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Discussion Starter #101
Stayed up til 1:30 last night planning electric box layout and trying to comprehend how to build it. So by the time I got back from the gym and working on the van it was 2:30.

Planned to do both bunk windows, but as it turns out bunk windows are WAY harder than the big sliding door window and I only got one in before dark.

To cut or remove the vertical rib?
I decided I'd try cutting it so it remains underneath to help stiffen up the sheet metal. To make a template or not? I figure a template is harder and less accurate so I stuck with measuring. Carefully measured minimum and maximum desired cut size, as well as the corner radius. I measured out the centers of both sides from the inside, drilled to the outside, then carefully drew up the shape I'd need to cut. I drew it such that I'd have 1/16" tolerance each side of each line.

The cut went smoothly except for cutting through the vertical rib, which caused my jigsaw much distress, but I was successful. Test fit only had to smooth out one corner a bit.

Sanded the edges, and grabbed the rest of the primer from Van Windows Direct. It had completely hardened. So I did some frantic searching, and reading the training manual for Sikaflex P2G. Decided I don't know what to do, but chances that it holds to paint are good. Bought a primer called rustoleum from the hardware store for the raw cuts, but it takes 24 hours to dry so didn't prime where the urethane goes on the paint.

This time I did the "V" shaped bead, which was MUCH MUCH harder to get consistent. It kept getting smaller, I'd slow down and put more pressure, then it got too big, etc. The round bead was many times easier to get an even bead.

When I smacked the window in place, no urethane came out the edges, but it was obviously closer to the bottom (visible) edge in a couple places. When I installed the sliding door window I didn't understand why people on this forum call it nasty. Now I know. I attempted to clean one of the bulges a bit with some goof off. Half an hour, several dozen paper towels, and a lot of goof off later I managed to clean it so it wasn't worse than it was originally. It just smears everywhere.

It's finally in place, and hopefully tomorrow won't take 4 hours and I'll have time to put it the roof fan also.

This $100 telescoping ladder off Amazon is PERFECT!

67892


You can see a bit of black goop, but not TOO bad.
67893


Anyone know what this clip on my rear door is?
67894
 

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Discussion Starter #103 (Edited)
Managed to get the other bunk window and roof fan installed today despite waking up late again, spending some quality time with the wife 😁, and getting a 1.5 hour workout in at the gym.

By now I'm used to people stopping to see what I'm doing every day, but today there were maybe 5 different people who stopped to chat, including my landlord who is quite the character and doesn't understand that a short chat is ok but 20 minutes is a bit long when it's after 5 and I've just started cutting a hole I'm the roof!

Got a better V bead on the passenger bunk window. Made sure to not get too much on the bottom plastic bits cause they tend to squeeze out more urethane when I push the window in place.

For the Maxxair fan, I had decided to put it in the center up front. Good spot cuz it's perfectly flat after cutting out the 14" square. Used some spare 1x2s stacked to frame out the opening for future finishes and screw penetration. Glued urethane as I did for the windows and stuck in the frame. Used a couple c clamps to hold the wood frame in place while I put in the screws. 12 of the 16 screws went in fine with a small pilot hole. 4 screws were stubborn as ****, and even after drilling a larger hole I had to set my driver for drilling to get them in. Didn't want to seal them with the nasty black urethane so I left them bare for now. I'll hopefully buy something easier to seek them. Any ideas?

The unit itself was tough. The wires were on the passenger side (why??) even though the instructions say they are on the driver side. Maneuvering on the roof was difficult being careful to only put weight over the supports. Had to lie down flat and the roof was covered in dirt, but what's a little dirt to mingle with all the metal shavings? The unit holes didn't align with the frame holes, but I discovered I just had to lift the metal clips on the frame a bit to get them to align.

Spent another hour after dark cleaning up, sweeping metal shavings, and putting stuff back in the van. I'm sure I got metal shavings in the ribs and down the floor crack. Any idea how to clean in there? I don't really want to buy a special fancy heavy duty vacuum. Maybe the house vac will work but I'd have to get the inverter and batteries installed to use it.

The sun reflecting off the side was blinding but luckily whoever sold the van to the dealer left a pair of sunglasses! I felt like a storm trooper with all this face protection:
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Another hole opposite yesterday's hole:
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The roof hole was a bit scarier than the wall holes. To those wondering, don't cut from the inside! I cut from below on online advice but it was much harder, and metal shavings all I'm my hair kinda sucked. If I had to do it again I'd do it all from the roof.
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Oh, a fan!
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Fan from the inside:
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Metal shavings from fan install. I put the seats all the way forward and leaned them forward and they seem to have stayed clean!
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Also discovered the majority of time is not installing a thing, it is research, drive to store, search for things, ask questions, read labels, try other stores, etc. I installed the floor the other weekend, took 5 hours or so. But it took the entire previous day to buy stuff. This weekend I wanted to work again. But it again took the whole day to buy stuff and I still need to find more tomorrow.
Don't worry about taking a little time. We got our vans about the same time, and you are SOOOOOOO much farther along than me. You have your floor in, a couple windows, two swivels, the ceiling fan, a bed platform. I have half a roof rack and a grab handle near the slider.
 

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Says the guy who used scaffolding to put his fan in... :)

View attachment 67947
@Sather

Ya I did not really want to go to that bother, but I did not want to put any weight on the roof. IIRC the metal skins are 30 thousands of an inch & the ribs flex & I weigh over 200 lbs. @aaronmcd build “site & situation” is a bit different & I try to understand his situation & think of options I would do in his shoes. It is like I tell my Staff, I have lots of ideas & “the odd one is even good” 😜

Thanks for pointing out the humor in that post 🤣


@aaronmcd

Even though you have “Sidewalk Superintendents” You are killing it dude 👍. I can imagine how hard it is to cut the roof opening from below, but now you are done with that task. I had a few that I dreaded & even worse they were self inflicted by my design.

Conrgats on “gettin er done” !!

Not sure of the metal shaving collection, but would a strong magnet work?
 

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Aaron - sorry for the brief hiijack. I tried vacuuming up metal shavings once with a Shopvac. DON'T DO IT! The shavings are like little springs with sharp edges, and the inside of the hose is not smooth. When one catches, the rest dog pile it and you end up with what looks like a steel wool baffle. Way up inside the hose like a plugged coronary artery. Took hours with a length of 3/4" PVC pipe to clean it all out. Better to just sweep what you can into a dust pan and toss directly into the trash, strong magnet for the rest.

RV8R - all ideas are good ideas. I dented the roof of the Savana putting in her vent. For the PM, I am waiting until the rails are both on, then putting some planks across... poor man's scaffolding, but the idea was born from your post. Thanks!
 

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The roof hole was a bit scarier than the wall holes. To those wondering, don't cut from the inside! I cut from below on online advice but it was much harder, and metal shavings all I'm my hair kinda sucked. If I had to do it again I'd do it all from the roof.

View attachment 67941

Oh, a fan!
View attachment 67943

Fan from the inside:


Metal shavings from fan install. I put the seats all the way forward and leaned them forward and they seem to have stayed clean!
When I saw that you cut the roof hole from the inside, I recoiled in horror.

Thanks for posting your experience and the caution against doing this.

I think that metal shavings in your hair might have been by far the least of the problems. Imagine if even 1 shaving got in your eye (not impossible, even with your stormtrooper double-eye protection). It could happen even after the fact, when you were shaking off the shavings in your hair (possibly with eye protection no longer being worn). It might have required a hospital visit, possibly resulted in permanent eye damage.

Metal shavings are razor sharp. Sawdust is comparatively much tamer.

Metal filings are super sharp too. And I know this from my own stupidity: I used an angle grinder to cut my hole. I would never do that again and would caution others against it too because it creates a ton of sharp filings, some microscopic. Harder to clean up than shavings.

Getting onto the roof didn't harm it. Initially, I used a scrap piece of 1-inch polyiso and some plywood. I didn't get a sense that the roof was denting, though I moved gingerly. It helped that my vent is at the back where there are more ribs under the sheet metal and I weigh less than 160 lbs.
 
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