AT IT AGAIN: Paul and Mike Convert a Mid/Tall T1N Sprinter Cargo

PaulJensen

Custom Builder
#23


(above) Today, the goal is to get this cabinet jammed full of stuff and connect that stuff to other stuff...


(above) The water tanks will take up the bulk of the space...


(above) Tank fittings, drain and fill lines, etc...


(above) Before the tanks go in, some electrical wiring needs to be wired and connected...These are for the microwave oven, the induction cooktop, the water heater and a spare for a possible extension cord to the outside...


(above) Ready to be connected to the outlets...


(above) Ready to go in the box...


(above) The heavy duty outlet for the heater and/or the air conditioner was pre-wired...


(above) Wire-nuts and shrink wrap tubing...


(above) The connections to the panels will happen after the cabinet is final-set in the van...


(above) The water pump wiring was soldered and shrink tubing covered...


(above) Water supply plan...The water pump is mounted through the wall with T-nuts...


(above) A mounting board for both the water heater and a rear stop for the water tank was fitted and fastened to the casework...Nylon webbing will supplement the wood stop-blocks as hold downs...


(above) There was a 110 volt outlet right where the water fill port needed to go, so it was patched, puttied, primed, re-drilled and the fitting was placed...inside the cabinet you can see the outlets that were pre-wired earlier...


(above) Looking down at the tanks in place...


(above) The fresh water tubing is in place and awaiting the tank fittings to be bonded to the tank and a few hose clamps ...I called my plumbing contractor to advise me on the best way to connect the supply lines...I was thinking PEX might be the way to go and Paul the plumber said that barb fittings and hose clamps is how he would do it...I'm still considering another option...
 

Tim$2

New member
Although the PEX fittings would be more secure than hose clamps they would also be harder to repair should you get a leak while out camping. Would be easier to keep a barbed union and a couple hose clamps in the cabinet somewhere and you'd be able to repair a pin hole leak for example with just a screwdriver and knife instead of carrying a PEX ring crimper around with you. Just something to consider...
 

sparkie

New member
I love reading your threads- can't believe how fast you work.

Is the pump pressure activated? If it is, do you worry that a future leak (which would turn the pump on due to the drop in pressure) may spray water all over the electrical circuits? I'm sure you've factored something in, but water and 110volts don't mix well.
 

mhiscox

Expedition Leader
Is the pump pressure activated? If it is, do you worry that a future leak (which would turn the pump on due to the drop in pressure) may spray water all over the electrical circuits? I'm sure you've factored something in, but water and 110volts don't mix well.
The pump is theoretically pressure-activated, but our practice is always to just have power on to the pump when we are using it, and they'll be a kitchen on/off switch controlling the pump circuit.

It's also my opinion that as these things go, the electrical is pretty well separated from the pump, which is at a considerably lower level than most all electrical connections. I agree that a tubing leak could indeed spray water about, but in my experience, leaks are much more likely to appear at fittings than in the middle of runs. (In my own experience, I've never had tubing give way in the middle of a run.) But even if water did get to the connections, the AC and DC systems are both fused in multiple locations and the result would likely be just a blown fuse/tripped breaker.

As I say, though, following what I was taught as good practice, power to the water pump will be off when it's not actively being used.
 

CLynn85

Explorer
Great work as always. I have to ask, do you have a day job? Because there's no way to get this much work done on the side.
 

PaulJensen

Custom Builder
...do you have a day job? Because there's no way to get this much work done on the side.
My 'day job" varies...Some months it is vehicles, some months it's building furniture, some months it's remodeling homes, some months it's building wood surfboards and some months it's teaching how to build wood surfboards...Until the Sprinter is done, this is what I'm doing...

Then it's off to Japan to lead another surfboard building workshop...BTW: I speak zero Japanese...It wasn't a problem last time...

I do recognize how lucky I am to be doing what I do...The diversified opportunities, and my clients giving me creative freedom make each day unique...

I work hard because I am entrusted with much...

I get a lot done because I put in long days and I'm fast...

And, I don't sleep...
 

goodtimes

Expedition Poseur
I get a lot done because I put in long days and I'm fast...

And, I don't sleep...
I'm curious about something - how much time do you spend on planning vs actual building?

I've been accused of being "impossibly fast" when working on things - but people don't see the planning, only the execution.

Do you work primarily "on the fly", or have you already firmed up an idea about the materials & processes before you start?
 

PaulJensen

Custom Builder
...how much time do you spend on planning vs actual building?

Do you work primarily "on the fly", or have you already firmed up an idea about the materials & processes before you start?
Most of the time, the design evolves from basic spatial requirements, and the client's preferences for materials and of course there is the budget considerations...

For instance, the upper cabinets needed to be as tall as possible for maximum storage...With a square edge on the bottom front face, it could be a head-bumper...Thus the rounded edge...Similarly with the rounded toe-kick on the bed...Square would work, but the curve complements the upper cabinet curves...Building it from simple hardware store items keeps the cost low...I'm working for a flat rate on this project...No extra cost to Mike for me doing it like this...It might take a bit longer, but Mike is cool with that...

Another factor is doing something new and original...For me that is a huge consideration of how things get built...

The design time is ongoing until the client gets the keys...I'm thinking about the project all the time, and even dream about it...It's ongoing 24/7...If I was just striking things off of a checklist it would be way easier, but less fun...
 

PaulJensen

Custom Builder
#24


(above) Instead of the barbed hose connections, threaded, braided stainless steel rubber hoses were installed...


(above) The cover plate for the primary kitchen outlets got labeled...Each circuit is separate...


(above) Another duplex AC outlet was cut into the end panel of the kitchen cabinet...A router jig makes the cutting of the hole easy...


(above) The inlet fitting for the blue-water tank...The adhesive is 3M 5200...


(above) The outlet hole in the blue-water tank...A hose will go through the pipe connecting the bottom of the tank to the water pump inlet...


(above) The grey water drain outlet fitting...


(above) The cabinets are getting permanently installed now...


(above) Looking down beyond where the cooktop will be, beyond where the microwave will be, are the water heater and the water tanks...


(above) On the sink side of the kitchen cabinet it looks like this...You can see the supplemental webbing straps to further keep the tanks from moving...Also, the inside of the kitchen cabinet got a complete coat of paint...


(above) The pull-out-fold-over table top is now permanent...


(above) Folded over and layered in fresh dust...


(above) Microwave, in...


(above) Tight spaces are the normal in builds like this...I got lucky to get water tanks that fit the spaces without going to custom...


(above) The inlet fitting on the water pump housing snapped off...Hand tightened, no wrenches...Grrrrrrr...


(above) A big hole was drilled in the middle level of plywood to allow the wiring from under the bed to pass through...Simple masking tape labeling will be appreciated later...


(above) Then it was off to get the countertop...Here, Tyler fine tunes the line at the back edge of the stone where it meets the wall by the window...


(above) Loosely set...The induction cooktop could not look better...


(above) Stainless steel undermount sink...


(above) The lift up Plexiglass panel covers the electrical panel...


(above) The toilet is a low-boy...To facilitate usage, a riser box was built...


(above) In use the seat height will be about 17"...It will be painted before it's all done...
 

Doc Foster

Adventurer
I am amazed at how this is coming together. This is inspiring work. You are the Norm Abram (New Yankee Workshop) for Sprinters!
 
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