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The fun pics were removing the hardware; painting it in my livingroom ('cuz it's 0 degrees outside sometimes around here in winter); installing the new door; and remounting the hardware.

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Tensioning the springs was a bit tricky, but all in all a pretty straight forward job...kind of a wallet crusher at about $1600 though.
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That is a nice new door. It brings up a question: how are you going to isolate the rear storage area of your van? You mentioned keeping gas fumes away but it looks like you'll have to have an opening at the top of the rearward wall so the door can pass above it. You could build a false ceiling under the door to prevent gas entrance, I suppose.

Could you post a picture of your cab soon? I'm curious how much room you have between your seat and the bulkhead behind it. My seat is right up against the bulkhead and I'd like a couple inches more room if I can finagle it. Speaking of, I'm a bit jealous that you have both driver and passenger side doors.

I'm along for the build. Keep it coming.
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great thread I really enjoyed reading it. Vagabound did the false ceiling to enclose his role up door. his thread is on here somewhere. here it is if you need ideas about the ceiling, . highdesertranger
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(05-11-2017, 08:16 AM)Putts Wrote: I'm a month away from starting the electrical stuff. I'm pretty good with electronics---used to repair scanning electron microscopes---but I'm only modestly familiar with configuring a vehicle electrical system. I'll have questions for sure.

I can recommend a few good books.  All available on Amazon, of course, but you can probably get your library to get them on inter-library loan, too.

RV Electrical Systems: A Basic Guide to Troubleshooting, Repairing, and Improvement by Bill and Jan Moeller.  Best overview plus the best info on the AC side of things.

Managing 12 Volts: How to Upgrade, Repair and Troubleshoot 12 Volt Electrical Systems by Harold Barre.

No Shock Zone: RV Electrical Safety by J. Michael Sokol

Automotive Wiring and Electrical Systems by Tony Candella.  Best book I've seen on the nuts and bolts of 12 volt wiring, terminals, fuses, etc.

I would also get the free downloadable catalogs from Park Power and Blue Sea Marine

Life is not about discovering yourself.  Life is about creating yourself!

Talk is cheap because of simple economics: The supply FAR exceeds the demand!
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(05-11-2017, 05:09 PM)Bud Smiley Wrote: You could build a false ceiling under the door to prevent gas entrance, I suppose.

Could you post a picture of your cab soon? 

I'm along for the build. Keep it coming.

Oh yeah, I've got a false ceiling and a whole lot more...I'll get to it shortly but there's some whacko thinking there.

Cab? Sure. 

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Oh well, I guess not.  I'll snap a pic for you soon, but the driver's seat is right up against the bulkhead.

Glad you're along for the ride, Bud.
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(05-11-2017, 05:47 PM)highdesertranger Wrote: Vagabound did the false ceiling to enclose his role up door.  

Yeah, I saw that thread. It's a big 'un, I'll have to work my way through it. Like I said to Bud, I think you'll get a kick out of my false ceiling...and walls. I have a second plenum powered by a second Fantastic Vent. I'll post the wall and plenum stuff next, I think it's pretty cool.
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(05-11-2017, 07:10 PM)Optimistic Paranoid Wrote: I can recommend a few good books.... 

Thank you very much for the links; I'll definitely check into the ones I need. 

Currently the thing that has me thinking is how to switch charging between the house batteries and the truck batts. And how to switch to shore 110VAC and create 12VDC and charge the batts. But I've already seen all sorts of info here on it. Since I'm a month or two away from needing to do something about it I'll just use the search and stumble around here for a while.  

The only thing I might need to know soon is what fixture to use to move the cables on the roof into the cabin. Currently I'm looking at this.

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It has two bus bars for the solar panels---I'll have one panel at first, but two shortly after...and four down the road.
Also has knock-outs for more water tight connections for antennas and shit.
Looks pretty good to me...but what do I know. 

If anyone knows of something cooler for getting the wires off the roof without drips on my dinette, I'm all ears.
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First off, I love the step van! Second, always glad to see another KLR owner. I rode a 650 for many years and recently went down to a 250 for trail riding. Can't wait to see what you do inside that van!

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1994 International Road Rescue Ambulance, 2003 Jeep Wrangler
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Okie dokie.  So, we have some good questions about false ceilings and venting. I came up with some crazy ideas...all it took was numerous beers and time sitting in a folding chair looking at the walls. But i got it done.

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I'm sorry to say you'll probably have to put your thinking caps on to get what the hell I'm going to talk about here, but I think it'll be worth your time in the end if you're so inclined.

The problem with a vehicle is it's a hot box. You get solar gain because the sun shines on the skin and heats up. The normal solution is to insulate...which is completely logical and rational. 

But I'm not. So, I came up with an alternate solution. 


Geebus...did I just say that out loud?

No. Well, yes...but let's just let that slide for a moment.

The beautiful thing about shade is that the thing providing the shade doesn't usually heat up. You get under a tree, it shades you from the sun and eats that energy up to protect you from the heat, and you just have to live in the much lower ambient air temperature. Lovely.

But in a vehicle, all that metal heats up like a mother. You can insulate all you want, but if you're not cooling it to ambient you're not ever going to get shade temperature inside you vehicle. As I sat in winter contemplation of Putt's structure, I soon came to the conclusion that it could have a separate plenum for the walls and ceiling to evacuate air undergoing thermal gain in the vehicle. 

Eh...a plenum is basically a space reserved for airflow. Wiki has a bunch of ways to explain it. Basically, Putt has a plenum for airflow in the back, walls, and ceiling to evacuate hot air created from sun on her skin. This allows the inside temp to be that of under the shade of a tree. Here's how it works:

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This is a cross section of Putt. The rear Fantastic vent evacuates air from the cabin. The forward vent only evacuates air from within the false ceiling.

But the walls have four inches of thickness between the outside skin and the inside plywood. I put an inch of insulation on either side, but that still left a full two inch void. So I drilled a bunch of holes on the wall studs...

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It's a little hard to explain without seeing it, but I will have air flow through all the walls and ceiling that is completely separate from the cabin air system.
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In the end, I will have a vent that can get rid of hot air from Putt's solar gain, while keeping the cabin at ambient shade temperature.

That's the theory, anyway. 

Please feel free to tell me where I'm loosing touch with reality.

Extra points for telling me what "reality" actually is.
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Interesting. Will you be painting the steel to prevent rust? Where is your fresh air coming from?
1997 Class B Dodge van 3500.
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