Saturday Snippets: 17.February.2018

With this past Monday being a long weekend in BC, and Valentine’s Day falling mid-week, and a few site visits thrown into the mix, it’s felt like a really short week! No complaints here, though. To the rest of Canada, we hope you enjoy your Family Day long weekend this coming Monday! Next year we’ll finally join in on the same day πŸ˜‰

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 17.February.2018.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Last week I had to spend a day over in Nanaimo for work, so we took the opportunity to bring the van over and stay on the island for some of the long weekend. The big highlight of the trip? After almost two years, Moby got his first bath finally! His favourite part? A little scrub behind the wheels πŸ™‚ It was the best $12 we’ve spent on him!

The other bonus of the weekend was that we were able to gather some data from our second-alternator charging system. All week, we let the batteries run down, and by Saturday morning, we had about 30% charge left. So on the drive from Nanaimo to Victoria, Jonty hooked his laptop up to our Mastervolt controller via USB, and gathered data from the system. I’m hoping he will do a proper post here, because we’ve had some interest from the Instagram community!

We’re the very first customers to use the Mastervolt charge-control system in conjunction with the Nations high-amp alternator and, as far as we’re aware, no other group is able look at their charging data in real-time. It’s kind of exciting! Here are a few graphs showing a very small subset of some data we’re able to look at. In very (very) general terms, we obtain real-time information on alternator temperature, battery voltages and currents, charging rates, etc.

In less than 2 hours of driving time, we were able to completely charge up our batteries, and we didn’t even tax the system to its full potential. So from now on, our off-grid / off-road travels will really only be limited to our fresh water supply!

Weekly progress report:

We’re definitely getting toward the end of this van conversion. Until we figure out the grey water tanks, our weekly updates are going to be a lot of little finishing-up projects. This project this week was installing a slide-out garbage and recycling tray under the sink.

After nearly 2 years of having to custom-fabricate virtually every component in the van, we finally purchased something that required almost no additional work! Ikea, we thank you for selling something that is shorter than the standard household cupboard depth πŸ™‚ The rollers and tray were UTRUSTA, and the bins (with lids) were VARIERA. All Jonty had to do was to make a mount to attach the rollers to the L-track in the floor! Hallelujah, a quick project!

Pictures from the week of 17.February.2018:

Like I mentioned, we spent last weekend on Vancouver Island. We stayed in Nanaimo for one night in Nanaimo and the second night in Victoria.

While Jonty was washing up the breakfast dishes, I snapped a few pictures of the morning light in the Nanaimo harbour. These were the views we woke up to in the morning – not too shabby, hey? I’m a sucker for a good water reflection πŸ™‚

And our ride back to Vancouver!

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 10.February.2018

How was your week? We’re combining a work + pleasure trip over to Vancouver Island this weekend. We’re traveling in our home away from home, and we’re both pretty excited to try out the new table!

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 10.February.2018.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter conversion updates):

Kitchen Table:

  • We finished putting in the kitchen table in last week, and we figured out a pretty good solution for keeping the table secure in an up position! This means we can drive around with the table up or down, and it’s not going anywhere.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 20180210-Sprinter-conversion-kitchen-table-support-10

  • To keep the table in it’s up position, Jonty fabricated a custom spring-loaded twist lock that can easily be inserted into the 80-20. You push the lock in, twist it 90-degrees, and it locks into place. The nice thing about this solution is that it’s not fixed to the 80-20, so we can easily remove the twist lock to open or close the curtains.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 20180210-Sprinter-conversion-kitchen-table-support-03

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 20180210-Sprinter-conversion-kitchen-table-support-02

  • A tie-down strap then attaches to the table-leg hole (which is secured to the floor via the L-Track), and can be cinched down nice and tight. It’s a really clean, easy solution that makes stowing the table a cinch!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 20180210-Sprinter-conversion-kitchen-table-support-05

  • We wanted a method that wasn’t going to require taking the table top apart and stowing it somewhere, and this totally fits the bill. The table leg is small enough to fit into our catch-all drawer, which is an added bonus!
  • So far, we are absolutely loving the functionality of this table. We’ve often remarked how long it takes to figure out the simple and/or elegant solution to a problem. But taking the extra time to make sure it’s a good solution really relieves those pressure points down the road.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 20180210-Sprinter-conversion-kitchen-table-support-01

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 20180210-Sprinter-conversion-kitchen-table

Finishing Kitchen Cupboards:

  • We’re now just waiting for the weather to improve, and the rain to stop, before installing the grey tanks (the last major system to finish!).
  • Until that happens, Jonty’s started to work on finishing up some of the little bits and pieces that were not crucial to do previously. One of those was adding a cupboard backing to the one that’s right next to the sliding door. All of our other cupboards use the foam-padded walls of the van, as a cupboard backing. The one adjacent to the sliding door doesn’t have that as an option! Until now, it’s just been open at the back, and we’ve had to minimize what we put in there, so that it doesn’t tumble out.
  • The tricky part to this cupboard backing was to introduce a curve, to align with the curvature of the van wall. I think he’s done a fantastic job!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter conversion - kitchen cabinet updates

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter conversion - kitchen cabinet updates

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter conversion - kitchen cabinet updates

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter conversion - kitchen cabinet updates

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter conversion - kitchen cabinet updates

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter conversion - kitchen cabinet updates

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter conversion - kitchen cabinet updates

I’m not sure what little project we’ll be tackling next week, so stay tuned! πŸ™‚

Happy (BC Family Day) long weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 03.February.2018

Well, hello February! Is anyone else wondering where the heck January went? With us being away last week, the month really seemed to slip by. We had a fantastic week in Disneyland, and will try to post some pictures next week, once I go through them all. We returned to a pretty solid week of rain and, given the picture above, I think I’m still pining for the Californian sun!

Here’s what caught our eye online in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 03.February.2018.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

  • One of my (many!) climbing weaknesses is my pinch strength. Rock and Ice has a good article on how to improve it, if it’s one of your weaknesses, too!
  • We got back from our family trip to Disneyland earlier in the week. We all had such a fantastic time, and both Jonty and I were kind of surprised at how much we enjoyed a theme park! The attention to detail is phenomenal. Probably, in part, to reasons like this – interesting tidbits about working as a Disney Princess.
  • And speaking of theme parks, some of these roller coaster pictures made me laugh out loud.
  • Are you going to be watching the Super Bowl this weekend? We don’t have cable, and we’re not big US football fans, so it’s probably unlikely in our household. BUT, that might not stop us from enjoying some Super Bowl snacks! I wouldn’t say no to any of these!
  • How’s your chocolate cake craving?
  • Do you know that you can now get free WiFi anywhere in Vancouver? Pretty awesome!

On Moby News:

Well we flew back into Vancouver earlier in the week, and wasted no time getting a back to the van work. I would be lying if I said we didn’t suffer from post-vacation blues, but the van work must go on!

We made really good progress on the kitchen table, as in, it’s very nearly done! Jonty modified the stowable shower mount to accommodate the table hinges, and fabricated a table leg to mount into the L-Track in our floor. We’re not sure if this will be our final table leg, but it serves a purpose for the time being.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - kitchen table design

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - kitchen table design

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - kitchen table design

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - kitchen table design

When we want to use the shower, or need additional room in that area, the table easily flips up and the table leg can be stowed. Our plan is to have a strap that connects from the underside of the table to the curtain rod, in order to hold the table in its flipped position. We need to make a few more mounts for that, so we should have those pictures for next week’s post.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - kitchen table design

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - kitchen table design

We still have to Osmo the table, but otherwise, it’s useable! Super exciting, as now the only major system left to install is the grey water tank.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - kitchen table design

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - kitchen table design

Happy Weekend!

Saturday Snippets: 20.January.2018

Gosh, it felt like a whirlwind week. We’re heading on a bit of a vacation next week, so maybe that’s why this week felt so busy? Trying to tie up loose ends!

Here’s what caught our eye online, in the world of climbing, eating, cycling and repeating. Saturday Snippets for 20.January.2018.

On Climbing, Eating, Cycling and Repeating:

On Moby News (aka Sprinter van conversion):

Because we’re going to be M.I.A. on the van next week, we’ve spent this week trying to cross off some items (big and small) off our to-do list.

  • Over the past few weeks, we’ve noticed that the front ceiling panel, closest to the seats, has started to sag under its own weight. Jonty fabricated a few mounts, to attach the ceiling panel to the front frame of the cab, added a few screw covers, and the job was finished! It’s definitely much sturdier.

  • We decided to add LED strip lighting under the electrical panel box. Now it matches the under-cabinet lighting along the galley and in the bedroom. It’s nice to have a bit more light in that closet area!

Stowable shower design:

  • We figured out our shower curtain set-up, and are really happy with how it’s turned out. When designing this, we knew we wanted to have the shower sit right under the front fan, so all the added moisture from the shower could be vented without adding another hole in the roof. We also wanted something that was going to be easy to put up and take down.
  • In the end, we decided to attach aluminum mounts to four of the existing ceiling screws. When Jonty made these mounts, he cut in a thin notch into the end of each mount. We can easily slide a metal hook into each notch and lock it into place. Our copper shower rod is then slipped over the top and into each hook.

  • The design is really minimal, but extremely stable! We’ve both tested out standing in the shower, with the curtain in place, and it’s actually roomier than we both expected it to be (yes, I’m standing on my tip-toes to look out over the top).

  • Another mount, permanently fixed to the shower curtain rod, is used to hold our shower nozzle in place while we shower.
  • We soldered the copper elbows on one side, so the curtain frame is rigid.

  • When we’re done, the curtain rod can be lifted off the hooks, the rods are pulled apart (the tent pole solution I showed you last week), and everything (including the shower curtain) is folded down into the shower pan, and stowed up against the wall.
  • Really, we had no idea how we were going to manage this shower design, when we first started it, but so far, we’re really happy with our version of a stowable shower! Now we just have to plumb in the waste line πŸ™‚

View from the bedroom, looking toward the front of the van.

Position of the shower, when it’s in use. Obviously, we’ll close the door πŸ˜‰

Kitchen Table:

  • One of the last pieces to our van puzzle (beside the grey tanks) is our kitchen table. Jonty CNC’d out the table (press play to watch the little video) yesterday, and this weekend will be spent filling in all the holes and knots with epoxy.

Bit by bit, this van is getting built!

Happy Weekend!

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.

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 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!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 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!

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | 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) πŸ™‚

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Sprinter van conversion - foldable shower design

Happy Weekend!