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About Boundfornowhere

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  • Interests
    Hiking, Climbing, Surfing, Fishing

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  • My Toyota Motorhome
    1985 Toyota Sunrader 4x4
  • Location
    Traveling North America
  1. Oh that would have been amazing! Such a good idea. We actually went there for a spray gun to paint our propane box and a few other goodies. Can't beat their prices.
  2. Yeah! I'm sure they could. If you'd like I can inquire for you.
  3. In the last update I mentioned we had removed the last bit of decals from Amelia's cab and cleaned her up because she was going in to get her new ones. Well the wrap/decal shop did a fantastic job. We worked with them closely on design, making sure that we could keep the design as close to the original as possible. For the colors we wanted to go with the "sunset" stripes. We looked at some images online and came up with colors and HEX codes for the wrap/decal shop. The good thing is that they have the design on file now so if we ever wanted or needed to replace them we could just tell them and they could print it without any up front cost. Please ignore the disembodied foot. The next big project for us was installing the MASSIVE solar panel we got. It's a 280W 24V panel from Renogy and it takes up just about the entire roof over the bed. We're super excited to have that much solar coming in without having to sacrifice space on the roof racks. Our original plan was to simply use VHB tape to mount brackets to the roof, and then mount the panel to the brackets with some bolts and nuts. There were a few issues with our plan. First, because we wanted to keep the panel low to the roof, we wouldn't be able to mount the panel with nut and bolt because we couldn't reach underneath the panel to place a nut. Second, the curve in the roof in the front kept the bracket from sitting as flush as we would have liked to only use VHB. The answer to the first problem was rivnuts. I had only seen them used once before and never thought about them as an option but a friend who works on campers for a living said it's mainly what he uses for solar panels. So we took his advice and switched to rivnuts which allowed us to tighten the panel to brackets without needing to access the inside. For the second problem we decided to mount the front of the panel in a similar way to the awning. We placed G10 blocks on the inside and ran bolts through the roof to them. We used VHB tape for the rear brackets and got a really nice seal. Afterwards we used Sikaflex around all the brackets. We also left a small piece of aluminum as a spacer between the bracket and panel in the rear so we could incorporate some legs for tilting in the future if we want. Panel + raw brackets. We painted them black. DIY Rivnut "Tool". A real rivnut tool is pretty expensive so rather than invest to install 4 of them, we just made this little guy. There's a lot of youtube videos out there explaining it way better than I ever could but it worked and that's all that mattered to us! Mak sketched out a diagram of the rivnut tool to help show what it's made up of. Test fit, to see where we were lining up. Drilling holes. Have a new bare bracket in this image because we messed up one of the original ones. Whoops! G10 backing plates for added support. Used epoxy to adhere it to the ceiling and of course it's bolted into place as well. VHB tape on back brackets. Still has the protective sheet on the outside here. Getting ready to lower it into place. Peeling off the cover on the VHB tape. Lowering the panel down to it's final resting place. Up next was our new tail light set up. We had a metal fabricator create some aluminum plates for us. The plates came with no holes so we drilled evenly spaced holes in the brackets for rivets. After we drilled, we put them up to the body and marked the holes on the fiberglass and then drilled those holes too. The plates also came bare so we primed and painted them. We dropped down to two LED lights per side and also added a 3rd brake light up above our rear window. When it came time to install the tail lights we added Sikaflex (we should be sponsored by them) around the edges and on the inside as well. Before and after paint. Plates installed. Just needed to add the lights and paint the rivets black. 3rd brake light and backup camera! The backup camera uses a hole that was used for one of the clearance lights previously. That way it's right in the center. I don't think anyone will miss that one clearance light. With the lights in place we were able to install our ladder again. We used rivets and Sikaflex (of course). Immediately testing things. With the exterior starting to get shored up, work began on the cabinets for the inside. I (Owen) don't have a lot of experience with woodworking but Mak and her father do. They did a bunch of sawing and stuff and magic happened. Just kidding, I know a little more than that (but not much). It started with tons of measuring and planning. Then they got to work with the upper cabinets and counter tops. Mak found some beautiful, dark Peruvian Walnut for the counters and we got plywood for the cabinets as the plan was to paint them anyways. The constructions of the upper cabinets is tricky since it's not just right angles so there was a lot of sanding and going in and out of the camper to see how things were fitting. For the tops they planed down the Walnut to a nice level finish and wood glued planks together. After they sat, they sanded them to a nice finish. Quite the process but they did a fantastic job on a VERY difficult area to work around. Not only were there curves but they also had exposed rafter to work around as well. That's what the notches out of the top are for. Driver side counter. Test fit. Table. Sanding away. The woodworking is a major part of this journey so there will be plenty more to come. In the meantime, I thought we'd share our original interior plans so you can get some insight into what they're making. Passenger side Driver Side SO much more to come!
  4. So at this point Amelia is painted and starting to look super fresh! However, she's completely exposed to the world so we needed to get straight back to work getting windows in. Before we put them back in we replaced the glazing bead, as previously mentioned, and repainted the window frames themselves to make them look new again. Then we slapped on some butyl tape (we're getting get at this by now) and installed the windows again. With the windows in, we could finally relax. But why would we do that? Instead we got to prepping and painting our ladder (again), fenders, and roof rack. After a lot of research Mak found Raptor Liner. It's a super tough truck bed liner and since the paint on the ladder we had previously applied was already chipping we knew we wanted something strong. It was a relatively easy job. The prep took some time but the actual painting was fast. Raptor Liner dries in about an hour and we did two coats. It was Mak's first time using a spray gun and I'd say it was a huge success. Sanded fenderes and a test swatch of a black paint we ended up not using. Not tough enough Removing the remaining paint on the ladder. We used some Rustoleum Truck Bed Liner spray paint and it would fall off if you looked at it sideways. Practice run brought to you by Amazon. We're super happy with how all this stuff came out! The next step for us was getting the roof rack back on. With our newly painted bars we got to work drilling them back in and then sealing them up with Sikaflex. We also went ahead and add the Yakima Sup Dawg onto the bars so we could put our surfboards up there. Lastly, Mak went in and cut off the excess on the screws with a dremel. Next on the docket was to install the fenders. We riveted them in and use Sikaflex on the holes that went into the camper living area. Then we came back in with some black paint and a Q-tip to paint the rivets black so they blended in. We're holding off on installing the ladder at this point as we want to make sure our tail lights are installed first. We also went ahead an removed the decals on the cab because we were prepping Amelia to go in and get new decals put on! Once again we used the eraser wheel drill bit and it worked like a charm. The last big project in this one was installing our awning. Amelia didn't come with an awning so we needed to start from scratch with this one. The fiberglass shell also isn't perfectly straight so we needed to create some spacers so that the awning wasn't pressed up to the body at weird angles. One other thing we wanted was a support on the inside to help disperse the weight so that it wasn't all on the holes. We used G10 backing block for all of this. G10 is super dense fiberglass blocks that you can buy in 12"x12"x1/4" sheets. We had gotten some with this project and the solar panel in mind. Our awning is a Fiamma 45s and it mounts to the camper in 3 different spots with supplied brackets and hardware. There was a lot of measuring and double checking so we didn't mess this one up and luckily we succeeded. Holding the awning up to figure out where we needed to mount it. We needed to make sure it was high enough to clear the door, but low enough to not go past the top of the wall towards the rear of the vehicle. Prepping the G10 blocks for spacers on the brackets. Finished spacers. We went with at least on block on all of them to give us enough clearance from the door frame. Interior support pieces being epoxied in. After they were set we drilled holes into them from the exterior. You can see the light through holes we have already drilled. Brackets being installed. Final fitment. Maybe now it's time to relax! If you're interested in seeing and reading more about the processes of any of these we have a detailed write up here: http://www.boundfornowhere.com/blog/2018/build-out-week-10
  5. Yes, the previous owners took fantastic care of it!
  6. Forgot to add in the video documenting our painting! Whoops
  7. We didn't have to get new ones, just new seals. So luckily we didn't have to find a place to make them. That sounds like a nightmare!
  8. So fiberglassing is done. Clearance lights are done. Air vents are done. The next big project is paint! Scary and exciting all at the same time. First though, we took care of a few small things. We sprayed Amelia down only to find that she still had a bunch of leaks. She was leaking from her tail lights, the city water hook up, the rear hatch door, and the rear side windows. Oh boy... We had plans to replace the tail light set up anyway so we weren't too worried about that. The city water hookup we never planned on using anyway so Mak, with her new found fiberglassing skill, took care of that hole. For the rear hatch door we replaced the seal. The old one was tired and just wasn't doing it's job. We couldn't find anything quite like the old one so we bought some "D" seal instead and it worked like a charm. It fits nice and tight and it's not leaking. We had just reinstalled ALL the windows so it was pretty disappointing to see those ones leaking. However, they were leaking from the seal of the window to the frame, not the frame to the fiberglass. After doing some research we discovered this seal was called "glazing bead". We ordered some and it fixed the leaking. We ended up taking all the windows out except the front ones (they were too much of a pain to put in) since we were painting and replaced the glazing bead. We also started installing some insulation, we got this stuff called Thinsulate. It came highly recommended to us for both sound and temperature. The great thing about Thinsulate is that it doesn't need an air pocket between it and the exterior wall to work well like most other non spray insulations. It is actually the stuff that goes in a lot of synthetic down jackets. New seal Fiberglassing the city water hookup Old, nasty seals The highly refined art of insulation installation. With all those tasks out of the way it was time for paint prep. The first thing we had to do was remove the old decals. It was a sad day because we really love the stripes. A week before we did this, we took Amelia in to a vinyl wrap shop and they took tons of measurements and pictures so that we can get them recreated! In addition to the big holes Mak filled in, there were also TONS of little dings in the fiberglass. All of these were also filled in before paint and then we primed the areas of raw fiberglass. The next morning we did a light sand, vacuum, cleaning, and wipe down with tack cloth. All that was left to do after that was tape and paint! Decal removal with an eraser wheel drill bit. Super cool tool and it works great. All the small dings that needed to get filled in are marked by blue tape. We primed the raw fiberglass using a method called roll and tip. Basically rolling it out and then going over with a brush to smooth it all out. The primer is self leveling which also is a huge factor in this method working. This technique is frequently used in the boating world. We also did this for the actual paint too. Spraying would have been a more perfect finish but we didn't have anywhere we could spray Amelia without worrying about overspray and creating a home made booth to fit her would be insane. The nice thing about roll and tip is that it doesn't take a lot of equipment and it doesn't create a lot of mess. Vacuuming the whole thing. Cleaning supplies! All taped up! Deep breath before we start! All done! In all we did 3 coats and we are super pleased with the results. We saved a TON of money by doing this ourselves and we picked up some new skills along the way. Woohoo!
  9. Thanks for the tips WME! I just finished installing some gas struts in our booth/bench seats so that we can access them without unscrewing 30 screws. I bought a pair for the upper cabinets too as a test. We had some spring ones that we ended up returning because they were too strong but we might have just gotten the wrong ones. As for the floor, we did put cross supports in several places and it definitely helped out the rigidity of the floor. It's definitely not as good as what you suggested but it should hold us (fingers crossed).
  10. Update #3 With the fiberglass "done" we started moving on to some other projects. We took the cover of our rear bumper to reveal a scary sight... We couldn't unsee this unfortunately. So we took a belt sander and ran it all over, then got a wire brush and went over it all too. After that, we sprayed it down with some black primer. Our plan being to eventually paint it. In the interior we decided to make the bed platform permanent for several reasons. One, no one liked sleeping on the cracks formed by the cushion that slides in to fill the hole. Two, because we wanted a way to shut out the cab for a bit more privacy. With this in mind we built a new wall, as the original was EXTREMELY bowed, and outfitted it for a sliding door. We also remade the step block up to the bed and stained it dark to match our plan for the rest of the interior. The plan is to have lots of white with punches of dark wood to contrast it. In the spirit of creating as much storage as possible we leveled out the step down and made it into a compartment. Additional details on these processes can be found here: http://www.boundfornowhere.com/blog/build-out-week-5 Next on the ever growing list of things to do was the clearance lights. The old lights were losing voltage as they wrapped around the front and the last one was barely even on. That obviously was no good so we got some new LEDs and pulled out the old ones so we could rewire the whole thing. To wire I ran one continuous length of wire from start to finish, then I stripped small sections and soldered the lights into those sections. Then, using adhesive lined heat shrink, I sealed them up. Months later I have discovered some amazing heat shrink butt connectors that are meant to have two wires on one side and one on the other. I would absolutely recommend those connectors rather than soldering, although our connections are strong and I have full confidence in them. The whole process was surprisingly easy. We did need to drill an additional hole for each light for the wires to pass through since the lights were a little different than the old ones. After we rewired it all we drilled them in and used Sikaflex all around the edges on the outside and inside holes. Now they are water tight and bright! Up next, Maxxair roof fans. These are going to be a great upgrade from the standard roof vents. The fans have 10 speeds and it also has an automatic mode where you can set a temperature and it will adjust accordingly. They are also bi-directional so they can pull air in or push out. With two of them in the Sunrader it should create great circulation. The installation was fairly straight forward on these. After removing the old vents there was a fair bit of cleaning to do with the old butyl tape but not too terrible (we're becoming palette knife ninjas). The holes on the Maxxairs don't match up with the original vents so we did have to drill some more holes but it was all easy stuff. Then when we screwed them all in, we went around the edges with Sikaflex and covered each screw as well. On the interior we had to wait to do the trim until after we installed the trim (more on that later). That's it for now!
  11. Thanks Rachel! We've been waiting to share some of the process on here until we made it a little further down the road. We're 15 weeks in now and didn't want to make everyone wait that long! I'm in the same boat as you, definitely prefer to be behind the camera but sometimes it's unavoidable! We're always happy to chat and share any knowledge we have (although we're certainly not a fountain of it). Mak did all the website herself with squarespace, we both use squarespace on our own personal sites as well and it's a dream to work with.
  12. Okay so here is update #2. After we tore everything apart in the Sunrader it was time to build things back up again. Our plan was to use new appliances and to remove the bathroom (after living in the Westy for 2 years we decided the bathroom was less important than the storage space). Because of the new appliances some of the old holes in the Sunrader would no longer be needed. We looked around for quotes on the work to fiberglass over the old holes but eventually decided to save our dollars and do it ourselves. Mak (my wife) took the reins on this and did tons of research and watched hours of instructional videos. She came out the end of it feeling cautiously optimistic. She started off with the smallest holes and worked her way up to the largest ones. In the end we were both super happy with the end result. Blog post covering the details: http://www.boundfornowhere.com/blog/build-out-week-4 At this point we also decided to address the front over the cab windows. They had been noticeably leaking since we had bought the Sunrader and we could see light through the edges. This was not a fun job. We sprayed the window with a hose and we had a very small leak at the seam where the ends of the new seal met. We applied some black sealant and it worked like a charm! The video below shows the process of fiberglassing!
  13. Thanks for the advice! We sealed them all in from the inside but replacing the hardware would be even better.
  14. Hey Mark, the VW is actually worth more. Those things go for tons of money and understandably so. They are unique in what they offer from a living space in such a tiny footprint. It was a great home for us for the past two years. Unfortunately, we are parting ways with ours since we plan to be living in the Sunrader full time.