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Old 07-17-2011, 05:49 PM   #1
John 3:16
 
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Default Moving mountains with a mustard seed - Conversion

We traded our 2004 Chevy Express van for a 2011 170" WB crew van in April of this year. I wanted to introduce to the forum to, what we are calling, "The Mustard Seed".

We chose the 170" WB crew van configuration because we like the ability to carry a few passengers from time to time and the longer wheel base still leaves plenty of room for customization. So far I have added the full size bed atop a storage arrangemnt that includes four 24" X 24" drawers and a large, lower, pass-through cabinet that allows me to push full sheets of plywood into the van without having to remove the bed. We also added a tall storage cabinet that is wired for 120V AC and holds the microwave, TV, DVD player, fan and coffee pot. A Yamaha 2000W inverter generator, 1500W inverter or shore power provides the juice. I decorated the walls with upolstery fabric and batting. The wood used was a combination of birch and oak plywoods with African Padauck (red) used for the rails and stiles on the cabinet doors.

I upgraded the factory radio to a Pioneer BT920XT, installed some rear speakers and a backup camera. I now have Blue Tooth, Pandora, IPod connector and satellite navigation.

We still have some more work ahead, but I wanted to post some pictures for the group and would appreciate your comments and ideas.

IMG_Van Exterior.jpg

IMG_Conversion begins.jpg

IMG_View from rear.jpg

IMG_Rear door speaker.jpg

IMG_Rear camera mount detail.jpg
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:52 PM   #2
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Default Re: Moving mountains with a mustard seed - Conversion

Some more pictures...

IMG_Under seat Inverter install (2).jpg
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_Bed wallcovering detail.jpg (121.0 KB, 394 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_Bed platform detail.jpg (127.6 KB, 390 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_Tall cabinet.jpg (128.9 KB, 393 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_Pass-through cab detail.jpg (121.1 KB, 391 views)
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Old 07-17-2011, 05:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Moving mountains with a mustard seed - Conversion

Even more pictures...

IMG_Bed wallcovering detail.jpg

IMG_Drawer detail.jpg

IMG_Inside facing rear.jpg

IMG_Under seat inverter install.jpg
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:03 PM   #4
hayduke
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Default Re: Moving mountains with a mustard seed - Conversion

That looks very nice John.
Would you care to share how much you have spent on materials so far?
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: Moving mountains with a mustard seed - Conversion

Good work. Where do you keep the generator?
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Old 07-17-2011, 06:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: Moving mountains with a mustard seed - Conversion

very neat and nice pics.
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Old 07-17-2011, 10:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Moving mountains with a mustard seed - Conversion

John,

Very nice work! It looks like a lot of planning, hard work, and maybe even a touch of divine inspiration

You have a lot of good ideas built in already. I see one thing I would change though, and have an idea you may like. The photos show cardboard prototypes in the windows that provide a good amount of privacy and allow plenty of daylight in as well as letting me look out when needed. They can be fully closed also to keep the sun out when needed.





The folding idea works great for privacy but I have found that I never have to completely close the window cover because no one under 7' tall can see in there, and I really like the light.





I have since painted the cardboard black and you can hardly see them now.





What I am still trying to figure out is the best material that I can use for the permanent covers that will also be a good radiant barrier...and still be black, because that looks the best.
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Old 07-17-2011, 11:55 PM   #8
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Default Re: Moving mountains with a mustard seed - Conversion

To: HAYDUKE,

The radio, backup camera and associated hardware for the installation was @ $900.00 US.
The Generator was $1000.00 US.
The Inverter was @ $200.00 US including the installation hardware incidentals.
The materials for the cabinetry/woodwork and hardware I estimate at just around $1500.00 US.
Endless hours of labor = PRICELESS
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:09 AM   #9
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To: TREEHOUSELAB,

I keep the generator tied down right at the entrance of the sliding door. I use the cable and lock on it for security reasons. When I use the generator I lock it to the hitch outside and plug in my power cord to feed the 120V AC outlets in the van. Locking the generator to the hitch prevents it from "growing legs" during the night or when I'm away from the van.

IMG_Generator.jpg

IMG_AC power cord.jpg



Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:20 AM   #10
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Default Re: Moving mountains with a mustard seed - Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by david klair View Post
John,

Very nice work! It looks like a lot of planning, hard work, and maybe even a touch of divine inspiration

You have a lot of good ideas built in already. I see one thing I would change though, and have an idea you may like. The photos show cardboard prototypes in the windows that provide a good amount of privacy and allow plenty of daylight in as well as letting me look out when needed. They can be fully closed also to keep the sun out when needed.





The folding idea works great for privacy but I have found that I never have to completely close the window cover because no one under 7' tall can see in there, and I really like the light.





I have since painted the cardboard black and you can hardly see them now.





What I am still trying to figure out is the best material that I can use for the permanent covers that will also be a good radiant barrier...and still be black, because that looks the best.
To: DAVID KLAIR,

I appreciate your ideas about the flexible visors for the rear windows. My crew van, and from what I understand all crew vans, do not have rear windows. For some reason they install corregated plastic covers on the inside. I chose to replace the plastic with 1/8 " oak plywood that I stained and poly'd. I thought it looked better than the plastic ones. I intend to replace the lower plastic panels on each rear door the same way.

IMG_Rear doors exterior.jpg

IMG_Rear door interior.jpg
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