Monday, April 28, 2008

Pantry + Passover

So, the kitchen is coming along......

We decided to rebuild our stove support in order to raise it up and make it so that our new vent could be routed out through the blocked-out window. It's all hooked up now and heating our tea water!

We also rebuilt the support for the icebox to make it tied in with the pantry above it. We added extra insulation around the ice box to make it extra efficient.

We also put a heat shield around the stove top and used pieces of copper pipe as spacers - just like we did with the heat shield around the wood stove only on a smaller scale. We sealed all the plywood with that Safecoat stuff to prevent off gassing. Eventually we will add a row of small, shallow over-head cabinets above the stove and the sink for extra storage of dishes and things.

We also hung up curtains all around the bus - three layers: top fabric + flannel sheet piece + regular sheet for the back. I added velcro tabs to the tops and bottoms so that they fit snugly against the window and help stop the convection current. There's been lots of time consuming odds and ends like this that we've been working on lately.

We have lots of safety gizmos now: a LP detector towards the floor (propane sinks), a smoke detector, a CO detector and two fire extinguishers.

We also re-did the gray water tank connection to smooth out the kinks that were happening in the hose. We also replaced the regular nuts that we shouldn't have used in the first place with lock nuts that won't rattle loose on us.

And yes....we replaced those windows we smashed up a while ago just fine. We ended up taking out two of the far-back windows in the bedroom and covering the inside up with cedar fence boards. We've been using lots of cedar fence boards for the interior lately - it smells great and looks pretty darn nice for $1.99 a board. Sometime soon we'll sand them and finish them but for now they kind of give it a rustic, cabin feel on the inside.

We're also in the middle of building our fold-out table right now. It's trickier than you would think! Pics on that to come.

We've been sleeping in the bus for a week or so now. It snowed/hailed/rained here for most of the time we were out there so we've definitely been learning how to work with our wood stove.

Heating and sleeping are a-ok. Cooking is another matter. Having discovered that our only local hose option for filling our fresh water tank is "drinking water safe" PVC, we've started to look elsewhere for a non-pvc (polyethylene?) hose. Looks like they only make them in Europe...arg. We may have to settle for a PVC hose for now and upgrade later. We'll decide what to do soon enough.

oh yeah....and HAPPY LATE PASSOVER!

we were very proud of our spread this year......

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mr. Toad's wild ride

Well, we took her out. We decided it was time to overcome one of the last hurdles of this project - learning to drive the bus. After getting a handle on how the air brake system works and checking a few fluids, Erin got behind the wheel to take her for a spin. She sure is BIG. The lesson we learned: it's going to take some practice.

We just went around the neighborhood and it was pretty exciting. By the end of our session, Erin had started to master the left-hand turns. The trouble only came when we attempted to get it back up the steep/curvy driveway. We were doing fine until one of the sawed off branch stumps we had left took out a couple of our windows!! It was pretty dramatic. Next time I'll make sure to check both sides of the bus before I say it's clear to go - oops. But luckily we were planning on taking out a few more windows in the back, so it wasn't too difficult to swap them out. It made us realize that it would probably help to find a new situation for the bus that would make it more smooth to get in and out so we can practice more often.

In the mean time, we are finishing up as many odds and ends to get it self-contained before we officially move in. We're working on a kitchen pantry/cabinet, installing our range vent and hooking the propane up, making a table, and finalizing the composting toilet apparatus. More posts on these projects to come. In other news, Erin finished sewing the curtains up - lots of windows lots of curtains.

Hope everyone is enjoying the spring blossoming!