First.. the big news!
We have been sprung free from Elkhart, Indiana and are back on the road!
On Tuesday afternoon, after buttoning up the final tweaks and settled up the bill – we fired up the 2-stroke engine and started our journey south and west towards Albuquerque.
In this post we’ll catch you up on what we are calling the ‘home stretch’ – the final preps and finishing touches.
First, the video edition with commentary taken every couple of days ‘in the moment’:
If video isn’t your thing, here’s a quick recap of some of the projects:
- The new Dometic 9500 Case Awning snapped right into place, just like it belonged. Master Tech tackled that mounting bracket to afix it to our curved roof like pros. They also squared away all of the window awnings, by tracking down new arms with old style mounting feet so no new holes needed to be drilled into our fresh paint job.
- All of the rubber bay door hinges have been replaced with stainless steel versions. Any bus conversion owner who has these style doors can likely appreciate the switch – the rubber ones tend to need changing out every few years, and it’s a pretty labor intensive job. The new stainless ones should last a very long while.
Bunches of smaller projects were knocked off the list with great efficiency, with much thanks to the shop foreman who helped us come up with a final hit list, and then got everyone in motion towards crossing all the items off.
New windshield wiper assemblies have been installed, solving one of our problems with the old ones we had ‘over throwing’ themselves off the windshield.
- The MCD shades have been installed – which was more of a challenge than we anticipated. We wanted the shades to overlap the windows by an inch or so for increased privacy and darkness, much like our old blinds used to. Well, they came in exactly the width of the windows – and we were not happy with that. We also were not happy with how far the ‘rolls’ hung down from our valences, something that didn’t live up to expectations from our test fit before ordering. So, Master Tech rush ordered in new blinds, and we decided to go with all black to reduce the visibility of the rolls. They also custom made us a pull down movie projector screen across from the couch. We’re now super happy with shades, and the front day shade we had installed.
- We had our annual service done before we hit the road as well – oil and filter changes, as well as lubing the chassis.
Whew. It’s been a long time coming. But in the end, I think we’ll appreciate this whole experience and it will soon be but a sentence in our overall story. Sure, there are things we learned, extended delays, frustrations and things we and Master Tech could have done better – but it’s done.
There’s no doubt that despite it being a significant interruption to our lives to move on site for a month, that it was absolutely the right thing to do. Not only did the pace pick up once we were in Elkhart, we got to be involved in all of the decisions and installation – which means we know much more about our systems than we might have otherwise. That will be a huge benefit for years to come.
And our new bus home is AWESOME.
So far driving in the bus has been a dream, so much quieter with the dual pane windows and resealed front door. We can actually listen to podcasts, music and have a conversation without shouting at each other.
We’re still getting settled into our new/old home, but so far we are loving each and every one of the upgrades we commissioned.
As we have time over the coming months, we’ll get some more grand tours put together as well as perhaps some guides to some of the specific projects. We know there’s particular interest in things like the Onan 2500w propane generator choice, hydronics (and why we went with Precision Temp) and more.
But for now, we have about 1400 miles to make in the coming weeks – and a LOT of work projects to catch up on after having been onsite for a month and spending 12-16 hours a day on the renovations. Not to mention, some seriously needed sleep and relaxation.
We are very thankful to Master Tech RV for seeing this project through and making it right in the end. And for the friendships made as we worked alongside the crew who made it all happen.
Bus Updates & Info:
Zephyr’s Summer 2015 Renovation Hit List – the original project list, including our decision points for various items (such as why we’re going propane and not diesel on the hydronics & generator).
- Bus Renovation Progress Report: A Riveting Tale of Why We’re Way Behind Schedule – Our first report onsite back in Elkhart.
- Bus Renovation Progress Report #2: Week of August 17 – Getting the project back on track.
- Bus Renovation Progress Report #3: Roller Coaster Week – August 22-27 –
- Bus Renovation Progress Report #4: The Paint Job! (August 27- Sept 2)
- Bus Renovation Progress Report #5: Con-Du-It Attitude (Sept 3-9)
All about our Bus – A little history on our bus from start to now. (We’ll get this updated soon.)