Alrighty, so … I have to confess … Gypsy is done! She’s been done for a while. I stopped writing about my progress because I really just wanted to focus on finishing Gypsy. And if I wasn’t working on Gypsy, I was either doing design work, or taking care of my dad, or helping my mom with something. You know how it is. Sigh … life.
After finishing the walls and the ceiling, there really wasn’t that much left to do. It was all little stuff—stuff that had to be done, but wasn’t important enough to dedicate an entire blog post to. So, I’ll walk you through all of that now.
Gypsy has a mirror! It’s acrylic, so I’m not worried about it falling and shattering.
The neat thing about this mirror is that it’s mounted with magnets and washers. I used Loctite 2-part epoxy to glue washers to the fiberglass high top, and then I used E6000 to glue the magnets to the wooden frame that I made. It works great, and the best thing about it is that I can pull the mirror off the wall and move it to wherever I need it.
Some people can live with putting their things away in drawers or cabinets. I can’t. Generally speaking, I like to have all my stuff out, or at least easy to see. It’s not exactly the prettiest way to live, but I’m over that. My house, my rules!
These small, clear containers are actually fridge organizers. You can find them in the kitchen aisle at Target, Orchard Supply, or on Amazon (InterDesign Fridge Organizer Bin).
Some kinds of plastic are easy to drill through, but I was a bit worried that if I drilled through these bins that I might actually crack the plastic. Instead, I opted to melt holes into the plastic using an inexpensive soldering iron. It worked really well, but I have to warn you that if you try this, your soldering iron tip will be left with a layer of plastic on it.
A Small, Weirdly-Shaped Wall
After I bought my propane tank, I had to figure out where I was going to keep it. Since my van was mostly finished, I really didn’t have any choice. The area by the foot of the bed was the only place available. That meant that I’d have to design a custom-built wall to accommodate both the profile of the tank and the trap door for the under-floor storage compartment. I ended up building the strangest-looking wall ever, and getting very creative with the support behind it.
The weird wall seemed like a great place to put a table, so I made a table. I rarely use it, but I’m glad it’s there. I love the use of rope to hold it up. That’s my favorite part.
Inverter Switch and Battery Monitor Panel
My inverter is a Xantrex ProWatt SW2000. It’s a really great inverter, and it’s incredibly inexpensive for the wattage that it can handle. I highly recommend it.
Anyway, my inverter is installed under the bed. For the longest time, I used a long wooden stick to turn it on and off. That got old, so I started looking into a remote switch. For $25, I wasn’t sure that the switch was worth it. However, I did notice that one of the Amazon reviewers had left an invaluable tip: One could simply rig up a generic momentary switch and a 6-pin cable and it would function just like the $25 Xantrex switch.
“Looking into the connector end, with the locking tang upwards, count the wires from right to left 1 2 3 4 5 6. Momentarily connecting pins 2 and 4 will start or stop the inverter.”
Neato! I bought a momentary switch, rustled up a 6 pin cable, and voila! It worked! For a few weeks, until I actually installed the switch, I turned my inverter on and off by crossing the red and yellow wires. It felt so cool—like I was hotwiring a car or something.
I highly recommend this hack. It saved me $20, plus I like the look of a big, red, mysterious button in my van.
You might also have noticed that I mounted my Trimetric battery monitor to the same panel. That was fun little installation. I measured the panel, drew the shape in Adobe Illustrator, cut out the shape, and glued it to the back of the wood panel. Then I used a rotary tool to cut it out. Easy peasy.
And, how did I mount that small wooden panel to the van? Magnets, of course!
So those are the finishing touches. I guess for my next post I’ll have to take some finished photos of the van and show it off—finally!