Orton DIY Transit

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Actually, exceptionally well. To open it is just one finger one motion operation, just pulled on the handle. To close just slam.

Other commonly used latches require 2 motions; to open push to pull the knob and pull, and to close slam and push the knob.
The other difference compared to the pushbutton latches is the latch single ramp can be at a lower angle for easier closing because the ramp is only used when closing the drawer. Lifting the handle allows opening the drawer without the need for a ramp. The pushbutton latches have two ramps at a sharper angle.

I originally had the pushbutton style in the sold Sprinter and they also would open while driving. Replaced them with the Southco's solved that issue.

What I found odd is the Southco latches with the metal latch plate rattled in the Transit but had not in the Sprinter. Making the latch plate out of rubber solved that problem. I guess that is what you get when you buy a cheap rattletrap Ford instead of a premium Mercedes.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
I CNCed doors and drawers fronts to precise depth of 0.420" so the sliding latching part is just partly in keeping the door/drawer tight against 8020 profile. Absolutely no rattle.
The top drawer was only drawer that had 80/20 above it. The two lower drawers sit on a plywood shelf. The latch is a short piece of 1 1/2" x 1/8" attached to the bottom of the shelf with two wood screws. The vertical leg was cut to 1" height. A 3/8" thick piece of rubber bolts to the 1" face of the angle. Rubber is the latch and the drawer stop. There is slightly more than 3/8" between the latch and back of the Southco.

I did not machine anything. Has to be crude if I am building it. I do not know if the drawers would have rattled. The two doors I installed did rattle so changed from steel clip to rubber to eliminate the rattles and just kept the same design for the drawers.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
George:

Funny story about designing for the farm shop that fabricated my conveyors and packaging machines. I was dimensioning stuff to be made down to the 1/32". One day the owner took me aside and pointed to his tape measure and said "we build everything to the big lines on the tape". After that I figured it was better for me to round up or down to the big lines than have the shop do it. He taught me to design to the big lines. Always avoided any machine work because that was too expensive.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
Routing my doors and drawer’s fronts on CNC saved me a lot of time and it looks decent. Time was money for me. But tape measure and belt saw were sufficient for all brackets under the van. So sometimes precision and machining pays back and sometimes is useless.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Routing my doors and drawer’s fronts on CNC saved me a lot of time and it looks decent. Time was money for me. But tape measure and belt saw were sufficient for all brackets under the van. So sometimes precision and machining pays back and sometimes is useless.
My drawer fronts are just rectangular 15/32" cherry plywood cut on a table saw. Latch hole drilled with a 2" hole saw. Doors use a continuous 1 1/2" aluminum hinge without holes from McMaster-Carr. Glued and screwed a wood block on back of door on hinge edge of door for mounting the hinge to the door. The 80/20 side of the hinge mount required a flat washer between the hinge and the 80/20 because the 80/20 is not flat due to their "self-locking" feature.

Do agree about sometimes machining has its use when needed. One of my design objectives was always to design conveyors and machines without requiring any machining in order to reduce cost. The drive and idle shafts needed to be accurate. Found a company that sold 6' long ground shafts. Bought those and just cut them to the length wanted and added the keyways.
 

dttocs

Member
1. ...
3. The Corian counter top extends out 3 1/2" past cabinet toward the slider door to increase counter depth.
.
Dave, how did you attach the Corian countertop to your 80/20 cabinet structure? I see two general approaches: Silicone adhesives and brass inserts in the Corian, but not sure what would work best.
 
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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Dave, how did you attach the Corian countertop to your 80/20 cabinet structure? I see two general approaches, Silicone adhesives and brass inserts in the Corian, but not sure what would work best.
I supplied a 15/32" piece of plywood with elevator bolts to the Corian fabricator. He used adhesive to glue the Corian to my piece of plywood. Plywood elevator bolts bolted to aluminum angles that bolted to a 80/20 sink top frame. Do not know what adhesive he used.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
SIMPLE SHOWER WATER HEATER

The fabricated 14 ga. SS 6 gallon shower water tank is open to the atmosphere so is not pressurized. Tank is filled with a hose and the water is pumped out with a submersible 12 volt DC cylindrical water pump to a garden hose with a radiator fill valve. Tank uses a RV conversion kit that is sold to convert a propane water heater to electric. The "10 gallon" kit includes a 625 watt pencil heating element and a thermostat that is mounted on the side of the tank. All the water in the tank is heated to the desired 92 degree shower water temperature. No plumbing required and hot/cold water mixing valve is also not required.

The system can be powered from three power choices. Shore power or "shore power" from the vehicle 12 volt powered inverter or from the house inverter/battery. The use of the vehicle powered inverter requires the engine to be running. The house inverter/battery source can be used without the engine running. The house inverter/battery source should only be used if weather conditions provide sun to recharge the house battery.

The conversion house battery is a Lifeline 255 amp-hr 8D AGM battery. The solar panel is a high voltage 300 watt panel controlled by a 15 amp MPPT controller.

A test was run to verify the operation. At start of test the 5 gallons of water in the 6 gallon tank was at 65 degrees. The battery SOC was at 100%. The solar panel was supplying power with the day clear with full sun on the panel. No other items in the van were powered during the test.

Results:

12:07 pm water at 65 degrees and SOC at 100%
12:33 pm the thermostat turned off the heater. Water at 89 degrees and SOC down to 96%.
12:35 pm heating element turned back on
12:36 pm heating element turned off with water still at 89 degrees and SOC at 96%.
12:37 pm heating element turned back on.
12:42 pm heating element turned off with water at 92 degrees and SOC at 95%.
Turned off the power.
2:15 pm the battery had recharged back to 100% SOC.

So water temperature increases about 1 degree for each minute the element is on. Colder water at start will take longer to heat to the desired 92 degrees.

The system works better than I expected and easily can be used on any day the sun is out without running the engine. On dark days the heater would be powered from the vehicle powered inverter with the engine running.
 

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slem

Member
SIMPLE SHOWER WATER HEATER

The fabricated 14 ga. SS 6 gallon shower water tank is open to the atmosphere so is not pressurized.

Results:

12:07 pm water at 65 degrees and SOC at 100%
12:33 pm the thermostat turned off the heater. Water at 89 degrees and SOC down to 96%.
12:35 pm heating element turned back on
12:36 pm heating element turned off with water still at 89 degrees and SOC at 96%.
12:37 pm heating element turned back on.
12:42 pm heating element turned off with water at 92 degrees and SOC at 95%.
Turned off the power.
2:15 pm the battery had recharged back to 100% SOC.

So water temperature increases about 1 degree for each minute the element is on. Colder water at start will take longer to heat to the desired 92 degrees.

The system works better than I expected and easily can be used on any day the sun is out without running the engine. On dark days the heater would be powered from the vehicle powered inverter with the engine running.
Thanks for the great pictures.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Completed sink cabinet.

The 80/20 sink cabinet is fairly complicated. It has three drawers, a door below the sink, a open space at the bottom to store the stove, a lift up table to be used with a swiveled passenger seat and a fold down table that provides a table out the slider door. The lift up table also slides 6" toward the van centerline so it lines up with the passenger seat. The slider door fold down table can be used for the two burner portable stove to cook outside of the van. There is a door below the fold down table that opens and is the support for the table. The lift up table is supported my a hinged swing out support.

On the front side of the cabinet above the fold up table are a 12 volt receptacle, a 120 volt AC outlet and the switch for the lights above the sink. The switch can be reached from outside the slider door or when standing at the sink inside. Below the plugs and switch is a small storage tray.

The three drawers on the aisle side of the sink are shortened so there can be a 3" deep storage area behind the drawers accessed when the fold down table is opened. Keep my 10' water fill/shower hose and nozzle in that storage space and the water supply filter and a drain pipe for the fresh water tank.

Next to the hose storage is a LED light that can be used with slider door open. The fresh water fill pipe is located above the light. The radiator fill valve on the filling hose fits in the pipe so no water spillage when filling. In the back of the slider step is the small quiet centrifugal sink water pump. Pump turned on/off by a switch above the sink. The sink does not have a trap because the drain water is piped into the bottom of the grey water tank under the floor. The drain hose path forms a trap. The water piping is not pressurized so chance of water leaks is reduced. The water pump has three outputs. One goes to the sink, a second one supplies the water outlet at back of slider step. A third output sends a small amount of water back to the fresh water tank to be sure water pump does not get hot in case it is left running with sink faucet turned off.

Under the sink is a 6 position fuse block for the 12 volt items on the passenger side of the van. The 6 position is powered from the main 12 position fuse block on the driver side. Two fuse blocks allows the use of one DC cord in the floor. There is also a 120 volt AC duplex receptacle under the sink and one outside at the floor facing the rear doors. There also is a electric heater thermostat located above the rear facing duplex outlet. A paper towel holder is mounted on the sink rear side.

The drawers were bought fully assembled from Western Dovetail. No fancy drawer guides. Just made old fashioned wood center guides like my grandfather made.

Countertop is 1/2" Corian with a 7" deep sink. The Corian counter top extends 3 1/2" toward the slider door to increase the depth of the counter top. Makes a big difference. Only cold water to the single knob sink faucet. The faucet supply has a clear plastic tube feeding the valve. The level of the fresh water tank can be seen in the clear tube.
 

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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Nice work, no surprise - your workmanship.

Cheers,
The hardest thing I have done on the build is the cubbyhole storage as shown next to and above the sink in the first picture. I have four Murphy bed panels that fold down to create the bed platform. That left a hole in wall on both sides in front of the bed panels. Looked like a good place to add storage. The cubbyhole cabinets needed to be removable for access. Took a few hours staring at the space to determine how I could mount them. The cabinets had to fit against the odd shaped wall and have the front face at the same slight angle as the bed panels. Could not even begin to draw the cabinets. Cardboard patterns, then wood patterns and finally the final wood sides. Tedious. Then had to glue parts one at a time to be sure they were removable after being built. Indoor/outdoor carpet was used to cover the 3/8" plywood faces. First glued carpet on with cabinets in place and then removed the cabinets to cut the three cubbyhole openings in the carpet. Took a couple of weeks to make both. Worth the work because the storage provided is useful.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Hi Dave,

How did you attach the drawer faces to the pre-fab drawers?
Two flathead wood screws and adhesive.

Cut a notch in the pre-fab drawers for the Southco drawer pulls. Originally had metal tabs for the Southco latches but they rattled so I replaced the metal tabs with 3/8" rubber.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Changed the shower water heater. "sprint2freedom" suggested a simple solution for heating shower water is to use a Sous Vide hot water cooking unit. His solution is a better less costly solution than what I had done. Now will heat water in a cooler instead of the 6 gallon SS shower water tank. The writeup is here:

https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=715545&postcount=33

Will still use the existing 6 gallon shower water tank to hold the shower water. Pump water from tank into the cooler. When done showering pump the leftover water back into the 6 gallon tank. If I cook in the cooler then the warm water can be used for a shower or pumped back into the shower water tank. Multiple uses for the cooler based system.

This winter will test using the existing shower water tank to see if it will help heating the van. The 15% house inverter inefficiency and the radiant heat loss from a warm shower water tank may help warm the van at night.
 
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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Reposted this description of the simple shower water heater so I can find it in the future.

The design is for heating shower water just before showering. It is not suitable for having hot water available all the time. I only need warm shower water. Do not need hot water at the sink. Clean dishes with cold water and soap.

Completed the design using the "sprint2freedon" suggested use of a 800 watt (actual 750 watts) Sous Vide cooking water heater. The Sous Vide machine can be bought for $44 to $70. It includes a 120 v AC heating element, water circulator, high temperature shut off, thermostat, digital temperature display and easy to program temperature/time setting. Everything you need to heat shower water for a conversion in compact inexpensive unit. A Sous Vide machine is used to cook food in a kitchen.

I had made a mistake building my existing shower water heater using a RV propane to electric conversion kit. The 6 gallon tank is too large. Best to heat 3 gallons of water instead of 6 gallons to cut the time and energy usage in half. So looked for a container that had the correct dimensions to hold 3 gallons with the water level between the high and low water level limits of the Sous Vide machine. If two people need to shower you just repeat the process.

The end result is a portable water heater that normally is my trash can. Remove the garbage bag when I want to heat shower water or cook. All the parts except the hose can be stored in a Cabela's plastic ammo can when not in use. The cooler lid is discarded and replaced with two UHMW covers. One side has holes for the Sous Vide machine and the pump. Other side has two large paper clips to hold the ZipLoc freezer bag to hold the food when cooking.

The hose is connected to the pump with a garden quick disconnect. The valve is a radiator fill nozzle to provide a on/off at the nozzle and provide full flow water flow. The full flow nozzle helps prevent water overspray onto the van floor. Much less overspray than a spray nozzle.

The design heats all the water in the container to the desired shower water temperature. That eliminates all plumbing and hot/cold water mixing. No potential water leaks.

The unit heats 3 gallons of water from 61 degrees to 95 degrees in 20 minutes and uses 6% of my 255 amp-hr house battery capacity or about 15 amp-hrs. On a sunny day I can shower in the morning and be back to 100% SOC that day. I have enough excess solar power from my 300 watt panel to heat the water. The other options are to use my vehicle powered inverter to supply the power with the engine running or shore power. The time to heat the water depends on the initial water temperature and the desired shower water temperature.

Some comments on the design:

1. Unit is portable and can carry 3 gallons of water using the cooler handle.
2. You can shower any place you have access to 12 volts DC for the pump. Now building a small portable 12 volt battery with charger that has a cigarette lighter receptacle. We get power outages at our home on 5 acres. The portable shower water heater will also be used in the house. Heat water in van and carry the cooler into the house for showering.
3. The cooler can be carried to a water source such as a stream, lake or faucet so conversion water does not need to be used for shower water.
4. The cooler without the lid is ideal size for my use as a waste basket.
5. The water heater can be used for cooking with the Sous Vide machine. The plastic is rated at 176 degrees for continuous hot water.
6. Any water left over after a shower can be pumped back into my existing 6 gallon shower water tank. Same if cooler is used for cooking. When done cooking, pump the water back into the shower water tank.
7. Cooler with handle can be used to move grocery items from house to van and from van to house after a trip.
8. Cooler with water can be placed in the sun to heat the water to reduce house battery power usage.
9. Cooler can still be used as a cooler by removing the original lid hinge circles from the lid.
10. If van house battery SOC is low you could always heat water on a propane stove and mix it with cold water.
11. Design eliminates plumbing and hot/cold water mixing.
12. Very simple to build. Only 3 plastic parts to fabricate from a plastic cutting board. The rest of the parts are standard purchased items.
13. Size of cooler allows storage in small space.
14. Igloo cooler can be used as a camp seat.
15. System is light compared to other choices.
16. Simple so less chance of failure.
17. Water is not under pressure so less chance of water leaks.
18. With a portable 12 volt power pack you can shower wherever you want.
19. Cooler can be used as a bucket with water heating stuff removed.

So the result is a light weight inexpensive portable system to heat shower water. Material costs are between $190 and $225 depending where you buy the components.

I have a set of 6 CAD drawings that detail the system, lists parts costs and where parts were purchased. The drawing set includes a 24 x 36 cooler assembly drawing, four 11 x 17 full size parts drawings and a 24 x 36 drawing of the portable 12 volt power unit. Smaller drawings have a full size left side cover pattern, a full size right side cover pattern, a pump assembly drawing and a hose assembly drawing. All the information needed to built a water heater. PM me if you want to buy a drawing set for $30 post paid in US.
 

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kinnon

Member
Brilliant Dave. And oddly enough, I was just thinking how I hadn't used my Anova Sous-Vide machine since the early Spring — after getting an email pitch from Anova.
 

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