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The Rig

Who Posts About a Duvet Cover?

I post about a duvet cover. What wrinkles?


Extreme RV Makeover: Curtain Edition

I blew out my hip on Friday.  I’d explain exactly what happened if I even knew.  Just twisted wrong felt some crazy popping and snapping and next thing I know I’ve been hobbling around for days.  I’ve also heard more Granny jokes then I care to entertain.  Although, I think the very first thing I said after the initial pain was, “I feel like an old lady!” followed by “There goes my hooping career!”  Leave it to me to try and inject bad humor into a crappy situation.

Anyway, I SHOULD be resting, but that’s so not my style.  I hate sitting still!  I managed to bribe TJ with Go-Karts and Lazer Tag to drive us all off-island to pick up some fabric.  I had curtains to make for the RV bedroom and it was the perfect activity to force me to sit still for awhile.  It took me all day yesterday but I finished them!

Let me remind you of what the bedroom looked like BEFORE.

And here’s the after.  I started out by painting the walls green.  Then I covered the gray suede window cornices with my favorite IKEA fabric.  I also covered the teal velour speaker covers above the back window. Yesterday I finished the curtains.

When I walked into JoAnn’s I realized that I had forgotten my IKEA fabric swatch in the car.  With my hip feeling like it was I just couldn’t walk around the parking lot looking for TJ.  So I went for it and just hoped I had some good color memory.  I found the PERFECT fabric.  I think had I brought in my swatch I would have limited myself to something plain and an exact match.  Instead, I went for it and it worked like a dream!

Next: Trying to fit a King sized comforter into a Duvet cover.  OK, I actually already did that and it was miserable, but it’s in!  When I can make the bed I’ll take a photo of the whole thing.  I cannot wait to see how it all looks together!

I am absolutely loving redecorating our RV.  It inspires me to create a beautiful space, something I don’t often feel in a house.  My home walls are mostly plain except for the kids artwork.  This weekend we’ll be camping our in our magical bedroom on the peninsula in Port Angeles.  I’ll let you know if I run into any sparkly vampires.

The RV Bedroom

Eldoradomus Prime is coming along nicely.  His second fuel tank is officially installed, now just to finish the conversion.  But that’s not MY job.  We’ve been through this before, I’m not a mechanic.  I know.  I’m sorry.  You were probably fooled into thinking that in between batches of cupcakes and bracelet weaving that I’m rebuilding transmissions and replacing exhaust manifolds.  I’m sorry for the misrepresentation.

So what have I been doing in between licking the batter bowl and adorning my body with handmade jewelry?  I’m glad you asked, because it’s AWESOME.  I can’t wait to show you this.





So I realize the pictures are not the best.  I took them all with my cell phone.  The before pictures are especially bad since I had no plans of sharing them, it was just for me.  We all know how it works out when I say I’m not going to do something.  Yeah.  I know, I have issues.

I have a long way to go, but I’m just loving what I’ve done so far!  I mean, all I’ve done is paint the walls and cover the window cornices with my old curtain fabric.  I still need actual curtains, wall decor and a matching comforter/duvet cover!  Squeee!  I’ll probably take down those beautiful GOLD wall lamps and spray paint them black among the million other things I’d like to do.

So…  if I ever get out of the bedroom, I’ll start the kitchen.

Our RV Waste Vegetable Oil System

A lot of you have expressed an interest in how this whole waste veggie oil system actually works.  Despite my current  facebook picture,

I am not a mechanic (had you fooled didn’t I?) and explaining these things actually hurts my brain.  So, last week I asked TJ to do a quick write-up of how the system works in our RV.  Actually, it doesn’t’ work yet since the installation isn’t complete, so it’s more like a “this is how is SHOULD work” when it’s all done.  Take it away, TJ:

When you are running a vehicle on SVO or WVO, you are adding a second fuel system to your vehicle, not replacing the existing diesel system.  Vegetable oil burns just like diesel fuel once it is heated, lowering its viscosity.

To most easily describe how our system works, I’ll separate it out into the coolant system, and vegetable oil fuel system.

While an engine is running, it constantly cycles coolant through the engine to absorb the heat, and then cycles the now hot coolant through your radiator to cool it back down before sending it back to the engine to absorb heat again.  In an SVO system, the heat from the coolant is harnessed to heat our vegetable oil.  As the hot coolant leave the engine, it instead goes to heat up our vegetable oil system components.  It coils around the vegetable oil filter,

and cycles through a coil in the vegetable oil tank to heat it there as well.

After it’s finished there, it travels back up front to the radiator to finish it’s cycle.

As for the vegetable oil, it is heated in the tank and then travels through a heated 2 micron filter that also pulls water from the fuel.  Used vegetable oil can have all sorts of nastiness in it, so filtering it well is really important.  With a diesel engine, you have fuel traveling up to the engine, and then the engine also returns some fuel back to the tank.  The vegetable oil travels in an aluminum fuel line, that is actually *inside* the coolant hose.

This keeps the oil hot while it’s traveling.  Aluminum doesn’t react with vegetable oil, and it’s an excellent heat conductor.  There is another fuel line that comes back from the engine to the vegetable oil system for the returning excess fuel.  It also travels through a coolant hose to be kept hot.

The engine is started with diesel fuel.  Once the engine gets up to temperature, the vegetable oil will be sufficiently hot, and we flip a switch that switches the feed line from diesel to vegetable oil, as well as the return line from diesel to vegetable oil.  We don’t want excess vegetable oil going back into our diesel tank, or vice-versa.  Once we are nearing our destination, we switch to a purge.  This changes the feed line back to diesel, and switches the return line so that it returns fuel just after the filtering system, and the returning fuel actually goes backwards through the filter, so that when everything cools down, the entire engine, and all of my components have diesel fuel sitting in them, rather than cold vegetable oil.  Once the purge is done, we have everything switched back to diesel, ready to start again.

And there you have it.  Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.

The Waste Veggie Oil Conversion Has Begun

Things are slow going over here on the island when it comes to our rig.  But hey, slow goin’ is better then no goin’ in my book!  Last week, our friends Tara and Justin came to visit after we all attended the Life is Good Unschooling Conference in Vancouver, WA.  Tj has been piecing together the parts for a custom veg kit for our RV for a little while.  While Tara and Justin were here, Tj was able to pick up that last of the parts he needed and use Justin for an extra set of hands and brain to pick at.  Justin installs veg oil kits on the road.  You can contact him here, for a quote.

Tj and Justin managed to get the conversion about 1/2 done, maybe more.  So that leaves Tj pretty much on his own to do the rest.  The kids are not really interested in working on engines and I’m, well…  sort of engine illiterate.

I managed to take pictures of all the different parts, even though most of it makes very little sense to me.  I figured eventually, I could get Tj to describe to me the entire process.  For now, I’ll leave you with some photos I took today.  Tj spent most of the day working really hard.  Today was the day he had to mess with the fuel lines.

Here’s what Tj looked like to the world for most of the day today.  He’s inside the RV and I’m outside.  The engine compartment actually comes right in between where our legs go.

I didn’t hear from Tj for awhile this morning, so I peeked out the window.  This is what I saw.  My heart skipped a beat as it looked to me like he wasn’t breathing.  I thought he electrocuted himself.  As it turns out, frustration can make you look dead.  Who knew?

This engine is so compact that there are places that hands need to go, that hands don’t fit.  I think that’s what caused the frustration in the other photo.  So here I am saving the day, not really doing much…  but just enough to be awesome.  Thanks to my small hands, something or other is now attached to the fuel filter.  Don’t ask me what.  I have really have no idea.

That’s pretty much it for today.  Next, we pay the welder to make us custom brackets to hold the veggie oil tank in here.

Yeah, we lose a precious storage compartment, but we gain a tank full of fuel.  Can’t argue with that!

The Rig

As promised an awfully long time ago, here are the photos of our new rig.  I’ll include a few notes on changes we’d like to make and things we are planning and/or dreaming about doing.  This is a photo heavy post.  If it loads slow, that might be why.  Be patient!  Geez!

First I’ll take you from front to back.

1996 32ft. Eldorado Class C Diesel

See that teal pinstripe?  It’s a sign of things to come.

Hot damn!  Look at the color of those seats!  Teal AND Velour. Definitely a win-win.

Command Central

Sleeping area above the cab.

Apprentice Study. This sits directly behind Command Central.

Not teal seats.  Sure lucked out there.  Teal borders.  Ooh… fancy.  Folds out into a bed.

The couch, in a lovely teal.  This area is a slide-out opening up the center of the RV quite a bit.  Unfortunately,  TJ isn’t home and I have no idea how to make that happen for a photo.  Also folds out into a bed.  Oh and yes, those ARE matching teal window shades and curtains that also happen to appear in most of the other windows.

The kitchen.  No teal!  This is a corner we want to remodel a bit and have it more suitable for us.  I’m hoping for a fold down counter on the side and a new stove/oven.  Just noticed the broken handle, our first repair!

Love me a refrigerator that blends in with the cabinets.

Looking back into the bedroom.  Notice the nice teal carpet.  Who put those blue curtain in with all this beautiful teal?  Someone needs an interior design lesson.

Would love to see this back room turn into a bunk room for kids.

Really though, she’s going into storage for a few months.  It looks like we’ll be in Washington for a bit longer than we had hoped.  We’re searching for a smaller apartment to live in for a few months.  Tying up loose ends takes time, and more time than I had originally thought.  As it turns out, living just outside the city will enable us to save some money. I’m definitely seeing some weekend adventures in our immediate future!

So, we’re planning some remodeling, some fancying up, less teal and a veggie oil conversion.  We’ll be installing solar panels at some point, but I have a feeling that’s a ways off.  That’s what I got.  I’ve been waiting for a sunny day to take photos.  If you’re curious about anything, feel free to ask.  Otherwise, I’ll be busy learning to reupholster or even fashioning some slip covers for all that…  TEAL.