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

 > Scored a NICE cargo van - let the fun begin!

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pasusan

Northernmost PA

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Joined: 05/13/2009

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Posted: 12/12/17 05:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

mumkin wrote:

I enjoyed reading your thread, but still can't view the latest photos. You have to be a registered member.
Yeah - I just checked your thread and the earlier photos can be seen - but then the later ones can't - you need to be a registered member to see them.

Would love to keep up with this!


"I'm out here to enjoy nature -- don't talk to me about the environment!" ~Denny Crane

Susan & Ben ~
84 Bronco & 90 Award Classic 23 joined with a Hensley Cub
*** Also a 2004 Roadtrek 170 (See pic in Profile) ***
Trip Pics


Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Posted: 12/15/17 05:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

OK - I think I've got the picture problem sorted out.
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Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Posted: 12/15/17 05:46pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The sides have a layer of Fat Mat Rattletrap sound killer; plus a layer of Reflectix; and then cheap "corduroy" carpet glued over that. I filled all the voids in the lower half with polyester batting, plus stuff it into the ribs and wherever it would fit. I hung sheets of poly quilt batting in the sliding door.

The floor is simply an OEM Ford Floor protection mat (heavy felt underneath, then a hard vinyl top; and then 1/2" plywood on top. By keeping it relatively thin, the plywood was able to be wedged under the tie-down points, which keeps it from shifting or moving. The dinette seat bases are glued and screwed to the floor. The one thing I'm proud of: this vehicle doesn't make a sound. We can whisper a conversation back and forth - the loudest noise we hear is wind noise and there's not much we can do about that.

The plywood sidewalls are 32" tall: this creates "pockets" where the window area is recessed and these pockets are super-handy! One hold the 15" flat-screen TV; the other holds folded Reflectix window covers when not used.

I also built a lightweight overhead shelf - all this holds is paper plates, napkins, disposable cups. Makes those things easy to find. The cabinet below it is a resin garden storage cabinet: lightweight, doesn't rattle, holds a ton of "stuff".

Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Joined: 06/07/2004

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Posted: 12/15/17 06:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

More pictures:
Here's the dinette benches going in - they are taller than "normal" (17") which allows me to use large totes underneath.
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Benches from the rear. Cubbies accessed from the rear have the seat above them glued and screwed down. Forward benches have hinged tops. The yellow electrical cord simply brings 110v to 2 interior outlets. When we camp, we usually stay in RV parks, so we don't have solar.
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The benches can have a center aisle; or I built removable panels (both vertical and horizontal) so this area can become a 68" wide x 83" long bed. I wanted to be able to haul a kayak or sheets of plywood/drywall, etc - I mean, it IS a cargo van. I'll use a folding table for meals - the aisle is 24" wide. The vertical divider is mostly to anchor "stuff" from sliding forward in case of a quick stop.
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I added a 16" wide, vertical piece of plywood over the aft end of the sliding door. It's where the "disappearing sink" mounts, plus it holds a small TV mount that allows the TV to simply be lifted off for safe travel stowage. Also - by narrowing the slider opening, a cheap $25 Amazon 48" magnetic screen door can be mounted with velcro, to keep the bugs out but let fresh air in. You can also see the black seat belts we added. We don't plan to haul people back there - but in a pinch, we could. It also qualified our cargo van to be designated a "station wagon" for licensing.
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Here's the disappearing sink :-) In our condo complex, having a bathroom and kitchen, seems to make a vehicle an RV, and only able to be parked for 24 hrs for loading/unloading. So my "bathroom" is a "Luggable Loo" portapotty; and my sink is a cheap plastic RV sink w/hand-pump faucet that draws freshwater from the blue 2.5 gal tank below it; and it drains into the green 2.5 gal "gray tank". All of this is mounted on the same drop-down shelf brackets found in RVs; and it stores under one of the seats.
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We don't have an LP system, we use an electric heater if needed; and I cook on an electric hotplate. This whole thing is very, VERY basic - but that's all we need.

Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Posted: 12/15/17 06:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So here's what the neighbors see: a travel van with a dinette for tailgating. The folding chairs and table are tied vertically next to the cabinet. I cut up some old 5" foam mattress toppers I got eons ago from JC Penney; covered them with cheap fabric GLUED together (my sewing skillz aren't near what my carpentry skillz are....LOL!) - and they are insanely comfy. Like so many RV, the backrest cushions fill in the center section to become a bed.
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This is what it looked like just before we headed to FL - the heavy stuff is stashed below the seats. Duffels and soft things are stored on top of the seats, but tied to some heavy rings installed on the D-pillars, in case of a crash.
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I recently added curtains just behind the front seats; and across the rear windows. Just offers some quick privacy, since putting the magnetically-attached Reflectix window insulation/shades takes a few minutes. I didn't drop the ceiling below the roof ribs - Ed is 6'3" tall, so I needed to keep as much interior height as possible. He has to duck a little bit - I think the inside height is 6'. Ours is the "medium" roof - Ed would have been able to stand upright in the high-roof model, but then we couldn't have parked it in our garage.
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So it's not fancy, and I DO risk not being allowed in certain parks due to the "hippie van" association (or lack of RVIA sticker). But it's not bad for the conversion efforts of a mid-60's old lady....LOL! We think of it as a "steel tent" that's really comfy, warm and dry. Won't need to be winterized. Can haul a TON of "stuff". Can fit into rustic and "tent" sites when allowed. And rides/drives like a truly delightful SUV. Fits into our garage with a 10' door.

I still have a few "tweaky" things to do to it; but it's 95% finished, and we love it. I'm sure a lot of RV folks will scoff at living so crudely; but after 2 years of about the same amenities with our old pup-up truck camper, we know we are comfortable doing this.

* This post was edited 12/15/17 06:38pm by Deb and Ed M *

mumkin

Chanhassen, MN/Mesa, AZ

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Posted: 12/15/17 07:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great job!! As long as it fills your needs, who cares what the RV snob set has to say. LOL

This late 60's old lady is impressed.


Mumkin
2019 Roadtrek Simplicity SRT (on order - with options making it almost a Zion)
2015 Roadtrek 170
2011 LTV Libero
2004 GWV Classic Supreme


pasusan

Northernmost PA

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Posted: 12/16/17 02:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Wow - thanks for the update and the pics!

It looks like you worked for and got exactly what you wanted - congrats!

Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Joined: 06/07/2004

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Posted: 12/16/17 06:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks, Mumkin and pasusan! I can really recommend the Transit (with the Ecoboost motor) as a terrific RV-hauler. Granted, my van is a lot lighter than a true RV, but it has gobs of acceleration. Enough so, that a guy on another forum took his converted van drag-racing, and was running in the high-14 second range for a quarter-mile. That is crazy-fast for something that big....LOL!

Deb and Ed M

SW MI & Space Coast, FL USA

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Joined: 06/07/2004

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Posted: 01/01/18 08:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I tested the cargo-carrying capacity of our Transit conversion: after having kids/grandkids visiting for a week, I realized I needed a bigger dining table in our condo. Found a nice used table with 4 large chairs and 2 leaves - the table is MASSIVELY-HEAVY and 44" x 68" at its smallest. The Transit swallowed all of it, with plenty of room to spare! We just slid the table (upside-down) onto the dinette/bed. Sorry I didn't think to take a picture....

It's nice to know our cargo van can still haul cargo :-)

kazmir

Santa Cruz, CA

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Joined: 10/25/2005

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Posted: 01/08/18 04:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for posting your pictures. My hubby and I are considering doing this same thing. Great ideas!


2005 Minnie 24V
Family of Four with lots of toys!">


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