In spite of all that we still have to get done on the bus we got up at 7:15 AM and went to our SLAARC breakfast. We did not get to go last week because our grand-daughter (Madeline) was here and we won’t get to go next week because we will be at an RV rally. We did not hang around like we sometimes do and left at 9 AM, but at least we got to go.
When I quit working on the toilet in the bus at 10 PM last night I had come to the conclusion that I had spent six hours trying to fix the wrong thing. I assumed that the leak was due to a faulty O-ring or a misalignment of two pieces with the slip fit, presumably caused by the 9″ piece of Qest pipe with 1/2″ NPT lavatory fittings on each end. After hours of effort and numerous attempts it occurred to me that the problem could be the threaded fitting in the first piece. The fitting is unusual in that it is hollow and has an inside hex shape. I got my SAE and metric Allen wrench sets but the largest wrenches, 3/8″ and 10mm, were too small and would not engage the fitting.
After dropping Linda at home I went in search of a 7/16″ and 1/2″ Allen wrenches. I stopped at our bank for a little cash and then went to The Home Depot as they are next door to one another. No luck there, but I did buy a 20″ flexible supply line with 1/2″ FIP threads. I tried Lowe’s next but that was another strike out. I tried O’Reilly’s auto parts store, the Tractor Supply store, and the Sears store across the street. Nope, nada, nothing. The guy at Sears suggested ACE hardware back in Howell so I headed that way but pulled into an Advance Auto Parts. They had a set of Allen wrench (hex key) stubs, with 1/2″ drive sockets. It included sizes smaller and larger than what I was looking for, in addition to the ones I was looking for, so I bought it.
Back home we installed the three large drawers in the rear of the bedroom. I then spent several more hours working on the toilet while Linda changed out the handles on all of the cabinet doors. She even figured out how to remove the handle on the built-in laundry hamper in the bathroom. As I have said here before, she is a clever girl. I unscrewed the insert with a 7/16″ hex key, cleaned off the old thread compound, wrapped the threads with Teflon tape, and screwed it back in. I mated the air/water sequence valve with the vacuum breaker and got them mounted to the support bracket, getting them aligned and snug in the process.
The last step was to attach the 20″ flexible supply line to the air/water sequence valve and water supply line. I attached it to the air/water sequence valve first, looped it around, and attached it to the incoming water supply fitting. Easy to say but tough to do. There is a lot of stuff crammed into the back portion of this toilet and there is barely room to get one hand in there to work, never mind two. To make matters worse (for me) the only hand I could get in there was my left one. Being right-handed that made a difficult task even more so.
I turned on the water and checked for connection leaks. I did not see any so I applied air pressure and initiated the flush cycle but it did not work. Nothing, nada, zilch, no movement of the valve, drain flapper opening, and no flow of water. The air-water sequence valve is mounted to a horizontal plate. It installs from underneath and is held in place by a large nut that threads over the top. I thought perhaps this nut was too tight and causing the valve to bind so I loosened it and the valve started working. I flushed it several times looking for leaks and did not see any. We made tiny adjustments to the location and decided to screw it down. It was 3 PM.
I found the four screws that were originally used to mount the toilet to the floor. They are very large and quite unusual. They are 2.25″ long with coarse threads and hex heads with large Philips screwdriver slots. The center of the heads, where the screwdriver slots cross, are drilled and tapped and there are four black caps with screws built into them that screw into them to conceal them and give the toilet a finished look. I was concerned, however, about their length. The underlayment and tile are somewhere between 5/16″ and 7/16″ thick, slightly thinner than the ceramic tile I removed, and the bus subfloor is (presumably) 3/4″ thick. Anything that penetrates the tile by more than 1″ risks coming through the bottom side of the plywood and potentially screwing into something it should not. I measured the base of the toilet and it was an honest one inch thick so I decided I would reuse the screws when we got to that point.
At this point we took about 45 minutes to clean up tools and put things away in the garage. We then turned our attention to getting the built-in sofa installed. I removed a piece of expanded metal mesh and cut a piece of aluminum sheet metal to cover a hole and used heavy duty double sided 3M tape to attach it to the HVAC duct. While Linda cut pieces of felt to go under any pieces of the sofa that touched the floor I cut and attached foam weatherstripping to the back edges of the two plenum/support boxes and the return air duct/shelf.
We put the two plenum/support boxes in place against the end cabinets and HVAC duct but did not take the time to cut and screen openings into the duct. We set the return air duct/shelf in place and put in the vertical front panel but the shelf held it out so I removed the weatherstripping from the back edge. We also did not take the time to drill the 4″ holes at either end of the vertical panel for the round diffusers as there was no point doing this until the HVAC duct was modified.
We secured each of the plenum/support boxes to the wiring chase with a single angle bracket and to the front panel with a pair of brackets. I drilled and countersunk a three foot length of 1/8″ aluminum angle and we installed it against the inside of the vertical panel and the top of the shelf. The shelf is 45″ wide (side-to-side) and there is a 3″ high by 44″ long piece of the vertical panel missing at the floor and centered side-to-side. The aluminum angle will transfer vertical loads on the central portion of the vertical panel to the shelf, which is 3/4″ plywood with full depth pieces along each edge and a slightly shorter central support piece.
We had been making a list throughout the day of parts that we needed. When we got to a point with the sofa where we did not have the screws we needed we took a break. We went to Qdoba in Howell for dinner, our first visit to this particular eatery since we moved to the Brighton/Hartland/Howell area, and both had vegan taco salads. The salads were good enough although the taco shell bowels were not the best we have had. The servers seemed a bit stingy with the various ingredients but in the end the salad was substantial and tasty. It was also a convenient and efficient location being on an out lot of the Meijer’s supermarket property and right across the street from Lowe’s.
After dinner we went to Lowe’s and bought felt drawer/door bumper pads, screws, and two more angle brackets. Back home we worked on the built-in sofa until 9 PM and called it quits for the night. I spent two hours at my desk and finalized a featured bus article for Bus Conversion Magazine on Larry and Carol Hall’s GM4106. I uploaded the article and photo files it to my Dropbox BCM folder, and then e-mailed the publisher, editor, layout person, and Larry to let them know it was there.
I try to finish these posts each night before I go to sleep or first thing the next morning. If I fail to do that I quickly lose the sequence of events and details. I tend to be up too late as a result, but if I fall behind by even one day it is very difficult to catch up while also trying to keep up. As much as I have enjoyed the remodeling project I will be glad to not be so busy this winter and be able to write shorter posts about the interesting people, places, and things we experience.