I am preparing for my next leg on the trip, out west to New Mexico, Arizona, and then north. I've decided to put some creature comforts into the bus before I go; a big "house" battery for light and laptop, a propane furnace, a refrigerator that runs on AC/DC or propane, and a microwave. I spent a week engineering a system,...
with thanks going to Mark Burggraaf for checking my heat loss calc, and others for educating me about components. To keep the costs down, I've ordered the major components myself and am physically installing these and cabinetry as they arrive this week. I'll have "Happy Camper RV Repair" wire it up and put in propane lines next week.
My design is very compact; the components are right next to each other for short "runs" of wire and gas, and my selections of components also included consideration of the geometry of available kitchen base cabinets and the locations of the existing bus wall framing elements. It was quite a lot to coordinate. Plus, as I am an architect, it was important to me to work out an acceptable aesthetic solution; if I give that up, I've lost everything to the downturn. So, I will make new fronts for the new cabinet drawers and doors to match the IKEA dresser, and I'll stain the new cabinets Ebony, and so forth.
I used to live in New York City. I designed homes for the tycoons of Wall Street; Park Avenue, Scarsdale, Greenwich. It was great fun. And, after years of saving up for a down payment, I was just about to buy my own little place in Fleetwood, half an hour north of the city, when the economy fell apart. Architects are like canaries in a coal mine when the economy slows, and true to form, there were massive layoffs in firms all over the country. Devastation of the profession. So, I decided to try to find something else to do for a while. I bought a 23' school bus and I'm on the road to see if I can figure out what that might be.