Shady Boy Awning Installation

One of the awning choices for a EuroVan is the Shady Boy. This awning is made in Canada, of US materials, and has a very compact case, and a not too difficult set up procedure. The installation and set up instructions leave something to be desired, though. Wolfgang at Shady Boy is VERY quick to answer any questions, which helped. There is a YouTube video online showing how a Shady Boy is set up - not the best video, but it helped me figure out how to set it up.

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Propane tank and regulator repair

My propane tank had a bad “service valve” - the part you turn on and off. Every time I would turn it on or off, a great cloud of freezing propane vapor would escape - the valve needed some work! I learned that rebuild kits for the valves are no longer available, as new valves are not much more money. Replacing the valve would require the tank to be removed and all the propane emptied from it.

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Suburban furnace thermostat swap

Usually when we camp, we just use our furnace to warm up in the morning, then shut it off after getting out of bed. When we were up in the mountains of Nevada, and it was really chilly, we let the furnace run for quite some time, and I was surprised at how often the furnace would cycle on and off. After reading a few posts on the eurovanupdate list about “short cycling” thermostats, I replaced our original Honeywell thermostat with a new Suburban thermostat.

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Pop top insulation

Reading a post on the eurovanupdate list, I heard about a company making insulation for the inside of the pop top. This was an idea that we had, ever since a very cold night in the mountains of Nevada. So I contacted Fancher’s Upholstery and after a few emails, decided to order one. After a couple weeks (they make 2 at a time), the insulation arrived, nicely packaged: You can see the instruction sheet, roll of velcro, stuff sack, and the Fancher business card (I love little touches like that…)

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Converter upgrade

I recently replaced my “house” battery, and since those darn things are not cheap I wanted to take good care of it. In the Camper, there is a “converter” - it’s job is to supply 12 volts to the furnace, power to 12 volt outlets, and to charge the house battery when connected to AC (“shore power”). The stock converter is a Magnatek - a HUGE unit that provides very “dirty” (unregulated) 12 volts, as well as poor performance as a battery charger.

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Engel Fridge Temperature Gauge

After having our Norcold fridge fail on us (fuse blew on the DC heater) during a long slog up the coast on a rainy Thanksgiving (fortunately all the leftovers were in another ice chest!), I decided that I needed a way to monitor the fridge temperature remotely. I found that Engel (makers of electric coolers) have a remote temperature accessory - product link that looked to be a perfect solution.

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House Battery Disconnect

I wanted to have an easy way to disconnect my house battery for servicing 12 volt appliances, etc., so I added a battery disconnect switch - accessible via my rear access hatch - Adding a Rear Hatch. I purchased a switch, and a short battery cable: Here are some shots of inside the battery box - it is tight, but it all fits (the small red wires and fuse are for the hitch lighting system, detailed in this article: Trailer Wiring):

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Luggage rack brackets

Above the EVC cab is a luggage rack - a plastic cover over the roof that has 2 handles for strapping boxes, bags, etc (see my post: Storage Box Above Cab. I received a stainless steel bracket kit to replace the existing steel brackets that attach this piece of plastic to the roof, so I thought I would take this piece of plastic off and see just what is going on underneath - man, I am glad I did!

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Norcold 3163 fridge removal and cleaning

Decided to tackle the job of removing the Norcold fridge (one of our favorite parts of the van) to check just what IS the condition of the burner box (the part that can be sometimes hard to start, or hard to keep lit). If you own a Camper, you really owe it to yourself to pull this fridge out and see what makes it tick - it will take the mystery and fear out of the thing.

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Trailer wiring

We have a trailer hitch on our van (from Eurocampers) but we have had no power connection for hauling a trailer - until now. I wanted something that would handle both 4 pin an 7 pin connectors, so I got such a beast from Hopkins - here is it installed: The trick was just how do I wire this into the Van? As usual, the eurovanupdate list came through (thanks, Paul!

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