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Old 02-04-2018, 08:58 PM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 81
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Default 2017 4x4 Build Out - Grey Escape

We purchased a new 2017 2500 Crew Van 144 4x4 in July of last year after I wore my wife down with incessant van talk. Originally I planned to buy a used 2WD, but my wife insisted we needed a 4x4 vehicle! She is a keeper. This pretty much required us to get a new vehicle. Luckily a local dealer had a nice selection of 4x4 cargo and crew vehicles to choose from. Since purchasing I have been wrapping up a list of house projects required to be completed by my wife before van works starts. The first day of van progress commenced yesterday on 2/3/18. I expect progress will be slow with the full build out taking at least a year.

First off, I want to thank all of those that have taken the time to document their builds, provide tips, etc. I plan to do the same. I won't repeat information that is readily available, but I will provide useful links. I will add useful information I pick up along the way. I will also try to do some interesting things utilizing a range of fabrication methods I have available to me. In particular the use of 3D printing, laser cutting, CNC routing along with the usual woodworking and metalworking techniques. I plan to model everything up in CAD to help with layout and design details.

Here is the requisite vehicle feature list:

Paint/Upholstery & Trim
759 - Graphite Grey Metallic
VU9 - Leatherette black

Optional Equipment & Value Added Packages
AR2 Axle ratio 3.92
CL3 Leather steering wheel
D03 Roof - high
D13 Roof rails
H15 Heated co-driver seat (a must for the wife)
H16 Heated driver seat
LB9 Illuminated exits
T85 Assist handle – left rear door
T85 Assist handle – right rear door
ZG4 Downhill speed regulation for 4x4
C01 Driver comfort package
C02 Driver efficiency package
C03 Active safety plus package
C05 Premium appearance package
X22 Trailer hitch package
X27 Additional battery package
X30 Low & high range 4x4 package

Other Relevant Details:
Auxillary diesel fuel tap
Upfitter electrical connection under driver's seat

My build plan is pretty similar to many others. Here are the general requirements and plan:

Sleep up to two adults and two teenage boys
Provide maximum flexibility for hauling gear (mainly surfboards, kiteboards, and skis) - i.e. lots of track
Electrical system with battery storage and shore power - possibly solar panels in future
Clean water system with sink and a heater
Gray water system
Rear shower extension for external use
Diesel heater
Two vent fans
Portable toilet
3 panel bed
Refridgerator and microwave
LED lighting throughout
Cook top will be stand alone LP unit for internal or external use
Table between front and bench seat
Swivel seats up front

I am currently trying to decide whether or not to keep the included headliner. I am leaning towards no based on feedback on the forum. The first project was to remove the trim panels and seal the clips. While I have them off I intend to spray them with a black 3-part urethane. That is up next. I also plan to do the front and rear bumpers along with the area below the trim, if the trim coating goes well. I will discuss more about the material I plan to use and questions I have in my next post.

Last edited by ChadBuilds; 02-05-2018 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Photo posting fun
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