Sunday, September 30, 2012

Domestic tranquility

This past week, I made some adjustments to Kurt to keep the missus happy.

First, a table lift extension. $2 in parts, half an hour in labor. Kurt's table in normal travel position:

Again, in new lifted position:

The missus showing how easy it is to access the cabinets with the table lifted.

Item #2 is a fix to one of the Previous Owner's modifications to Kurt. He installed two additional pumps besides the stock sink pump: one, to add a shower head in the back of the van. Cute idea, and he plumbed it relatively well, sealing the additional tubing and wiring with silicon. Trouble is, it isn't working. He says it did, but who knows how recently. He also added a hand-held, battery operated pump. Something like a powered squirt gun. To install this, he simply drilled a hole in the top of the water tank. You can see the hole in this photo, the dark hole near the hose intakes:

The trouble is filling the water tank. The PO used to fill the tank by opening the screw-top lid and feeding a hose through the window, because he never had the key to the fill hose door. I replaced the stock Delta Industries hookup boxes with ones from GoWesty, partly because I like the idea of a quick connect on the hose. The way this is supposed to work is, once the tank fills, water will flow out the point of lowest pressure, which should be the vent hose, aka outside the van.
But with this open hole in the top of the tank, water just flows all over the top of the tank, running all over the floor of the van and who knows what else on its way out. (Yes, I found this out the hard way.) So I needed to stop up that hole.
My buddy Steve suggested a genius modification: plastic welding. I cut a plug out of an old "soft" Nalgene bottle I had lying around, and blasted it and the tank with a heat gun until the plug sucked itself into place and formed a weld. Here's how it looks now:

Problem solved.

One final mod: the missus and I sleep in the top bunk and leave our toddler in a tent in the bottom. But at 6' tall, I press up against the bottom of the tent, and after just a few uses, I poked a hole in it, too. So again I leaned on my buddy Steve, to build a pillow board to slot in the hole beyond where the bed folds out. I bought a piece of 2' x 4' 3/4" plywood, and cut out a width of about 11 1/2" to fit the space. We glued a piece of 2" high-density foam onto it, and upholstered it with a staple gun. Here it is installed:

It stores in the spot below the bed underneath the pop top, and lets me lie flat without Bogarting the missus's space anymore.

Tips for upholstering:
This is a two-person job. Spray glue helps keep the foam in place, but be careful it isn't keeping you from pulling the fabric tight as you're stapling it. Start in the middle rather than at the corners, as the folds you make in the corners will pull in any remaining slack. If you start at the corners, you'll have unwanted slack in the middle you'll never be able to get rid of.

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