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That was a classic van and those “West Coast” mirrors defined and age. It must have been almost new because I don’t see a spot of rust!
 

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Discussion Starter #223
Well, my ‘14 PM is parked right beside my ‘20 waiting for Spring to spring so I can clean it up and market it. I "remodeled" it once already several years ago but in all honesty it was more because I needed a "project" rather than the van needed remodeling. My ‘20 PM is probably my 10th or more van I’ve "converted" for camping since the mid 60’s and every conversion has been totally different yet similar. My needs change and my van conversion changes every time to for fill those needs.
My first camper van was a ‘66 Chevy passenger (window) van. It was pretty crude by today’s standards but it took me throughout Mexico and the West coast fro sever winters in what I felt was safety and comfort. It had no insulation but did come with a full interior, an ice box designed for a travel trailer, a bowl to wash up in, no toilet, no heat other than from running the engine, no house batteries or anything to run off them if it did have them , my mother made curtains up for me and a small 1# propane single burner stove for cooking. All in all, I was a happy camper and today I’m even happier. My ‘20 PM will be my last, sad to say but it will fill my needs the most at the same time.

Here’s a photo of it on a ferry in Mexico (going to Cozumel I believe) in the good old days.
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That is Cool KOV?

10 Camper Van Conversions since the 60’s WOW - Well Done. You have seen some technology changes thru those decades, and camping road trip experiences.

I understand the “need a project to do” bug. My wife knows I suffer from that, and used that angle for us to obtain a RV to commence on this camper van trip activity. If I had known what you obviously knew years ago we would have been into RVing a couple of decades ago (Im not complaining, as we fill all the corners of our lived, but we would have started sooner).

So best of luck on your sale of the PM when you get it on the market. With this seemingly Vanlife phenomenon I would think the demand for it will be there.
 

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Discussion Starter #226
ROOF FAN - ROAD NOISE

So our roof fan is located just behind the PM seats where the high part of the roof will allow the 14" X 14" standard cut out between ribs and water will not pool. We have a Maxxair roof fan and do not like the highway noise we get from this ceiling opening.

So we cut a piece of foam & Our Daughter was nice enough to sew the fabric I picked out with tabs c/w magnets sewn into the tabs (other magnets are taped in place at the corresponding locations at the on top of the ceiling trim ring (A Big THANK YOU to MsNomer for the magnet idea - Worked Great with very strong magnets). Fabric $14 & eight magnets cost $15;

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Discussion Starter #228
The Battery Monitor


We have about 16 months use / experience with our battery monitor, the Victron BMV 712 Smart. This BM connects with a Victron easy to use App to our iPad

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On the road, we charge primarily from the PM alternator;

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The Victron BM lets us know what is going on & the history. The following is a screenshot of our history over the last 16 months or so. We have a 250ahr AGM bank & from this history page our deepest discharge has been 95Ah. Last night we had a discharge of 21Ah. Last full charge was 16hrs ago. Total energy into the bank is 30.2 kWH. & so on.

There are 3 major pages of this App; Status, History, & Trends.

Now, full disclosure as you may guess Inam a bit of a gadget guy, but this Victron equipment is very useful for me & I would not be without it. Like Apple products (which I have slowly converted to since iTouch came out), this BM, the App, & Bluetooth interface just works. & Works Well

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Thanks RV8R. Based on your prior reviews, I got the BM-712 and should have it installed this month. I appreciate the time you take to post these things.
 

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Discussion Starter #230
Thanks RV8R. Based on your prior reviews, I got the BM-712 and should have it installed this month. I appreciate the time you take to post these things.
You are very welcome

IIRC, Not all BM-712 are the “Smart” or Bluetooth capable. If you want to “dial in” with your smart device (phone etc) it has to be the “BM-712 Smart”

That goes for Victron’s solar chargers also “Smart” versions
 

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A Short Queen was the perfect size for my bed build - no need for cutting. And now our van mattress is much more comfortable than our old Ikea mattress in the house...all the more reasons to take trips. (We went with the Lucid 10" gel memory foam mattress sold on Amazon)
Hi - I like your bed! Sooo I am a bit worried about cutting the foam bed - We are going to do a similar platform for the bed - It sound like your short queen fits fine up to the last corner angle so that there is a bit of a gap to the door - this is fine for us if we do not have to cut the mattress - thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #232
Hi - I like your bed! Sooo I am a bit worried about cutting the foam bed - We are going to do a similar platform for the bed - It sound like your short queen fits fine up to the last corner angle so that there is a bit of a gap to the door - this is fine for us if we do not have to cut the mattress - thanks!
Hi Mick99

So we purchased a queen (60”x80”) all foam & memory foam 8” high. Then we cut 6” off the foot of the mattress to fit in the 74” length. Spa Sensation 8” from Wallmart.

No bid deal cutting off the 6” off the foot of the foam mattress.

The bed goes right to the back corners & there is a small gap to the back doors.

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The Battery Monitor


We have about 16 months use / experience with our battery monitor, the Victron BMV 712 Smart. This BM connects with a Victron easy to use App to our iPad

Now, full disclosure as you may guess Inam a bit of a gadget guy, but this Victron equipment is very useful for me & I would not be without it. Like Apple products (which I have slowly converted to since iTouch came out), this BM, the App, & Bluetooth interface just works. & Works Well
This will sound like a dumb question coming from a guy that does van electrical for a living.

In my own van, I just have a volt meter and since the loads are relatively well balanced with the power input, I honestly rarely look at the meter.

Customers on the other hand want the high zoot battery monitors.

Yes - I do what customers want - but - honestly most of them would be better off spending their money on an extra panel or extra battery vs watching the monitor (IMHO).

Other than boredom relief, what are you really gaining? Do you really decide what to cook for breakfast based on the meter? I sure as heck don't.

I will admit - it is a lot easier for me to tell what is going on in a 48 volt system than a 12 volt system due to the larger voltage swing.

Nice van BTW.

Harry
 

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Discussion Starter #235
This will sound like a dumb question coming from a guy that does van electrical for a living.

In my own van, I just have a volt meter and since the loads are relatively well balanced with the power input, I honestly rarely look at the meter.

Customers on the other hand want the high zoot battery monitors.

Yes - I do what customers want - but - honestly most of them would be better off spending their money on an extra panel or extra battery vs watching the monitor (IMHO).

Other than boredom relief, what are you really gaining? Do you really decide what to cook for breakfast based on the meter? I sure as heck don't.

I will admit - it is a lot easier for me to tell what is going on in a 48 volt system than a 12 volt system due to the larger voltage swing.

Nice van BTW.

Harry
Hi Harry, That is a great question, & I will attempt to answer it.

1) Diagnostics; Last year when in LA, I cooked a fuse that I sized for “one way” 🙄. I sat in my van & played with breakers & switches & was able to diagnose the problem & why it happened. The battery monitor was a big part of the diagnostics.

2) Electrical Load Surveys; I want to know how much juice my 12v things are consuming when they are running.

3) Battery Health; The majority of my charging my 250hr agm Rolls house bank is from the PM alternator. I do not have solar (I may never need solar & I am trying to keep my roof as factory slippery as I can for fuel economy). I manually switch on my charging system to recharge my batteries & when they are 100% I turn the system off.

I guess I like to know what is going on with my 12v system & no not to decide if I can cook eggs or wait.

I can understand some people do not “get” the reasons why I would incorporate such an instrument into my van. The easiest way I think I could explain it to you Harry would be a question - When you build your van electrical systems do you use your “multimeter” & if so why?
 

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Actually, MrNomer has been known to make the breakfast decision based on the meter—water boiler vs pan on the butane stove outside.

The main uses, though, are making sure the AGM batteries get their full 100% charge per Trojan specs and determining whether there is enough surplus solar for Instapot, Sous Vide, etc., without driving. When boondocked for days without any charging, the meter helps us moderate our usage.
 

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I was flying blind on the 1st trip. If I wanted to see what state the batteries were in, I would have to unscrew the cabinet face.
It would have been nice to see their state by simply looking at a little remote digital readout.
Just like I wonder how my tires are doing. Sure, I could get out once in awhile and stick the gauge on (which I have to do), but I wouldn't be opposed to a little digital display on the dash that tells me what my pressures are.
Isn't it the exact same thing?
 

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Discussion Starter #238
I was flying blind on the 1st trip. If I wanted to see what state the batteries were in, I would have to unscrew the cabinet face.
It would have been nice to see their state by simply looking at a little remote digital readout.
Just like I wonder how my tires are doing. Sure, I could get out once in awhile and stick the gauge on (which I have to do), bit I wouldn't be opposed to a little digital display on the dash that tells me what my pressures are.
Isn't it the exact same thing?
Thanks RnR

I thing it was @RobPromaster who wrote “ Your Van, Your Time, Your Dime” & that struck a cord in me & it is what I am attracted to & I thought to myself after reading that “Right On”.

I prefer constructive criticism over praise. I have learned more from my failures in life than my successes. One of the biggest things I love about life is learning (& on the flip side teaching someone is very rewarding for me). I’m also attracted to science, philosophy, & psychology. This forum provides me with all of the foregoing in one form or another.

Thankfully I made many mistakes building my van (If I didn’t I guess I would not have learned anything), however buying & installing the BM-712 Smart was not one of them. Recently I purchased a Victron 100/50 Smart Solar Charger for my cabin. I will get that up and running, then I will decide if it has enough monitoring capabilities for me & if it does then I will leave it at that, but if it does not I will buy and install the BM-712 Smart for my cabin as well

This technology is wonderful in my mind & I love the interface bluetooth to my iPhone or iPads.
 

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Other than boredom relief, what are you really gaining?
Harry, for me, I think it's more about my lack of 12vdc knowledge than anything else. In the future, I may become an expert and may not need a monitor. Maybe I'll wake up and be able to gauge my batteries by smelling the air. For now, a simple remote readout to give me a basic idea of what's going on with the batteries would make me feel a lot better. Right now, I have nothing telling me what the SOC is, or what's going on while driving, with the DC-DC charger, etc. I have to just assume everything is ok. I don't like that feeling. So, I need something to let me know everything is running smoothly, so I feel better. Really not much different than every other system, like the vehicle's temp gauge, speedometer, oil pressure, tire pressure, etc.
I want something simple. But yes, there are folks that have very elaborate systems and very complicated and involved monitoring systems.
Some people just like to geek out on that stuff and it's fun for them. Good enough answer for me.
The only time I find it annoying is when you have the types that just have to have the "best" of everything and every gadget available for no real reason other than a feeling of being better than everyone. But those folks are far and few between and that usually goes away as they grow up.
 

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I want something simple. But yes, there are folks that have very elaborate systems and very complicated and involved monitoring systems.
Some people just like to geek out on that stuff and it's fun for them. Good enough answer for me.
The only time I find it annoying is when you have the types that just have to have the "best" of everything and every gadget available for no real reason other than a feeling of being better than everyone. But those folks are far and few between and that usually goes away as they grow up.
Simple is good.
 
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