Thursday, 19 November 2015

20/11/2015 - New add-on: All-in-One storage box & padded chair

After van camping a few times near home on the coast, I realised there's a missing link with regards to my van.   I need storage space to frequently removed and put back items like my solarshades.   I also would like this to double as a padded seat for "guests" who just want to hang out in the van.  The solution was to create a custom box/padded seat.  So here we go:

The box shown here fits perfectly in the centre right side floor.  It's padded
on top to double as a seat. The wood used is the same wood as the main
cabinet.  Nice!

The top is removable with a light velcro in each side. The box is
magnetically secured to the floor as my 2 beach chairs are stored to the
right of it under the bed nice and snug! 

My main cabinet drawer (the pantry) nicely opens up over the storage box
/ chair combo.

Lost of storage space inside the box.  Inside my anti-mossy wall in a bag
front cabinet window solar curtains and curtain wires that double as lines
to dry clothes/towels, etc.
A view from the outside inward with my new
Cessna 172 sticker on the door...

My next (final) major modification is my 4 shocks upgrade in early December (next month). This will be the last major modification to my van.  :)

Saturday, 14 November 2015

15/11/2015 - Minor Mods: X-mas lights, prayer flags & Anti-mosquito wall

So on a bad weather Sunday, I deciced to take care of some well-need minor mods that cost close to nothing:

a) Anti-Mosquito Wall (between front cab & living in the back)

I used netting from an old anti-mossy net for the living area of the van.  I trimmed it off an old bed mosquito covering which was not being used.  So rather try than cut to fit, I did the following:

1) Glued the soft fuzzy of the velcro to the arch over the wheel hump.
2) Put matching prickly velcro on it with the sticky side out.
3) I spread the netting just over the fringe of the sticky side.  It instantly sticks to the net.
4) I cut matching cardboard strips to glued them onto the sticky netting.   Let it dry-- it does dry quickly!
5) I removed the prickly velcro/cardboard netting attachment.
6) Finally I trimmed off the excess from the just rearward of the cardboard strip.
7) It doesn't pack well in a sack for storage, but I will give this a go for a while.  :)

b) Xmas Lights

Everyone likes Xmas lights!  :)

This was quite easy.  Just plug the one-way strip of lights into the power strip (which is plugged into the 600W interverted which is plugged into the deep cel batter with goes to the solar panel).  The after use some special pins that allow to hang lines to hold them up on a interior van wall.  This strip is 4.95m and is perfect length for the rear of the the Delica Starwagon.

c) Nepalese Prayer Flags at sliding door entry

These were very easy to install as well.  Just cut off 6-7 flags off the master string of flags.  Tied one end to an eyelit already installed to the left of the front passenger seat.  I used the already installed curtain wire over the sliding door with white plastic curtain holders to hang the flags like curtains to flutter in the wind!

Having these installed is special because I actually bought these in Nepal back in 2010 on my Mt. Everest basecamp trek 30 day trip.

When these flutter in the wind, ancient Buddist writings said they spread love and good spirits to anyone nearby!  

13/11/2015 - Friday night fun! 4WDing on the coast at night time!

We had some houseguests so I decided to take one of them out to the coast for at little bouncy bumpy driving fun...  Nice weather and nice experience as this was his first ever off road experience...

Sunday, 1 November 2015

2/11/2015 - Custom SolarShades installed - imported from Australia

After some delays from Australia, I got my well-needed Solarshades from SolarScreen Australia.  While not cheap, they are a must have for anyone who values warmth in winter, coolness in summer and privacy.  My 3 permanent pocket curtains each have a solar shade behind that will never be removed. The others will be removed whenever needed.

Solar shades all installed for daily parking or sleeping mode

Solar shades all installed for daily parking or sleeping mode

These are almost light proof except the stitching on the shades themselves.
The window sun visors are NOT holding up the windscreen solar screen

Very very very nice indeed. The top left corner of the front cab windows were
cut out like this to give a little light and for a peep hole to the outside world.

I like how the suctions are strong, but still not too hard to remove. I think winter camping will be a blast.   I thought about getting an RV-style diesel heater like this installed, but I will give winter camping a go without it.  After all if a warm mummy sleeping bag and window insulation is enough, that's a huge cost savings for me.

Next major modification are the 4 new shocks and custom fabricated rear springs to make up for the extra weight of my van as compared to the usefulness of the base factory shocks/springs.  This modification won't get getting done until early December however... (its too expensive!  LOL!)