author
4Instructables33,981Views22CommentsCamarilloJoined December 19th, 2015
Semi-retired, like to fish, ride Mountain and Road bicycles, make stuff, hike, and hang out with the family... 3 kids and 4 grandkids with one granddaughter on the way.

Achievements

10K+ Views Earned a bronze medal
#Vanlife Contest
Contest Winner Runner Up in the #Vanlife Contest
course completion badge
Arduino ClassClass Complete!
Show 3 More »
  • johnowhite commented on johnowhite's instructable DIY Van High Top3 weeks ago
    DIY Van High Top

    Josh, good question! The tubing is "sculpted" and fit using a 36" belt sander and 36 grit sandpaper, then drilled and screwed. The 1-3/8 closet rod fits nicely inside the tubing (then screwed) and was easier to match and drill/scew to the body/roof.Where needed, you can temporarily screw a scrap piece to hold the frame(s) in place. (If your working on the outside, maybe use the scrap piece on the inside so it's not in your way.)The real strength comes from attaching the plywood panelling to the framework and the roof with screws. It's REALLY important to allow the panels to overlap onto the roof and screw to the roof.(or the 4" remaining of the roof)....This holds the whole top on, along with fiberglassing. The top is also held on the inside by screwing the ...

    see more »

    Josh, good question! The tubing is "sculpted" and fit using a 36" belt sander and 36 grit sandpaper, then drilled and screwed. The 1-3/8 closet rod fits nicely inside the tubing (then screwed) and was easier to match and drill/scew to the body/roof.Where needed, you can temporarily screw a scrap piece to hold the frame(s) in place. (If your working on the outside, maybe use the scrap piece on the inside so it's not in your way.)The real strength comes from attaching the plywood panelling to the framework and the roof with screws. It's REALLY important to allow the panels to overlap onto the roof and screw to the roof.(or the 4" remaining of the roof)....This holds the whole top on, along with fiberglassing. The top is also held on the inside by screwing the panelling to the top frame and the van inside. I used aluminum tubing, rather than square steel tubing to get round corners for fiberglassing and aero, the tubing was in the garage, and the wooden closet pole fit. Square steel tubing could certainly be used.....I've seen some motorhomes out of it. It can also be bent and welded. It might be a little heavier.

    View Instructable »
  • johnowhite followed Tech Works1 month ago
      • How to Make Your Own Homemade Arduino Uno R3
      • How to Make Relay Circuit Board for Arduino
      • Automatic Dark Detector
  • How to Inflate a Tubeless Wheelbarrow Tire That Defies Inflation

    This might sound dangerous...I was scared big time the first time I tried this, but, it worked and didn't make much sound at all. After cleaning rust from the rim, squirt a LITTLE but if starting fluid or carb cleaner in to the tire. Too much and it won't work. Using a long tipped lighter, light it. It will explode and seat the bead. Use gloves, ear plugs and eye protection and anything else that will make you comfortable. It's scary, but works like a charm.

    View Instructable »
  • johnowhite's entry Hi-top Van Solar Power is a winner in the #Vanlife Contest contest 1 month ago
  • johnowhite's entry Hi-top Van Solar Power is a finalist in the #Vanlife Contest contest 2 months ago
  • johnowhite commented on johnowhite's instructable Hi-top Van Solar Power2 months ago
    Hi-top Van Solar Power

    From what I can find, it looks like I need a continuous solenoid to isolate the starter battery from the "House" batteries. It would be nice to have the alternator do that. If you don't mind sharing, what alternator (or van) has this feature? Thank you.

    View Instructable »
  • johnowhite commented on GrizzlyBear865's instructable Fishing Tackle Bucket2 months ago
    Fishing Tackle Bucket

    I just posted something similar. I like your lid/seat. Funny how we did the same thing but a little differently. Once work!John

    View Instructable »
  • johnowhite commented on johnowhite's instructable Hi-top Van Solar Power3 months ago
    Hi-top Van Solar Power

    It looks like the inverter is the problem. It doesn't get to power fast enough.The motor has a starter capacitor, but needed more starting umph than the inverter was able to supply, right away. The inverter is an HF 4000/2000 watt inverter.To start the A/C (5000 watt) it works best to start it on the fan, and shut it down on the fan (per manuf. instructions.)If I had their 5000 Watt inverter, things might be different.

    Thank you..Hope it helps

    View Instructable »
  • johnowhite's instructable Endless Hot Van SHOWER and Water System's weekly stats: 3 months ago
    • Endless Hot Van SHOWER and Water System
      618 views
      8 favorites
      2 comments
  • johnowhite commented on Beth Ferguson's instructable Off-the-Grid Solar Wagon3 months ago
    Off-the-Grid Solar Wagon

    This is a really cool idea....Solar, portable, a good conversation piece. Comments For convenience, you might wish to move the inverter and the plug so you have easier access for plugging in the load. Also, from the diagram, it looks like a battery cable does not go directly to the inverter. For this system it will work. Wiring through the charge controller for the load will insure that the battery won't discharge, as most will shut off the load around 10-11 volts. However, directly wiring from the battery to the inverter , with a big breaker, if you wish, makes a lot of sense, here's why. For 300 watts, /12volts, that's 25 Amps, requiring at least 8-10 gauge wire. If your load gets much bigger, the load wire needed won't fit in the controller.

    View Instructable »
  • johnowhite's instructable Hi-top Van Solar Power's weekly stats: 3 months ago
    • Hi-top Van Solar Power
      926 views
      29 favorites
      1 comments
  • Endless Hot Van SHOWER and Water System

    The size of the system to run a motor depends on the volts and amps of the motor and how much load is put on the motor Deep cycle batteries provide the immediate power to run the motor. The solar panels charge the batteries, through a charge controller. The inverter changes the battery 12 volts to 120 volts to run the motor. Here's the math....If you were to run a 5 amp, 120v motor 4 hours, you would use 4 times the use at one hour.......5 amp/hour at 120v, or 600 (5w x120v) watts/hour at battery voltage of 12 volts would would use 600/12, or 50 amps at 12volts. If you had 1-12v 100Amp battery, you would use 1/2 its total capacity in one hour, which is about all you should expect.....So, to run that 5 amp, 120v motor 4 hours you would need 4- 12v, 100amp batteries, in a perfect ...

    see more »

    The size of the system to run a motor depends on the volts and amps of the motor and how much load is put on the motor Deep cycle batteries provide the immediate power to run the motor. The solar panels charge the batteries, through a charge controller. The inverter changes the battery 12 volts to 120 volts to run the motor. Here's the math....If you were to run a 5 amp, 120v motor 4 hours, you would use 4 times the use at one hour.......5 amp/hour at 120v, or 600 (5w x120v) watts/hour at battery voltage of 12 volts would would use 600/12, or 50 amps at 12volts. If you had 1-12v 100Amp battery, you would use 1/2 its total capacity in one hour, which is about all you should expect.....So, to run that 5 amp, 120v motor 4 hours you would need 4- 12v, 100amp batteries, in a perfect world. In reality, you could loose 20-25% so you'd need another battery.Each 100 Watt solar panel seems to charge my batteries about 5 Amps at 12 volts.. It's not efficient...math says it should be more. At 5 Amps/hour charging 5 hours a day, you'll need a lot of panels.

    View Instructable »
  • johnowhite commented on johnowhite's instructable DIY Van High Top3 months ago
    DIY Van High Top

    I hear you on the sticky. So, I spray it on and don't touch it for an hour or so. I clean out the bottle and the nozzle systemIf it's soft, it still needs to cure. Once cured hard, I cut it with a hack-saw blade. If it didn't go where you wanted put more in and repeat

    View Instructable »
  • johnowhite entered Hi-top Van Solar Power in the Invention Challenge 2017 contest 3 months ago
  • johnowhite commented on johnowhite's instructable DIY Van High Top3 months ago
    DIY Van High Top

    If you could figure out a good way to make the doors taller, you'llsave on ice bills....for your bumped head.

    View Instructable »
  • johnowhite commented on johnowhite's instructable DIY Van High Top3 months ago
    DIY Van High Top

    Thank you for the kind words....It's always a struggle to get too wordy or too brief.

    View Instructable »
  • johnowhite commented on johnowhite's instructable DIY Van High Top7 months ago
    DIY Van High Top

    Thank you for the compliment. It's been a while, and I really like the outcome.I built this to provide a space while constructing a home for our daughter's family.Now that it's done, I think I'll make it a camper. The rear springs are a little tired, and the tires are passenger tires. There's plenty of room for solar panels on the top and sides, hmmm....look for results in June, '17...."DIY High Top Van Camper" Thank you for your interest. (unless my wife makes me sell it....she's always right..."Yes dear" 39 yrs and happy)

    View Instructable »
  • johnowhite commented on johnowhite's instructable DIY Van High Top8 months ago
    DIY Van High Top

    It's hard to say, time and money wise. Dollar wise it was cheaper than buying one. However, it took way more time than just installing one. I was happy with the result and the gas mileage...16 mpg at 65, plus it was much lighter than a purchased one.

    I know it's hard to see, but the brace is behind the driver and passenger, there is also a bulkhead behind the driver that supports the bed and desk/workbench and protects the driver in a crash or panic stop. (I thought I replied earlier)

    View Instructable »
  • johnowhite commented on johnowhite's instructable DIY Van High Top1 year ago
    DIY Van High Top

    Thank you for your comment. I can only guess that it is not as safe as the factory roof. The driver and passenger area, however has the original roof, which is cut behind the first brace and there is a bulkhead behind the driver, so I would imagine that the driver is probably safer, but the best way to solve this would be to contact a structural engineer. As with any vehicle, If you maintain the vehicle and drive appropriately, the risk of rollover could certainly be diminished. I would think that the built-in counters could lend more structural integrity in the even of a side collision, but I have no basis for any scientific conclusion.As for flying debris, the driver bulkhead would diminish the likelihood of contact, however, properly securing items would also reduce the likelihoo...

    see more »

    Thank you for your comment. I can only guess that it is not as safe as the factory roof. The driver and passenger area, however has the original roof, which is cut behind the first brace and there is a bulkhead behind the driver, so I would imagine that the driver is probably safer, but the best way to solve this would be to contact a structural engineer. As with any vehicle, If you maintain the vehicle and drive appropriately, the risk of rollover could certainly be diminished. I would think that the built-in counters could lend more structural integrity in the even of a side collision, but I have no basis for any scientific conclusion.As for flying debris, the driver bulkhead would diminish the likelihood of contact, however, properly securing items would also reduce the likelihood. Many purpose-built vehicles, work vehicles and RV's could be less structurally sound than production vehicles, but also less useful. Adding bulkheads could certainly increase roll-over collapse resistance. Build a stronger one and post it!

    View Instructable »