Putt Step Van Build

#61
Hearing you say your getting dust on back roads and looking back in your build it seems like
its going to be a bear when you hit some of the desert/baja silt pits that you will run into with the door you have.
The only recourse short term to close all your vents turn your heater to high vent to build as much pressure as possible.

Another reason to have a good air compressor with a quick connect on rear bumper is to be able to blow silt off rear before you open door.

I was lucky and had a van with 2 narrow doors that sealed up pretty good but always got dirt inside any way.

Les,lqhikers
 

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Putts

I'll get there.
#62
The only recourse short term to close all your vents turn your heater to high vent to build as much pressure as possible.
Yep. That's why I say I'm going to reverse the flow on the fantastic fans and suck in air from above the vehicle to pressurize it.

Another reason to have a good air compressor with a quick connect on rear bumper is to be able to blow silt off rear before you open door.
Note to self: get a bigger compressor than you think.

Man, that's a good lookin' step van.
 
#63
Maybe get a custom tarp you can Velcro in place when you know you will be in dusty places. Velcro it in from inside or outside...... whatever is easiest. I guess. If you use a rear ladder like the one lqhikers did.. maybe put it on barn door wheels somehow so you can roll it side to side to reach top portions of Velcro if you set to put the Tarp on the outside.
 
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#64
Putts;
Looking back on you build and reading about dust problems you said you plan on using
roof vent/fan to build pressure.
have you driven with vents open yet?all they do is flap and will soon crack.metal one are not
quite as bad.

Suggestion even though they add some height Max air covers do work you can leave vents open while
driving and best when sleeping and the wind/rain blowing the flaping will not keep you awake.

Just something to think about.

Les,lqhikers
 

Ozrockrat

Expedition Leader
#65
Yep. That's why I say I'm going to reverse the flow on the fantastic fans and suck in air from above the vehicle to pressurize it.
This is one of the prime reasons I went with the Maxxair fan instead of the Fantastic fans. The Maxxair has a build in cover that can be open running down the road and has the ability to act as a pressurization fan.

In the mining industry we use high volume pressurization fans to try to keep dust out of machines. Various levels of success.
 
#66
Just finished reading your build and will be following it tell your on the road, then i hope you keep us
van lovers updated.
I've had a lot of rigs and the only one i still miss is our 1972 chevy van.
Don't worry about weight we put over 150 thousand miles on ours all over baja and mainland mexico
loaded to the max with kayaks motorcycle zodiac with 20 hp outboard.2- 50 gal custom gas tanks.
complete conversion, solar was not on the forefront like it is today went with propane.
not to jump on your build but had to show you what we still miss, thank twice before you ever think about selling!

Les,lqhikers
I absolutely love when this rig gets brought up. It really is one of my all time favorite settups, and seems to have been used well!! Thank you for showing it.



I removed my roll up door in favor of a half door and fixed wall. I hate dust getting in. I am almost finished it so no real world testing. The guy who runs Boomer the Camper Van had started a project for pressurizing his cabin, not sure of the outcome.

Thanks Ross
 

Putts

I'll get there.
#67
Suggestion even though they add some height Max air covers do work you can leave vents open while
driving and best when sleeping and the wind/rain blowing the flaping will not keep you awake.

Just something to think about.
Yeah, I have a plan. I'm actually going to put three very large solar panels on a rack that will end up above the vent by about eight inches. The vents will end up opening under the solar panels and be protected from wind and rain. The rack and panels will raise the overhead height about 10"-12", but that will still be less than vent covers, and the vent covers won't shade the solar panels. It's a little complicated to explain, but you'll see down the road when I install it.

I absolutely love when this rig gets brought up. It really is one of my all time favorite settups, and seems to have been used well!! Thank you for showing it.
Me too.

I removed my roll up door in favor of a half door and fixed wall. I hate dust getting in. I am almost finished it so no real world testing. The guy who runs Boomer the Camper Van had started a project for pressurizing his cabin, not sure of the outcome.
I'll have to look that up. I can't run swinging doors as I'll have a motorcycle and a bunch of stuff on the rear bumper. Good luck on your seal!


Been eyeball freezing cold up here in Montana, but I got some Putt stuff done.

I was thinking it's time to put in the ceiling. I went for the easy one over the bed.



Left side of the over-bed ceiling. The aluminum channel is glued to the ceiling plywood. Holes let you screw it into the wall and cabinet around the perimeter. This trim treatment is important for my future lighting. I will adhere LED RGBW (red green blue white) strips onto the top of the bottom leg of the C-channel; the other side of the black painted part. This is for my future indirect lighting system.



After putting it in I realized ceilings aren't next...wiring is next. This back ceiling won't have a Phase 1 utility overhead light in it, but all the other ceiling panels will. As I looked forward in the cabin, I determined I had to do all the wiring before putting up the ceiling. Fine by me, I can just sit in my cozy, extension-cord electrically-heated cabin and solder stuff.

Had to hook up the bus bars to the switches with a bunch of shorty little cables.



The over-bed reading light and dinette table light will be wired to the "Courtesy Lights" circuit.

Here's the bed reading light.



Bunch of soldering and heat shrink---make sure you do them in the right order!



Shortest run to power was up and over across to the right side and into the electronics cabinet.





Here it's coming out of the wire conduits in the sidewalls into the electronic cabinet. (at bottom)



It runs in parallel with the table light on the "Courtesy Light" circuit.



Backside done.



Splicing them all together was a pain in the butt. (See what I did there?)



$1000 in the right crimping tools and connectors is probably the most high-reliability ways to go, but I've been soldering connections for a long time. It's what I know and am comfortable with. Old dogs and such. And cheap crimping tools and connectors is way less reliable.



12 gauge wire is way overkill but I'm not going to lose energy to voltage drop if I can help it.

All bundled up in heatshrink.



Seriously, 12 gauge wire is ridiculous, but, other than needing more solder and heat, the mechanics performed to make the splice is the same as if it was 16 gauge. I figure if I just get used to doing splices and connectors with this heavy gauge, down the road I'll actually be saving quite a bit of juice on the voltage drop of thinner wire overall. In a 12 Volt system, conductor resistance counts.

The cabin looks like an electronics repair station.

 

Putts

I'll get there.
#68
Nice. Got some hours in over the holidays. Wiring stuff up to the switch/fuse panels isn't all that photogenic, but it's what I've got.

Six circuits are in. Take a look at that wiring harness. If I get up to the 24 circuit max, it's going to be as thick as my forearm.



I love the bed reading light.



If you touch and hold the control band it can vary the light intensity.

It's also got a nightlight mode.



The table lamp works the same.



Also installed the kitchen lights under the cabinet.



And a light for working on the electronics and checking the batteries.



Then it was on to the ceiling.



I can't fit a 4x8 sheet of plywood into Putt, so I had the folks at Home Depot do the major cuts. The knuckleheads were 1/4 inch off on one cut, and about 2 degrees off on another. Ergh.



You can see the 1/4" gap up top. Oh well, some trim and weatherstripping around the edges and it'll be air tight...which it needs to be for my wall/ceiling venting system to work.

All the ceiling panels up.



Went through six 8-foot lengths of aluminum channel. Did a whole lot of this.



Next up is installing all the trim pieces on the ceiling and gluing them into place...on one side only. I have to remove them all for paint, insulation, and light installation. They also have to be removable for when I install my indirect LED lighting in the channels and future maintenance.

That's going to have to wait for a couple of weeks, I'm off to the consumer electronics show in Vegas on Wednesday....god I hate Vegas.

Feels good to have the ceiling up though, so I've got that going for me.
 

Putts

I'll get there.
#70
Man, it feels like I've had this ceiling job hanging over my head forever.


:)


Once the panels were all fit, they were all removed for paint and insulation.


Doubled up on the tables in the living room.





More awaiting in the hallway.





While the paint was drying I ran the wires for the ceiling lights.





One wire from the fuse/switch block, then you can see the heatshrink around the three way split to run the lights in parallel.


Of course, I don't want those cables chafing in the holes through the aluminum rafters, so they got a nice nylon cover.





I used Anderson Powerpoles for connectors. Good stuff.


Put up the ceiling panels that had the lights in them, connected them up, hit the switch....let there be light!





Had to put a hatch in the ceiling to get to the front fan---the one that evacuates the heat from the walls and ceiling---and to run cables through the cable trough over the door.





And opened.





Up go the panels on the other side to finish it off! Plenty of light in there; I'm glad I decided to paint it white.





Up on the ceiling to the right and a bit down from the first ceiling light you can see a little black latch mounted to the ceiling. The latch catches the kitchen cabinet handle to hold it open.





View from the bed.





Phew. Kitchen drawers next!
 

Putts

I'll get there.
#73
Pretty cool step van. Funny you called it the taco window, that's the first thing I thought, "looks like a taco truck" :sombrero:
All my friends say that...but I'm retired, damit. Making tacos for more than me sounds like work.

Alrighty then, on to the kitchen cabinet drawers. I had initially planned for four.

What I came to realize is that I had been thinking of the drawers as kitchen drawers, but the truth is they're the only drawers in my whole household. I'm going to need an everyday junk drawer for starters. A headlamp, flashlight, a knife, pens, pencils, ruler, who knows. One drawer, probably the bottom deep drawer on the right hand side will be mostly cleaning supplies and extra green propane bottles. Anyway, six drawers, even if some are a bit shallow, will give me a lot more options than four.

And that's what this last week has been about. We'll title it "Stupid...stupid...stupid...genius!"

So, the drawer rails that I mount the sliders on are 15 inches apart. The drawer sides are 3/4". That means that the drawer bottoms and backs need to be 13.5" in width to fit between the drawer rails. Off I went to cut wood.



It was at about the point you see above when I took one of the drawers out to Putt to check the fit. It fit perfectly with a mm to spare between the drawer rails. Um...but what about the sliders!? Damit...damit...damit! I forgot to add a half inch on either side for the drawer sliders.



Fortunately, the sides of the drawers are 3/4" plywood and I have a dado blade for my table saw so before I put the drawer faces on I hogged out a 1/2" deep groove in the sides of the drawers for the drawer sliders. The genius part is that this is probably the best way to do these drawers. 3/4" is overkill, the 1/4" left is plenty to mount the slider, just had to use nuts, bolts, and washers instead of wood screws. But the big advantage is that my drawers are a full inch wider than they would be if I had built it the way I had planned.



Glued the drawer faces on and did a bunch of painting.



Fitting the sliders and installing the drawers was a bit finicky, but it turned out just fine in the end.



The set to the left is 18" deep, and leave room behind for water filtration and water pumps eventually. *The drawers on the right are 10" deep and leave room behind for the sink and gray water tank.



Next step: Now that I have the top drawers in I can measure exactly how much room I have for the deep bottom drawers underneath and build them.
 
#74
...Alrighty then, on to the kitchen cabinet drawers. ... And that's what this last week has been about. We'll title it "Stupid...stupid...stupid...genius!"

So, the drawer rails that I mount the sliders on are 15 inches apart. The drawer sides are 3/4". That means that the drawer bottoms and backs need to be 13.5" in width to fit between the drawer rails. Off I went to cut wood.


It was at about the point you see above when I took one of the drawers out to Putt to check the fit. It fit perfectly with a mm to spare between the drawer rails. Um...but what about the sliders!? Damit...damit...damit! I forgot to add a half inch on either side for the drawer sliders.
[img]

Fortunately, the sides of the drawers are 3/4" plywood and I have a dado blade for my table saw so before I put the drawer faces on I hogged out a 1/2" deep groove in the sides of the drawers for the drawer sliders. The genius part is that this is probably the best way to do these drawers. 3/4" is overkill, the 1/4" left is plenty to mount the slider, just had to use nuts, bolts, and washers instead of wood screws. But the big advantage is that my drawers are a full inch wider than they would be if I had built it the way I had planned. [img]

Fitting the sliders and installing the drawers was a bit finicky, but it turned out just fine in the end.
[img]
....
[img]
Next step: Now that I have the top drawers in I can measure exactly how much room I have for the deep bottom drawers underneath and build them.[/QUOTE]Like they say.. there are no mistakes.... just other alternatives. Or as an advertiser would call it.... "highly custom" woodworking.
 

Putts

I'll get there.
#75
Well, there was about ten minutes there when I was convinced it was a mistake. Had my thumb on the anvil and a hammer in the air ready to swing away when I thought of the "alternative." Phew!