I thought this would be an easy, quick little project. Wrong! This iPhone/tablet/gps holder was ordered from England, and there’s a video that shows how easy it is to install. My first issue was the supposedly simple removal of the radio to enable access to a couple of screws. I kept trying with tools that I thought would work, then was worried I broke the tabs inside. Finally took the van down to an auto shop that installs remote starters and sure enough, it took the guy about a minute, which included him climbing in!
Happily though, the rest of the install was a breeze.
Here’s a link to the video I watched to learn how to install it, and here are a few photos.
The screws removed holding the original part go in a new location
Disclaimer: I am not an engineer, nor am I an electric expert. Use this design at your own risk! Also, feel free to input suggestions! Thank you!
Now, on to the plan – here’s a diagram. Why such large battery capacity? (And they are quite large and heavy!) If we’re off grid, the system needs to be able to run the air cond. for a short time. The water pump(s), any heat, etc has not been finalized yet.
The plan – the dark lines indicate batteries and a narrow closet which will house the inverter, solar controller and other electric “stuff”. (technical term 😉 )
I had originally thought to place the batteries behind the driver and passenger seat, alas,
the inverter location became an issue. After searching the promaster forum, these vans are
made to carry 4,000 lbs, so having the battery & inverter weight on the same side isn’t a problem. In fact, it makes the wire runs as short as possible.
After a prolonged stay in a large garage, Grey Matter is back! We’re very lucky to have a relative with a large garage who also loves to build vehicles from scratch! A friendly face of a steel bench watched over the work.
The fan was the first (and easiest) to go in.
We will wait and attach the inside plastic mount for the fan when the inside ceiling is installed.
Attaching the solar panels to the rails was a little tricky, requiring a ‘please help’ email to Hein. After he explained, they went on easy enough. The solar panels don’t have a lot of space under the edge, so it took a bit of fussing.
One down, one to go!
The curved opening for the new side window gave Bob a bit of anxiety before cutting, but it fit perfectly!
The wood required to fit out the thickness needed a little more thickness added to make a snug fit. (Note: after getting it home, we found a slight leak, so we’ll need to remove and reseal it.)
The air conditioner was my biggest concern – the framing and getting it installed with its weight needed to be carefully pulled off. After doing the inside framing, we had questions about how to install the heat element on the ac. Apparently, one needed piece had dropped inside the ac. Bob finally figured it out, and he and a friend got it installed and done! Yay!
A few more minor jobs, and it was on its way home!
Upstate New York! Typical winter weather
Next project is completing the electric diagram and layout plans. This has changed from the original idea, so stay tuned for that update!
Much appreciation and gratitude to Bob for all of his help with this.
2020 is just around the corner, and you can order your calendar today! These calendars are 8.5×11, and are filled with bird sketches and some of my favorite quotes! All pages are sturdy cardstock, with black wire binding and a hole for hanging.
I’ve also made a matching journal, 5.5×8.5. This has pages that are lined, dotted or filled with grids for you to personalize and use to doodle or write in. Carry it with you to have it handy for those moments of inspiration! The front and back covers are sturdy cardstock, with black wire binding.
Both come with a robust black wire binding and both are $12 each. Let me know how many you want!