Chinook RV Forum

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PostPosted: October 4th, 2017, 11:29 pm 
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Location: Northern NJ
So I was looking at Ford Chinook photos, when it suddenly hit me that they all have a mid belt indentation down the entire vehicle.

Perfect place to put a reflective stripe! I thought. So I ordered a thin roll of silver-white 3M reflective tape, and put it in the groove. As you can see from the photos, it's nearly invisible in the daytime, but very visible when lit at night:

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The cool thing is that the angle it's placed at doesn't matter. It always reflects straight back to the light source. Here, that means the camera seeing the reflected light from its flash.

The downside is that most approaching cars' headlights are lower than the Ford belt line, and thus don't reflect back as much to a driver's eyes. So I think I'm going to add another reflective line lower down.

I might use this other cool 3M tape I got, which appears to be black striping in the daylight, but reflects white at night. It's amazing stuff. I'll put it over my current lower black stripe.
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Btw, I had originally thought about embedding a fishing line thin 12v powered glow wire in that belt line instead. But my glow wire is more blue than white, and police departments tend to frown on anyone else using blue lights.

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Last edited by kdarling on November 5th, 2017, 6:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: November 4th, 2017, 5:26 pm 
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Location: Northern NJ
Continuing the reflective theme...

Bought a used computer controlled Silhouette Cameo pattern cutter off eBay for about $110. Added a $32 roll feeder accessory off Amazon. Bought rolls of stick-on vinyl from both places.

Handy hobby tool to make stencils and press on decals, small or long (12" by X feet). Even can cut cloth patterns. Basically it's an X-Y graphic plotter with a blade instead of a pen.

Comes with powerful but easy to learn software, which I upgraded for another $29 to the Designer version that, among other features, allows skewing any font to both the left and right. You can also import a picture and have it trace the outlines to make a stencil. The possibilities are endless. (Next I'm cutting out rubber gaskets for my marker lights! Bought a deeper blade for that.)
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Made my own replacement Chinook decals from permanent sticky silver reflective vinyl. Took about five minutes for the Cameo to trace the outlines of four sets with its tiny blade. It cuts through the vinyl but leaves the paper backing. You weed (remove) the unwanted material with a pick. Then you lift off the remaining pattern of letters onto a sticky transfer sheet, from which you then press them onto the target surface. I put them on today and just took a night flash photo:
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I'll take a daytime picture tomorrow when the rain stops.
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Last edited by kdarling on November 7th, 2017, 4:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: November 6th, 2017, 8:54 am 
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Joined: November 29th, 2016, 9:06 am
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Location: Houston, TX
Nice! Looks sharp!

I have a Brother Scan n Cut machine that does a similar job. I'm tempted to copy your idea, except then the rest of the paint/decal work would look even sadder in contrast :) What font did you use for the Chinook logo?

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PostPosted: November 6th, 2017, 6:01 pm 
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Kirah wrote:
I'm tempted to copy your idea, except then the rest of the paint/decal work would look even sadder in contrast :) What font did you use for the Chinook logo?

True, I have an advantage in that the paint is mine, and I had long ago sanded down the old lettering and repainted a nice clear spot for any new letters.

This is the font i used for the CHINOOK:

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It's a bit unique in having both a right and a left leaning italic (although I used a skew tool instead).

I also plan to put a large cursive "Concourse" on the rear. Haven't quite decided on the font for that. I've scanned in the image of the small name from my front fender, and I think I'll use it directly. This is the photo I told the software to trace.
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If I can figure out how to export the cutter file as SVG, I will post it.

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PostPosted: November 7th, 2017, 5:28 am 
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Joined: November 29th, 2016, 9:06 am
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Location: Houston, TX
Thanks!

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