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No. The house electrical is completely separate from the chassis electrical. Not even using the body for ground.


So far the solar has been more than enough to charge things back up. Even when I ran the a/c into the night, I could still start it the next morning on low and by mid-morning I would be getting more charge than the a/c was drawing, and still get back to a high charge on the batteries. Also, being lithium, I don't have to be concerned about getting back to 100% all the time.


Now, if I were to charge the system from the van, I would probably again follow the design idea from Dave Orton. Connect a small (300 watt?) inverter to the van battery, run the output from that to the input of my house inverter/charger, and then be charging the lithium batteries with the correct charge profile instead of just giving them whatever voltage/amperage the van wanted to produce.
Thanks a bunch Zyzzyx!

Our builds are similar in a lot of ways, I have same van but gas, lithium but 9Kw, 600w solar, 12v roof top AC 1100 BTU, aluminum profile build, OH and three fur Kids;)

Got the bigger battery to run the AC, induction stove, and in-floor radiant heat. I think I will need to charge from alternator in addition to solar to compensate for bigger loads. My electrician suggested installing a Sterling battery to battery charger to control voltage and protect starter battery.

Thanks again Zyzzyx and keep up the excellent work!

Cheers,

Dave
 

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The First Modifications

...Now it was time to close it up. Deciding to put the vent at the rear of the van, I didn't have a nice smooth surface for the flange to mount and seal. And this was before Hein had his PM roof adapter available. So... I made my own. I happened to have some scrap ABS plastic from previous projects, and it worked out to be just the right thickness after putting the butyl tape top and bottom. Chamfer the sides to match the roof ridges and it worked great.






With those in place, it was time to mount the flange and seal it all up. I just screwed the mounting flange straight to the roof metal, no wood frame or anything underneath. Having the roof well supported right on both sides, its is quite solid and stable. That, and I didn't think of it at the time. Dicor sealant was used to seal the Maxxfan flange around the edges and over the tops of the mounting screws. That stuff... it sticks to anything. Thankfully I really took my time and ended up with a nice clean bead of Dicor around everything.
Zyxyzzyxyyx,

I decided a while back that I wanted to put a sunroof in my roof at the back of the van, to act as both a skylight and vent to get airflow from front to back. It's too bad that Fiat didn't put a raised section in the back too.. seems like a logical place to get air to flow the full length of the van! In my case, my carport precludes the addition of a vent, but a sunroof is virtually flat on the roof.

Back in April, I contacted Hein about getting a 15x30 adapter to compensate for the grooves in the roof. After a number of emails back and forth, he seems less than motivated to make the adapter.

It may be that your groove fillers will work for me too. Wondering if you remember the thickness of the fillers? A sunroof has a flange that's not as wide as the one on a roof vent, but I think it might work. Do you remember any of the dimensions for the fillers you made, by chance?

I'm thinking about making my filler as a strip for front and back and then just a thin filler for each side piece of the sunroof. With ABS, I'm wondering if I can cut the angles with a router, then hog out the rest with my radial arm saw, like this...



Any thoughts?

Ed
 

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If you know anybody that has a 3D printer, you may be able to get some printed that would be an exact fit. Just thinking outside the groove!:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Found a few 'new' pictures of when I was installing the plywood floor, so I updated the flooring post.
http://bobthevan.blogspot.com/2016/05/starting-interior-small-steps.html

An excerpt of the update:







Don't remember how I figured the fore/aft position for the piece at the wheelwells, but it was the first one to get cut and set in place.


That's me,being a doofus with the leaf blower. Though it has turned out to be a wonderful tool during the build, works great to keep things clear of dust and debris.



One plywood floor, ready to go.


Gotta make sure things get back in the right place. A few directional marks took care of that.




Its going to look like this for quite awhile. You can see that I had been working on the insulation as well.


Next up was going to be the closed-cell foam (aka minicell) underneath the plywood. The plan was to fill the ribs with foam thicker than the spacing and have the plywood float on that. Ended up that it squished down so the plywood was resting on the metal floor. Not wanting squeaks, and being up for any extra bit of insulation, I put down a full layer of minicell on top of it all, and then the plywood.








Its hot. I'm tired.


Yeah, this is comfy enough. (not really)


Foam and insulation.


Sealed with a few coats of polyurethane. It probably won't help if its saturated in water, but shouldn't be bothered by the occasional spill that might (will!) make it past the top flooring layers.
 

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No one has ever asked me the meaning of my screen name. I feel so left out.;)
RD
No one ever asked us, either . . . .

With that done... now it was time to drill holes in the van. One of the first big purchases for BoB was some steps . . . I had watched much of the discussion on the forum about steps and running boards. I couldn't bring myself to the running boards, just don't like the overall look of them. But the Carr hoop steps will look just fine to me.



First up was the steps. We could get in and out OK, but a slightly lower first step would not be turned down. And thus the first holes drilled in BoB. At least they were out of sight.


In later photos we see the passenger (and maybe driver) step "hoops" installed, but don't see the passenger slider hoop. Did you ever install? And how do you like these as a solution to the step/running board problem?

And, RD, have you ever received a post response 2 years after the original post? We've been digging deep into forum history.
 

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Zyzzyx,
I wonder if filling the ribs will ever keep condensation from evaporating under the floor. Having added the minicell over the whole floor was probably a good idea as it might stop any from forming. I have had terrible luck with car floors over the years in cold climates where condensation forms and can’t escape. In Florida you may not have that issue. I left the ribs empty and advocate fot that partly to let air get there. As MsNomer thinks there are two ways to deal with condensation- prevent it or accommodate for it.
Winston,
Wonders never cease. No never that long, you must be sincerely bored this fall. I am sure everyone knows you used to smoke Marlboros so you got that nick-name.
and.......
I added the same hoop step and decided there was no way to get it high enough and out enough to be perfect. Perhaps that is why it is missing?? I did a simple modification with my hack saw, mounted the origional brackets to the pinch clamp and redrilled the mounting holes. Now it is higher, further out and will fold up if I drag it. Wowsa few mods are so useful, see:
http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=267017&postcount=83
and:
http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=267177&postcount=86
 

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I'm going to stop reading these write-ups, every time I do I see a different way to, and a different thing i need to do...dammit :)
 

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DCGH
Once someone has done something we mostly try to comment without being critical. It’s a tough call because to say nothing means others may do something they read about without thinking it through and sometimes that has proven to be less than optimum or even wrong or dangerous. What Zyzzyx did wasn't wrong in any sense but others may be building a van to use in a climate that is conducive to condensation and end up creating an issue where one shouldn’t be created. In his case he began filling the ribs and had he not added the layer of minicell I am sure that floor would condense vapor into liquid water and be trapped under his plywood. With a comment I hope to have others avoid that issue by suggesting the ribs are a good way to let condensate evaporate back into the van and use a layer of rigid insulation like polyisocyanurate, or for the floor, expanded polystyrene which doesn't compress into the channels, doesn’t prevent evaporation and insulates to help reduce the condensation in the first place. All this has been covered in numerous threads but apparently it needs constant mention.
Zyzzyx sorry for the hijack.
 

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Sometimes it simply impossible to help people see beyond their own pre-conceived ideas RD. We see it time and time again and yet when we point it out to people they take it as a personal insult and simply ignore suggestions from people who have been there and done that.

That’s life and unfortunately all we can do is point things out.
 

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Here's a picture or two of the Carr hoop install on my van.



I like the fact that they don't stick out past the tires, and are just about 1/2 way between the ground and the floor bottom.



Literally a "pain in the neck" to install with lots of laying on the ground! Took a lot of under, adjust, test, adjust trips. Notice the small shim I needed on the front unit. Slider install was positioned the same way, and all match nicely.

When you are backing out to step down, you can't see the step. I added a strip of reflective tape to the edge of the door sill. If you put you foot there, it will hit the step without actually seeing it.
 

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DCGH
Once someone has done something we mostly try to comment without being critical. It’s a tough call because to say nothing means others may do something they read about without thinking it through and sometimes that has proven to be less than optimum or even wrong or dangerous. What Zyzzyx did wasn't wrong in any sense but others may be building a van to use in a climate that is conducive to condensation and end up creating an issue where one shouldn’t be created. In his case he began filling the ribs and had he not added the layer of minicell I am sure that floor would condense vapor into liquid water and be trapped under his plywood. With a comment I hope to have others avoid that issue by suggesting the ribs are a good way to let condensate evaporate back into the van and use a layer of rigid insulation like polyisocyanurate, or for the floor, expanded polystyrene which doesn't compress into the channels, doesn’t prevent evaporation and insulates to help reduce the condensation in the first place. All this has been covered in numerous threads but apparently it needs constant mention.
Zyzzyx sorry for the hijack.
RD my comment was meant in a positive way...all the ideas that you guys have, or have had are so good I keep changing my mind on how to do things :)...it's good I'm having all these mind changes without having the van to mess up....still have the major discussion going on at home as to whether it will be a Dirt Bike hauler or a full blown camper with a rack on the back....sadly I feel I'm loosing that battle and the room for my bike keeps getting smaller :(.
Anyway as I have said before , any advice is gratefully received.
 

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I have the dirt bike issue too. I bought a real tough single M/C carrier that can carry 500lbs.+ I just secure it and insure the van. I would never give up the interior space to a machine when the van is not too big now. YMMV :eek: I removed the second leaf spring recently so no more carrying the bike extended out the back. I have scooters in AZ and have a carrier here and one of those could be carried with the single spring. If I needed to take one somewhere it is easier to remove the bed and push it inside but then no camping. I have 5’X8’ trailers too for yard cleanup and dump runs that have a front tire chock if I needed it.
BTW I never take offense and your comment was perfectly fine. I just wanted you to see that there are other reasons for posting some different idea.
 

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I have the dirt bike issue too. I bought a real tough single M/C carrier that can carry 500lbs.+ I just secure it and insure the van. I would never give up the interior space to a machine when the van is not too big now. YMMV :eek: I removed the second leaf spring recently so no more carrying the bike extended out the back. I have scooters in AZ and have a carrier here and one of those could be carried with the single spring. If I needed to take one somewhere it is easier to remove the bed and push it inside but then no camping. I have 5’X8’ trailers too for yard cleanup and dump runs that have a front tire chock if I needed it.
BTW I never take offense and your comment was perfectly fine. I just wanted you to see that there are other reasons for posting some different idea.
My main reason for buying the van (before my wife got involved) was the security of having the bike in an enclosed place, I have been using a pick-up, but more and more bikes are being stolen from the backs of trucks after races etc. I have borrowed a box trailer which ticks a few boxes but is inconvenient.

Always happy to see new/different ideas, as I said most are so good I want to include them :)
Saw a post about a lifting bed yesterday, now I'm sure I need one of those :) (kidding).
Since joining the forum I have found it a huge resource and hopefully will be able to contribute if my van ever turns up.....
 
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