2011-07-07_GAAtlanta,_VannaWhite(StartOfStorageShelf)

2011-07-07_GAAtlanta,_VannaWhite(StartOfStorageShelf)

It was REALLY HOT-HOT-HOT in Atlanta. It took me a couple of weeks to both decide on how I wanted to build a storage shelf and to actually get it built. I had read from other Vandwellers, that storage is a very large concern when planning to go on long trips.  I had seen in construction pictures where others had used plastic crates for holding ‘stuff’. I had ordered a set of 6 from Wal-Mart and used the site-to-store to ship them.  My storage shelf was designed to hold the plastic crates with heavy items on the bottom and to have a wire-shelf on the top.  I’ve added some pictures of the shelf.

While I had the tools out, I decided to tackle the orange crate holding the ‘bar sink’. When climbing in-and-out of the van, I had used the orange crate as a push-up spot from my knees to standing and the crate was wobbly. I had a couple of extra thin plywood pieces of wood around and I decided to cut them to the size of the orange crate and screw them in on three sides in order to make the crate more stable. The crate was painted with extra paint when I had painted the interior. After adding the plywood to the sides, I wasn’t willing to ‘make it pretty’ and paint the plywood. It will function well enough as a sink-and-grey-water-storage without paint.

2011-07-07_GAAtlanta,VannaWhite(OrangeCrate-withBarSink-and-BluePlasticGreyWaterTank)

2011-07-07_GAAtlanta,VannaWhite(OrangeCrate-withBarSink-and-BluePlasticGreyWaterTank)2011-07-07_GAAtlanta,VannaWhite(OrangeCrate-withBarSink-and-BluePlasticGreyWaterTank)1

2011-07-07_GAAtlanta,VannaWhite(MiddleOfStorageShelf)

2011-07-07_GAAtlanta,VannaWhite(MiddleOfStorageShelf)

Each day when I worked on the shelf and sink, I knew that I also had electrical work to do – but, I didn’t really want to do it because I don’t have much electrical experience. I would work on the shelf and/or sink for a few hours each day, and then retreat during the mid-day heat to the air-conditioned house. Work progressed slowly. I had bought a marine battery terminal extender from Bass Pro Shop and found a 4-wire positive-and-negative terminal connector for wiring to the extender. One morning, I decided it was the ‘last’ item to do before my next trip and I tackled the wiring. I put on my kitchen rubber gloves and installed the battery terminal extender to one of the batteries. I put some grease on the terminal to help prevent corrosion. Next, I cut the 110-volt plug from a metal lamp clamp and screwed in a 14-volt mercury bulb into the socket. I wired one part of the wire to the positive terminal and the other to the negative terminal. I tested the light and it came on. SUCCESS! Let-there-be-light!!!

2011-08-02_GAAtlanta,VannaWhite,_BatteryMarineTerminalExtender-and-WiringHarness

2011-08-02_GAAtlanta,VannaWhite,_BatteryMarineTerminalExtender-and-WiringHarness

Next, I had a marine boat panel and wired the panel to the terminal. I had a 14-volt trucker fan and plugged it into the panel cigarette lighter plug. It worked also. I added a 2×4 wood leg under the wire shelf and I screwed the base of the fan into the leg on the kitchen counter behind the passenger seat.  I tried to wire 2 rv-dome type lights into the marine panel – but, they didn’t work. I will have to undo the wiring and try to figure out what I messed up later. I was happy to have both the 14-volt light and the fan working. That was enough creature comfort to enjoy my next trip and I was ready to stop work on the van for a while.

2011-08-02_GAAtlanta,VannaWhite,12-voltFan-and-12-voltLamp

2011-08-02_GAAtlanta,VannaWhite,12-voltFan-and-12-voltLamp

2011-08-02_GAAtlanta,VannaWhiteBatteryBoxes

2011-08-02_GAAtlanta,VannaWhiteBatteryBoxes

Note: I used nylon rope and tie the crates to the shelf as well as to each other. As I drive, things slide around some – but with enough rope, they don’t slide enough to fall (usually).