stealth install subwoofer and Triple Function Dual USB Charger, LED Voltmeter and 12V Outlet Power Socket

a bit of light transformation

It’s always nice to start things off with an easy win. So first thing on the list of things to do was to swap out the old rear light units with the new Custom and Commercial high-quality rear light housing units. I had previously replaced the surround rubbers last year, so upgrading the actual light housings should be a fairly straightforward job.

the new cast metal rear light units with chrome finish should great increase the brake and indicator visibility
the new cast metal rear light units with chrome finish should greatly increase the brake and indicator visibility

When you see the chrome finished metal units, the contrast couldn’t be any more pronounced! These units really do shine! They are a pretty faithful cast reproduction of the original Genuine Hella units but finished in a bright chrome finish. The quality (even with the ‘seconds’ that I bought) was really good. The connectors were strong, so it should really help eliminate the annoying earthing issues that can sometimes occur from a dodgy or loose connection with the lights. So no more wiggling the bulbs pre-mot time to make sure everything is working as it should be!

spot the difference… the new cast metal rear light units are a pretty faithful reproduction of the originals
spot the difference… the new cast metal rear light units are a pretty faithful reproduction of the originals

Before the rear light units were swapped over and replaced, all the existing electrical connectors were cleaned using some electrical contact spray before being tightened and refitted. No more dim rear brake and indicator lights for me!

all electrical contacts cleaned and tightened before refitting
all electrical contacts cleaned and tightened before refitting

Next onto the custom subwoofer enclosure. My friend Henry is a multi-talented individual 🙂 Not only is he a really cool carpenter at Takumi Haus, but he’s also great at demystifying my nemesis of ‘electrickery’! We spent some time head scratching, tea drinking and generally working out what the best option would be for the location and size for this custom 10″ subwoofer enclosure install. There was a series of obstructions and awkward shapes to deal with under the rear seat area, but Henry was up for the challenge…

custom 10
custom 10″ subwoofer enclosure for a stealth install

In the end, he came up with the perfect solution! Then taking some 18mm plywood, just set about building the enclosure! It was positioned centrally under the rear bench/rock and roll bed, neatly fitting between the bed supports, the front heater pipe and followed the angled contour of the rear bulkhead/firewall of the bus. This allowed the speaker unit to be positioned horizontally under the seat facing upwards.

Very neat, very simple, and very stealthy! 🙂 It also made great use of an otherwise awkward space where the heater pipe was. Plus it had the added benefit of creating two smaller divided off spaces either side of the enclosure along with a handy narrow space rectangular space in front of it, perfect for storing things like breakdown emergency triangle and my original vintage Bilstein jack! Great storage, less clutter! 😉

stealth install subwoofer and Triple Function Dual USB Charger, LED Voltmeter and 12V Outlet Power Socket
stealth install subwoofer and Triple Function Dual USB Charger, LED Voltmeter and 12v Outlet Power Socket

The stereo and ancillary goodies like the subwoofer amp, Waeco fridge etc. are all driven from the leisure battery. This is a good option so you don’t end up draining your main starter battery. The leisure battery gets maintained and charged when driving along via an intelligent split charge system I’d had fitted.

This is when Henry just started showing off with his VW T5 gadgetry of being able to monitor the charge capacity of his leisure battery. However, it turns out that he could also fit me a Triple Function Dual USB Charger, LED Voltmeter and 12v Outlet Power Socket to help monitor my leisure battery capacity and charge condition. Plus it gave me the extra options of having 2x USB charge points plus a 12v cigarette style outlet power socket in the back of the bus. All mod cons in this vintage camper then!

amp, inverter and triple function control panel get fitted out of sight
amp, inverter and triple function control panel get fitted out of sight

Now that the subwoofer was in, all circuits tested and good, the final positioning for the amp and the pure sine wave inverter could be sorted out and fixed in place. It was great to finally hear the fuller, richer sound that the subwoofer helped produce! 🙂

Unfortunately due to a combination of inactivity and cold weather, the leisure battery needed a bit of a boost, so Henry put it on his intelligent 12v car battery charger to give it a bit of a maintenance refresh and boost. Once this comprehensive series of test cycles was complete, we should be good to go.

Fortunately, there were a few other things we could get on with in the meantime… but first, a visit to the local pub would be ace after a very good productive days work! 🙂

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