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Well, of course, it's just a nasty reality check on my musings. Much as I'd like to do a chassis up build, I cannot ever see having that much time :-( I'll have to stick to "improving" and a little restoring existing things that mostly do what I want. No Tatra 815 motorhome for me, I think.
 

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Discussion Starter #703 (Edited)
DAMN IT! I just read the whole thread and the suspense is killing me! Subscribed!
Tell me about it. This project has consumed the last 3.5yrs of my life, and it'll be at least a few more months before the truck is all put back together, and probably another six months to finish it. That's if everything goes well. All comes down to time and money. Building something like this is obviously a lot of work, and I made the decision early-on that I was not going to let it put me into debt. So it's taken longer than I would have liked, but all things considered, think it's coming together pretty well. Whenever I start to get anxious, just try to take a step back and keep things in perspective. I've been working on a lot of other projects too. Some of them are the kind of things that make all this possible, and some are completely unrelated. Haven't posted much about any of that stuff because I didn't want to clutter-up this thread, but I've been spreading myself pretty thin. That's kinda how I like to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #704
Have been spending some time with my grandparents up at their place in Lake Tahoe this summer. Just helping them out with a few things, and the other day my Grandpa wanted to hang some lattice to hide the 'junk' that he's been storing under the back patio. So I walked around to the back of the house to give him a hand.




Tripped over this old dinghy from his sailboat. Reminded me that I wanted to take that home and restore it. Being on my Grandpa's sailboat was one of my earliest memories, and is probably where I got the wanderlust that's led me to build this monstrosity of a motorhome.






My Grandpa was a builder in Lake Tahoe, and when his two boys (my Mom's younger brothers) graduated highschool, he sold their house in the keys and bought a sailboat. They set off across the pacific ocean in '79 (the same year I was born), and spent the next few years exploring the Tahitian and Hawaiian islands. One of my uncles never left Hawaii, and now that my grandparents are retired, they spend most of their time over there too. Grandma is still not too thrilled about the fact that he sold her dream-home to go off on this little adventure, but goddamn - how cool is that?









 

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Discussion Starter #705 (Edited)
They have the raddest stories, like how they used to have an old scooter or minibike of some kind that they would use to run around on the islands and pick up groceries and stuff. Well they went some islands where those people had never seen any kind of motorized vehicle, so they spent a few days giving all the little kids rides around the island. They also had a scuba tank compressor onboard, and my Grandpa said that was worth it's weight in gold. They were able to fill scuba tanks for people, and it didn't cost them anything, but imagine how much a favor like that might be worth on some of those some of those remote islands back then. He used to tell me these stories, probably not knowing the impression that they made on me. But when I started thinking about traveling and living on the road, I remembered what he'd told me about bartering and trading and trading favors.

So I've got the ability to process massive quantities of fuel and water, hot water heaters that will allow a small army of people to take hot showers simultaneously, and will be able to produce copious amounts of electricity. In more civilized areas, I'll hope to continue working as a designer, but I'll also have a trailer full of tools. FULL of tools. All kinds of tools. Obviously metalworking stuff, but lots of other stuff too; from woodworking, to composites, to plastic welders, to industrial sewing machines, to gardening tools... what do you need?
 

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Discussion Starter #706
Incidentally, my Grandpa still has that old scuba tank compressor. It's one of the only things left from Mariah. He brought it back to Lake Tahoe in the early 90's, planning to gut her and remodel. But unfortunately, it caught fire and was completely burned-out. Right down to the steel hull. So it sat there for years, until he eventually sold it for little more than scrap-value, and now it's sitting out on a ranch somewhere in the NV desert. Someone else is dreaming about restoring it, but will probably never see water again.
 

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Discussion Starter #707
Had asked my Grandpa about anything that might be left, and about the only thing he could think of was this little brass porthole cover that he had turned into a mirror. Wasn't much, but thought it would be neat to have something from Mariah in my motorhome.

 

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Discussion Starter #708
So I just about shit myself when I saw an old toilet sitting upside down in a cardboard box that was disintegrating around it. Green copper plumbing? Pump-flush? Grandpa! What the hell is this!?!

"Oh, well that's just an old toilet from Mariah. It's junk."

Jeezus. Seriously Grandpa? We'd had this conversation several times, me asking him about anything that he might still have from his old sailboat, anything that I might be able to use in my motorhome, and he never thought to tell me about this toilet. So I pulled it out of the box and there was another one in there underneath it! They're two different shapes / styles, and the smaller one would definitely be a better fit, but the lid and hinge assembly on the larger one is pretty damn cool...









 

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Discussion Starter #709
Brought them both home, so I can take them apart, clean them up, and then put them together, using whatever combination of parts is going to work out best. Looks like almost all of the parts are interchangeable, but there are some differences, like the fact that they're set-up with the plumbing on opposite sides. Have to learn a little bit more about how these things work in order to figure out exactly how I want to adapt one to use in a motorhome.







 

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That is a very cool heritage your family has Jesse! I often question the lives we lead....are we really leading or unknowingly following.

On the subject of toilets and since we have some history there, your old Thetford Aquamagic that you sent my way is still in action in a portable sea container shop, my buddy said it does the job but it is quite breakable and it does stink unless you use a lot of chemical.

You will have the coolest toilet in your rig, you have managed to find a toilet that has character! What are the odds?
 

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Badass stories. How big was the Mariah? 50ft about?

Who is that in the pic with the fish? uncle?

Those are some old old shitters, I would check the seals in them, they tend to rot out and then run constantly.
 

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Discussion Starter #712
Was planning on using that really cool Thetford Electra Magic toilet that I got a while ago, but there's no way I'm going to pass-up the opportunity to incorporate one of these vintage porcelain thrones into this project. Still really like the idea of separating solid from liquid waste though. Might dig into this Thetford toilet to see how that works. Would love to hear from anyone that knows anything about marine plumbing and/or processing sewage. The goal is to composte solid waste, using two holding tanks - filling one while the other is composting. Will probably want to have one small holding tank on the truck, and then mount the two composting tanks in the trailer. Have a Shurflo macerator, and need to figure out the rest...
 

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Discussion Starter #713
That is a very cool heritage your family has Jesse! I often question the lives we lead....are we really leading or unknowingly following.
I know, right? My Grandpa is a badass!

On the subject of toilets and since we have some history there, your old Thetford Aquamagic that you sent my way is still in action in a portable sea container shop, my buddy said it does the job but it is quite breakable and it does stink unless you use a lot of chemical.

You will have the coolest toilet in your rig, you have managed to find a toilet that has character! What are the odds?
That's unfortunate, but not surprising. It does seem to be on the delicate side of things. Very 'plastic-ey'. Not really what I want in a toilet. Even in a motorhome, but especially one that I'll be living in fulltime. Bummer about the stink too. What about water consumption? Still don't really know much about how that solid/liquid separating and recirculating stuff actually works.
 

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Discussion Starter #714
While I was hauling these old toilets out of the junkpile, I noticed an pair of old horns. Yellow horns. Asked Grandpa what those were all about and he told me that they're a pair of airhorns from my great grandpa Blackmore's old Caterpillar. Awesome! Another score.






Then a few days later when I was helping my Grandpa organize some pictures on his laptop, I happened to find a picture of Blackmore leaning against that DW21. I remember him, but I was pretty young when he died, and everybody in my family tells me that I'm the spitting image of him. Super-cool to find connections like these to the past.

 

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Discussion Starter #715
Did you see that thing wrapped-up in clear plastic behind the stove in that first picture of the horns? Yeah, so did I. Turns-out it's an old stone wheel that's been in my family for over 100 years. It was my great-great Grandfather's, and somewhere along the line my Grandpa put an electric motor on it. Of course that ended up coming home with me too.

 

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your grandpa is definitely a badass :smokin: thank you for sharing the stories and pictures along with details on how youre gonna reuse the old parts that have sentimental value, very interesting and fun to read about, just as cool as your awesome restoration/motor home project :grinpimp:
 

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Discussion Starter #717 (Edited)
Badass stories. How big was the Mariah? 50ft about?

Who is that in the pic with the fish? uncle?

Those are some old old shitters, I would check the seals in them, they tend to rot out and then run constantly.
Mariah was a 50ft long, 13ft wide, motor-sailboat made in Holland in the late 60's by Beister. Had a steel hull that was 3/16" below the waterline and 1/8" above the waterline. Weighed about 50-tons. Grandpa bought it from the original owners, who had taken it all over the world, from Europe down through the Canal and all over the Pacific and up to Alaska and a bunch of other places.

Yeah, that's my uncle Joe. Couldn't find any pics of his brother Rick. They both turned 21 on that boat. Can you imagine?

Thanks, planning on completely disassembling and rebuilding at least one of these toilets.
 

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Discussion Starter #718 (Edited)
Also talked to Johnny and am hoping he's going to be able to get all those parts sprayed for me sometime next week. He would have had them done sooner, but I told him that I was going to be out of the area. Remembered at the last minute that there was no hole knocked-out for the steering column to pass through the firewall. The hole is there, it's just blocked-off. So marked-up a picture and emailed that to him. Should only take one good whack with a hammer, but better to do it before there the bedliner is applied to both sides of the firewall...

Anybody know what those other two big blocked-off knockouts are for?

 

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I think the one on the right (left if you're in the drivers seat) is the hole for the heater ducting to run in from the engine compartment.
 

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Discussion Starter #720
Heater ducting huh? That's the first I've heard about that. My Grandpa said something about being able to select between fresh water and salt water, but he thinks the selector valve was a separate deal, and not something that was built into the toilet. It's been a long time though, and while he knew that boat inside out at one time, he can't recall too many of those details anymore. Understandable. Hell, I can't remember things about some vehicles I built 5-10yrs ago, and still own!
 
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