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Old 11-02-2020, 11:35 PM   #41
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Nice work -- love the look!
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Old 11-03-2020, 07:00 AM   #42
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How do you have the cabinets secured in the van? I must have missed that part.
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Old 11-03-2020, 09:49 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by mothgils View Post
How do you have the cabinets secured in the van? I must have missed that part.
I have them secured with #8 Lath Screws. Drilled a small through hole through both sides of the aluminum frame and then a larger hole on the top side to fit the wider screw head. Then just went down and into the wood floor. Did quite a few around all of the edges, probably a dozen per cabinet.

It feels super solid and I had no issues on my first trip. Trail was about an hour long and had some very rocky sections. Also had some short washboard sections. With that being said, if I did it again I would probably do it differently.
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Old 11-08-2020, 06:00 PM   #44
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Rain this weekend prevented me from getting the Propex installed which was frustrating. In the meantime since I was stuck inside I modelled up some rear drawers to go underneath the fridge. Plan is to have all of the kitchen gear in the two drawers for easy access.

I always thought I would do a full slide out kitchen but after our first trip and a lot of discussion with the wife we decided that having flexibility on cooking anywhere we can set up a table is what we need right now. With a 3 month old napping in the van it would be frustrating to wake her up because we needed to cook lunch or something.

I also realized after finishing that I didn't leave space for the actual slide mechanisms on the side of the drawers. I think I can just flip the side panels on the other side of the quick frame flange to fix that.

Last picture has the mock-up of the fridge on top. I may make the drawers just a few inches longer so I have more of a shelf to place things as I grab them out of the drawers and the fridge. Right now the whole assembly is 24" deep and 6" tall which gives me about a 3" shelf. Thinking that another inch or two may be needed. The height makes it so the top of the fridge is flush (ish) with the cabinets already installed in the van.

I will definitely use the HDPE for the front face to make it look nice and match the rest of the cabinets but may go with something else for the sides and back panels that is cheaper.
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:04 AM   #45
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Got the propex almost installed yesterday. Ended up mounting it inside despite getting the external version. Really couldn't find a good spot to put it with my two house batteries and air compressor on the driver side frame. Also, with the second starter battery on the passenger side frame that left me very few options that would give me a decent spot with good places to run the hot/cold air vents.

Ultimately decided to mount it in the passenger side wheel well cabinet. It fit perfectly in the lower half with plenty of clearance to drill the holes through the floor adjacent to the wheel well. This also gave me the best access to electrical and the aluminess box where the propane tank is mounted. Once I figured out where to put it the rest was fairly straight forward.

Made a paper template for the holes I needed to put in the floor and then went all the way through with an appropriately sized hole saw. I think I ended up using a 1 3/16" which was bigger than necessary just to give me a little slop on the locations. Could have gotten away with a 1 1/8" most likely.

Routed the exhaust flue to the rear of the van and the combustion air intake towards the front. I sealed up the holes underneath the van with some waterproof silicone sealant rated up to 350F. Routed the hot air vent to the front of the cabinet to hopefully push air towards the front of the van and up into the pop top. Cold air intake went to the side.

Unfortunately the local hardware store didn't have the adapter I needed to connect to the BPST thread on the back of the propex heater itself so I ordered it off McMaster and will finish the install later this week once it arrives.
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:00 PM   #46
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Just realized I never closed the loop on the Propex install...

The BPST adapter from McMaster came a few days later as well as a few other amazon parts to run the line all the way to the 20lb propane tank mounted in the aluminess box. Turns out I needed a second adapter to go from the BPST adapter to the propane hose I ordered which thankfully the local hardware store had. Think it ended up being a 1/4" NPT female to 3/8" flare male fitting.

I used the yellow teflon tape designed for propane fittings and got everything nice and snug. Drilled a 7/8" hole in the floor of the van and in the bottom corner of the aluminess box. I bought a splitter with a gauge for the propane tank to run a permanent line to the propex heater. The hose going to the propex is basically a 10' bbq hose. The second hose is also a 10 footer that I hook up to my stove or water heater.

For the propane line I had to drill the hole big enough for the fitting to go through which was larger than the hose so I used some grommets off mcmaster to close the gap and protect the hose from the exposed sheet metal. Then I sealed it with some black high temp silicone. Tried to make it look a little nicer on the bumper box than I did with the clear stuff. Unfortunately the sealant on the bumper box lasted about 2 days before breaking due to opening and closing so might need to rethink that. Maybe ad a strain relief or just glob on some extra silicone...
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:07 PM   #47
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After getting everything connected I did a test run. Took a minute to fire up but wouldn't you know it started pumping out hot air in no time. While it was running I made sure to test all of the propane connections with soapy water for leaks. I also installed a carbon monoxide detector.

Over thanksgiving weekend we spent 3 nights in Big Sur with the temps dropping down into the mid 40s and the Propex kept the whole family at a comfortable 68 degrees. Wife, babies, and dog were very pleased with the upgrade. Fuel consumption was surprisingly low as well. we probably ran it for 12-13 hours per night/morning and it seemed to barely move the gauge on the tank.
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:19 PM   #48
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Another project I got done before the Big Sur trip was installing the Fiamma awning. Used the Z-brackets that many others on the forum have used as well. Unfortunately, and I am sure I will get yelled at for this, I was unable to get the middle bracket to grip the gutter and it also wasn't playing nice with the bulb seal on the CCV top. I opted to just leave it out and only install the front and back brackets.

It feels very stable and I am up to over 800 miles with it installed in this manner so it seems fine. I will keep a close eye on it.

More concerning is that when I was installing it and drilled through the back plate to bolt it to the z-brackets was that I noticed the rear arm was not seated properly. If you look closely at the last picture you can see the end of the arm is on top of the mount rather than underneath it. Seems like a manufacturing defect from Fiamma.

My plan is to open it all the way and get the legs set up so the arm is straight and not under tension and then unscrew the two bolts attaching it to the mount. Then slide it into the mount properly and put the bolts back on. Probably invite a friend or two over to help and make sure I don't hurt myself, those spring loaded arms are under a lot of tension...
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Old 12-03-2020, 04:34 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porschedpm View Post
Congrats. That's a very clean looking rig, inside and out. I see you're using the Dometic CFX3-100 as you fridge. How do you like its performance? I'm considering that model to replace my built-in Norcold 2cu ft unit as supplied by SMB.
So I have done three trips with the fridge and my wife and I love it. It is super quiet and energy efficient. With my 150W solar panel and 200AH battery setup it seems to run indefinitely when parked in the sun. Also the size of it is just incredible. Can hold 153 12oz cans (thats off their website I didn't test it myself) which makes fitting enough beer/food for 4 people easy.

Another nice feature that it has is the lid can be flipped to accommodate your setup. I recently did that and it took me about 15 minutes to swap it so I didn't have to run the power cord across the floor.
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Old 01-25-2021, 08:50 AM   #50
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Such a great build, awesome work.

If you were to build full height cabinets with that aluminum framing and marine paneling, how would you suggest you’d contour the wall side of the cabinet as it comes inward as it goes up the wall?

Thank you.
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