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Author Topic: How to regain the motivation to go on?  (Read 5127 times)
belfert
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« on: July 25, 2006, 04:38:57 PM »

My bus project is so far behind schedule that I'm finding no motivation to go out and work on it.  I get depressed seeing how far behind I am.

The project has ballooned way beyond the original scope of a simple conversion.  My biggest mistake was deciding to panel over the sides.  I expected it to take maybe two weekends and now it looks like a month might be more like it.  It takes two people and I can rarely line up a second person to help.  I do have a college student lined up to help on Saturday plus my brother.

I should have been outside in the bus almost an hour ago, but like I said, no motivation.  Every time I go out, I can't decide what to work on as so many things need to get done. 

Also, I don't have a truck, van, or SUV to haul materials so that makes things hard.  I suppose I'll have to pay $20 to a rent a truck at HD or Menards, but that just eats into my budget.  I can't drive the bus over there until the sides are done.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2006, 04:51:01 PM »

Brian - I have been there many times in my life on big projects.  I called this state "overwhelmed and underfunded".  The only way to succeed is to take the project one step at a time. VERY easy to say.  I thrashed around for a couple of weeks before I could drag myself out to work on the bus.  I cleverly waited until the weekend temps were in the 95 range to start pulling the windows and skinning my bus.  Well, last weekend I got one side done.

You are right, it takes a lot of time to skin the windows.  For me, I did a lot of research, called Fred Hobe and talked with him, and read everything I could here.  Even after that, on the first side of the bus, I would say the duty cycle was 60% head scratching and parts chasing, and 40% doing.  I expect the other side to go faster in actual work hours (who knows in calendar hours) because I have solved some little delimmas and have the experience of the one side under my belt.

So to summarize, compatmentalize the project and focus hard on just that part.  Looking at the big picture all the time can overwhelm you.  Then spend the rest of the time kicking yourself to go out there and work on it.  That's what I have to do.

Craig - MC7 Oregon
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« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2006, 04:51:26 PM »

Brian, When I'm stuck, I go out and clean up the project for a set time, like 10 minutes and then come back in. Sometimes it is tough, like everyone here can attest. August coming is 4 years I've been working on my bus. Its still as fun as the day I got it.....but it hasnt been that way everyday. Some parts of the project move quickly and other drag terribly, with awful hard work and little progress.
† †What helped my the first year is during that summer, I became discouraged. It was stifiling hot in the bus and I wasnt close to putting on the roof airs. I bought a $100 air conditioner at home depot, removed a window and using a peice f Celotex, made me a new window with an air conditioner hole in it. I had to make up a bracket to hold it up, but it cooled the bus fine. Then, I put in my boom box with some tunes, swept out the bus and put in a decent folding captains chair.
† †Then I started using the bus. It was just sitting in the yard, but it was cool and clean, And I could sit there with my feet on a box and it was fine. Now, my bus is finished inside, I have a better chair and better tunes, but it no cooolllerr than it was then. When we busnuts look at the bus, we† all see it as finished, anyway. Theres just a few things in between.

† † If you have a trailer hitch on a vehicle, spend a couple hunderd bucks and buy yourself a cheap trailer to haul material on. It works as well as a truck.

† †I hope this helps, because I BTDT........Chuck
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« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2006, 04:56:20 PM »

 † † †Look at one task at a time not the entire conversion. Trying to do many task at the same time can easily become overwhelming. Concentrate on the paneling until it is done then go to the next step. †
 † † †As soon as possible use your bus, a Coleman stove, an ice chest and a sleeping bag on an air mattress and go camping. †We set a goal to go somewhere at least one weekend a month when we purchased our bus. with the exceptions of June, July, and August, when it is just too hot in Florida, we have met our goal and we will have owned our bus 7 years come October. We we got back from a trip, I was always anxious to add something else before we went out again. Sometimes something major like building a shower from scratch or something simple like building a temporary kitchen counter. †
 † † We have a friend that literally built his conversion at Home Depot. †He got to know the manager, who let him park behind the store and even let him plug in an extension cord. †He would go insdie, buy material and hardware, install it and go back in for more. †Hope this helps, Jack
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« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2006, 05:00:05 PM »

Brian,
I think this un=godly heat that is nation wide is getting to lots of us on these bus conversion projects and oh yea, you can get overwhelmed for sure at times. †If anyone does it is me at times so I just take a few days off and then before you know it I get anxious to get something done again. †

Thinking of what is way ahead of you will hold you back, I suggest like I have to do myself nearly every day, to set a goal of what to accomplish and stick with it either for the day or the week. †I no longer think too far ahead and keep a pictorial record of your accomplishments like I do on my web site and share with others for encouragement from them and also perhaps assist others or newbies with your ideas of your accomplishment that they might want to do with their rigs. †

The cost of the fuel dwells on my mind all the time, when I finally can get my rig going, just how far will I be able to afford to go, then I say well, I been pouring money into the Rustless Money Pit all this time, now I have all that to use for fuel, maybe still cannot go very far but working on my bus or my S&S now also †keeps my mind active for things that give me pleasure looking at that belong to me. †

Don't set your goals so far ahead in your conversion that you cannot keep on track, as far as needing help, man I know all about that one. †But now I have been working on my bus 4 years now and maybe had help, 3 hours all together in that total time. †I think of ways of supporting metal till I weld it etc. and have purchased engine hoist to assist in lifting heavy stuff, (wheel assemblies, Torsilastic tubes etc) and that is what I contend with all day long when I do work on my bus. †I would not know how to ack with help now, I work slow, think all the time of safety in preventing myself from getting hurt, photograph everything from before starting to finishing and share all I can with newbies to keep them motivated no matter how bad their bus may be. †I doubt that many are as bad as mine "Was" when I first started, but here I am now trying to tell you not to give up, go to a bus rally ASAP, look at what you can do and everyone else has done. †Think how nice it will be to be on the road and meeting new people with the same interest as you every day for the rest of your life. †

Don't give up, take a break, go to bus rally's if possible, and wait for cooler weather to dive back in. †Choose "ONE" project to work on, complete it to the end and then go on to #2 etc. †Never mind adding them up in your mind, this is my 4th full year on my bus and it has not been started in over 3 years. †What kind of bus nut am I?? †Really nuts but so what.

I am sure you will get more encouragement from more experienced converters tonight on the bb'd, and we all wish you well on our project, just keep that goal in the right place like you did the first day you bought your bus.

Gary †
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« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2006, 05:17:41 PM »

Stop working for a few hours, rent the movie Rocky, consume a few adult beverages of your choice and sing† "EYE of the Tiger" at the top of your lungs several times. Turn the movie off and walk straight out to the bus and kick a tire. Let the bus know who is in charge and get ready for tomorrow.

Dude, we have all suffered the bus conversion blues. As they say "this too shall pass!!!" Shocked

Good luck!

Grant
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belfert
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« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2006, 05:21:13 PM »

† †What helped my the first year is during that summer, I became discouraged. It was stifiling hot in the bus and I wasnt close to putting on the roof airs. I bought a $100 air conditioner at home depot, removed a window and using a peice f Celotex, made me a new window with an air conditioner hole in it. I had to make up a bracket to hold it up, but it cooled the bus fine.

I have the same problem tonight. †It is stifling hot in the bus, but reasonably cool outside. †I came back inside to cool off and find a fan. †Maybe I will go the window A/C route, but a big blue tarp over empty windows doesn't provide much insulation.


Quote
† † If you have a trailer hitch on a vehicle, spend a couple hunderd bucks and buy yourself a cheap trailer to haul material on. It works as well as a truck.

I have a real nice trailer, but nothing to pull it with.

Brian Elfert
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belfert
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« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2006, 05:27:01 PM »

One huge issue is the need to head off on a 7 day adventure on September 26th or 27th.  The three things that MUST be done are toilet, A/C, and generator.  We can cook on a Coleman stove outside if need be.  Bus seats can be reinstalled for the trip.

I have 6 to 8 guys planning on this trip.  I have no way myself to get there without the bus.  I don't really want to camp in the desert in a tent, nor drive a VW Golf 4,000 miles round trip.  There are at least three others on the trip that I trust to drive the bus.  They all did fine with a truck and travel trailer that were over 50 feet long.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2006, 05:59:00 PM »

Dude...You just bought your bus.  You should be 2 years away for the the "bus is STILL not done" depression stage. Smiley  I bought mine 4 years ago thinking it was a one year project, which it might have been had life not got in the way and I had a shop to put it in.  A lot of work can not be done in the rain, and when it rains 75% of the time, things progress slowly.  All I can say is just plug away and it will get done.  I'm notorious for starting projects, losing interest and selling.  My friends and family are amazed that I've stuck with this bus project right to the end. 

I find that if you set a goal to get something done everyday, the project won't go stale.  Some days my goal is to just order parts.  Today's goal was to run my 12V alternator cable and cut in my genset vents.  I got the cable run, but ran out of cutting blades so the vent didn't get done.  I also find that if you think about the projst as a whole it's easy to get overwhelmed.  You have to break the project into smaller sub-projects.  Finish a sub-project, celebrate and move to the next.  Don't think about everything that needs to be done, just think about the sub-project at hand.

Just keep in mind that it's a huge project that takes some talent to get done.  Be proud of your work and when you finish a job, step back and say "Ya baby!".  Before you know it you'll be looking at a finished bus hardly believing that you own such a beautiful rig.  I'll tell ya, after doing one of these start to finish, my hats off to all of you guys. 

Ross
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Dallas
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« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2006, 06:08:33 PM »

One huge issue is the need to head off on a 7 day adventure on September 26th or 27th.  The three things that MUST be done are toilet, A/C, and generator.  We can cook on a Coleman stove outside if need be.  Bus seats can be reinstalled for the trip.

I have 6 to 8 guys planning on this trip.  I have no way myself to get there without the bus.  I don't really want to camp in the desert in a tent, nor drive a VW Golf 4,000 miles round trip.  There are at least three others on the trip that I trust to drive the bus.  They all did fine with a truck and travel trailer that were over 50 feet long.

Brian Elfert

Brian,
Believe me, I know what "Converters Block" can do to ya.

You need a toilet, A/C and Genny?

Consider doing it this way:

Go down to Walmart and buy a Thetford 155 portable toilet. I think they are about $60. put it in a corner and build a plywood wall in front of it, (you wouldn't want THAT coming at you from 65mph). On the other sides, hang a shower curtain for privacy. I think the 155 holds about 5 gallons of stuff, so it would have to be emptied everyday.
Get your Genny hooked up next. Even if you have to go down to Menards and buy one of the contractors models, toss it in a bay and pull it out when you need it.
Run some wire for a few lights and the A/C and then cut the hole for your roof A/C. Mount the A/C and POOF! you have a steel tent, ready for the roughest service that 8 guys can give it.

For now, like everyone else says, pick one job and get it finished then move on to the next one and the next and so on. I have a list of things to do on our bus that hasn't gotten any shorter in the last 3 years. There is always something else to do.

Do I get discouraged? constantly. I'm discouraged because my knees hurt bad enough I could cry when I have to bend them, I'm discouraged because some of the meds the doctors have me on won't let me get out in the sun. I'm discouraged because the money I thought I was going to have to fix some of these things hasn't come forth.

Am I gonna quit? Not on your Bloody Life! I'll plug along doing something, even if it's one of those days when al I can do is sit here at the computer and watch the progress all you other guys are making.

Good Luck and don't give up, it will get better!

Dallas
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« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2006, 06:24:35 PM »

Alot of good advice already given.

All I have to add is do the little pain in the butt projects during the week after work. †

It is amazing how you can eat up 2 or 3 hours on a minor job.

The nice thing about this is if you need some additional material you can pick it up on the way home the next day.

And if you have to stop work for more parts, your probaly ready to give it a rest anyway.

Save the weekend for the big jobs and get everything you need during the week. I hate wasting weekend time hunting parts.

At my first Bussin 2005 rally a guy asked me how long I thought it would take to complete my bus(I had owned it for 34 days)

I said "about a year" he smiled(little did i know it was the smile of experience) †

Set small goals and do some of the easier fun stuff.

And last as soon as its movable again use it. We took ours on a 1600 mile trip to family with a portapotty, mattress and couch.

And i had a perfect Class C at home, I need help! Shocked

You will get there, Hang in there Brian.

Cliff
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« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2006, 06:27:38 PM »

You are in the early stages of your conversion, you still do not have a lot of time or money in it. Is it really worth it? How much time and money do you want to put in this thing? Cut your losses and run, sell off what you can and write the rest off as a learning experience.

 Or quit your whinning get off your butt and do something, even if it is wrong!
 † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † HTH Jim
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« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2006, 06:38:39 PM »

When you are at your wits end, and really need motivation to continue on, just find the biggest camper show in your area.
Go there thinking I'll trade my stuff for something new.
Then take a good look at the crap that they are selling, and thatís all you need.
You will leave the show wanting to go work on your own conversion doing it your own way, which is better than anything you just saw guaranteed.
 Grin
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belfert
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« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2006, 06:43:07 PM »

You are in the early stages of your conversion, you still do not have a lot of time or money in it. Is it really worth it? How much time and money do you want to put in this thing? Cut your losses and run, sell off what you can and write the rest off as a learning experience.

 Or quit your whinning get off your butt and do something, even if it is wrong!
 † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † HTH Jim

I've spent well over $50k to date.  It took a fair amount of money to buy the shell and get it totally road worthy.  I also have lots of parts in the garage bought off Ebay and such, plus windows on order.  I figure I can do most of the rest for just over $6k unless something major comes up.

I'm not giving up, just discouraged right now.  I just spent an hour or so ripping up flooring and such in the bus.

Brian Elfert
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« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2006, 06:52:58 PM »

Brian,

It took me 9 months from the day I baught the bus to the first weekend trip, Now that is with the budget well planned ahead of time and the help lined up....

And you can't do it yourself thats for sure.. I know what you feel being in that position. And now I'm still finishing it....

I set a realistic goal, [maybe too much in too little time] and that goal was to make reservations at a campground on a date that was in my mind.

I put alot of preassure on myself but, it worked out. Without that goal, I would of had time to dwell on the negitive. LOL    I made the 1st trip on time!

Good Luck!
Nick-
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