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Old 09-01-2020, 02:07 PM   #201
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... We used the Exped Mega Mats in both top and bottom and they really are as great as they say...We installed them uninflated topped with sleeping bags at home (took out the upstairs cushions) and them gave them a few pumps of air at the campsite. Worked great.
Isnt it funny how it comes down to the "little things" that give us the most pleasure!
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Old 09-01-2020, 07:23 PM   #202
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Isnt it funny how it comes down to the "little things" that give us the most pleasure!
Yes, 2X, ainít that the truth! Back in the day, we used to go to the coast for day trips all the time but everyone was exhausted (including me, the driver) on the way home. This was our first trip back with the new poptop and we decided weíre going to go back for these little overnights much more often now.
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Old 10-05-2020, 12:33 PM   #203
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More Changes to PhoTo: Maxx Air

Finally joined the ranks of the properly-ventilated and installed the Maxx Air fan. I could not bring myself to cut that gigantic hole in my CCV poptop but thankfully Greg S. was willing to come to the rescue. As everyone says, itís a terrific addition to the van. Iíve been leaving it open on hot days when the top is down and am amazed at the drop in ambient temperature inside. That heat loves to have somewhere to go!

I drew out the template for the hole and drilled up through the top (gulp!). That rug-like stuff glued to the top is great insulation but a bear to remove. It did hold up well to sawing, though.







This is the cutout. Now I know why the top is so light.





Realized pretty quickly that the top would need reinforcement for the fan to hold up well. Kreg Jig came in handy for making quick work of a frame to screw into. After applying the butyl tape, we used clamps to hold it all together. Iím going to stain it gray later Ďcause we needed it *now*. I used the inside and outside frames to size it. Turned into a - somewhat surprisingly - perfect fit the first time.





Fan is fitted:





Poly sealant all around and screws:





Done! But geez, I gotta get up and clean that top.







The top was pre-wired by CCV so they were accessible under the rug/insulation. Now ready to connect it to the next project: lithium battery system install. Iíll post on that soon.
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Old 10-06-2020, 10:18 AM   #204
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Nice! Itís my next item before big brakes
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Old 10-07-2020, 12:58 PM   #205
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Lithium Battery System Install

My long-awaited electrical is finally in. Whew, that was a whirlwind, multiple long-days, hurry-before-the-rain (didn’t quite make it; one day it just poured) install. Parts have been arriving for months, stored away till the next batch of $$ could be saved. Because I have the great fortune of being friends with Greg S. (Scalf77), I didn’t have to become an overnight electrical expert or put myself in danger with a wing and a prayer system. I sure feel good about that and very grateful to Greg. So, terrific design/wiring/teaching by Greg; woodwork and general laborer/gofer/assistant by me. We still have a few things left to do, like running 12v/usb/ac outlets around the van and punching through the top for solar. I have 2 Renogy 100W panels to install on the Unistrut. Then it’ll be on to building enclosures and the like.

I wanted Lithium and I wanted it indoors, easily accessible and warm. I wanted to contain it to above and around the rear passenger wheel well, so I could conserve space and continue to use my L-track as much as possible. I also wanted shore power, roof solar, an external Anderson plug outlet for suitcase solar, and the ability to monitor the batteries onsite and remotely. Here’s a photo essay for the install:


I needed to make a strong box to hold the batteries. I stuffed Havelock wool in the crannies.







Didn’t have time for a photo, but I used 5/16-18 rivnuts in the inside van skin to hold the bolts for the 1/2 in plywood panel. If anybody needs to improve their chest muscles, just buy one of those rivnut installers. Geez. Thankfully, it worked just fine on a handlebar width I could (barely) manage. But, what a great tool! Here’s how it looked after everything was wired up:





The batteries are hemmed in tight. No flying through the air for these guys.





The elements:












This 3000W Xantrex is a placeholder for the 2000W that’s on backorder.












Monitoring:









The Balmar battery monitoring system is really helpful. There’s the panel readout that will go on the finished cabinet exterior. But they have an app that’s simple, easy to connect, and I can read it on my phone in my livingroom. Aux 1 voltage is my starter battery.







I wanted to live with this for a bit before committing to the cabinet design, so I built a temporary barrier to keep the dog and cargo from messing with the wires. The Kreg jig was perfect for this and I pin-nailed some underlayment to the 2x2’s for skin.









Though my build has been slow out of financial necessity, I’ve developed an appreciation for dry runs before finalizing an idea. Going on four years working on this, I can get zen about “Delayed Gratification.” I’m thinking of designing a merit badge for it and can think of a few other folks here who would qualify.

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Old 10-07-2020, 02:11 PM   #206
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Well, having friends like that sure increases the confidence level going into a project!
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Old 10-07-2020, 02:54 PM   #207
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Well, having friends like that sure increases the confidence level going into a project!
You bet! And I learned a ton, too.
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Old 10-07-2020, 04:45 PM   #208
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Hey that is all looking real nice!
Could you explain or show some of your 120v shore power system?
Is there a breaker box type setup that you used?
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Old 10-07-2020, 05:02 PM   #209
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Hey that is all looking real nice!
Could you explain or show some of your 120v shore power system?
Is there a breaker box type setup that you used?
I’ll be happy to do that. But I have to wait until we meet again for further work and an in-depth orientation to exactly how it all works. We were both so exhausted when we finally finished it, I didn’t have the heart to ask him stay and explain all the details.
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Old 10-07-2020, 05:46 PM   #210
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In this interim setup, the 3 amp input goes to the input of the inverter, I just installed an optional Xantrex GFIC plug option in the inverter. For the final product we will run the output of the inverter to a 30 amp main breaker, with subsequent 15 amp branch circuits. At this time , I'm not sure that she needs more than one branch circuit.

If you want data on how I would do this feel free to PM me.

-greg
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