Sound System


This is the sound system for the back of the van….

OK…. so I like tinkering and I started off with some 12V computer speakers that I could plug my MP3 player / Laptop / Phone into. That works fine enough and because I found some free ones that worked I never bothered sorting anything else out.

Then I decided that I wanted the option of a little a little more oomph!  …and what the hell, why not make it myself.

This is a great source for answers to stupid questions

This is a link to the board I went for in the end [Edit: should have gone for something with even more oomph!]

……………..poo can’t find the link!

The idea is to find a nice piratey looking box to mount all of this in. I can also use an old laptop power supply to either power this or to power everything 12V!

This is the board that I got…. its surprisingly small for so much umph!

Here is the random car-boot-sale mini pirate chest that I managed to pick up for 50p

First half done…. the walls of the box were too thick for the controls and connectors to poke through.

So I cut a bigger hole and mounted a plastic plate on the inside which the control and connectors poke through.

The next step is to do the same again on the other side for the power and speaker connectors. You can just about make out the air holes drilled in the back of the box. Hopefully this is enough to stop it over heating but I’ll have to run it for a while to find out.

So I have ordered some panel mount dc power sockets…

…and some speaker connectors…

The finished article

…so I went back and cleaned up the wiring a little as well!

Head Unit

My van came with a tape player… yes its old. My current half baked idea is to replace this with a 2Din Android unit that can handle sat nav and the feed from the rear view camera that I previously fitted!

I’ve been looking around and the Pumpkin Android boxes look good to me and have come down in price a lot over the last year.

Android 5.1 from £200

Android 6 from £200


WinCE from £130

Flettner Roof Vent

Help… its always been a little noisy and I thought that the bearings must be on the way out. The last few days its been unbearable… silent from the outside, like an insane drummer that can’t keep time on the inside! I like the idea and have never had an issues with condensation…. I assume because of the vent.

Should they be silent when spinning from inside the van?
Can I service the bearings?
Is there a silent version or better option?

Have done a bit of research and taken a closer look at mine and it wobbles as it spins, in time with the clunk! They are supposed to be almost silent when spinning so I may take it apart and see if I can replace the bearing. I think it may have been hit with something in the past.

Bumper Touch Up

My bumpers were faded and grey… I heard a rumor that a heat gun can bring them back to life. Turns out it was right….

This is the heat gun I used…

I timidly tried it on a very small area…. and started off trying to mask off the paint work with a bit of ply…. by the end I was just wafting the heat gun around. You have to hold it in one place longer than it takes to get the colour back before it does anything to the paint.

….just wash your bumpers first, I managed to burn some moss on mine!!


I had an awesome drive away awning…. £300 and I managed to trash it in 3 years (my fault not the awnings!). Should I just get a gazebo instead?

Quictent Gazebo
£85 – 0.7mm steel tube, pop-up gazebo

Commercial Grade Gazebo
£165 – 1mm steep tube, pop-up gazebo, zip up sides


Now I’ve got all the kitchen bits fixed in the van I don’t need an awning quite as big… the model below the one I used to have seems to fit the bill.

Its basically just a place to chuck my boys bike trailer and to sit in if its raining and my boy is asleep inside!

I need to check if the rail in the side of my van is 240cm or less.