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Old 10-04-2009, 05:45 AM   #1
Hikinginpdx
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Default Our rolling toy box and pony hauler DIY converstion

We have gotten an amazing amount of tips and ideas from the forum and are now begining our conversion process.

Starting out we grabbed up a new '08 170" tall cargo unit for what I'm going to think of as an amazing deal. Nicely equiped cab area and a rear step, nothing else. We got to ride the train up to get it and the dealer was awesome, even picked us up at the station.

So far we have replaced the head unit, installed a backup cam, received the fantastic fans, and ordered the new windows.

After a false start with a wan-to-be disappearing welder, we may have found a potential solid welder that is ready to get to work on the steel work. In parallel the aux battery will be placed and put on-line.

As to where we want to end up, I'm including the specs for our vision and a few of the rough drawings. Much of the spec includes expectations to subs that may be hiried to do various parts. i.e. bus and break box present if I hire out the battery system, then we will finish out from that point.

Feedback is always welcome and our plan is to chronical the progress with pics as we go.



Van Requirements

Electrical:
1) AGM Battery: Min 200AH - Prefer 300AH -Ideal 400 AH
2) Battery monitoring capabilities must be present including percent of potential remaining. Gage should be viewable from the bed area.
3) All customary fusing on main battery feed lines
4) Battery overcharge protection will be provided. Any charging will be by a 3 stage device.
5) TBD Battery cutoffs switches?
6) Battery placement options – dependent on battery availability and price. (current option is I install myself an interior mounted 4D 12V 200AH ( L= 19.5 , W = 8 5/16, H= 9 7/8 top of post) Optionally stacked with a second 4D. This would require a secure steel rack which would be mounted underneath the bed allowing for removal of either battery for service as well as access to wiring. Batteries will be secured to rack and more than sheet metal. The battery weight is approx 150# each and must remain stationary should an accident occur.
i) Undercarriage –
ii) Interior – mounted directly in front of the passenger rear wheel well. (if this option is selected converter / inverter could be mounted forward of the battery bank towards the slider or over the rear passenger wheel well. Rear wheel well will be covered with sound deadening materials.
7) External audio amp will be mounted under passenger seat. Power to be supplied by aux batteries only
8) Head unit will be normally powered by main van battery allowing for switched power through the van ignition. When stopped, a manual switch will be available on the dash allowing for the head to be optionally powered directly by the aux battery. Head memory power will always be connected to van cranking battery.
9) 12V fused bus will be present
10) All interior lighting will be 12V LED. A subset of the cargo area lighting must be controllable from the driver’s position.
11) Cargo garage external entrance will provide switchable lighting to the cargo area
12) Some portion of center section lighting must be controllable from the slider area without having to enter the van.
13) 120V must be provided for TV, computer and camera battery recharging from the aux battery. Requires Pure sine wave inverter. Estimate of 600W for TV and charging else 1000 - 1500W if personal items also connected. Future expansion may include a 120V point of use water heater.
14) Limited 120V should be available for personal care appliances.
15) 120V breaker box with minimum (3) circuits provided
16) External 120V will be available from the exterior rear of the van in a completely hidden way. Potentially underbody all weather cover. Usage includes field use of photography studio lighting and limited power tool operation.
17) Optionally, shore power connection may be available to support a 2000W external generator which would be stored in the van garage area. This connection should support battery recharge and direct power of significant appliances such as air conditioning or microwave. The shore power connection must not be visible from outside the van and the van must be able to be fully closed and secured while shore powered. Potential solution is an all weather underbody connection.
18) Future addition of a solar panel for battery charging should be allowed for with wiring prior to interior placement.


Bed:
1. Queen sized Tempur-Pedic mattress resting on ¾” plywood
2. Frame must be able to move forward and back. Planned to slide on rail passenger side
3. Ideally lowest frame point allows for 2 plastic storage tubs to be stacked below
4. Frame must be stable and not deflect in forward / rear directions when weighted in moving
5. Frame must be secured so that it cannot move forward in case of an accident.
6. Bed sliding should be possible with minor hand tools and accomplished in 10 minutes.
7. Ideally powder coated , including rail
8. Any supporting legs must allow for a 4x8 sheet to be stowed underneath without removing bed
9. Front face of legs must be recessed from front of bed a couple of inches. This will allow heels not to impact whatever facing maybe applied to dress under bed storage.

Ventilation:
Fantastic fans front and rear. 3 speed reversible, power opening, with rain sensor
Slider door and forward driver side windows will be added. CRL factory look glass with bottom vents

Water:
Currently no allowance for mounted water is being made. In the future a standalone kitchen module may be added which will mount within the rear area of the slider step (cabinet bottom formed to fit step and floor heights). This unit would measure no more than 2.5” in width and be able to stay in position with the slider closed.
If a kitchen module is added included it would contain:
1) Self contained water and waste water tanks
2) Fresh water pump
3) Point of use electric heater

Cooking:
1) Single burner portable butane stove, stowable
2) Charcoal portable grill, stored in air tight container beneath bed or in garage
3) Coleman type portable, gas bottles

Headboard:
1. Must be bolted on attachment to headboard. Must stay in place with bed in case of accident
2. Must move with bed when bed is repositioned
3. Ideally powder coated
4. Ideally only requires (1) person to place or remove. Maybe a mounting shelf behind bed that headboard rests on when not bolted
5. Back side (toward rear cargo area), may be used for hanging storage, therefore frame should be strong enough to hold 100# of future mounted cargo
6. Height should all 6”+ of clearance with inside finished ceiling
7. Headboard will not be lower than the bottom of the bed frame.
8. Headboard must clear cabinets on both sides when bed repositioned.

Cabinets
(All):
1. Wood veneer applied over metal frame
2. Painted with rust resistant material
3. Should be removable with hand tools such as a socket set
4. 1/8” steel mounting plates securely attached to the van body frame. Wood furring strips (1/8” Mahogany) will be attached to van body frame to provide an even mounting surface. 1/8” Mahogany paneling (covered with material or carpet good) will be applied over the first layer. Cabinets will mount over wall coverings with screws or bolts.

Overhead cabinets:

1) Soft end on cabinet just behind driver seat and overhead just to the rear of the slider.
2) Cabinet behind driver seat will start at the seam of the cargo area just behind the 1st cargo window.
3) Passenger side overhead will mirror the rear edge of the floor to ceiling cabinet edge. The forward edge of the passenger side overhead will allow for a soft edge so that people entering through the slider will not impact their head. Possible solution is that the front face of the cabinet ends before the back allowing for a rounded outer corner when veneered.

Driver side forward cabinet: Future addition
1) Mounting plate below the forward window only.

Full height cabinet:
1) Profile should follow the line of the van. i.e. bend at the waist point of the van body. This point will be just above the bed height.
2) Cabinet doors will be hinged toward the rear of the van, allowing access from the front.
3) Rear ¼ of cabinet will allow for hanging clothing. This section will go down to the top of the rear wheel well.
4) Mid section of cabinet will allow for variable storage either by door, shelf , or drawer. Lowest section will allow for placement of a future diesel air heater. This heater will draft room air from the top of the van through this cabinet and expel heated air forward of the bed position at floor level.
5) Forward section of cabinet will allow for a flat panel display to be mounted and stored. Viewing should be adjustable for the bed or front seating positions.
6) Cabinet structure should allow for additional veneer attachment points forward of the hanging clothes section and behind the tv storage area. A Steel mounting plate must be present behind the TV mounting position. A horizontal member should be present to allow veneer attachment near the bed height. Cabinet facing below the bed is optional; however, it is expected that the diesel heater will require significant sound deadening around.
7) Width of cabinet will be dictated by the final finished bed frame size. When finished there will be enough room on either side of the bed for sheeting of the bed and a personal comfort space. TBD: what personal space dimension is.

Cargo Garage:
1) Steel mounting plates will be placed high on van sides for attachment of bikes. Bikes will be attached using over-the-counter mounts which will attach to the forks. Front wheels will be stored elsewhere.
2) Steel mounting plate waist high on both sides.

Floor:
a) Non- skid surface
b) Easy to clean
c) Scratch resistant
d) Will not be damage if wet
e) Friendly to bare feet

Misc:
Swivel mounts under both front seats.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg web_floorplan.jpg (36.3 KB, 4821 views)
File Type: jpg web_driversWall.jpg (39.4 KB, 4635 views)
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: Our rolling toy box and pony hauler DIY converstion

pretty through plan,will you be sound proofing and insulating it.
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Old 10-14-2009, 05:40 AM   #3
Hikinginpdx
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Default Re: Our rolling toy box and pony hauler DIY converstion

Even with writing it all this out, I've come up with items I left off the requirements.

As for sound proofing, the flooring material I ordered today will really cut down on the road noise and provide great thermal protection also. We are going with ½ natural rubber engineered flooring, Same sort of material you find in commercial gyms. Turns out there is a manufacturing site within driving distance and they are being great to work with. As for the walls and ceiling, I’m still researching options. The wall and roof panels already have pretty good damping ( for low frequency) already. Wheel wells are lacking and will be dealt with.

The wall and roof materials need to not retain water, this actually rules many materials out. Cold is not our friend’ therefore we are looking for the highest R-value we can get. Potentially, we may got with one of the paint on sound deadening / insulation materials. Foam insulation for the areas which are hard to access, and closed cell or other material for the open wall space.

I had originally planned to build a full size mockup of the general plan, but decided to skip this step. After visiting with a member of this site over the weekend and walking through his mockup, I’ve seen the value in this. Although the basic plan worked well after we did our full size mockup, several issues did come up which would have been difficult to correct after the welding was complete.
I’m hoping to get the floor in this weekend and will post pictures as the progress continues.

Keith
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:30 AM   #4
Hit The Road Jack
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Default Re: Our rolling toy box and pony hauler DIY converstion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hikinginpdx View Post
Even with writing it all this out, I've come up with items I left off the requirements.

As for sound proofing, the flooring material I ordered today will really cut down on the road noise and provide great thermal protection also. We are going with ½ natural rubber engineered flooring, Same sort of material you find in commercial gyms. Turns out there is a manufacturing site within driving distance and they are being great to work with. As for the walls and ceiling, I’m still researching options. The wall and roof panels already have pretty good damping ( for low frequency) already. Wheel wells are lacking and will be dealt with.

The wall and roof materials need to not retain water, this actually rules many materials out. Cold is not our friend’ therefore we are looking for the highest R-value we can get. Potentially, we may got with one of the paint on sound deadening / insulation materials. Foam insulation for the areas which are hard to access, and closed cell or other material for the open wall space.
Keith
Hi Keith!

May I suggest insulating similar to this long/tall 2008 I completed last year...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg X-Ray Van Insulation 002.JPG (154.4 KB, 4616 views)
File Type: jpg Dr. Kissins Van Interior 005.JPG (123.9 KB, 4588 views)
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Old 10-15-2009, 03:05 PM   #5
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Default Re: Our rolling toy box and pony hauler DIY converstion

keith,

hi there. I am in portland too. i just got a 170 2008 cargo sprinter. I am planning a conversion and was wandering what/where flooring material you are using? where is the distributor?

thanks

Ben
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Old 10-15-2009, 05:55 PM   #6
Hikinginpdx
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Default Re: Our rolling toy box and pony hauler DIY converstion

Ben,

The RB Rubber plant is down in McMinnville, I'm heading down during lunch to pick the mats up in will call. That drive is going to save me over $170 in shipping.

The sales office is in Eugene, check them out at ncnwest.com. They quoted me a price that was about half what other online sites wanted for single piece and a bit less than large (like 50 - 100+ piece ) volumn orders.

Gordon is the guy I spoke with at New Century, nice guy and really understood what I was using them for. I was going to go with the 3/8" rolled but he pointed out why that was a bad choice for this application.

I should be getting the floor cut and laid this weekend, I post details on that soon.

If your interested, we can get togther and compare notes. I've been able to do that with a few folks for here and its been enlightening.

Keith
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Old 10-18-2009, 08:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: Our rolling toy box and pony hauler DIY converstion

I went down to the plant Thursday to pick up the floor. Nice to see the durability in action. Forklifts and freight trucks driving over over this stuff in the rain. Didn't phase it in the least. It was a pleasure watching a, rather impressed with the Sprinter cargo ability, forklift operator load 288#s of pallet in seconds. Moments later I'm back on the road to work.

Floor pickup-1.jpg

It took about 4 hours to cut and place the mats. A few nice benifits are that it blends well with the slightly raised cockpit floor.


Floor edge-1.jpg

After final triming this morning, I went out for the final step, the Belle road test. I got 2 paws up! As Lise ran across it in her socks she giggled, I got wins all around.

Belle on Floor-1.jpg

Overall I'm extreamly pleased, the sound deading is amazing, Belle loves the traction and comfort. The floor can be removed in just a few minutes and I'm back to a cargo floor with all the original tie downs. This material matched all of the requirements I had. Only drawback is a very light rubber smell which I am told will diminish quickly.

I'm gonna take my second done stamp for the project and look towards the next phase. Installing the inverter and combiner I picked up Friday


Keith
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Old 10-22-2009, 07:06 PM   #8
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Default Re: Our rolling toy box and pony hauler DIY converstion

looks good man!

what was the turnaround time from ordering to pick up? how is priced, by the square foot? price?

I will be back in pdx nov 1st. lets catch up in early november. are you in town?
cheers

ben
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Old 10-22-2009, 08:56 PM   #9
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Default Re: Our rolling toy box and pony hauler DIY converstion

Ben,

It is avalible the next day and I paid $160 for (4) 4x6. That left me enough scrape for a 2' x 6' entrance mat. Only change I am going to have to make is to put get longer screws for the trim piece that currently comes factory between the cab and cargo area. I'm getting a slight amount of drift when I stop, moving the trim peice up one level with resolve that.

I just Dyanmated the cab floor and rear wheel wells. Going back to work and I'll see how it does on the freeway.

When you get back, give me a shout.

Later

Keith
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Old 10-23-2009, 03:11 AM   #10
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Default Re: Our rolling toy box and pony hauler DIY converstion

Your flooring looks very nice!

That should definitely absorb sound and probably very comfortable to walk on.
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