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 On the Road Again

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PostSubject: On the Road Again   Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:24 pm

I am creating this thread preemptively. I am (hoping) to purchase a used U-Haul truck sometime this week... said purchase has been delayed for a few months, and more recently it seems it's been pushed back every week. The reason I am making this thread, in particular why it is going in the Creation category is because I am planning on modifying the truck into a sleeper / mobile office, and I hope to post pictures of what I've done.

This project is going to be a big one, in that it'll last me an extended period of time. I'm not going to spend a large sum of money on it all at once; I want this to be a project that is thought out and planned, a project of love.

The original "for sale" post can be found by clicking this link. The image below is of the truck itself. With the exception of a couple broken hinges on the back door (popped rivets), the only notable damage to the body is the one crack just before the back tire as seen in the picture.



Right now I am planning on a green and black color scheme. I'm going to play with the image at home to best show the color layout / pattern, but essentially it'll be mainly green with black trim / highlights.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Tue Apr 12, 2016 9:54 am

Some of the things I want to do to the body of the truck is to install some windows and vents.  That'll be easy enough, cut panels between the supports, frame it off; and yes, I know it'll be more involving than that, but really, not by much.  Luckily, with there being a Habitat for Humanity resale shop so close by, I can find a lot of things that I can repurpose, or at least get ideas from by looking at them.

With one of my ideas being to eventually bring in a camping stove for heat, I know I'll be needing to insert some sort of duct work.  Not a problem; as I've said, I've been dreaming of this for years, and while making a swiveling hatch may be interesting, I have to keep in mind that I'm going to need some sort of venting, both for fresh air intake and so, in case of emergency, any fumes / smoke / gases can get out.  Venting was going to be needed anyway; I'm not concerned about oxygen deprivation while camping, but it's like this: tents have a screened top for a reason.

So, the other day I was strolling through the Resale Shop, just browsing, when I came across some pieces that would be perfect for venting.  I bought two of them, and I plan on mounting them to the top of the box... I just don't know if I want them to be side-by-side, or one in the front and the other in the back.  I've been told by someone who owns a long trailer (portable workshop / snowmobiles for racing) that, with the size of the box, I'd only need one on top, but I'm thinking visually two would look better, especially side-by-side.

The pieces that I bought?  Home roof vents.  Cut out the appropriate sized hole in the roof of the truck, and with a nice combination of bishop's tape (or caulk) and bolts coming in from the top, I have no worries of they're ability to with stand driving conditions or weather.  I am currently looking up wind rating for these, so in the meantime here are some pictures to look at. Please note that they are already screened, though I will probably be adding a second screen within the truck. While the screen is small enough to prevent the likes of mosquitoes from entering, not so much for smaller bugs such as gnats. Also, within the truck body, I'll be putting in sliding covers to close the vents. Maybe.



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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Tue Apr 12, 2016 1:30 pm

Shouldn't have done this, trying to picture the van as what it'll look like instead of keeping in mind the work I have to do, but you know what?  I don't care.  If I wanted to, I could add little things like windows on the cargo area, maybe some sort of design on the hood (or hell, a black strip wouldn't be bad either).  I am not going with gloss black, and I doubt I'm going with that shade of green; this was just done to give me a visual.

There's nothing wrong with dreaming.

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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:42 pm

Just putting this here so I can refer to it easily in the future.  

1999 Ford v10 F350 Super Duty 6.8L

Owner's Manual

Repair Manual

UHaul Parts Store

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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:49 pm

And this little tidbit.  I'm sure we've all seen them and laughed... but did you know that RV parking / overnight stays at Walmart are permitted?  Not exactly camping, but not bad if you're traveling and need a place to crash...  and hell, they have bathrooms and supplies readily available 24 / 7!

Walmart Camping
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Sat Apr 16, 2016 12:56 pm

As of this morning, I am the proud owner of this vehicle. Or, more precisely, I now have all the funds needed for its purchase. Woo-hoo!

Uber Xcited

I've just checked the website, the truck is still available. I'll call in a bit to confirm. With luck, I'll be picking it up early this coming week!

I've had a mutual friend check this truck out for me, as he has experience in driving this type of vehicle on a daily basis; between him and a co-worker of his, they both gave it their stamp of approval. They did inform me though that the reason why their company doesn't use this vehicle anymore is because there was a problem with the lug nuts coming loose or off. Now, I don't have too much of a problem with that; I'm not driving this every day, and can easily mark this under a pre-drive check.

On related news, I've just ordered a Chilton's repair guide for the 1999 F350 Super Duty.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:45 am

It... it sold this morning.

After delays in getting the funds that were due me (I sold a camera on eBay, took the guy a little bit longer to pay me than anticipated), and after having called the seller to hold on to it (manager was out, but they would take a message), it was sold this morning. Tired from all the overtime I've been putting in (not complaining), so I'm a bit pissed and upset about this. Trying to look on the bright side of things. "Hey, I can get a HD TV now and a PS4!" "Hey, I can get all my bills at four months ahead and be done with it!" "Hey, I can pay off a good chunk of my student loan!" "Hey, we can carpet the upstairs without actually spending anything {from checking or credit}!"

None of that is really helping right now.

*sigh*

I suppose this is probably for the best though. Responsibilities first or some bullshit like that. Can't figure out what the hell I'm going to do with a Chilton's manual now... but since it covers a decade, I should probably hold onto it just in case. Save my money for something a little newer perhaps. Maybe get that truckload of gravel so I have a place to park it behind the garage. Take care of A, B, and C first.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Wed Feb 01, 2017 1:18 pm

After several months... almost a year after having made the initial post... my dream of acquiring a used UHaul truck has taken a big step forward: I have gained the wife's permission.

This is, what, Wednesday? On either Sunday or Monday, she and I were talking about future stuff. More specifically, in her words (in describing herself) "the older I get, the more I want to just stay home and relax", to which I replied that that was funny, as how I want to get out and go see stuff.

I then added about how great it would be to own my own UHaul truck, that I've been dreaming of such a thing since being a wee lad. She asked why a UHaul, with my response being that it is a big empty canvas, that because of the size of it, you could set one up to do anything. She immediately said that it'd be great to set up bunk beds in, so there was definitely some interest in her part (she had given it thought / could actually visualize it). I told her that I initially though that I could build a bed frame so that half of it was within the section going over the bad, but she probably wouldn't like being so close to the roof... but then I talked about how that area is perfect to put a dresser and storage, as well as placing a fresh water system. And then I talked about having beds on a hinge so they could be flipped up, with a bookshelf on the bottom of the beds, and and and... she commented that "you really have been giving this a lot of thought, haven't you."

I then mentioned how we could go traveling without worrying about hotel stays because of the entire "Walmart allows overnights". Told her we could get a destination in mind and plan a route that involved Walmarts. She laughed at that, but thought it was a rather sound idea.

Of course, I told her that it's just a dream though... but then she surprised me by saying "go for it."

Whether she was serious or not, that reply right there made my head jump. She inadvertently gave me permission to get my truck! It's kind of crappy that the only things available within 100 miles are 17 footers, asking price at about $10,000, but this gives me a chance to save money, with the hope that as spring comes, a 14 footer can be found. Suppose I could always try FedEx.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:57 am

Latest setback on achieving the dream. Seems... oh, hold on, seems I forgot to mention that I was close to achieving the dream first, shouldn't I?

There was a 14' UHaul truck available in Crytal Lake Illinois. Been keeping an eye on it, and even had set things up to go down and get it. Checked the website every day to ensure the placement was still up, as the truck was perfect. Rated four out of four stars, the checklist was marked as either excellent condition or good, and the price was fairly reasonable. Called down there a couple days before heading out to verbally ensure it was there, and to leave verbal confirmation / appointment to see it (after having left three emails as well).

"I don't know if you want that truck. It doesn't start."

What do you mean? The checklist says the engine is good, runs and idles smooth.

"Well, we think there's something wrong with the battery. It doesn't keep a charge."

(I'm thinking, replace the damn battery).

"Also, I don't know if you noticed in the pictures, but the box is out of wack. It's bowed."

But the placement says the box is solid and structurally sound.

"Yeah, I don't know, something musta happened to it. But we do have others on the lot."

I'm sorry, I'm not driving four hours just to take a look, especially when the ad said that this truck was in great condition.

I'm sure the dealer could have easily put in a new battery, but the fact that the box was bowed? That to me makes it sound unstable. I'm not a structural engineer, but if the box is sitting crooked on the chassis, that's rather telling, and all I need is to be driving down the highway and have the thing collapse.

...

Then there was a truck I saw on Craigslist. Newer. Fewer miles. Already had electrical hookups and a panel leading from the box to the cab. 16' in length, no "mother's attic" or whatever the box overhang is called, so it was a straight 16'. It was also a business vehicle, so that right there tells me it was properly maintained, as you don't want to be heading to a customer and have a vehicular breakdown. And being located in Green Bay, it would have been easier to get. Made arrangements with the seller to go see and possibly get it... but after some thinking, I decided against it. Not that I couldn't afford it (it was a bit more expensive than the UHaul), figuring half the work was already done, but that it would have wiped my entire savings, leaving nothing in case of an emergency. So I contacted the seller the next day and told him as such, to which he replied no big deal as someone was coming out today (the day I called) to come and buy it. Too bad he didn't notify me that he sold it out from under me, the prick.

Then I see that A&B Automotive in Menominee is selling a box truck. 16', no ramp, no interior pictures of the box, older and more miles than the UHaul I was looking at, plus it is of a higher cost than the one in Green Bay. Nope, not even considering it.

...

As a comparison, there is a dealer in Oconto who is selling a converted box truck (14', with the overhang); interior is carpeted, has a service door and windows installed. The asking price is almost $9000. I am not even looking into this, but it makes for a good counter point for those who might object to getting such a vehicle. If I can grab one for around $3500 and do what I want to it, it could be turned around and sold for $9000. That's not a bad trade-off at all now, is it?

So anyway, I will continue to look, continue to buy items to be used for the truck conversion as they pop up (from thrift stores, resale shops, etc) to keep costs down, and continue putting money aside.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Mon Apr 17, 2017 9:28 am

The dream has become a reality.

A couple weeks ago, while searching for box trucks / cube vans, one of the sites I went to was Craigslist.  There are some things I will buy off of it, some things I won't... depends mainly on location so I can check things out.  So, as a search parameter, I wanted within 75 miles of my location.  Got three of five pages of results, mainly tool boxes for the back of trucks.  But then, I saw this:




The headline essentially read "Auction Sale", and this truck was part of a retirement / going out of business sale in Little Chute.  The truck, as described and as seen by the other 32 pictures on the auction website, is a GMC 3500 5.7L V8; 18' box with a 4' overhang (making the actual floor 14'); has a door going from the cab to the box; has the ramp and two two drawer underbody utility boxes; translucent roof.  Essentially, the only thing I have left to do to this to make it mine (besides furnishing it) is to install an electrical junction box.

So I bid the amount that I would have spent on a 14' UHaul truck, you know, the amount I saved up.  There's no way I could win this for such a ridiculously low price, right?  Needless to say, I won... which many of you already knew about before I wrote this post.  I'm just writing this for the sake of completion and to add pictures.

Anyway, yes I won.  I'm not going to say how much I bid, but let's just say that for an 18' box truck with 120,000 miles, it could easily have sold for four times as much, and that's with it not having the utility boxes, the door, or the ramp; with those items, we'd be talking about five or six times the amount.  The utility boxes are valued at $500 each, and the ramp sells at metal shops for $400-$500.  All things considered, this is a vehicle where if I wanted to flip it, if there was a financial emergency, I could turn around and post it and by damn near guaranteed a buyer.

I had finally achieved my dream!






The hard part it seems would be dealing with work.  According to my supervisor, they couldn't justify rearranging the schedule just so I could have the day or afternoon off (I can rearrange mine and my wife's schedule when they call me to work the last minute on a weekend, but hey, whatever).  And yes, we are a little shorthanded as one of the coworkers is on vacation... but we also have two others who won't work more than they have to, even though I said I'd cover a shift for them to balance things out.  Thought about calling in sick, but is a vehicle really worth losing your job over?

Contacted the auction house and explained to them I couldn't get to the scheduled pick-up appointment, but if someone would be available, I could come down on Saturday.  "Nope, no one's going to be in the office."  Damn.  "Also, you haven't paid for it yet."  My thought was how could I pay for it?  I was paying cash.

So all weekend I thought I was out.  Done.  But then I started to read a little bit more on the auctioneer's website, mainly the FAQ.  Any unclaimed items would be transported to their office or left at the location, depending on the item or circumstances.  Great!  Oh, their main office is in Prairie something, near the Minnesota border?  Damn.  Oh look, they have another office in Neenah.  Great!  And that's only roughly 12 miles from where the auction is held!  But would they transport the truck there, or to their main office?

According to the fine print on the invoice, the office they'd be using would be the Neenah one.  Yay!  I had a plan.  I'd just not show up to pick up the truck, email them about an hour before the end of the day and say "oh sorry, won't make it."  But then yesterday Gail gave me an idea when she asked if I already paid for it.  Went back to the FAQ, and sure as shit, they have an ACH (automatic withdrawal) option for payment.  I thought it was strictly cash or credit (check you needed this and that and and and); and even if we had a credit card with that much of a balance, they would charge and extra 3.5% convenience fee.  No thank you, not an option.

This morning I transferred funds to our checking account and filled out the ACH form. Could have left the funds in the savings, but then I would need to get a letter of good standing from the bank, whereas with checking all I needed was a voided check.  Submitted the form, and about a half hour later I received an email from the auction house saying they would not be able to process this in time for me to pickup the truck, that I would need to bring cash down with me today... explained to that person that, due to work and family stuff I wouldn't be able to get down until Thursday (as I explained to so-and-so last week), and that I submitted the ACH as an act of good faith knowing I would need to pick it up at Neenah or the actual auction site.  They in turn wrote back and said "not a problem."

So yay, my dream has been achieved, shattered, and resurrected!  I'll be heading down Thursday to get my new (new for me) truck!  Now I just need to find a driver; I've got three in mind, going to start hitting them up after I do some work.  Until then, here's some more pictures.




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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:45 am

I would like to add a couple things.

When I asked and told the mrs about this, she asked if I have all the tools I needed to do the conversions I wanted. I then explained to her that with the translucent top, there was no rush to install windows (but with my jigsaw and some framing, yes, I've got the stuff and know what to do); and with the door going from the cab to the box, that's a bonus as I wouldn't have to do one myself (you legally cannot drive with people in the back if you don't have this type of door). So essentially, all I really need in the "immediate" are my work-working tools, of which I have plenty. I also told her that for any builds or customizations or whatever with this, that I would be saving and putting aside for myself: I won't tap into the checking account or her credit card... but really, lumber, plywood, and odds and ends really aren't that much. No hurry, low cost, no worries.

In turn, this past weekend she admitted to watching some videos on how to do this or that as far as customizing RVs goes, and realized that it really wasn't that hard. That right there tells me she's getting into this as well, so that's an extra bonus. Smile Asked her where she would like to go with this, and with no hesitation she said Florida to see Alex. Sounds to me we've got a road trip to plan... wonder how many Walmarts there are between here and Jacksonville...

...

Just ordered a repair manual for this make and model of vehicle / engine (1998 GMC G3500 Savana). The one big purchase and first custom job I want to do is install a rear facing camera. Everything else is going to be easy.

Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:21 pm

Gawd, I want to puke.

Did I write about my plan for the truck? *scrolls* Okay, yeah I did. That'll make this easier.

At roughly 2:30 I received a phone call from one of the agents conducting the auction (or, in this case, handling the pickups), wondering if I was coming to pick up my vehicle. Told them exactly what I told the guy last week and the lady I was dealing with this morning. Even told the person I was already working with the lady about scheduling a pickup on a different date from the Neenah office or at the site location as stated on their website. The caller was a little irritated and tried explaining to me that the lady I was working with would only route the information to them, and that they were four hours away from the lady, and that they wouldn't know what to do with the vehicle. Oh, and their supervisor would be getting involved.

Supervisor writes me about an hour later saying he thought we discussed the pickup. I wanted to explain that yes we did, but that he wouldn't meet me at the office Saturday or have someone hang around until 6p tonight. Luckily, within moments of receiving that email, the accounts manager (the one I was dealing with this morning) wrote a response saying that I was paid in full and that things were good. Someone must have said something in that hour before the super wrote, because his email ended with "we'll have the keys and title waiting for you at the Neenah office."

So yeah, basically my plan worked. Trapped them with their own words and policy.

I did land up replying to the supervisor's email, said I apologize for any misunderstanding or inconvenience, and that I was thankful that they're able to work with me on this. I then suggested that, if it helps even in the slightest, I could be down there by 6p these next few evenings before Thursday, or they'll just have to wait until then.

*shrugs*
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:56 pm

LINKS

This particular post I am setting up for reference purposes only; instead of making a new post for every link I find (regarding builds), I'm just going to edit them into here. Supplies, how-to, etcetera.

Uhaul Toter Home - from a different forum, I'm posting this here because the author has a great many step-by-step photos and descriptions of what he found works / doesn't work. There are some things that I wouldn't do, but he and I are doing two different builds; his is a jeep hauler first with living conditions second, whereas mine is living first and scooter storage second.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:25 pm

Blank Slate

While this isn't a picture of what I purchased, it's close... and it'll have to do for now.  The image below is still an 18' box truck (or cube van, never can tell the two apart) with a 4' attic.  In other words, the box top is 18', the floor of the overhang is 4', and the floor of the box is 14'.  In the image, the overall length from bumper to bumper is about 21.5".  When I was measuring proportions alongside our Trailblazer, I had figured about 23 feet, so I wasn't too far off (actual length is currently unknown).

With the attic and the underbody utility boxes, I don't have much concern in the way of storage.  I know a lot of custom jobs have the bed within the attic, but the mrs once told me she's claustrophobic, so that might not be an option.  I'll toss a mattress up there and have her lay on it so she can give me her opinion.  Otherwise, for family outings (or if it's just me and the boy, or a guy's trip, or whatever), I can set up twin beds along the top (one on each side) and have it so there are closets holding the bed up / acting as a hallway for the cab door.  That might be a tight fit, so I can have the closets running the length of the overhanging mattress portion, that way it's wider (more open) at the bottom than the top.  I don't know, something to test build on a model first I suppose.  That option would give me 10' of floor space left to play with.

Another option I've been toying with was a staggered bunk bed, where the top would be halfway into the attick / overhanging into the box, and the bottom fully in the box; the bottom would be hinged so it would fold up, revealing a bookshelf / TV.  A couch would have been along the other wall (or a couple chairs and a table).  This option would leave seven feet of floor space.  Could always replace the couch with a futon, or even another fold up bed (like the bottom bunk).

Regardless of what I do, the front half is the living area.  Having a couch of chairs or even a bed at the ready makes it easier and safer for when we drive if we have more than two people with us (there are only two seats in the cab).

The rear half would be for scooter or bicycle storage, maybe a gas stove, perhaps a dresser.  I don't know, never really got further in my dream other than just the living area.  Wanted water storage in the attic portion with a gravity fed system for showers or a sink, but that might be too heavy, have to look and see what kind of system RVs have for that (shower would be outside the box).

Tools, gas, battery packs, tents, spare parts, and other such extras would definitely be in the utility boxes.

I would like to run some wiring through the back. While having a super charge alternator with additional batteries is tempting, I have to look into that a bit more first.  No, for right now I figure I'll install an outlet where the male end is on the outside and the female on the inside, and run a few plugs off of that (for when we are at powered locations.  Have a few marked outlets that are connected to my battery packs.  Wait... isn't there a switch that I can use to go from direct outlet fed power to battery power?  One more thing to look into.

Ramp would remain, makes it easier for bikes or scooters or wagons.

Now for the back door.  It is currently a roll up door, but that might make things difficult in the future.  Not difficult, but... I don't know, just lost the word.  Take the door out and frame / wall the back?  Have doors that swing out?  Would probably be more effective.  BUT I'm also looking at building a pull out deck of sorts.  That could also be unrealistic.  Anywho, set things up so when the back door is open, it reveals a screen wall (like a screen tent).  That would definitely make things cooler on the inside.

I don't know about putting in a service door on the box side.  Sure, it makes things convenient, but it isn't needed.  I do want to put windows in though.  Put those roof vents I bought in as well.  That should take care of air flow, especially if I have battery operated fans within the vents / windows.

...

Back half of the box would need to be waterproofed, what with the roll up door.  A nice roll of vinyl kitchen flooring would be perfect, with those rubbery baseboards going up the sides.  Maybe something a little more sturdier if we're having bikes brought in.  Something easy to clean up and won't get water damaged.

Carpeting in the first half, but tile or vinyl in the walkway.  Don't want to muddy up the baby.  Light colors for the walls... paint or fake wood paneling, who knows, need to sit inside and stare for a bit.  Figuring "light" because it'll make it look brighter.

Speaking of which!  Need to put up some kind of drape or curtain for the ceiling (since it's translucent and all).  Or do I want to block off portions of it with insulation to keep the heat out, but have a couple panels open for natural light / sunroof effect?  Either way, a curtain would need to be drawn.

All in all, the inside may sound as if there's a bit of work to do, but not if it's broken down and built in stages.  The builds themselves won't be that difficult either: instead of making a camper, I'm making an open apartment.  If that makes sense.  The hardest thing is going to be putting in the windows, but I've done that before (used to assemble doors for Buy-Rite in Marinette.  Bastards.  But that's another story).  You trace the window, drill guide holes. run the saws all (I have one), insert window (making sure to use caulk) from the outside, attach inside frame (again, calk).  Done.  Could seal the wall edges, but with the caulk, you don't have to.  Maybe do both, just for double protection.  The gas stove is nothing, especially since RVs utilize them.  A sink?  That might be tricky as I need to store the grey water.  But again, follow what RVs have done.

This will be built from the front back.  No fun building a kitchen or bike rack if you can't go anywhere, right?

Exterior.  I could just buy spraypaint that matches the blue and cover up the logos.  In fact, I will be doing that, but I'm not going to leave it like that.  I still want to paint everything olive green, maybe put some military style markings on it (black lettering, some arrows).  Maybe a star on the hood... how cool would that be?  Whip antennas are a must, just for aesthetics, one on each side of the cab.  I also want to have a retractable pole with an omni-directional over-the-air TV antenna like I have at home, set it up so we can have channels.  Get some all terrain or all weather tires.  Of course, the exterior is going to be the last thing that gets done.  The interior the important thing.




{EDIT}
Almost forgot: rear facing camera. Backing up camera. Reverse camera. Whatever you want to call it, I need to install one. I might install other cameras along both sides of the truck, as it'd help with blindspots, but as an extra bonus, for security purposes. Don't want anyone popping open the utility boxes! So yeah... back is an essential, sides are a maybe.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:47 am

Initial Findings

Picked up and drove the truck home on Thursday April 20; a mutual friend brought me down. In an odd incident, I had the chance to meet with the owner (he had signed the title in the wrong spot). Nice enough guy, quite happy he was retiring. He had used the truck as a mobile workshop, which explains the amount of caked on dust in the interior, but more on that later.

As I said, drove it home that day from Little Chute. While the truck did have some thick smoke for a couple minutes, that was due to having sat for a fair amount of time; the smoke cleared and everything burned nicely. Went to a gas station with the intention of filling the tank up, but once I hit the $85 dollar mark, I decided it was full enough. The tank was already 1/4 full, and I brought it up to the full line, but the handle didn't automatically shut off, so there was room to add more. Sadly, I failed to see how many gallons that was.

It took a little bit of time, but eventually I made it up to 65 - 70 mph for the drive home. There was some resistance around the 50-60mph range, but I believe that was probably due to air turbulence, because as soon as I hit 60-65, things leveled out and the vehicle drove smoothly. Made it home in excellent time, no stops, about 1.5 hours later; no issues with the handling or engine. Only problem was the previous driver's choice in music stations, but hey, I made due.

Once home, I measured the box to verify some things, and so I could begin making a model of it (for planning purposes). Turns out the roof is 21' and the floor is 17'; this gives me an extra three feet of space. Definitely bigger than what I needed, but it works.

Cleaning

I spent the majority of the day Saturday cleaning the cab interior and the box. Needless to say, the cab no longer looks as if it was on a construction site! Gone is all the dust and dirt; well, at least most of it.

The cab interior was bad. Okay, not bad as in "oh my gawd", just bad as in you can tell it has gone through a lot, with dirt and dust covering everything. There still is some remains, but all in all it looks a hell of a lot better. Wiped down the dash, upholstery, doors, everything that was exposed, even going so far as to scrub the cab floor. Regarding the floor, there is still a ring of grim around the seats where a scrub brush would probably come in handy (but a sponge could not get to), so you can get a good feel of the before and after.

Installed a steering wheel cover and some new car seat covers. The seats were okay, but the passenger side had some cuts, and the driver's had a chunk missing from where the driver would slide in; I'll eventually put a chunk of foam into that missing area, but as it's under my mid-thigh, it isn't noticeable. Anyway, the covers are mainly to hide the seat conditions.

Found out that the door going from cab to back slides. No need to put in a window! Now it can be driven with that door open, without it obstructing my view.

...

While removing the equipment from the back and sweeping things up, I noticed a couple areas that could be re-caulked. My intention is to caulk the wider gaps (gaps that I can see a sliver of light come through) from the inside, but then to coat all corners and edges with flex-seal. Wait, not all edges, just the bottom edges of the floor (including overhang) with the pour-able sealant, and the forward facing vertical with the spray. There wasn't any wood rot (the walls have plywood facing and the floor is planks), but there was some dampness. It just wouldn't do any good to trap that moisture with carpeting or flooring.

I am definitely putting in some insulation. The ribs along the ceiling match those on the side, so I will be removing the plywood walls, cutting insulation to fit between the ribs, and then putting the same plywood back up, hopefully using the same holes. The ribs are about an inch high, and though the insulation may not be up to house standards, using one inch thick pink foam insulation for the sides and the silver lined for the top, it'll be enough to help either retain heat of block some of it.

My intentions for this coming week are to begin the removal of the vinyl lettering, in particular the DOT numbers off the doors (first) and the word "contracting" from all the surfaces (second). This way, when the plates arrive, I can begin driving it to and from Menard's without worry... don't want to be stopped for having DOT numbers if this isn't registered with the DOT, nor do I want this to be seen as a contractor's vehicle with RV plates. Both of these traffic infractions don't appeal to me, not in the slightest. Oh, I have to also remove some sod and lay some construction bricks down so I can get the tires off the wet dirt and grass.

Did I mention all the lights work, including the small lights atop the back of the cube?
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Tue Apr 25, 2017 2:25 pm

Anxiously awaiting the arrival of my plates. Stopped at the Resale Shop today during my lunch break and found that I can get a cast majority of the furnishings I want. I knew that before, that this store was going to be the go-to place, but there's something different about planning ahead and planning towards.

For instance, they have a nice selection of cabinets right now. Grab a couple of those, I'd be good for most of the storage. They also had some spools of wiring and some conduit; those items are a plan ahead deal, but it'd be nice if I could install the stuff now, that way I wouldn't have to worry about it later.

Ordered a couple items off of eBay as well: window visors and a bug deflector, and a male end weatherproof receptacle for when we park at places that have power. I'll be installing a normal female outlet on the inside of the box to correspond with the plug. Thought about putting in a power switch, but I'm thinking against it now. Why over-complicate things? Also, yesterday I picked up one of those backup cameras. Looks easy enough to install, you just wire the camera into the reverse light's wiring... the monitor itself just plugs into a cigarette lighter port; no wires between either device.

Today, weather pending, I'm going to spray the aluminum frame (from the inside) with some Flex-Seal. Or not. Need to examine the track, see if it's clean or if I need to wipe it down. Probably better if I wait until I take the plywood off, take care of everything all at once then.

Debating what I want to do with the flooring. Indoor/outdoor carpeting? A roll of vinyl tile? Split the truck in half? My biggest dilemma with this is I know I want the living area to have carpeting and the back area (bikes / moped storage) to have tile, but the middle section with the water tank and cabinets, I'm at a loss. If I go the route of simplicity, it'd be carpeting.

...

I think I just answered my question. Keep it simple. Leaving the back as tile, or heck, the bare wood (just varnished or epoxied or something) makes the most sense as that area would be the dirtiest: I can always put a scrub mat down. And if I go with a dirty looking gray indoor/outdoor carpet for the rest of the truck, I wouldn't have to worry too much about appearances. Could always put a long narrow rug through the entire length as well.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Mon May 15, 2017 8:42 am

Vinyl Lettering

This past weekend I removed the vinyl lettering and decals from the truck. The removal was easy, once I looked it up: hair dryer and a plastic card is what is usually recommended, but I used my heat gun and a plastic paint scrapper.

Everything I saw online said you had to "brush" the lettering with the hair dryer so it softens the vinyl adhesive, use the card to start scrapping an edge up, pinch and peel right off. Which it does, whether you use a hair dryer and card or heat gun and scrapper. I just happened to use the heat gun because I didn't want to hog the wife's dryer in case she needed it, and the scrapper because of the angled edge (it helped in lifting the lettering). However, while performing this, I "discovered" a few things that might be helpful to those who ever find themselves in needed to remove such things, whether it be lettering, bumper stickers, window decals / park passes, and so on.

The sun is your friend.

Seriously. The sun is your friend.

A while back, you might recall that I removed the DOT numbers from the truck. This was done in the shade, and with extensive use of the heat gun. But, as I found out this weekend, if you let the side of the vehicle to be worked on face the sun for about a half hour or so, as long as the vehicle body is between quite warm and hot, the lettering will peel right off without the need for applied heat. You'll still need the scrapper, but this right here is a time saver.

I also learned that, if heat is applied, there will be less adhesive left behind; additionally, larger pieces tend to come off easier than smaller ones, probably due to there being less of a chance of stretching / snapping. Don't get me wrong, larger pieces will still break, it's just that they come off easier. You have to watch thin pieces, because while they peel nicely enough, they'll stretch and snap, so you'll have to start the process over again. Then there's vinyl thickness: thinner stuff tends to snap real easy, so you'll need patience. I don't know why, but metallic colored vinyl was a pain in the arse; left behind lots of adhesive, snapped easily, needed a lot of heat with repeated applications.

With regards to the adhesive left behind, I've read that Goo Gone is supposed to work the best. Going to buy some today from Walmart (auto stores supply it as well, but I like Walmart's prices). Just spray on, wait a moment, and wipe off.

For roughly $15 without shipping, you can buy a rubbery vinyl eraser. This goes onto your drill and removes the vinyl by gripping and peeling as it spins. I've read that it can burn the paint. It does work fast, but why spend money when everyone's got a hairdryer? And besides, you have to use goo gone afterwards anyway. Take an extra few minutes and do it the cheap way.

So remember: back in the sun for a bit first, it'll make the job that much easier, just make sure to but sun block or lotion on your arms and the back of your neck... my gawd, my neck hurts.

OH! Heat guns and removing vinyl from surfaces other than metal. I learned that, when removing the lettering from the back roll-up door, if I had the gun on a letter for too long, the paint would begin to bubble. If you peel right away, the paint is coming off. But, should you wait a little bit for the bubbling to stop, you can peel and the paint will remain behind.

Took me about six hours to remove the lettering and decals from the truck on Saturday, but that includes breaks, lunch, moving the truck to face the sun, and so on. The only part I did not get to was the front portion of the overhang. I could have used a ladder and braced it against the front / protected the bumper and hood, but I'd have had no place to hand the scrapper or heat gun. Instead, I measured some things out and saw I can make a scaffold of sorts out of dressers and some nice sturdy boards we have in the garage. As I was baked (well done), I didn't want to start hauling stuff out to work on it. Save it for a different day.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Mon May 22, 2017 2:09 pm

interior design

This past weekend I began work on the interior / box portion of things. Wasn't too much.

1. Cut and placed foil faced insulation into the overhead. It's my intention that by using foil faced foam, it'll help block heat from the sun. Any insulation would have done so, but at least with the foil, it should reflect a lot of the light, instead of absorbing it which would eventually lead to deterioration. Plus, if one were to see the vehicle from the top, having silver exposed instead of pink will look better. Had room to use 1" foam, but I went with 3/4" so that there was a bit of play should my measurements be off. There is a two inch recess on both the port and starboard sides, with which a gently bent the insulation panel and popped into place. Some panels dip in the middle, but the won't slip out.

2. Cut and placed carpeting. Wasn't hard at all, as the carpet roll was 12' by 8', and the area I wanted to cover was 12' by about 7.5 feet. I didn't tape or secure the carpet yet, as I plan on making some slits so that, when I place L shaped brackets, the _ portion will be under the carpet.

3. Made one pass with paint. Painting things, according to Dutch Boy, "tealed white". It's a light color, helps brighten the room, and the blue will offset the carpeting and eventual wood paneling (more on that in a bit). One gallon covered everything but the trim; need to buy another gallon so I can get the trim and apply a second coat.

upcoming

1. Need to get the wood paneling onto the ceiling. The grooves will be running from left to right (along the short edge). Will be affixing the panels to the ribs on the ceiling with self tapping screws (stainless). This will both hide and keep the insulation in place.

2. Towards the main door, there is a portion of the floor that is not covered. I plan on possibly coating that with some sort of truck liner, along with the section of wall beneath the etrack (in that area). I was going to apply vinyl tiles, but that might not be as durable as the liner... not to mention that the floor surface isn't even, so the tiles won't lay flat. As this is essentially the mud room / utility area of the build, I need that durability. This is not a priority portion, the stuff mentioned above is.

3. The downside of insulating the roof is that it blocks the sunlight. It's a bit of a catch 22... keep the sunlight coming in / get hot much quicker, block the heat / block the light. My solution? I've purchased off of eBay some recessed lighting trim and baffle pieces. Just the housing, mind you. I'll be taking a hole cutter, drill through the wood paneling and insulation, and then put these units in. The ones I bought are white, so I'll be spray painting them to be more reflective. I'll also have to trim the height on these, but big deal. Anyway, these will act like little sunlights. Sure, there will be some heat loss, but it's a small compromise. Besides, I can always take the insulation cut-outs and make plugs if I wanted or needed to block things.

4. Second coat of paint, probably by the end of this week.

5. Trim, as in floor boards. I don't know if I'm going to do that or not. I mean, I would like to, but is it necessary? I can always peel portions of the carpeting away from the wall in order to paint all the way to the bottom, but then again, trim would look nice. I'm figuring a dark trim, black, to go against the flat surfaces and to match the light fixtures and eventual hooks or hangers.

6. Put in the cabinets I bought from the Resale shop.

7. Swap out the radio in the cab. Yes, I broke down and bought a new radio.

After that, things are essentially done! The vehicle would be camper ready, just toss in some air mattresses and good-to-go. Anything else is just optional.

options

1. The overhang is going to have a mattress frame put in and maybe some minor shelving. A closet rod will also be attached to hold a privacy curtain from the rest of the box. There will also be one of those battery operated dome lights.

2. Need to install the power junction inlet, and then attach the outlet. This way, I can power the camper at places that have external power.

3. Going to install a cable attachment point. Make an antenna pole system that can be broken down / dismantled and stored in one of the utility boxes.

4. Make or buy a futon, raised, so there is storage underneath for my battery packs.

5. Make a hinged bed, so the underside is like a shelving unit which is holding a small TV, a gaming console, and some books / DVDs / games, along with some spare or empty shelves.

...

As you can see, not much left to do for the "must have" part of the inside, and as far as the options go, as long as I take things one project at a time, I'm good.


Picture of the interior, so far.

[url=https://servimg.com/view/16642829/389[/url]
These are the light fixtures I mentioned.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Tue May 30, 2017 11:35 am

This past weekend

Applied a second coat of "tealed white" to the walls, which really helped a lot; it doesn't look as muddied or dirty any more. Put in the base trim; I didn't tape or secure the carpet, but I'm hoping that the trim will hold it in place, along with the brackets that'll hold the cabinets (they'll be screwed to the floor). Applied the truck liner to the wooden portion of the floor; it didn't spread as I had thought it would (the rubber bits seemed to clump in areas instead of all over), but at least the wood is now sealed. Sprayed some clear Flex-Seal on the roof in an area that had a slight leak.

I attempted to install the wood paneling for the ceiling, but that is proving quite troublesome, even with extra sets of hands to help hold in in place. However, I believe I may have thought of a solution this morning. In all the pictures of the truck, the plywood sides are about an inch or so from the actual wall, with the roof being maybe two inches above the plywood. I think that I can make a quick H shaped frame with a few brackets on each end of the | frame, so that the brackets are riding on the plywood. This would hold the sheet up... maybe not exactly in place, put at least close enough to where I can work with it... and be light enough to move / be positioned. I'll see about getting the frame at least together this week.

I have the cabinets placed, just not set yet. I'm mentally debating if I want both cabinets in, and replace one with a fold down table. I'll probably still have both in, just mentally figuring stuff out. A table would be nice, even if it's one that can be removed, similar to the ones in the big conversion vans. That's the thing with having a big open canvas like this, so many ideas!

I've purchased a lot of "rubbed bronze" colored fixtures... hooks, rods, mirror, and so on... to match the black trim / truck liner / light fixtures. Creates a nice contrast with the lighter walls / floor / ceiling. Probably will have those in this week as well, especially since it doesn't take long to put them in. Oh! I forgot to mention, it seems there was a mix up with the lights fixtures I ordered: they're black, not white. No repainting needed!

I have to buy a new carpet trim piece, as the one I did buy is the wrong type. No problem, as I can probably repurpose the wrong one.

I also have to paint the area between the etrack and the truck liner. I'll be using flex-seal for that, due to it being right be the main door and to help prevent dirty or wet items from ruining things; was going to use the truck liner, but the stain wasn't interacting well with the light coat of paint already on it.

Essentially, the only "big" thing now is to build my own futon or find one that's cheaper than making my own; making a bed that is hinged so the underneath is a shelf system; and framing an area in the overhang for a mattress with storage compartments. But, as things are right now, this is camper worthy, and anyone would be hard pressed to say it isn't, not if mattresses are tossed in.

...

On a different note, Gail was checking in on the progress and said that she could see a four wheeler or mopeds in the back, drive somewhere and just unload. Oh yes, not only has she come around, but she's now seeing things as I have for years.  Very Happy

{EDIT}
Forgot this week's picture. Not much of a change, but changes nonetheless.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Fri Jun 02, 2017 9:51 am

Week ending June 2

I don't know how much work I'll get done this upcoming weekend, so I thought I'd post what I've done this past week. It wasn't much, but it helped in making the space look more like a room than a truck.

1. I put in the correct carpet trim. I know, I know, not much to it, big deal. But it helps prevent the carpeting from shifting, so it's a win for me.

2. After some thought, I changed which cabinet went where. In the above picture, the longer one is to the left, the narrower on to the right. While it really doesn't do anything, I reasoned that, since there would be a TV in the bed frame I'm making along the right wall, by having the narrower cabinet on the left, I could have room to add a chair (on the left).

3. I put up the hooks and towel racks... but, I'm going to take them down and put them on some black painted boards, and then put the boards up. With the hooks right in the wall, it just doesn't look right; it lookscheap, whereas hooks on a board just looks nice. Plus, it should offset the wide areas of the painted walls without being too much.

4. I finally got the wood paneling up on the ceiling! I realized that the H frame with brackets I described in the last post was a bit overkill: I had some 1/2 thick runners in my garage (plan on redoing my house's screen windows) that would fit perfectly within the gap, while still allowing room for the paneling. So what I landed up making was a frame with three long boards ||| and to shorter ones =... screwed together, but loose enough where the frame could essentially fold within itself, making it easy to put in and take out.

...

What is basically left for me to do, or rather what I can quickly take care of today or tomorrow, is spray the flex-seal on the portion of the walls between the etrack and the truck liner, actually secure the cabinets to the walls, and prep the board for hooks (cut, sand, paint). Put the boards back up whenever. I'll have to make a jig so I can either trace in a 6" circle, or make the jig so I can cut a 6" circle with my dremel... tracing would mean the jig has to be 6" in diameter, a cutting one would have to be about an inch bigger; I think the tracing one would be easier. Oh, I've got to clean / clear the overhang of junk. Makes for a nice storage, yes sir.

From there, I need to trim the light fixtures so they aren't as tall. That'll be tedious, maybe time consuming, but still, that's something I can do in the house (or on the porch).

Still have to put in the electrical junction box. I just have to be damned careful as I only have one shot at it, don't want to hit any support beams. Putting in the cable barrel will be easy, but the outlet is a tad bigger.

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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Tue Jun 06, 2017 8:51 am

Weekend of June 3

Not much, just cosmetics. It was hot, or humid, or rainy. Didn't attach the cabinets yet, had to figure something out; didn't put in the light fixtures or outlets. Small stuff, just tedious. But I did redo the hooks, so that's something.

I really want my plates.

In looking at the photos, it's hard to believe there's seven feet between the cabinets and the front of the box (towards cab).



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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Wed Jun 07, 2017 1:09 pm

As Luck Would Have It

I rarely go to St Vincent's. I don't know why that it; used to go there a bit when the kids were much younger... toddlers... but now that everyone's all grown up, St Vincent's just doesn't have what I'm looking for.

Except today.

Today, after dropping off some paperwork for my supervisor, I thought I'd swing by. I had some time to kill, so I figured why not. Rather glad I did, as I found (and bought) two brand new still-in-the-bag quilt topped twin mattresses, 9" thick. I can start making the bed frames now!

I thought I would have to resort to buying some air mattresses for my truck. While they are cheaper and lighter, they just don't have the staying power, whether it be in the need of refilling them with air or having the chance of them developing a hole somewhere. I would have had to do some serious woodworking to make everything smooth so as not to puncture an air mattress, but now I won't have to. Makes things easier.

And while my hinged bed / shelf idea is now a bit more heavier, it won't be too difficult: I'm only flipping a twin, after all. Attach some etrack clamps on the end of the frame, and I can click the shelf in place along the track; unhook and swing it down for sleeping.

I may have to look into a full mattress cover, like what the hospitals use. Not needed to protect the mattresses, just wanting to keep them fresh (they will be out in the heat / humidity) and bug free.
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Thu Jun 08, 2017 11:48 am

For Reference

In case anyone is ever looking or planning on converting a vehicle into a camper and wish to register it as such, here is the list of questions you will be asked. Depending on where you live, you may have to positively answer some or all of them (in Wisconsin, it is four out of six).

1. Does it have an internal water supply or a working sink? Does it have external hookups for water?
2. Does it have a refrigerator or ice box?
3. Does it have a toilet?
4. Does it have a power supply?
5. Does it have a kitchen or stove?
6. Does it have a heater or an air conditioner?

Depending on who is doing the asking, there may be some wiggle room. For instance, when I was asked about the kitchen/stove, I asked if a grill stowed away would count, and the agent said yes.

So why register as a camper? Wait, sorry, on the Wisconsin registration form, my vehicle is being registered as a motor home. Regardless, why? Not only is the initial registration cheaper, but renewals are cheaper, too. For a standard vehicle, it's $75 to renew; for a vehicle that is of the same body type as the one I own, you're looking at $209 for renewal; for a motor home of equal weight, $67.50... plus, as an extra bonus, I don't have to pay the $67.50, no no no; a motor home can be registered quarterly. Sure, it kind of comes out to the same, but if you know you won't be driving it during the winter (as an example), then why pay for winter registration?
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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:41 am

It's been quite some time since I've posted here; I've made frequent updates on Facebook, but that just isn't the same.

...

Then again, in looking back, I really haven't done all that much, either. It's either been freaking hot, freaking humid, or raining. Nope, as a matter of fact, in looking at the last picture, I really hadn't done that much during the months of June and July. With that said, here's a quick recap of what has happened these past couple weeks.

First, I bought some actual mattresses. twin sized, quilted, 9" thick. Brand new still-in-plastic wrapping from St Vincents, picked them up for really cheap. Really cheap. I like the idea of air mattresses, and really don't mind using them, but I'm looking at this as a long term investment... real mattresses aren't prone to air leaks. That was probably mid June.

Couple weeks ago (three? four?) Menard's was having another of their 11% off sale, so I bought some "quality grade" lumber; 1x10s and 1x6s. I was originally going to get pressure treated decking, figuring that this wood was going to be exposed to the likes of temperature changes and humidity. But, because I couldn't find the lumber I was seeking, I found the "quality" grade, which in my opinion was probably better. Half the cost, kiln dried, and already sanded. And, I reasoned that I wouldn't have to worry about warping because of the way everything was going to be pieced together.

I needed the lumber for two projects: one was to simply frame the mattress that was going within the overhang so that it wouldn't slide about while driving (and to help the mattress keep it's shape). The second was to both frame the other mattress and to act as a shelving unit; I intended on putting the frame on hinges so I could flip it up when not being used as a bed.

Over the course of a week I made the frames; the first weekend was incredibly hot, so I just made the exterior framework for both mattresses. The second weekend I put in the cross supports (like a box spring), installed the frames, and tested the hinge system. While it worked, I failed to take into account how much of the door leading into the cab the bed would block. That... that wasn't good. First, it blocked the door, which I didn't want, and second, there wouldn't have been room for a couch across from the bed. I wanted to put a flat screen within the shelf so that, when flipped up, we could sit on the couch and watch a movie. Had to make a change of plan.

I staggered the cabinets, which visually looks better now, with everything not being lumped together or in groups. I also put gliders onto the bed shelf unit so that I can slide it about, remove it if needed, and it'll still be able to flip up; will just need to lock it into the etrack (which I planned for anyway).

Yesterday I picked up a couch from Goodwill, and though I wanted a futon, this is adequate for someone to sleep one. Now my plan is to install the TV on the cabinet across from the couch, doubly securing it to the bulkhead as well.

Essentially, everything is good to go. Right now it is just a camper, I still have to put in some of the required motor home points.

1. Power supply. The RV outlet I bought allowing me to hook up to an external supply works, as does my placing the portable power packs.
2. Internal water supply? Well, I do have water jugs... but there was a part two to this: external hookup. I don't need it, but should I be forced to, my intention is a spigot that I can attach a garden hose to.
3. Refrigerator or ice box. By definition, a cooler is an ice box, and the agent that fact checked my project agreed.
4. Toilet. No. Not doing it.
5. Kitchen or stove: I am thinking about installing a propane stove. Wouldn't be much to put the tank within one of the utility boxes and then run a bit of line inside. But, for right now, I've got a barbecue unit.
6. Heater or air conditioning. That's a tough one. Does a fan count as AC? Probably not. I have found indoor propane camp stoves; even if I don't have a tank attached, simply by having one I'm technically good to go.

*scans* Looks like all I really need to do at the moment is to put in the power outlet in order for this to be a "legal" motor home. That's neither here nor there at the moment; these are quick projects involving nothing more than drill in a hole and applying silicon.

As far as anything else goes, right now all I have left to do is put up a curtain to separate the overhang from the rest of the box, the painting of the bed frames (onyx black), painting of the etrack (black primer),painting the edges of the ramp (glow in the dark), and the installation of a screen.

With the screen, I'm going to frame the interior / around the roll up door (when open), put in a couple supporting dividers, and then staple on the screen. I'm either going to make a zipper type door (like a screen tent) or make a screen door.

I keep forgetting I have another 5x8 section to do stuff in (the black area). I'm thinking that's where I'll put a camp stove and water spigot. For the future.

Okay, now that everything is up to speed, here's some pictures.







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PostSubject: Re: On the Road Again   Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:54 am

Done

Or at least the big stuff is now out of the way.

This past weekend I painted the bed frames, the etrack, and put up a screened divider. As far as I'm concerned, the conversion is done. There are still some things that need to be taken care of, which I'll explain in a bit, but those are what I'm calling "five minute projects" because they're simple, easy, and quickly accomplished.

Below are three pictures of the conversion as is. Please note that the missing center piece for the screened area is going to be one of those magnetic screen door thingies. I have one on order and should hopefully be here within the week, but the seller did say it may take up to two. Menards sells that style of screen door, but they aren't in store... would have to order it. Taking into consideration store price plus tax, the one I ordered online through eBay was half the price (free shipping).




The five minute projects list is as follows, along with a description of what needs to be done.

1. External power hookup - drill a hole through the forward bulkhead to allow an RV exterior power outlet to be mounted; an indoor outlet will be mounted on the inside. I already have the parts. Meets the power requirement of a motor home.

2. Cable junction - drill a hole so I can mount a cable connection, so when we travel / camp, I can quickly hook up a television signal receiver. Already have the parts.

3. Caulk the screened dividers - Already have caulk and gun.

4. Switch out the original radio with a new one - already have the radio and installation kit.

5. Attach bug deflector and window edge cover thingies - already have.

6. Lighting - I have a few of those "press to turn on" closet lights, going to put one above the door to the cab, a few down the length of the truck, and maybe one on each side of the black area. It won't be enough to make things bright, but it'll be enough to keep things adequate.

7. Put up curtains on the overhanging sleeping compartment - I have the rod and some rings, just need to make curtains. Fabric color will match the couch.

8. Kitchen assembly - In the black area, I need to get a cabinet wide enough so that the two burner camping stove (as seen in the pictures above) can sit atop it. Run the gas line into the cabinet and mount a propane securing ring. Am I ever going to use it? Probably not... this is just going in to meet the stove requirement of a motor home.

9. Ceiling vents - Remember those roof heat vents I have? Need to eventually put those in. Just have to drill a hole through the roof, use a jig saw to cut the hole, put in a duct pipe, attach the roof vent (while caulking the thing), and then bolt in into place.

10. Restore the glossy appearance of the truck. Have no idea how.

11. Paint the edges of the ramp "glow-in-the-dark".

** The two remaining motor home requirements (remember, need four out of six) that I'll be taking care of would be a heater and a water supply. The heater is no big deal, found an indoor propane heater that I can buy (just no need to buy it right away). Come winter, I plan on insulating the screened area, then can put the heater inside the living area while using the propane stored for the kitchen. I don't plan on winter camping just yet, but that's the plan I'll be using should I ever be questioned. As far as water goes, I can either get an RV style sink system, or go old fashioned and buy a storage tank for used water and hook things up so that a sink drains into it; install a hook-up which would allow the storage to drain. But right now, the jugs suffice.

If you just look at the list, it seems I have a fair amount of stuff to still do, but you have to break things down and take them one project at a time, and then you'll see that they really aren't all that much.

Future projects, at least before winter comes, is to get a parking space made (some rails, bed liner and gravel) and then to construct a curved PVC "roof" that I can flop on top of the truck and attach tarp to; don't want snow and ice building up on the top.
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