Oh to bask in the soft orange glow of electric light! I finally finished wiring up the Shasta and I am beside myself with pride. I help people at work all day long with how to wire this and what they need to connect that but this is the first serious electric project I have completed on my own. The first time I flipped on that breaker and the lights came on I couldn’t help myself but yell out for joy and make a victory lap around the camper! We’ve had a few days to get some work done and I am so proud of us for what we’ve completed. We have run 10/2 romex wire down the side wall beneath the bench and added a 20 amp outlet to the rear wall so that we have a dedicated circuit for the air conditioner. We had the old unit repaired and installing it in the window was one of the first things we completed. It only blows low cool but that is plenty for the inside of the Shasta. We also ran some 12/2 romex straight down from the breaker box and added a 15 amp outlet for the microwave and the refrigerator. That outlet is on the same circuit that the lights are on. I’m not sure how much load it will require but if we have to turn the lights out to microwave our ramen noodles then that’s something we’re just going to have to work around. I would replace the breaker but we re-used an old breaker box and finding replacements is more of a challenge than I thought. We also put in the new sink faucet and got it connected to the new water inlet. There is no hot water but I didn’t want to question which knob to turn every time so I put a dual outlet valve onto the inlet and connected both sides of the faucet to the cold. This way I will get a chuckle ever time someone let’s the water run waiting on it to get warm.
It appears that the manufacturing tolerances of the late 60’s weren’t what they are today because nothing inside the Shasta is square. When we were building the cabinets and cutting the lids, close became close enough real quick. The only tools we have are a circular saw, a tape measure, a miter saw, and a drill; no table saw, no chalk line, no carpenter’s square. Accurate cuts are out of the question. “It’s just a camper” has become the official motto of the build but given what we are working with I am very proud of what we’ve done. We framed in the new bench over the wheel well. We built a rear wall that helps support the air conditioner. We cut lids for the dinette, the side benches, and the rear bench. We put on hinges and added extra supports to all of the seats. There are actually places to sit down in there now. Finishing the inside is going to take a lot of trim pieces, liberal use of wood putty and more sanding than I want to even think about, but when all is said and done she’s going to be perfect.
We got to enjoy our first meal in the Shasta late Sunday night. The box of Popeye’s chicken and a cold Coors light accented perfectly the smell of sweat and fresh cut wood.