Installed the Inlet Today – lessons learned

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”   Dale Carnegie

How are you today?  It’s been a great day and I had some fun despite a few frustrating moments… I’m either the dumbest son of a beeswax walking the face of the earth or, as I like to think of it… gaining a lot of experience…

I tried to drill a hole in the wall of the van and I was using a cheap 1+7/8 hole saw.  First of all, if you want to try to cut a lot of different sized holes, DO NOT BUY one of those flimsy hole saws with a number of concentric blades.  It will screw up any hole, all sizes unless you are trying to saw through yesterday’s Domino’s pizza.  What the heck was I thinking?  I assure you I was not smoking crack or anything else when I bought that damned $4 piece of shit. 

It is a better idea to buy a dedicated hole saw or slip the local handyman $5 to borrow his.  It took 5 seconds to drill the hole (and clean up the mess left from the last attempt!).  I bought a Master Mechanic brand and it was strong and sharp.  

The inlet fit perfectly into the hole and I secured it with three screws.  You also have the option to use a nut on the backside but I didn’t want to rip out a big frigging hole in the paneling to tighten one damn nut.  The inlet is not subject to a lot of strain.  It was easier to fasten it from the outside.

Since I am only going to draw 15 or fewer amps from outside current, I used a 15 Amp inlet and a chunk of 15A extension cord.  If I was going to use an air conditioner of an electric hot plate then I would definitely recommend a bigger power inlet.

This does fine and I think it looks kind of cute.  I located it where I wanted though it is not in a perfect line with the fuel filler.  One nice thing… The power cable enters the van about eight inches behind the driver’s side battery area.  It will make plugging in a charger so easy.  The nice thing about the Iota charger is that you can leave it on while using the batteries.  I am squeamish about trying to run the inverter and charge the batteries for two reasons… 1)   If I have shore power, the inverter is unneeded and 2)  I don’t want to do anything weird that might harm the inverter.  It’s easier to unplug the 110V from the inverter and plug in the 110V to incoming the shore power.

Better go for now.  After a nap, I’m going to try and finish the last wall.

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About VanTrekker

I am a former vandweller in Eastern Iowa who, for several years (off and on), lived in a 2007 Chevy cargo van. I still travel around Iowa with my tortoise shell cat, Jennifer Stefanie. Our favorite place to explore is the Country Heritage Community, the four far northeastern counties of Iowa (Clayton, Winneshiek, Allamakee, and Fayette). Ride along as we fish in pristine trout streams, enjoy fine home cooked camping meals, and meet new people. It's all possible on a shoestring budget. Happy travels always! --- Brad, the "Van Trekker"

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