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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm considering locations for the AC inlet port to charge my service (house, auxiliary) battery bank and run my gear off 'shore power' when available. My van conversion is more 'stealth', so I don't want to drill/install a typical round AC inlet port to the back half of the van side panel. That space right below the gas cap sure looks like a great location. Concealed when not in use and quite easy to run the AC wire into the cargo area.

First thing that comes to mind is the location being next to fuel filler/tank. For safety sake, I would always plug the extension cord to inlet first, THEN plug into source AC outlet and vise versa to disconnect. AC inlet source circuit breaker under 10" per marine spec.

Thoughts? Considerations?
 
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- Fuel's vulnerable when charging
- You might be able to hide it behind a converted cap between driver side taillight and the lower bumper (it's the panel in the red frame of the attached image) (no idea if the barn-door version works for this, there's hinge there)
- Will you try engine bay?

 

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Discussion Starter #3
- Fuel's vulnerable when charging
Could you explain more about your statement? Charging batteries via AC inlet will only be done parked at office or facility. Your typical generator involves close proximity of fuel and AC.


Cool video, but engine area is out of the question running AC high amperage around the Metris electricals. From the rear is an option, but I'd like to keep wiring short.

Thanks for chiming in.
 

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I should say "it's not safe to leave fuel cap unlocked when doing unattended charging". Getting gas stolen is not that bad if I can call roadside assistance. It's a bigger concern if the stolen gas was used to do something bad. It can be nightmare if it's used to set fire in forest during summer time.

I would be fine if you only do that when it's safe.

I noticed that it's unclear after submitted it, however I cannot find the Edit button for my own post (weird).
 

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I would be more concerned about someone putting something in my tank rather than someone taking fuel out. Both problems could be solved with a locking gas cap.

It still makes me nervous to have it in that location.
 

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I thought about putting my AC plug in in that same location- below the gas cap. With the cap secured and plugging/unplugging as you described it seemed pretty safe..... almost fool proof.... but probably not idiot proof. (Idiot proof is certainly a very demanding design standard!) But I know Mr Murphy is a very hard working guy and usually shows up at the most inopportune time so I opted out on that location.

Since I'm not concerned about the stealth issue, my plug in ended up just in front of the driver's side rear wheel well, which is where most of my electrical stuff is at.

I saw a few stealthy installs on the rear bumper when looking on line. Someone even put it on their trailer hitch, which made it appear as it they were simply wired for different types of electrical connectors for trailers.
 

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It may be a good option if we can eliminate all concerns, especially if your Metris has both driver side sliding door and rear barn doors.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I would be more concerned about someone putting something in my tank rather than someone taking fuel out. Both problems could be solved with a locking gas cap.

It still makes me nervous to have it in that location.
Yea, locking gas cap was definitely in the plans if I went this route.
Talked to one shop and was told it's safe as long as use common sense approach. Make sure device (AC-DC charger is OFF), plug into van AC inlet, plug into AC outlet, turn charger ON. Other precautions: make sure gas cap is on securely (duh!) and do not 'top off' gas tank [keep filling tank after first click] (DOUBLE DUH!]
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I saw a few stealthy installs on the rear bumper when looking on line. Someone even put it on their trailer hitch, which made it appear as it they were simply wired for different types of electrical connectors for trailers.
That's was my other choice. The one I seen on bumper or hitch were vehicles with much higher ground clearance. On the Metris I ruled it out initially because the factory hitch offers very little attachment from dead center so I don't want the plug-in to be in the way of entering/exiting the rear. I'm working on an idea next week, hopefully it pans out.
 

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That's was my other choice. The one I seen on bumper or hitch were vehicles with much higher ground clearance. On the Metris I ruled it out initially because the factory hitch offers very little attachment from dead center so I don't want the plug-in to be in the way of entering/exiting the rear. I'm working on an idea next week, hopefully it pans out.
Where did you end up installing? Any installation pics or how-to?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Where did you end up installing? Any installation pics or how-to?
Busy with work and considering a new table saw to finish up the project. I've done 'test fit' of all the equipment but not 100% sure of inlet location...current plan is rear...near tow hitch, but still like the fuel door area. Engine area is out the question...with trying to run an AC line through the firewall and the drag of having to pop the hood to plug in often. Will update.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
What’s wrong with your old table saw?
Old Craftsmen and motor finally gave out... seems. Just wont start with power button. I got it used years ago so it's time. Plus I 'need' to be using one with better updated safe guards... riving knife, anti kickback pawns. etc.

After 'exhaustive' research, the new Skilsaw SPT99 introduced this month is on it's way from an authorized online retailer. https://www.skilsaw.com/product-details?product=SPT99-12

I'll be looking for a side-hustle gig cutting 2x and 4x lumber to pay for it. :smile: Serving the Carolinas.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I like Bosch and I own their recent model jigsaw...really nice. I looked at the Bosch GTS1031 and 4100 but the really like the accuracy of the rack n pinion fences on the DeWalt and Skilsaw. The increased torque and better 'gravity stand' put the Skilsaw over on top.
 

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I like Bosch and I own their recent model jigsaw...really nice. I looked at the Bosch GTS1031 and 4100 but the really like the accuracy of the rack n pinion fences on the DeWalt and Skilsaw. The increased torque and better 'gravity stand' put the Skilsaw over on top.
I have Bosch too. Speaking of that, we should totally have a list of 'tools needed for a conversion'. I'd be curious to know what else people are using on their build.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
we should totally have a list of 'tools needed for a conversion'. I'd be curious to know what else people are using on their build.
I thought about doing that. Believe me, I've amassed some other tools that should make the job easier. I'm also thought about 'renting' the tools out to members here doing a similar conversion. After this conversion is done, they'll probably just sit around much of the time. For instance here's my rivet nut 'kit':
Astro Pneumatic Tool 1442 Nut/Thread Setting Hand Riveter
General Tools 482 Swivel Head Deburring Tool
Bosch 25/64" Cobalt Drill Bit (for 1/4"-20 bolts")

None of those tools I had laying around and not going though the pain and 'half-ass' work you'd get from some similar but inferior tools from Harbor Freight and using substitutes.
 
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No matter how big your tool collection is, you are always missing something you need for the current job, eh?

I took a look at Harbor Freight tools; some of them are made with surprisingly decent materials, but all of them are assembled with an indifference a British Leyland factory on strike would be ashamed of.

Way back in another life, I was apprenticed to a Russian who ran a small jewellry store, and while he had stock on hand, and was mostly a wheeler-dealer (he was always involved in half a dozen different business ventures, including with me, often but not always jewelry related) the bulk of his income came from custom crafting custom designed pieces. He taught me a lesson that I hold to this day:

There are two ways to buy tools:
1) buy the wrong (or cheap) tool, screw up the project, and start over after buying the right tool.
2) buy the right tool in the first place.
 

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I have been looking for an existing hole in the firewall to snake an audio cable through for a horn for my PA. Does anybody know where in the firewall such a thing might exist or where might be a good place to drill a hole where there aren't wires or other expensive to replace things
 
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