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Old 02-08-2020, 08:22 PM   #1
Btdoane
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Durham, Maine
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Default Love Shack

Hi All,
Long time stalker, first time poster. Many thanks to all who contribute the excellent info and ideas to this forum. About a year ago I began converting my 2016 170 high top cargo van. We converted a Ford E-250 about 5 years prior (Love Shack 1.0) and while we had some great adventures, it was time to step up our game. The original LS had a convertible futon frame and we tired of converting it morning and night. With this first build we learned that, along with the bed, there were a few other items that would make LS2.0 easier to live in long term.

The main features of the new build would be:
aluminum uni-strut framing with 1/2” birch plywood for all cabinets
Roof A/C unit (we travel with dogs)
Roof exhaust fan above the bed (great for white noise and air flow)
Flarespace fiberglass bump-outs so we could sleep parallel to the axles ( I am 6’1” and just barely fit)
elevated bed with ample storage underneath (mountain bikes, guitar, etc)
Thinsulate insulation throughout with minicell under the stock cargo van floor
Vitrifrigo compressor fridge with remote compressor
lithium battery, battery-battery charger, shore power, solar panel(s)
10gal fresh water tank with foot pump for faucet, elec pump for exterior water and rear shower
Porta-potty primarily for the middle of the night.
Versa-haul motorcycle carrier (I choose between a couple lightweight Yamaha bikes, RD400 and FZ09)
Clam screen house which can be accessed from inside the van (rear doors can’t open if motorcycle is on the hauler) and we almost always set up the clam.

We began the build in January 2019 and had a hard deadline of May 19 as I work as an engineer and had a long term project at a hydro-electric dam in Missouri. I needed to be on the jobsite the day after memorial day. My wife had recently retired and was doing some consulting that she would be able to do from the road, so we planned to pack up and go to Missouri for at least 3 months. This would be a great test of the functionality of the new van design. Happy to report that it functioned very well in 120 or so nights that we slept in the van between May and October.

We bought the van in July of 2018, and the design work began. I spent about 6 months designing the van and about 5 months building it. The only item I outsourced was the flarespace bumpout install. A local body shop painted and installed them while I was away at our daughters wedding in January. This was the kickoff of the build! We left for Missouri on May 19 although there were still some items that were not 100% complete… oh, there are a few items that are still not complete, but it is functional!

Here are a few pics of the build and one pic of the original Love Shack 1.0.
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File Type: jpg Photo May 21, 12 13 40 PM.jpg (139.8 KB, 185 views)
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File Type: jpg Photo Jun 02, 10 09 59 PM.jpg (64.8 KB, 186 views)
File Type: jpg Photo Jun 29, 8 59 52 AM (1).jpg (161.7 KB, 185 views)
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Old 02-08-2020, 08:27 PM   #2
Btdoane
 
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Default Re: Love Shack

As you may have noticed, we are music fans... and the Vitrifrigo fridge was very much susceptible to finger prints, so we had a vinyl graphic printed for the door. I love it! Tedeschi Trucks is my favorite band and this silhouette seemed perfect!
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Old 02-10-2020, 08:48 AM   #3
sprint2freedom
2008 NCV3 170ext
 
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Default Re: Love Shack

Very nice

What kind of hinges are those on the doors for your overheads?
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Old 02-10-2020, 02:59 PM   #4
Midwestdrifter
 
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Default Re: Love Shack

They look like southco prevailing torque hinges.

I like the look. Whats your loaded weight like?
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:49 AM   #5
daws314
 
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Default Re: Love Shack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Btdoane View Post
aluminum uni-strut framing with 1/2” birch plywood for all cabinets
I love Aluminium Unistrut, it forms the basis for my (slow progress) build, it's very under-utilised in a lot of builds but it's so useful.
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Old 02-17-2020, 02:46 AM   #6
Btdoane
 
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Default Re: Love Shack

yes they are the southco hinges. Fully loaded weight including the motorcycle, wife, 2 dogs, mountain bike and all that goes with these items was 8300lbs
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:09 AM   #7
hein
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Default Re: Love Shack

Wonderful build. Thanks for turning Kim and I on to Tedeschi Trucks.

All the best,
Hein
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