Author Archives: Heathy

Rear blind

This is the rear blind (I have a tailgate van).And from the other side.Offering the blind up to the opened tailgate.  One thing that I found tricky was getting it central, since there’s no easy reference point.Hole I drilled in the bottom, I had to make it a bit larger with a file so I could get the blind to sit correctly then apply some pressure to the blind whilst tightening the fixing.For the other fixings you have to cut the carpet with a sharp knife, pull it back then drill the small self tapping screw through the frame of the blind and into the metal frame of the van window.  When I tried this I couldn’t get the screw to cut into the van metal.  A quick call to the (very helpful) guy’s at Vanshades provided the answer which was to use the hammer setting on my drill!  The other thing that I found a bit strange was there’s very little guidance as to where to put the fixings, I would have though it would have been possible for these holes to be pre-drilled to avoid any confusion.Screw in place, although I wasn’t happy that they didn’t sit completely flush so I removed them and very carefully countersunk the hole.  One problem with me doing this is that I think some of the plastic swarf got onto the self adhesive backing of the carpet so it won’t stick down now so I’ll have to (vary carefully) glue it down later.
All done, although I haven’t covered up the screws yet.  Also the instructions suggest using four of the small fixing screws but I’ve only used a pair.

Fitting the blinds

Quite a long break, but back on the van.  Time to fit the blinds at last.

Following the supplied instructions I used the included fixings (and drill bit tool) and drilled them straight through the plastic frame of the blind and then on-into the metalwork of around the window.  I found this a bit difficult to do for a number of reasons.  Firstly once the self-tapping screw has gone through the plastic frame and then reaches the metal there’s a kick-back and there’s a tendency for your chosen drill position to shift.  If you manage to keep it in place then you’re good but you have to watch-out because due to the thread on the screw you need to stop very quickly or you’ll distort the plastic frame (and then will need to back-off).

Also if drilling right through in one go when you drill through the last part of the plastic frame and then “backwards” through the carpet it can snag on the screw.  Lastly if you do drill though in one-go and then leave the blind in-place you’ll probably leave some small amount of metal swarf trapped on the carpet.

None of the above are big issues at all, basically take your time and what I did was drill the blind frame first then the metal and afterwards I removed the blind to get rid of the swarf then refit.

First one is the one for the nearside sliding door.

View from the rear.
The lower fixing on the lefthand side.  There are black plastic covers provided to cover the screws.Both lefthand fixings.
The upper righthand fixing.One of the two lower fixings.
Closeup of the righthand side.Closeup of the left-hand side. This is the finished blind from the inside, looks very nice.  One thing I noticed that even though these are the blackout versions there’s light leakage around the sliding door handle (unavoidable really).  I will probably get a piece of grey foam to put in the hole when sleeping.The look from the outside.

Tow bar electrics

Finally got around to connecting up the remaining wiring for the tow bar electrics.

These are there connections behind the headlight switch on the dashboard.And the connections to the vehicle battery.  I also placed the fuse block in a strong plastic bag to protect it from any moisture.

Table(s) time

Time to fit some tables.

These are the rivnut fixings or the swivel table near the sliding side door.Bracket fitted.Fixings under the table.

All done!

And now to the other table.

Table in place on the rail I fitted.

What colour?

Well the good news is the blinds arrived, but…. They are the wrong colour!Easier to see in this photo.So a quick call to the guys at Vanshades and a subsequent quick trip over to them to work out what happened.  They have a set of swatches so you can choose the correct colour but since I went over there to see them, initially, I didn’t choose the colour myself, they looked and told me what colour I needed.  Unfortunately they got it wrong and put Smoke on the order when I actually have Graphite, so simple human error.  So apology accepted and they took them back and will change the covering to the correct colour/carpet and send them back out to me.

I should mention, regardless of the colour issue, the blinds look really nice.

Still wiring and the fridge too

Time to fit the fridge into place.  I did some checking and there are a couple of different mounting frames you can buy for the fridge but after checking with the Evo furniture guys it was apparent that I didn’t need either.There are two fixing holes on each side of the fridge which you simply drill through to the outside and use longish bolts to fix it.Then it’s just a case of fixing a washer/nut combination in the adjacent units.One thing to check before you drill is how far back/forward you want the fridge itself.  I had quite a lot of flexibility here since I’d cut out the rear panel behind the fridge to account for its depth.  I decided to make it not fully flush so that I could open the door as fas as I wanted to.  You also need to consider that you need to be able to open the fridge door by a certain amount to get the  freezer/fridge divider and other stuff in/out.Back onto the electrics now.  This is the rear of the main 12V isolation switch.And from the front.Now with the wiring in place.This is where it’s going (under the seat/bed on the offside close to the furniture).Connectivity to the leisure battery under the seat.Some of the under seat wiring including the labeled fuses.  You can also see the mains battery charger in the bottom RHS of the picture next to the leisure battery.A better photo of the fuses.  I’ve wired ready for a solar panel which I plan to add later.

Looking at blinds

Just got back from meeting Pete at VanShades to look at their blinds. They’re in their impressive new premises now and I must say their product looks very good indeed too.  Frankly I don’t think there’s any competition/alternative if you want a neat/tidy completely blackout solution.

Pete was very helpful, explaining the options, specifically since I have Evo Design furniture and an opening 3rd-party window, over the sink/worktop. With this configuration there’s an issue in that the blind pod has to be a version which positions the blind sufficiently forward to avoid the latch on the windows slider but then clashes with the back of the worktop.

Pete explained a couple of options and I’ve elected to go for their “J pod” in this position, this will mean I will have to cut/scribe the Evo Design worktop to avoid a clash with the blind frame and the worktop.

Needless to say I’ve ordered three and can’t wait to get them in 2-3 weeks.

More wiring, including lights

Connections done for the light switches, USB socket and mains socket.  I used the rubber feet to offset the three individual units so they were flush with the frame.Bottom panel done.

Top switch panel, pump indicator/switch and LPG level gauge.

Top panel done.

Whole panel view.


Fusebox and negative busbar in place ready for wiring.

Some of the wiring completed.

Wiring the overhead LED lights.

Wiring, sockets, switches etc. & a bit of furniture too

Cutting of the front panel for the rear seat/bed.Test fitting in place.Preparing the mountings for the 12V charger, fuses, main switch etc.  This is all going to fit vertically on the offside of the rear seat frame.Since I don’t know how warm the charger will get I’ve decided to mount it offset from the panel and also cover the panel with a thin sheet of metal.This is the rear part of the panel in place.  You can see the trunking I have installed which enables the tidy routing of cables from from fuse box.Forward part of the panel in place now.These are the wires for the light switches and also a 12V supply for a USB socket.The level gauge for the LPG tank.Wiring for the LPG level gauge, soldered for reliability (since it’ll be hard to access later).Cabling to where the fusebox is going to be located.Route from the lower unit to under the seat/bed.

Fitting the seat/bed

This photo shows the two bolts which pass upwards through the RIB fitting kit under the floor.  The bolts have to be inserted this way so they don’t clash with the spare wheel.
The other five bolts are supposed to point downwards and each have a spreader-plate (I rust-proofed them before fitting).

This was the most difficult bolt to fit so I decided to fit this in an upwards position (since it’s inside one of the trailing arm suspension mounts).

I needed a very long articulated socket to get at some of the nuts.