We introduced the Monthly Updates as a way to get back on track with our van conversion. We are indeed behind schedule and writing these updates is a good opportunity to take a step back, check our progress, organize our work, and keep it up! We also want to keep track of the work we do on this website, because we put a ton of work into it and it would be a bit unfair to judge of our productivity by monitoring the van only 😉 That being said, here is the December 2022 & January 2023 Update!
1- Lagun Table B-Pillar Installation
In the last November 2022 Build Update, we made a Lagun Table B-Pillar Mount 3D printed prototype:
After a few iterations, we settled on a design and we were ready to send it for laser cutting and powder coating. Fast forward a few weeks later:
We’re super happy on how it turned out! It’s a clean install and it looks very “professional” 🙂 You’ll find the full story here (material, cost, tools, how to install, tips, etc.):
The aluminum Lagun Table B-Pillar Mount Plate is up for grabs in our store, but we also created templates to make your own and save a few bucks:
2- Interior Layout Template with Grid
It’s been on our to-do list for quite a long time, but with the help of the Ford Transit 3D Scan we finally took the time to create a template of the Ford Transit interior with grid. There’s a lot of back-and-forth during the preliminary design phase, so a printable template will help you sketch and validate your ideas quickly. It’s also a great way to communicate your thoughts with your build partner and save some frustration (ugh) !
3- MPPT Calculator
We also wanted to make a more refined MPPT Solar Charge Controller Calculator for quite a long time, here it is! You can enter the specifications of any solar panel, enter the characteristics of your solar array (number of panels in series/parallel), and the calculator will output the correct MPPT Solar Charge Controller accordingly:
4- Victron Shunt/SmartShunt Enclosure
There is something about exposed conductors that makes me a bit uncomfortable, so I went ahead and made a protective enclosure/cover for the Victron Shunt (BMV series battery monitors) & SmartShunt. It protects against accidental short circuit and physical damage. The bottom part is held by the mounting screws and the top part (cover) is friction fit with the M10 terminal screws. The material is rated for 230F (110C) which is on-par with marine wire insulation rating.
Remove the mounting screws and the wires/connectors from the shunt. Slide down the enclosure over the shunt:
Install the mounting screws and connect the wires to the shunt:
The cover uses friction-fit over the two M10 screws to stay in place:
To install the cover, simply slide it over the two M10 screws:
I had this on my to-do list since we upgraded our battery bank to Lithium a few years ago, when I created a short between the battery (+) and the shunt (-) by accidentally dropping my wrench… it created the PERFECT PATH between the positive terminal and the shunt, what are the odds?! I still have that partially-melted wrench as a reminder…
I made enclosures for Victron’s shunt because they are far more popular, but I’ll make one for the Simarine as well eventually.
5- More 3D Printed Thingies
Designing stuff for 3D printing has become my principal excuse for not working on the van. There are an unlimited number of problems to solve in this world, and I am getting very proficient at finding them all! I’m adding the .stl files of the van-related ones on the website so those of you with 3D printer can make them:
6- Nudge Bar
It’s been under the Christmas tree for a while, but we finally installed our new Flatline Van Co Nudge Bar! Mad props to Flatline for coming up with a minimalist design that blends beautifully with the curves of the Transit, that’s easy to install, light-weight, and doesn’t interfere with the sensors (adaptive cruise control & park aid):
As usual we documented the entire installation process (material, tools, time, added weight, etc.):
7- Sliding Door Stopper
I’ve been enjoying making stuff during this hiatus from living in the van.
Latest project is a slider door stop, all credits go to Traipsing About for coming up with this idea back in 2014! I thought it would be fun to make my own. The stopper goes onto the track of the slider door and adds an intermediate stop at the location of your choice for added privacy (especially useful on inclined surfaces):
The stopper is bonded to the track using JB Weld. All the details and instructions on the product page: