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Thursday, June 9, 2016

Fixing IPhone/IPad Lightening Cables

I do many things on the road including fixing things as much as I can to keep costs down.  I don't carry a lot of tools but do bring tools for fixing wiring terminals, along with a small soft sided tool bag that I keep in the trunk.

I have an IPhone and a IPad that I use with USB lighting charging cables.  I also have a variety of other 12 volt USB cables.  

I power my iPhone during the day  through a 3- hole cigarette adapter with multi USB charging ports.  This gets plugged into stock Prius outlet in the front center console area.

As I drive I plug my IPad to my Prius 12 Volt battery panel I made to a dual USB charger in the back.

I plug my devices in every day and the Apple Lightening Cable end to the device wears and insulation breaks and since it is not strain relieved the insulation breaks and pulling is hard to do on just the small connector.

To extend the life of my cables I add shrink wrap to the end that plugs into my apple devices.  I buy a variety size pack of shrink wrap from Amazon.

The shrink wrap that comes is not a perfect fit so I stretch it some to fit over the connector.

I stretch the shrink wrap with needle nose pliers just so it fits over.

I stretched this piece by about 1/8".

I then place the shrink wrap over the connector and use the butane torch I bring on my trip to shrink the wrap and make a stronger cable when inserting and removing the lighting cable.

Note: The butane mini torch has many purposes including being a match to even start a campfire.  Since I use a butane stove I have butane to refuel the torch as needed.

In the evening my iPhone and IPad are fully charged and use my house battery bank to power my Engel compressor fridge along with my USB powered fan when needed.  (See separate post on my house battery system.)

Even though I live in my Prius when I travel, it is possible to carry a few tools and not have to spend money buying new cables when you can keep usable a little longer.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Dealing With Wet Things In A Prius

I was recently asked how I deal with wet things in a Prius.  Dealing with wet things is no fun in a humid climate regardless of it being my Prius or the Class B that I had.  The problem is the moisture getting into the inside air and when the temperature drops at night condensation becomes a problem, especially on the windows.  

When I am ready to drive off in the morning I need a dry hand towel to wipe the front windows and it is soaking wet when I am done.  Having this much moisture inside my Prius is not good for stealthing as the moisture is visible from the outside of the vehicle and is a telling sign of something is different with this vehicle.

One of my recent posts on bathing in the Prius I neglected to say what I do with the two wet drying towels and wash cloth after washing.  I recommend in places of higher humidity and when the temperature will go down to the dew point is to put the wet towels in a plastic bag overnight until the next morning when the higher temperatures allow moisture to evaporate into the warmer air.  

I leave my privacy cover in the back in my Prius living design as it is great for hiding my sleeping area and fridge.  It is vinyl so I lay the wet towels on top of it during the day to dry, as seen in the picture above.

Note I only use small thin towels not heavy bath towels.  I do this for two reasons.  First is space.  My towels take up little space.  Also they drive fast.

Now if I'm not stealthing where moisture on the windshield is an issue and where running the Prius engine is not a problem I will run the Prius heat with A/C to dry out things for about a half hour.

My wet coat will hang over the front passenger seat.  Shoes sit on rear drivers side floor where my seating area is.  I have a hiking rain suit and my hiking boots are waterproof so my clothing generally is not overly wet from absorbing water.

I carry two bath towels and two face cloths and a hand towel for my lap when washing my hair.  This way if my towels are dirty before I wash, I have a second set to get through the week.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

Morphing From Prius-Living to Prius Car

Every summer I evolve out my Vandwelling modifications and transform my Prius back into a passenger car again.

It looks like a lot of stuff but it's not.

The sleeping bag and sleeping pad take up a lot of room but they are rolled up and put into their respective bags.  The Engel Compressor Fridge stays for use during my summer driving travels.

Taking out the articulating plywood platforms (one each side) that bolts to the rear seat backets and removing the protective floor platform under them takes the most time.

Above are my plywood pieces removed from the Prius.  The bar with white blocks  mounts using threaded and non threaded holes on the Prius floor under the seat cushion.  This is a piece of aluminum angle bar that uses the blocks attached to support the aluminum in the middle so it doesn't bend out of shape.

Note all plywood is 1/2" and this design is the lightest weight and fully supports me with no problems.

Above I have bolted the seat backs in and I'm sliding the seat cushion into place.  The seat reinstalation is simple.

Removing my fresh water storage tank is also easy.  Just drain the water and unscrew the white plastic storage bin from the water tank and take the parts out..

In all it takes about 1 hour to convert the Prius.  Of course vacuuming and washing things will take a second hour.

I do not remove the curtains, although not hard to take off, but I sometimes use them for privacy during car travels.

My goal was always to restore the Prius back to its original vehicle status.

I know some of you have kept your back seats in for your travels.  I can say that removing the seats adds so much space for living and it isn't hard to do at all.

Making the plywood platforms by designing and testing and cutting and recutting takes the time but once it's done the ease of conversion is well worth it.

If you travel in a car other than a Prius, I would suspect you could make a similar backseat design to what I have made.

Oh, one more thing.  I leave my Prius house battery setup installed year round as I use it for my car driving travels.

The same is true with the Prius 12 volt battery connections.  They stay in year round too.

After removing my Vandwelling things I took a trip to Vermont and yes I got 64.5 MPG on the way back to MA.

Of course I have to pay attention to my driving to get this Milage but I ask what are you getting?