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My Road Tripper
Looking really good! In the tiny space of a car, every little bit of space is precious and must be used.
2015 GMC Savannah 2500 van, 480 watts of Solar Panels--and a wonderful furry best friend named Cody. I'm out to change the world!
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We (the wife & I) have an '06 Scion know, a 'Road Toaster'!! Cool

we've made 3 trips from the West Coast to Wisconsin for family reunions, and we found that we can fold down the passenger side rear seat, slide the front one all the way foreward, and make a bed for the co-driver to sleep in very comfortably while blazing down the highway. (...and I'm a good size fella, too!) Big Grin

We've driven from Chicago to the Oregon coast in 36 hours, 5 times now!

With all the work you've done with this little car, it looks to me like you're gonna be very comfy & cozy in there!! Who needs a huge bus???
"Good Times & Good Friends Make Life Better!" Big Grin
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And I've still got more work to do. Next week I'm going to put a shelf in over the rear cargo area.
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First, a correction for an earlier post

(09-04-2014, 01:15 AM)sephson Wrote: ...on the plus side its got nine inches of ground clearance...

I double checked the stats on this car and verified the measurements. I have 6.5 inches of ground clearance. My best guess for where the nine came from is that I flipped the six upside down in my head. Still, 6.5 is not bad for a small car. It puts some limitations on places I can go, while at the same time, the 13'-6" overall length just might open up a few others.

On to the pictures!

I began work on the shelf for the cargo area today.

Here are my attachment points:


These are the connection points for a soft cargo cover. They're not really meant to take a lot of weight, so this shelf will not be a place to stow a bunch of heavy stuff.

My frame components for the shelf:


I determined that 5/8 in. threaded rod was a perfect fit for the cargo cover attachment points and that it was very nearly a perfect fit for 1/2 in. EMT conduit. Again, not the strongest structure, but it doesn't need to be all that strong. The second picture shows 1/2 in. EMT conduit couplers.


The threaded rod is cut into four 6 in. pieces and one 1 ft. piece. The 6 in. pieces go on the ends of the conduit supports. The 1 ft. piece goes into the center end of one of the smaller conduits, where the two pieces will be coupled together. I cut two EMT conduit couplers in half and left one intact. The set screws on the couplers locks the threaded rod in place in the conduit.

This is the shelf supports assembled and installed:


They just clip into the cargo cover supports.

These are my shelf pieces:


The metal things in the corners are spring clip style tool holders. They clip the shelves to the conduit.

This is the assembled and installed shelf:


I've designed this shelf so that I can disassemble it and stow it away when I need to haul equipment. The shelf breaks down into three sections for easy storage and the supports are easily removable and will fit in my under floor storage tray once the longer support is broken down into two pieces.
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The work on the shelf continues.

Driving home last night, I could hear a bit of a rattle coming from the shelf:


I covered the conduit pieces with 3/4 in. black heat shrink tubing. Hopefully this will quiet the rattle.

I've also painted the shelf pieces:


And I trimmed 1/4 in. off of either end to accommodate some trim pieces which I should have tomorrow morning:


I also need to replace the spring clips that attach the shelf pieces to the conduit. I've ordered the next size up, which should be a better fit. As I mentioned, I've ordered some trim and I've got a smooth rubber mat coming to cover the top of the shelf. All of this should arrive at work tomorrow morning.
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Looks good. Love your pics and details. Jan
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Yeah I am loving the updates. It's looking real good. Not sure which way I am going yet, but I am sure watching everything you are doing. Thanks for sharing all the pics.
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Also, just wondering what you are going to do about power? I wonder if a solar panel can be installed on a kia(sportage for me)?
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Tothemoonandback, for power I have a small portable power system that I came across at a gun show last month. It's a discontinued system by Goal Zero, the Extreme 350i with a 30 watt briefcase style solar panel. Because this system has been discontinued, (replaced by Yeti 400) I got a screaming deal on it. I can charge the system via the solar panel, 120 volts AC or by plugging it into the 12 volt power port in the car. I have a laptop, a smartphone and a camera battery to keep charged up, and that's it. Also, I'm only going to be on the road for short stretches, so this system should be adequate for my power needs.

Obviously, if I were looking to full time it in the Soul I would need to look into a larger, more permanent setup.

On to today's pictures! Tongue

More work on the shelf:

Here I have a 2 ft. x 6 ft. rubber anti-slip floor mat, some trim and my shelf sections with carpet tape on them:


The completed shelf sections:


I cut the rubber mat to fit each piece, then attached them using carpet tape and upholstery staples. Then I added the two different flavors of trim, one with a lip for the front and back edges, one without for between sections.

I had to rethink my method of attaching the shelf sections to the conduit:


The tool holder spring clips were cutting the shrink tube to ribbons.

My solution:


Magnets! Rectangular, encased, ceramic magnets with a maximum pull strength of 25 lbs.

The competed shelf installed:


The magnets work great! There don't seem to be any issues with the shelf sliding around, just a slight rattle. putting some fresh shrink tube over the conduits to replace the damaged shrink tube that I cut off after taking these photos should take care of the rattle.

This was a fairly major purchase:


One thing about the Soul that has always bothered me is the lack of a spare tire, so I bought one. Sure, the car came with a flat repair/inflation kit, but my experience with flat tires says that's not enough. I've had two flat tires in the twenty some years I've been driving. Both were side wall blow outs. The tire inflation/repair kit that came with the soul would do nothing that. I shopped around a bit and got the absolute best deal I could, but it was still a significant chunk of change for something I believe should have been included with the car when I first bought it.

The spare stores beneath my under floor storage.
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A car without a spare tire? That's unAmerican! Probably helps with their mileage rating. Nice thread on your build.

"We're all bozos on the bus, so might as well sit back and enjoy the ride."

Wavy Gravy

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