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Discussion Starter · #381 ·
Installed the awning today! It is bolted to angled brackets that bolt onto unistrut rack. To deploy, I unzip cover, rotate out the front and rear arms, and hold them with tension straps back to the other side of the roof rack. Took a bit over 4 minutes to setup or take down. Also has legs and guy lines in case it's windy.
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2020 159" high roof, northern IL
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Ooooh, I like that. Can you reach everything to deploy & stow from the step?
 

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Discussion Starter · #383 ·
Ooooh, I like that. Can you reach everything to deploy & stow from the step?
I have to lean my telescoping ladder on the open sliding door (or use any item I can stand on) to access the rear to unzip the cover fully and grab the arm with a tension strap.
1: open sliding door, remove ladder, lean ladder on sliding door
2: stand in sliding door, unzip cover halfway
3: stand on ladder, fully unzip cover, remove Velcro straps holding canvas rolled up, hook strap in end of front arm, and pull it out
4: back to sliding door to hook strap on other arm and pull it out
5: walk around van with each strap, stand in driver door to attach front strap, stand in rear door to attach rear strap

I had my wife time me, and I did not hurry, but did have it all planned out in my head. I was pleasantly surprised how fast it was including getting the ladder out from the gear drawer.

When packing up, it helped to be able to stand out on the sidewalk and reach the arms to align them better, but I think I'll figure out a good method to pull them in from the van.
 

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2021, Promaster 159 HR 2500, Silver
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I was wondering how your ceiling is holding up. I have a similar plan for my ceiling but thought it would need to have about 5 rivnuts across each aluminum strap. Do the thin ply and straps move much when going over bumps? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #385 ·
I was wondering how your ceiling is holding up. I have a similar plan for my ceiling but thought it would need to have about 5 rivnuts across each aluminum strap. Do the thin ply and straps move much when going over bumps? Thanks.
The aluminum isn't super tight on the panels aren't super tight, if I push up on them they can move a bit. But it's fine, and I don't notice the ceiling on bumps. There's much more in here that moves when I go over bumps too fast - like everything in drawers and cabinets. I prefer how they look without the bolts in the middle and would probably do it the same way again. I did put 5 bolts in the very front and 3 in the very back because those are bolted to threaded inserts in wood that is glued to the ceiling and I wanted to distribute load a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #386 ·
Added some minor stuff, and moved into the van.
Kairee got this basket for the side of the upper cabinet:
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Managed to stuff both bikes in:
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Stuck an aluminum rod up with magnets so we can hang a few items to dry:
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Emptied our apartment:
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Drove up to Mendocino, where Kairee had a tattoo appointment. I worked a bit in the van while she got a tattoo for 4 hours. Grabbed some beers and sushi for dinner. Listened to "Mendocino county line" on repeat lol.
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California decided to give us the worst storm of the year the day we move into the van. So inside all day. And today I drove all the way down to SF in the pouring rain, including an hour spent in gridlock at one spot. Staying in a friend's driveway tonight.

Some thoughts:
1) holy crap we still have too much stuff.
2) pee and sink tanks fill up quick but thank God it's easy to dump lol.
3) I need the fridge to open all the way. I might take the latch off just so I can slide the fridge forward so it can open better.
4) the bug screens and mobile antenna arrived just before moving in, and not installed yet. God it's annoying to move them around. This rain has to let up so I can install these and get them out of the way!
5) Solomon the cat is doing ok. Doesn't like driving, but at least he's comfortable in the van because we spent our last week at the apartment bringing him out and sleeping on the street
 

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Discussion Starter · #389 ·
@aaronmcd ; how’s Solomon doing?
He's doing ok. Eating, drinking, using the box, not freaked out too much. Finding more spots to hide. Found him behind the toilet yesterday. He also likes napping in his cat backpack. He hasn't got to go outside yet because we are still in the bay area staying in front of friends' houses. Gonna stay at a campsite tonight in Morro Bay.
Very smart move. How do you handle the cat box issue?
My wife scoops it every morning. No smell. Still working out the human box stuff though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #391 ·
I got tidy cats this time. We usually use arm and hammer. Kairee likes arm and hammer. But I don't think it makes much difference scooped every day
 

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All I had to do was wire the 120V ground to the DC ground. Problem solved. Probably should be grounding the chassis for 120V anyway for safety.
This is from post 335. You might run that by someone. Doesn't that create the "hot skin" hazard? Maybe I'm wrong but didn't want to ignore that possibility.
 

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Discussion Starter · #393 ·
This is from post 335. You might run that by someone. Doesn't that create the "hot skin" hazard? Maybe I'm wrong but didn't want to ignore that possibility.
I think if something shorts to chassis, it would trip fault protection instead of chassis staying hot.
 

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Very nice build.

Depending on your goals, it can make sense to rent a storage unit for some items rather than carrying it all.

A friend of mine who FTs in a 159 Promaster pulls a trailer around behind him. It provides a way to free up some space in the van and he has another 400 watts of solar on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #396 ·
Yeah, I like driving around, backing up, pulling into parking spaces right in front of the store, crashing in relative's driveways, making 7 point turns on narrow forest roads instead of backing up for a mile, etc. We have a 5x5 storage unit in Santa Rosa.
 
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