Gypsy and I tootled back down to Los Angeles yesterday. It was an abnormally brief San Francisco visit, so I left with the promise that my next visit will be extra long. As most freelancers know, when work calls, there is an enormous amount of pressure to say yes to whatever work is being offered. That’s a feeling that I hope to be rid of once the pressure of paying for a mortgage and a van conversion is eased.
The good news is that I got 19.23 miles per gallon! Of course, I drove slower than a snail. At 60 mph, “tootling” is an understatement. I’d never had a semi truck pass me on the 5 before, but several did, and if I can get 19 mpg with a fully loaded van then I will happily continue to let them.
The bad news is that I’ll probably be working quite a lot for the next couple weeks, so progress on the van will be minimal. I have to remind myself that not all work has to be done during daylight hours. There are solar panel specs to sift through, layouts to design, flooring options to consider, water pumps to research, costs to be estimated, and much more. I’ve still barely scratched the surface of purging all my excess stuff, and I also have to remodel two bathrooms in preparation for renting out the condo. There’s a lot of strands in the old duder’s head.
One of today’s tasks was to pick up the spare wheel and tire for Gypsy. Much like getting to know a human being, as I spend more and more time with her, I’m discovering more and more quirks. Not necessarily bad quirks, just quirks in general. At some point I started to wonder where the spare tire was, and finally figured out that she didn’t come with one. I ordered a “whatever works” kind of wheel from the local tire shop, but we found out today that “whatever works” really won’t work at all. It didn’t fit on the mount underneath the van. The manager of the shop is now tracking down a used, genuine Chevy wheel for me, thankfully at the same price as “whatever works”.
Another quirk that I’ve discovered is that Gypsy has been repainted with cheap paint at some point in her lifetime, which is what caused the awful edge mapping that I encountered a little while back. This is also why I can’t find the sticker indicating paint codes anywhere on the van. If I had to guess, I’d say that Gypsy is a few shades whiter than the OEM white, which will make matching the paint for touch-ups a perfectionist designer’s nightmare. “It’s too white! …Now it’s not white enough!” The horror.