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  1. Mwilliamshs

    AC while boondocking

    I'm not the first to do it but I haven't seen it here. Lot of YouTube videos about this setup. 5k BTU window AC with manual controls, no digital stuff, no remote. 1kw Buffalo Tools Sportsman Generator. Both can be had for ~$300 total. Works GREAT even in econo mode. Running mine at home today...
  2. Mwilliamshs

    Manual transmission in a van?

    I have a Ford 4.9L (300 straight six) and a C6 automatic with 3.08 gears in my van. No issues with the combo at all. Pretty happy with the mileage even. BUT I found a great donor van with a 5 speed OD transmission. Factory Ford issue. Same wheelbase, same engine, so driveshafts are correct...
  3. Mwilliamshs

    Rusty floor repair question

    My rear floor has some surface rust scattered about, mostly light stuff but I'm sure there are a couple spots with pitting, and I'm sure a few (dozen?) screw holes too. I'll grind the holes flat and weld them up with a copper paddle and either my little flux-core box or the MIG if I find some...
  4. Mwilliamshs

    GM van rear axle questions

    I have access to a ~1993 Chevrolet G-20 or G-30 van (not sure which) that my dad is using for storage on the farm but he wants to get rid of. It's scrap to him so I can have any parts I want. I have a 1989 Ford E-150 that I'd like to put a heavier duty rear axle in. Anybody know or have a way to...
  5. Mwilliamshs

    1 8D or 2 6v batteries?

    Custom build, starting from scratch. Which would you use, $ being no option, two 6v golf cart batteries or one 8D? The only big differences I can think of is wiring a single battery would be simpler (and cheaper) and tying one down would be simpler, fewer cells to check the levels in (assuming...
  6. Mwilliamshs

    Ford 8.8 rear axle repair/upgrades

    I've got an E-150 with a leaking rear axle shaft seal. This seal is probably leaking because of a worn rear wheel bearing allowing the axle to follow an elliptical path and damage the seal and due to the axle's design of using the axle shaft as the inner bearing race, that probably means a worn...
  7. Mwilliamshs

    Who has an oven? Who uses it?

    Posted over in overland chef about this but I expect a lot of foodie bias there. Who has an oven in their van and actually uses it? What do you use it to bake? I'm trying to decided between a cooktop and a range I'm not convinced I'd use the oven. It does take up a good bit more space and costs...
  8. Mwilliamshs

    Do you have/use an oven?

    Designing my interior and have come to the range vs cooktop decision. I know I want a couple burners but do I want to sacrifice the space needed for an oven? If you use your oven, what for? I don't bake often even at home but the "just add water" muffins are probably my most common use, that and...
  9. Mwilliamshs

    Battery monitors: BM-1 vs Trimetric 2030 vs ?

    The NASA Clipper Battery BM-1 is about $200 and comes with 100 AMP shunt and a cable assembly. There is also a BM-2 available for ~$240 with a 200A shunt. Specifications: Supply voltage: 8-16 volts DC Supply current: 3 milliamps Battery capacities: 5-650 AMP Hour Max Charge Current: 100...
  10. Mwilliamshs

    Roof vent cover: smoke tint or translucent white?

    Just curious if anybody has experience with a roof vent and an educated opinion on which vent lid color would lead to a cooler interior. The smoke would likely let less light through but the white would reflect more heat, theoretically. I've got experience in campers with white lids and they...
  11. Mwilliamshs

    Solar charge controllers that can absorb at 14.8v. Let's make a list?

    I'm looking for a solar charge controller. Needs to handle 15 amps input (2 100w panels at <6a each) and absorb charge at 14.8v with temperature compensation. Running flooded batteries and NEED the voltage. The Morningstar Tristar 45 is the current front runner but at 45 amps rated input...
  12. Mwilliamshs

    Shipping parts from AUS to USA

    Interested in some small parts that just aren't available here in the U.S. and can't find them through any online retailers or even on eBay. Australian cost is $65 @ It's a set of brackets for mounting my awning, a Dometic A&E TransAwn 2000 to my...
  13. Mwilliamshs

    Upgrade the GLASS headlights in your van (not HID, not LED)

    The H6054 sealed-beam headlights have been around a long time. They've been installed in lots of vehicles. They're not aerodynamic or fancy but I'm really glad my van came with them stock. They're cheap, they're readily available, and they're real glass (not plastic) so they don't turn yellow...
  14. Mwilliamshs

    Seal aftermarket window to body...what'd you use?

    Just like the title says, I need to seal an aftermarket camper style window with aluminum flange to my steel van body. Some folks talk sikaflex, some talk 3M, some say silicone (don't say silicone)...what'd you use? Where'd you get it? Thanks!
  15. Mwilliamshs

    Backup Camera Reviews

    My van has no 3rd brake light (1989) and has no back-up/parking camera. I definitely want a camera and think I'd like to add a brake light at the same time but maybe'd require cutting into my Penthouse top...I'm torn. Anybody have good or bad things to say about a particular...
  16. Mwilliamshs

    Why are water tanks horziontal?

    Looking into water tank placement and I have more room for a vertical tank , say 16" diameter by 28" tall than a typical RV water tankthat's 32"x12"x12". I've tried looking into slosh and stuff but haven't found anything conclusive. So, WHY are water tanks horizontal? My thinking is that it...
  17. Mwilliamshs

    why generators are bad battery chargers I'd typed up something very similar about sine waves and single phase power and googling a diagram brought me this article. Great tech.
  18. Mwilliamshs

    Alternator Dimensions

    Not an exhaustive list of all alternators but certainly those most common at an ordinary parts store. I compiled this from Powermaster's catalog for use in my search of an alternator to replace the Smog Pump without modifying the bracket. I'll be measuring the pump and bracket and diagraming...
  19. Mwilliamshs

    craziest battery charger ever?

    It's one of those ideas that woke me up in the middle of the night. I could use a second belt-driven alternator on the engine to charge the house batteries. Not crazy at all and already my plan. Use a charge controller (Morningstar MPPT for example) between the alternator and batteries just like...
  20. Mwilliamshs

    Water System

    Looking for suggestions on the routing of the diagram moreso than the individual components. Thinking my way through a water system for the van. This will all be installed on the passenger side, rear, with the tank just ahead of the wheel well for better weight distribution and the shower, fill...