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Old 05-22-2019, 06:24 PM   #31
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I was able to get all my mechanical issues resolved, including a new, large gas leak. Now I am getting back to the interior. Just a couple of small things today.

I installed some rivet nuts in the holes for the curtain rods. They originally used sheet metal screws, which have become loose over time.

I also changed my rear stationary windows to pop-out windows.

I'll be going cross-country mid June and will need to have certain things finished before I go. I need to rebuild my center console, set up a replacement house battery and wire it to recharge (the old had to be recharged by shore power), wire up some fans, remove the running boards and add some hoop steps.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:14 PM   #32
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Iíve been getting a little more done with the van for my trip from CA to OH. My 1 y.o. son stays home with me now, so Iím not getting a lot of focused time to work on it.

I cut off the passenger side running board. I left the sections around the wheel. Iíll shape and paint them later. I added a couple of hoop steps. Iím waiting on doing the driverís side because the running board covers the propane tank controls, and Iím not sure if theyíll be too exposed. I may need to replace the tank. The passenger side was damaged a little so it had to go.

I ran a new wire up to the lighter hole. I was going to remake a wooden console to fit the multiport receptacle, but I donít think Iíll have time. Iíll just use it as is for now.

I installed all the electricity for the van as well. I ran the main cable along the frame, zip tying in spots to keep it away from the exhaust. Not sure if I did that part right. I hope so. I brought it up through a grommet that should keep the wet out. I got a little 79 amp battery. Iím not using much electricity right now, just a couple of fans and a chiller. The weight of it is very manageable, and I can fit two more batteries in that space nicely.

I hate losing that space for storage, but I really want to start getting the weight shifted more to the passenger side of the van. The original build had everything on the driverís side. This is just a temporary set up. Iíll be changing out the furniture in the future, but at the rate I am going it will be quite some time.

One of the side mirrors broke on our last trip. It was either impossible to adjust or flopping about. I bought a replacement that was designated to fit but didnít match up. I had to drill extra holes in the brackets. I need it for now, but a bummer is my towing extension mirrors donít fit it either.
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:11 PM   #33
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I finally had some time to make a good push forward on the van during the summer. Well, at first and then I took my son out of daycare and everything ground to a slow crawl.

A fair amount of work was done on the mechanics of the van. I had the catalytic converters, muffler, and shocks replaced. Still need leaf springs. I replaced the starter, side cargo door latch system (I lucked out on ebay for that one), and had my throttle body remanufactured.

I replaced the power window motor for the third time. I think the waterfall occurring on the driverís side keeps shorting out the motor. I tried to clear out the drip rail of rust and adhesive from when the extended top was put on. The top has a ridge that prevents water from going into the drip rail. For now, I bought a cheap rain guard and hopefully that will help. I put some Por32 on the rusty areas of the drip rail.


The rust ate through a part of the rail further back. I'll try to get that welded in the future.


Hopefully I can get more than one trip in before the next breakdown! This had been getting tedious.
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:14 PM   #34
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For the exterior, I hacked off the other running board. I had an incursion with a boulder on that one, but I wanted to get rid of it anyway. Iíll get the remainder trimmed up nice and purdy someday.

Iíve had severe leaking from the back window. The frame was only held by adhesive and it had warped. There was about a 1/2Ē gap in the upper right corner. I bolted through it to the interior frame with requisite butyl tape and caulk.
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:28 PM   #35
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On the interior I am trying to finish up the upper part of the van first. Later (probably years from now) I will hopefully be able to get to the lower part.


I glued the reflectix to the acoustic insulation (it was just tacked before).
I installed the headliner fabric. I wrote before how inept I am with anything cloth or paper, and the process was just as traumatic as I feared it would be. I ended up wasting a bunch of fabric and have horrible looking seams, but such as it is.

I made panels for the top out of utility plywood. It was lighter and a little less bendy than luan. I mostly needed them to hold the LED lights.They are supposed to have headliner on them but I ran out. Iíll finish those at my destination. The back panel is also too big for my liking.

I installed lights in the panels so I will have some overhead lighting. I decided on dimmer switches, though they are expensive. I got two and tested them. They were fine but when I finally wired the lights one didnít work. Not sure what happened, if I shorted it out or if it is just cheaply made. I really want dimmers and there doesnít seem to be too many options for that. I was able to finally wire my MaxxAir and get the trim on.
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:34 PM   #36
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I got a second house battery. They are small (79amph) but they fit in my space and are light enough that I can lift them in and out easily if needed. I bought a small Dometic portable. Iíve been resisting because I will eventually have a new fridge, but my trips to Ohio take about 6 days now because of my young son and the coolers are just painful to use for that long. I had upgraded to a Pelican cooler and it didnít really perform much better than my old Coleman. Weíll be boondocking most of the trip. I think the Dometic should be able to get through the night without draining the battery too much. It has an auto shut off if the battery is too low, so that will help. Weíll be staying with my 87 year old father at our destination, so the idea is to stay in the van as much as possible to avoid picking up any virus nasties on the way.
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:46 PM   #37
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The van originally had paneling fully down the sides and back. I decided to remake the one on the back and make a smaller one on the driver side. I could have only used fabric, but the back one should help protect the back with loading things into the bunk area. And if the window still leaks, I can replace it easier. I figured the side panel would be nice to have for mounting things like a clock or first aid kit. Iíll repaint the window frames later.


I copied the old back panel and then shaved it down. Tried doing it on a router table and it did not go well. So it is a little too shaved on top. I did better on the side.
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:14 AM   #38
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I also made a slat system for the dinette bed. It originally had a MDF table that spanned the seats. I immediately scrapped that for a piece of plywood, but it was bulky and hard to store. I cut it into 7Ē pieces and stapled canvas to every other side for each joint. Now it can be folded and stored.
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:28 AM   #39
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I remade the old bunk. I wanted it to be smaller than before. I used 3/4Ē baltic birch which I think was a little thinner than the old ply. I donít need it to be adult length. It will only be used for holding gear on long trips or later for my son to sleep on.

Originally, they had the back panel screwed into the plywood strips that run the length of the van. The front just lay stacked on the back panel and when extended was held by a small L bracket. I wanted something a little more safe and flexible.

I got some partially threaded studs (https://www.mcmaster.com/catalog/126/3370) and put rivet nuts into the plywood strips. I drilled corresponding holes into the bunk panels. I used long ones in the back so they could accommodate both panels stacked. This allows me to also easily move the back bunk panel if I have need to.

It worked out pretty well. I forgot the sides of the van slope in a little, and I wasnít able to get the rivet nut tool in too well. Plus the ply is very old and shredded a bit when I drilled the holes for the nuts. Iíll replace the old plywood strips with stronger wood and put the nuts in before it goes in the van.

The angle on the walls makes the top look pretty neat from the outside, but it sure is a pain on the inside. The width also narrows toward the back, which makes fitting the bunk panels extra fun.

The front piece is just held by L brackets now. I want to replace those with a piano hinge and some type of clasp so it can fold down.
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Old 03-20-2021, 05:00 PM   #40
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Wow, you started in 2014 and are still grinding away. Guess I’m not the only one! I started in 2015 and still slowly building...

What did you end up doing to reinforce your top? Wood, garden hose, just more layers? I found this thread trying to find advice on how to bond wood furring strips to my top and add more reinforcement in the rear as I want to put a window in the back like yours.
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