Arts and Crafts

 

Through the edits and re-writes, it’s come to venturing back to Greymouth to write. Well, actually, I didn’t come here for the writing. Let’s call it a trip back to Monteith’s Brewery for the source of my flavorite New Zealand beer and a peaceful environment to jot my notes.

That being said, I did sort of put things together this morning on the drive south from Picton.

Instead of boring you all with the details of what I did to the van over the last month, I’ll just say a few lines and jump to the photos. The title actually comes from what I told whomever I was staying with at the time, what I was up to for the day: “Arts and Crafts.”

After coming back to Hawkes Bay in early April, I had a few ideas for changes to the Bango. Chiefly important was getting the wheels aligned. During the Northland trip, I backed out of a car park wrong and knocked the alignment out of whack. I decided it wasn’t too critical and pushed another month around Northland. What I thought was going to be a major issue– and after visiting 3 dealerships and two repair shops– turned out to be a few hours worth of work. Whew.

Next up was getting power in. All the research I did made things more confusing (e.g. Solar charge vs. Alternator) and ultimately I chose a very awkward business interaction that cost me $1200 USD.

Finally, I added some lighting, 2x 6″x9″ speakers (thank you Ryan), painted the kitchen area, added a few Art Deco motifs, and re-arranged the way I cook.

The end result is something more comfortable, capable, and in-line with what I wanted all along.

Enjoy….

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At Muriwai Beach, first trip with Bango V1
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In Rotorua, Added “Cutty Sark” green and went for an Art Deco pin stripe; Done with the chilly bin. 
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Before leaving Hawkes Bay. Reomved the gas cooker shelf an rerouted the gas bottle to the right side. Added hand-painted “Coffee” and “Cocktails” in Art Deco font; pressed tin (plastic) backsplash; pine moulding; kitchen cabinet; and hidden LED strip lighting. 
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2x 100AH 12v batteries, 300W AC to DC inverter, and 12v LED Dimmable Controller. 

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Had to run the 12v wires and 240v extension cord through the under-bed storage, which was a pain in the ass, in its own right. 
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Pre-fitted the Waeco Cool Pro 21L fridge into place to get an idea of how big the cabinet could be. 
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Step Two: Build base and top for runners and to suss out how to build the sides.
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Step Three: Build and fit the side legs, drawer, and runners.
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One challenge was making a square cabinet that fit into a concave wall, took up the least space, and allowed for (almost) complete opening of the fridge.

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Step Four: The wine cellar. Laugh at me now, but it works! This set-up allows for three magnums of wine to be stored securely. I borrowed the idea to use broom holders from a Pinterest post which used similar clamps in a caravan. 
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Interior picture with everything but the bedding reinstalled. 
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Best picture to show the effect of the lighting. Used 1650mm rails with over 120 LEDs (each rail) mounted up, working with the concave roof to make for a beautifully soft interior. (Note: wrenches are holding the rails to brackets for gluing) 
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Kitchen view with lights on. Since I only had one LED controller, the brightness in the kitchen is the same as the main cabin. 

 

 

 

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