Week Twelve

It won’t be long before we are out there in our van so we are starting to plan trips starting with the West Country quite probably in May. Every week we get more and more excited about the progress we are making. This week space started to get a bit tighter making photography more difficult but I will try.

The van was booked in on Monday to have Ghost II and SmartTrack fitted. A big investment towards not losing the van and having it well covered for insurance. I’m not a big fan of trackers but the insurance companies like them and we need to get the insurance value up. Bit of a lump but we paid lifetime subs upfront which over 5+ years will be a much better deal. Ghost on the other hand is a better idea. It means the van will not start unless you know the secret or you have one or other of our mobiles and have got into them to turn the app on. Key theft won’t work nor will key cloning.

With the van back we set about finishing the partitions and making the rear wall, such a nightmare job with few straight lines or level surfaces to work with. It took us 2 days to make and trial fit all the blank panel to a reasonable degree of accuracy and scribed to the curved side walls.

At the joinery shop we cut and edged all the openings, cut the remaining grey panels and edged the and assembled the central service duct element of the overhead lockers.

Trever the chippy and I spend a lot of Friday trying to understand how to use the Hafele gas struts work automatically. The stays are supposed to be automatic opening when the catches are released but the instructions were rubbish and we could not make them work. Also the swing out hinges I had bought were no good as they flopped about too much under the force of the struts. Eventually on Friday evening it with a simple bit of CAD drawing I had it worked out and on Saturday morning hey presto the problem was solved.

Before we could install the service section I needed to finish the controls installations and prove the them and the electrics. That also meant completing the mains hook up. So with the panel in place all the terminals were made off and connected up and I decided that they also needed testing and commissioning before we go any further. And here it is – mission control all tested and up and working.

We can turn everything on and off, see the state of batteries, solar charge, water and waste tanks and in/out temperature. And I can get graphical stats about the batteries, solar charge and so on on app on my mobile phone.

Interestingly I had to disconnect the vehicle battery while I made all the final connections and within minutes I got a call from the tracking company to say they had seen the battery disconnect and was everything OK. So that works.

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