Thursday, September 19, 2013

Shakedown Cruise -er- Road Trip #1 With My McVansion, September 2013

Okay! It's time to get this tiny home on wheels on the road, again, and see what's shaking - literally.

I'll have some photos up tonight or tomorrow showing the parts, the completed unit and the installed unit that is now the counter space for the tiny galley area and the storage below for utensils, dry and canned foods, my clothes and behind the unit, water storage. I also installed window blackouts in two of the van's windows and created blackout curtains/drapes with black felt and held in place with Velcro for the other windows and to close off the living area from the cockpit for privacy.

So, when I said it's time for a little shakedown road trip, I meant that literally, for sure. I'm on the road to my hometown of Clifton, New Jersey for a few days. On Saturday, September 21st, I'll be attending a barbecue bash at Uncle Roy Yokelson's house in Bloomfield, New Jersey, not far from the border of Clifton. That's an annual event Uncle Roy (his moniker) throws every year (this is the 8th and my first one to finally attend) for the voice-over talent in the NYC, northern NJ and nearby NY state and CT group. Although, there are some who travel there from much greater distances for this fun event.

So, My McVansion is on the road to see what shakes, rattles and rolls so I can figure out ways to tighten, shim, prop, pad and make any other modifications and adjustments necessary. While it's ready for sleeping in again, meals and bathroom necessities are still not installed, so I will need to use other means for taking care of these requirements of life on this trip. I will have a cooler onboard with certain things and I can carry some dry foods, so I will have some meals "at home," so to speak. The bathroom situation is another matter. I have acquired and will have with me a yellow plastic milk container that I can use for certain requirements when public facilities are not readily available. I'll let you figure out what I mean by that.

The desk/computer workstation area is set up, as was evident in earlier photos. However, it's not complete, yet. There is no wiring for power, no speaker system, no capability for printing, etc. Additionally, this area will also easily and quickly convert to a voice-over booth when the necessity for either my own projects or a client's project arises. But, the plans and materials for that are all in hand at this time. It's just a matter of fabrication and installation.

There is no house 12 volt DC or 110 AC source on board, yet. However, I recently located a source for a 245-amp hour, sealed, deep cycle, marine/industrial/RV battery at a very good price. Of course, the thing weighs 158 pounds (not too much different than a couple 100 amp hour, sealed, deep cycle batteries - combined weight). So, that will be added later this fall along with 12-vdc wiring and outlets in the appropriate places and an appropriate sized 110-vac inverter to handle the small refrigerator to be added along with the small microwave - to be used in very tiny spurts from time to time.

But, for now, it's shakedown the currently installed furnishings and get it checked out and ready for the next stage of improvements. While in northern New Jersey and, more specifically, my hometown and hometown area of Governor Chris Christie's state, I'll be stopping to visit and photograph all my old homesteads where I lived with my family as a kid through college. I'll pass by my old schools and take photos of them as well. I might just stop at the police department first to let them know who I am and why I'm taking photos - in our present day world, one very different than when I grew up Clifton, I can easily see me being reported to the police by some nosey (and properly aware) neighbor and then being picked up for "suspicious activity." That would certainly put a damper on my "hometown going" trip.

I also plan to make a stop at my favorite hot dog stand, Rutt's Hut (since 1928) and my favorite Italian restaurant, Mario's, whose pizza is my standard that I measure all other pizza by. I'm hoping to hit at least one of the old diners my family took us to for our occasional dining out treats (eating out in the 40's, 50's and 60's wasn't near as common as it is today). And, there are other familiar sights that hold fond memories that I'll photographically (and maybe a little video, too) document while I'm in the area. Of course, while I'm doing this all for myself, I'm also doing it for my son who has probably only been to my hometown on four to six occasions during his 35 year lifespan. I'd like him to at least have some pictures of his/my roots.

Of course, there are some old friends I hope to spend some time with - or at least look up. One of them I recall visiting around 1990 and I can't find a trace of him, which leads me to believe he has already gone to the great beyond. Others, I just haven't seen in 20 to 35 years and it would be nice to at least touch base after all this time.

So, look for more photos and tales from the road coming up. Stay tuned. 

No comments:

Post a Comment