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Old 10-28-2022, 11:57 AM   #101
Rivet Master
 
2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 606
Prep Work & Rearranging

Yesterday I spent some time doing some reorganizing since I had to again tear things apart to run some more wires! Since I had things apart, I decided to rearrange the batteries to completely free up the middle space under the bed. After our long trip to Montana, I finally realized that we needed the middle area for bigger items to fit well. Now the batteries are on the left side and the right side has the Victron inverter.

I also ended up removing the the ground wire for the Victron MPPT from the Lynx distributor and running a new cable for it and attaching it to the Victron inverter ground lug. I need the space in the Lynx distributor for the new + and - connection for the Victron Buck Boost that should be in today. I ended buying a used PC laptop on Craigslist in order to be able to program the Victron Buck Boost as you could only do it via Windows.

I removed the LI-BIM 225 and capped the wires attached to it. I ended up adding a wire to the orange wire that was attached to it and wired it to the DC fuse box. This wire is for the tank monitor. After, I realized the reason that Airstream had it tied to the old BIM by itself instead of the DC fuse box and on the starter battery side of the BIM. This was so that you could monitor the chassis battery side from the tank monitor. I’m going to remove it from the fuse box when I install the Victron Buck Boost and attach it to the incoming side of it for the chassis battery so that I can monitor from the SeeLevel tank monitor. I don’t need another item letting me know the voltage of the chassis battery as I have enough of those.

A few more things on the list for this project to include:

- Installing the two new chassis batteries that we bought.
- Adding a 12Ga trickle charge wire from the Victron inverter to chassis battery and adding a on/off switch.
- Adding two new BatteryMinder trickle chargers. One a solar one and the other a regular one.
- Attaching two new wires to the old Airstream provided solar wires to add a small 30 watt solar panel for the chassis battery. These will be tied to the new BatteryMinder solar trickle charger. I’m going to replace the old SAE solar entry connection on the roof as well.
- Adding two new breakers and running some 12/2 wire for two new outlets. I have a call in to the WFCO Company the maker of the breaker panels on how to properly do this. One will be for for the induction cooktop and the other for the central vac that is under the passenger seat. I’m going to install the vacuum outlet under the passenger seat so that I can also plug in the new regular BatterMinder trickle charger.
- Installing the Victron Buck Boost.
- Installing two new 12V charging stations above our bed. One for me and the other for the Boss lady.
- Adding an alarm light for the SeeLevel tank monitor.
- Tying the SeeLevel tank monitor pump switch to the macerator switch. I’ll need to add a relay for this function.
- Rewiring our remote propane switch and moving to the upper locker command center.


At least this is the plan and subject to change at any time.
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Old 10-28-2022, 06:56 PM   #102
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
Join Date: Jun 2022
Posts: 606
SeeLevel II Macerator Remote Switch

Today was a long day. Most of it was installing and testing the remote macerator pump switch attached to the SeeLevel II monitor and running some wires in back of the bathroom. I wanted to make sure that it worked before I permanently installed everything. I tested it and it worked fine. I bought these 4-pin relays from Amazon as it says in the SeeLevel II instructions that the switch on the monitor is only rated for a max of 10 amps and if the pump requires more than that, a relay switch needs to be added.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08D8TDHV9...roduct_details

The wiring to the relay was wired like this:

Red - wired to positive in the Airstream DC fuse box with a 20 amp fuse.
Black - went to the negative side of the Airstream DC fuse box.
Blue - went to the existing macerator switch. (The top connection on the pump switch is power coming from the fuse box. The bottom one is the one that you want to tie into as that is the one tied to the on/off switch on the side of the van)
White - went to the SeeLevel II monitor switch with a 10 amp fuse.
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Old 10-28-2022, 06:59 PM   #103
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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I first measured how much 12Ga wire I needed for the relay which I installed under the freezer as I wanted easy access to it if ever needed. Then I measured how much wire I needed for the trickle charge wire from the Victron inverter up to the upper locker area where it will be installed. I then also measured the length of the two new wires that I was attaching to the existing Airstream factory installed solar wires. I fished all the wires through the back of the bathroom and connected the relay under freezer area and connected it the the existing macerator switch.

I then ran the remaining wires in back of the furnace and out the other side of it and tucked them along the wall and toward the drivers seat. I left the wires for the solar and Victron trickle chargers there until I install the batteries and BatteryMinder trickle chargers. I continued to run the white wire going to the SeeLevel II monitor along the plastic pillar chase and up to the locker area. I took all the wires and and tied them to the SeeLevel monitor. The alarm light was also installed right above the SeeLevel monitor that will come on when either the grey or black water tanks are full or when the fresh water or propane tanks are low.

This is the indicator light that I got from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KFWJ2MQ...p_mob_ap_share
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Old 10-28-2022, 07:01 PM   #104
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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The switch in back of the SeeLevel II took some research to wire it right and this is how it’s wired.

There are three connections in back of the SeeLevel II switch. You only use the middle one and the bottom one. The top one is left unused. The middle one gets a 12v feed. You need to add a wire to the bottom one which goes to the white wire going to the relay. You also need to tie the white wire from the back of the SeeLevel II to this wire so you have two wires going to the white wire on the relay.

The orange white for the alarm gets wired like this:

Orange wire goes to the negative side of the indicator light or buzzer alarm if you wish to add one. I didn’t want to have a buzzer going off so chose not to get one. The red wire goes to the middle 12v switch.

I’m really happy with this mod as it’s definitely a game changer for us. I now can leave the gray tank valve open and the Boss lady can take a long shower if she wishes to. I don’t have to go outside and turn on the macerator pump to dump the grey tank as I can to do it from this remote switch from inside the van and monitor the tank from the inside to know when to shut off the pump. I tested it and can hear inside very well so I can also go by sound. I now also have the ability to know when the fresh water tank is almost full and when the black tank is almost empty when dumping from the outside via the bluetooth app.

We received the Victron Buck Boost today and hopefully will install it tomorrow. I’m going to try to program it this evening. I’m going to have some fun trying to use a Windows based computer as I haven’t touched one in many years being a Mac guy.
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Old 11-07-2022, 08:41 AM   #105
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So the switches on the outside remain operational?

So do you still have to select on the outside which one you are controlling? Or can you switch, from the inside, between gray and black? Or you are just using it for gray by leaving the gray tank valve open on the outside and just controlling the macerator from the inside?

This is one mod that I have wanted to make for a long, long, long time. I hate to have to go outside just to empty the tanks...
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Old 11-07-2022, 10:01 AM   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wachuko View Post
So the switches on the outside remain operational?

So do you still have to select on the outside which one you are controlling? Or can you switch, from the inside, between gray and black? Or you are just using it for gray by leaving the gray tank valve open on the outside and just controlling the macerator from the inside?

This is one mod that I have wanted to make for a long, long, long time. I hate to have to go outside just to empty the tanks...

Yes, the switches outside remain usable.

You still have to go outside and open either the gray or blank tank valve. I leave the gray one open as this is the one thatís going to get filled the fastest with showers etc. and then turn on the macerator remotely from the switch. The exterior macerator switch still works as well. I wouldnít leave the black tank left open as you want a pretty full tank to empty it if not you run the risk of creating the pyramid poop problem.

I too want to have remote switches for the gray and blank tank and this was going to be a Phase II project once I figured it out. I think that is very doable. The relays for the dump valves are under the drivers side jump seat in the back shown in the picture. So Iím still not sure whether to tie to those or off the back of the switches or a combination of the two. Maybe someone can chime in on how to it if they know how to or offer up some advice.

As you can see in the picture, there is a lot going on in back of the dump valve switches.
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Old 11-08-2022, 10:44 PM   #107
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AC/DC Distributional Panel & Trickle Chargers

This all started because we wanted to add two new circuit breakers. One for our induction cooktop and the other for our central vac which is installed under the passengers seat. I needed to install an outlet there for the new BatteryMinder anyway so I wanted a dedicated circuit for it too.

After talking with a WFCO tech support guy, (AC distribution panel manufacturer) and explaining our setup, I ended up replacing the whole thing with a new one and ordered the same replacement one:

WFCO WF-8930/WF-8950 ULTRA... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HHSDD1A...p_mob_ap_share

I had room on our panel to add the additional circuit breakers but the Airstream provided one only had one side of the buss bar plate and not the other as thatís where they installed the old Precision Circuits Power Management System that I previously removed so that side of the buss bar was removed by Airstream. The new panel came with both sides of the AC buss bar plates and gave me a chance to rewire the whole thing a bit more cleanly.

I ended up installing a 50A double pole breaker for the middle main breaker. It was wired in a way that it will feed both sides and I ďDO NOTĒ recommend anyone doing this. Stick with a single pole 50A breaker if your inverter can handle it with the proper wiring and of course advice or work done by a qualified electrician. I had to run some new 6/3 triplex wire from the inverter to the AC panel - fun times! With the inverterís power boost function and combined shore power, it can pump out up to the 50A so 6/3 Ga wire is needed when running several of the major appliances at the same time. We donít do it often but now weíll feel more comfortable with the proper wiring doing it. With shore power up three major appliances and without shore power two up to the 30Aís. We know that having the 50A breaker in there doesnít mean we have 50Aís for both legs. To get that, we would have to convert the rig to 50Aís and not something we need or going to do. We just wanted all of the major appliances on their own circuit so that we could run two or three of them if needed without tripping the breaker.

It was also a PITA to run all the existing 12/2 wires to the panel as they were already cut and stripped. It wouldíve been easier if I could just cut them and feed them through the slots on in back of the panel but I couldnít as the wires were already cut to length. So I had to work with what was there. Then I just wired them to their circuit breakers and to the ground and neutrals slots on the buss bar.
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Old 11-08-2022, 10:46 PM   #108
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Since I had to run this new wire, I ended up just taking all the cables apart and running them more cleanly in back of the rear wheel well under the cover to the inverter. I ran all the cables to the Victron Multiplus underneath the water heater. There is a channel under there once you remove the panel that covers the water heater. There is a lot of room to run as many cables as youíd like and cleanly.

Next thing to go was the Airstream installed thermal fuse buss bar. It had the radio, tank heater and sofa lounge tied to it and power to it from the house battery. It previously also had the old Atkinson controller attached to it which was long gone. My thinking of what powered these items when power was shut down was all wrong. I thought that they were powered by the chassis battery via the BIM but are not and are powered by the house batteries and just bypassed to the thermal fuse bar that is connected to the house batteries. I ended up tying all three of these to the DC panel and added the appropriate fuses. Now these items get shut down whenever the the 12v switch is turned off. On the DC fuse panel side of the distribution panel, the first two top slots are rated for a 30A fuse so I put the lounge seat on the first one and rerouted the EMS one that was there to another slot.

I also ended up re-installing the Victron Multiplus vertically and moving the baby breaker panel installed before it to the side. This will give us a little more room back there too. By far the hardest part was installing the AC in and AC out of the Victron inverter. It was a PITA to connect that 6/3 wire in that small of an area along with the 10/3 wire next to it. It took some time but finally got them in.
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Old 11-08-2022, 10:50 PM   #109
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Did a little more wire clean up and played Tetris to make room for the Victron Buck Boost in the main board. I initially was going to install it on the floor where the old LI-BIM225 was as it fit perfectly there but I didnít want to have work in a tight area with all the 4/0 wires when I needed to access it so I moved around some of the components to make it fit. Again, not fun but worth it in the end.

I installed a cutoff switch between the chassis battery cable and the Victron Buck Boost to be able to isolate it from the system for troubleshooting. The generator start wire was also attached to the chassis battery side of the cutoff switch as that side is always live and if my house batteries ever died, I could start the generator from the chassis battery. The Victron Boost was then attached the Lynx distributor. I also attached the orange wire that was previously attached to the old BIM to the ďINĒ side of the Victron Buck Boost with a 7.5 A fuse. This is the wire that powers the tank monitor and gets its battery voltage information from the chassis battery.

While at it and everything exposed, I also added two 12v chargers and installed them on opposite sides up near our shelf and cell phone holder area. We had some different 120 AC chargers but are slowly converting as many things as we can to 12v to avoid the inverter tax.

12V USB Outlet, Dual Quick Charge... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09D34DTTZ...p_mob_ap_share
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Old 11-08-2022, 10:54 PM   #110
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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I ran the two 12/2 wires from the the AC panel to underneath the induction cooktop and the other to the underneath the passenger seat. While running wires, I also rerouted the propane wires to the upper locker. I installed a 20A outlet under the cooktop and two under the passenger seat. One of the ones under the seat was a switch/outlet combo as this one was going to be for the BatteryMinder and I wanted to have the ability to shut it off. I got one with a lighted switch so that I could see it when I remove the side awning panel. The other one was for the central vacuum.

I installed the two BatteryMinders underneath the seat. One is a a solar BatteryMinder SCC-180 and the other is a regular BatteryMinder 128CEC2. For the solar one, I found the old Airstream solar wires that I had buried in a corner and attached two new 12Ga wires to them and routed it to underneath the seat. I have small solar panel that Iím going to add to the roof and have a small spot for it. I also added 10A breaker/cutoff switch for the solar minder underneath the seat so that I could cutoff power to it when I need to to for any type of maintenance. I then routed all the wires from the BatteryMinders to the battery. Lastly, I ran the the wire for the Victron trickle charger function and the wires for the remote propane switch up to the upper locker area and installed two switches.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001DZJX6I...roduct_details

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D3SWXUA...roduct_details
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Old 11-08-2022, 10:56 PM   #111
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Now the chassis batteries have three ways to trickle charge it. The trickle charger from the Victron inverter with a on/off switch, solar power BatteryMinder and from the regular plugged BatteryMinder. After I ran the wires to the battery, I replaced both of the chassis batteries. One underneath the seat and the one under the hood. I wonít bore you with those details as itís just a basic swap out.

Since the passenger seat was apart, I added another Lagun table bracket up front. We have one in the back but wanted to have one upfront. Since the seat was apart, it was easy to drill out four holes and install the mounting bracket.

So there you have it. This took me about a week to complete. Next Iím going to add individual cutoff switches to the solar panels and add the solar panel for the BatteryMinder. I will also replace the old Airstream solar entry gland with a new one as well.
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Old 11-08-2022, 10:58 PM   #112
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Before & After
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Old 11-09-2022, 10:54 AM   #113
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Side Step Switch

One last thing completed before a weekend trip. I replaced the side step switch that needed to be replaced. Fairly easy process. I drilled out the rivets and installed the new magnet on the sliding door. I just used screws for the the step side one.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0009SUF08...roduct_details
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Old 11-09-2022, 11:12 AM   #114
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2015 Interstate Ext. Coach
Columbus , Ohio
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Since the passenger seat was apart, I added another Lagun table bracket up front. We have one in the back but wanted to have one upfront. Since the seat was apart, it was easy to drill out four holes and install the mounting bracket.


************************************************** *******

It may be a bit late, but if you need extra clearance with the Lagun mount here's a spacer to use; https://thevanmart.com/collections/v...e-spacer-mount
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Old 11-09-2022, 11:26 AM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rig Rat View Post
Since the passenger seat was apart, I added another Lagun table bracket up front. We have one in the back but wanted to have one upfront. Since the seat was apart, it was easy to drill out four holes and install the mounting bracket.


************************************************** *******

It may be a bit late, but if you need extra clearance with the Lagun mount here's a spacer to use; https://thevanmart.com/collections/v...e-spacer-mount
Thanks Rig Rat! I think that I may have to go this route. In my rush to get things completed late into the night, I measured for the seat in the forward position. Totally had a brain fart. When I went to turn it around, the right side is actually wider because of the seat adjustment levers and I was just going to add a bigger block of some nice wood but I like this option better. I'll get it measured up and see if I can make this work. Great concept.

I again had one of those WTF moments!
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Old 11-17-2022, 07:07 PM   #116
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
Salem , New Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rig Rat View Post
Since the passenger seat was apart, I added another Lagun table bracket up front. We have one in the back but wanted to have one upfront. Since the seat was apart, it was easy to drill out four holes and install the mounting bracket.


************************************************** *******

It may be a bit late, but if you need extra clearance with the Lagun mount here's a spacer to use; https://thevanmart.com/collections/v...e-spacer-mount
Ordered it and should be here next week - thx!
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Old 11-17-2022, 07:08 PM   #117
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2015 Interstate Grand Tour
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Today I finished installing a new 12v to 48v step up converter as the old one was not stepping up and only producing 4v out. Iím not sure if it was working harder now that the cold weather is here and the Starlink warmer was on more often but something toasted it. I ended up replacing it with this 10A one instead of the 1.5A that was there. While at it, I also added a on/off switch to be able to turn it off when on the road in motion. Looks like now they will be enforcing the in motion use for folks like me that didnít spend the $2500 for their new dishy.

Itís been pretty cold but looking to dismount the dishy and cut it down hopefully tomorrow and do maybe start adding the individual cutoff switches to each solar panel. I also need to get the small solar panel for the solar BatteryMinder installed along with replacing the old Airstream provided entry SAE port connection that connected the old flex solar panel that was up there.


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09X2RCV3G...t_details&th=1
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Old 11-18-2022, 06:26 AM   #118
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Raymond , Iowa
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I am interested in the flat solar panel on top of the AC cover, as shown in post 89. I put my TV antenna on top of the AC when replacing the anemic 50W panel with two 100W panels. We seldom use the TV, and it might have been better to put a third 100W panel there. Am wondering if the panel on top of the AC is identical to the others. When doing my solar upgrade years ago I read that one shouldn't mix and match types of solar panels. So I scrapped the 50W panel. Something about all panels putting out at the voltage of the lowest. Or something like that.
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Old 11-18-2022, 07:47 AM   #119
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I am interested in the flat solar panel on top of the AC cover, as shown in post 89. I put my TV antenna on top of the AC when replacing the anemic 50W panel with two 100W panels. We seldom use the TV, and it might have been better to put a third 100W panel there. Am wondering if the panel on top of the AC is identical to the others. When doing my solar upgrade years ago I read that one shouldn't mix and match types of solar panels. So I scrapped the 50W panel. Something about all panels putting out at the voltage of the lowest. Or something like that.
Titus, I too had read a bunch during research for our install but more an issue when tied in series when mixing solar panel sizes. Not a big issue for us as all the solar panels are 100W including the one on the AC and wired in parallel. Their specs are also pretty close and more importantly the voltages are not that drastically different which can cause losses in wattage power when installed in parallel.

From what I understand in both series and parallel connection, plugging a panel of a lower power rating to an array, drags the whole output power down. In a series install, if different watt panels are different, the lower wattage solar panel would drag down the rest. In series, all panels should be the same wattage unless youíre using multiple charge controllers and doing a mix split series/parallel install. The same current rating of the panels is more important.

In parallel, the same voltage ratings is more important. However, different size solar panels are usually going to have different voltage.

The install info for the AC solar panel can be found in post #55 and the solar panel used was this one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...e?ie=UTF8&th=1
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Old 11-18-2022, 09:29 AM   #120
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Ordered it and should be here next week - thx!
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YW, post some pix when you get done. I may do the same. Right now I have the Lagun mount on the front of our 80/20 cabinet closest to the drivers seat.
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