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Discussion Starter · #201 · (Edited)
Next item, somewhere to put the collapsible shower enclosure and those pesky shades for the driver and passenger windows. They are always getting in the way.

Decided that cavity where the window would go in other vans was a prime candidate. With a little creativity and application of a combination of saws, screws, Thinsulate (thin), wood scraps, and more of that Danish Oil, here's what I came up with. Storage in the door, a.k.a. "Doorage."


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When the door is closed the new addition lines up with the edge of the door seal, so it doesn't intrude into the "garage" space where I store the bike.

Still have to finish it up with bungees and a lip at the bottom to keep things from slipping out, but I quit for the day.

Fortunately we had a cold snap and it only got up to 96 today, but it was time for a beer and the missus wants to go get some Mexican food. Who am I to argue with such impeccable logic?

Update: Here's a view in use.

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Here's an interior shot with door closed.

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A shot across it to show how little the storage depth affected interior space.

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Looking through some build threads I noticed a hanging shoe rack on another builder's van and remembered having purchased one. ha ha After a quick search I found it!

Took the hacksaw and removed the hook, then taped it at the mid-point to make two of them with the scissors. Next, used a lighter to melt the loose edges of the nylon and removed the tape.

Ran two screws through fender washers into the grommets on this piece, and hung it from the bottom of the driver-side Doorage unit, and two more screws/washers into the OEM panel at the bottom corners to prevent it swinging while under braking.

I expect it will soon fill up with all sorts of stuff. Might even put some shoes in there.

Note to self: Cut the fugly white tag off at the next opportunity.

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Discussion Starter · #202 · (Edited)
Power Hour

Also did a major power upgrade, ... okay, not major, but did add a waterproof dual USB power plug to the slider-facing panel on the kitchen and tied it to an accessory switch.

This will provide power for an LED string of lights that will run up the awning guy line from the rear wheel, across the awing, and down the guy line to the front wheel. This light string should provide a nice accent, as well as illuminate the guy lines to prevent me getting clothes-lined when walking through at night.

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Yes, it is under the fresh water fill. I did mention it was waterproof.

Also, ordered some right-angle USB adapters as when I plugged in the USB extension cable and closed the slider it was mashing the wire into a very tight fold.

I'll add a shot with the lights on when I set them up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #203 · (Edited)
Now for the other back door.
I had planned for this one for a while, after picking up a bicycle work stand on Amazon to mount on the door.
Also turned out that it was a handy place to store a leveler as well.

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Bike stand stored
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Doors closed, inside view which is a lot easier on the eyes than were the bare doors.

Also shown is the Lagun table, now with three new coats of Polyurethane over the Danish Oil base coat.

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Update:
Here's the bike on the mount. Door opened fully to magnet.

Also, I moved the mount's storage points left on the board to accommodate the bike's handlebars when it is parked in the garage.

Makes a handy spot for storing bungees too!.
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Discussion Starter · #204 · (Edited)
The rear door threshold was looking kinda long in the tooth after a few years of use, so I pulled it for a refresh job.

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It has now been sanded to take off the previous stain. Next, I used a router to waller out the spare tire crank access hole so the OEM cap would snap in. Once done, several coats of Danish Oil (Natural) were copiously applied. Lastly, I cut 1" strips from a roll of adhesive-backed non-skid and made things a little bit safer should it get slippery back there.

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Discussion Starter · #205 · (Edited)
I've had a slider window for a while now, sitting in my shop staring me down. Today, I installed it.

Now, to start off, a lot of folks have made installation videos for the CRL window with vent and they were instrumental in giving me the scoop on the install. Which is good, as no instructions come with it.

Quite a few of them had gone to great lengths to prevent metal shavings getting into their van while cutting the hole out. Some quite elaborate, involving sheets, vacuums, and plastic. After giving them all due consideration, and being in basic agreement about not wanting to get metal dust in the van, I took a different tack on solving for this.

I just opened the slider till it locked, and went to work. There is plenty of room for a jigsaw blade to do its work through the door, and the shavings just fall to the ground. I like easy.

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I carefully made a template from the side of the box the window came it. Then, held it up inside with the door closed and traced around it after lining it up and taping it down.
After that I committed to the project by drilling holes to mark the corners, and a pair of holes on either side of the door lock so I'd not chop it off when jigsawing from the outside.

Next, I move the template to the outside and line it up with the drilled holes and tape it in place outside, then trace it there too.

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Granted, the template is absolutely necessary, and at best it is a good starting point. However, it took careful work with a jigsaw, then a couple of hours of work with right-angle tin snips, a file, further trimming with the jigsaw, along with trial fitting the window over and over and over again before it was happy with the orifice so pains-takenly created for it. This became an epic workout in 90 degree heat, standing in the sun. (afterthought, I should have deployed the awning. I'm gonna blame the heat for affecting the thought processes.)

Additional 20/20 hindsight suggests making the template at least 1/8" wider than the trace from either the trim or the window frame. That would be a total of 1/4" in both dimensions that ought to provide needed wiggle room.

Here's the nifty part. I did the install solo. With a passive helper who was clearly board, I lumbered through it.

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Very happy with the results. It will be nice to be able to see traffic on angled intersections now, and, to have the crank-out vent, along with a view from inside.

Here's the money shot.

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Note to anyone thinking they might want one of these. Install it before building anything that might cover access to the screws on the trim ring. My kitchen module that covers about half of the door's space made it a real pain to tighten five or six of the screws. Use of a stubby driver and a short JIS driver were employed to get 'er done, though getting pressure and torque on them make it a very time consuming process. Being drenched in sweat and tired from the previous six hours of wrestling glass and tools just made it that much more fun.

P.S. the pics are labeled "DentRemoval" as a nod to how there were dents from the van's previous life as a plumbing truck in the metal section that was removed for the window.
 

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Discussion Starter · #207 · (Edited)
Took a shot of the window from inside. It does make the place feel bigger.

Notice the trim piece above the door which will provide upper support for a bug screen that will attach to Velcro to be installed there. Another screen for the back doors in the works as well.

The dark strip on the trim that tapers to the front is another piece of the Battleship Texas deck wood. I like the character of the pieces that have the weathered/worn side of the wood that was exposed to many oceans and both World Wars over their life on that ship.

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Discussion Starter · #208 · (Edited)
The cork I had put on the Truck Fridge's door was deteriorating as the edges were inevitably brushed in normal traffic. I really have noticed how it was helping as insulation for the fridge, as items placed in the door were colder after it was installed. It required a plan to save and preserve it for the long haul, so to speak.

As it turns out there is a page in the fridge instructions about just how easy it is to remove the panel the cork was glued to. There is a trim piece at the bottom and the two screws on the latch at the top. I had that sucker off in no time. Having been pondering this for a while I had already scrounged some right angle trim and have even cut one side down to the height needed to clear when I slid the panel back in.

Now it was only a matter of that complex puzzle (to me) of accurately cutting 45s to frame it. Much trial and error ensued, and limited supply of the trim had me concerned, but it all worked out in the end. After trial fitting, then sanding the trim and the cork, copious amounts of wood glue were applied to all surfaces and, eventually, I was able to get it all lined up and weighted down. Came back this morning to apply my favorite Danish Oil coating to everything and reinstall on the door. It turned out better than expected.

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After that, I was feeling inspired. A friend had given me a window decal some time back, but there wasn't any window I was happy with for it. Until now. And yes, the decal is Oxford White, installed on the inside.

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There was still something bugging me. Something that I had bought and never installed. Having read a thread on the subject over the last day or so I was ready to tackle it. Hanging the bug screens.

Slider
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On this one I used the included Velcro at the top and from the kitchen counter up. The vertical screen on the right is captured by the door seal, and below the counter on the left I have, for now, just tucked it in between the door seal and the cabinet.


Back Doors
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On the back doors I put the horizontal Velcro at the top on the OEM cableway.

On the left side the vertical Velcro is on the inward-facing side of the D-Pillar.

On the right side I ran the Velcro up on the cabinet wall in the "Garage" so the back tire of the bike can be situated without taking the screen down, and, access to the shower faucet is on the outside of the screen. When loading the bike the left half of the screen can be unzipped from the D-Pillar and bundled on the shelf overhead to get the bike in.

I'll likely sew something to the bottom edge, like a heavier material that would make a better seal at the floor. But, will use it as is for a while to see if that is necessary.


Not a bad day. Time for a cold one.


Update:

I took both screens back out, then, split the seams to remove the trim from each of the sections I had cut off. Some were the bottom edge, some from the sides and included Velcro. I then sewed the salvaged edge trim onto the screens that had been cut to fit.

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After a few trips in and out, and, considering how to get the screen out of the way easily, I decided that having any edges captured in the door seal would be a problem. Everything is attached with Velcro now. The slider screen now runs behind the grab handle, so it can be used without having to get through the screen first.

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Next on this project is to put in some cords in the upper corners to hold the screens out of the way when that is preferable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #209 · (Edited)
Copied this from a post in the "What did you do to your van today" thread, as it had informational bits that suited the build thread too.

It has been years since I installed the Cork flooring and I've never done anything other than sweep it. So, a lot of guilt had built up over time and it resulted in my cleaning and waxing the surface. Soap and water in a damp sponge, then a few coats of S.C. Johnson Wax using the ancient and venerable hand-tooled method of application really brought out the wood, and, distracts the eye from damage it has sustained in battle over the years.

On the shelves to the right also may be seen clear edge tape applied on the top and bottom edges to protect from items going in or out catching the Luan and peeling bits off of it.

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I had found a pair of paintings with colors that seemed a good fit. They were just canvas, no structure. So, I made up some frames to wrap them over and staple to, then added Velcro to attach them. Here's my attempt at dressing up the interior a bit.

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Another recent addition above this painting is the triple hanger for a painted 3/4" conduit that I hang the blanket from. I may add second conduit for hanging a towel, wet clothes, etc.
Previously, I had attempted an adjustable shower rod for this, but it had an awful rattle going down the road and didn't last long in that job. So, I came up with a replacement.

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If anyone recognizes these paintings as priceless works, well, I'm sure some sort of price could be agreed upon. :whistle:
 

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Discussion Starter · #210 · (Edited)
Overland 270 Awning
Nice, compact rig. I was able to attach it to just clear the sliding door in the hopes of it being low enough to reach without a step. It will require a small step stool. I have an aluminum 2-step on-board that works great and stores behind the driver seat.

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Providing attachment points was involved, and, allowed me to significantly improve the solar panel attachment. Even got the panels 1" closer to the Sun by adding 1" Aluminum square tubing (1/8" wall) under the existing panel mounts, plus additional cross bars added to support the two ends of the awning.

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Taking the time to paint everything new in black makes it almost disappear. Well worth the extra effort in my opinion.
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Here's the side view with it deployed. A couple of nice things about this awning are the small triangular sail over the cab that should significantly reduce blown rain from getting through, and, the zip-on cover, when flipped back for deployment, covers another point where rain might fall between the back of the awning's frame and the van. Though, I suspect it may also fill with water. We'll have to wait and see.
Edit: If the loose corners are turned inside out prior to flipping the cover back this may allow water to drain onto the roof and into the gutter there.

Bottom line here, this is an expansive awning that will reduce having to keep moving the chair into the shade as Sol transits the Transit overhead.

Note: The 3 attached poles (at least the back and middle one) must be deployed to raise the awing up slightly for clearance to fully swing the passenger side rear door. It was close with the pole stowed under the arm, and these are very easy to employ once the awning is unfurled.

Optionally, I could reinstall the mounting brackets to the top of the 1" square tubing to gain clearance. I'd say the likelihood of exercising that option is low.

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This is the aft view, and showing off my 2-step stool as well. For showers my plan is to put a pop-up enclosure between the opened rear doors, and this part of the awning should provide good coverage for that
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This installation was an all-day job. Temps still near the century mark slowed me somewhat. 😅💦

With a few motorcycle tie-downs to help support the weight, and a ladder that converts to scaffolding, the wrestling match to get it attached to the mounting points was manageable solo. I would highly suggest calling in helping hands for mounting the awning to the brackets if that option is easily available. This circus act of mine involved balancing and feats of strength, and in all honesty resulted in one small scratch on the paint.

Putting it all back in the cover isn't too bad. I'm still working on technique. It can be a little confusing the first time because the written instruction references LHS and RHS (left and right hand sides) rather than front and back. Because the instruction is referencing the Driver-side mounted awning, these descriptors are backwards for a Passenger-side install. The second time went easier.

Overall, I could not be happier with the end result!

Update: I've installed end plugs to the square tubing for an even cleaner look. Here's a photo.

Cloud Sky Automotive design Automotive exterior Hood
 

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The mounting brackets, As long as they are I see possible vibration and then metal fatigue. Check it for cracks in the metal once in a while so it does not fall off on the highway.
Flat bar stock does not have much actual strength without reinforcing it with some kind of welded gusset.
 

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Discussion Starter · #212 · (Edited)
The mounting brackets, As long as they are I see possible vibration and then metal fatigue. Check it for cracks in the metal once in a while so it does not fall off on the highway.
Flat bar stock does not have much actual strength without reinforcing it with some kind of welded gusset.
Thanks for mentioning this.

I am giving consideration to running flat stock from one of the bolts on the bracket to the bolt holding everything to the roof rack channel. If I can use the bottom bolt on the bracket it ought to make a nice triangle that would support the end of the lever arm that is a major contributor to potential metal fatigue.

Edit: FWIW, the package shipping weight was 75 lbs. (the mounting brackets, stakes, guys, hardware, etc. shipped in another box).

Subtract from that the weight of packing materials and 3 additional expanding poles that store elsewhere, and I'd estimate that each 3/8" thick bracket is only supporting about 20 lbs.
 

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I was thinking the bracket itself, It looks like you bent them so they would fit the way you want them to fit.
I have done the same thing before and they eventually broke, I would build new brackets out of square tubing or angle iron because it is so much stronger then the flat bar stock your bracket is made out of.
The only way a gusset would work is if it extended the whole length of the horizontal part of the factory bracket and was welded to that factory bracket.
I dont know, Leave it like it is and keep an eye on it.
 

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When working at ready mix concrete and my welding skills were questioned. The shop foreman said that when it falls off of the truck as long as it bounces once before it goes through someones windshield we are not responsible, It is road debris.
We paid for every rock through a windshield but we did not pay for anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #215 ·
I was thinking the bracket itself, It looks like you bent them so they would fit the way you want them to fit.
I have done the same thing before and they eventually broke, I would build new brackets out of square tubing or angle iron because it is so much stronger then the flat bar stock your bracket is made out of.
The only way a gusset would work is if it extended the whole length of the horizontal part of the factory bracket and was welded to that factory bracket.
I dont know, Leave it like it is and keep an eye on it.
Those brackets are included in the awning kit. I couldn't fabricate anything that intricate. They are ~3/8" thick Aluminum. Perhaps that curved part is engineered to help avoid stress cracking? This rig is designed for the Overlanding crowd. 4x4 rock-crawling and off-roading types. I suspect that if there were a problem someone would have noticed it by now and put it in a review. My research didn't turn up any complaints in regard to the brackets.

The instructions do say to inspect the bolts periodically to make sure they haven't loosened up. This indicates to me that rough use results in things unscrewing rather than fracturing. Either way, I'll take a peek every now and then. One thing I did do before assembly was replace the mounting nuts with Nylock ones, and, used the provided lock washers too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #216 · (Edited)
It was time to see how all this work has paid off and a trip was planned. Ready to go was I, except for a delayed shipment of one final part to bring it all together.

The price point for LiFePO4 finally reached a level my inner Scrooge could justify.

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I had to remove the Jackknife bed to get in there, and now the two 100Ah AGMs have been replaced with a 300Ah Lithium battery.

Also, found a place for the last wire basket from the set of three. Haven't used it yet, though it could come in handy as a place to keep small, seldom used items.

The morning after install, the van was on the road for a couple of weeks, dragging me from one bicycle trail to another at higher altitudes where they keep the air conditioner on outside all day long.

Here's the Day 4 camp, first one where I deployed the awning, and, first use of the door-mounted bike stand for a little PM on the bike's drive train and suspension.

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We be chillin'. Here's a shot on Day 5, from where I sit creating this post, relaxing in the passenger swivel and watching the chipmunks outside.

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Today I stopped by a hardware store in a small Colorado town and added ten feet of 1/2" tubing to the short Gray and Fresh tanks' shared drain. The old setup drained onto the Slider door's running board, this extra length will get the wet spot behind a wheel or other less problematic location.

The CRL vented slider window works great. With the Roof Fan on exhaust and the CRL vent cracked open it is easy to get a little breeze going inside. The view is so much nicer from inside, compared to the Oxford White door I used to stare at. No longer feels like I'm in a submarine.

I watched a video where a builder found a way to make the vent open more via a modification to the crank mechanism. As far as I can tell there seems to be little advantage to doing this mod. There may be a valid engineering reason CRL limited the travel. Perhaps to prevent bending the "hinge" too far, or, exceeding an angle found most effective for shedding rain.

Overall, I'm very happy with the latest changes. The field testing continues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #217 · (Edited)
Before leaving for the trip I installed a shovel using a Quick Fist at the top and a Bungee at the bottom. Then, placed some shelf liner scraps at rattle/scratch points.

Here's how it fits in the Garage portion of the van with the MTB in place. It was quiet and trouble-free during the trip.

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2020 MR 148 Long Cargo pretty much base model.
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SS T-channel bolt I purchased from the upfitter who sold me the Weather Guard Roof Rail kit.
Travlin I’ve not been able to find a source for bolts that will fit the weatherguard rail. By chance do you remember what the dimensions were? Will hardware for unistrut fit the weatherguard rail?
 

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Discussion Starter · #219 ·
Travlin I’ve not been able to find a source for bolts that will fit the weatherguard rail. By chance do you remember what the dimensions were? Will hardware for unistrut fit the weatherguard rail?
I don't think they are a standard size. There is a WeatherGuard part I have purchased, but they don't list it on their website. Have you asked the dealer you purchased the rails from?

I know that Third Coast Vans in Austin has them in stock. I've purchased them in two lengths. (that is also where I bought the rails) You'll probably have to call them, I don't think they are set up for online ordering.

They are very helpful folks. Contact them, if not to purchase, at least to get the WG part number on the bag. Seems like there were 4 to a bag for ~$10.
 
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