(Formally "Plan V: A Van Dwelling Blog", when I lived in a 1978 Dodge Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome van)

Friday, October 5, 2012

Propane compartment & door

The compartment door was totally gone due to an accident someone had with it at some point that tore it to hell. Not enough was left to remake it as it was.

A friend has an old junky travel trailer he let me get an access door from that was the perfect width but too tall. However, it had a traditional hinge that was screwed to the door and pop riveted to the frame. I was able to cut it down to fit my van but had to cut it further around the opening to allow for the tanks to fit into the opening. It may allow water to enter the compartment but it's solid metal inside and has a way to drain out somewhat.

Also, I went ahead and gave it a couple of coats of oil based Rustoleum paint I already had laying around and put a couple of flexible plastic signs in the bottom under the tanks to keep the paint nice.

I also put on new modern hoses that requires no tools to connect and disconnect from the tanks. The tank on the right is too old to use/refill as it is. It has the older style valve and connector so I will be swapping it out for another tank.

All in all, I think it came out pretty decent. Not exactly professional but for the cost of about $50 for the wood and aluminum trim for the door, I'd say it came out well. The sheet metal on the outside of the door is from the original compartment door so it looks fairly original.

I haven't put in all the screws for holding the frame to the van yet but that's not too much work. I am having to drill new holes since the frame's holes don't line up with the originals but it's just a little time consuming, not difficult.

The reason the door has funky cut-outs down lower is so the door will be lighter which means it's easier on the hinge. The upper cut is obvious.. for the vent in the sheet metal. If I feel like it, I may go back and put some sheet metal in the inside of the door to make it look a little better.

I will be ordering a new of new matching locks for the various compartments and access panels.

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