Sunday, April 25, 2010

Lots of discoveries...

First of all, I saw what I consider to be the perfect machine for my project.  It has style.  It's the size I'm looking for, with low mileage, and seems to be in great condition.  The unfortunate part is that it's somewhere way up in Canada and God only knows how much I'd spend on fuel, getting that thing home.  Also, there are customs decalarations to consider and all kinds of other potential problems, not the least of which are California emission standards.  So, the hunt continues. 

I think I'd leave the ladder on just for fun.  Maybe I'd park the van downtown during Friday night rush-hour, and with my reflective vest and hard hat I'd see just how much of a tangled mess I could make out of traffic control with my super-extended flashlight beacon.

Just a thought.

This last week, I received my third installment of the recessed lighting fixture demo.  I stumbled upon it last week while ordering another reel of the LED light strip and decided I needed to see this with my own eyes.  But, wow, I think I've landed on the one I'll be using for ambient lighting. 

It's super compact.

And, how cool is the fact that it pops right out of the housing for a quick change-out?

Very "Iron-Man."

And, it's only twelve bucks!  I think I'll buy a bag of them.

So, next, was my whimsical purchase of a 12 volt relay switching system designed for additional headlights that you'd add onto your car's bumper. 

I think that kids who have those little sportscar racers like to trick them out with this stuff, but I was thinking more along the lines of the ability to turn on and off a single fixture in the Roving Home. 

My initial thought was that I'd be able to use the relay switch in this kit to mimic the set-up in a house where you can control a light in a hallway from either end.  That way I could flip a switch in the driver's cabin prior to entering the living quarters.  Later, while in bed, I'd be able to flip another switch and shut the lights off, via the relay.  That would come in handy during the night, if I wanted to turn the lights on without first having to walk all the way through in the dark.  

As you can see, the diagram was a simple, easy to follow layout................................not!    

I had to spend a few minutes absorbing the nuances.

After I wired it to the car battery, I added a second switch, parelleling the first one, with the thinking that each switch would act as an independent remote.

Sadly, I was mistaken.  The switch that turns on the relay, I realized, is the same switch that must turn off the relay.  I assumed they were momentary, but in fact they're "on/off."  

The good part about the relay is that one can build into a system multiple switches that can turn on and off the same device.  So, if I find the need, I guess that'll happen, even if I'll have to make a double trip to each switch -- not that the Roving Home is a palatial spread that requires me to hop a tram to the south wing.  Though it is nice to explore the potential.  I think a wireless relay might actually do the trick -- with two remotes.

Next Discovery

In the Roving Home, solar will be an integral part of the electrical system.  And the panels I'm leaning toward will take up about one third of the rooftop.  That places me in a quandry as to how I will ventilate the interior because I am determined to display, as little as possible, any evidence of living quarters that may exist inside the vehicle.  

At 6 1/2" around, I think I've found a solution.


The black trapezoid on top is all that sticks out from the rooftop hole.

And, when opened up, it's like a sneaky little mole stealing a quick peek at the outside world.

Those are fan blades.  The lid is actually translucent.

Much better than a giant 14" square-top vent lid that seems to be the industry standard.  It also saves a ton of space.

And, finally...

...I decided that I'd better get a grasp on my work space, otherwise I'll never be effective when it comes time to begin this build.  The garage was a mess.  I read an article that Susie Ormon wrote about success in one's life, and clutter is a big culprit, in her eyes.  I agree.  This is my shelving unit, dedicated to storage and organization of everything related to my build.


The empty shelf is my make-shift work bench.  I had to keep pushing crap out of the way to get anything done.  I'll certainly be expanding the shop after the vehicle arrives.  But for now, I can locate everything I need within those clear boxes. 


  1. Wow, I'm really surprised you're having such a hard time finding the perfect step van right here in LA.


  2. Believe it or not, it's quite hard. I need a certain length and height, and I want something newer than '81. The miles have to be somewhat reasonable, which isn't hard to find, but you'd be surpised at how many are just so downright ugly. I'm trying to start with a certain style that catches my attention. I've got time.