A Bit of Bhutan at the Tipping Point

In the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, they decorate their cargo trucks with bright colors, and often paint wild faces on the differentials. I am not sure all of the symbolism behind that, but certainly warding off ill-meaning spirits and keeping the driver safe are part of it. Yesterday I got the fun job of painting the gas tank, axle and differential with a protective bright orange paint Steve had picked out. We won’t be able to see much of it once it’s back together, which is good, since my painting skills are lacking, but I do hope the festive color will serve a similar purpose. I may just need to sneak back in there and add a couple of eyes.

Yesterday we also passed a milestone on the motorhome — instead of taking it apart, we finally put the first few pieces back together. The amazing Calvin nestled the engine back where it goes under the hood. It has a lot of shiny new parts on it, and no longer are there mystery hoses and wires flapping in the breeze.  Meanwhile, the intrepid Steve welded a new bracket to hold the gray water tank, which we moved from the very back to a bit farther forward for better weight distribution. He also welded much needed aluminum bracing to reinforce the floor.

Completing the gutting of the motor home….

After stuffing ourselves with a delicious meal enjoyed with Fritz and Jayson, (our roommate and his son), we were pretty docile until yesterday and today. Our goal prior to the end of the holiday weekend was to get the remaining obstacles gutted out of the RV to facilitate our removal of the walls and roof. These items mostly consisted of some remaining carpet near the cab over area, and a few windows and vents. The largest obstacle was the rotted out floor over the cab area, and discovering how the fiberglass molded piece that attaches the motor home to the cab was fastened. It was not terribly complicated; it was just screwed into the 1″ x 1″ wood pieces bordering the wall connection. We did not know it was fiberglass until today when we removed the rotted wood concealing it. This is great news, as fiberglass is very strong and flexible, especially compared to plastic. Karuna and I made quick work of the remaining parts of the gut project and now we anxiously await our aluminum for the framework.

We will begin welding our aluminum frames together as soon as we have the materials. We would like to get the sides and roof frame complete and installed prior to our upcoming holiday road trip. Our goal may be a little aggressive, but we will see. We only have a couple of weeks until we take off, but we will be eager to get back into the project upon our return. The pictures below are of the cab over section, and will show you how it is put together, where the rot typically occurs, and how everything is attached. Enjoy!