Sprinter-Forum    
 

Go Back   Sprinter-Forum > Sprinter-Based RV's & Conversions > Sprinter RV's & Conversions Talk

Sprinter RV's & Conversions Talk Common features found in Sprinter RV's and Conversions.


 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-23-2018, 06:19 PM   #71
Wirelessness
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 31
Thanks: 40
Thanked 4 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Trying to find the courage to do a 170WB build

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomD View Post
If your wife is not fully on board, that could be a problem. Or not.

You only need 3 things to convert a van - skill, money and time.
Skill is easy. Youtube and forums have answers to every question under the sun. Just don't try to put a hot tub in your van. Everything else has been done and documented.

Money - either you have it or you don't. If your budget allows, buy what you can and build what you must. For example, I'm putting in a chest of drawer - 10 drawers. (I like drawers and do not like cabinets.) I could have built the drawers. I have the tools and skill and space. Instead, I let Barker Doors make me maple, dove tailed, finished drawers. They showed up on Friday and are beautiful. What would have taken me a month in the shop (or two!), took 15 minutes ordering on their web site.

Time - You have small kids. Can you spend 8 hours every Saturday and Sunday working on the van? Progress will be glacial if you can't. I'm doing most everything by myself, but sometimes you need two people. My wife helps out when asked, but doesn't hang around the garage waiting for something to do. If you can't get the occasional 3rd and 4th hand from your wife, things could be tough.

OTOH, if all those things sound manageable, then jump on in. The water's fine.

I've been working on the electrical cabinet for a couple of weeks and finally got to the stage of wiring most of it up. I sat down and made a list of cables that I had to make on Sunday. Something like a dozen cables just for the solar interface and DC panel. After staring at the box, thinking about wiring layout for way too long, I decided to just make some darn cables and see what fit. So, this first draft (everything is a prototype) isn't ideal. I will change a couple of things, but it is in.

There will be days (weekends) where you think, "What did I get myself into?"

By Sunday night I'm usually ready to not think about the van for a while. By Tuesday I'm happily thinking about how I'll spend next weekend working on it.
The one thing I do have is Time. My work as a consultant is very flexible. Some days I have hours of work that requires constant effort. Some days I just have to check in and then I make my own hours. The weekends would probably yield less time to work on a conversion but not zero time.

I think the main detractor for my wife is the money. We can afford it if we really want to. She also has some stigma about having such a huge vehicle. Even though it's not much bigger than our current crew cab pickup.

I'd like to take my time and build it up slowly. Adding new features so I don't lose the functionality of the whole van for very long periods at a time. I have a lot of experience working on home construction type projects but nothing as intricate as a van conversion. I think all the minute details and planning will be harder for me than perhaps it is for others.

The more I think about my life with a fully converted van the more I think it's exactly what is needed.
Wirelessness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2018, 06:21 PM   #72
Wirelessness
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 31
Thanks: 40
Thanked 4 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Trying to find the courage to do a 170WB build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphite Dave View Post
That being said I have strong regrets not building a conversion when I was younger.
I'm 51 now and don't want to wait until I'm retired and my kids are moved away to share all the possibilities with them.
Wirelessness is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Wirelessness For This Useful Post:
asimba2 (04-24-2018), glasseye (04-23-2018), Graphite Dave (04-23-2018)
Old 04-23-2018, 10:28 PM   #73
sprint2freedom
2008 NCV3 170ext
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 1,328
Thanks: 813
Thanked 788 Times in 493 Posts
Default Re: Trying to find the courage to do a 170WB build

Start looking for van immediately. This can take a while, and once you decide to you're ready to do this, waiting for the right van can be agonizing.

Study prior art. Use your ample free time to loiter here until you have a good idea of the possibililties, tradeoffs, standard solutions, and a solid understanding of what you do and don't want in your conversion. The list of "don't wants" is important.. you can't have it all.

Get the wife on board! This is a huge, exciting, life-changing project. Make sure you emphasize the last two parts over the first..

Choose and buy supplies for one sub-project at a time. Don't order solar panels, batteries, toilet, furnace, cabinets, etc on day one. Build your van one "layer" at a time, keeping in mind how your later plans will be affected by your choices today. What you want will very likely change during the build as you learn more, so try to avoid committing yourself today to a specific choice later on.

Take lots of pictures during the build process. They'll be useful later on when you need to drill a hole and avoid drilling through stuff underneath.

Last edited by sprint2freedom; 04-23-2018 at 10:32 PM.
sprint2freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to sprint2freedom For This Useful Post:
Wirelessness (04-23-2018)
Old 04-23-2018, 11:55 PM   #74
Graphite Dave
Dave Orton
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Occidental, Ca.
Posts: 7,529
Thanks: 1,240
Thanked 4,750 Times in 2,693 Posts
Default Re: Trying to find the courage to do a 170WB build

Bruce. Saw that you are in the SF Bay Area.

Highly recommend that you visit. Having now done two conversions I have learned a few things that I am sure would be useful to you. You may see things and hear that you definitely do not want to do but then you will see and hear things that will help fill in the blanks.

I would also try to find someone else in the area to visit for the same reasons.
__________________
Sold 2008 diesel NCV3 144" WB high roof DIY conversion
2015 gas Ecoboost Transit 148" WB high roof conversion

Web Site: http://ortontransit.info

U-Tube Video: https://youtu.be/h5L6TZdy_y0
Graphite Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Graphite Dave For This Useful Post:
Wirelessness (04-23-2018)
Old 04-23-2018, 11:57 PM   #75
Wirelessness
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 31
Thanks: 40
Thanked 4 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Trying to find the courage to do a 170WB build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Graphite Dave View Post
Bruce. Saw that you are in the SF Bay Area.

Highly recommend that you visit. Having now done two conversions I have learned a few things that I am sure would be useful to you. You may see things and hear that you definitely do not want to do but then you will see and hear things that will help fill in the blanks.

I would also try to find someone else in the area to visit for the same reasons.
Dave,

Thank you for this kind offer. I will ABSOLUTELY take you up on this. Hopefully soon. Sonoma County is my old stomping ground.
Wirelessness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2018, 01:58 AM   #76
Graphite Dave
Dave Orton
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Occidental, Ca.
Posts: 7,529
Thanks: 1,240
Thanked 4,750 Times in 2,693 Posts
Default Re: Trying to find the courage to do a 170WB build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirelessness View Post
Dave,

Thank you for this kind offer. I will ABSOLUTELY take you up on this. Hopefully soon. Sonoma County is my old stomping ground.
Try to find someone else in the Bay Area to visit with as well. The more you see of different builds the clearer it will be with what you want. I also highly recommend going to the Sprinterfest West in Tualatin Oregon this year. When I was starting the first conversion, Sprinterfest was invaluable.
__________________
Sold 2008 diesel NCV3 144" WB high roof DIY conversion
2015 gas Ecoboost Transit 148" WB high roof conversion

Web Site: http://ortontransit.info

U-Tube Video: https://youtu.be/h5L6TZdy_y0
Graphite Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Graphite Dave For This Useful Post:
Wirelessness (04-24-2018)
Old 04-24-2018, 12:18 PM   #77
ThomD
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SF East Bay
Posts: 148
Thanks: 35
Thanked 50 Times in 45 Posts
Default Re: Trying to find the courage to do a 170WB build

Come out the East bay and you can see what a van full of potential looks like.
ThomD is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2018, 03:19 PM   #78
Wirelessness
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 31
Thanks: 40
Thanked 4 Times in 2 Posts
Default Re: Trying to find the courage to do a 170WB build

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThomD View Post
Come out the East bay and you can see what a van full of potential looks like.


Iím in the East Bay :)
Wirelessness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2018, 05:54 PM   #79
HarryN
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Posts: 2,458
Thanks: 567
Thanked 778 Times in 637 Posts
Default Re: Trying to find the courage to do a 170WB build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wirelessness View Post
Iím in the East Bay :)
I would enjoy seeing it as well.
__________________
Auxiliary Power for conversion vans

Instagram WirlNet

web store https://squareup.com/store/wirlnet-com
HarryN is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2018, 07:36 PM   #80
julie777
Julie
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Utah
Posts: 334
Thanks: 50
Thanked 191 Times in 114 Posts
Default Re: Trying to find the courage to do a 170WB build

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeRa View Post
One way to dramatically reduce energy requirement for cooling is to limit heat transfer through the roof. A common way is via insulation, painting roof with white or IR reflecting paint but another one is via a tropical roof. Tropical roof is a double roof with an air gap allowing free air flow in between. These roofs are still used in tropical climates. See the pictures.

A similar effect can be accomplished by fully populating a roof with solar panels. Ideally slightly larger than a roof to act as mini awnings.

https://www.google.com/search?safe=a....0.5xBdyHS2XG8
Since I haven't gotten to this part of my build, this is going to be partly speculation, but based on spending many years living in Texas and Florida I have hope that it will help reduce the heat gain.

My reasoning is:
Paint color on the roof, coatings and such don't matter all that much. (After looking at real studies.)
You can't really do a good job in a van with a radiant barrier. There is just too much metal connecting it all and it is a great conductor.
Thinsulate is easy and works great for winter heat. I did that. It will also help keep it cool if using air conditioning by reducing heat loss.
GD has the best solution to get rid of the heat from radiant heating - vent the roof and vent the floor and with minimal to no power use you can get the inside of the van close to the same temp as the outside shaded temp.

I plan to have 4 100 watt solar panels on the roof of my 170" which will cover a good amount of the roof area. I will also have the GD floor vent and max fans. Rear and CRL windows are dark tinted. I am thinking about 3M Crystalline Film on the windshield https://www.3m.com/3M/en_US/company-...2716668&rt=rud and wondering if anyone has tried it.

The only practical way to reduce radiant heat gain is to put the van in the shade.
In Texas I have seen many RVs permanently parked under large "carports" or tropical roofs that provide shade above them. High end class A motorhomes have awnings above windows, as do many of the homes in FL.
Solar panels above the roof can partially block the sun from the roof and help, but 4 panels don't even cover half the roof and the side of the van has more surface area than the roof (although off angle).

I am going to try and get the same effect with solar screen, like people use on patios and decks. They often have it roll down in the afternoon like a wall. I don't have a roof rack, but I am going to put a couple short posts in the track and then just attach one side of the screen to them and stretch it to the ground a few feet away from the van and stake it. When parked with the van sideways to the sun this should give me shade with airflow on that side. Plus the screen is see through to an extent. This shouldn't be hard to do from the ground. I am hoping that screen won't catch the wind like an awning does and that I can set it and forget it when parked. Or maybe not stake it, but just set some rocks on it so that if the wind does blow it loose there is nothing hard attached to it to do any damage.

I haven't decide about trying to screen the rest of the roof when parked. It may be a case of the last 20% of the job is 80% more work. If I do, then I will probably just take a piece of the same screen the size of the roof and put it on the post up off the roof at the same height as the solar panels. cut and edge around the solar panels and vents. If I do this I will also use some tent poles to extend it out from the roof track in front over the windshield like an awning. Making it isn't hard, but putting it up there and taking it down on a 4x4 without carrying a step ladder is the part I haven't figured out.

Screen isn't as effective as solid awning, but from my experience parking under trees vs. in the open it might make a huge difference. I am also looking for a solution that isn't expensive and lets me leave the van to go hiking and not worry about the wind picking up. I would welcome comments. (Sorry if I am hijacking your thread)
__________________
On wheels, and in the dirt - fun!
julie777 is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to julie777 For This Useful Post:
Wirelessness (04-24-2018)

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 10:00 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.