Cutting frame readyRead Now
The van is really close now. The dealership website no longer indicates, "This vehicle is in transit." Over the last few days we have really gotten things ready to go as soon as the van arrives. We've cleared the bay where all of the work will be done. Supplies have all been moved to that location. The cutting frame for the plywood sheets is set up nearby. I'm also excited to try out a new cutting tool from Kreg. It's a 100" long track for a circular saw. That will make it much easier to work with all of the 4'x8' sheets of plywood.
Redford arrived in the lower mainland around April 10th or so. Since then we've been waiting for the truck transport from the Annacis Island holding yard to the dealership. It's been two full weeks at this point. So one week from Kansas City to Annacis Island... two weeks and waiting for the last 40 km!
While the train with Redford may be in the lower mainland, apparently things like coal, oil, and grain take precedence for disembarkation - so we wait. In the meantime I spent a couple of hours today getting our storage space ready. While Redford will be spending most of (his? her? neither? gender neutral? we haven't decided that yet...) time in a workshop for the next few months I know there will be time R will need to be parked in the barn. The barn will be the long term storage space after building is complete. That means protecting R from the barn swallows. Well, not the swallows themselves, but from their poop! We like the swallows and wouldn't dream of getting rid of them (we're not allowed to either because they are a protected species as their habitat is in decline) which means coexisting with them. I'm doing the building in the workshop to minimize disruption for the brooding swallows. So I was up in the barn loft changing some lights and suspending a tarp when lo and behold, several swallows arrived right at that moment! That was great timing as I finished the job fairly quickly and now that space is ready to go.
So close...Read Now
We are agonizingly close to getting Redford now! It is in BC and showing as being part of the dealership inventory but is just waiting to get from the receiving yard to the dealership. We're preparing things around the house to create the time and space so I can start working on the van right away. Some work in the garden, the barn, taxes, etc. need to get completed and out of the way. How many more days? Not sure, but it can't be many.
Mods, mods, and more modsRead Now
I'm discovering that almost everything going into Redford needs a fix or slight modification to work! I finished staining the ceiling boards yesterday. Several of them had very large knot holes in them. I used some resilient caulking to glue them into place because they would have shaken out of the boards with driving and vibrations. This morning I picked up new bolts for the three SOK (206Ah) lithium ion house batteries. I checked how the 4/0 cable lugs would fit (two to each post) and found that the stock bolts were too short. I went to Home Depot and picked up M8 20mm bolts and things will fit much better (without bottoming out the bolt in the battery lug.)
Ladder and roof accessRead Now
Getting other bits and pieces organized for Redford. Today I continued staining ceiling boards and also prepped the ladder and ladder guards. We had tried a collapsible ladder from Costco but it was much too heavy and large to be convenient. The price was great but it was a few feet longer than we needed; that extra bulk and weight were problems in an RV with limited storage (and I also doubt that Angela could move it easily.) Instead we ordered one online and it's the proper length. We didn't want the ladder scratching the van or roof rack so I cut some pieces of pool noodle foam to act as protectors. I'll also add a velcro strap to the top rung so that we can secure the ladder to the roof rack when we're up on the deck.
Finding the various elements to build the van has been both fun and exasperating. A couple of months ago we thought we had found some planking that would be great for the ceiling. We ordered them online and when they arrived we were really disappointed. The producer had tried to make them look like old boards by scoring all over them but it turned out looking like someone pressing a fork on shortbread cookies! The marks were not irregular at all. At least the online retailer was good about it and refunded us the full purchase price after the rep saw photos that I sent him. We did settle on some 5/16" thick pine tongue and groove (from Home Depot about $25 for 6 planks) that I am using a wood aging accelerator on. We want the thinner plank to preserve as much interior height as is possible. The huge bonus is that these new planks are going to be 1/6 of the cost of the other planks!
Calvin here - after spending almost 33 years in education as a high school teacher, elementary teacher, and elementary administrator, it was time to retire! I did so happily and with no regrets; it was a terrific and fulfilling career. I do enjoy building projects as the design and building process is very therapeutic and you see a completed functional product in the end. Now to combine the build with another of Angela's and my passions - travel - is something we're really looking forward to.