After one week with the van a 12" fan is now in place above the soon to be living space. Also we (my dad and I) were able frame the subfloor, add insulation to it, and screw plywood into the frame.
I'll break down those installations as well as some trouble we've run into in this post. But before I do that, I'd like to thank the guys from my dad's work who came out on their lunchbreak this week to lend a hand and offer mechanical and electrical advice (Mike, Chris, and Larry in particular).
The feedback we got from these guys is beyond the furthest reaches of Google and as such, invaluable.
What exactly they helped with will show up in later posts.
The quick highlight reel for Week #1 is shown below.
A quick walk around of the van is in the next video.
The Fantastic Fan
A 14" x 14" cutout is standard for full size RV fans and air conditioners. This is both important and convenient as my van will start its commission with a fan, but should time and place stress me enough, an air conditioner may be warranted in the future.
Why not start out with AC in the roof?
To some, myself included, air conditioning requires more electricity than expected until really digging into the subject.
The quick and dirty answer to this question is that either a generator or shoreline (direct plug in) power is required to run external AC. Solar power and extra batteries are just not going to cut it. (There are exceptions to this rule, buruleam not going to get into those requirements in this post.)
With a jigsaw and a special metal blade I cutout the space for the fan. Drilling the right size hole made all the difference. And fortunately I had a lot of green space to practice on before reaching the permanent edges.
The floor is rock solid and the credit goes to my dad's craftmanship. The floor is framed with 2"x2"s glued to the high ridges of the van's metal floor. Loose recycled "eco" fill levels out the valleys to the height of the ridges between the supports of the frame. Also between the supports are slices of 1-1/2" foam board. To top everything off, cuts of 1/2" plywood was screwed to the top over a 6 mil sheet of plastic for moisture protection.
The photo below shows the floor in the various stages between metal to plywood.
The plastic tubes shown in the frame above will carry power cables ultimately connecting the car batteries to a battery bank at the rear. The framed section without insulation in the photo above will sit beneath the toilet and shower and will remain removable until the planned drain holes are drilled and connected to (not yet purchased) waste tanks under the van.
As my dad was poking around on the roof to plan out the solar panel mounts he discovered that the mounting locations were factory mis-aligned.
This put an instant hold on the solar panel installation. This is a warrantable repair, but even in the best case scenario, we're waiting until after Thanksgiving to mount the solar panels.
Next week the walls go up. We should also get a chance to mount and install the propane furnace if all goes well and the weather cooperates. For the record this past week was better weather than you could conscionably ask for in Cleveland in mid-November.
Look for the Week #2 post next Saturday morning.