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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: 12/24/14 05:29am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I wanted a small table for us to eat on when we were trapped inside by bad weather and to play cards on. I decided to follow the same theme of using the pressed wood that I used for the top of the center console and the kitchen unit countertop. I had a couple of guides that came from an old desk that I dismantled and used them on the top of the bed frame. Put a canvas handle on it so that I could pull it out. It is hidden when not used and does provide us with a little extra table top surface when we need it. For chairs we use a couple of small fold-up types that are stored in the side door pocket along with my camera tripod which you can see on the left side of the picture.
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* This post was edited 07/26/19 10:30am by Black'95 *

Black'95

South Dakota

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Posted: 12/24/14 02:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My next modification in my camper van was to route the electrical connections to the outside. I used some heavy 12 gauge extension cord wire to connect my kitchen unit to the outside. Then ran it to the back and built a box with a camper type flip-lid cover. It came in white only so I spray painted it with special spray paint for plastic and mounted it in a wood box that I built to fit the contour of the back bumper. I also ran a coaxial TV cable from the kitchen unit to the black box on the bumper also. Some private campgrounds do provide cable TV connections. I spray painted the wood box flat black to match the black of the bumper and mounted it with automotive body molding tape so no holes were drilled into the van.
[image]

I added a piece of rubber stair tread to the top of the box as my finishing touch.
[image]

My next posting will cover a few storage options.

* This post was edited 07/26/19 10:32am by Black'95 *

IAMICHABOD

Sunny So Cal 90713

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Posted: 12/24/14 04:05pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very nice work,My first "hard sided tent" was a 1975 Ford E series Van that was ordered for a plumbing company and never payed for.

With no windows,except the windshield and door windows and only one seat it was a blank canvas to work on. I did pretty much like you and built it out much the same way. With a small Ice box and small sink and water. With a jacknife sofa in the rear providing seating and when folded down it became a bed with storage bins under much like yours. Nice work.

I put captain seats in that swiveled, giving us more room to sit and eat when we couldn't get outside because of weather.

I later had a Class A with swivel seats and I missed them when I got my Class C Based on a Chevy Express.

I found that I could put swivel seats in it too.

Here is a thread that shows how I did it.

I like all the Mods that you have made,it looks like you have thought it all out very well. Keep up the nice work.


2006 TIOGA 26Q CHEVY 6.0 WORKHORSE VORTEC
Former El Monte RV Rental

Buying A Rental Class C

Chevrolet Based Class C


Black'95

South Dakota

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Posted: 12/24/14 04:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For this posting I will cover a few odds and ends of storage. I use the generous sized pockets in the Chevy van doors for our small camp chairs, outside table, and camera tripod. We use the front door pockets for our binoculars (a good generous 7x50 is what I always carry), our flashlights, cameras, rock hammer, and other odds and ends.
[image]

To hold everything a little more securely during travel, I attached a Velcro strap at the top. Not wanting to drill holes in the van, I made a metal bracket, pop-riveted it to the straps, and slipped it behind the trim. Attached a small strip of automotive trim molding tape to keep it in place. Here is a close up of the bracket.
[image]

For reaching high on the van to attach my blue tarp for a rain awning and to clean the front windshield, I use a truck step that I have modified by adding the step from a second truck step to the first to make a two-step unit. It folds up very smartly. When camping in my old Blazer, I used the step to reach everything in the box on my roof rack.
[image]

In the hitch on the rear I have installed a tray which carries a black box for things like extra canned goods, extra water for camping in the boondocks, our collapsible picnic table and sundry other items. I also carry one or two extra camo boxes that has firewood made up of scraps from our local lumber yard, fire starters, tongs, wood leveling blocks and extra bottled water. There is also plenty of room for souvenirs and rocks that I like to collect from around the country.
[image]

[image]

We like to eat out a lot, so I don't carry a large cooler. We just carry a small one for drinks and snacks behind the passenger seat close to the side door for easy access. Would like to get one of those white ones where the ice lasts about a week but they are a little too expensive for my tastes right now.
[image]

That covers all I have done so far. My next posting will probably be after the holidays when I have a chance to get back to working on my camper van again. Happy Holidays to you all. Off to KY to visit my twin grand daughters.

* This post was last edited 07/26/19 10:40am by Black'95 *   View edit history

Black'95

South Dakota

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Posted: 12/24/14 04:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I decided before I left to post one more. We used our van for the first trip the first week of November when we went to Chimney Rock and Scott's Bluff National Monument in Nebraska.
[image]

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We spent as much time as we could outside, here eating lunch.
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On our way back to South Dakota a small winter storm caught us in Harrison, NE but the 120 volt heater kept us as cozy as two bugs in a rug.
[image]

* This post was edited 07/26/19 10:56am by Black'95 *

quietjake

sunny Orygun territory

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Posted: 12/24/14 10:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Magnifique!!!

garmp

St Louis, MO

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Posted: 12/25/14 09:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Black'95 that is fantastic. Both creative and superb craftsmanship. I use to be handy with my hands, which since have gone south, but never that good. I made the mistake of sharing your post with the DW and you porta-potti did it. Now I need to made one. Or actually design it and have a friend make it with some modifications. Hope you don't mind me stealing your idea. That is simply ingenious, the placement, design, everything. Love it. Can't rave enough.
One of the thing I did design is a rotisserie, that I had another friend manufacture out of stainless steel.[image]
The disk has four holes, which allow you to rotate the spit 45 degrees and put the pin in to hold it in place. This pic is the trial run in the backyard over out backyard fire pit. Works great over an open fire.
Thanks again for the porta-potti idea.


Our 2351D Phoenix Cruiser, Jack, has turned us from campers into RVers and loving it!


Black'95

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Posted: 12/25/14 11:15am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

That is the whole point of posting, so others benefit from each others ideas. I would only hope that you post your design with any modifications so that we can steal your ideas too. I have been camping for the last 40 years and have accumulated a lot of ideas, mostly from other campers, like the handy little rope tighteners that my friend had on his Coleman tent camper awning ropes. I am looking forward to the postings of other DIY'ers.

stan909

San Bernardino,Ca

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Posted: 12/25/14 08:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Although not cheap ; adding swivels to your front seats would give you some really comfortable seating inside. You would have a nice table right there with your portapotti cabinet. Cheers.

bobm253

getzville,ny

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Posted: 12/26/14 07:11am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

where did you get the 120 volts when in the snow storm?

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