Categories: Our Hacks | Aesthetic | Body | Conversion | Electrical | Engine | Extended | Flooring | Food Truck | Interior | Mechanical

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One of our favorite additions to the Vanagon is this Power Bright Inverter. It allows us to plug in laptops, chargers, rice cookers, coffee makers, or anything else we can imagine. The Power Bright Inverters come in various sizes but we chose this 1100 watt version. It rocks! You can pick it up here and have it shipped right to you.

We tried several inverters but most of them include a loud fan. The Power Bright runs well and is very quite. In our Carat we mounted it behind the driver’s seat. In a Westy camper you can mount it to the cabinet.


Oct 12, 2017 | Category: @Our Hacks, Interior

We have referred to our streaming setup when we mounted the iPad, but we have never explained exactly what we have going on. We purchased this HooToo Travel Router and mounted it behind the Vanagon glove box. It is connected to a 500GB hard drive (or more recently a 256GB USB thumb drive). It allows us to load up the drive with movies and stream it to the iPad. Click through for more.

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One of the best things you can do to your Vanagon is install GoWesty’s Auxiliary Battery Kit. Once you have that done, you might consider this battery hack we first got from Ken at Van Again. He put 3 motor scooter batteries in parallel to get more amp hours out of the setup. We followed his lead and it works great. He used 3 UB12220 batteries to get a total of 66ah. We had to settle for 3 Power Sonic 21ah batteries to get a total of 63ah because nobody would ship the UB12220 batteries to Honolulu, but we are totally happy with the setup.

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vanagon third brake light

We found a LED brake light online that was wider than the version GoWesty sells. This light did not stick to the back window with double stick tape so the challenge was figuring out how to mount it. We thought about mounting it to the back hatch, but that would mean drilling into the hatch and leaving some exposed wire. We opted for mounting the light on the air conditioner’s evaporator housing.

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Have you wondered why there is no light over the passenger’s seat in your Vanagon? With a little work, you can have one. We purchased an extra light from GoWesty and then started the project.

Final result of the Passenger's side light.

See the project after the jump…


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backup-camera-4

We installed a backup camera in the Vanagon last year, but we had several issues. First of all, the camera was big and more fitting for a large bus. We could not find a spot to mount it easily because the cable was too large. We mounted it under the bumper but the aspect left a lot to be desired. The camera stopped working all of a sudden, so we decided to replace it. This time, we went with a simple license plate backup camera. The installation was fairly straight forward, and the picture looks amazingly good. Click through to see how we did it.

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vanagon-wiring

We have upgraded more of the wiring on the Vanagon. Our first wiring upgrade project was to place a 4 gauge wire from the alternator to the starter. This upgrade did a lot to relieve the bottleneck of power for charging of the batteries. The next project was to upgrade the wiring for the multiple accessories we installed. Click through to see how we did it.

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vanagon glove box lights

GoWesty sells a glovebox LED light kit for about $38, but since I already had the LED lights we decided to make our own kit. The first purchase was this micro switch to tell when the glove box is open. It arrived from Amazon in two days and we were ready to roll. Click through to see how we did it.

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extension-cord-installed

Soon after purchasing my Vanagon we installed the GoWesty Auxiliary Battery Kit. Along with the kit, we installed a Battery Tender charger under the driver’s seat to keep the auxiliary battery topped off after prolonged use. We ran the charger’s cable out the front of the driver’s seat battery compartment, then attached an extension cord each time we wanted to charge the battery. The extension cable would have to run out one of the windows which meant bugs could get in the van. It became clear we needed another solution. Click through to see how we installed a retractable extension cord reel.

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wing-window-wind-noise

Like most Vanagon owners I had wind noise coming from my wing window (the triangle window on the front door). I inspected the window seal and it looked like it was perfectly sealed against the window, yet I still got wind noise at speeds over 40 MPH. I thought perhaps the noise was coming from the door seals so I placed some weather stripping around the door jam, but I still got the wind noise. Click through to see how I solved it once and for all.

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