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Discussion Starter #161
Christmas camping was fun.

Spent Christmas Eve on a Christmas tree farm for an early drive over the Sierras.
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Drove over to the Mammoth Lakes area to visit Wild Willy's Hot springs and camp in the parking lot.
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I woke in the wee hours as I often do, and noticed the Propex was running a few minutes, shutting off, and immediately starting again repeatedly. Then it just stopped and didn't turn on. After 20 minutes of worry I got up and saw a red light flashing. Pulled up a PDF of the thermostat manual on my phone and 4 flashes supposedly means a problem with combustion or exhaust air. Bundled up and went outside, happy to see the snow wasn't sticking and it was over 20 degrees. Crawled under the van, couldn't figure out anything wrong. Pulled on the combustion air line a bit so it wasn't angling so dramatically from the propex but didn't do anything else. To reset the heater I needed a paper clip like object. Screws don't work. Stranded wire doesn't work. My smallest Allen wrench and drill bit both too big. My wife sacrificed her ear ring, bent it straight,I clipped it with some wire cutters and reset the heater. It ran well the rest of the night and kept us toasty.

On the way home we stopped by Travertine hot springs. There was some ice on the dirt road hill and we got stuck so we got to use the snow chains we just bought. They were pretty easy to put on. We were the only vehicle there that needed chains to get up the hill.
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Working on the ceiling now.
 

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Premium Member
2018 159 High Roof gas, BC, Canada
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I should carry such a set of chains. I wonder if they would work when bogged down in sand or mud too. Haven't ever used chains. How was it getting them on? Could you see them getting them on easily if bogged deep in snow/mud/sand?
 

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Discussion Starter #164
I should carry such a set of chains. I wonder if they would work when bogged down in sand or mud too. Haven't ever used chains. How was it getting them on? Could you see them getting them on easily if bogged deep in snow/mud/sand?
It was my first time ever putting on, or even seeing snow chains, so I'm not the best one to ask lol. The ones we got attach at top and bottom so you don't have to roll forward to put them on, but it's a tight enough fit that they may not go on (without digging out around the tire) if bogged down too deep. They were really easy to put on where we did it.
 

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2018 159" HR, Colorado
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I have chains and a set of autosocks in my 159." At first glance the autosocks seem like a joke but they work. I got stuck in the snow last weekend on an uphill slope. Slapped the autosocks on in just a few minutes and off I went. I was pleasantly surprised how well they worked and how easy they were to install. I'll write a review on a new thread.

 

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Discussion Starter #166 (Edited)
Woohoo! Finally got something finished on the van worth posting photos of. Got the ceiling put up today, after a whole lot of prep, measuring, thinking, planning, cutting, gluing, screwing, drilling, priming, painting, cleaning and polishing aluminum, etc.
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I cut the rear aluminum around the existing light rather than relocate the light.
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5 panels made from 5mm plywood, with primer on both sides and 2 thin coats of paint on one side. Used a 1/4" nap roller for the finish coat, which turns out so much better than the 3/8" nap rollers. Had to let the latex paint dry a few days to make sure I wouldn't smear it on the install.
Put the roller pan in a bag and reuse it indefinitely:
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Panels are clamped in place with 6 strips of 1/8" x 2" aluminum plate, cleaned, sanded, and polished. The sanding and polishing didn't come out perfect but it's much better than off the shelf.

The aluminum is held in place by 1/4" bolts into rivet nuts set into the main roof ribs. At the front and back there were no ribs, so I glued 2x2 wood and set threaded inserts to hold the bolts. I put 1/2" foam between the panels and metal ribs, and 1/2" plywood at the ends for a solid bearing surface.

Below, fitting the front aluminum trim to the glued wood. Used additional bolts on the front piece:
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This is one of the typical trim pieces. I only used 2 bolts, one at each end, so the plywood spacer is here to provide a solid surface to tighten bolts against and keep the aluminum arched a bit:
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The 1/4" bolts will at some point be replaced with longer bolts to fasten a 2x3 to the ceiling for upper cabinet support.

Glued additional 1x2 around the fan to screw the trim to, left a gap for wires:
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Getting better at drilling metal. VERY slow drill speed and a lot of pressure is the way to go. Got this one drilled out in one piece of tinsel!
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Discussion Starter #168
Hiya, how did you set up your urine container. I’ve got the same seat but haven’t yet figured out the urine container yet. Thx!
Haven't even received the urine containers yet, just cleared customs a couple days ago. Hope to work on the toilet in a couple weeks.

Plan to build a box with 5 gallon bucket and 10L urine container, don't know how I plan to secure and seal the urine container or quick removal/swap yet.
 

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2021 Ram Promaster 159" EXT
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There is no such thing as semi-stealth! Your van either looks like a work van or an RV. People who care about who/what you’re doing aren’t easily fooled.
EXACTLY!! ANY solar, ANY special windows, any venting in the roof, any window coverings and you are no stealthy any longer. They know what's up.
 

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Are you worried about oxidation of your aluminum strips? I’m wondering if you should treat them with a clear coat. Thoughts? The color and aluminum contrast looks awesome, btw. Nice!
 

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Discussion Starter #171
Are you worried about oxidation of your aluminum strips? I’m wondering if you should treat them with a clear coat. Thoughts? The color and aluminum contrast looks awesome, btw. Nice!
I don't know how aluminum looks when oxidised or how susceptible it is to any discoloration. I guess I'll have to see how it holds up. I figure if I need to I can always re-finish it and coat it later if it doesn't hold up well.
 

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2018 136 HR Ont.
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507 Posts
Look at an aluminum screen door, the dull finish is the result of oxidization.
 

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Depending on the grade, aluminium is somewhere between corrosion resistant to nearly impervious. It's sheen can be returned with some vinegar and light scrubbing. Most often, it would be dust and grease build up that you'd also have to clean off a clear coat. The oxidation won't damage it and actually provides additional corrosion resistance. Noticable discoloration of an exterior door is much more likely to be due to years of dust, salt, and debris windblasting it. You shouldn't have a problem with it as trim in a mostly enclosed space. If you feel you need to clean it too often, you still have the option of coating it.
 

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2018 136 HR Ont.
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507 Posts
Noticable discoloration of an exterior door is much more likely to be due to years of dust, salt, and debris windblasting it.
Anything outside is exposed to those element but most materials don't take on the dull grey look that we know is a result of aluminum oxidization. Nothing on the outside of my house or car looks like oxidized aluminum except aluminum. Look at the inside top of the screen door, it is almost the same color as the outside.

I was simply replying to
I don't know how aluminum looks when oxidised
 

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I see. This is a decent comparison (a little extreme really since it's a sales pitch image for some wax you almost certainly don't need), but should just wipe down. A thin layer of oxide grows quickly and protects bare aluminum. Anything discoloring beyond this foggy/chalky look is from other sources. Any pitting is almost certainly from physical damage rather than degradation. It doesn't rust or corrode. The oxidation is not noticable for some time in my experience while it builds and a light wipe down keeps it shiny. It's left bare on a lot of products.
 

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I have not yet “polished” my aluminum ceiling pinch bars.

No real change to them for oxidation in 2 years. They are inside & depending upon your climate you might not need to clear coat them or buff them up.

in @Somebodyelse example above, it really depends upon the exposure and alloy of the aluminum you have used. Dissimilar metal electrolysis, etc
 

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Discussion Starter #177
Soliciting opinions.

I am close to getting the last of my wall panels in and spending a lot of time planning my lower driver side cabinet. The main thing it will house is a sliding fridge. I am thinking I can fit a slide out trash can on one end and a drawer above.

I am trying to fit 2 workstations. Mine will be the driver seat, with a pull out or swivel out desk of some sort, hopefully to double as a dining table.

My wife's desk is the current issue. We plan for her seat to be over the toilet, and my plan so far has been a pull out desk from the elevated bed platform (cyan in the image below). The issue is getting in and out of the "chair" while computer is on the desk. I cannot figure out how to make room, and sliding a desk with laptop and second monitor in and out to get up would be difficult, though it may be necessary. I'm open to considering any other way to get a desk here that is easy to move out of the way to get up. I can't figure out a way to open up the circled corner since this is where the fridge sits. Is there such a thing as double-sliding desk? That could push away and pull back while extended, yet also slide away under the bed?

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You could nest perpendicular slides, or slides and a pivot. Both options add bulk, but maybe not substantial depending on material. Enough reinforcement with multiple moving pieces is probably the largest hurdle. Perhaps having it store under the bed, but be removed and attached to a rail it could then slide on would be less complex. Further, a design change, would having the desk come out over the toilet and a non-fixed seat in the middle fit the scheme? Possibly less available foot space depthwise but an available footrest.
 

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Have you considered a Lagun Table or a DIY version? They rotate/swivel in multiple directions, are height adjustable and can be easily removed and stored when not needed.

I like @tgblake suggestion here.

@aaronmcd you have put a lot of thought & labour into your built and have completed much of it in a relatively short time. Design is a major major part of the DIY build. If we DIY could pick a design & acquire “working drawings” then all that would be left would be ordering the materials or equipment & labour.

For me; When I went thru my 1st DIY design/build, sometimes not thinking outside of the box or holding onto a design idea “rigidly” helped me decide (the wrong thing). The “killing” of choice is when we decide.

Why am I posting this for you? There is a ton of psychology involved in a DIY design/build project. From the design side of it, you may be at a point where you still have choice & may give up “the slide out” for the Lagun.

If I had a need, I would consider the Lagun.
 
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