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haywoodphotomaccom 12-16-2013 07:19 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....
Installing these tomorrow. Report to follow....

haywoodphotomaccom 12-17-2013 12:55 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....
Let the games begin! These products seem well built. The main unit is going under the front driver seat and controller in the drivers visor. Going to need a new visor to fit it in with all the rest of the panels. Half the van is apart to get to all the necessary wiring.

haywoodphotomaccom 12-17-2013 09:49 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....
Almost done, the unit fits perfectly under the driver seat. Couple more connections to be made in the morning and it should be up and running.

haywoodphotomaccom 12-19-2013 05:02 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....
The unit is up and running. One or two more leads to be connected for accessory measurments but the alternator is cranking out the amps to the house battery far better than before. This unit charges the starter battery and house battery independently and at a much faster rate.

With my previous setup the alternartor would charge the chassis battery first and quickly fall off leaving little going to the house batteries. The solar typically does a great job charging the house batteries but on cloudy winter days it was barely keeping up with my daily draw. The Gorman trip was a great example of why I wanted this new setup. It was mostly cloudy the two days we were there with very little solar coming in. We went on a couple hour drive around the park but hardly any juice went into the house batteries. A two hour drive now in those same conditions would have fully topped the batteries up.

This last day of watching all the meters (one for almost everything now) I see the house batteries getting far more amps than before. This AM it charged at a steady 50 amps or so on a 30 minute drive. The output to the house battery works in 4 stages similar to the solar for maximum efficiency.

(Disclaimer: I am not an electrical expert of any kind and I am sure there are many other ways to achieve what what we have but this is the one that is really working for what I need. Ramsey would could probably rub two pennies together with a wire in there somewhere and get what we have done for free. Happy to answer any questions if you have any)

Scalf77 12-19-2013 08:00 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....
This looks pretty interesting, and the price seems reasonable. You make want to put a write up in the electrical section on this. Thanks for sharing


E350 12-19-2013 08:55 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....
I second Scalf77's motion ^^ .
Call for the vote?

haywoodphotomaccom 12-19-2013 09:14 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....
Good idea, I'll see about making another post over there.

JWA 12-20-2013 05:47 AM

Re: Van Build about to start....

Originally Posted by E350
I second Scalf77's motion ^^ .
Call for the vote?

Aye from me---would be highly interested in this being done as a separate thread! :a3:

haywoodphotomaccom 12-20-2013 07:22 AM

Re: Van Build about to start....
Copied over to electrical too....

haywoodphotomaccom 01-05-2014 11:18 AM

Re: Van Build about to start....
A lot being done to the van over the last few weeks.

The last few days it's been with Ramsey out at Agile OffRoad in El Cajon.

They installed the rear full floater axle.
Installed an ARB air locker in the rear alxe with all the necessary air lines to the compressor and switches to the dash. Now locked from and back when needed.
Replaced the transmission cooler lines that were leaking.
Put one of the rear leafs back in to level the van.
Worked on a steering issue related to the drag link.

They got a lot done in a short period of time and I'm looking forward to trying out the lockers soon.

Also had the Alternator to Battery charger installed which is working great. That thread is in the Electrical section.

haywoodphotomaccom 02-09-2014 09:08 AM

Re: Van Build about to start....
Duplicated water heater post here too...

We ended up installing a EccoTemp on demand heater and 20 gallon fresh water tank last week to run the shower and sink. Shower setup is mostly done and works great so far. Sink to be installed sometime this week.

Used a West Marine water pump to supply water to the Eco unit. As soon as the Eco unit detects water pressure it ignites and within a few seconds you have hot water. On the lowest heat and water flow setting it works perfect. About .75 gpm is what I have it set at. Takes about 2-2.5 gallons per shower being quick about it. Yesterday the water tank temp was 62 and water output was 104 and the lowest setting.

The heater is installed above the tank up against the back wall. Photo coming next. The exhaust is minimal at the setting I am using and with all the windows open you can barely tell it's on. May still exhaust to the outside as should be done but may hold off for now.

Testing the unit and fittings before installation.

dougdaulton 08-07-2014 12:52 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....

Great build. Thanks for sharing in so much detail. As I begin exploring SMB as mobile studio, this gives me lots of excellent ideas.

Will be in touch!


dougdaulton 08-07-2014 12:58 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....

Great build thread. Lots of ideas as I plan an SMB as a mobile studio.

One question ... I am a big guy (300+). What is the carrying capacity of the roof rack/shell?



daveb 08-07-2014 02:04 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....
I saw about 12 people on top of a penthouse model at SMB doing a photo op. Obviously the top was
down but gives you an idea of the tops strength. The racks can be ordered with different
material/designs to suit your needs. I used smaller tubing to save weight but put slats where
needed. I could have installed a solid deck for more strength but because a PH model needs to
keep the total weight of the rack and what it holds down to around 200lbs, I went light as possible.
A hard top would allow you to go with a more heavy duty rack that would easily hold you. I'm in the
same weight class as you and only step where a slat crosses a bar support. But I can and do walk
on it when necessary...just walk carefully.

haywoodphotomaccom 08-09-2014 08:06 AM

Re: Van Build about to start....
Doug, not sure on the capacity for my roof setup. I stand on my roof rack almost everyday for work but typically limit it to one person at a time on it. I have two solar panels and two pelican cases on it so I have about 150 lbs on it at all times. Then add my weight when up there for 350 max at anyone time.

haywoodphotomaccom 12-22-2014 10:28 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....
4th steering box just installed.....the first three developed play in them within a week or two of installation.

Hoping the 4th will be the charm.

Similar to the one below but for the paint....

carringb 12-22-2014 11:02 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....

Originally Posted by haywoodphotomaccom
4th steering box just installed.....the first three developed play in them within a week or two of installation.

What the heck are you doing with them?!? I've never head of somebody going through them that fast.

haywoodphotomaccom 12-22-2014 11:07 PM

Re: Van Build about to start....
No idea.....they get installed and in a short time develop play that constantly vibrates and makse noise.

No one has been able to figure it out.

Most know that go on trips with me that I drive the slowest of the group to keep the roll to a minimum and take it easy. Lots of highway miles but nothing unusual.

Hope this one finally takes care of it!!

carringb 12-23-2014 08:45 AM

Re: Van Build about to start....
Has the same shop been installing them? Maybe they aren't adjusting them properly? ("They" could also mean the reman shop your shop is buying from) The old method of "turn until tight then back off" is a pretty good way of wearing out your steering gears.

haywoodphotomaccom 12-23-2014 09:31 AM

Re: Van Build about to start....
Quadvan I assume installed the first one and Agile the next two and a third shop installed this new one.

In speaking with Red Head Gearing they stated that a lot of reman shops just don't adjust them correctly. I explained my symptoms and uses and they felt confident that their boxes would not fair. We will see. Sure has been nice this last week without the noise and vibrations. Both of the last units started to loosen up around the one week stage so crossing my fingers for now.....

haywoodphotomaccom 07-02-2016 09:58 AM

Put some KO2's on the van a few days ago and they are great so far. Smoother, quieter etc...

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