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 Post subject: Gadgets I'm Considering
PostPosted: October 17th, 2015, 4:27 pm 
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Location: Northern Virginia
If anyone has opinions before I purchase these, chime in. I'm looking to get some stuff (not all at once) to make life a little easier and here's some on my list:
Interior fan to supplement or instead of running the vent fan. Made by the same company. Gets excellent reviews- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000A ... PDKIKX0DER

A skeeter net I will sew magnets into and shape to the front door windows. In mosquito country I lost out on valuable breeze by not being able to open my front windows- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CF4 ... 5MJPHWV3WI

Something to help me remove the water heater element (when I'm ready)- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00361V162?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=ox_sc_sfl_title_6&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Until I can find a better cup console to fit anything larger than a soda can- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B010MH ... OJ747AFS3W

This for heat to save on propane and electricity- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000BV ... PDKIKX0DER

Some interior lights (until I replace everything with led) because I keep forgetting to pack my electric candles- http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00Y82 ... MS3PHBE8ZL

I'm also looking for recommendations for a good folding shovel. Everything I see people complain about the metal bending or joints breaking after a couple of uses. I'll have other stuff, but these are what I've saved.

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PostPosted: October 17th, 2015, 5:48 pm 
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Always fun to tweak with new gadgets :D And to read about it when others do.


I have a couple of comments on the items I'm familiar with:

First, on the Fantastic Fan, I would instead choose a marine type fan. Here is why:
The Fantastic Fan is rather bulky to store, being closer to the size of a household box fan (and I presume you will store it between uses). Also, the Fantastic Fan draws a fair bit of power (in comparison). Not that they are not good fans, but I'm speaking of the space in the Chinook, and presuming you'd like minimal power draw (say, if you want to run a fan day and night).

In contrast, the marine type fan can be mounted permanently (always ready for use; no need to store), aimed in various directions, and only sips power. I used one many nights in the tropics, and aimed right on me I would nearly always end up with a sheet or blanket by morning (which is saying something in that heat and humidity!).

In the Chinook I have one mounted at the front end of the cabinet over the couch (hanging "upside down"), so I can aim it on the bed when sleeping, or over toward the seating area. I'll probably add one near the stove area just for variety. They can be hard wired or plugged in with a cigarette lighter plug. I like the Hella Turbo or Caframo 747, but both brands make other models as well.

Fantastic Endless Breeze:
1.2 - 2.6 amps
(they don't give cfm [cubic feet per minute], but instead say "up to 10mph of cool, refreshing wind").

Hella Turbo Fan, low/high:
148 cfm/ .2 amp
201 cfm/ .3 amp
Attachment:
hella turbo fan.jpg
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Caframo 747, low/high
144 cfm
210 cfm
.59 amp (not sure if that is high or low speed, probably high)

Picture shows suction cup mount but they can also be fastened with screws.

Attachment:
caframo 747 fan.jpg
caframo 747 fan.jpg [ 9.97 KiB | Viewed 934 times ]


*******
I'd give the Wave 6 heater a thumbs up. I have the Wave 3 and if I bought again I would get the Wave 6.
I have the Olympian legs fitted to the Wave 3, and they are fine for testing out, or just to get going; but I wouldn't choose them. Reason is they stick way out "in back" and make it hard to place the heater efficiently (it kind of has to be in the middle of the aisle to clear the legs). Also, they make it hard to store unless you remove them. I have seen a nice homemade "leg" that is basically a plywood easel. Doesn't stick out so far in back, plus folds flat to stow. Or of course hard mounting, which would be even better. Silent and no power draw is great. One thing to keep in mind is that it's much cozier if you have it aiming toward you, since it's radiant heat. I've also found (counter-intuitively) that it's warmer to have it up a little higher rather than on the floor (maybe not as much of a thing with the 6 vs. the 3), due to its being radiant.

The "swivel elbow" Camco sell makes it easier to mount in some cases (although it only swivels until you tighten it in place).
********

The cup holder looks slick for an "in the meantime" method. I celebrated the day I removed the tiny (heated) cupholder console (see I have blanked out the name even)[Oh yeah, Beverage Mate] and put in a regular Ford one (which does fit Hydro Flasks with just a tiny bit of sanding). I did notice that the Ford consoles seem to have gotten quite expensive on eBay now (maybe Craigslist or junkyard would be better). I guess this is because there are fewer E-Series vans with "takeouts" now.

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Last edited by Blue~Go on October 18th, 2015, 9:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: October 17th, 2015, 9:27 pm 
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BTW, here are a couple of photos of the Turbo fans mounted on boats - just to give a sense of scale:

Attachment:
turbo fan mounted.jpg
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Attachment:
turbo fan mounted 2.jpg
turbo fan mounted 2.jpg [ 51.14 KiB | Viewed 926 times ]

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PostPosted: October 19th, 2015, 6:09 pm 
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Awesome, that's why I posted here first! I like the fan idea and especially the low draw. I'd mount it exactly the way you did for that all-night cooling.

I've been keeping an eye on Ebay from time to time and am waiting for a good price on the console. Since it might be a while I was thinking of those drink holders.

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PostPosted: October 19th, 2015, 6:53 pm 
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Question on the heater thing. No worries about venting burned gas fumes? Seems like it's gotta go somewhere yes?


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PostPosted: October 19th, 2015, 7:37 pm 
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Manitou wrote:
Question on the heater thing. No worries about venting burned gas fumes? Seems like it's gotta go somewhere yes?


This is one of the differences between vented and non-vented heaters. Vented takes things right out the "chimney." With non-vented you provide the ventilation (according to specs). As long as you are comfortable with the idea, and follow the guidelines, I think they are fine. But everyone has their own opinion, and there is no sense in having a heater that worries you or just doesn't please you.

Also there are different methods of combustion. For example, the stock type furnace in our Chinooks produces CO, and that's vented outside. A catalytic heater (such as the Wave) doesn't produce CO when functioning correctly. However, there are two reasons to vent to the mfgr's specifications*. One, the water vapor produced needs to be let out; and two, the heater consumes oxygen that must be replaced (so you can breathe). The recommended ventilation does this.

*For the Wave 3 they recommend 24 square inches, preferably divided between two openings. In our rigs, in practical terms, that translates to one side window open a crack, and a roof vent open a crack.

Some people feel that, well, you are trying to heat and yet you have a window open? Well, true, but the vented furnace isn't a free lunch either in that a good percentage of heat goes out the vent. At any rate, there are many different methods of heating, each with their own factors, plusses, and minuses. I don't see any one as "best," but more that each person can weigh the options and come up with one or two methods that suit. For me now, that's the Wave and an electric heater for when I'm plugged in (and I carry a disposable canister Little Buddy type for emergencies). In future I may trade the Wave for a propane fireplace type heater (yet another option).

Note that I would always use a CO detector with any furnace. You just never know.

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PostPosted: October 20th, 2015, 7:28 pm 
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Well, that cupholder won't work because the base is too wide. Also everything else I've searched for won't work because of the small diameter. Soooo, back to looking for cheap consoles. How does it come out? I know it clips, but how do you remove it? Before I start exploring I think it's better to ask...

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PostPosted: October 20th, 2015, 7:33 pm 
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Skillet wrote:
Soooo, back to looking for cheap consoles. How does it come out? I know it clips, but how do you remove it? Before I start exploring I think it's better to ask...


I wrote up a post on removing the Beverage Mate and replacing it with another console. See link below. Even if you don't have a Beverage Mate, it will show you how it works for any Ford console (1997+ vans). But in a nutshell, it's a five minute job.

Note that any console from 1997-2014 will fit any 1997+ Ford van. However 1996 and prior year Ford vans take a completely different style.

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=19

Looking on eBay, these have just gotten astronomical in price, I guess now that there aren't take-outs since the vans are no longer being made (and most cutaways probably keep them installed). I don't know what your range is, but here is one just like I have for $100 including shipping, buy it now. That seems pretty good "these days" (and presuming you like this one).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/05-Ford-E-350-S ... YT&vxp=mtr

I actually paid a bit over $100, even back when they were "cheap," because this style was older and thus more rare (the current ones were going for around $50 shipped). Never been sorry, either. How nice to have all that space!

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PostPosted: October 21st, 2015, 12:05 pm 
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I saw that last night and didn't know if it would work. I was going to pull mine off and look at the back and compare. But if they all fit from 1997 and on, I just now ordered it. Thanks!

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PostPosted: October 21st, 2015, 12:32 pm 
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Sweet. Score! That is the exact same console I put in, so I know it will fit.

I forget, do you have the "Beverage Mate" heated thingie? If so, you will remove two screws that hold that in (it doesn't totally use the stock Ford parts) and of course disconnect the wires. Then the new console will pop right on (push it down from above onto the big knobs). They will probably have removed the lower clip from the doghouse, but I found that my console doesn't budge even without it. It kind of "jams on" due to the Chinook upholstery flaps on the sides. Ford do not sell the clip separately, so if you wanted one you'd need to find one at a junkyard or etc.

I'll see if I can upload the Beverage Mate instructions. That's what I used to "reverse install" it, not that it's complicated.

Attachment:
10 Instructions 1.jpg
10 Instructions 1.jpg [ 334.08 KiB | Viewed 886 times ]


Attachment:
12 Instructions 2.jpg
12 Instructions 2.jpg [ 336.59 KiB | Viewed 886 times ]


BTW, I tend to use Hydro Flasks to drink out of, and although the cupholders in the new console are fantastic, they were just a tad too small for them. I took some self-adhesive sandpaper and wrapped it around the bottom of the flask and then spun it back and forth in the cup holder. Now it fits perfectly :)

I predict you are going to LOVE the new console. Space, space, wonderful space!

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