To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

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To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Shoeshine » Mon Aug 18, 2014 12:41 am

Alas poor Yorrick,

Hola Eplaya,

...and I know that many are already gone, but I'm seeking advice from those of you who are still around.
A several year burner/first time MV creator here. And forgive me if this is not the proper place for the question (best spot I could divine)

I have my acceptance letter in hand and my MV 80% built. I know. I know. An ambitious project that I had no idea how ambitious it was.

The question is whether it is better to bring my MV which is not quite up to the grandiose vision I presented in my application, or to wait a year and perfect the thing.

On one hand: the basics of the idea are in place. I can demonstrate a cool effect, and it's pretty neat looking as is. I hate to be perceived as a flake (especially to the DMV) I just ran into some engineering and RL time constraints I did not anticipate.

The other hand: there are definitely aspects that are not up to snuff. I will probably need to be satisfied with a day license as the mechanicals are in place but the electricals (radical illumination and all) I don't know that I can conquer in the next 4 days.

So do I bring? with the understanding that I might not license, and show best intent? Or do I wait, and make the thing entirely kick ass for 2015?

I've put in a stupid amount of time and money. I want this thing to make an appearance. Does anyone have an experience with DMV and know how they perceive this? The thing I fear most is that with waiting that they will see me as said flake and not give me the invite next year should I choose to wait. However if this will not license, I would save a ton of money by not trailering it up to NV. money that could be spent to deck it out to the nines.

guess I am second guessing myself... and hoping for input.

Thanks in advance,
Shoe
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby GreyCoyote » Mon Aug 18, 2014 4:40 am

Hard call. You will be in some fast company, but you know what? I would bring it. The worst that can happen is you get mothballed by the DMV. But you tried, and they will make a note of that, and hopefully you get brownie points for getting a letter next year.

Or they may let you run it. :mrgreen: And in that case, your hard work will be realized by all. So what if you dont have it perfect? Many MVs see partial (or wholesale!) failures of systems Day One. Not like anyone is walking around with a clipboard and giving them a daily perfection report. :mrgreen: You will fit in somewhere.

When was the last time you heard someone say "naw, thanks, we will walk. Your MV doesnt look cool enough for us to ride"?

Bring it. Participate. Think of this year as a practice run for next year! :mrgreen:
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Aug 18, 2014 5:10 am

Most approval/denial happens prior to the event, generally if you get an acceptance letter you're in... the main thing being checked in person is whether you brought what you said you would.
If you don't mind hauling it out there and back for nothing and wanna try, go for it but from the sounds of it, you're at risk of not being licensed.
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby BBadger » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:05 am

We had an MV in our camp that we assembled most of the lighting, railing and such while on-playa. We didn't get the MV up and working until about Wednesday. So there's still hope -- if you're willing to put in that extra time to get it all in working condition. Though the overall appearance is important, the main requirement is to ensure that you have enough lighting to not be a hazard; so make sure you at least have that down.
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Ano » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:21 am

Disclaimer: Third party information, I don't work for the DMV.

According to a friend of mine on-playa who works for the DMV, being communicative with them is the important part. They have lots of hugely ambitious vehicles submitted, and lots of them get finished, while some don't. If you've been open with the DMV about the problems, there is a chance that they will still give you at least a day license... again, as long as you are honest, the thing is operable, it's relatively safe, and relatively mutated and up to standards. If you say you're building a pirate ship and you show up with a station wagon, good luck. If you show up with a ship that is missing the sail and has some janky lighting instead of the serious LED set-up that you anticipated, you might get your day license still.

In the end, it doesn't hurt to try, if you have the invitation and you're also willing to work on it during the event. All else fails, you can drive it to and from the DMV, work on it some more, try again, maybe get a license, if not, have one hell of a story to tell. And, if it has some cool effect going, you could park it in camp and have a kickass camp marker for the week.
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:29 am

I'd advise working on it as much as possible before going to the DMV. With rare exceptions, you get one shot at the on-playa inspection. You're expected to show up with it ready to go. If there's more you can do back at camp, stay at camp and do it.
Do everything you can do, put on all the lights you've got, before your first trip to the DMV. They want to see the final product the first time, they haven't got time and manpower for comebacks.
Good luck, hopefully you will pull it off!
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Shoeshine » Mon Aug 18, 2014 9:34 pm

Thanks for the input folks, I appreciate it.

I guess the answer is to bring it regardless. I'm envisioning this as a multi-year project with stages getting better each year and I don't want to fuck up with the DMV. I have a bunch of handy camp-mates who like to diddle with this kind of stuff anyway So Ill bring supplies and see where we get.

Thanks Cap, that's the kind of info I needed. Do you know if the day inspectors look at lighting? I was under the impression that there were 2 inspections. In other words, should I try and get the lighting done before I even take it to the day inspection?

Also a good point that at worst we have a hell of a camp marker and conversation piece. The gas to haul it is peanuts in the scheme of things compared to what I've already spent... so why the hell not.

I am in a way just kicking myself (I usually have better time management than this) that I am at this point now, But thanks for the encouragement to stretch a little anyway.
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby FossaFerox » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:28 am

When are you arriving and what still needs to be done? I should have some time available Saturday pre-gate to help you out if you need help soldering, dressing wires, or just general labor (depending on how my camp build goes and when we arrive).
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Captain Goddammit » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:11 am

Yes, there are two separate inspections for your day and then your night license. Your day inspection should be first.
Remember to bring your pre-approval letter, you need it to tow it in at the gate and again at the DMV.
It won't necessarily give you a bad rap with the DMV if your rig isn't finished. Notes are kept on individual MVs especially if they don't pass inspection but you won't be "black listed". You'll wanna have it set up next year though.
The DMV loves mutant vehicles, they want you to bring it and get licensed. You'll only be denied if there are obvious safety hazards or it really doesn't live up to the application and/or full mutation standards.

Good luck to you, fellow mobile art creator!!
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Galaxo Magic » Tue Aug 19, 2014 7:43 pm

DMV will also be checking that it is close to Burner-proof. You can't have janky stairs or nails, it has to withstand the unseeable.

If it doesn't tax you too hard, I would bring it but don't let it spoil your Burn.

Good luck, the Bi-Polar Express hopes to se eyou soon
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Shoeshine » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:25 pm

Thanks for the offer Fossa, I really do appreciate it, but I'll either be ok or not. I don't know that more bodies will help. Like I said, I have several very handy campmates I think I can draft. I'm going up on Friday, but my EAP is part of a camp build which will eat Sat, so I will work on it on my own time come Sun.

I put in a hella day working on it, and I'm feeling more confident. I'm done with work and mostly packed, so I have tomorrow and Thurs (lets hear it for last minute crunch!! sigh) I even mounted the 6"x12" plate for license stickers in the rear left corner today as a little bit of a totem of positive thinking.

I've prioritized the stuff that has to happen in the shop (i.e. welding, etc...) and left decoration and lighting for last.

speaking of which; Cap, I was really asking if I should wait to do my daytime inspection until the lighting is done? sorry wasn't sure from your last response.
Have all my documents in a nice big bundle clipped to my shop wall. (tix,VP,EAP,DMV letter, et.al.) first thing that goes in the truck on Thurs night.

and once again, thanks for all the encouragement. I've marveled for several years now at the MV roaming the city, and I've said (mostly to myself) from first burn that I would bring a kick ass one someday. Hopefully this is just the start.

Shoe
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Galaxo Magic » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:27 am

You've gone through what we've gone through, the first year, AAAARRRGGGGHHHHH
Build my first in 2011
My project was a first year for our camp mate. He has gone through all those stages as well. Hope to see you out there. Do you know where you are camping?

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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Jackass » Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:53 am

First, go get the day license. It has nothing to do with lights and you need a day license to come back for night license inspection. Work on your mv and when you think that you're ready, go to the DMV after dark and see what they think.
Sooner or later, it will get real strange...

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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Captain Goddammit » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:03 am

All of is who build (and then transport!) these things hear you loud and clear!!
And it doesn't get any easier when you bring it back again, you always have to fix rebuild and improve pretty much all of it!
Just to extra emphasize, don't go to the DMV until you've got it as done as you can get it even if it's days after you get to the playa. They will be licensing til at least Thursday.
They aren't big on come-backs.
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Shoeshine » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:34 pm

Hey all,

Just a quick post-playa follow up:

because of you'alls encouragement, I managed to get the mechanicals done on thurs, and load the trailer.
into the truck went a big box of LED strips EL wire and assorted lights.

It took almost a day and a half on playa, but at the end I licensed, both day and night, on Tuesday.

Clearly my biggest issue was self doubt.

When I finally made it to DMV, the pair of hotties that inspected me said "for a virgin MV it's first year out - you really brought it" and "you built it solo? nice job"

It was small potatoes in the scheme of BM MV's, but the legs walked, the wheels turned, it ended up being edge lit around all the moving parts, and I got a lot of great comments and compliments. A random passer by even stopped me and gave me a little blue ribbon like you get at the fair on which she wrote "Best Rhino Chariot" which is now pinned to the wall above my desk in the shop.

SO... thank you all for the push.

Shoe
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Shoeshine » Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:52 pm

Oh and I already have the feelers out for a bigger "donor" chassis for next year. Early early early
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Captain Goddammit » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:06 pm

Oh dude!!! You should have posted photos sooner! That's really cool!!
Guys like you are what M/Vs are supposed to be about. You didn't decorate a golf cart with Christmas lights, you built something that looks interesting and awesome.

A mutant vehicle should make passers by say "wow that's so cool, I'm glad I saw that, that's one of the reasons I come to Burning Man!"

I think you got it.
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Shoeshine » Fri Sep 05, 2014 10:56 pm

Thanks Capt.

I'm a maker not a social, and I want to contribute. If I can give folk a "damn that's cool" and perhaps ride a couple of people around the playa in style...
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Dr Helix » Wed Sep 10, 2014 4:08 pm

Cap's right. Seeing what you had it was a no brainer. Had to be there. Great job!
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Shoeshine » Thu Sep 11, 2014 10:42 pm

Thanks Doc, I really do appreciate it.

...some lessons learned:

Budget your time, and then double it. Work towards a vision, compromise to make it happen anyway. Build it tougher than you think it needs to be. Accept help even when it galls you to ask. If you are working on something in camp, do it on the frontage... great people stopped by... "whatcha working on/that's cool/can I help/ I've got a --blank-- that would work for that". Only use harbor freight stuff for things you don't mind breaking (or are easy to change out for the 3 spares you brought). BRING SPARES. Bring a toolbox and full gas can on every run. RESPECT Black Rock Hardware camp (thanks for the locktite). Make room for riders if only even a couple (I ended up transporting two sitar players with instruments to their gig at the other end of the city). Stop often, especially when someone is throwing you an enthusiastic thumbs up... you are doing this because you love doing it, let others enthusiasm for what you are doing infect and sustain you.

For the stuff you envisioned and didn't quite make happen, there is always next year.

Cheers
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby artbjorn » Tue Sep 23, 2014 10:55 pm

Shoe,
You are exactly the person I love to see roll up at DMV.
Awesome project, you did it, you broke, you found playa resources...
Iff'n I didn't know better I'd say you'se a burner

Big dusty hug,
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Elderberry » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:14 pm

Great job! Great story. Great advice. Sorry I missed you on the playa.
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Re: To bring my MV or not... that is the question.

Postby Ratty » Tue Sep 23, 2014 11:31 pm

That is a beautiful MV. So much obvious work and ingenuity. I love it! I too, wish I would have run into you on the playa. All the MVs are fascinating and greatly appreciated by those who realize the time and money that goes into them. Thank you for jumping through 1,000 hoops to make it happen.
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