Back on the grind

So today we are back in Michigan working in the hangar. We are down to the small little annoying jobs that add up to the big elements of being ready.

We have had our tanks mounted for quite some time but we haven’t had them plumbed fully. This involves a far bit of cutting into Bo and that’s always stressful. And that includes some visible alterations to make room for the “filler” for each of the tanks. Basically we had to cut a big hole into the side of the van and add a tube and cap. So you can fill up the tanks.

Like everything else on this build it wasn’t bad but had a few surprises. We did the aux fuel tank while we were in CA, so we were seasoned at cutting Ito the van. But the water tank was tricker. On the passenger side if the van where the aux fuel filler was put in, there was a factory spot for it. Because some vanagons came with the filler there. That at least made it a bit easier to drill the hole because there was a nice flat area. But on the driver’s side where the water tank is, there is flat prepared spot. You have to eye it and not miss. We marked the spot and went at it and then The high pitched ringing of breaking metal. We broke our guide drill bit, and the big huge hole cutter bit walked along the side of the van. My tools… or my technique had failed me. Ugh.


Like ragged claw marks the area around the hole was pretty mangled.


I was hopeful that once we finally put the cap fitting in, it would cover the mishap. We were lucky, except one mark was bigger than the flange!


It’s cool to have it in. And to imagine when we will be filling gallons of water prepping to cross the Sahara. But I am terrified of losing the key to that cap! The plumbing from the neck to the tank, is simple in diagram, moderately difficult in execution. Only for the mechanics of it. You have to work behind the wheel, and only by touch often, leave a lot of numb fingers and bruised knuckles. But we got it.


From there it was on to an assortment f jobs, from hooking up the power for the air compressor, to tensioning the winch rope, to finally mounting the cabinets to the floor, to requiring the battery for the umpteenth time. We are working through a flurry of small tasks that need to get done.

Another big win today was to finalize how we were going to plumb the drain for the sink and the water system inside of the van. Let me be honest, water scares me. The idea of it bursting loose in the van and frying all of our electronics ranks high on my list of sleepless nights. But we figured out a way to put the pump outside of the computer where the car’s engine computer is and into a visible area under the seat. So if it leaks, we’ll see it and the water will just wet the floor and the under-seat heater which is impervious. The problem with solving riddles late, is that we don’t have the parts with us to make all of the connections. But honestly, just sitting down and plotting it all out is a huge accomplishment.

Tomorrow is a hustle day. Work is at an all time high of stress. So we have to be productive here and then leave for Chicago so I can be ready for my meetings next week. But overall, it’s been a great day. Time for bed. More tomorrow? Trying to get back to regular postings!


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