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Motorhome Travels - May 2012


Shouse progress! - the end is in sight!

It has been non-stop work on this shouse this month. Here is a progress update.

Inside the shouse with the framing underway - [Click for a Larger Image]
Inside the shouse with the framing

With the entire shed now closed in and water proof, there has been no excuse to take a break even when it is raining. After what seems like an eternity, we think the end is now in sight.

Last week we finished building the internal frames for the house section and arranged for the frame inspection. Not having done any steel framing before, we were a bit nervous about the inspection but all went well and the inspector ticked the box and left.(phew!).

Excavator building the ramp into the shed for the bus! - [Click for a Larger Image]
Excavator building the ramp into the
shed for the bus!

We now have only one inspection to go - this one will be the big one - the final. Our next big task is the plumbing and septic system. The trucks with gravel and sand for the septic system start arriving tomorrow and the plumber and excavator will be here on Monday. This is going to be a big day as the plumbing inspector is scheduled to arrive at 3pm the same day. Our plumber has agreed to allow us run all the internal pipes to all the taps etc - so that will be a saving. Plumbing and septic is still a very expensive exercise.

Wiring and the electrical system is much simpler and cheaper. Because there is no reticulated power to the property, we have decided to wire the shouse for low voltage solar operation. All lights will be 24v and a small solar system will keep a modest set of deep cycle batteries charged to run watering systems and security systems etc while we are not here. When we are here, the bus will plug in to the shouse and supply power from its solar array (now over 1000 watts). The position of the shouse on the pad was designed to allow the bus to park close and still be in full sun all day.

Today the plaster board arrives. We have already installed all the fiberglass insulation in the external walls (except where the plumbing pipes will be) and it is now just a matter of erecting the ceiling and wall gibrock once the plumbing is complete. Yes - the end is really in sight! 

Tracey sporting the latest in kneepad fasion - [Click for a Larger Image]
Tracey sporting the
latest in kneepad

One of the major hurdles we face is the cost of getting materials delivered out here - we are 100km from Bundaberg and unfortunately this makes transport of everything very costly. We try to go to Bundaberg as infrequently as we can and buy everything we need when we do go. Our last trip was on Saturday and I was very surprised that the poor little Suzuki made it back with its massive load of building materials. It was full of cement, deep cycle batteries, a laundry tub, a shower tray and all the tools for erecting and stopping plasterboard. It did very well to get all that back here without breaking.

The local council has dictated that we install two 27,000 liter water tanks - these are massive and we have been preparing the ground where they will be located - these arrive this Friday. Once these are in place we will get a local carrier to put some water in them and then move the bus up the hill to be closer to the shouse - this will cut our daily traveling time down from two minutes to about ten seconds :-)

So - the good news is that we are getting close to the end of the project - it has been a long and very exhausting process - but it has been worth the effort. We are hoping to be back in the bus and on the road in about 6 weeks time - then life can return to normal!

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