Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. -- Carl Sandburg
There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- goddammit, you've got to be kind. -- Kurt Vonnegut

April 26, 2012

Sprinter Sliding Door Handle Fix

See here for an update on the door: that-dang-sprinter-sliding-door I've had a lot of subsequent trouble with it.

My sliding door handle broke and wouldn't open the door at all while I was on my trip last summer.  I ended up using the driver's door instead, which the dog adapted to quickly.  With research, mostly on Sprinter-source.com, I found it is a fairly common problem.  The plastic inside handle is prone to breakage at the crucial lever point.  I did this fix last fall but didn't document it then.  I haven't yet looked for a replacement part, but I should ...

A Little Cleaning, A Little Insulating

I cleaned out the new refrigerator after a bit of shopping yesterday morning. and put it all together with the bins and racks in place.  It is ready for use.  I was unable to find a replacement for the thermometer I broke locally so I ordered a few new ones of the right size from Amazon.  What would we do without Amazon?  Seems there is less and less choice in local stores.  Then I put the cabinet doors back on.  I removed them to be able to slide the refrigerator down the aisle.  And on to cleaning out the bath and cab.

April 21, 2012

I Have a New Refrigerator!

Refrigerator installed with ASU Remote
above it
I finally finished installing my new Isotherm Cruise CR130 refrigerator and it works beautifully.  It is very quiet.  I have to put my ear right up to it to hear the fan/compressor at all.  My van is a huge mess with tons of tools and bits and pieces of insulation, but it is done.  The job was a big one primarily because I found a bunch of rust and rotted plywood that I fixed and replaced.  In addition, I wanted to add as much insulation to the cavity as space would allow to improve the refrigerator's performance.

April 19, 2012

Test Fit the Refrigerator and Getting ready for the Install

Test fit the new refrigerator
I took the doors off the refrigerator to check the fit.  Even with the door off, it just barely slid by the narrow part of the van aisle.  It just barely gets into the cavity due to the cabinet face trim.  I can recess it a bit over a half inch and still have room for the lock to swivel and the compressor just clears the rear inner wall.  So, the cavity is ready for the actual installation.  

April 18, 2012

Vents Installed

Last night, I installed the new vents.  I pressed the butyl tape against the flange, removed the paper, then pressed the vent cowl into the vent hole.  I had some difficulty with the aluminum backers because I missed the pre-drilled holes, but got them in in the end.  I used a plastic putty knife to cut away the excess butyl tape.  It is kind of gooey and stringy.  The vent flange doesn't fit exactly against the van skin because of the curvature of the wall.  The butyl tape fills the gap so I hope it will work properly.

April 16, 2012

And More Painting ...

The gray primer is definitely a better base for white paint than the brown primer is.  On a whim, I decided to go over the outside edges with the same Rustoleum Gloss White paint as I'm using on the interior metal.  Wouldn't you know it?  It matches the original white paint better than the GM Arctic White touch up paint.  Granted, the original paint is a bit drab after 8 years in the weather, but it isn't anything that a good washing wouldn't improve.

April 15, 2012

More painting

Gray primer
I found a couple of little jars of auto paint I had gotten to fix chips - primer and top paint.  The GM Arctic White is supposed to match the Sprinter white but it is more yellow than the existing paint.  Oh well.  I put the white on the upper panel first since most of it will be under the vent flange anyway.  From that, I decided it would be worthwhile to cover the brown (anti-rust) primer with the gray auto primer using the little brush.  I also went around to the chips and put a bit in those too.  It dries a lot faster than the Rustoleum.  If I was being really fussy, I should be masking off and spray painting but this will have to do.  Most of this will be hidden anyway after everything is installed.

April 14, 2012


Bondo applied to side of vent
Today, I applied the Bondo on the sides of the lower vent hole where so much of the rust was.  It is very easy to do, but you have to be quick.  I just put some of the main stuff in the cup that is the cap with a wood stick, then a line of the hardener, stir until it is all pink and swipe it on.  I put maybe an eighth of an inch on it and spread it smooth with the spatula.  My flat ice cream stick worked better than the spatula they supplied  but that might work better on a bigger area.  By the time I started on the other side, it had already started hardening so I had to junk that and mix up a bit more.  The hardened stuff came out of the cup easily as it doesn't adhere to plastic.  20 minutes later and it was ready to sand.  The metal feels substantially stronger.

April 13, 2012


Inside of upper vent - not much rust.
The clean-up of the refrigerator cavity took a lot longer than I thought it would.  Pulling that much caulk off is not easy.  The caulk softener only worked on small amounts so I had to cut it with a razor knife, scrape it, pull it off in chunks and pull it out of crevices with  needle-nose pliers.  The more I pulled off, the more rust I found under it.  When I got it down to a light coating, then I sprayed and smeared the caulk softener over it and waited for at least a half hour.  Then more scraping to get it off.

April 11, 2012

The Fridge Cavity and Vents - Problems!

Fridge cavity - original
The picture shows how the fridge cavity looked for the propane fridge with the exception that I slapped some paint on the raw plywood floor after pulling the fridge last year and capped the propane supply.  The plywood floor is simply 1/2" plywood.  There's a 110V outlet on the left.  The propane and 12V wires are on the right. A yellow romex cable supplies 110V to an outlet on the other side from the inverter.  I added the inverter on/off switch above it.

April 5, 2012

Refrigerator - Delivered

IsoTherm CR130 as delivered
My new refrigerator was delivered before noon today.  That is quite good service, especially considering that I had to specify features requiring it be sent from the distributor in FL instead of the company I bought it from.  In hand less than 1 week from placing the order.  They didn't file the credit card charge until Tuesday.  Defender.com gets a good recommendation from me.

April 3, 2012

Refrigerator on the move

I got an email from the company that I bought the new refrigerator from yesterday saying that it is shipped!  It could be delivered later this week.  It is coming up from Florida where the manufacturer distributor is.  I was prepared for a long wait but this is rather quick!  Unfortunately because it is on a truck, I don't get a tracking number.  I will just have to wait for the call.