Van Ceiling Panel – Part II

I continue where I left off in the previous article Van Ceiling Panel Part I. As a reminder, I use an automotive tweed protected against daily wear and UV, very similar in color and texture as the front seats of the van.

In this video, I start by gluing the edges of the fabric to the plywood panel and cut the holes in the fabric, where the puck lights will come and glue the fabric there too. After I spray the glue, the 3M 77 will dry to a tacky feel within a few minutes; then you can finish be applying the tweed.

With the glue is dry to the touch, I pull up the fabric for a sharp edge and then fold it over onto the surface of the panel. Finish with a few strokes of a J-Roller. Try to avoid too much fabric at the outside corners, otherwise the thickness will become obvious.

Continue reading Van Ceiling Panel – Part II

Van Ceiling Panel – Part I

Much of the ceiling has been covered by 1in – 1-1/2in insulation and it’s time to cover it up.

I plan to use a 4′ x 8′ (~120cm x ~240cm) sheet of 3/16″ (~5mm) thick plywood covered with an automotive tweed fabric, which I also use on some of the walls and around the windows of the van. On some parts, the sheet is trimmed to fit between the cabinets; other parts are the full 48″ (~120cm) wide. That means, I have to use some narrow filler boards to span the entire ceiling. These boards will also support the edges of the panel.

Continue reading Van Ceiling Panel – Part I

Building A DIY Lithium Battery

With the Van Build coming to an end, several important projects need some attention. Today I’ll start working on the battery bank of my solar system. Originally, and that was at the beginning of the van build, I installed two 6V Golf cart batteries. This netted me only ~100Ah at 12V nominal. Sufficient for only the most basic usage. At the time also more than sufficient, with only a minimal number of trips planned.

Overview

The main reason however, was that only 3-4 years ago, Lithium battery technology was hardly existent and very expensive. As I look back now, much has changed. We know now, that charging a Lithium battery at below freezing temperatures, is a big No-No, cell balancing must be part of the setup and many more issues are better understood. The development of low priced BMS’s (Battery Management Systems) has also made the DIY setup a possibility.

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Final Insulation & Closet

In the process of finishing up the passenger side of the interior, I need to insulate the walls. Before I do that, I pulled the last wiring through the wall cavities.

The wall insulation consists of rigid Poly-Iso, separated about 0.5 inch from the skin of the vehicle with a few dots of spray foam, with the Poly-Iso pressed into it. This void acts, both as a barrier and a way to drain any condensation, without wetting the insulation.

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Webasto Gas Heater – Part II

Installation of the fuel pump, Rheostat and wire run.

After unpacking the Webasto Gas Heater, I continue building the upper cabinet, including the Rheostat installation. Another unfinished job, was the removal of the van’s jack, which is located inside the passenger side seat’s pedestal, to make room for the heater. Finally, the fuel pump is installed close to where the fuel line enters the gas tank. I pull part of the power wire, that runs to the batteries, including the wires for the main light switch.

Continue reading Webasto Gas Heater – Part II

DIY Separating Toilet

Final part of the Toilet Build. I finished the toilet cabinet and installed the separating toilet.

Some is still missing, such as the drawer front and toilet front panel. Those will be installed at the end of the van build. Another missing part is the connection to the gray water tank; that part of the plumbing will be shown in future videos.

TOOLS & MATERIALS*
Toilet Separator / Urine Diverter
Hinges 2-1/2 x 1-9/16 Satin Nickel
Loctite ProLine Adhesive
Countersink
Weldwood Contact Cement
J-Roller
Bessey Woodworking Clamps
DeWalt Router
1-1/2 inch PVC connector
Formica

*Some of the links above and in the video, are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.