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Old 06-02-2016, 11:53 PM   #11
Zyzzyx
 
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Default Re: The Building of BoB the Van

Finally getting around to writing some more. Its only been 11 months or so since some of the early build work, that's not too late to document, is it? This forum isn't playing nicely to just copy/paste from the blog and bring in the pictures already linked, but I'll see what I can do here...

http://bobthevan.blogspot.com/2016/0...fications.html


The First Modifications



It had to start somewhere. I just wish it didn't have to start with drilling holes in a new van.



Oh, wait... it didn't. My first modification, well... addition, was something nice and simple. The universal garage door opener fits nicely at the center of the overhead bin. A bit of 3M velcro holds it in place.



With that done... now it was time to drill holes in the van. One of the first big purchases for BoB was some steps and a roof fan. I had watched much of the discussion on the forum about steps and running boards. I couldn't bring myself to the running boards, just don't like the overall look of them. But the Carr hoop steps will look just fine to me.

The other decision was the Maxxfan. Much of the time in my perusing about RV stuff I had read about the Fantastic fan. It seemed to be the 'default' fan to install. It seemed OK, but I wasn't thrilled with the lid. Then I started reading about the Maxxfan. Yes, the Fantastic fan has a rain sensor and will close on its own, but I really liked that the Maxxfan can stay open in the rain, or even open while driving. So, Maxxfan it was. And we went with the top of the list, including the remote. Yeah, its a small van but I figured it could be rather handy at times to have the remote at hand while in seated in the cab. And I knew that I be needing a rivnut tool throughout the build, so that was an early purchase as well.



Maxxfan Deluxe, Carr Hoops for the front, Carr Super Hoop for the slider, and an Astro Rivnut tool

First up was the steps. We could get in and out OK, but a slightly lower first step would not be turned down. And thus the first holes drilled in BoB. At least they were out of sight.







Set them up about as high as they would go, really didn't want anything dragging or catching, even if it was right behind the front tire. Had a steep learning curve with the Rivnut tool, it really only likes to work when it has a directly straight access to the hole. I didn't have that. Ended up cobbling together a bolt and nut combination tool that I could use to tighten the rivnuts. Put the impact driver on it, worked fine.



Now it was time for the BIG hole. The Maxxfan. Gulp. But hey, it's all good... I got to buy a new tool for the job. Picked up a jigsaw to go with the rest of my Ryobi cordless tools. Worked great for this and many things since then.

So, it was time for lots of measuring, and then more measuring. And taping things off. And measure again. From both sides. And then finally... the holes.















Now it was time to close it up. Deciding to put the vent at the rear of the van, I didn't have a nice smooth surface for the flange to mount and seal. And this was before Hein had his PM roof adapter available. So... I made my own. I happened to have some scrap ABS plastic from previous projects, and it worked out to be just the right thickness after putting the butyl tape top and bottom. Chamfer the sides to match the roof ridges and it worked great.







With those in place, it was time to mount the flange and seal it all up. I just screwed the mounting flange straight to the roof metal, no wood frame or anything underneath. Having the roof well supported right on both sides, its is quite solid and stable. That, and I didn't think of it at the time. Dicor sealant was used to seal the Maxxfan flange around the edges and over the tops of the mounting screws. That stuff... it sticks to anything. Thankfully I really took my time and ended up with a nice clean bead of Dicor around everything.

So now I had a fan... with no power. And no pictures. ;)
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-- BoB, a ProMaster 3500 Diesel 159" HR Ext, metallic silver
-- Ordered 2/21/15, VIN 3/22/15, Built 5/21/15, Received 6/11/15
-- BoB's Blog - The Build and Adventures --
-- Please PM me if any pictures in my posts are showing up as bad links --
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Old 06-02-2016, 11:58 PM   #12
Zyzzyx
 
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Default Re: The Building of BoB the Van

http://bobthevan.blogspot.com/2016/0...all-steps.html


Starting the interior - small steps eventually add up



Nothing much to note here, but at the beginning you have to get started somewhere.

For BoB, the 'somewhere' was with some sound damping material. I'd read many different ideas and options for the stuff. Different brands, thicknesses, styles, and application methods and coverage. Found a commentary from the SprinterForums from someone that used material from Reckhorn. Looked good, sounded good, priced good; so I went with it.



You can see the roll of it there. Easy stuff to work with. Thin aluminum sheet on one side, adhesive butyl-like stuff on the other side. No off-gassing smells either, a definite bonus.

I would be putting enough heavy stuff into the build later on, so I didn't want to be doing full coverage with the stuff. Besides, most things I read said that's not really needed to get your best 'bang for the buck' sound reduction. I started on the wheelwells as they were noticeably the noisiest part of the van while driving along. Filled in the spaces between the stamped areas.





It wasn't silent, and the actual decibel reading would probably be the same, but it certainly changed the tone. Far less 'tinny' now. I went on and did the same thing to the wall panels and ceiling, but with not as much coverage.







Next up was the insulation. My design idea was to use a Thinsulate and Prodex/Low-E combination. Thinsulate directly on the walls, also helping to tone down the sound. And then later in the build have the Prodex attached to the back side of the wall panels, thus providing the bit of air gap it needs to be a effective.

Thinsulate was obtained from Hein; a fairly well known builder that frequents the SprinterForums, but also occasionally seen at the Transit and ProMaster forums as well. He's in Hood River, just a few hours from me, so I picked up a 50' roll of Thinsulate in person. Actually, I picked it up in April 2015; I didn't even take delivery of BoB until June 2015. So yeah... had a big roll of Thinsulate hanging out in the garage for a few months.

Thinsulate was trimmed to fit every area possible, then held in place with 3M 90 spray adhesive. Note that carefully. 3M 90 spray adhesive. Not the 70. The 90. Works great, and stuff is NOT coming off.

Where it couldn't be sprayed in place, it was rolled up and pulled into place. I would fish a solid core copper wire through various structural ribs, use that to pull a string back through. With a bowline knot I would loop around itself and cinch to the end of a strip of Thinsulate and pull that back through. Worked great. Another spot that I did not spray in place was in the front area over the cab where the cab roof lights are located. I wanted to be able to get to those in the future for replacing a lightbulb. So that is just held in place with the factory headliner.









I don't have many great pictures of just the insulation, but you'll see it for quite awhile yet. Its currently end of May 2015 as I write this, and I only recently put up two ceiling panels. Otherwise its still exposed Thinsulate. This is also another way of saying that the black scrim layer on the Thinsulate holds up really well to general wear and tear.

That last picture shows the start of the floor 'system'.

Started off filling the gaps between the ribs with closed cell (aka minicell) foam. It was just a bit taller than the spaces, the idea being that I could float plywood on top of them. That almost worked, they compressed too much. So... I put down a full sheet of minicell over top of that, then the plywood. The plywood is bolted in place at the factory tie down locations. I think there were four pieces used, with seams going across the van. One cut around the wheelwells, one full panel up front, one to fill in, and a narrow one at the back.







Overall I'm not using that much wood in this build. This is probably the biggest single use of it. I had it installed for awhile, then pulled it back out to put on a couple coats of water seal. Used it that way for a couple months before I started in on getting the floor structure built. That's when the purchase of the 80/20 aluminum arrived and the real fun began.
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-- Zyzzyx --

-- BoB, a ProMaster 3500 Diesel 159" HR Ext, metallic silver
-- Ordered 2/21/15, VIN 3/22/15, Built 5/21/15, Received 6/11/15
-- BoB's Blog - The Build and Adventures --
-- Please PM me if any pictures in my posts are showing up as bad links --
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Old 06-03-2016, 01:51 PM   #13
photogravity
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Default Re: The Building of BoB the Van

Is BoB "Beast of Burden"? Nice writeup and looking forward to your further progress.
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Old 06-03-2016, 05:46 PM   #14
Zyzzyx
 
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Default Re: The Building of BoB the Van

Quote:
Originally Posted by photogravity View Post
Is BoB "Beast of Burden"? Nice writeup and looking forward to your further progress.
Not quite, but good guess. Full explanation back on post #2.

http://sprinter-source.com/forum/sho...41&postcount=2
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-- Zyzzyx --

-- BoB, a ProMaster 3500 Diesel 159" HR Ext, metallic silver
-- Ordered 2/21/15, VIN 3/22/15, Built 5/21/15, Received 6/11/15
-- BoB's Blog - The Build and Adventures --
-- Please PM me if any pictures in my posts are showing up as bad links --
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Old 08-29-2016, 04:55 PM   #15
HarryN
 
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Default Re: The Building of BoB the Van

Thanks for the write up.

I really like your tape on the floor and card board box layout prototype approach. Good way to work through details. Sometimes I will build a "plywood prototype" of things. Since it is a prototype, it gives me the mental freedom to move faster and not worry about a perfect fit. Saves me a lot of time.
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