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  1. #1
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Wetplate Collodion mobile RV darkroom FS

    Wetplate Collodion mobile RV darkroom FS: $500 as-is. Time for the Magic Bus to get a new home. It is currently located in Kalamazoo, Michigan midway between Chicago and Detroit.

    I've decided to sell the small RV that I converted into a mobile wetplate collodion darkroom about 6 years ago. It is a 1969 Ford Econoline 300 cab (a gazillion were made so parts are readily available even after 44 years) with a Shasta RV box at the rear. About 16' feet long, it is perfect for photographic outings where you need a darkroom nearby as in the wet collodion process. Or, park it in your driveway or backyard to do wetplate out of and store all those hazardous wetplate chemicals outside the house. It is roughly the size of an ambulance. If you aspire to do wetplate and think this might work for you, grab it before I put it up on the local Craigslist.





    Due to some medical problems and an emergency surgery I had last summer, it didn't get used and just sat over the winter. As a result, it is not currently running and needs a new battery. It might need a starter as well. But, I just don't feel up to working on it or putting any more money into it, so I'm willing to pass it along cheap. I'd rather someone interested in wetplate gets it to use rather than having it sold for parts or scrap.

    I bought it from an auto mechanic and every mechanic that has worked on it since has commented on how good shape the engine was in. I have about $4000 total into it for the original purchase I made plus numerous replacement parts and some repairs. The transmission has been rebuilt, new exhaust, shocks and springs, alternator and voltage regulator, etc., repairs have been made and I can produce those records. I also patched some leaks, replaced the ceiling panels, and sealed the roof. The next thing I'd do would be to convert it to power brakes. The only other problem that I am currently aware of is a small leak in the gas tank filler tube - not a problem unless the tank is filled completely. And speaking of gas, it takes regular unleaded but only gets about 9-10mpg. It's not cheap to drive, but you can also sleep in it on trips and not pay motel fees.

    It has 4 new tires that originally cost about $600 and only have about 3,500 miles on them. I'm willing to sell the RV for what the tires are worth if someone wants to come haul it away from Kalamazoo, Michigan. After I pull the tricked-out stereo and speakers from it, $500 plus the title transfer fee and 6% use tax takes it.

    I've added blackout curtain material between the cab and box, and to cover the windows. Some red acrylic sheet has been added to the ceiling vents and rear window as well as the window above the sink. Rubylith covers the other windows in the rear. It takes about 3 minutes to convert it from driving mode to darkroom. I've also Velcroed blackout material over all vents and windows in the box in case it needed to be totally dark for doing film development, loading holders or printing. With the blackout opened, lots of cheery red light from the windows takes it into bright safelight conditions. When driving with the red acrylic on the windows, its like being inside a huge red #25 filter. Clouds really pop when looking outside.

    I've stored a lot of camera equipment in it- tripods, background and light stands fit nicely in the shower, chemicals go in the fridge, trays and tanks in the closet, and there is a lot of cabinet storage space as well as storage in the bunk area above the cab. The seating and table convert into a bunk for overnight camping trips. I pulled the oven and range out of it and built a darkroom countertop for that space. I've never tested or used the furnace or plumbing in it so I can't comment on their condition or functionality.

    It has primarily been used as a wetplate darkroom since I've had it. I have also used it to teach collodion workshops and tutorials. Several people can watch the process comfortably inside. ( Having used it as a darkroom along with the resultant silver nitrate stains, I would not recommend eating in the box any longer.)

    There are more pictures taken of it in the DARKROOM PORTRAITS THREAD here on APUG. I finally broke down and bought a decent digital camera a few days ago so I can post some newer pics shortly if I get any serious inquiries. And please, serious inquiries only. I've had several people express an interest in it but apparently only one was serious and that fell through because of some logistical complications in picking it up. Ideally, I would like to have it sold within a month but could keep it parked here longer if necessary.

  2. #2
    Randy Moe's Avatar
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    WOW what a deal

    I hope you sell it to the right user. In california it would sell in a flash.

    I am close, in Chicago, but I can't park it. I have looked at your setup several times. Gave me a lot of ideas for my standard van, which I can park, but it is rather cramped.

    I may convert a trailer...

    Sorry to hear you must give it up.

    I was in a wheelchair 2 years ago, but I have somehow gotten slowly better. So health can improve.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    KennyMark's Avatar
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    My wife would maim me, so I'm not a serious buyer. However, being as i am in Holland, a trip down M-40/M-89/US-131 to tour this magnificent specimen might be warranted.

  4. #4
    dehk's Avatar
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    Oh crap, you're an hour from me, but I don't think I need a mobile darkroom quite yet. Good luck on the sale.
    - Derek
    Looking for a parts prism for the Minolta XE / XE 7.

  5. #5

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    Joe,

    Sorry to hear about your medical problems, and hope you are well and getting better.

    I am pleased with the Korona 8x20 Panoramic camera I purchased from you and would gladly have another deal with you, but alas this item does not fit my current interests.

    Good luck with your sale,

    Len

  6. #6
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dehk View Post
    Oh crap, you're an hour from me, but I don't think I need a mobile darkroom quite yet. Good luck on the sale.
    Even if you just park it in the yard or driveway it provides a space to store the wetplate chemicals, a few of which you don't want to store inside a residence. And, you can process film and prints in there as well. An awning rigged up would make a nice overhang for an outdoor studio or picnicking in the yard or park/beach.

  7. #7
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Middleton View Post
    Joe,

    Sorry to hear about your medical problems, and hope you are well and getting better.

    I am pleased with the Korona 8x20 Panoramic camera I purchased from you and would gladly have another deal with you, but alas this item does not fit my current interests.

    Good luck with your sale,

    Len
    Thanks for the plug and well wishes Len. Although I'm much recovered from last year's surgery, I could use some more get well wishes after getting 11 stitches in my left hand yesterday from an accident. Fortunately, no cables were cut.

    Glad you are enjoying the camera.

    Joe

  8. #8
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    bump

  9. #9
    smieglitz's Avatar
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    and again

  10. #10
    blaze-on's Avatar
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    Good luck with the sale Joe and a healthy wish to you.
    Matt's Photo Site
    "I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin

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