Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Last bits

We are in the final days of preparing for our 10 day initial van trip to Arizona. This past weekend there weren't many van related projects left to do since we decided to have the local conversion guy take care of the seat swivel and the battery install. The primary project this past weekend was figuring out how to attach an Ikea drop table and covering some of the exposed metal with trunk felt.

The drop table went relatively easily. I cut a 1x4 down to the width of the rib on the drivers side mid panel, drilled some hole and used the mounting hardware I am using to fix the wall panel in place. Then I used some 1 1/2" wood screws with fender washers to attach the table to the 1x4 and we were good to go.  After driving the van to the propane filler, I realized I would need to figure out some way to secure the table when its in the drop position so it doesn't rattle while we drive. The solution, a very long bungie cord and a piece of old bicycle tube spray glued to the bottom side of the table top to reduce wood on wood noise. I love simple solutions like this, and any time I get to reuse some of my stockpiled bicycle tube I feel like a good citizen on spaceship earth.

The trunk felt is really easy to work with. I just took some remnants from our panel covering project and cut to fit the exposed metal over the slider, added some spray glue and pushed it into place. If you cut it a little over size, you can tuck it under the weather stripping for a very "pro" looking finish.

This week we are anxiously awaiting delivery of the Ikea bed supports so we can get the bed platform installed. The plan is to re-use the M8 torx 40 bolts that were originally used to attach the tie downs inside the van. I took them all out to replace with longer M8 bolts in some cases, and because in several places it didn't make sense to leave them in. Regardless, they have a nice large head surface and I think will work perfectly to attach the supports to the van ribs... fingers crossed. Once installed, we will use 10 1x4 planks cut to 60" as the bed slats attached with self tapping screws. We ordered a 5" memory foam, sleeper sofa replacement mattress from amazon to top the slats. It was about $150 and had high reviews so hopefully it works out for our needs.

There are still a few unknowns but for the most part we are ready for our inaugural trip. This project has been a lot of fun and a LOT of work. I would definitely do it again, but knowing what I know now, would plan a few more weeks so we could take a midpoint break and have some fun. Spring has arrived and all our friends are out playing but we have been heads down on the van, time for Spring Break fun!

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