My Transit Connect build so far

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Might be $40 worth of lights, but $1000 worth of work, looks amazing!
 
One place where I am not playing any games is anchoring heavy objects down. I agonized for weeks about how I could hold down my battery behind the passenger seat where I wanted it. I didn't think there was room to drill through the floor because of a rats nest of brake and fuel lines directly under the area I wanted to mount the battery. But I drilled from the bottom up to be sure that I wouldn't drill into any lines, and there was just barely room to squeeze in these two eye bolts spaced on either side of the battery. I mounted them with 2" diameter fender washers to distribute the load in case the battery does try to go flying in an accident. Then I'm going to double a ratchet strap over itself many times between the eye bolts and over top and on the sides of the battery. It's not going anywhere. These eye bolts are beasts. They are rated at a tensile strength of 20,000lbs. Honestly I could have gone a little smaller, but I had to order them sight unseen, and I wanted to make sure I got ones with a shank long enough to go through the floor and thread the whole way through a nut on the other side.

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Uh yeah... I definitely think that will be big enough to hold a battery!
 
Haven't posted in a while because I'm now firmly in the stage of this build where I just want to get it done. Took my first trip in the van this weekend and it went well though. Lots of mechanical stuff happening, which isn't as photogenic as the woodworking part of the build. Anyway, I now have a tiny sink made out of a stainless steel cake pan and a folding faucet. It folds away nicely to give me more counter space when I'm not using it. Also managed to squeeze all of my controls onto this tiny panel under the sink. I really wanted all of my controls here because this panel is at a nice central spot in the interior.

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I have my battery monitor, interior light dimmer (big black knob) USB and cigarette lighter charge ports, control knob for the Webasto heater, and 110V outlet (it's protected by a GFCI on the inverter itself.) Since I took this photo, I also added a control knob for the hot water temperature.

I put a 6 switch panel in, but so far only two of them actually do something. But I wanted to give myself extra switches for things I might come up with in the future.

I also have the hot water system mostly functional. It is a little finicky at the moment, but I think there is still some air in the cooling system, and I need to fine tune how it works. I had to add a lot of tubing for the hot water system, and some of it is fairly high up in the engine bay, which makes getting the air bled out of the system a pain. I will probably start a whole new thread for the hot water system because so much work went into just that.
 

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Also, speaking of the electrical controls, I found a great tip for anyone with this style of battery monitor. I don't think it's mentioned in the manual, but if you hold the outer two buttons for a few seconds, it will disable the backlight on this, or at least make it VERY dim. This was really helpful because the backlight normally automatically turns on any time your electrical system is drawing power from the battery, and it is way too bright to have anywhere near where you want to sleep. Pressing them again for a few seconds turns the backlight feature back on.

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I guess I never followed this thread up with a big official "it's done," but yeah it's basically been finished since May aside from some little odds and ends that I've been slowly adding.

I still can't believe I built this, especially because I really kind of hate carpentry work. :rolleyes:

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PlethoraOfGuns said:
Oh boy, that lighting!

Like I said the funny part is that all it is is like $30 worth of LED tape applied inside a few nooks and crannies I made in the van. It does look great though. One advantage that I really was not anticipating ahead of time is how nice and pleasant the lighting is when it's turned on. Since all the lights themselves are hidden from view, you never have a light glaring in your face, which is especially important in such a small space. It's just a nice soft glow all over the interior that doesn't seem to be coming from any one spot.

One small downside I discovered is that obviously bugs are going to be attracted to the lights, so if you get bugs inside, they will fly to the lights and probably find their way into a little space where you can't easily swat them, so that's a little annoying.
 
It's all about lighting, and you nailed it! Be extra vigilant with bug screens and keep the bugs out.
 

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