Things are Coming Together Nicely

Published on 7 April 2024 at 20:10

Yesterday was a real turning point in this year's Raffle Bus build. Our to do list was shortened by a lot because of everyone's hard work and tremendous effort.
First, we had a very welcomed visit by two members of our distinguished board, Sandi and Rob. It was good to see them. Rob was able to stay all morning while Sandi, very wisely, had other obligations. Thanks for coming.

Here's some bullet points, as we had several people working on different things.


  • Rob started by installing all the upper and lower tent trim pieces. No small effort that came out looking great. Then he cleaned and shined up those tricky pop top hold downs and got them looking almost new and ready to be installed.
  • I (John) got the very front panel of the tent attached to the body earlier in the week. 7 screws, a 3' metal strip and some rope type weatherproofing sealant. And it took 2-1/2 hours.... Sheesh. Better not leak.
  • It took a team effort to get the last driver rear side window installed. But Ed, Russell and others got it in very quickly and efficiently. They are getting really, really good at this!
  • Russell got the seatbelts in. I'm glad we decided to just give up on cleaning the old ones and getting new. Makes the cab look nice.
  • Rob worked on the black trim piece at the rear bumper. He didn't like the way it looked and we agreed. So for now it will be left off.
  • Front door mirrors were done by Ed and Russell. Greatly reducing the angst associated with safely backing up the bus.
  • Ed and Bill got the rear side light lens straightened out. Involved replacing the battery spacer and hold down. Looks good now.
  • Bill did the very difficult task of getting the outer hold down nuts on the tail light housing. Way harder than it should be. He also showed quite the skill set in replacing the sliding door rear track guide. Involved smoothing out the guide cavity with a Dremel and some painting of the now exposed metal in the channel. But he got it adjusted and it works like new. Very Nice. Bill then got both side track covers and seals in. Had to track down and replace the old rusted screws and such. Looks completely finished. The seat back screws were removed and the panel covers were then installed with pop rivets. Safer than screws.
  • David C checked the window roll up mechanism and lubricated it. Works well now.
    The passenger door inner window scraper/seal gave David fits last week. We couldn't figure out why. Last Sunday I mentioned this to Dave Kelly and he gave me some possible reasons why and some things to look for. Sure enough, one of the attachment points for the scraper he said to look at had been bent just enough out of place to be causing the problem. Fixed that misalignment and the scraper went right in. So even without being there, Dave was able to help.
  • The front door plastic liners and rubber clip retainers were installed by David and Sue. A thankless job that's never seen by anyone but that's critical to the long term health of the door panels.
  • David, Russell and I were able to tag team the driver door panel in place. Pretty comical effort actually. Glad no one was around to take any pictures of Russell and me coaxing this process along with some very colorful language.
  • Russell had earlier in the week installed all the side panels on both sides of the interior before he and Wayne had gotten the wardrobe cabinet in. They also got the floor threshold and rear trim pieces in. It finished the floor nicely. Russell also got the rear headbanger pieces cut, glued together and installed earlier in the week. It's a real effort and came out looking good.
  • Brian installed the shore power connection. This involved creating a new outer gasket, replacing the stripped bolt, drilling two new holes in the body of the bus for sheet metal screws to attach, and sealing around the power box with sealant that the package claims will dry clear. Then Brian had to leave to go volunteer for one of our charities, Liberty Wildlife. I'm sure they appreciate him as much as we do!
  • Russell and Ed got the Z bed in. Seems like it had everyone scratching their heads trying to figure out just how this thing works and exactly how it locates on the floor. But they did it and it seems to work well.
  • The dining table was put in place by Russell and Ed. Way more work than it should be but it's in and looks great.
  • Rob installed the front entrance step pads to help finish off the cab flooring mats.
  • And look at the wonderful job Roy Jonas did on those seat covers. See the image looking through the back of the bus and how the lines of the plaid are aligned perfectly, not to mention they are extremely comfortable. Seems like Roy added a quilted touch to them. Awesome!
  • Kitty made all the curtains for the bus and delivered them earlier in the week. Here combination of sewing skills and sense of design made for some terrific curtains as the photos show.
  • Sue worked on cleaning and using a restore/finisher on the dash.
  • And a special thanks to Greta for the wonderful lunch she worked on for all of us. This is now the high point of the day and I just know it's the real reason why we all show up... Thank You.

Russell and I will come up with another list for next Saturday before their trip to Hawaii, so stay tuned. Meanwhile I get to spend some quality time with the Raffle Bus' electrical system this week. Hopefully I'll get all the lights and such working without letting any smoke out of the wires..... Hope!

Author:  John Manning

Note from the Crew: Let's not forget to mention John & Russell are our fearless leaders.

More images on our Raffle Bus #33 page

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