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Van #2 2021 EXT
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Just my 2 cents worth...

Originally from northern MN, so corrosion is always in the back of my mind. Several cars turned to dust. I keep (for sentimental reasons) a ziplock back containing talus from the frame of an old Chevy I used to own. So I am fond of stainless and do use it often on the exterior of the van, the ladder on the back door, the 1515 rack hardware, etc. Not really concerned with any galvanic corrosion where the threads on both ends of a fastener (nut and bolt) are the same metal, and the connection is made simply by squeezing the metal between them. Screws are another thing altogether, though. The connection requires the material the screw bites into to maintain structural integrity sufficient to hold the edges of the threads against the pull-out force, and we often do not have control over that. Seen a lot of screw failures where the screw itself corroded, or where the anchor material (usually wood) rots and gives up.

My belief is never rely on only glue to hold something together. Glue will eventually fail, so ALWAYS use mechanical fasteners. Glued and screwed subfloors, for example. IMHO thru-bolting will always be better than screws. The stainless screws holding the MaxxAir fan go into hardwood frames, hopefully long enough (2") and sealed sufficiently (DAP and butyl tape) to prevent the addition of moisture beyond what is inherently present in the wood. But it is a possible failure point down the road. In hindsight, it might have been better to put in at least a few thru-bolts, but then one has to weigh in the length of time something will last. Is a bridge that lasts twice as long worth four times as much money to build?

I just replaced my mailbox after the township knocked the old one over while re-blacktopping the road. (4"x6" post). Cannibalizing the old one for parts to use on the new, was surprised at the wide range of corrosion present... the deck screws I had added looked brand-new after 20 years in the environment (road salt, extreme temp cycles, being in treated lumber, etc). Not so good were the painted and plated hardware that came with the original post kit, most were completely corroded, many of which broke off during removal.

Sorry for rambling on. Was on a roll and too hot to go outside and work on the van. :)
They also sell zinc plate

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It can be a bit if a rabbit hole, and as you stated the environment that the fasteners are in really matters;

wet (H2O), salt, chemicals, dis-similar metals, etc
 

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2020 159" high roof, northern IL
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334 Posts
Discussion Starter · #382 · (Edited)
Busy day today. Temperature cooled off a bit from yesterday, but quite windy, so I put a temporary strap on the driver side rear door (photo 1). If the wind blew it fully open, the ladder would hit the side of the van. When I get further along, a permanent one will go on each side.

Took the opportunity to put a small dent in the clutter (photo #2 & 3). I have infinite respect for those who have done conversions while parked on the street... I have a dedicated workshop and I still can't find places to put things. Other than the floor.

Pulled the headliner out from the forehead (photo #4). Access to sound deaden, insulate, and run wires for the video rear view mirror. Camera will go near license plate. (Remember, no rear windows).

And finally installed the board over the rear doors (photo #5). Temporary with #6 pan head sheet metal screws along the bottom. They look randomly placed but, in fact, they are in specific locations to avoid holes in and give the best support from the sheet metal, which isn't symmetrical. The final attachments will add a few along the top, and will be #8 flat head, filled and painted to hide, with a few strategically placed rivnuts for good measure. In hindsight, this would also be a good place to put a few speakers, an outlet, a grab handle, some reading lights, or a small shelf.

Playing catch up, since literally a year behind where I wanted / planned to be. But it does feel rewarding to be able to see progress. The floor and insulation were both huge hurdles, hopefully things are lined up and will fall into place quicker now.

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2014-159 HR in CT
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The license plate plastic surround has a good spot to attach your video camera. The top edge has an overhang that the camera bracket easily attaches to. A small hole in that overhang give you a protected wire entry point. I bought a 6' camera extension cord and ran it through the wire loom from the camera to the corner pillar. By using that, if the wire is damaged from repeated door opening, you haven't damaged the camera wire or the long one that goes to the mirror.
 

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2020 159" high roof, northern IL
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Discussion Starter · #384 · (Edited)
The license plate plastic surround has a good spot to attach your video camera. The top edge has an overhang that the camera bracket easily attaches to. A small hole in that overhang give you a protected wire entry point. I bought a 6' camera extension cord and ran it through the wire loom from the camera to the corner pillar. By using that, if the wire is damaged from repeated door opening, you haven't damaged the camera wire or the long one that goes to the mirror.
Thanks... good tips all the way around.

(1) that seems like a really good spot to put the camera. I prefer looking level at obstacles - I literally hate the high mount view from the factory camera. The perspective is weird, making my 16' wide garage doors look narrow when in fact I have tons of clearance through them. And it has both cover from getting bumped AND protected cable entry. (y) The only downside for me is my ladder is on that door, it appears in frame no matter where on the license plate surround I place the camera. :(

(2) The factory cable seemed pretty long, but I have to plan my route carefully to not come up short. Didn't even think about an extension, but that will make installation easier in addition to being more easily replaceable. Just placed the order. :)
 

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2020 159" high roof, northern IL
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Discussion Starter · #385 · (Edited)
Installed the camera where @proeddie recommended, and as near the centerline as possible, since that is where the mirror is AND to minimize the ladder's photo-bombing. Wires run through the bezel and sealed, into the interior, sharing hole with inboard license plate light and attached to their wires to run through the sprung loom into the D pillar (once the extension arrives). Temporarily hooked up to mirror to check alignment... forgot there was also a front camera (which still has protective film on it, so the color is off), image on screen is divided between the two. Have yet to run the "trip" wire to fool it into thinking I am in reverse, to allow the rear camera to display on the whole screen. Ladder is barely visible on the correct (port) side of the image. Super happy with the installation and the perspective, which really makes the monitor look like a real rear view mirror. Without just showing me the inside of the back doors. Hopefully its recordings will never be on one of those highway crash compilation videos.

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2017 136” HR
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On my camera I only have to swipe left to have the rear view on the full screen. Have you tried that?
 
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2020 159" high roof, northern IL
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Discussion Starter · #387 ·
On my camera I only have to swipe left to have the rear view on the full screen. Have you tried that?
Nope, but I will now. In full disclosure, I couldn't find the manual this morning, so kind of flying blind. Thanks for the help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #388 · (Edited)
Yes, that worked! I will still eventually wire the trigger to a switch, just to avoid leaving a bunch of fingerprints on the screen. But nice knowing how it works. Thank you!!!
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Glad I could help.
Just out of curiosity- why would you touch the screen regularly? I never touch it, just have it set to rear view and that’s it. I don’t even know what you mean with the trigger 😳.
My mirror is mounted on the dash and I had a lot of glare. I bought a laptop/tablet anti-glare film, cut it to size and adhered it to the mirror. No more glare or finger prints.
 

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Discussion Starter · #390 · (Edited)
Glad I could help.
Just out of curiosity- why would you touch the screen regularly? I never touch it, just have it set to rear view and that’s it. I don’t even know what you mean with the trigger 😳.
My mirror is mounted on the dash and I had a lot of glare. I bought a laptop/tablet anti-glare film, cut it to size and adhered it to the mirror. No more glare or finger prints.
I just assumed when it initializes (each time I start the van) it would default to the split screen, and I want it mostly in full rear view mode as if it was a real mirror. If it remembers its last setting, I wouldn't need to touch it but occasionally.

I haven't noticed any glare at all in the few hours of sunny day it has been hooked up. Pretty well shaded near the top of the tinted windshield, and no rear windows probably a big help, too.

There is a red wire coming out of the aft end of the main harness, IIRC it goes to the backup lights so the unit can sense when you go into reverse. Might be wrong, since I haven't seen the manual for a few months. But my intention is to hook that to a switch so I can control it from a panel on the dash. I do the same thing with the floodlights on the rack... three position switch ON - AUTO - OFF. Auto comes on when in reverse (for convenience), On is on (when needed), Off is off (some places you can't use floodlights).
 

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Discussion Starter · #391 · (Edited)
Minor work today fitting panels. Using 1/2" Baltic Birch for these, as needed for strength in the assemblies that it will carry. I had assumed this side wall panel could sit flat on the floor along its whole length. But to fit correctly and be truly vertical, the bottom edge of the front end needed to be moved outboard slightly, against those raised doghouse shaped things, which are radiused along the floor, which in turn required me to trim 1/2" off that part of the panel. Easy to do, with a straight edge clamped to the panel as a guide. Now it sits properly against all the intended attachment points, including around the perimeter of the wheel well itself. While it was off, I also drilled a hole for the 4" grill cover on the rear part, that will allow overpressure (from closing doors) to exit via the factory vents in that area. Still have to add the bed frame assembly to the top edge, and mark/drill holes for the bolts that go into rivnuts along the horizontal beam in the van.
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Minor work today fitting panels. Using 1/2" Baltic Birch for these, as needed for strength in the assemblies that it will carry. I had assumed this side wall panel could sit flat on the floor along its whole length. But to fit correctly and be truly vertical, the bottom edge of the front end needed to be moved outboard slightly, against those raised doghouse shaped things, which are radiused along the floor, which in turn required me to trim 1/2" off that part of the panel. Easy to do, with a straight edge clamped to the panel as a guide. Now it sits properly against all the intended attachment points, including around the perimeter of the wheel well itself. While it was off, I also drilled a hole for the 4" grill cover on the rear part, that will allow overpressure (from closing doors) to exit via the factory vents in that area. Still have to add the bed frame assembly to the top edge, and mark/drill holes for the bolts that go into rivnuts along the horizontal beam in the van.
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Nice Work @Sather !!

The minutia of detail - knowing you have to trim off in front of the wheel well is probably always a discovery DIY on the first PM for all of us.

On the 2nd one I cheated & purchased factory wall panels (upper & lower). I kept the lowers and did keep the uppers. Most of the lowers are covered up by the bed of cabinets. There is a small section that shows.

Anyway ,,, Nice work in those wall panels !!
 

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Discussion Starter · #393 ·
... knowing you have to trim off in front of the wheel well is probably always a discovery DIY on the first PM for all of us.
Gives you a bit of an advantage in speed-building. Second time around is much easier, eh? :)
 

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MM beat me to the swipe suggestion... it should stay with the view you set it at between power on/offs.

I have noticed that 1) I like the view better than the factory camera, but 2) the factory camera is a lot better when backing up against a wall/fence/other car. Working on a plan B to get it hooked back up because I lost the factory backup camera when I changed to a different radio.
 

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Gives you a bit of an advantage in speed-building. Second time around is much easier, eh? :)
Defiantly !! eh 😁

2nd time around (or speed-building), is much easier with some experience “on type”.

I do not think any of us DIYers build from a completed design, but more like a general idea of design that happens along the way with the build process. My 2nd was way way faster & easier than the 1st (a little RV experience & had an idea of design). I’m thinking with as many builds as KOV has then one could build them in their sleep 😁.

I think we get better @ building vans parabolically that tends to flatten out with multiple builds. Then I think it is just a factor of keeping up with the newest & greatest appliances, equipment, materials, etc.
 

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Ed I just added a new bu camera beside the old one and it’s far better!
That's probably the best solution... though it might be easier to get the right wires at the dash, but in the long run, a second camera is probably more do-able quickly.

Your view looks good!!! Did you mount it IN the black box or _ ? I looked at mounting a camera under the black box, but it would interfere with the door...
 

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Discussion Starter · #398 ·
... I lost the factory backup camera when I changed to a different radio.
One of my biggest concerns is I don't understand how things interact within the system well enough to by-pass / replace stuff. i.e. what are the unintended consequences of eliminating a circuit I don't think I need if it all ties together at some monitoring chip. Will it give me nuisance warnings, or cause me to lose remote door control, or the security alarm. So I end up keeping the original radio but adding a separate sound system, and keeping the factory cargo area lights. But it does give some redundancy, two different aft views while backing up will be a benefit. And all my added wiring is from the house batteries, which avoids unintentionally draining the starter battery in the boondocks. The goal is for the van electrical system to not know the house electrical system exists. Well, except I still have plans to use the AUX 1 and AUX 2 switches, and have a BTB charger.
 

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One of my biggest concerns is I don't understand how things interact within the system well enough to by-pass / replace stuff. i.e. what are the unintended consequences of eliminating a circuit I don't think I need if it all ties together at some monitoring chip. Will it give me nuisance warnings, or cause me to lose remote door control, or the security alarm. So I end up keeping the original radio but adding a separate sound system, and keeping the factory cargo area lights. But it does give some redundancy, two different aft views while backing up will be a benefit. And all my added wiring is from the house batteries, which avoids unintentionally draining the starter battery in the boondocks. The goal is for the van electrical system to not know the house electrical system exists. Well, except I still have plans to use the AUX 1 and AUX 2 switches, and have a BTB charger.
No codes thrown when removing cargo light fixtures or the factory LED light bars. I don't know about the stock radio system. Would not matter, wife sings to me which I don't believe even the most expensive audio system could overcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #400 ·
Defiantly !! eh 😁

2nd time around (or speed-building), is much easier with some experience “on type”.

...
Obtuse me just got your subtle aviation reference. I was hoping that experience in Category and Class with some differences training would be sufficient. But as Boeing learned the hard way with the Max, when you change a lot of stuff, (previously identified issues with control locations. i.e. shifter, windshield wipers, seat swivel and recline), it is easy to befuddle the driver.

But Defiantly? or Definitely. I assume the AI spelling checker / word replacing tool must be hard at work here. I wish there was a way to turn it off... it doesn't like "rivnut", always turning it to rivet. One would think in a technical writing venue, the robot would either know or be able to learn words specific to the topic.

P.S. Happy National Parent's Day to all (fourth Sunday in July). In case you, like me, did not get a card in the mail...

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