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Topic: Stella - the Riviera Camper (Read 1696 times) previous topic - next topic

  • BuginU2
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  • Hebmuller
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Stella - the Riviera Camper
I joined Mr. Catbox this weekend at the salvage yard (or the thrift shop of cars as I described it to my wife).

I picked up a couple power ports and two fuse panels.  The panels were out of some mid-90's GM car that my grandparents would have drove.

The novelty of have an all original bus has worn off.  So I feel that now was a good time to make some changes to improved the usefulness of it. 

First up - the original icebox.  Long term - we'll be upgrading to a different fridge.  The icebox on a good day would maintain temperature just enough to keep things cool.  However, the kids like to open/close it - so the cold air didn't have much of a chance.  Recently we've been using it for dry storage of food.  I figured I could gain a few cubic feet of storage by eliminating the actual icebox. 



So I removed the icebox and cut the foam box away from the metal frame that the door was attached to.  I repainted the metal frame and then reinstalled the metal frame and icebox door onto the cabinet. 

While I was working inside the cabinet - I discovered that dire situation the wiring was in.  The second battery had a single 14ga wire running from the back to the area under that cabinet.  That single wire (unfused) was powering the electric pump for the sink, the former icebox and the single power power that came with the bus! 

I bought some 6ga wire to run from the battery to the new fuse box we picked up at the salvage yard.  I generally don't like drilling new holes in the body to run wires so I decided to re-purpose the old air conditioner lines.  The lines ran the length of the bus and were big enough to run the new cable through.  I did drill a single hole next to the drain hole to route the wire into the area under the cabinet.

While I was down there - I updated the wiring for the old power port, added two new power ports, along with a 750w inverter.  My wife didn't like seeing all the wires under the cabinet, so I added some new wood panels inside to separate the storage area from the wiring area.


  • BuginU2
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  • Hebmuller
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Re: Stella - the Riviera Camper
Reply #1
We took Stella for a little drive this weekend.  Then again, we take Stella for drives quite often....

We were headed for the annual Volksfest in Moxee City Park (just a few miles east of Yakima).  Since the whole family was going and we had some activities other than the show lined up, we were pulling the trailer with our gear.  Decided to take a different route this year (normally we take 84 or 14 through the Gorge to 97 and then north to Yakima) - we drove north on I-5 to WA-12.  I'm sure it was a beautiful drive, but it was mostly dark for the 4 hour stretch between Kelso and Yakima. 

Arrived in Yakima canyon (BLM campgrounds) around 11pm and joined the Cascade Kombis for some late night drinks and conversation.  The next morning I did a VW count and found out there were at least 14 bay window buses there.  We went rafting with the Kombis and then headed into Yakima to the Volksfest venue.

Once we setup camp, we left for dinner with Chris, Erin and their kiddos in downtown.  Saturday night at the park - there was the usual festivities and adultish beverages to be consumed.

Sunday morning we moved the bus and tent into the show area and had a virtual Volkster village setup.  Chris and I lost in the semi-finals to the team that we beat in last years Tug-a-bug finals.  Stella managed to win best interior (thank you Chris and Erin for accepting on our behalf).

The drive home was going great until the oil pressure light came on as I noticed the cloud of smoke billowing from the back of the bus.  I immediately shut the engine off and pull over to the side of the road.  I checked the engine and found a puddle of oil and a steady stream of oil dripping from the bottom of the engine.  At that point we were 50 miles from home and well within our AAA towing coverage (except the trailer which became another problem*). 

*My AAA coverage did not include trailers.  The cost to hook-up to the trailer was going to be about $78 and the per mile charge was $4.  There was no way I was going to pay that amount to have the trailer towed, so I made some calls and my friend Aaron drove out to tow it back for us).

The cause of the loss of oil pressure was due to the oil filter basically shaking loose and it was spinning off.  There was still oil in the engine when I checked the dipstick the next day.  I tightened up the filter and added a quart and a half to the engine.  It started up just fine.

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Re: Stella - the Riviera Camper
Reply #2
If you gotta break down...at least do it close to home, right? :-D

1971 Super Beetle

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Re: Stella - the Riviera Camper
Reply #3
No drilling required! *phew*  :headbang:
Schneller Dummkopf! Aus meinen Weg!

Current Vw(s)
'13 Jetta TDI (Lucifer)