Mrs B's Cauldron

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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby beaujest4 » Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:00 am

With a trip planned to go camping (with no 240 power) I had to do something to improve the 12v lighting in the van as Jan was not happy with the performance output of the old 12v fluros already in the van. A trip to Jaycar and check out what they had to offer and I got some 12v led strip lights with individual switch and a plug in dimmer switch as well.

The old and the new

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And the difference they make

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New one over the kitchen area and old one over the lounge area

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Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PpzveeXLO8
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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby beaujest4 » Sun Apr 24, 2016 10:06 am

I got the dimmer for those times when Jan just wants to stay in bed to read or whatever she does, can have either good bright light or something a bit less bright

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Sorry for the blurred shot, not much light for a good shot, but you get the idea

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Also found these under one of the beds and put them up to see what they were like. Pretty nifty little idea, works well.

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While cleaning the gutters the other week I check out the solar panels

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Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PpzveeXLO8
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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby El_Freddo » Wed Apr 27, 2016 9:14 pm

Looking good mate. Those little awnings over the windows are pretty neat and would make a huge difference in summer.

Those dimable LEDs work great. To think that 3-5 years earlier they were either uber expensive or not yet available is pretty crazy. Personally I like the warm white over the cool white. The warm white is more of a natural colour and I wish I could find LED bars with this type of light.

Enjoy the trip when it happens ;)

Cheers

Bennie
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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby beaujest4 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:10 pm

Gday Bennie,

Yes the window awnings worked a treat, we were set up in full sun with that side of the van facing the sun most of the time so they had their job cut out for them but worked well. We are toying with the idea of either a full awning on that side or make up a similar awning for the full length of the van, two reasons. First widen the awning over the open windows to further reduce any rain being blown into the window and secondly to create some shade for the fridge as well to help the fridge on those really hot summer days.

The LEDs, we would prefer warm white to the cool white as well, just seems that any LED available is cool white. The LEDs worked well as did the dimmer. One more to replace and the internal lights will be good.
Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PpzveeXLO8
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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby beaujest4 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:14 pm

Camped last week with a few mates. No caravan park, no powered sites. Good test for the van and what we have done to it. Finding out what we still need to make it better and easier to live in.

You always know you are going to be in for a great time when you have this sort of view as you are setting up camp

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Our set up for the week, trialling what works anyhow

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Our venue for the week

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Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PpzveeXLO8
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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby beaujest4 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:17 pm

Our camp

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View from the river

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Spectacular sunsets included

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Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PpzveeXLO8
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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby beaujest4 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:22 pm

Just another day to enjoy

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Another shot of our camp

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Our last afternoon there and we get this view over our camp

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Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PpzveeXLO8
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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby beaujest4 » Wed Apr 27, 2016 11:26 pm

Foggy start to our last day, wait for the fog to lift and the sun to dry everything out so we can pack up. I think the weather wanted us to stay

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Final shots before packing up

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Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby beaujest4 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 12:03 am

So what was the outcome of our camping. The Solar worked well, even with cloudy conditions the panels did their job. The batteries did their job so far but as they are only hooked up to the 12v fridge, stove/oven, gas heater, inline water pump from onboard water tank, a 12v fan left over from the 3 way fridge, radio and the 12v lighting (all internal lighting). While all of those things worked perfectly, well we haven't turned on the gas heater yet to know, there was an apparent lack of 12v outlets for any other item to be plugged into or any 240v power to plug into. There is also no power outside the van including no external lighting.

Obviously we need 12v outlets to get the power out of the batteries and look at an inverter some of the bigger jobs. As we prefer to cook and eat outside we also want power outside and external lighting. To have the extra power outlets for this trip we packed the Arkpac and 120W folding solar panel. I put the panel on the van roof behind the fixed panels and it kept the Arkpac fully charged. As we had the Arkpac and Jan wanting to cook outside we also packed the ARB fridge in with us. Just a bit of extra gear and very much a cross over from camping gear to caravaning gear. The gas stove we had being a camping stove wouldn't hook into the van's gas, something else to update.

When we got home I asked Jan if anything else in the van needed changing or improving. She said the layout of the of the van and everything in it, worked well. I need to finish of the doors and trim of the kitchen. The other thing is to raise the height of the bed bases and improve the access to the underbed storage area. Currently access to it is very small and with the inner spring mattresses makes lifting the bed to access the lift up section of the bed base unaccessible. We will raise the bed base and using a system of drawers we will gain back the underbed storage.

It's all trial and error at present. Work out what works and what doesn't, what is going to make live easier for us in the long term. At present it's going well.
Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PpzveeXLO8
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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby El_Freddo » Thu Apr 28, 2016 8:56 pm

Awesome location! You certainly hit my jealousy buttons with those pics!!

Sounds like you've got a healthy list of mods to do to the camper. Have you thought of a hinged bed base with gas struts to help lift that matress? Just a thought that could also compliment the draw system for access without someone in the bed ;)

Cheers

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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby beaujest4 » Thu Apr 28, 2016 11:36 pm

Yeah thought about the lift up beds but with custom made inner spring mattress which are 30+cm thick they are wedged in between the wall and other cupboards and a bugger to try and move or make the beds :smile: May have been able to do it with the old foam mattresses we did have but just could not sleep on
Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PpzveeXLO8
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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby Foo » Sat Apr 30, 2016 6:15 am

:thumbsup:

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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby nig » Sat Apr 30, 2016 11:43 am

Its coming on well Al - very comfortable.
Looking forward to having a look at JLW :thumbsup:
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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby beaujest4 » Sat Apr 30, 2016 7:51 pm

Thanks Nig, slow process but having fun doing it, improving as we go
Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PpzveeXLO8
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Re: Mrs B's Cauldron

Postby beaujest4 » Tue May 10, 2016 10:07 pm

Well after the last camping trip we decided to raise the bed heights, for two reasons. Mainly to make it that little bit easy to get up out of the beds, take some pressure of the old joints from trying to stand up after a good night's sleep. Secondly to improve the under bed storage, not just the amount of storage but the accessibility of the area.
After measuring the and what available clearance there was for everything, including Jan sitting on the bed and not bumping her head on the overhead cupboards it was off to find what tubs would fit the best. Of course you can never find a tub that fits exactly so with a bit of give and take we settled on one size tub that hopefully will do the job.

So I have to raise the bed to fit the tub underneath.

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Before the big job though do a small job first. Change over the last 12v light in the van, the one over the table/lounge area. Had a look at Jaycar and this time they had the longer led strip light with a switch and the connector and another dimmer switch. Out with the old and in with the new. Photos don't really do them justice but makes a lot of difference. Bright and dim. Still have to remove the old 240v light yet.

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With that job done started on the bed. Decided to do Jan's side first as it was supposed to be the easier one. Was going well until I went to see if I could remove the bed head cushion. It sort of come away pretty easy and found the water stains had gone a little bit too far maybe. Looks like I now have to remove a little bit more then I was hoping for.

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Cheers Al

Life is the Greatest gift we are given, Make it the Greatest thing you do.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PpzveeXLO8
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