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Random parts and progress clockwise from upper left: 
1) New old stock steering wheel to replace mine which had a crack and/or scrapes on it. The silver thing in the box is the drivers map/reading light. The red things in black package are DC fuses that light up when they are blown.
2) LED reading light that will be installed above and slightly behind the driver. It is dimmable and can produce either white or red light.
3) Plug-mold outlets mounted into a wooden surround that will be mounted directly behind the microwave so that there are plenty of outlets in the kitchen. It will end up being painted brown so it doesn’t stick out as much visually.
4) CAT 7 ethernet cable that will be used to wire all the home automation system, wall keypads and general networking around the bus. Larry sent me this pic to show that he had acquired the ends, tool to install them and a tester.



AC Circuit Breaker set, clockwise from upper left:
1) The custom breaker panel showed up after being fabricated by Blue Sea Systems.
2) Jeff is creating a mockup to see how the breaker panel will fit the area available.
3) Looking in the window at the back side of a newly created box that will hold the circuit breakers… the window will be closed off in that area so no water and prying eyes will be able to see into where all the wires will go. This box is located on the back wall of the drivers side closet.
4) Breaker panel mounted to hinged panel. The DC fuses will go in the area to the right of these breakers along with some of the home automation system.



Drivers area evolution, which will eventually be constructed out of gray corian solid-surfacing material to match the paint around the windows, clockwise from upper left:
1) Boxing off the area to be used for driver controls.
2) Each control is hanging out, now we just need to figure out how it’s all laid out. Controls include: a) automatic transmission pad, high idle control, leveling system controls, cruise control and a square piece of wood will be used to represent a wall keypad for the home automation system.
3) Controls are starting to fit in, but the design has yet to be refined.
4) The current design which features an AC outlet that pops up for use in the area behind the driver where there will be a chaise lounge. We went with a tiered design with a red circle representing where the cup holder will go near the tranny pad and square wall keypad. The lower area is for random controls that don’t need to be used all that often. the higher tier is the leveling system controls.



Water closet progress, clockwise from upper left:
1) The black corian band and shelf have been installed, but still need to be polished (an electric heater goes in the rectangular hole below the shelf).
2) The black band continues behind the toilet and into the corner cabinet.
3) The toilet paper will come out from that recessed black area in the corner cabinet from a roll hidden slightly above. 
4) When I mentioned a gap where I could see food peaking out between the black band and shelf, Larry started to refine things…
5) This is the black band that is found to the left of the sink, which didn’t originally extend all the way to the wall on the left. I asked why that was and the next thing I knew, Larry replaced it with a piece that did extend all the way to the wall… and will look much better when polished.
Our Loxone US home automation system has been received! Clockwise starting at top: 
1)The home automation system came is a rather small box. Each of the brown boxes on the right contain the major components of the system while the stack of small white boxes contains the lighting dimmers.
2) Here we have the main brain of our home automation system (the green thing) powered up and connected to a wall keypad (the square white thing at center left, which is wired through an ethernet switch (gray/white thing near center top) and some extensions for replacing IR remotes (smaller black box)
3) One of our u::lux wall keypads with the cover shown at bottom and the back of the wiring interface shown at top. Those two pieces snap together and the top part will be hidden inside the wall while the bottom part will be visible on the wall. It’s all wired with ethernet, which supplies both power and communications for the system.
4) Roof awning controls, which are one of the few RV systems that will not be controlled by the home automation system… although I might eventually get around to replacing them so I don’t have to see those controls anywhere in the bus.
Countertop progress… the black edge is not final yet and the whole thing still needs to be polished, clockwise from top:
1) The countertop is almost done at this stage. The smaller hole is where the induction cooktop will reside, which will be installed flush with the rest of the countertop. The black edging is not in its final form yet. We’re waiting for a custom router bit to show up to finish it off… it won’t be quite as thick once it’s done.
2) Here’s a different view of the countertop where it might be easier to see the integrated drip-rail (raised edge to prevent water from spilling over the edge). The black edge is raised to create the drip-rail.
3) Just a progress shot of the black edge being fused to the countertop.
4) It might be a little easier to see that the black edge is raised in this shot.
The shore cord reel mechanism has been mounted in the back area of the bus. It will come out under the bus near the driver’s side rear. The housing that the cord is stored in is shown here… the actual cord is not in there yet.
Our Recaro Ergo MCII drivers seat showed up today! It’s a custom order with in-seat heat and is covered with the same leather than will be used for all other seating surfaces in the bus. Clockwise from upper left:
1) Larry sent me a teaser image today showing that the seat showed up… so, this was my first glimpse at the seat.
2) Front view with armrests.
3) Side view shows the air suspension base and controls.
4) The back of the seat was kept simple so it doesn’t look too busy when viewed from the living room area.

The seat will be mounted on a swivel so it can be swung sideways to get out of the way when watching TV on the drop down TV that’s positioned just above the drivers/entrance area.

Here’s the drivers seat positioned where it should live its life. Larry says that there is good access to all the controls and the the steering wheel and pedals are just right distance-wise.

Now we just need to add a swivel to the base so that it can rotate 90° so that it does not block the view of the dropdown TV when seated at the one-armed sofa that will be directly behind it.

More work being done on the 50 amp electronic shore cord reel. Clockwise from upper left:
1) Here you can see the position of the shore cord reel at the rear drivers side of the bus.
2) The cord has now been wired in. You can see it coming out of the bottom of the white container and entering…
3) The Surge Guard surge surpresser thingie is mounted just above the shore cord reel.
4) This shot shows where the cord will exit the bus under the rear bumper.
More progress on the kitchen. Clockwise from upper left:
1) Two of those green Bodum bistro knife blocks (google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about) were cut apart so that we could use the tiny plastic rods that it uses to house knives. You can see the black mass that is the tiny plastic rods after they’ve been transplanted into our custom wooden box.
2) That wooden box is ten topped with a stainless steel slot.
3) The box and slot are then mounted to the kitchen countertop just behind the sink.
4) Here you can see the box fitting perfectly between two walls that define where a drawer goes.

The plastic rods should prevent knives from moving around too much while the bus is in motion. Without them, I think we’d constantly hear the knives clinking into each other as the bus was in motion.

Just because I’m in China at the moment doesn’t mean that work on the vintage bus is not going on.

Left: Here you can see that some of the Loxone home automation system is being installed. These components are in the same area that the AC and DC circuit breakers are found… in fact, you can see the back of the AC circuit breaker panel on the left edge of that image… the breaker panel is hinged and swung out of the way in this shot.

Right: The shop is starting to run some AC wiring to the inverter.


Here you can see some progress on the kitchen countertop: 

Left: Here you can see the shape of the edge of the countertop. It raises up at the edge to form a “drip rail” that prevents liquids from running onto the floor. That is especially important in a bus which will not always be level when parked or in motion.

Right: A custom router bit was ordered to produce the outer edge shape of the countertop. Here you can see it mounted to a router and held above the countertop before it had been routed into the final shape. 

The full countertop still needs to be smoothed/polished before it can be considered done.




You can finally see what the kitchen countertop is supposed to look like now that the drip rail edging is done and the whole thing has been polished.