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Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions  >  DIY

 > My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

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Black'95

South Dakota

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Posted: 02/25/21 09:05am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

J herb wrote:


Mike, a nice setup to have as you can use a heater that doesn't have a thermostat, if needed can you run both heaters on low at the same time?
Hope that you are able to go camping soon, we are trying to go but we have been having a lot of rain in the valley and snow in the mountains for the last few weeks.


The small heater only has one setting whereas the little floor model does have a high and a low setting. I probably could run both of them because when I wired my van, I used 12/2 house wiring or the equivalent in round extension cord type wire so I think it would be heavy enough. I have never needed more than the little 1500 watt even when it was below freezing outside. So I will probably use one or the other, whichever is more convenient. We cover all the windows and windshield with custom cut Reflectix Al insulation to fit each window. That not only insulates it keeps the light out, so we can sleep in til noon if we wanted. Growing up on the farm as I did means I usually get up early even when I don't need to.

SavannahCollins

New York

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Posted: 03/02/21 10:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow! He had the same Chevrolet Silverado Blazer 1990 ))
But it was green! What a great time it was !!


Long-lasting car batteries that I can recommend

KaLvan

Western KY

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Posted: 03/04/21 06:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Really have enjoyed reading through your post and all you have done. We are doing a similar build on a 2014 Chevy Passenger Van. We put a 3/4 inch plywood floor down for our base. We are curious how you have attached your cabinet and bed into the van. At this point, we plan to leave all the factory walls in place, so don't have points of attachment in the van walls, just the plywood floor we have installed.

Also, by any chance, do you know where in the back passenger area there are airbags installed? We don't want to inadvertently set those off with our build!

Black'95

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Posted: 03/04/21 08:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

KaLvan wrote:

Really have enjoyed reading through your post and all you have done. We are doing a similar build on a 2014 Chevy Passenger Van. We put a 3/4 inch plywood floor down for our base. We are curious how you have attached your cabinet and bed into the van. At this point, we plan to leave all the factory walls in place, so don't have points of attachment in the van walls, just the plywood floor we have installed.

Also, by any chance, do you know where in the back passenger area there are airbags installed? We don't want to inadvertently set those off with our build!


I did not remove any of the floor nor the passenger seat brackets in the back of the van. I used them to mount my bed frame and my kitchen unit.
[image]

I made some brackets very similar to the picture below and mounted the top three holes to my bed frame and kitchen unit so they were positioned over the top of the seat brackets.

[image]

I pulled the locking pins out of the seat brackets in the floor, then slid my fabricated brackets down into them so the locking pin would engage the single hole in my brackets and locked the pins in place.
[image]

For the rest of the van floor area that had floor seat brackets that I did not use, I ordered a special piece of carpet with seamed edges like floor mats and put it down to cover up any exposed, unused floor seat brackets.
[image]



I will do some research on my van and the service manuals to see if I can locate the passenger airbags and get back to you on that in another message.

* This post was edited 03/04/21 09:13pm by Black'95 *

drsolo

Milwaukee

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Posted: 03/05/21 09:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Black'95 wrote:

The small heater only has one setting whereas the little floor model does have a high and a low setting. We cover all the windows and windshield with custom cut Reflectix Al insulation to fit each window. That not only insulates it keeps the light out, so we can sleep in til noon if we wanted.


I looked at but never bought a 12 volt heated blanket. Toss a quilt over that and it would be snuggly warm. And I too cut Reflectix insulation for the windows. It helped enormously.


Ingrid and Dan Retired teachers from Milwaukee, WI
1992 GMC Vandura conversion


drsolo

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Posted: 03/05/21 09:30am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

KaLvan wrote:

We put a 3/4 inch plywood floor down for our base. We are curious how you have attached your cabinet and bed into the van.


At first I worried about stuff like the frig and cabinets shifting around. I found only stuff on top of the counter would slide and the drawers in the cabinet. The only heavy item is the microwave which is screwed down with an L. The drawers are secured with swinging tabs and the bins etc with bungee cords. Then my bed (my recliner) would shift forward, but it too wasnt really a problem as I would just shove it back a couple inches when I stopped. I have learned to take corners slowly, drive so there are no sudden stops or starts and everything stays put. The cabinets are wedged so tightly they arent going anywhere.

Black'95

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Posted: 03/28/21 10:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a question in another van forum about my mini-levels I use to level the van. The question was: "How do I level my van?" I checked back through all my posts and realized I had never addressed this problem. I use some home made ramps from 4 pieces of 2 x 8 x 10 1/2 inches for the larger ones and 2 x 8 x 9 inches for the smaller ones. When finished cutting them I added a piece of sticky back step tread material. Some of the tread material is rubber only but the stuff I used has a sandpaper like finish and I stapled it to keep the ends from curling up. I can use 1 ramp per tire to go up 1 1/2 inches and a long one and a short one to go up 3 inches. Sometimes I use a double on one wheel and a single on the other wheel if I am sitting on a slant. I have even used a double on one wheel, a single on the other side and a single on one of the front wheels if I am both slanted and lower in the back.
[image]

I store them in my blue box attached to the bumper hitch of my van where I store my camp chairs, camp stove, little propane tanks, fire tongs, ax, etc. I find that backing up on to the ramps works better than driving forward on to them as attested by the slippage marks on the short ones.
[image]

Black'95

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Posted: 04/05/21 10:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Somewhere while checking Facebook I came across an ad for a Radiate brand portable campfire. Being an avid DIY'er (growing up on the farm and being a high school science teacher for 39 years may have something to do with it) I decided I could make something like that.
[image]

I purloined a 7 1/2 inch fruitcake tin from my wife and started melting wax in my woodshed. I cut up some paper egg cartons and distributed the pieces throughout the wax, then let the wax set and harden. It seems to work great.
[image]

To put it out, I just put the cover back on. You do want to let it set awhile after putting it out so the melted wax from using it doesn't slosh over and leak onto your hands. Yes! I speak from experience because the lid does not seal it up so it is leak proof. It will never replace a real campfire, but we could use it on the picnic table under the awning on a rainy day.
[image]

The camping trip we were on when I tried my new DIY campfire on was an Easter camping trip to Oahe Downstream Campground which is below the dam and north of Pierre, SD. With temps in the high 70's for the first week in April it was fine camping weather. We heard this cardinal before we finally saw him. He is small in the picture because I knew I could not take the time to swap to my 800mm lens before he decided to fly.
[image]

It must have been a fine weekend for fishing as the bay below the dam's stilling pond was pretty crowded. I am guessing the fish were biting in this area.
[image]

* This post was edited 04/05/21 10:49am by Black'95 *

Black'95

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Posted: 04/25/21 08:45am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I recently ran across a new use for our ice maker on one of the posts I frequently visit. I may have to try this on our next camping trip. The bottles melt the ice into water which is reused by the ice maker!
[image]

* This post was edited 04/25/21 08:53am by Black'95 *

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