We made some window shades for our van a while back using Low-E. They work great but they are a pain to store. We decided to make them fold so they’d take up less space.
We tried stitching them with a sewing machine, melting them with a soldering iron, just smooshing them together, but the best overall technique was to use a hot iron on the fold lines. This is how we made it work.
Continue reading “Making foldable window shades from Low-E foil-faced foam”
We were concerned that every composting toilet reviewer had somehow lost their sense of smell at the same time they started using the unit. How could a bucket full of poo NOT smell bad? Well, either we both lost our nose function too, or the composting toilet we installed really doesn’t produce any nasty fumes.
Continue reading “Do composting toilets smell bad?”
We bought five different types of LED lantern to test out which worked best in the van.
We found that we needed a couple of small lanterns for when we want to get up in the middle of the night rather than switching on the main lights inside the van. Because they are portable, we also use them outside the van when we’re hanging out after dark.
Here’s a list of what we tried, and which worked best for our needs…
Continue reading “LED lantern comparison – we did so you don’t have to”
When we last filled up with DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid), we poured a little into a plastic tub and threw in various pieces of metal. DEF is corrosive, but we wanted to find out just how bad it really is.
No surprise that zinc really reacts with DEF fluid, but the copper wire turned black with surface corrosion faster than we expected.
The biggest reassurance from this experiment was that tinned copper cable showed absolutely no reaction to the DEF fluid.
Continue reading “How corrosive is DEF fluid, anyway?”
We’ve been using freebie plastic protectors on the prongs of our 15 Amp shore power plug, but we keep on losing them and the plug is beginning to corrode from the gunk that gets sprayed on to it underneath the van.
We found a squeezable storage container called a ViewTainer. When you squeeze the sides, a slit in the top opens up. When you release, it closes again.
The container is meant for storing small items like screws, but it works really well for our plug.
Continue reading “Keeping the shore power plug clean and dry”
Our axe and shovel had been rattling around inside the rear storage compartment for over a year before we worked up the courage to mount them on the wall.
We thought that the Quick Fist clamps we’d bought would easily rip out of the 1/4″ plywood walls but they seem to be holding pretty firmly.
Continue reading “Quick Fist clamps for mounting items to the van”
There are several different types of vans called “Sprinters” in the USA. Some have badges that say Dodge, some say Freightliner, and some say Mercedes, but they were all made in the same German factory. Here’s a guide to what’s what in the Sprinter world.
Continue reading “Sprinter history lesson”
The Sprinter’s “Audio 15” stereo system has an interface from the mid-90s, and speakers that sound like they are made from wet toilet paper. Sane people would just replace the whole lot, but we experimented with keeping the head unit and seeing what a difference good speakers would make.
When that didn’t give us quite enough improvement, we swapped out the head unit for something that produces clearer sound and connects better with our phones.
This is an overview of the different articles we’ve written about our attempts to get good sounds inside the van. If you’re trying to do the same thing, start here.
Continue reading “Upgrading the stock Sprinter stereo – overview”
We wanted to be able to listen to tunes while we’re parked up camping without running down the starter battery. When we added rear speakers to the van, we wired them with a switch so that we could use them either with the regular stereo or with a separate amplifier. Here’s how we did it.
Continue reading “Adding rear speakers that run from either the stereo or a separate amp”
We gave in. Even after changing out the front speakers and adding a subwoofer, the Audio 15 stereo that comes as stock in newer Sprinters was just not up to the job.
We chose to replace it with an aftermarket unit from Sony that has Apple Carplay and Android Auto so that we can use our phones to provide navigation and music through the stereo.
The swap-out wasn’t hard, but there are a couple of sticky points along the way. Read on for the details.
Continue reading “Adding an aftermarket stereo head unit to a Sprinter”