2017-05-14: Sound deadening and cleaning

More cleaning today as we prepped the walls for the Silent Coat Sound Deadening mats. I bought the 40 sheet, 4m² bulk pack of Silent Coat, working on the basis of heavy coverage of the wheel arches, but only about 25% coverage for the main body panels.

Over the course of a few hours on Sunday, and a few more on Monday evening, we applied most of the mats.

With a few mats to spare, we’ve left the doors and roof as they are, until we’ve decided where we’ll be removing panels for windows and vents.

Meanwhile, Amy has been cleaning off more of the green goo, and revealing rust patches around the back door.

2017-05-13: Fixing back door latches

The back doors on our van don’t shut properly, so we need to do some adjustment of the hinges and/or latches.

I posted a query on the Sprinter Source forum, which turned up a useful YouTube video, albeit in German.

After an hour or so of fiddling about, I think we have a partial solution, which is to put a plastic shim underneath the lower latch to raise it up slightly.

You can see daylight under the doors
Loki has ensconced himself as site supervisor.
The catches mounted to the van body are about 3-5mm too low to meet the catches on the door.

2017-05-07: Cleaning the floor and removing ply lining

I spent the day on my hands and knees, cleaning up the oil, silicone and glue that the previous owners had split. A lot of it was on the floor lining, which I’ve removed, so no big deal, but plenty had seeped down under the floor panel onto the metal bed of the van, so I used paper towels, WD40, an old chisel, and lots of elbow grease to clean it up.

Taking the ply panels off the wall (just one wall for now) was a simpler task, and they walls themselves are in very good nick.

I did notice some water ingress at the bottom section of the wall, where the trim panels are mounted to the metal body with plastic clips that don’t appear to form a watertight seal. The problem has been detailed over on RadVanAdventures.com.

There’s no rust, and I don’t think it’s anything to worry about, but we probably should seal up those clips.

That’s all the work for today. I’m planning the next steps now, which will be:

  • Deciding on a solar panel and where to mount it
  • Deciding on roof lights and ventilation, and where to fit them
  • Spec-ing out and buying some sound deadening mats
  • Planning the insulation

2017-05-06: Removing floor and bulkhead

We picked up the van yesterday from the dealer. Today it’s just me, as Amy is away. I started with the grotty jobs, removing the floor and the bulkhead. So far, no horrible surprises, though the previous owner seemsed to have butter fingers, spilling copious amounts of oil, silicone glue and McDonalds chips throughout the back of the van.

I was afraid it would be a nightmare pulling the floor up, but it wasn’t bad in the end. Tomorrow I hope I can get the ply lining off and clean up the muck.

Sizing batteries and solar panels

One of the first steps in planning the electrical system is figuring out what size battery and solar panels we need.

That depends on a few key factors, which will vary for everyone. In our case, they are:

  • Price: we are price-sensitive!
  • Level of luxury / number of appliances: we don’t want a TV, microwave, Air-condioning, hot water, etc. So our electricity needs are quite modest
  • Dependence on electricity: at the moment, we’d like to mix our fuel usage, so gas will be a big part of the mix: mostly for cooking and heating
  • How close to civilisation: we want to go wild, not stay in campsites with hookup power. That means we want to go a long time on just the battery and solar power.

Continue reading “Sizing batteries and solar panels”