Saturday Snippets: 13.January.2018

Was this your first full week back at work / school? It was for us, and it sure felt busy! I guess everyone’s back from the month of festivities.

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 13.January.2018.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

This week we’ve been back in the swing of van work again (not sure if we’re ever NOT in the swing of it, if I’m honest!). We’ve started working on the shower design, picked up the unfinished slab of wood to make our table, and have laser cut another electrical board panel (hopefully one of our last!).

Electrical panel board:

  • Jonty has rearranged a few of the locations of the buttons, has removed one that we’re not sure we need for the time being, and relabeled some of the buttons, to make them more intuitive (mainly to the wifey).
  • Like all things, I’m sure there will be another iteration, but for now, this is everything we currently have installed and wired up in the van. | Sprinter van conversion - electrical panel board

Shower design:

  • Last week Jonty used the vinyl cutter to make hot and cold arrows for the shower taps. I think they turned out pretty good! | Sprinter van conversion - foldable shower design

  • Shower curtain rod: We’re using copper tubing and elbows to make a shower curtain rod that is about 1-inch larger than our shower pan (to give us more elbow room). We wanted to be able to take the curtain rod apart, in order to store it within the foldable shower base, but still wanted to keep the pieces all together. So we’ve put elasticized string through the tubing. This allows us to pull the copper rods out of the elbows (one end of the each tube is glued to one end of each elbow with silicone) and fold the entire apparatus down, like you would with tent poles. The solution is pretty cool, and we should keep all the pieces together! | Sprinter van conversion - foldable shower design

  • We have managed to figure out a way to attach all of this to the ceiling, but you’ll have to tune in next week to see the finished product. For now, here’s a quick peak at how it will look (Jonty won’t have to hold it steady) ๐Ÿ™‚ | Sprinter van conversion - foldable shower design

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 06.January.2018

Happy New Year! How many times have you typed 2017 before having to backspace? ๐Ÿ™‚ This past week was back to normal, and I’m already looking forward to our next vacation. California, we’re coming for you in a few weeks!

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 06.January.2018.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • Training for power in climbing is often limited to the campus board (which is good, but sometimes it hurts my elbows!). This article has some points about using the bouldering wall that are always good to keep in mind. The hardest part is not turning it into a fun climbing day! ๐Ÿ™‚
  • We’re always looking for good functional strength exercises. Here are the 8 best functional exercises, if you want to supplement your climbing training (or any training, I think!). We’ve been working on our deadlifts for almost a year now!
  • What is your body lacking, if you start craving bean recipes? This giant bean gratin looks like perfect winter food. And these 14 ways to add chickpeas into your mealsย might help. (Mmm, coconut braised chickpeas)
  • Why time seems to speed up as we get older. I certainly feel this way!
  • I still remember my first semester of university, and the cost of my textbooks for those entry-level courses. I hope more professors adopt this open-source approach.

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

If all was successful yesterday at our local mechanics shop, we will have a functioning second alternator! (Update – it was!!) We talked to our mechanics earlier in the week, and asked if they would be willing to put on the belt for our second alternator, and have Jonty there to watch / help. They said, no problem! All they needed to do was make sure the centre of their shop was clear for us, because it was the only spot tall enough for Moby to fit into ๐Ÿ™‚ This is a pretty exciting job to have finished, because it means we can charge ourย  batteries while we’re driving, making us only dependent on having access to fill our fresh water tanks. Very cool!

Most of the work we’ve been doing this week has been unphotographable (is that even a word?).

  • We’re still working on the shower: I’ve ordered a shower curtain, Jonty’s working on making a curtain rod
  • We’ve decided on a table size: We’re ordering another raw slab of wood from Yew Woodshop and will CNC a table in the same way we did our counter top. The wood is the same, so all our counter top surfaces will match. We pick up the slab on Monday!
  • I’m looking for a narrow carpet runner. We’ve had a folded sheet laid down over the floor for quite a few months, and we really like the look of it. It’s also nice to have something that can be vacuumed / washed / cleaned, that also saves us marking up the floor too much. So that’s in progress.
  • Now that all of our electrical components are in (we think…) Jonty is lasering another electrical panel board. He’s changed up a few of the electronics descriptions, and is changing the font size to make everything more readable.

So instead of in-progress pictures, I thought I would share a few from our New Years stay in the van. We definitely enjoyed our breakfast with a view. The Saturday Snippets picture is from the Polar Bear swim (we watched, not swam ๐Ÿ™‚ ). | New Years Day 2018 in Moby van | New Years Day 2018 in Moby van | New Years Day 2018 in Moby van

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 30.December.2017

This holiday week has gone by in blink of an eye. We’ve spent our week eating good food, visiting with family and friends, and probably spending too much time underneath the van. The fact that we’re on the Eve of 2018? Crazy!

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 30.December.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Unfortunately, I don’t have many pictures for you this week, even though we’ve been hard at work on Moby. The snap below was my attempt at trying a panoramic shot. Please excuse the wobbles, due to my shaky hands ๐Ÿ™‚ | Sprinter van conversion - interior picture

Second Alternator:

  • It’s taken us nearly a week to get the second alternator installed and wired up. We still have to put the belt on, but we’re hoping to get a bit of help with that soon.
  • Jonty has gotten all the electronics talking to each other and once the alternator belt is properly installed, we should be able to start charging our batteries directly off the second alternator.
  • This means that as we drive around town, we can charge up (as opposed to plugging into shore power). Or we can run the vehicle at high idle (we made sure to include that option when we ordered the van) and charge the batteries that way, too. A very exciting part of our off-the-grid van design!

Odds and Ends:

  • In running the wiring for the alternator, we had to make a few changes to the order of our electrical board. This meant we basically dismantled our entire electrical system, re-oriented it, and got it back up and running. So while we had some of that system out of the van, we used that as an opportunity to tackle some of the squeaks and creaks.
  • We added a few more attachment points for the bedroom divider walls to the galley and electrical box framing. We also attached the ottoman-loo box to the wardrobe divider, to give it a bit more stability. These few screws have totally stopped the vibrations, and our ride is nice and quiet!
  • Last week I sewed a little cover for the base of the shower, when it’s in its foldable position, to protect the floor from the corners of the shower pan. I didn’t like my first attempt, so it’s back to the drawing board. Once I’m happy with the final product, I’ll share a few pictures.

That’s about it for a quick progress report! Once the second alternator is fully installed, we’ll share some details. And then it will be back to working on the plumbing for the shower.

Onwards and upwards!

Happy New Year!

Saturday Snippets: 23.December.2017

Merry (almost) Christmas Eve! We had a big snowfall earlier in the week. While it only snowed for one day, the temperatures have been cool enough that the snow hasn’t completely melted. So it looks like we might have a whiter Christmas this year.

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Our Saturday Snippets for 23.December.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Foldable shower base:

  • The first half of the week was spent finishing the shower base. We finally sealed the shower pan into the box, put on the aluminum trim, and added a few layers of Osmo to the bottom (exposed birch wood). So it’s just waiting for all the plumbing piping to be added.
  • We also figured out a simple and sleek way to house the shower in its foldable state. We’ve mounted a bar of 80-20 along the wall and used VHB tape to secure a thin piece of steel along the underside. We then mounted these magnets into the shower box. The idea is that the box will fold up against the wall, and the steel plate will snap onto the magnets and hold the shower snugly in place. We’ve driven around town for a few days with the shower in its upright position, and it hasn’t budged from its housing place. So far, so good! | Sprinter van conversion - foldable shower design

ย | Sprinter van conversion - foldable shower design

Second alternator:

  • The second half of the week was spent starting on installing our second alternator. We picked it up on Tuesday and spent all of Wednesday driving around the lower mainland, looking for the appropriate wire. We finally found a place that sold what we were looking for (out in Langley!) and they even gave us a discount on the price per foot. Very happy customers.
  • So we’ve spent the last 3 days rolling around under the van again, man-handling this massively heavy wire to extend from the front of the van (alternator) to the back of the van (batteries). Mounts have been fabricated, more holes have been drilled in the van, bodies have been scraped, heads have been banged and choice words have been used. It’s the non-glamorous side of van conversions. But we shower away the grime, voice our appreciation of the other person’s hard work, and end the day the same way we started it (with a hug and a kiss).
  • We were hoping the second alternator might have been completely installed by Christmas, so we could travel away for a few days (and use it to charge the batteries, instead of plugging into shore power), but it’s not gonna happen. Maybe for New Years ๐Ÿ™‚

Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays / Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 16.December.2017

The days are counting down until the end of the year! Are you ready for the holiday season yet? We had our annual Christmas Date Day on Thursday (lunch out downtown, walking around seawall, taking in the Christmas lights, stumbling upon a Gingerbread House contest…), so we’re firmly planted in the festive season!

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 16.December.2017.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • Maybe Santa will buy us a new hangboard this year! It looks simple enough, that it could almost be used in the van somewhere… ๐Ÿ™‚
  • Creating patterns from everyday objects. I love looking at stuff like this!
  • Have you been inundated with the โ€œBest Of…โ€ lists yet? I tend to pass by most of them, but the Best True Crime podcast list caught my eye. I’ve listened to Dirty John (and liked it), so I might add the others to my list.
  • What a map of Canada looks like, if it’s just of the trees and forests. See that large chunk of white in the middle (i.e. prairie farmland)? That’s where I grew up.
  • Just in case you need a massive list of cookie recipes to try, before the holiday season, this one should cover almost every need, want and desire!

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

This week has been Shower Week, and we’re making good progress!

The shower box is basically done. The sides have been stained and sealed, and it’s just ready for the shower pan to be siliconed into place. Jonty has cut aluminum trim for the edging, and I will have to Osmo the bottom. | Sprinter van conversion - foldable shower design

Jonty has finished the plumbing for the shower head, and mounted the shower controls onto the wall, as well! The shower head is specifically for RVs, so the pressure is low-flow, and there is an on-off toggle on the side, to stop the stream of water without having to turn off the water at the source. Super handy. Here’s a little video of him testing it out ๐Ÿ™‚ | Sprinter van conversion - foldable shower design | Sprinter van conversion - foldable shower design

Next on our list is finishing the mounts to keep the shower in place, when it’s folded away. Spoiler alert – it will involve inset magnets! Hopefully we’ll have finished pictures for your next week.

For the time being, here’s a few shots of what the shower will look like when it’s down and ready for use, and when it’s folded away. The shower faucets will be hidden away when the shower box is folded up. Hopefully we’ll be able to store the shower curtain etc in the box when it’s folded up, too. | Sprinter van conversion - foldable shower design | Sprinter van conversion - foldable shower design | Sprinter van conversion - foldable shower design | Sprinter van conversion - foldable shower design

Pictures from the week of 16.December.2017:

We finally got down to the Canada 150 sign at Canada Place! We had to wait until the โ€œtouristsโ€ left, then we had the sign to ourselves for a few brief moments ๐Ÿ™‚ | Vancouver's Canada Place - Canada 150 sign | Vancouver's Canada Place - Canada 150 sign

Happy Weekend!