Destination: Washington DC

Washington DC is the US capital and as such, home to many federal buildings and a great number of world class museums, that are all free to enter. Bring comfortable walking shoes, you’ll need them!

This was one of the cities, that I visited on my recent trip. You can read more about that trip and what I learned about the van in: For All Intents And Purposes.

I left Frederick MD early and was in a continuously slow moving traffic jam until I reached the city. Fortunately, my GPS guided me to my pre-located free parking spot in Potomac Park. From there, it is a five-minute walk to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Tidal Basin and the other attractions.

Continue reading Destination: Washington DC

Insulate Your RV Floor – Part One

Tie Downs & Wheel Wells

Laying the floor of a conversion van, creates a level foundation to build the interior onto and offers the opportunity to add insulation, which is a vital part of any conversion.

In preparation for the main part of this project, we’ll take out the tie-downs to save some weight and apply some sound deadening materials to the wheel wells.

Around the cargo area of the van are nine sturdy tie downs/anchors, that are very convenient if you use the van to transport goods, but utterly useless in a conversion van, where they serve no purpose and only add unnecessary weight. As these tie downs are connected to the van’s walls through threaded taps and not nuts, some use these holes to bolt the sub-floor to; I’m using a different method and will dispose of them completely. With a wrench and the right socket, all nine of them can be taken out in a matter of minutes. Continue reading Insulate Your RV Floor – Part One

For All Intents And Purposes

During the cargo van conversion, I take time out for short trips with the van, sometimes to try out the latest modifications, sometimes just for the fun of it.

ford-transit-medium-roofIn preparation for this road trip, I needed and installed the floor insulation and the subfloor itself, the cabin curtain and a small, temporary inverter connected to the CCP (Customer Connetion Point). A foam mattress and a porto-potti were added and some of my hiking/backpacking gear for the planned hikes. During these final days of April, the weather in the North-East has been improving, giving the green light for my trip to Canada, that includes some long awaited side trips.

Continue reading For All Intents And Purposes

Backup Sensor Review

What do you gain by using a backup device and do you need a visual clue on a display screen and an audible signal to make parking or driving safer?

These are some of the questions you’re faced with when buying a new car or van. Just four wheels, a comfy seat and a custom color used to be all that was needed, but in today’s world it’s all about gadgets.
My 2016 Ford Transit came standard with a backup camera and display, but I still wanted to consider a backup sensor.

Backup Camera System

I can’t compare it with after-market custom camera systems, but during the last few months, I have started to embrace the camera and display. Continue reading Backup Sensor Review

Ford Transit CCP

The Ford Transit, like many of its competitors, is equipped with a Customer Connection Point (CCP) that enables the upfitter to access the surplus electrical power produced by the engine’s alternator.

A direct connection between alternator and the house battery bank of a RV has always been the acceptable way of charging the batteries. But vehicle alternators have been changing in the past few years and less suitable for this kind of setup. Continue reading Ford Transit CCP

Van Conversion Projects

I recently finished the first two (small) projects on the long road of a complete van conversion. At the same time I’m working on several new modifications.

dual usbReplacing a 12V outlet in the dashboard with a Dual USB socket was a quick job, soon followed by the installation of a Backup Parking Sensor inside the rear bumper. Though not very complicated, these tasks slowly build up my confidence and insight in the construction of the van. Continue reading Van Conversion Projects

Samlex SAM-450-12 Modified Sine Wave Inverter

After the decision to buy the Samlex 450w inverter, it was a matter of ordering on-line. samlex plug-inI received the SAM-450-12 Modified Sine Wave Inverter this morning and by all means, it’s a fairly small and lightweight device, but that’s to be expected when we’re dealing with these small loads.

No remote start is included, but it has a built-in 2.1A 5V USB outlet, dual 110V outlets, a set of cables with a cigarette lighter plug, a set of cables with battery clips and a readable manual.
Continue reading Samlex SAM-450-12 Modified Sine Wave Inverter

How A Simple Inverter Saved My Day!

I’m just at the beginning of the conversion of my cargo van and the decision about the final design of the electrical system is still a long way off. I had to rethink the design again, as I’m preparing for my first multi-day trip with the van.

The Electrical System

I have long envisioned a basic electrical system, comprised of a few solar panels, lead-acid batteries and a modest inverter, supplemented with some propane for cooking and heating. Continue reading How A Simple Inverter Saved My Day!

Build a stealth camper out of a basic cargo van.