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Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy...
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

I have the battery now seated. Here is my plan for the battery strap.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I mounted the SI-ACR and the fuse panel, along with a Blue Sea fuse for each side of the ACR. Boy was that crimper fun to use! Before, I was using the little anvil type you have to hit with a hammer.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Tomorrow, I have to run the wire back to the starter. I did not delete the rear bench heater so I'm going to have to drill through the van. I am going to have to do some research and find out where people are drilling their holes at.

Also, I know that a lot of people choose the nearby seat belt screws for their ground. Just to be clear (and clean) people are talking about the seat belt post left of my battery going to the side of the van.

Looking forward to hooking up my panel. I hope to have everything finished by the weekend so I can go test this all out and relax before the semester starts.
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24 year old male, 34 year old van
1983 Westy - stock watercooled engine with ~121k miles
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

For the past 3 days, my dad has been working on replacing a ball joint on his Ford F-250. Because of this, the Westy is blocked from being outside.

I made some great progress tonight. I have the battery strapped down with the help of some wood. I grounded the battery to the hard-to-reach 17mm passenger seat belt bolt. It took some time to get it off/on, but I think this spot makes it look much cleaner.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Okay, so I ended up setting up the solar controller tonight. I was going to drill the hole for the starter/alt wire but because my dad's truck is currently being held up with the jack and jack stands and I didn't want to mess with it. Also, I would like some help when I drill that hole.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I checked the voltage on my battery for the first time! And I didn't use a multi-meter. Check this out.

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I wanted the bluetooth module to be a little higher up so I used an existing screw on the passenger side of the van. You can see it a little in this picture.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Tomorrow, my dad should have his truck fixed. I can test out my panel. I'll start hooking up some devices to the fuse panel. Should be able to take it out all Saturday for some extensive testing Wink
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1983 Westy - stock watercooled engine with ~121k miles
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jimf909 Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

Great posts. Keep up the good work!
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1990 Westy Camper: Bostig RG4, 2wd, manual trans, NAHT high-top, Flash Silver, etc., etc.
1985 Westy Camper: 1.9 wbx, 2wd, manual trans, Merian Brown, (sold after 17 years, converted to Syncro by Northwesty).
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

jimf909 wrote:
Great posts. Keep up the good work!


Thanks!

My last first day of school was today.

Here is my panel from WiseFoodGroups. I'll do a review some other time. I ordered Monday and it came in Saturday. Here's some pictures:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The only thing I have plugged up to my aux battery is my USB 4.8 charger. I forgot to grab a picture, but it came out pretty good!

Anyway - onto the 'campus life'. I worked remotely from the library. Everything went pretty good there. Had class for 5 hours. Went mountain biking (there is an awesome trail right behind campus). Then went to pick up groceries and ice for the yeti. I really see the need for a energy efficient fridge after dealing with the ice.

Here is a picture of my rooftop dinner spot
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

. 4th floor parking garage. So its like 8PM - pretty chill - me just listening to my bluetooth speaker while cooking. Anyway some cars start to pull up like 50 feet away. 5 mins later like 5 cars are there. A bunch of bigger girls get out and start dancing/doing workout stuff. I guess that's what they were doing but it was quite a show Laughing . Oh so this is my first time putting the cap on my gray water tank. Oh did i say tank? There is no tank. I just 'pooled' up the sink and then visited the car wash afterwards.

Oh, I almost forgot! Almost 2 months ago in my college town I found a business card on my Westy. Its was a department chairman/professor of history from the University I attend. It said, "Beautiful Westy!! If you ever wish to sell this, please let me know". I kept the card so I could meet with the guy next semester and let him know I appreciate the love but I couldn't sell it.

At one point of moving the van, I get out and this dude with long hair and long beard approaches me. This is what he looked like.

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That's the guy! He told me about leaving his card. He loved the van. I talked with him for awhile. He had a friend that had one and they went places. Man what a cool dude. He made my day. I talked to him about staying on campus in the van and said I should have no problem as long as I lay low.

Anyway, this is where the van is now parked.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


This spot is about 3 minutes away from 24 hour late night study - I.E. private bathrooms.

I'll keep you guys updated on the campus life.
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Brandon
24 year old male, 34 year old van
1983 Westy - stock watercooled engine with ~121k miles


Last edited by shagginwagon83 on Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

Looks great! Are you going to make a cover for the components so you can still store stuff under the bench?
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

PDXWesty wrote:
Looks great! Are you going to make a cover for the components so you can still store stuff under the bench?

Thank you! And yes, I am really needing the space. I just did not have enough time to get everything perfect before the semester started. I'm going to try and make some sort of wood cover for all the wires/gadget under the bench.
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1983 Westy - stock watercooled engine with ~121k miles
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vwwestyman
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

Looking through this thread, I wish I had thought of living in my Bus in college! Would have saved a lot of money for sure.

Anyway, couple thoughts for you.

I still live in the town I went to college in. One of my favorite parts of living here is there is a great state park about 5 or 10 minutes away. If you've got a similar park anywhere nearby that might be a nice option for sleeping without getting bothered by campus cops.

Second, you mentioned ice in the Yeti. You should save a few 2-liter bottles and fill them with water (leave a little air space in the bottle, then squeeze it so that the air is gone, this will leave room for expansion) and keep them in the freezer at your folk's house. Just swap them around each time you head out to go back to college. I've had great luck on the last couple camping trips doing this vs. bagged ice in just a regular cooler.
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I'm gonna punch vwwestyman then shake his hand when I meet him.

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Ill just punch you in the face. Wink


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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:42 am    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

Looks like you still have the rear heater installed under the bench seat.
If you remove it you will gain some extra storage space plus be able to use the fan switch for an Anti-Theft switch.
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dobryan
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 5:07 am    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

Awesome job! Enjoy it. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 11:28 am    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

Steve M. wrote:

If you remove it you will gain some extra storage space plus be able to use the fan switch for an Anti-Theft switch.


I have the fan switch wired to detonate a kilo of C-4 in the aux. battery compartment under the driver's seat. You takes your chances.
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1990 Westy Camper: Bostig RG4, 2wd, manual trans, NAHT high-top, Flash Silver, etc., etc.
1985 Westy Camper: 1.9 wbx, 2wd, manual trans, Merian Brown, (sold after 17 years, converted to Syncro by Northwesty).
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Slimvest
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

Steve M. wrote:
Looks like you still have the rear heater installed under the bench seat.
If you remove it you will gain some extra storage space plus be able to use the fan switch for an Anti-Theft switch.


Where can I read more about this trick?
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tomdevis
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 12:29 am    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

Slimvest wrote:
Steve M. wrote:
Looks like you still have the rear heater installed under the bench seat.
If you remove it you will gain some extra storage space plus be able to use the fan switch for an Anti-Theft switch.


Where can I read more about this trick?


Hey, actually I was researching this exact thing as well. So I'll give you my bookmarks on the subject. I've been searching using the term kill switch.
As far as I know, it is a switch you put in series with your fuel pump or the ECU. Basicly if it isn't switched on, your car will not start.

I can't believe I didn't have an account yet..

The topics are listed in no specific order, but all worth the read through.

Greetings,
Tom


https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=252830&highlight=kill+switch
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...p;start=40
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=339728
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...p;start=20
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=653802&highlight=kill+switch
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

Hey was reading up on that mppt controller. I'm looking at one for next year. I notice the directions for it and my cheapo pwm unit both say to connect batt first then connect panel. And to reverse the order for takedown. Are people really unwiring panel from controller for every use? If the controller is stowed away as folks do, seems like a PITA to reconnect every time.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

No worries, you just want to have the controller wired to the battery before attaching panel to it. Once conected to the battery you can plug and unplug the panel. Think about what hapens at night.
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:46 am    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

Vnyd Dog wrote:
Hey was reading up on that mppt controller. I'm looking at one for next year. I notice the directions for it and my cheapo pwm unit both say to connect batt first then connect panel. And to reverse the order for takedown. Are people really unwiring panel from controller for every use? If the controller is stowed away as folks do, seems like a PITA to reconnect every time.


Hey Vnyd Dog, sorry about not keeping you posted on the controller. To be honest, I haven't really used the solar setup much. The only thing I have hooked up is my USB charger. I had connection issues with my laptop charger so that is going to wait till this weekend. But I will say, it is really cool monitoring the voltage on your phone. I can pull up the app on my phone, start the engine, and watch for the SI-ACR to kick on (like 30 seconds) and my battery voltage will jump from 12.75 to 14! Its pretty sweet!

I plan on doing some camping this weekend. I have some ADDRESSABLE led lights coming... just wait and you'll see Razz


As far as campus life - it was great. I slept pretty good for 2 nights in the teachers parking lot. The only thing that kinda sucked was my parking spot was not level, but that did not bother me much. The parking lot had a lot of trees around it so I felt 'in nature' with some critters chirping. It was quite funny me getting up at 7AM and teachers pulling in giving me some strange looks.

Unfortunately, my schedule changed for the semester. I am really bummed about it, but it is what it is. I'll be only staying one night a week now on campus.
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1983 Westy - stock watercooled engine with ~121k miles
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:45 am    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

shagginwagon83 wrote:

As far as campus life - it was great. I slept pretty good for 2 nights in the teachers parking lot. The only thing that kinda sucked was my parking spot was not level, but that did not bother me much. The parking lot had a lot of trees around it so I felt 'in nature' with some critters chirping. It was quite funny me getting up at 7AM and teachers pulling in giving me some strange looks.

Unfortunately, my schedule changed for the semester. I am really bummed about it, but it is what it is. I'll be only staying one night a week now on campus.


As for being level just put your feet on the downhill side. Teachers talk so not sure it's a smart idea to invade their "priviliged" parking lot so choose your stealth parking wisely.
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 6:57 am    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

Steve M. wrote:
shagginwagon83 wrote:

As far as campus life - it was great. I slept pretty good for 2 nights in the teachers parking lot. The only thing that kinda sucked was my parking spot was not level, but that did not bother me much. The parking lot had a lot of trees around it so I felt 'in nature' with some critters chirping. It was quite funny me getting up at 7AM and teachers pulling in giving me some strange looks.

Unfortunately, my schedule changed for the semester. I am really bummed about it, but it is what it is. I'll be only staying one night a week now on campus.


As for being level just put your feet on the downhill side. Teachers talk so not sure it's a smart idea to invade their "priviliged" parking lot so choose your stealth parking wisely.


In our parking rules and regulations it says that we are aloud to be in staff parking between the hours of 4:30pm and 7:30am. I am out of the parking lot by 7:15. Its a fairly large lot, maybe 50 spots, and only 1-2 cars there when I leave.
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shagginwagon83
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:42 am    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

My last semester is coming to an end. 6 years of full time school and part times jobs to finally get my 4-year degree. Maybe I shouldn't partied as much ---nah, I don't regret it. I enjoyed the challenging courses - but didn't enjoy the bull sh!t courses/busy work.

I'm going to conclude this thread. Thanks everyone who pitched in any words of wisdom.

Camping on campus: my schedule changed at the beginning of the semester so I was only staying one night on campus. I parked near the library (24 hour library), woke up 7am and went to the gym to shower. I would usually set up my bed/curtains, go in library and play games on my laptop till 12AM.

I looked forward to sleeping in the van. The first week was stressful because of two nights of camping and also I had my bike and Yeti Cooler in there with me. After that week it wasn't worth the space to bring both those. I used the propane fridge and it worked pretty good but I usually went to restaurants.

Overall the weather was pretty good. Most nights around 60 degrees. When it got colder I decided to get a Mr Heater Big Buddy. I bought a carbon monoxide detector also. I slept one night with the heater buddy on (i know bad idea) and window cracked. I woke up to a ridiculous amount of water on the windows. I did not like this because of speeding up rust. I decided to commute for these last weeks.

The solar panel was cool to show people but I never used it. I ended up going to the library to remote in at work. I mainly used the aux battery to charge phone and show people my stereo. But its good that I have the base down to expand. I plan on getting a nice 12v fridge and propex later down the road.


It was really a blast. People loved the Westy - many whom never seen a Westy. I gave a couple of tours to interested people. Whenever I got a parking spot on the main parking strip (everyone walks past), I would pop the top (why not). What was funny is my friend sent me a snap chat a girl sent him. Here it is:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Anyhow, thanks again everyone for all the help. I have a job waiting for me once I graduate. Going to live with the parents so I can pay down student loans and put some work into the Westy. Getting it road ready so I can work fully remotely one day. Big things coming soon Cool
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E1
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

Way to go, Kid, YOU DID IT!!!!!
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 7:36 am    Post subject: Re: Need help building a 'smart' dorm in a Westy... Reply with quote

Good on you!
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