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RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Fridge Cabinet - Post #6 When taking measurements before ordering the drawer sliders I didn't think the frame could be moved as close to the wall as it ended up and still fit the fridge. This increases the aisle width but messes with one pair of sliders. Nothing that can't be fixed with a slight intrusion into one wall panel. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-21-mj.jpg The thickness of the wall panel was all the extra space I needed. Sealed off the opening in the back. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-22-mj.jpg Drill holes in the right side covering panel for the TV mount. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-25-mj.jpg Bolt on the TV mount. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-26-mj.jpg The TV slips onto the mount from above. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-27-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-28-mj.jpg Mount the left cover panel on the frame. I'm using extra clamps since the plywood backing had developed a slight warp. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-29-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-30-mj.jpg Using sheet metal screws to attach the cover panel to the frame. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-32-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-33-mj.jpg Here's the frame with both panels installed. You'll notice the red and black wire with the white plug hanging in the back. This will be the power to the fridge. I ran the wire when the wall panel was off. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-34-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-35-mj.jpg Mount the top cover panel. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-37-mj.jpg Remove the panels and paint the exposed parts of the plywood. Both for protection and for looks. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-41-mj.jpg Everyone's a critic. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-39-mj.jpg Painted and back together. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130710-03-mj.jpg Now here's something I'm not happy about. Couldn't find any corner molding that I liked so ended up using this 1/2" aluminum angle. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130710-04-mj.jpg I'd be happy with 1/2" white vinyl angle molding but can't find any locally which pretty much means Lowe's. If you're reading this and have a suggestion please let me know. Bolt the frame into place. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130710-08-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130710-05-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130710-09-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130710-11-mj.jpg Here is one of the main reason I installed the tie-down rings. My walking stick. Before it was always in the way. Now there's a place to safely stow it without me tripping over it. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130710-12-mj.jpg Right about this time in the build I suffered the lose of one of my favorite tools. This one. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/broken_camera-mj.jpg It's a Canon Powershot. Up to now every single picture and video you've seen in this build thread, including the camping ones, had been taken with this camera. I really like this camera because over the years I beat the living spit out of it and it just kept on working. It's been dropped multiple times, beaten against rocks while hiking, tossed around then dropped some more. The display on the back has a couple cracks but still works. Remember the TV ad with the ape and the suitcase. Something like that. Well it finally met it's match in the penthouse top. I accidentally closed the top on it while working on the fridge framework. It split open like a clam and when snapped back together it stopped working. That's not so say it can't possibly be fixed. Just figured it's time to get another camera. This particular model isn't made anymore but thanks to the wonders of ebay I bought an identical Powershot that's barely used. I'll have to remember to keep the new one away from the penthouse top.
WVvan 11/14/13 10:22am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Hal has been re-purposed. Just in time for Halloween. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/zombie_1-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/zombie_2-mj.jpg Birthday gift from my brother.
WVvan 10/27/13 03:29pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

How to easily move a machine that weighs over a ton using something called machine skates. I saw this done on a youtube video. Get a couple pieces of 1/2" thick steel plate. These are 3-1/2 x 3-3/4 wide. On each plate weld on two pieces of 5/8" diameter O1 tool steel rod http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131018-01-mj.jpg Buy a 12 ton press from Harbor Freight. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131018-03-mj.jpg From McMaster-Carr buy R10 ball bearings. 5/8" ID. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131018-04-mj.jpg Use the shop press to press the ball bearings onto the ends of the tool steel rods. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131018-05-mj.jpg Lift up the back end of the mill with the shop crane. Notice the steel rods under the mill. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131018-08-mj.jpg Install the newly made machine skates under the mill. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131018-09-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131018-10-mj.jpg The machine skate I made for the front has different dimensions than the two on the back. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131018-02-mj.jpg Made three sets of skates because I read if your floor isn't perfectly flat and you use four sets, one skate will inevitably slide out when moving. This mill weighs around 2200 lbs. Using the steel rods as rollers under the mill I was able to move it by myself around an inch at a time with the help of a spud bar. Now with the machine skates I just have to push with one hand and it easily rolls right along.
WVvan 10/20/13 07:54am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

It's been quiet on this thread lately since I've been working on a side project. Added something new to my tool collection. This is a Bridgeport Mill. It's sitting in the basement garage of the person I've just bought it from. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131005-1-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131005-3-mj.jpg I have a mini-mill and have been thinking about upgrading to a larger mill. For a lot less then the price of a new mill I can get this one. The person selling it has to move so I got a great deal on it along with plenty of tooling. An older Bridgeport Mill, if cared for, works better than a newer foreign made mill. These are widely used so parts are still available. Problem is how to get it home. It was located a couple hours north of me outside of Pittsburgh. A Bridgeport Mill weighs around 2200 lbs. I've never moved anything near that heavy before. Step one. Rent a U-haul trailer that could take that kind of weight. I had previously installed a Class-III trailer hitch in the van for my bike rack. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131012-02-mj.jpg When I installed the looking-back camera on the van this wasn't one of the uses I imagined. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131012-03-mj.jpg On moving day the gentleman I was buying it from provided a lot of help and several helpers to get the mill onto the trailer. Notice the metal rods underneath the mill. This is called "The Egyptian Method" for moving heavy objects. Same principle used in the building of the pyramids. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131012-06-mj.jpg Used a chain-fall to provide the pulling force. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131012-05-mj.jpg Once the mill was in the trailer I used 2x3s to build a cross-hatch framework around the base to stop it from sliding in the trailer. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131012-21-mj.jpg Used tie-down straps front, back and center to stop it from tipping. Here's the mill after we've gotten it to my house. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131012-24-mj.jpg Now is where it gets interesting. There is just myself and a friend to offload the mill. I'd talked to a local towing company earlier in the week about craning the mill off the trailer. "No problem" I was told. They could easily pick it up. So the plan was for them to pick it up off the trailer then we'd move the trailer and then they would set it down in front of the garage. So I called and a wrecker shows up. Yes the driver can lift it up and set it down. He just can't move it with the truck. Ruh-Roh! Somehow this point was missed in my previous discussion with the towing company. Another problem was the tow truck can only reach the mill by coming at the trailer from the side. A telephone pole prevents the trailer from being pulled too close to the front of the house. The mill would have to be off-loaded, literally, in the middle of the street. Ever have one of those "What the hell did I get myself into" feelings? I sure had one at that moment. So I asked the driver if they had a bigger truck. They have the kind that are used on tractor-trailers, but it does has a thirty-foot boom. "How much?" "$175 an hour." I told him to go it. It's big. It's so big he backed it down the street since it wouldn't take the corner in the front of my house. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131012-37-mj.jpg The driver picks the mill off the trailer then the trailer is moved out of the way. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131012-33-mj.jpg He booms it over towards the garage door. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131012-36-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131012-43-mj.jpg Had the driver set the mill down on the metal rollers. Then used the shop crane I'd previously bought to move the metal lathe, the come-along that was bought to adjust the penthouse top chains and tie-down strap bought for this to pull the mill into the garage. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131012-48-mj.jpg Once I got it all the way into the garage, called it a day. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/131012-54-mj.jpg There were no injuries so it was a good day.
WVvan 10/19/13 10:42pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Fridge Cabinet - Post #5 Use template to transfer the shape of the forward side panel to 15/32 plywood. The end of the sofa-bed already covers the bottom half of the fridge cabinet so not going to bother with it. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130703-12-mj.jpg Cut the plywood then check the fit. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130703-14-mj.jpg Slight problem with the rearward panel. The plywood wasn't long enough. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130703-15-mj.jpg Nothing a little extension couldn't fix. Should have done a better job of wiping off the excess glue. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130703-17-mj.jpg Here's the panel with the cut-outs made for the tie downs. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130703-18-mj.jpg Test fit. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130703-16-mj.jpg Next up is to cover the panels. Another trip to Lowes for some Formica. Here's a tip if buying a sheet of Formica. First get yourself a couple lengths of string. Usually there's a roll near the front of the store for tying down loads. Then grab a sales associate. The two of you can roll up the sheet and then while one holds it the other can tie. Don't try to do this by yourself. I'm sure it can be done but it's so much easier with two. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-01-mj.jpg Lay the panel on the back of the Formica and mark out the cut lines. Be sure to leave a one inch margin. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-02-mj.jpg I've tried different methods for cutting the Formica and this is my favorite. Lay the sheet face down placing a 2x4 underneath along the cut line. Use the 2x4 to support the jig saw as you make the cut. Keep the edge of the 2x4 as close as you can to the cut line. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-03-mj.jpg Glue the sheet to the panel using contact cement. After it sets up use an trim router. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-07-mj.jpg Be prepared for the mess. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-08-mj.jpg Use a drill to create a holes where the tie-downs go. Finish up with the router. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-09-mj.jpg Here's both panels and the rectangular piece for the top of the cabinet after finishing. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-11-mj.jpg Since I'm into cutting Formica, might as well do something about the front of the fridge. The current cover is dark. Think I'll brighten it up. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-12-mj.jpg On the inside of the door, lifting up the magnetic sealing strip along the bottom exposes two screws. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-13-mj.jpg Remove the screws then slide off this plastic piece from the bottom front of the door. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-14-mj.jpg With the bottom plastic piece removed you can now slide down the front door veneer. WARNING- This black sheet is metal and has a razor sharp edge! Found out the hard way. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-15-mj.jpg Using the black sheet as a guide, cut out a Formica sheet the same size. Install the the Formica sheet on the front of the fridge. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-18-mj.jpg Reattach the bottom plastic piece. I like this look better. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-20-mj.jpg So I'm wanting to screw the bottom plastic piece back in place and I can't find my screwdriver. I knew I just had it but it's no where to be found. I'm looking everywhere and it was really starting to bug me since it was just here! I have other screwdrivers but by now had the bit in my teeth and wasn't giving up. Won't tell you how long till I figured it out. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130705-19-mj.jpg continued -
WVvan 10/08/13 10:19am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

I'll take a little break from the current project for a camping report from the weekend before last. I went biking along the West Fork Trail. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130929-107--m.jpg The trail is all that's left of a logging railroad that's now part of the Monongahela National Forest. The trail runs along side the West Fork of the Greenbrier River http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130929-084--m.jpg Along with the scenery there is plenty of wildlife. Here's a Youtube video I took of a swimming beaver. Here I am roughing it after a day on the trail. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130929-091--mj.jpg Speaking of wildlife, something I learned on this trip. A sheep going "BAAAAAAAA" right outside the van at 3:22 AM will wake you from a sound sleep. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130929-022--m.jpg Whoever came up with the idea that sheep help you sleep never met this one.
WVvan 10/07/13 03:55pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Fridge Cabinet - Post #4 If you look back at the pictures from the first postings about the Fridge Cabinet you'll notice that I'm continually moving the metal framework from the van to the garage and back again to do work or take measurements. The framework is light and easy to move. That's what I really like about constructing the cabinet this way. With the framework done, drill some holes and bolt it in place. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-062-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-063-mj.jpg The front bolt extends through the floor into the area enclosed by the underfloor storage box ("The Basement") so there's no worries about water incursion from underneath. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130710-05-mj.jpg The frame top will be bolted to the metal shelf that runs along the side of the penthouse opening. I put down tape first to prevent the cloth headliner from catching in the drill bit and snagging. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-064-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-065-mj.jpg Don't have a picture but there is also a bolt through the back floor brace. With the framework bolted into place I started tugging on it to see how solid it was. It's rock solid. Got the van swaying in no time. Take the framework out again to prime and paint it. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-071-mj.jpg Don't remember if I've mention before about my system for reusing paint thinner. I'm using oil based paint and primer so the brushes must be cleaned with paint thinner. If you plan ahead you can keep reusing the paint thinner instead of throwing it away. I use three paint thinner containers. A new paint thinner can, a reuse jug and a waste can. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-070-mj.jpg After cleaning the brushes pour the used paint thinner into the waste can. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-072-mj.jpg If you let the waste can sit for a few weeks the paint and primer particles will settle out to the bottom of the can. Next time you're going to paint, carefully pour out the paint thinner into the reuse jug leaving the sludge behind. The used paint thinner will acquire a slight tint but will still be clear. If it's cloudy then it needs to sit longer. Use the paint thinner from the reuse jug to clean the brushes. The can of new thinner is to make up what's lost due to evaporation or for when paint needs to be thinned. Since I don't paint constantly this system works well for me. Been using my current waste can so long that it now has 5 lbs of paint sludge on the bottom after draining. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-067-mj.jpg Put the painted frame into place and just insert the bolts to position it. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-27-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-28-mj.jpg Slide the fridge into place. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-30-mj.jpg There are four mounting holes for the fridge. Mark their position on the framework. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-32-mj.jpg Position the TV. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-34-mj.jpg Use the TV mount as a guide for marking the framework. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-33-mj.jpg Will need two cover panels for the sides of the fridge cabinet. Have to duplicate the curve of the wall panel where it meets the front cover panel. Can't find my compass so make one up from an inside divider, marker and masking tape. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-36-mj.jpg Use that to trace an outline of the wall onto some posterboard. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-35-mj.jpg Here's where the back cover panel will go. Along with meeting the curved wall also have to consider the eight tie-down points and ventilation for the fridge. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-37-mj.jpg These are the cooling fins for the fridge. After some thought decide to leave these uncovered. That should increase the fridge efficiency. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-38-mj.jpg continued -
WVvan 09/26/13 12:41pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Fridge Cabinet - Post #3 I was able to get the fridge to fit without the wall panel in the way. Put the panel back into place. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-002-mj.jpg Figure out how much of the panel must be removed and mark it with tape. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-004-mj.jpg Cut it out with the jigsaw. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-006-mj.jpg Here's a side view of the piece just cut from the wall panel. I used contact cement as a adhesive for the three layers when building it. You can see that it's held together rather well. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-010-mj.jpg I then put the panel back and checked the fit with the fridge. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-014-mj.jpg Ended up cutting on it two more times until I got the fit just right with the cooling unit on the back of the fridge. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-22-mj.jpg The cutting left a large gap in the insulating properties of the wall panel so I used some Reflectix to help seal it up. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-23-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-25-mj.jpg The fridge arrived with the door mounted to open from the left side. I need it to open from the right. To do that remove the door. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-020-mj.jpg Swap the hinges and hardware. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-021-mj.jpg Here's the sliders for the three drawers. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-022-mj.jpg Will add flat steel bars to the metal framework that the sliders will be bolted to. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-024-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-025-mj.jpg Weld those into place. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-026-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-027-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-036-mj.jpg Next I'll need to add support for the TV mount. This is the piece that's screwed to the TV http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-037-mj.jpg Next to it is the piece that will be bolted to the cabinet frame. The design of this mount allows the TV to be lifted off the cabinet and stowed away when not in use. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-038-mj.jpg Figure out where I want the TV to go. Moved it around till it looked right. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-041-mj.jpg Mark that location on the framework. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-042-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-043-mj.jpg Weld the supports in place. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-044-mj.jpg Add the final detail to the framework. I want some tie-down points for things carried in the back of the van. I'll be using 1 inch wide straps. Use some wire to create a mock-up. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-046-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-045-mj.jpg Transpose the mock-up to 1/4" steel rod. Straightening out the wire gives me the length to cut the steel rod. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-047-mj.jpg Use a vise and hand tools to bend the 1/4" rod into the shape I want. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-048-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-049-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-050-mj.jpg I'll be the first to admit that these are not all identical but close enough for what I need. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-052-mj.jpg Weld them into place. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-054-mj.jpg Do some clean up work on my welds. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-055-mj.jpg OK. I'm officially finished welding on the fridge cabinet's metal framework. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-056-mj.jpg Framework weight is now 25 lbs. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-057-mj.jpg continued -
WVvan 09/21/13 09:44pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Hey Landyacht318, My fridge must been made very different from your old one. It's been running for several weeks now and I describe the noise it makes as a "purr". Can't hear it running from outside the van. The loudest noise has been when something inside the fridge is laying on one of the shelves a certain way. That item will start to make a rattling noise. Just open the fridge and re-position it and the noise stops.
WVvan 09/20/13 06:56am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Fridge Cabinet - Post #2 Look at the gap between the wooden mock-up and the wheel "hump". http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-35-mj.jpg Compare it to this pic. I've lowered the fridge about an inch which allows the wooden mock-up to be moved all the way against the wheel "hump". This gives me the most aisle room. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-41-mj.jpg So I've decided the position of the fridge cabinet. Now work on the height of the objects within the cabinet. Next consideration is the height of the porta-potty. Do several test "sits" in the garage while varying the height of the porta-potty until I find what feels just right. After that effort I should name it "Goldipots". http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-40-mj.jpg At this point I've decided on all final measurements. Use the mock-up as a framework to hold the angle iron pieces in place so they can be welded together. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-47-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-50-mj.jpg Check fit. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-51-mj.jpg I only want a small gap between the top of the fridge cabinet and the penthouse metal reinforcement that runs along the side of the opening. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-52-mj.jpg Keep working. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-53-mj.jpg Final cabinet frame. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-54-mj.jpg Weight a little over 20 lbs. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-55-mj.jpg Do a test fit with the sofa reassembled and fridge in place. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-57-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-59-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-60-mj.jpg continued -
WVvan 09/18/13 02:40pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

This thread has been kind of quiet lately. Between my new (to me) lathe: http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130806-05-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130806-09-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130806-16-mj.jpg and camping: Green Ridge State Forest, Maryland http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130915-002-mj.jpg and biking: C&O Canal National Historic Park Paw Paw Tunnel http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130915-152-mj.jpg Lock #58 http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130915-229-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130915-235-mj.jpg I've not been posting much. Still working on the van. Just not posting about it. Next up project is what I'll call the "fridge cabinet". This will be on the drivers side, next to the sofa. It will hold the Engel fridge, porta-potty, and a couple drawers. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/111211-008-mj.jpg Fridge Cabinet - Post #1 Had trouble getting accurate measurements from the section of the van where I wanted the cabinet to go since the van isn't level and the wall curves in towards both the top and the back at that point. Making a wooden mock-up was the best way to go. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-24-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-25-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-26-mj.jpg With the curved wall I want to find what is the optimum location. If the fridge is mounted at a lower level the cabinet can be moved closer to the wall which gives more room to the center aisle. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-27-mj.jpg I can gain some space by removing the wall panel while deciding. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-30-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-31-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-32-mj.jpg A quick note about the wall panels. Here is a side view of the panel just removed. This panel started out as flat when first installed but has now taken on a curve that matches the wall. I'm real happy how the "foam insulation+fiberboard+headliner material" wall panels have turned out. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-37-mj.jpg continued -
WVvan 09/18/13 01:32pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Hey Dale, Not to worry. Been at the beach. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/0719131130a-mj.jpg As to your problem. I've never used JB Weld as body filler. It's too expensive for that. I'd use fiberglass reinforced Bondo myself. On a different subject. Now that I'm back from the beach, got my mind on tools again. Say "Hello" to my new friend. Still in the current owners garage. Making plans to get it back to my place this weekend. Won't fit in the van but I have a friend with a truck. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130728-05-m.jpg
WVvan 07/31/13 01:26pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

I interrupt this project for a little mechanical update. So I'm driving to Lowe's to get a sheet of Formica for the next project when the van starts running rough. The ScanGauge shows error codes P0303 and P0304 which means misfiring on cylinders #3 and #4. In checking the engine I find the spark plug wire for cylinder #4 is just hanging. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130703-09-mj.jpg The part of the plug wire that grips the spark plug had broken off. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130703-10-mj.jpg Nothing a new set of plug wires couldn't fix. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130703-05-mj.jpg The #3 misfire code was probably caused by the #4. The engine is a 4.2L 6 cylinder and I was surprised how well it ran on only 5 cylinders. The last time I lost a cylinder like that was on my first car, a 6 cylinder AMC (green colored) Hornet. No fuel injection back then and it ran a heck of a lot rougher on only 5. At the time I didn't think I could get it back home. Windshield Cover continued - With the window cover in place there is still a gap on each side. Need to fix that. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-103-mj.jpg This is the plastic trim cover for the "A" pillar passenger side. Use epoxy to glue three rare earth magnets to the back side of the cover. The magnets came from old computer hard drives. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-104-mj.jpg It was easy to hold the magnets in place while the epoxy set up by putting washers on the opposite side of the plastic trim. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-105-mj.jpg Do the same to the driver's side trim piece. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-01-mj.jpg See where the washer lines up to on the cover. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-02-mj.jpg Hand stitch the washer to the front of the cover. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-03-mj.jpg As I'm sitting in the van sewing on the washers I was under supervision. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-04-mj.jpg After sewing on the three washers the magnets now hold the window cover tight enough to the trim piece to block out light. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-07-mj.jpg Use the sewing machine to hem this edge of the window cover. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-08-mj.jpg Do the same to the passenger side edge of the window cover. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-09-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-10-mj.jpg OK, that's the finish of the windshield cover. It came out pretty sweet. Goes up real easy and comes down with just a tug. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-12-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-13-mj.jpg When not being used the window cover can easily be folded up small enough to fit in a plastic shopping bag. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130701-14-mj.jpg When doing all this work on the inside of the windshield I began rethinking the shelf I'd bought from JC Whitney. Here's a picture from their web site. http://images2.jcwstatics.com/is/image/Autos/vdpsh2166_is?$JCW_SKU$ The idea was to increase storage space in the front of the van. It works OK but it does restrict your upper vision through the front window. Having used it for a couple years I've come up with a better storage solution. A zippered tool bag from Harbor Freight. It has more storage space, is a lot cheaper and will fit just fine under the drivers seat. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-18-mj.jpg Something else to add to the parts pile. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-20-mj.jpg
WVvan 07/06/13 09:48am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Windshield Cover This is the last of the set of projects that began when the penthouse trim and headliner were taken down. This project is a inside cover for the front windshield. The goal is to have something that will both block sight into the van, for privacy, and also block light coming out of the van if in stealth mode. Up till now I used a off-the-shelf windshield foil reflector but it never complete blocked the light and wouldn't stay in place. I use Reflectix for the side windows but I think it's too bulky for the front windshield. To make a cover I bought three yards of of "Quilted Iron Quick Fabric" from nancysnotions.com. The material is listed as "100% aluminum on a 100% cotton back, polyester batting and polyester/cotton backing. Heat resistant up to 399 degrees". One of it's suggested uses is as potholders so it should hold up OK. I'm thinking that the aluminum side will help reflect the sun's rays and the polyester batting will act as insulation. Here's what the back side looks like. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130606-01-mj.jpg I experimented with different ways of holding the fabric in place. Maybe add a metal clip to the edge of the headliner then use magnets on the fabric. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-10-mj.jpg Or sew wooden dowels into the fabric. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-11-mj.jpg Here's what I decided on. Use epoxy to glue 10 small rare earth magnets to the front edge of the headliner. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-13-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-14-mj.jpg Hand sew 10 fender washers to the back side of the fabric. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-16-mj.jpg The washers line up with the magnets. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-15-mj.jpg The washers and magnets hold the top edge of the fabric in place. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-17-mj.jpg I tried different combinations of rare earth magnets and washers and their placement before settling on this configuration. Sewing smaller washer to the front of the fabric would also hold the cover in place but if the washer comes in contact with the magnet it's harder to separate them. By keeping the fabric between the washer and the magnet there's less chance of the magnet pulling free of the epoxy. This results in a weaker magnetic attraction so the larger washer is needed to compensate. Now to do something about the fabric edge. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-073-mj.jpg Say hello to my new tool. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-075-mj.jpg OK it's not really new. This was my Mom's. She used to sew. A lot. After both my parents passed away and my surviving brother and I had to sell their house I'd already begun work on the van and thought that the sewing machine might come in handy some day. That day would be today. And let's just get one thing out of the way. The thought that somehow using a sewing machine is sissified. I'll point out that the operative word in "sewing machine" is MACHINE! (manly grunt grunt grunt) As a kid I'd seen Mom sew enough to have a basic Idea how this works but luckily it came with a manual. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-079-mj.jpg First up. Threading. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-076-mj.jpg OK, that's done. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-077-mj.jpg Turn the hand wheel, top towards you, till it brings up the thread from the bobbin. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-078-mj.jpg Pull both threads towards the back of the machine. Put the fabric in place and drop the foot. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-082-mj.jpg To operate the motor there is a paddle that swings down underneath the cabinet. You push it to the right with leg. The farther it's pushed the faster the machine goes. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-085-mj.jpg OK. Start sewing. I'm folding the edge of the fabric so the white backing is on top. This is so when the cover is magnetically attached to the headliner the leading edge will curl upwards against the headliner and block more light. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-086-mj.jpg I worked at a slow pace, folding over the fabric as I went. Had to keep shifting the whole mass of fabric to keep the stitching (somewhat) straight. When I got to the washers went real slow. Didn't want to see what would happen if the needle hit a washer. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-084-mj.jpg When I got to the end of the fabric be sure the needle is in the up position. Pull it way from the machine then cut the two threads. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-087-mj.jpg There it is. My first hem. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-088-mj.jpg Give it a test in the van. Looks good. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-089-mj.jpg Back to the machine. Now do the bottom edge. This time I'm folding the fabric so that the aluminum side is up. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-090-mj.jpg Sewing along when I realize that something is wrong. Just making tiny holes in the fabric. No thread is joining the material. Found that the thread coming from the bobbin had broken. The bobbin is under the machine. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-092-mj.jpg That's the bobbin on the right. It has thread wound around it that loops through the thread pushed through the fabric by the needle. I re-threaded the bobbin but it kept breaking. Ended up unspooling all the thread on the bobbin and winding it with new thread. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-093-mj.jpg After that didn't have any more problems. Here's the two different hems. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-094-mj.jpg How it looks in the van. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-097-mj.jpg The fabric is thick enough that it can be tucked in at the gap between the windshield and the dash where they meet and stay in place. This way the slack in the cover can be taken in so there is less of a downward bow in the middle. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-098-mj.jpg How it looks from outside. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130627-102-mj.jpg I'm not done yet. The cover's sides will have to be taken care of next. In working on the van so far I've used several of my Dad's old tools so it was nice to get my Mom's sewing machine involved in the project but also the realization that the last time this machine ran my Mom was using it did leave me feeling more than a little bit melancholy. continued -
WVvan 06/28/13 11:36am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Thanks to all who replied. Knowing that others are watching my progress does help keep me motivated. I also appreciate the kind words. To answer one question, I'm not really dreaming up new projects. These have always been on my mind. Just never got to them yet. And I don't know that I'll ever be DONE. As soon as I finish a project almost always think of a way to go back and improve it. I'll have to thank Ponsmeister for what I think should be my new motto: "I post, You read, Maybe somebody learns something."
WVvan 06/28/13 11:20am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

LED Lighting This is another of the projects I started working on because the trim and headliner were removed. This will be for LED Lighting in the house section of the van. While Disco Lights were just for fun these lights will be more practical. The LEDs are on a flexible strip and will be encased in a square acrylic tube just like the Disco Lights. These LEDs are rated as "cool white". Unlike the Disco Lights I want the switch to be part of the light fixture. Here's what I have to work with. A simple on/off switch, 1/2" square acrylic tube, 1/2" U shaped acrylic channel and acrylic sheet. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-48-mj.jpg Will be making two fixtures so create both switch enclosures at the same time. Use the clamp to hold it all together then apply acrylic cement which is drawn into the space where the acrylic pieces touch. The switches aren't affected by the cement. They are just there as spacers. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-49-mj.jpg Cut the switch enclosure in half. Cement one to the end of a section of square acrylic tube. Use a string to feed the flexible LED strip through the tube. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-20-mj.jpg Wire the LED strip to the switch and add a plug. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-26-mj.jpg Now to power it. Create a wiring harness. The positive power comes from the house battery fuse panel. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-30-mj.jpg Get the ground from a bolt on the B pillar just below the roof. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-31-mj.jpg Tape the wiring harness to the roof of the cab. Two of the connectors are for the LED lighting while the third is what powers the Das Boot light from the previous posting. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-33-mj.jpg Wait till it gets dark and give it a try. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-22-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-24-mj.jpg Here I'm just holding the light in place. Looks OK. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-25-mj.jpg How to mount the fixtures? Running along both sides of the penthouse opening is a cloth covered metal reinforcement. Will use these 1/4" square rare earth magnets. They are strong enough to stick to the metal even with the cloth in between. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-29-mj.jpg Here's an idea of how strong the magnets are. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-44-mj.jpg Again use 3M VHB to attach the magnets to the square tube. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-28-mj.jpg Here's the light over the kitchen held in place by the magnets. It's quite solid. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-33-mj.jpg The second fixture will go over the sofa-bed. After fitting the LED strip into the square tube it needs to be trimmed. This marks one of the cut points. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-34-mj.jpg The round pads are were the wires are soldered. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-35-mj.jpg The first section of flexible strip used over the kitchen had wires already attached. This was cut from that strip so need to solder on the wires. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-40-mj.jpg The square tube came in 6 foot lengths. The second fixture is longer than that so added a second section of square tube to the end. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-46-mj.jpg The strip isn't the exact length of the square tube since it can only be cut at certain locations. Any left over I just bent over and slid back into the tube. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-49-mj.jpg Sofa-bed lights. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-53-mj.jpg LED lighting after dark. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-57-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-58-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-59-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-83-mj.jpg Since I'm making this up as I go never sure what it will look like on the other end but really happy how the lights turned out. The pictures don't do them justice. Found in using them that the decision to incorporate the switch into the square tube was right. When standing with the top up the switches are out of sight below the penthouse edge. Just have to run my finger along the square tube and I'm sure to hit the switch. That's the end of the LED Lighting project. By the way, it's getting kind of lonely in this thread. Anyone find this stuff useful?
WVvan 06/23/13 11:16pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Das Boot Lights I'm sure you've had the experience where you're driving at night and when stopped want to look at something in the cab unfortunately knowing that once the overhead light is turned on it will ruin your night vision. Hence the need for some overhead red lighting. I call them Das Boot Lights after the movie since that's what they used in submarines to preserve night vision. With the headliner taken down this was a perfect time to do this project. This is the overhead light fixture from the headliner. I had previously removed the incandescent bulb and replaced it with a square led light. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-01-mj.jpg This is the back of the led light. It originally came with a double stick foam backing but the foam didn't last long in the fixture before it came unstuck. I've cleaned the old foam tape from the back of this led. Notice the exposed electrical contacts. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-02-mj.jpg Because of the exposed contacts I'm not going to reuse the metal part of the original overhead light fixture. Use this piece of acrylic instead since it's non-conductive. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-03-mj.jpg Use strips of 3M VHB tape to secure the led lights to the acrylic. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-04-mj.jpg The center square of surface mount leds is the white light. On each side are red leds. The red ones aren't as bright but I'd ordered two of them just in case and there's room enough for all three squares in the fixture. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-06-mj.jpg Use VHB to secure the acrylic to the cover. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-07-mj.jpg You can see that the hump in the headliner that gives room for the fixture. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-08-mj.jpg Also gives room for a switch. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-09-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-11-mj.jpg The fixture is held in place by this metal bracket attached to the headliner. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-12-mj.jpg The wires for the white overhead light used to be glued to the headliner. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-14-mj.jpg Instead I've taped them to the Reflectix. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-15-mj.jpg The white light still works from the headlight knob and when the doors are open. The power for the red lights comes from the house batteries. I'll cover that more in the next project posting which is also about adding new led lights. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-56-mj.jpg Up Periscope!
WVvan 06/21/13 09:31am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Hey Loving Retirement, I bought the cameras and monitor off ebay so the brand would be "Cheap stuff made in China". Don't know if you're familiar with ebay but things you buy there are a bit of a cr*pshoot as to quality. That's why I don't spend too much money on any one item The backup camera came from this vendor: http://stores.ebay.com/moneysaving4you The monitor came from this one: USA Warehouse
WVvan 06/21/13 09:28am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Backup Cameras - continued Jump forward about a week and the new monitor I ordered has arrived. Measures 7" and cost about $35. Figure out the best place to mount it. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-17-mj.jpg Use masking tape to mark the spot. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-18-mj.jpg This is the top side of the headliner. It's made from fiberboard but isn't too thick. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-64-mj.jpg The monitor is light but I don't trust the headliner to support it without some help so adding this piece of fiberboard as backing. This is the same fiberboard I use for the wall panels. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-66-mj.jpg I trimmed the excess from the bolts after tightening them down. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-68-mj.jpg Drill a hole in the headliner for the monitor cable. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-69-mj.jpg I'm not worried about the headliner edge cutting into the cable so this next step is just for looks. Take an appropriately sized grommet and cut off the edge of the lower lip. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-71-mj.jpg Use a little silicone to glue the grommet into place. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-72-mj.jpg Add a switch to the headliner to that will power both the cameras and the monitor. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130606-02-mj.jpg Using a DPDT on-off-on switch. From one on position the monitor and backup camera are powered. From the other on position the monitor and the looking back camera are powered. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-75-mj.jpg Add a plug to the switch wiring so I can lower the headliner. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130606-04-mj.jpg It's not obvious in these pictures but this whole process required the headliner going back up and down again several times so I could check how things fit along with wiring length. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-79-mj.jpg The new monitor came with a wiring harness. Taped it to the roof Reflectix to keep it out of the way. The cable that comes off the back of the monitor and goes through the hole in the headliner plugs in to this. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130606-07-mj.jpg How it looks between the headliner and the roof when I start plugging everything in. Some of this is for the overhead light which I'll cover in the next project posting. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130606-08-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130606-09-mj.jpg One last thing is to sight in the backup camera. Get a piece of scrap plywood and mark out 8 inches in 1 inch increments. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-76-mj.jpg Clamp it to the rear bumper http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-77-mj.jpg The resolution in this picture isn't good enough to see but the 5 inch mark is right at the edge of the back window. So backing up, when something goes out of view I've less than 5 inches of space left. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130604-78-mj.jpg One more thing. The monitor folds up when not in use. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130606-13-mj.jpg I don't have any pictures but I've road tested the cameras and am very happy how it all turned out. The view from the looking back camera has a neat bird's eye quality to it. OK that's the end of the backup cameras project.
WVvan 06/18/13 02:13pm Class B - Camping Van Conversions
RE: Step one. Bought the van.

Backup Cameras - continued A poster asked about the cameras. Bought both of them on ebay for around $15 each. They are made in China and I have no idea how long they will last. With the cameras now wired up they will need power. The cameras will be used only while the van is moving so I want to find a "hot on run" source. Along the "B" pillar on the drivers side I found this group of unused connectors. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130527-08-mj.jpg The wires on this connector were of a heavier gauge so thought they might be a power source. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130527-09-mj.jpg There are only three wires but it is a six terminal connector. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130527-10-mj.jpg Using a voltmeter I found that the orange wire is a "hot on run" source. Figured out it's connector C331. Page 150-29 in the electrical manual. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-69-mj.jpg It's listed as circuit# 49. It comes off the Trailer Battery Charge Relay. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-66-mj.jpg http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130616-68-mj.jpg Cut the orange wire from connector C331 and crimp it to a in-line fuse holder. Cover the connection with shrink tube. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-07-mj.jpg Route the power wire along side the "B" pillar up to the ceiling in plastic conduit. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-08-mj.jpg Then along the "B" ceiling support to the center of the headliner Reflectix using silver duct tape to secure the wires. I had previously run the power wires for the two cameras to this point. The camera power wires followed the same route as the coax cable. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-09-mj.jpg Wire the power to the cameras and this 3.5" TFT LCD (thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal display) monitor. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-11-mj.jpg This monitor was too small for my liking so ordered a bigger one. Will use this one until it's replacement arrived. Here's the view from the looking back camera. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-12-mj.jpg And this is the backup camera. The image in the monitor is fine. It's the picture I took that's out of focus. The backup cameras isn't showing the back of the van. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-13-mj.jpg Here's the problem. The penthouse top is angled such that the camera is aimed too far back. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-14-mj.jpg To compensate I removed the backup camera then elongated the mounting hole. This allowed the camera to be tipped forward. Used duck tape to change the camera's angle. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-17-mj.jpg Changed the angle until I could see the back of the van within the image. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-16-mj.jpg Measure the gap. It's 0.56 ". http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-18-mj.jpg Need something more permanent. Had this block of UHMW (Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene) on hand. Cutting boards are made from this material. It's 0.5" thick. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-20-mj.jpg Cut out a small square then cut it on an angle. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-21-mj.jpg Drill a hole in the UHMW wedge and use tape to hold it in place then check the image. The wedge tips the camera forward enough so that I can see the back of the van in the image. Used sandpaper to clean up the edges of the wedge. http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/130601-23-mj.jpg When trying to secure the camera with it's new aiming wedge found the threaded tube on the back wasn't long enough to accommodate both the wedge and the rubber piece previously used. Removed the rubber pad and to seal against water leakage smeared on silicone II instead. continued -
WVvan 06/17/13 11:37am Class B - Camping Van Conversions
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