Obstacles Ain’t Got Nothin’

Research is fun and great and all. I’ve been frequenting the forums on Skoolie for months, before I’d even rode in the bus. Being the lady that I am, however, I spent most of my time looking at floorplans and paint jobs. I want my house to be pretty. After starting work, its now clear to me that its necessary to start from the ground up. Which means the heaters, the flooring, and of course that damn emergency exit alarm.

This is Joel removing the metal flashing from over the coolant tubes which run through the two heaters on the bus. Easy enough? Not. The screws were covered in grime and required thorough scrubbing by me before being removed with no less than a ton of brute strength and a power tool.

Okay cool, we have a system. Now we want music while we finish working right? We turn on the bus radio, but alas, the emergency door is open for air/tossing the flashing outside once removed. BZZZZZZZZZZZZ! So naturally we think to disconnect the wires to the alarm. Bad idea. While the buzzing stopped, it also stopped the bus from starting.

Try as we might, we ended up contacting a bus mechanic to help us bypass the alarm. The bus starts again, and we can freely drive down the road with the exit door open, if we so choose. Obstacle bypassed!

And now returning to the heaters! Being that heaters which run off the heat already coming from the engine is by far the most efficient, we wanted to keep them both in. But the back one was placed squarely under the proposed bed site. We toyed with the idea of leaving it there and adding ductwork, but decided since the heaters will be in operation while the bus is moving, we wanted it in the front of the bus, by the driver.

Something to keep in mind about Joel: he starts work now, asks questions later. And guess what? It more often than not works in his favor. I know nothing about cars, or electrical work, or heaters. I thought we should do some research, see how much work it would be, if someone had done it before and had advice. Nope. And in about as much time as it would have taken me to go inside and turn on the computer, Joel had the heater removed.

Now for the trip to Home Depot (I sometimes regret having to support such a big business, but the staff is helpful, they have everything, and for a good price) to get connectors, tubing, and screw clamps. One note in my favor: I correctly guessed and remembered the size of the coolant tubes(woot!). It was our maiden voyage in the bus together! Tsunami was less than excited about the noisy, open interior, but I was stoked! This is what Joel thought of the HD after not letting us take the time to get the flooring because they were closing early that day(it was Easter, to their credit).

Here she is folks! Next to the wheel, behind the driver’s seat. We used big C clamps to keep the coolant from leaking(lesson learned) where we cut into the tubes to insert the heater. So, minor mess, a few cuts of tubing, and a blow torch later(to warm up the new tubing and make the connectors easier to insert), the heater is moved! No, it was not so bad. No, it required no research. Yes, (hopefully) they both still work! The grounding wire needs to be connected yet, and they’ll be bolted down once the flooring is put in(Stay tuned for more on that, I picked some out and happen to think its pretty, indeed!).

Obstacles overcome, onto the next round, no problem!

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