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hein 07-26-2013 08:23 PM

2010 3500 RV build

We purchased this van used in the fall of 2012 with the intention of converting it to an fully equipped RV. Plus we had a business goal of discovering and developing products to offer to fellow DIY van upfitters. I joined and had been reading and learning from this forum for about a year prior.

When we became new owners, the van had already been up-fitted with CR Laurence windows and interior panels. The interior has a thin plywood (luan?) backing. The walls are laminated with thin black rubber sheet about 24" up from the floor. From there up and on the ceiling it's padded and upholstered with interweave fabric. The interior looks nice and is one of the primary reasons we bought this van. The factory floor was covered with a black rubber mat. There is a forward vent fan and rear vent in the roof and some LED ceiling lights. The previous owner had fabricated a two level elevated bed frame out of steel thinwall square tubing with plywood panels. It was self supporting and loosely attached to the walls with sheetmetal screws. I removed all that and cut it up to use as materials in the build.

The interior panels had been done by Van Specialties in Portland. It's nice to have a professionally done interior as a basis for our conversion. All the interior panels and the floor have since been removed to add wiring, upgraded insulation, more accessories, etc. We sealed all exposed plywood on the backs of the panels with 2 coats of odorless water based polyurethane. It took all of a gallon. I don't care for 'plywood' smell and this really helps reduce it. The wall panels are set aside and will be modified and reinstalled later.

Getting Started
One of the first things I wanted to do was paint the seat pedestals. White is great on the outside. But not so much for interior parts, imo.


I removed the pedestals to do some wiring and to put a sub amp under the passenger seat. While they were out, I cleaned them with a Scotch Brite pad and sprayed the outside with Rustoleum multicolor textured paint in the color 'Aged Iron'. This finish will be used through out the interior.

So with that done, the rest of the conversion can begin. The design was completed in 3D CAD as the project progressed.
Pdf document showing the layout and list of major components

Our thanks:
We wish to thank everyone for all the positive and constructive compliments, comments and feedback. And this forum for making that possible. And a huge Thank You to our customers for supporting us. We hope you find some useful information that will allow you to complete and enjoy your van. Feel free to contact us at your convenience.

Thank you,
Hein & Kim
Impact, Inc.
Bus. location: 1512A Osprey Drive
Hood River, OR 97031
Hein 541 490 5098
Kim 541 490 4292


1. This thread contains links to (most) all the supplies and components used, including fasteners and other doo/dads. If you can't find it, PM me.

2. Best way to find something specific is to use the Search Function. Easiest way is to PM me and I'll send you a link.

3. All of the fabricated components are defined by 3D CAD models/drawings/CNC paths so can be produced again. PM me if you are interested in a specific component. Some are already available via the following links:

Ebay Store: https://www.ebay.com/sch/impactproducts/m.html

Ford Transit build: https://www.fordtransitusaforum.com/...-r-d-work.html

We also own DIYvan.com

pfflyer 07-26-2013 09:03 PM

Re: Painted the seat pedestals
Looks good.

GeorgeRa 07-29-2013 03:27 AM

Re: Painted the seat pedestals
Nice color match to the OEM grey,


mugget 07-29-2013 09:47 PM

Re: Painted the seat pedestals
Nifty! I think you'er onto something there! It definitely looks good.

hein 07-30-2013 12:32 AM

Re: Painted the seat pedestals
Thanks for the compliments. The color is (inappropriately) called aged iron. This stuff goes on thick so it took almost 4 cans for each pedestal.

I had the floor and the lower portion of the interior skin Rhino Lined. I found that water comes in past the clips that hold the trim on the side of the van so I had the holes for those sealed. Jack's Body Shop did the work.

My plan is to fill the floor channels with rubber strips and then put down a full layer of 1/4" thick rubber mat from Oregon Rubber Mat. Some kind of thin harder floor will go over that. The Rhino Lining is a nice working surface in the mean time.

That's my sub box/work bench and a Coleman camp chair where I sit and think about what all I left to do, lol.




GeorgeRa 07-30-2013 02:49 AM

Re: Painted the seat pedestals
Very nice wiring work, I was contemplating about using conduits but windows restrict available room for wiring so there was not much room for conduits.

How were the outer trim fasteners sealed? I should have done it with side panels off but they are reasonably easy to remove.


hein 07-30-2013 05:06 AM

Re: Painted the seat pedestals
They were sprayed over with the Rhino stuff. I don't think that much water gets in under normal conditions but I washed under the trim at the car wash a number of times to remove road grime. I could see stains were the water had run down the inside under the many of the holes.

The conduit is for the AC. DC is automotive grade wire protected by plastic split looms and grommets where appropriate. Many of the boxes and conduit is held in place using VHB.

I suppose I should ask the mods turn this thread into a write up. More details to come.

hein 08-11-2013 03:35 PM

Re: Painted the seat pedestals
I've been working on the audio/video system. There is a Kenwood (AM/FM/CD/DVD/etc) head unit in the dash, back up camera over the rear door, sub woofer amp under the passenger seat, and TV to the right of the passenger side sliding door.

The rear TV is connected to the head unit video/audio out for DVD playback. Also, a video+audio source runs the from back to front so the TV sound can be piped through the audio system and a future video source can be seen on the head unit. I also have HDMI wires going to the TV from a future overhead cabinet where a Blueray/DVD and satellite box will be located. There are RF cables for cable and roof top antenna going to an A/B switch and then to the TV RF in. All those wires combined with speakers and power/ground make for quite bundle.

I upgraded to Infinity speakers in the doors and added two more in the headliner in back over the TV. There will be a 10" sub in the back somewhere. I disconnected the OEM center dash speaker and retained the OEM dash tweeters.

I robbed the blocks off the side of the OEM radio and mounted them to the new head unit. Makes it very sturdy.


And machined some adapter rings (which we sell on ebay) for the 6.5" door speakers.



TV install test. The TV will either be removed from the arm or strapped to a cradle for travel.


Head Unit installed with toggle switch (lower left of adapter panel) to transfer the audio/video system from vehicle power to coach power. The head unit, sub amp and 12V TV each have a relay that allows them to be switched between vehicle or coach power. The relays are controlled by the switch.


hein 08-11-2013 04:30 PM

Re: Painted the seat pedestals
Next up: Replace rear vent with Mach8 9200 BTU rooftop unit:


The squares with the + drawn (sharpie) on the roof are where the foam blocks
on the bottom of the AC pan will be located. This is too plan the layout
of the rear support frame yet to be fabricated.

hein 08-12-2013 06:48 PM

Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)
AC support framing weldments:

Cross member weld fixture. Needed to make four identical cross members to go
longitudinally between the OEM roof cross members.


Front Frame welded. It goes around the 14x14 hole and supports the roof opening. The formed metal frame lying on top is used to clamp the unit against the roof with 4 long screws.


Rear Frame test fit. This holds up the 4 supports on the rear of the AC unit where the compressor and condenser fan are located.


Both frames will be bolted in place using 1/4-20 rivet nuts and glued to the skin with 3M urethane window weld adhesive.

P.S. We filled the roof ribs with expanding foam and sealed the holes with Dynamat. (-Which was a bad idea because the expanding foam did not cure and kept running out on sunny days. We now recommend pulling Thinsulate strips into the ribs.)

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