15 Minute Stealth Curtains and other Upgrades

Hello and welcome to the blog today!  I’ve been working on the van for an hour or two here or there, completing a lengthy project plan.  One of the minor jobs was to put a safe plug on the outlet strip for the TV.  Some time back I’d cut the cord (to feed it through a gap), spliced it back together, and wrapped it with tape.  While it worked, this was not as safe as I would prefer.

The BLACK wire goes to the GOLD screw.  Go Hawkeyes!

I could always remember that the left side of a 110 volt outlet was neutral – the white wire – but wiring outlets and plugs drove me bonkers, fearing that I’d reverse the wires when connecting them from behind.  There’s a super easy to remember which wire goes to which screw…

In this region many of us love the University of Iowa Hawkeyes, the team whose colors are black and gold.  As I said on Facebook, “If you remember that black and gold go together, life will be happier.”  Hook the black wire to the gold screw and you’re in business. (the white wire goes to the silver screw).

On to another little endeavor for Monday…

Here is a little stand I made for the crockpot and tiny decorative lamp.  It cost about $15 and used edge-glued birch wood and a couple of premium stick-on floor tiles.  The stand will go back in the corner near the power connections.  The kitties’ hooded litter box will be located below when they are camping.  What keeps the crockpot from falling during transport?  I’ve always used hooks and a small bungee…and never had a problem.

Guess which side has the blackout cover?  (The green curtains are for cosmetic
appearance only.)

One last little tweak…  New stealth curtains.  I had these up in 15 minutes.  To make them, use the 63″ Mainstays (Walmart brand) blackout panel which costs about $10.  Cut it half into two 31.5″ pieces.  Then attach a piece of the fabric to each metal window frame using a handful of the small, strong, silver “rare earth” type magnets.  (They’re very cheap at Harbor Freight.)  Once in place, trim the fabric to fit.  Voila!  I have a couple extra magnets that have hooks so I can pull them back, lift the curtain, and peek out if need be.  I used this approach for almost 5 years in the old van conversion often with people within a speaking distance and completely oblivious!

Wow, this is fun stuff.  But the fun will slow down for a bit…  We’re looking at 7 inches of snow over the next few days but progress will still be made here and there.  Thanks for visiting!

Safe and happy travels always!

Brad, Jesse James, and Jennifer
Jones County, Iowa

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