got to start using them! Note the pile of stuff on top of the bed. =)

Here's the panelling we got at the rebuilding store in Portland - $30 for 30 boards! More than we wanted to spend but it's just too pretty to walk away from.

Next up....installing the vent for the bathroom and wrapping up compositing toilet construction! Woo hoo!


3 moons and the sea said...

wow....moving right along! Looking good:)

Lizz said...

Wonderful work you girls! Thanks for sharing.

How's ours? Big and empty and sitting there. With 5 homeschooled kids and a very busy life, the bus project gets fit in when we can fit it...(when's that?) lol

We plan to do a composting toilet too. I wan to put one in the house as well. Working on the house and the bus at the same time too.

Erin said...

Hey ladies! Thanks as always for the encouragement.

Lizz - 5 kids is an unimaginable handful in my mind. Honestly, I can't even comprehend how busy you must be - no wonder the bus just sits there! Maybe when they're old enough they can be recruited as slave lab..er...bus helpers?

Lizz said...

You know, my kids love helping with the projects. That is indeed part of their education. So my 13 year old is the mechanic. He worked at Rich's VW shop for a while. He and his Pop pulled the seats out. They've done a bunch of mechanical work. We're slowly acquiring the guts. I'm thinking it will be a 3+ year project. The couple that has the Blue Rocket told me their's was 3 years in doing the conversion and they were just the two adults.

It's just slower for us fitting it in around our life, but that is OK.

Justine said...

Wow! This is really coming along! I keep thinking. . . what a coupla SMART mamas! Cuz all that fixin-up stuff is a LOT to learn! LOOOOVIN the patchies, mama!!!!

Erin said...

Lizz - mechanic in the family? You are blessed! 3 years sounds about right. I bet you guys will have lots of fun watching the bus grow up with your kids! =)

Justine - Good to hear from you and thanks for your kind words! You know, we *have* been learning so much with this project.....but I chalk our progress up more to sheer determination than to smartness. I guess what I'm trying to say is that you (and anyone with spare time, some $$, a drill and a couple of saws) could do it, too. Oooo the possibilities! A lot like sewing I guess - but you already knew that! ;)

best to all!!

- erin

brokedownpalace said...

it looks teriffic you gals are motivated for sure wow keep on truckin!!!

beadbabe49 said...

I am so jealous...thanks for sharing your process!

Elissa said...

it looks so amazing!!!!!! i miss you both so very much and can wait to see you driving in around SC
love love