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Old 07-11-2018, 06:02 PM   #51
alexk243
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Default 245/75/16 BFGoodrich KO2

So my van came with 225/75/16 sized tires and they were at the end of their life. I really wanted to replace the tires with something that would give me a bit more off-road/trail ability, but not sacrifice MPG/highway noise. After doing a bunch of research about tire size (you can read these threads here, here, and here) I decided to go with 245/75/16 BFGoodrich A/T KO2s. I have had BFG A/Ts before and loved them and the KO2's newer design is much better also.

My concern was if going up a size would fit and although its close they do fit.


I did have to trim up the mudflap though and use zip-ties to hold it back as it had bent in over time.

Took it to a local shop to mount/balance (roughly $25 a tire):


I got the tires from Tirerack.com on sale. I would definitely recommend calling them over ordering online. The guy I spoke with was really helpful making sure I got the correct size/weight rating and also delayed the shipment so I could get a $60 promotion they were offering in a few days.



Tire are installed and look great! Really changes the look of the van and the highway noise isn't noticeably different. However, the MPG dropped, I believe that is due to inaccurate numbers before though... Once the tires were installed my speedometer was corrected (5 MPG difference at highway speed), which I am assuming will effect the MPG readings. I am installing a ScanGauge 2 to try and get a more accurate reading of the MPG.



Discussion about MPG/MPH differences are in this thread.
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:35 AM   #52
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Default Dodge Sprinter Interior SketchUp and Planning

Next step was designing the interior. As I have mentioned before I really recommend taking many trips before you design the interior. My plan changed so many times after I took trips in it. What I thought was important turned out not to be and things I though I could do without I ended up needing. A lot of my ideas came from previous RVs I have been in including a 2006 VW Rialta (Winnebago conversion) and a campervan rental I used in Costa Rica (Hyundai Starlex Conversion - costarider-campervan.com) which really helped out with the interior design. The guy who does this rental designed 11 of these vans and did such an amazing job with such a small space. Pictures of his design are here.

My goals for the interior build originally were as follows:
-Sleeps 2 permanently, 4 if needed
-Portable Toilet
-Plenty of cargo space
-12v Fridge

Things I added after doing trips:
-Interior shower
-Stove
-Sink
-Large drawer safe

Things I decided I didn't need after doing trips:
-Large inverter for AC current (no need for AC current)

I was going to have help building the interior so I had to get the design out of my head and onto paper (or computer). To do this I used SketchUp (free). In order to use SketchUp I watched countless hours of YouTube videos on how to use the software, which is needed as although its a easy to use software there are a lot of tips and tricks to it.

To Start I used this pre-made dodge sprinter van model that you can download and load into SketchUp. Using the dimensions that measured from my van I cut a cross section out of the pre-made model and made sure all the dimensions I took matched the model I was using. I left the floor plan out of the van for the time being and would eventually move the floor plan into the model.

After a bit of work this is the design I came up with in SketchUp:






Although my model is very simple it finally allowed me to share the design with the guy who was going to help me do the build. It was also very interesting to see what my design would look like in the van. I had to make adjustment as the van was much bigger in my head.

Things that are still in the design phase that I have not figured out is how to construct the folding bed and how to construct the interior shower.

For the interior shower I would like to change the back right corner of the floor into a shower style floor similar to this:


Where the wood is flush or close to flush with the rest of the floor, but drains to a holding tank underneath the van. For the rest of the shower it would just be a hose/shower head and shower curtains that would be hooked into the roof of the van. I am still trying to make this idea work and have not perfected the idea yet. Any ideas on the shower would be very helpful.

For the folding bed I am stuck between piano hinges and legs or running a support beam across. Still in the design phase though.
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Old 07-30-2018, 03:45 PM   #53
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Default Interior Build

Taking the plan I have above I was able to start work with the guy who was helping me with the build prior to my Pacific Northwest Trip. Although we didn't get it all the way done, it made the trip much more enjoyable having a sink, fridge, and lofted bed. I ended up installing a roll out drawer style trunk safe under my bench seat, which worked amazing. I really recommend it if you plan to leave the van for a while yet still travel with your computer, passports, cameras, etc...

(You can notice that the bench seat cracked on the trip... going to use thicker wood now)

The fridge is a Truck Fridge TF65 as recommended on this forum and I cant speak highly enough about this fridge. Performed great, very quiet and plenty of space.



I also was able to get my plumbing done somewhat... I got a 20 gallon fresh tank installed with the shurflo pump that allowed me to at least have running water and an outdoor shower. I used a retractable coil hose for the sink for the time being. Eventually I want to install a single (cold) faucet and a filtered drinking line to it. I also added an outdoor shower fitting that can accept the same hose.



Outdoor shower connection (located below hitch):
https://c2.staticflickr.com/2/1817/4...a5b1158a_b.jpg

The lofted bed uses piano hinges (2 hinges) and wood crossbeams for the time being. I am looking for better ideas on it to make it easier to put up and down as I eventually want to make an indoor shower underneath the bed (also looking for ideas on how to do that).




SIDE NOTE: That long hose will be connected to a thru-wall fitting, I just haven't bought one yet. For the time being I just used that long 1.5" hose to fill the tank.

Here are some more pictures of where I am at in the build (how it was used for my pacific northwest trip).





Bed in folded position:


Bed in down position with the pup on it, she loved that spot for the ride. You can also see my my temporary faucet/hose in this pic:


The rear speakers I installed are Alpine Type S 6x9's to match the 4" ones I installed up front and they sound great. My van was already wired for rear speakers though due to it being a passenger van.

Here are some pictures from my Pacific Northwest trip also:

Icefields Parkway - Banff National Forest AB Canada


Lighthouse near Newport, OR


Made it to the coast (Oregon):


Camping site near Whistler BC Canada:


Mirror of bugs after all the driving:


Oh and can't forget this breakdown in the Olympic National Forest. Used solar power to keep the voltage up till I could drive a few hours to get a new alternator and install it in the parking lot.
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Old 07-30-2018, 09:53 PM   #54
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Default Re: 2004 T1N Mountain Bike Van Build

Fun trip. Your build is looking pretty good. For shower ideas, Msnomer posted a thread with a great quick setup indoor shower. Might be worth a look.
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Old 08-26-2018, 12:41 AM   #55
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Default Re: 2004 T1N Mountain Bike Van Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwestdrifter View Post
Fun trip. Your build is looking pretty good. For shower ideas, Msnomer posted a thread with a great quick setup indoor shower. Might be worth a look.
I have considered a removable shower pan similar to his idea, but would really like to get a built in one to double as a storage area for wet/dirty clothing and equipment. Maybe for the time being Ill use a temporary shower pan. Since I have a fresh water and soon will be installing a gray water tank I don't know if it would be much of a stretch to install a shower inside.

Next concern is heating the fresh tank to a comfortable level to avoid mixing water. Been debating a few different ideas from black rooftop tubes to heating coils in the tank.
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Old 09-06-2018, 02:50 AM   #56
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Default Re: 2004 T1N Mountain Bike Van Build

Update on the plumbing. The rear outdoor shower has worked great for showering after mountain biking or just rinsing off the bikes. I am glad I placed the connector underneath the rear bumper instead of those built in outdoor showers (like these) because its located at the rear of the vehicle, which seems to work better for discrete swim suit showers after biking or jetsking.

For the hose I just used a coil garden hose with a garden nozzle on it. This limits the water consumption over a shower nozzle as you have to hold it on and allows for both shower and stream (to clean bikes or whatever). I also used a garden hose quick release fitting that shuts off the water supply automatically when disconnected.

Coil Garden Hose: https://amzn.to/2NRCHGn
Spray Nozzle: https://amzn.to/2LZeegt

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