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Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions  >  DIY

 > Step one. Bought the van.

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jimany

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Posted: 07/15/09 12:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm not an expert, but I'd fill any hole in anything that won't be visible with JB Weld.

RVSKIER

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Posted: 07/17/09 03:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For patching the hole I might use fiberglass cloth on the top and bottom , drill some smaller holes around the big hole.

And if you name the Van Hal, make sure you don't lie to the computer.......


RVSKIER
2001 Itasca 30W
Faster, Faster, Until the Thrill
of Speed Over Comes The Fear Of Death

OldBob

Washington, USA

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Posted: 07/17/09 04:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My favorite way to fill a bolt hole is with a bolt, if the back side is accessable to tighten the nut. A carriage bolt has a gently rounded head which usually is visually acceptable, but if I need a nearly flush finish I grind it down or use a flat head machine screw. The bolt can, and probably should. be smaller than the hole to keep the head small. In either case, use sealant to waterproof the joint.


BobG
2007 Roadtrek Sprinter

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NEW YORK

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Posted: 07/18/09 09:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

J Weld is great. Grind smooth then prime & paint to protect. My van is also about 90% complete. My problem is that I can't stop going back & making modifications. Need to focus. I dream up my projects while driving, my second addiction. Interesting thing is that the more my son's friends marvel at all the******I have done the cooler he thinks it is.





WVvan

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Posted: 08/10/09 08:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hal the Van is at the shop tonight getting some welding work done on a couple of places that need more than what I can do with Bondo.
Anyway I have a new question. I'm drawing up my van layout and am leaving the right rear corner (passenger side) of the van free for a possible toilet. I'm not sure if I'll add one but want to leave enough space for a future installation. This would be free standing, not an enclosure. Also not sure of what type I'd go with (Porta, blackwater).
What is the minimum space (width) I should leave free?
Thanks.

On a separate note, here is the wiring scheme:
[image]

Since must of my camping is boondocking I have fairly simple shore power set-up. Unplug the two 120 AC outlets from the inverter and plug them into shore power. Since the inverter will be the biggest power draw I should be able to run the 12V DC side from the solar panel. Use the charger for when I get home.

* This post was edited 08/10/09 08:48pm by WVvan *


Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG


VernM

Marion County, AR

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Posted: 08/10/09 10:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For sealing holes, especially when drilling them in the roof, 3M makes a great sealant that is a little expensive but worth it. It's been long enough since I put the two solar panels on my van that I forget the product info. Do a search with 3M for automotive projects and look for the sealant they prescribe for between fenders and body, etc.

Good luck.


VernM
GMC Conversion van/Wells Cargo MiniWagon trailer
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Pepperoni

Ypsilanti, Michigan 48198

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Posted: 08/10/09 11:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Plug the holes with hole plugs. Do a search for "3/4 hole plugs". (no kidding) Example here: hole plugs

You don't need to do much.

I built a bed from 2x8 and 1/2 inch ply. Size to fit available mattress. 1x3 inside 3 inches below the top edge holds plywood in place and leaves a 2 inch lip to hold mattress, too. good storage under.

Everthing else is trim. Cheap "blue tarp makes awning.

Custom toilet seat from Cabela's fits a plastic bucket. (line w/ plastic bag for easy clean up)

Get a hibachi or cheap gril. Keep charcoal dry and fresh in plastic bucket and cap.

Carry drinkng water by gallon, up to 5 gal.

Use paper plates.

Call me when the fish are running.

[emoticon]

landyacht318

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Posted: 08/10/09 11:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

WVvan, Nice wiring diagram!

The only thing I'd recommend is a higher amperage charger.

I'm running 2 12 volts, but when I do need to plug in and use a charger, my 25 amp charger takes too long, because it only puts out 25 amps in the beginning.

If a 15 amp charger tapered the amps at the same rate, it will take forever to bring your twin 6 volts back up past 85%.

I used to have 3 12 volts and would use the 130 watt solar in the coastal desert to charge all 3. The monitor would say 100% daily, but the day after I'd hit them with 25 amps they'd hold more voltage overnight.

Now I have only the 2 remaining in parallel I can tell that 230 A/his a better match with my 130 watt panel.

I've found I don't need 345 a/h of batteries, and when I can afford it, I'm getting 2 31DC36 Crown 12 volts @ 140 A/h a piece and only charging one at a time with the solar or alternator and solar combo, and keeping the other one isolated, and switching the load/charge battery every other day or 2 via my boat battery 1,2,Both,Off switch.

I have not used a "starting battery" in years, the Everstart dual purpose quasi deep cycles have enough CCA to crank my V8. In fact my engine compartment battery tray has been empty for well over a year now. My house batteries are #2, and I just leave the Perko switch to #2.

Where are you putting the 6 volts?

Is that what the welder is doing?

WVvan

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Posted: 08/11/09 09:56am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hey VernM,
I checked 3M sealants. I don't think this is what you meant:
http://solutions.3mindia.co.in/wps/porta........cts/category/preventive/clinpro-sealant/
Just kidding.

Looks like these are the top candidates:
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en........nid=69CBWNSM1PgsMDCVJW7L8SglLJK1KSX54Tbl
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en........nid=GSTN405H5ZgsXB20NJQ19WglLTDM7BX7QTbl
http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en........nid=GS90WQG57HgsXB20NJQ19WglZR84HR8BGZbl


Hey Pepperoni,
I didn't know about the hole plugs. Live and learn. In this case there was also a rust issue so I did the grinder->wire brush->rust preventer->bondo->primer->paint route.
I've seen the toilet seat + plastic combo. That might be a little too basic for me.


Hey Landyacht318,
I know the 15 amp charger will take a while but since I'm usually a weekend camper it will have most of the week to recharge the batteries. That should be enough time. Also keeping the van as a 15 amp system simplifies things.
The batteries will be stored in a vented box directly behind the drivers seat.

Here's the reason for the welding.
After removing the rear cargo mat and padding found this underneath.
There are four large bolts that secure the van to the under frame.
The rearmost set of bolts, a couple of feet from the back doors, shows bubbling under the paint.
Like this:
[image]


After grinding off the paint and chipping at the rust underneath you have this:
[image]

Way too much for a simple Bondo patch.

* This post was last edited 08/28/09 07:47pm by WVvan *   View edit history

bananadanna

Cambridge, MA

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Posted: 08/11/09 10:07am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'd try to make a provision for shore power charging on the road. Redundancy is a good thing. My integrated Prosine inverter/charger will start charging at around 100a. It uses a temp sensor on the battery bank to help max out the charging rate. Useful for quickly feeding a kw-hr into a bank w/o waiting around too long.

Many of us portapotty partisans store it under a shelf and bring it out to an aisle for use. I think my size 14 feet take more floor space than the potty itself.

Not an unreasonable idea to have a dedicated-toilet spot planned for. If you found the potty or equally good lined-bucket not to your preferences you could give up some nonessential space like a storage area. I'd still start with the noninstalled since its cheap and easy to care for.


Dan
02 Freightliner Sprinter 2500 long tall home brew conversion


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