Insulation Progress and a Biker Sendoff

The insulation installation continues. The large piece I left to dry overnight fell off within two minutes of removing the supports holding it in place, so it was time for Plan B. After a quick run to Home Depot, I screwed a few furring strips into the roof supports in strategic locations to help hold the insulation in place. This will help both the insulation I’ve already installed as well as the pieces I still have left to put in, both while the glue dries and afterward.

It didn’t take long to put the remaining large roof pieces into place. I moved on to using some of the scraps left over from the big pieces to cut smaller ones to fill in the gaps. These seem to be sticking much better than the larger pieces, probably because they weigh less. The first layer of the roof should be done soon at this rate. Then I’ll be able to use a combination of glue and screws to attach a second layer. Two inches of insulation should work quite well, and I’ll still be able to stand up straight.

I’ve also removed the factory dome lights that illuminate the forward part of the cargo area, but not permanently. Those are the wires you see dangling off the ceiling. The roof beam where they clip in will eventually be covered with insulation, but I plan to reinstall them into whatever ceiling I end up with, so I’ll still have lights that turn on automatically when I open the side door. Why reinvent the wheel when what Ford provided already works?

I had other things to do yesterday, too. I took a ride over to bueller.1203‘s place for a farewell gathering for A Cog In The Wheel, the guy who had a bad crash just a quarter mile away from the Forgotten Angels campout. He’s recovered well enough to fly and is about to return home to Texas. We’d been looking forward to meeting at the campout, so we got to meet today instead. It was also great to hang out with some other friends from the campout. Gunny, a former Marine as his name would imply, is chock full of funny stories he loves to tell. He was my wingman on one of the group rides.

I also had a great chat with th3foxglove, who I’ve seen in many Shadetree Surgeon videos. It turns out she’s a fan of mine as well. She’s just started the part-time RV life, is fully up to date with my van situation, and has enjoyed watching my progress. It’s quite encouraging to know that people are actually following my story, which she said was exactly why she had this conversation with me. I appreciate it!

Later on, Shadetree Surgeon and Cheyleesi arrived. I wasn’t there to see them, but they’ve been very supportive during the hospital stay and recovery, so seeing them was no surprise. They brought Shadetree’s “Dirtster,” an off-road Sportster build, and the hurricane Sportster raffle bike — the one featured in this video. Bert’s Black Widow took the very last Harley-Davidson Sportster they’ll ever get (the model’s been discontinued) and turned it into the best Sportster ever. I can confirm this because Shadetree encouraged us to take it for a spin, and I took him up on that. I’ll probably end up in one of his videos talking about it after the ride. This bike has probably ruined every other Sportster on the planet for me, because it’s the absolute best one I’ve ever ridden.

Why the hurricane theme? Because Bert is raffling off this bike as a fundraiser for Florida hurricane relief. Yes, this motorcycle can be yours. The extensive damage to the Port Charlotte and surrounding areas didn’t just magically go away. Many people’s homes were completely wiped off the map, and just because the news isn’t talking about it anymore doesn’t mean everything’s fine. So this bike, plus a custom chopper built by Paul Teutel, Sr. of Orange County Choppers, are getting raffled off to help those people out.

Then it was back to my aunt and uncle’s place for Thanksgiving dinner. On April Fool’s Day. And also my uncle’s birthday. Confused yet? I grew up on Doctor Who, so I’m used to time paradoxes like this. My other cousin came over along with her branch of the family. We enjoyed company, yummy food, and the daily Blue Angels air show over the house. I also answered a whole bunch of questions about the new van and van life in general. My order from eTrailer arrived, including not only my trailer hitch and wiring but also my roof racks. More and more bits and pieces should arrive over the next few days. Now I’ll have things to do besides wait for glue to dry on the insulation, and the build will start to speed up a bit. At least, until it gets too hot in the afternoon since I don’t have proper ventilation in Smokey II yet. That’s coming, too.

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