A forum for van conversions, van living and travel

The vanlife => Van Conversion => Topic started by: VanGuy Steve on July 12, 2017, 04:39:15 AM

Title: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: VanGuy Steve on July 12, 2017, 04:39:15 AM
GOT THIS OFF CRAIGSLIST FOR 1200 BUCKS
Drove it over 200 miles home.Had it legal the next day and been driving it daily ever since.
Runs and drives like new,no rust. We love it.Put a couple thousand miles on it and haven't had problems with it at all.
This is it the day after we brought it home.
(http://i.imgur.com/LNPyNBF.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/6TJLqYE.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/YIkxLvO.jpg)
Nice shape but not what I want or need. Time to change it up.

Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: VanGuy Steve on July 12, 2017, 04:45:24 AM
Yanked out the rear bench and captains chairs.
(http://i.imgur.com/hyENyMP.png)
Built a bigger bed with storage.
(http://i.imgur.com/ZKygT0D.png)
Front and rear opens.Will be hinging the top sides to open sideways up against the outer walls too.
(http://i.imgur.com/zjHicRc.png)
Built a cabinet. Was thinking a place for a camp stove to sit on and a little work area beside it. Got a call from my brother right after finishing this .Turns out he had just scrapped out a camper. So made a trip to see him and had to change plans on the cabinet.
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: VanGuy Steve on July 12, 2017, 04:48:43 AM
Little brother hooked me up.Got a propane Stove/Oven,sink,power inverter with built in battery charger and tons of stuff. So had to redo the cabinet a little. I'm not a carpenter by any means.never did work work but nobody else is going to do it. This is Plan B as of tonight. WIll change more tomorrow I'm sure.
(http://i.imgur.com/BEHh8on.jpg)
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Camper_Dan on July 12, 2017, 11:51:53 AM
Nice van!  Great van that you'll never lose money on short of wrecking it or blowing up the engine  or something similar.

Great choice & money saver keeping the existing floor, walls, & ceiling too.

Remember that a cheap 10" 12v window fan is just as effective as a roof vent, and won't leak. 

Keep us posted!
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: VanGuy Steve on July 13, 2017, 03:45:33 AM
Yeah but think I'll have to go roof vent.For the stove for one and because none of the windows open besides the front two doors.There are small slide windows in back but very small.
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Camper_Dan on July 13, 2017, 05:35:09 AM
My experiences with roof vents has been very disappointing when compared to my current window van.  My few opening windows only tilt out at the bottom about 1".  They still provide much better ventilation than even 2 roof vents did, and roof vents always leak sooner or later.

Every experienced full timer I have ever met has always said to never put any holes in your roof.  After fighting my roof vents in previous vans I have to agree.  I got my bed drenched once when the rain sensor failed, and again when the wind ripped off my closed roof vent lid.  My floor was soggy for months when a front vent decided to start leaking, only 2 weeks after it was professionally installed.  Took until summer to get it dried out.

I would go the floor vent route before I would ever get another roof vent.  Two floor vents in diagonally opposite corners, the exit vent would have a PVC pipe going up to the ceiling to suck out the hottest air with an inline fan.  The inlet vent only goes halfway up with double elbows on it so the air can be directed in any direction desired.  I had an old step van that came with this system when I bought it, and I believe it was from the factory.  It worked exceptionally well.  I would much rather drill a couple of holes in my floor than cut a hole in my roof that can leak.

Good Luck!
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: VanGuy Steve on July 15, 2017, 02:38:10 PM
Dan. I like that idea a lot. May just go that route.
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Crawley camper on July 18, 2017, 08:20:19 PM
Wow this makes perfect sense.
My van build interior (no windows yet) was 41 degre yesturday and it was only 30 outside.
Going to go the floor vent route but in line fan??
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Vantwat on July 18, 2017, 10:04:53 PM
I've bought a roof light for my conversion but I'm leaning towards leaving it off and getting a couple of small windows
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Camper_Dan on July 19, 2017, 12:37:48 AM
Wow this makes perfect sense.
My van build interior (no windows yet) was 41 degre yesturday and it was only 30 outside.
Going to go the floor vent route but in line fan??

Greetings!

You can get an inline marine blower like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Attwood-Quiet-Blower-White-4-Inch/dp/B003BMATFK/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_200_lp_t_4?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=JQ8NF3GMFFB3HMC2SRVW

And add a PWM controller like this:

https://www.amazon.com/DROK-Controller-Regulator-Modulator-Indicator/dp/B00DVGGWC0/ref=pd_sim_200_3?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B00DVGGWC0&pd_rd_r=A8CNNCDMHHDAEXBFXQEK&pd_rd_w=uL9nZ&pd_rd_wg=SrpDn&psc=1&refRID=A8CNNCDMHHDAEXBFXQEK

Then you'll have a continually variable inline fan for your ventilation system.  Technically it won't move as much air as a fantastic or maxair fan, but in reality, it will be much more effective.

Make sure to add a screen on the outside ends to prevent bugs or rodents from entering.

These also work great for a quick & dirty replacement for stock heater fans as well.  They can be ordered online, or found in many marine supply stores.

You only need one fan on the outlet end, because it will pull the air in from the inlet end, and/or any open windows. 

I added two slip fit elbows on the inlet end of mine.  The first allows left/right movement, and the second allows up/down movement, so you can adjust the airflow in any direction you wish.  You can make the inlet pipe whatever height you wish, but for best results you want your outlet pipe to go up to near the ceiling so it pulls the hottest air out.

I actually went a step further with mine, and added a T in the outlet pipe, and shut off valves on both ends of the T and also on the intake end.  In the winter, with this setup,, I could shut off the intake, and redirect the heat from the ceiling back down to floor level inside to create even heating from top to bottom inside my van.  I ran the end of the T under my bed, to right by where my feet are when I'm lounging inside.  Just like forced air heating in a house. ;)
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Camper_Dan on July 19, 2017, 12:52:37 AM
I've bought a roof light for my conversion but I'm leaning towards leaving it off and getting a couple of small windows

I like windows a LOT!  My current van is a window van, and the amount  of free heat you can get in the winter, and the great ventilation in the summer is a real blessing.  You can get 12v ten inch desk/window fans at many truck stops or online in the ~$20.00 range.  Much cheaper, and way more effective than roof vents, and without the leakage problems.

Having  a window van really improved my quality of life.  The views are fantastic, and being able to see what's going on around you, is huge in the safety factor as well.  Even though my window van in reality is the same size my cargo van was, this window van feels sooooo much bigger inside with all the windows.

I also discovered that window vans and NOT trying to hide is much more stealthy than cargo vans and trying to hide.  Everybody knows exactly what I'm doing now, but instead of being a creepy guy in a cargo van, now I'm just a harmless camper, and they're okay with that.

Good luck on your build, and keep us posted!
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Crawley camper on July 19, 2017, 02:01:24 AM
Thanks Dan
Great info
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Vantwat on July 19, 2017, 09:16:34 PM
Thanks for that , I think I'm gonna go for a couple of 300mm square ones in
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: VanGuy Steve on July 25, 2017, 05:28:19 AM
Got the sink all plumbed up and a 12 volt pump feeding from a 10 gallon fresh water tank under it. Stealth shore power .It is in place of where the front gas tank used to be. Looks wild with a cord ran into the gas filler cap.Anyone asks I'll tell em I have a small smart car inside for emergencies and I'm charging it lol.

(http://i.imgur.com/uAox2Ds.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/lx9ou15.jpg)

Here is the sink finished up. Plan on some wood flooring and staining all the wood inside later.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eC80ppRLYJY
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Camper_Dan on July 29, 2017, 12:36:54 AM
Looks comfy!

"A smart car inside & I'm charging it..."  I LOVE IT!
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: sparkyboy on July 29, 2017, 08:23:09 PM
Very cool van, man! I love the van life as well
Van people seem to be the coolest around, I recently met a really cool (and hot) van dweller chick with a high roof dodge and a huge great Pyrenees puppy :-)
I personally have a 1977 g10 and a purebred German shepherd and am loving not paying rent and all that nonsense
Cheers man!
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: VanGuy Steve on July 30, 2017, 07:22:48 PM
43 days and this is Plan B ready to go. Mostly done for free with stuff i had and stuff my brother gave me . Under $2,000 bucks in this build including purchase price of the van,new alternator and battery.

(http://i.imgur.com/KasEcMG.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/5zmyR3o.jpg)
(http://i.imgur.com/TigRFdT.jpg)
The shelf is not at an angle. Was just the camera angle.
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Greenhill on September 12, 2017, 05:30:23 PM
Looking GREAT Steve!  I love the Bathmate (http://www.mrutc.org/) as opposed to opening ones, sure helps with interior space.

Looks good Steve!
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Camper_Dan on September 12, 2017, 10:09:55 PM
Looking GREAT Steve!  I love sliding doors as opposed to opening ones, sure helps with interior space.
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Shawbags on September 14, 2017, 02:54:17 PM
Looks a cracking van especially for the money , I've always wanted an American day van but with the uk fuel prices it just wasn't practical, love your conversion, good luck with your travels , shawbags
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD - UPDATE
Post by: VanGuy Steve on October 23, 2017, 03:25:49 PM
Well the inside is closer to being done. Had her out boondocking a few times. Buddy The Adventure Dog approves.
(https://i.imgur.com/1otF21O.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/DPZXxvA.jpg)
Found me a new set of wheels too. No more black steel rims for this baby. Now sitting pretty on 15x10's
They are offset different and let the tires rub  now and then. Fixing that now.
(https://i.imgur.com/pM5p59j.jpg)

Just finished up the rear lift install. Has this temporary new stance lol. Should get the front done in a day or two. Weather and back permitting.
(https://i.imgur.com/YH0yNcr.jpg)
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Camper_Dan on October 24, 2017, 10:21:18 AM
Looking pretty good, and Buddy certainly seems to approve!
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: VanGuy Steve on November 01, 2017, 11:28:02 PM
Yanked the running boards off yesterday. Like it much better without them. Ran dual exhaust today.
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: VanGuy Steve on November 04, 2017, 05:13:14 AM
Couldn't sleep last night. Put this together. CRANK IT UP!!!!
(https://i.imgur.com/TSDuyRP.jpg)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE5L7EhpD04&index=11&list=PLT3GoiKUn6Kt8p9QlBcYWdQ8T9sL9BdTd (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE5L7EhpD04&index=11&list=PLT3GoiKUn6Kt8p9QlBcYWdQ8T9sL9BdTd)
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Camper_Dan on November 04, 2017, 07:20:28 PM
Greetings Steve!

That metallica video gave me a headache!  That flashing, swirling stuff is TERRIBLE!  The still shots were flashed up and gone way to quickly.  The shot going into the van through the side door was too quick too, need to slow down so we can enjoy the interior view and soak it in...

Most of the actual video I really enjoyed though!

I don't mean to be overly critical, or discourage you, just trying to offer some constructive criticism to help you make your video's even better.

Cheers!

Dan
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: VanGuy Steve on November 07, 2017, 01:57:55 AM
PAUSE lol
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: peeela on December 16, 2017, 01:42:25 PM
Every experienced full timer I have ever met has always said to never put any holes in your roof.  After fighting my roof vents in previous vans I have to agree.  I got my bed drenched once when the rain sensor failed, and again when the wind ripped off my closed roof vent lid.  My floor was soggy for months when a front vent decided to start leaking, only 2 weeks after it was professionally installed.  Took until summer to get it dried out.


As a way of balancing up the gloomy voice in this forum, a survey of 13 full time van life builders I conducted, showed that after two years, none at any leaks in their van at all. 100% leak free!

Of those 13, 2 had leaks after initial install, but before insulation. After adding more sealant, no worries.

100% of the 13 most notable YouTube published video bloggers have no leaks in their roof vents.

What were their top tips?
- Prepare the surface with a rubbing alcohol
- Use lotís of sealant tape
- Use a bit more silicon to cover all screw heads, mounts etc.
- Test the seal a couple of days after install with a hose. Try to make it leak.
- If there are any leaks, identify them then, add more sealant.

These are the vanlife builders I surveyed. All have a specific video dealing with their van build, and most have a specific video about roof van installation.

David Sandel
The Restoration Couple
Van Derlust
Brett Currie
The Restoration Couple
Will Burston
Kenetube
Aves Sin Rumbo
Tyler Finlay
Leftcoast
KiteVanMan
Vince Amendola
The  Bradfords

Enjoy your new roof fan vent!




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Camper_Dan on December 16, 2017, 09:46:13 PM
Unfortunately you're asking the wrong people...  2 years is a very short time, and the people promoting van life are totally the wrong people to ask. 

The people you need to be asking are the campers who have years of experience, and nothing to lose by telling people the truth.  A very large portion of these people don't have computers and aren't on the internet.  Most of them don't even have cell phones.  They work for a living and camp out mostly  in the cities where their jobs are, escaping maybe on the weekends, or during their vacations.  They do show up at campouts in their areas if they know about them.  Most of these urban campers have been doing it for 10+ years.  99% of these people do it out of necessity, not totally by choice, but the bottom line is they won't pull any punches in telling it the way it really is.

With all the years I've been doing this, I've run into hundreds of these folks, and one of the biggest topics at any of the campouts, even at places like Escapees get togethers, is how to stop roof vent leaks, or any roof leaks for that matter.

One of the most common sayings in the camping world is: "There's 2 kinds of campers, those that leak, and those that will leak."  These things have been determined by thousands of campers, not just a handful. 

The other day, it was very refreshing to find an honest seller of a roadtrek, when accompanying an aquaintance to go buy one.  When asked if it leaked, the seller responded "Only when  it rains...".  When the buyer asked "Have you tried to have it sealed?", the seller responded "Dozens of times, and it'll be good for a while, but she'll leak, and always at the worst times.  There's a tarp under the bed to throw over it real quick when that happens, that's the best and quickest thing you can do.  It's normal, and you'll get used to it...". 

These promoters are looking to make a profit, they aren't looking for the truth, or interested in spreading the truth.  The truth comes from the people who have nothing to lose by telling the truth.  I work full time, and nobody pays me a dime to promote anything.  If roof vents or holes in your roof were truly a good thing, I'd be the first to sing their praises.  In the meantime, the truth is more important than the hype.

Title: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: peeela on December 17, 2017, 12:26:52 AM
Interesting Camper Bob.
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Camper_Dan on December 17, 2017, 03:02:27 AM
I'm not Bob, I'm Dan, but I think I've heard of Camper Bob but can't quite recall where from.  Doesn't really matter a lot, most of the people who've been doing this for years probably all sound alike.  The school of hard knocks and all...

Go to some of the gatherings, all the long timers sound very similar.  Many of us have made the same mistakes, and figured out the best solutions.  By about 10 years in you have most things figured out pretty well.

Is Camper Bob on here, or another forum, or ? ? ?
Title: Re: PLAN B : THE VAN BUILD
Post by: Stanvan on December 21, 2017, 12:19:48 AM
It could be RVBob over in Vandweller.