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Looks like a great rig.  A high end air mattress is a good call

What did your dog say about the trip?  Looks like a happy dog

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15 hours ago, Tiller said:

Slept in the back on the way down. The mat was waaaayyyyy to hard!  Going to have to find another mat for under the sleeping bag next time. 

A 3" memory foam mattress "topper" would be nice if you can deal with the space it takes up. 

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  • 513uxYZjB7L._SS40_.jpg
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  • CoCoMall Inflatable Lounger, Inflatable lazy bag, Portable Waterproof Compression Sack, Nylon Beach bag, Hangout Camping Sofa (Orange)
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CoCoMall Inflatable Lounger, Inflatable lazy bag, Portable Waterproof Compression Sack, Nylon Beach bag, Hangout Camping Sofa

 
 

Price: $36.99 Free Shipping for Prime Members
 
 
 
 
In Stock.

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Dog liked it a lot I think.  In my matrix she pretty much only saw the sky!  Maybe the tops of trees and the occasional trucker.
  Always seemed to have her head up looking out the window when I looked back!

Yes, I think I'm going to look into an air mattress probably. Lots of storage space underneath for it so not a problem.

Tiller

 

Edited by Tiller

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Then you'll have to find one with a 12V air pump.  Unless you want to carry a power inverter.

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There are plenty of compact 12V pumps available.

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The Air mattress I found  in the link has a built in air pump and is only 24" wide so it should fit very nicely.

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Posted (edited)

So I haven't updated in a while.  Been so busy I haven't had much time to put into the TC.  But I finally did find a few hours here and there to do a few things over the past month or so.  Today I finally got around doing some electrical stuff I've been wanting to do.  I pretty much copied Don's thread on installing the FZ FZ1fuse block in the rear electrical panel of the TC.  I pretty much followed those directions. I

I purchase this marine grade, 6 gang rocker switch panel with aux 12 v and USB ports and a voltmeter too.  About $41.00 with shipping.  Long shipping time!  This is basically all pre-wired. One red & black wire to power the top three devices and another black & red to power the all six rocker switches.  I figured even if I couldn't use it as is, I could cannibalize it for the individual devices and switches.

596a80f5c1145_ScreenShot2017-07-15at4_52_49PM.thumb.png.caf1b181127e83b9ee4075fae681179f.png

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Car-Marine-Boat-6-Gang-Waterproof-Circuit-colors-LED-Rocker-Switch-Panel-Breaker/401319174012?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

I was pretty sure I knew where I wanted to put it. So I did some preliminary measuring and cut out an inspection hole.

This shows my initial inspection hole and the FZ block mounted next to the fuse block.  I used velco tape to attach it to the body so I can easily take it out to add circuits to it.

IMG_3454.thumb.JPG.866691d04095e5ad25be9c871b2b01a6.JPG

I widened it a bit at a time, making sure I had full clearance behind it.  If you try to cut out too far to the right, the depth lessens.  Your can see in the panel area on the right the body angles to the left.  The higher up you go, the more space that body work takes up.  If you cut in front of it, you don't have enough depth to put in the panel.  I simply used a cut-off wheel on a dremel to cut the hole out.  The cutting wheel gets hot and the plastic pretty much starts to melt.  Only do small sections at a time to prevent it from getting to hot.  You don't want that.

 

Edited by Tiller

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Once it was cut out, the final hole was like this.

596a8442a7259_ScreenShot2017-07-15at5_06_32PM.thumb.png.5ba214a865737c075c9865de8125d8a4.png

This was the dry fitting of the panel.

596a85710cd65_ScreenShot2017-07-15at5_09_20PM.thumb.png.2edfbe31c53ce47d4d32ee56ce80aec1.png

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Posted (edited)

Final results.

I did rewire the panel slightly.  I made the first switch on the right a master switch so that it turns off the 2-5th switches.  Basically a master switch for four of the switches.

The second switch controls the three devices in the top of the switch panel.  That way the voltmeter is only on when I have the master and second switch on.  If i need an extra switch some day I could also wire the three devices directly to the master.

The third switch controls an LED light I added into the cargo door.  The rear lighting in the TC sucks. The cargo light basically illuminates the immediate rear of the vehicle when on.

The fourth and fifth switches are not hooked up yet.  But I suspect the fourth one will be for interior lighting I'll be adding. I want more light in the actual cargo area and I'm planning on adding some led strip lighting underneath the floor to illuminate the underneath storage areas. The fifth one will probably be used for auxiliary fans I'm planning on adding to help keep my dog cool when we are parked.

The sixth one I ran directly to the aux FZ-1 fuse block to a "switched" circuit.  Which means it only works if the car is running.   It will control a 12V water pump that I'm in the process of hooking up and plumbing.  The water pump will be able to be hooked up to my 5 gallon collapsible water jugs.  I'll use this to hose/bathe the dog down after training or hose the wheel wells off if we happen to be in a particularly muddy area.   The dogs have on occasion been skunked when out on training, especially night training.  Nothing worse then driving home with a skunked up dog.  This will let us bathe a dog right at training (or a search) if we need to.  I wanted it on a separate switched circuit so it only will run with the engine on cause it could run down the battery.  Plus I wanted an easy to reach switch to control the pump. It does have a pressure switch on the pump too.

 

596a881d3fbcd_ScreenShot2017-07-15at5_15_47PM.thumb.png.6ea80081c4b88c3bb5a8c1845f100983.png

I'm happy with it so far.

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This is the LED light I added to the cargo door so when it is raised, the light illuminates the rear of the vehicle. The light can swivel so if need be it can be directed to the right or left of the vehicle.

596a888b884e2_ScreenShot2017-07-15at5_16_43PM.png.ae78caab9089c44ab66b5ccd812772a6.png

 

Edited by Tiller

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Your project is really coming along nicely!

Way back when I rode a dirt bike down the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico, I carried a self inflating foam camp mattress that worked very well.  When inflated, it'a an inch and a half thick and when deflated it rolls up to be only 4 or 5 inches in diameter.  To inflate it, you just open the valve and in 3 or 4 minutes, the foam expands and fills with air and then you add a few breaths of air to adjust it to your desired comfort and close the valve so the air can't get out while you're sleeping.  To stow it, you open the valve and begin rolling it up slowly while the air is slowly expelled and then close the valve so no air can get in

The following link isn't the exact one I used, but it's very similar and very affordable

https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-Self-Inflating-Air-Pad-Regular/dp/B01928HSB4/ref=sr_1_13?s=outdoor-recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1500162917&sr=1-13&keywords=thermarest+sleeping+pad

Don

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A+ on the marine grade switch panel. I really like it. You could have tapped directly into the aux junction box and added fuses in the open slots, but that is a feature I give too much value to. The extra fuse block is functionally equal.

Nice work.

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I had mentioned the cargo light I put on the cargo door,

This is the back of the TC with no light on.

IMG_3475.thumb.JPG.aaba6fffd46f2828743b93993b7cd096.JPG

With the cargo LED light on it makes all the difference.

Of course the camera also reduces the exposure as well due to the extra light.

IMG_3474.thumb.JPG.4d46c5449843289cb02cb124aa4ad9e7.JPG

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@Tiller - just had a chance to catch up on this thread. You did a really nice job in customizing your TC. Thanks for sharing with some excellent pics to document your craftsmanship. Job well done! :clapping:

 

Using the uni-strut as a frame for your platform was a great idea. Very creative.

 

I would like to add some additional lighting in the cargo area as well. For the cargo van version, I have a single LED light on the passenger side but it's often blocked with gear offering limited lighting. Not very useful. Having something on both sides and/or one centered in the rear to project outward like you did is the hot ticket.

 

Have you considered adding a porta potti to your rig? Something like a Thetford or Dometic. I've thought about getting one myself for road trips. It could be useful unless you and the pooch have a solidarity thing going on with a "What's good for him is good for me mantra."

 

Looking forward to seeing more mods. Keep up the good work! :thumbsup:

Edited by windguy

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Thanks Windguy.  I still need interior lighting yet and under the floor lighting.  Planning on using LED tape underneath. 

 

No porta-potty for me in the van.  I carry a folding spade in the TC or in my backpack with me if I'm really camping somewhere with no facilities.  Otherwise its campground restrooms, roadside travel plazas and truck stops or a fast food joint.  I'm rarely in beach areas where I can see it might be hard to find the necessary privacy.  In the woods of PA, that's usually not an issue.

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3 hours ago, Tiller said:

Thanks Windguy.  I still need interior lighting yet and under the floor lighting.  Planning on using LED tape underneath. 

 

No porta-potty for me in the van.  I carry a folding spade in the TC or in my backpack with me if I'm really camping somewhere with no facilities.  Otherwise its campground restrooms, roadside travel plazas and truck stops or a fast food joint.  I'm rarely in beach areas where I can see it might be hard to find the necessary privacy.  In the woods of PA, that's usually not an issue.

Sounds good. There are virtues to keeping it simple.

You are right. Not too many trees in my neck of the woods, er desert.

Please keep us posted on your lighting upgrades.

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I spent the past week in VA at a K9 Search & Rescue training seminar. We slept in the TC instead of the cabins. So glad we did! Cabins had multiple people and K9's in them. One little noise and 2-5 dogs barking. Which would get the next cabins dogs going. 1f604.png😄

 

Plus the cabins were often very hot at night as it was unseasonably warm this past week. It took well into the morning for them to cool down on some nights I was told.

 

Having the auto start on the TC was awesome as was the global window up and down. Climb in the back, go to bed and lock the doors, global up the windows, remote auto start the TC and the AC cooled the car down and shuts off. A few nights I woke up and tapped the auto start for some additional cooling. Awesome.

 

While out training I could put the dog up, global up the windows and auto start the car to cool her down. Then global down the windows once she got cooled down a bit.  Was wonderful.

 

Here's a couple of pics at night with it in sleeping configuration. (One occupant already in bed).

 

59cfba6724584_IMG_3814(1).thumb.jpg.92489e8e8b6d1027e955c5beb7fd2634.jpg59cfba6d68c48_IMG_3825(2).thumb.jpg.69e32802a8c26ed2ceb78378a9a9899a.jpg

 

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I settled on the Klymit Static V Recon sleeping pad.  The width fit the space right, it got good reviews except for it's R-value and was relatively cheap at $55.  Since I would normally use this in the car I wasn't worried about this being directly on the ground.  And it can be used for backpacking too but a ground tarp is needed in cooler weather.   There is an insulated version of this pad for $100 if anyone is interested in that instead.  You might bottom out a bit in these depending on how you sleep and what your weight and shape is.  I bottomed out a few times, but primarily when I laid directly on a hip when sleeping on one side or the other.  But it was fine for me.  If you're around 200 or under you are probably Ok.  215-220 lbs and up will probably not be all that comfortable.

 

I like that it stores small, blows up very easily,  (yes, about 10 breaths as claimed).

 

https://www.klymit.com/static-v-recon.html

 

 

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Tiller great job  with your rig looks like you are maximizing your fun.

As for the porta-potty  As I do not use My Tc for camping It does not have one, but in my larger service van I have had one for over 10 years.  Getting caught behind a bush or tree is not a good Idea where I operate!

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4 hours ago, G B L said:

As for the porta-potty  As I do not use My Tc for camping It does not have one, but in my larger service van I have had one for over 10 years.  Getting caught behind a bush or tree is not a good Idea where I operate!

Okay, I'll bite. Why?

You live in the sticks so all I can come up with is either a hunter or a huntee, perhaps a moose in rut?

 

@Tiller - great update, thanks. Love the pics. Enjoy your trip!

 

 

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I have a repair business that takes me to the Coast North of Boston, A lot of Boat Yards and Yacht Clubs.   What I would or could do at home Might result in a set of handcuffs and the back seat of a Black and White!!

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On 9/30/2017 at 6:13 PM, G B L said:

I have a repair business that takes me to the Coast North of Boston, A lot of Boat Yards and Yacht Clubs.   What I would or could do at home Might result in a set of handcuffs and the back seat of a Black and White!!

Copy that. It's good you're self contained for road trips.

Coastal areas around New England are pretty nice.

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