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Old 05-31-2020, 07:48 PM   #21
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Location: Eastern Ontario
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Following the lighting improvements, I decided I was not that keen on the amount of effort required to keep the van straight and that the wheel did not self-center.

Having looked at the standard steering stabilizer and the Bilstein aftermarket I decided on the Roadmaster one. It fits in the same place using the same holes but has the added advantage that the spring always tries to center the steering, It is meant to be very useful in a tire blowout situation. I can say that it made a vast improvement over stock, it takes most of the hard work out of steering and os great when parking or maneuvering in a tight space due to the self-centering feature.
I also installed a set of all steel side steps to aid getting in and out. Made in the USA.
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Old 06-02-2020, 06:32 PM   #22
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So moving into the interior fit-out the decision was on insulation.

I did fill the ribs and pockets with fiberglass but for the main jobs I selected a construction insulated wrap called Ayr foil, it is similar to Reflextix except it is 2 layers of air pockets and has foil on one face and poly film on the other. I chose this as I intended to double up the material to give panels 16 mm thick with foil on both sides and 4 chambers thick. I used this on all the wall and roof 2 constructions deep, 32 mm thick with 8 air chambers, and 3 foil layers. The product is class one fire-rated, cannot grow or support mold and is a vapor barrier, I taped all the joints with foil tape.

Of course, I did not take many pictures of this phase.

I used 3M 90 adhesive to make the panels and attache them to the surfaces.
So far it has performed very well in low temps in Colorado and high temp in Miami.
It comes in large rolls I use 1 roll, 48 inches x 125 feet.

I also used it as the core for the insulated window covers.

You can also see the re-routing of the rear AC cold air outlet to the rear corner, the other outlet comes forward in ducting for the warm air. As the unit takes air from between the unit and then wall I left a passage to supply the blower. As mocking up the water tank, 22 gallons
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Old 06-10-2020, 04:29 PM   #23
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So, with the insulation installed I finished the interior wall with Revolution ply, it conformed to the van shape and fixed onto the 3/8 inch strips that were fixed to the ribs with stainless self tappers, where the curve would have exceeded the pliability I doubled and even trebled up n the strips. The ply was fixed using Kregs 1 inch pocket screws.
The ceiling was the usual tongue and groove. I left a service chase down between wall and ceiling for wire access and capped it with a contrasting wooden strip.
The cabinets were all constructed from 3/4 ply, with birch faced on the gables. It was all designed around wire and cloth strapped baskets from Walmart, they offer storage for both clothes and kitchen items. A space was created for the single burner butane/propane stove and the top was solid bamboo.
On the other side was a unit with basket storage and hanging space, besides that storage and the slide-out toilet position. Behind each basket, I made additional storage for small narrow items and a shelf for silicone baskets.
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Old 06-10-2020, 04:41 PM   #24
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Water system was quite straight forward. I had chosen a 22-gallon water tank and wanted it mounted inside and over the axel. Connecting it to a Sureflow pump with filter and using pipe connections and 1/2 inch drinking water pipe that you buy as a hose. I used this method so that is anything went wrong I could cut a bit of hose from the extra that I carry to fill the tank, fitting at Tractor supply of Home Depot.
The pipework consisted of a bottom take off into the pump, from there to a tee connection, I decided to add a shower outlet using a garden house sprayer and a quick connect, I placed a plastic shutoff valve inline, the other goes to the cold water faucet and into the converted stainless baking bowl from Walmart, waste is into a bottle trap and then a repurposed clothes softener 2-gallon jug. We find this works well, and basically dump it after use.
I have the pump fused and controlled via a switch on the panel.
I initially installed an overflow but found that more water came out when cornering than I wanted, I can see the level when filling so I changed over to a fill counter one-way valve to allow air in but no water out.
I know I should have gone and bought another coupling but it adds to the cost-effective charm.
The section of hose with the garden sprayer works great at the beach.
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Old 06-10-2020, 07:54 PM   #25
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Looks like it's coming along great and with all the plumbing inside it will make winter camping that much easier.
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Old 06-22-2020, 01:00 PM   #26
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The completion of the internal woodwork was the installation of two additional worksurfaces. One slides out from above the cooker storage and the other is hinged off the toilet storage. I used offcuts of plywood for one and bamboo for the other. The bed base is a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood with a pattern of 2-inch holes for ventilation. I have constructed the frame from 4 cross braces of 2x4. I have made them removable if needed. The small storage areas that were left in front of the electrical and rear AC were converted, one as general storage and the other made to carry 3x 1Lb propane bottles.
Added doors onto both ends of the under bed storage with screened vents on the rear door and heating registers on the front. This is so when cold I can allow main heat into the storage space and when hot to ventilate out into the van area.
I chose to put doors over the rear as a bug mitigation measure and stop anyone seeing what is under the bed. I added a screen from the ceiling onto the board that backs the mattress. velcro sides and plastic rail at the top. Used the screen you get from a Harbor Freight garage door screen, you get loads fornot much and it is very flexible.
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Old 06-23-2020, 06:46 PM   #27
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So, now the interior cabinet work is finished I will undertake the electrical system.
I wanted to make it as simple as possible but decided to have 3 specific areas of connection. First was the tower which is on view and where most of the action is, the second is the solar items, and the third the main battery location and connections.

I wired everything as home runs, no hidden connections all back to the tower. I bought a six switch panel that also had a 12-volt outlet a voltmeter and 2 USB connections.
The wire was sized to match the application load. Within the tower, I made an aluminum earth bar, that allowed all earth to firmly connect and made it one 4 gauge wire back to the shunt. The switch panel used 2 of the switches, one for the front and rear roof vents, an isolator for the water pump, one for the bed area recessed LED, one for the kitchens 2 recessed LEDs and one for a stepdown 12 to 9-volt buck transformer that is attached to a fly lead for a portable 12-inch fan. I also have an LED at the sliding door which is controlled at that location with a waterproof switch and a reading LED with its own switch.
Above the switch plate and associated items is a switch which allows me to isolate the BlueSea ACR in case I do not want to charge the van battery on solar or charge the house batteries via alternator, it is just a switch breaking an earth feed. To the side of that is a 2x 110-volt outlet fed from the inverter, the inverter remote switch is mounted alongside. A basic power use meter is next and an isolator switch for the 4 outside camera system. I did not want any parasitic loads, so it is isolated when not in use. Above are the 12-volt diesel heater control and the remote solar controller.
All the individual switched circuits transfer to the second location and are individually fused on a 6-way panel with LED fault lights. That allowed me to run just 1 4-gauge wire back to the power center. I picked up the fused power for the cameras at the fuse box. The diesel heater has a separate switch located off the tower so it can not be accidentally switched off, the switch on that is again to isolate when not needed and negating the parasitic load. The monitor is a 7-inch camera monitor which swings out to allow viewing when seated or in bed
This means that I only have 2 4- gauge wires running across the floor in a track. All the wires are run within the split plastic wrap.
The tower panel is a black polycarbonate.
Sorry, the picture is side-on, I have tried to alter, they are OK in the folder, just not on the forum.
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Old 06-24-2020, 08:52 PM   #28
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Moving onto the second stage of the electrical was solar.
As one of the key features I wanted to keep within was an overall height below 7 feet 6 inches, which was so I could store the van inside my workshop and use underground car parks.
This posed a problem if I wanted to use a pre-made roof rack, I did not want a direct mount or flexible panels.
In the end, I decided on a 24-volt 280-watt single panel, it is a residential unit with a glass panel and aluminum frame.
As it happened it fitted perfectly between the roof fans.
I constructed a mounting system using 1-inch square steel stock and flat plate sides. The cables were routed into the metal housing of the rearmost vent and into the van without any further holes. The panel is connected using MP4 connectors.
Inside I mounted a panel to the side of my water tank, it holds the MPPT controller, a battery isolator switch and a solar breaker, it also holds the 6-way fuse block, so everything is serviceable but in a hidden location with plenty ventilation. The solar wires travel to the main battery area via a floor-mounted track.
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Old 06-26-2020, 07:46 PM   #29
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The last part, the electrical system was located on the passenger side rear corner. Being an extended van there was plenty of space to do all the electrical from the wheel well back.
I chose a Blue Sea ACR to act as the battery separator, I was lucky enough to find the correct length of 0/2 conductor and protective shield at Lowes in the offcut bin. It was not easy to get a tight radius but I managed to run it down the frame rail from the battery to rear in one length.
It is heavy-duty but the running losses are very low.
I used an offcut for chassis ground and battery connectors. The system has an inline fuse after the ACR and before the battery isolator, from that, I made a live block out of thick aluminum and connected all outgoing circuits to that. I used 2 type 24 120 amp flooded batteries and made a cap to cover the fill ports and vented that outside the van, not ideal but functional. I located an 1100 watt Kreiger inverter, I went with a modified sine wave one for cost and I do not have any expensive electronics that might be picky with clean power, a fuse was added to that circuit. An earth shunt was added and directly connected to the battery post
I added a standard house double receptacle and a fly lead just in case I want to connect to shore power, which would allow me to connect through the outlet on the tower. As I previously mentioned I have a remote switch for the inverter and an earth disconnect for the ACR mounted on the tower.
I have been pleased with the functionality of this basic and very affordable system, the solar keeps it topped up while keeping the battery voltage within safe operating parameters.
I didn't take any pictures but could if anyone wanted to see the layout.
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Old 06-27-2020, 05:51 AM   #30
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Nice, I think the simpler the better.
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