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Hodakaguy's Vagabond Camper/Truck Build

Vagabnd Drifter wedge camper FWC GoFast GFC AT Habitat

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#31 Happyjax

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 03:36 PM

As always, great work :)


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2018 Ford F-250. Camper pending :)


#32 Mighty Dodge Ram

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Posted 09 June 2019 - 05:09 PM

👍
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Richard
1996 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4, lightly lifted, ARB bumper/Warn winch, BFG AT/KO2, Snugtop shell. SOLD! But not forgotten!
2002 Chevy 2500HD XC LB 6.0L 4X4, Leer Hi-Rise shell, completely stock...for now!

#33 longhorn1

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Posted 11 June 2019 - 01:38 AM

Tom, awesome job, thanks for sharing.
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http://texaslonghorns01.blogspot.com/

 

Ford F-250 Long bed, 2014 Grandby

 


#34 Hodakaguy

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 12:34 PM

Thanks guys, this type of "work" is fun :-)


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My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE

Adventure Is Out There:  CLICK HERE

Riding Through History:  CLICK HERE


#35 Hodakaguy

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 12:37 PM

Time to get some Solar installed on the Vagabond!  Solar is great peace of mind when running an electric fridge, heater etc as your batteries are always topped up and ready to go.  I prefer roof mounted solar since it's always working plus you don't have to mess with storing the panels when not in use and taking up valuable interior space.

After looking at panel sizes we selected a Renogy 160W Mono panel, this panel fit perfectly between the factory L-Track rails and won't overhang the camper.  Here we're trying the panel on for size, that should work nicely!

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The panel will be bolted down to the L-Track using 4 adapters and custom mounts.  The adapters lock into the L-track.  

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With the panel fit tested we popped the top up to locate the location of the solar wiring.  When we ordered the camper I requested that solar wiring be placed in the front passenger corner but left un-terminated, the other end of the wiring is down below in the walls.  Lots of room to play with here for wiring.  

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Next up it's time to install the cable gland pass through fitting for the solar wiring.  I'll be using a Seaview Cable Gland, I've used these several times in the past and have never had one leak.  These are available in different sizes and colors, we went with the Stainless Steel housing.  

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Here's the location where the cable gland will be installed.  The gland will be placed towards the rear of the solar panel so there will be enough slack to slide the panel back on the L-track if we ever want to add a front Yakima rack etc, Always good to have options :-)

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Here are the parts of the cable gland.  The bottom gasket and white body assembly get bolted down to the roof of the camper.  The wires will pass through the tapered rubber seal and the stainless top will screw down to the white body and compress the rubber seal, forming a water proof seal around the wires.  

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Holes drilled and screws installed.  The roof is 1/8" thick aluminum so even with a pilot hole you need to work the screws in slowly to prevent them from breaking off.  

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You need to apply some sealant on the base screws to ensure a water proof connection.  Here I'm using Sikaflex 221 to seal the screws.  

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Next up we need to drill holes in the rubber seal for the wires to pass through.  You need to make sure your brill bit is slightly smaller than the wire that will pass through the hole so there will be compression on the wire when you tighten the assembly up, compression is what creates the waterproof seal.  

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Continued below.....


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My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE

Adventure Is Out There:  CLICK HERE

Riding Through History:  CLICK HERE


#36 Hodakaguy

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 12:38 PM

Continued from above....

 

The cut will allow the wiring to be inserted easily even if there is a plug on the end of the wiring (Won't be in this case)

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At this point you drill the hole through the roof for the wires to pass through, I put the rubber seal in the pass through fitting and use a drill bit to mark the hole locations.   Once the holes are drilled you assemble the cable clam and tighten everything down using more Sikaflex on the upper 4 screws.

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It's really not necessary but I added a bit of Sikaflex to the top of the assembly as an extra measure.  

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Wiring placed in a small piece of loom and ready for assembly.  You can see how far we will be able to slide the panel rearwards if needed in the future, for now we will keep the panel fully forward to ease in opening and closing the top.   

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Next up is to fabricate some brackets to attach the solar panel to the L-track.  We will be using some scrap stainless steel angle iron that we had on hand.  

Cutting out the strips.  

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The solar panel is slightly narrower than the L-track so the brackets will have to overhand the panel a bit, I'll taper them in at the top to give them a bit more pleasing appearance.  

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And mounted up.  

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The roof of the Vagabond has an X rolled in it for added strength but this makes the roof get higher as you approach the center.  The solar panel just clears the roof when mounted directly on top of the L-Track adapters, if the panel is slid rearwards washers will need to be added to raise the panel and clear the roof.  

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With the panel mounted it's time to pop the top and finish up the wiring.  Here you can see the solar wiring passing through the roof.  

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Wiring extended and attached to the factory Vagabond wiring.  

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Wiring in Loom and attached to the ceiling, there is enough slack in the corner to allow flex when opening/lowering the roof.  

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The other end of the factory solar wiring was located behind the aluminum corner panel.  

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Continued Below....


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My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE

Adventure Is Out There:  CLICK HERE

Riding Through History:  CLICK HERE


#37 Hodakaguy

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 12:38 PM

Continued from above...

 

I'll be installing a BlueSky 3000I MPPT solar controller to manage the power produced by the solar panel.  I've used this controller a couple times in the past and it worked great.  

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The controller will be mounted on the side of the heater box to prevent damage to the unit from stuff getting slid in and out of the truck.  The interior of the heater box is vented and stays cool even when the heater is in operation so this should be a good environment for the controller.  

Laying out the cut lines.  

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And hole cut, edges haven't been cleaned up yet in this pic.  

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Controller mounted.  

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You can't tell but it's about 110 deg inside the camper while I'm doing the install!  I forgot to take pictures while routing and wiring the controller.  

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Mattress re-installed and another shot of the panel wiring.  I didn't have a small bolt on fairing to clean up the penetration point on hand so I'll be adding that at a later date.   

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Wiring finished just before the sun went down, unit up and running.  I took the below picture showing 1amp of charge with the roof flat, when the top was opened and the panel was pointed towards the sun the charge went up to 4amps, even though the sun was very low on the horizon.  Depending on how you park the truck you can maximize your solar input.  The ML-ACR under the hood will auto combine the batteries when the solar starts charging the aux battery keeping both the aux and starting batteries fully topped up. 

 


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Now to just blow all the aluminum shavings off the top of the truck and call it a night.  

Hodakaguy


Edited by Hodakaguy, 13 July 2019 - 12:42 PM.

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My Unimog U1300L Build:  CLICK HERE

My VW Syncro Westy Build:  CLICK HERE

In Memory Of The Crewmen: CLICK HERE

Adventure Is Out There:  CLICK HERE

Riding Through History:  CLICK HERE


#38 Advmoto18

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 01:45 PM

Very nice...

Always impressive!


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South Carolina Low Country.  Whatyanogood?


#39 Wandering Sagebrush

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 01:54 PM

Very nice...
Always impressive!


Agreed, impressive and informative! Thanks, Tom for all the great build threads.
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#40 Advmoto18

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Posted 13 July 2019 - 01:58 PM

Tom

 

Are those the Frontrunner Gullwing side windows on your Vagabond?


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South Carolina Low Country.  Whatyanogood?






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Vagabnd, Drifter, wedge, camper, FWC, GoFast, GFC, AT, Habitat

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