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Author Topic: USA Mobile Traveler & Camper Van Builder welcomes questions & comments  (Read 12385 times)

Happy Camper

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Greetings One & All!

I am a retired US Camper Van builder and 50+ year veteran of mobile living in many different types of rigs.

I decided to start this thread so anybody from the US might find a friendly place to start.  Of course I'll be happy to hear from everybody, everywhere too.

I'm open to any and all questions and would love to help anywhere I can.  I just found this place, and am pretty new at the internet, but I'm pretty good at both mobile living and camper van builds.

As time and energy allows, if there is an interest, perhaps I could start some threads about all of the various phases of building camper vans.  With proper knowledge they can be both cheap and easy to build, and totally livable.

People have a tendency to over complicate many things in life.  Building camper vans is one of those things, and hopefully I can uncomplicate it as a way to give back to the mobile community which has supported me for my entire adult life.  Actually we have supported each other, because I have always tried to keep every customer I have ever had, happy with their purchases, and even though I am now retired, I still offer total support to every customer I've had in the past 50 years.  I still believe in "Service With A Smile", and that will remain my motto until the day I die.

Happy Camper


 

JakeLeeYes

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Welcome to the Forum HappyCamper! Its great to see yet another person so willing to offer advice and be helpful! It seems that Campervan living attracts the good types of people.

What are your views on the best insulation for floor and walls? Need to do mine soon and I've seen mixed comments around the internet.
2003 LDV Convoy Owner. Currently turning her into a campervan!

Happy Camper

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Welcome to the Forum HappyCamper! Its great to see yet another person so willing to offer advice and be helpful! It seems that Campervan living attracts the good types of people.

What are your views on the best insulation for floor and walls? Need to do mine soon and I've seen mixed comments around the internet.

Thanks for the warm welcome!

I discovered early on that window vans make for the best camper vans.  The insides come finished, and the windows make them feel larger and offer the much needed ventilation.

Is yours a window van or a panel?  I guess that's the place to start...

If you can tell me the year, make, and model that might help too.

I'll do my best to help you figure out the best solutions.



JakeLeeYes

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It has one side and one back window. Its a 2003 LDV Convoy.

I'm going to use cladding on the inside, just don't know whats best to put between the cladding and van walls. Also I dont know whats best to put under the boarding on the floor. Heard polystyrene is the best solution but squeaking could become very annoying.
2003 LDV Convoy Owner. Currently turning her into a campervan!

Tai-chi wanderer

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Hi Ya HP. Welcome to the Forum, I've just converted a Transit minibus RWD, all windows. Love it.

Happy Camper

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It has one side and one back window. Its a 2003 LDV Convoy.

I'm going to use cladding on the inside, just don't know whats best to put between the cladding and van walls. Also I dont know whats best to put under the boarding on the floor. Heard polystyrene is the best solution but squeaking could become very annoying.

Insulating a camper van is very tricky.  On a factory passenger van, they use a heavy fiber material between the carpet and the metal floor.  This allows for the whole works to breathe so that moisture can't build up.  The walls and ceilings usually incorporate a ventilated air space for the same reason.

Through condensation moisture will form on the interior van skin, even though there are no leaks present.  If this moisture becomes trapped, it will lead to mold & rust.  Because of this we don't want to use any sort of a vapor barrier.

So what we need to do is either ventilate the interior skin, or wick the moisture to the interior where it can be dealt with through interior ventilation.

The ribs in your van should have holes in them, this is to prevent moisture build up inside a sealed rib.  You don't want to try and fill these holes.

Put firring strips across the ribs, leaving air space for those holes, and put nothing in the space between the firring strips and the outer skin.  You can then add your insulation and paneling onto the firring strips, leaving a one inch gap both top and bottom to promote the air flow behind.  Convection will move the air through the space with no power required.

For the ceilings I use open cell foam, and then glue either a velour or a perforated vinyl to it, again so it can breathe.


Happy Camper

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Hi Ya HP. Welcome to the Forum, I've just converted a Transit minibus RWD, all windows. Love it.

Cool!  Window vans make such great campers.  I have a 1982 Dodge 3500 full window van with the high top.  It was an ex 15 passenger shuttle van, and has full standing height inside. 

I just removed the seats, and moved my furniture in.  I keep everything portable so it can be switched between various vans easily, and everything from my bed to my kitchen & bathroom can be used either indoors or out.  Nothing beats versatility.

I have it set up to never require shore power, and I camp for free both in towns on the streets, or out in the back woods or deserts.  I only pay for campsites if I'm attending a gathering.

If I don't like the view or my neighbors, I can have new ones in short order.

Thanks for the warm welcome!

Camper Van Travels

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What are your views on the best insulation for floor and walls? Need to do mine soon and I've seen mixed comments around the internet.

http://campervantravels.com/van-conversions-how-to-insulate-a-camper-van-part-1/

JakeLeeYes

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Do you get any squeaking with the polystyrene sheets?
2003 LDV Convoy Owner. Currently turning her into a campervan!

Tai-chi wanderer

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Yes you do, if you can afford, use Celotex or similar. Expensive but you only do the job once.

Camper Van Travels

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Re: USA Mobile Traveler & Camper Van Builder welcomes questions & comments
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2015, 02:53:31 PM »
Do you get any squeaking with the polystyrene sheets?

No none at all. Despite what Patrick says to the contrary lol above. Piffle. Absolute codswallop. Like hell you do. Just pack them in there tightly and by the time you put your MDF sheet or similar over the top of the polystyrene insulation and screw them in tightly to the metal ribs - you won't hear a peep out of them.

But like I stated on the quoted link provided before, just use Kingspan (or similar) which will be far more effective for it's insulating properties anyway.

You can get it FREE of charge just by visiting any builders or development site and asking the site foreman if you can help yourself to any offcuts chucked away into the builders skips on site.

(Kingspan and Celotex btw are pretty much identical products).

If you're unsure what anything is, just Google it and click on the Images tab as that's the easiest way to know what anything is which you've never heard of before Jake.

Tai-chi wanderer

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Re: USA Mobile Traveler & Camper Van Builder welcomes questions & comments
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2015, 04:46:10 PM »
Did my Renault Master with 50mm poly and it sounded like mice everywhere.
In the end I pulled most of it out and sticky foamed it, mind you it was in Spain and 40c, so could have contracted when we returned to Blighty. Not my choice though.

Go Celotex or Kingspan, for the time it takes do it right ... once.

JakeLeeYes

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Re: USA Mobile Traveler & Camper Van Builder welcomes questions & comments
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2015, 11:39:31 AM »
Yeah I'm definitely gunna go for Celotex then. Thanks for the help guys!
2003 LDV Convoy Owner. Currently turning her into a campervan!

geostar

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Re: USA Mobile Traveler & Camper Van Builder welcomes questions & comments
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2015, 01:47:38 AM »
I'm considering getting a bus in north Florida that needs interior rehab and exterior paint. How do I find a competent builder that doesn't cost a fortune? There was a guy named Fred Hobe in the area but I hear he retired. Thanks.

Greetings One & All!

I am a retired US Camper Van builder and 50+ year veteran of mobile living in many different types of rigs.

I decided to start this thread so anybody from the US might find a friendly place to start.  Of course I'll be happy to hear from everybody, everywhere too.

I'm open to any and all questions and would love to help anywhere I can.  I just found this place, and am pretty new at the internet, but I'm pretty good at both mobile living and camper van builds.

As time and energy allows, if there is an interest, perhaps I could start some threads about all of the various phases of building camper vans.  With proper knowledge they can be both cheap and easy to build, and totally livable.

People have a tendency to over complicate many things in life.  Building camper vans is one of those things, and hopefully I can uncomplicate it as a way to give back to the mobile community which has supported me for my entire adult life.  Actually we have supported each other, because I have always tried to keep every customer I have ever had, happy with their purchases, and even though I am now retired, I still offer total support to every customer I've had in the past 50 years.  I still believe in "Service With A Smile", and that will remain my motto until the day I die.

Happy Camper

Happy Camper

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Re: USA Mobile Traveler & Camper Van Builder welcomes questions & comments
« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2015, 04:41:41 AM »
I'm not sure that he is retired.  You can check out his website at:

http://www.coachconversioncentral.com/fredhobe.htm

I'm considering getting a bus in north Florida that needs interior rehab and exterior paint. How do I find a competent builder that doesn't cost a fortune? There was a guy named Fred Hobe in the area but I hear he retired. Thanks.