Building my Adventure Van (2011 NCV3)


I ended up squirting six gallons of dip on the van... wish i would have had ten! Seems to me the thicker the dip the more durable it would be... all the time spent prepping.. would have been nice to have a few more gallons to squirt! I plan to run it this way for the winter then maybe re-coat over the top in the spring...My van had a good amount of surface rust... on the bad spots i took a random orbital sander to smooth the surface.. but the majority of the van i washed and then gave a good scrub with Xylene.

I have had a few small rock chips on the hood. I have been playing with methods of re-liquefying the dip then top coating with more dip out of a rattle can.. works pretty well.. but getting mild sheen differential from the rattle can than the HVLP.

..those are BFG Mud Terrains...

Doug M.

New member
Excellent job on surface coating transformation! And now I see cobyreid's also? Just had a flashback of my olive drab colored underwear from Vietnam!! It's still etched into my memory. Came back from Vietnam back to my white underwear. Huh?? Just like the color of my Sprinter currently. But now I'm a few years older and I have gravitated to colored underwear. Wonder what color my Sprinter will be before I'm done with this buildout? Thanks for the inspiration.


New member
Nice photo work Mr. GEEK


I just noticed: This thread has had --so far-- over 333 thousand views. It must be a record!!!!


2012 Sprinter 3500 Ext
The funny thing is I duplicate this thread on a motorcycle forum and on that forum it has 750K views :)


Just confirms there are a lot more folks riding motorcycles than driving Sprinters.

- - Mike
2013 Airstream Interstate on 2012 Sprinter 3500 tall & long


New member
Weird to see someone driving my van... Even if it is only 50 feet.

$1079 for new spring/summer/fall tires - ouch.

I wonder if I'm the only person who has his summer tires studded? :bounce



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Nu Shooz.

(excuse to play with the camera :bounce: )

My theory on why these are my "summer tires" but they are studded: :thinking:

These are my summer wheels and the tires I wanted to try next for Summer and the silly places we take the van.
That means they are also my Spring and Fall tires.

So by studding these, when we get snow up here at 8000 feet (a month earlier and later than down below) I'm hoping these tires will still suffice for a month or so until it starts to get cold down in the front range (where I do 80% of my driving.. but I have to get there first...)

Then, when it is cold enough down below, I'll switch to my full winter tires (i.e. super soft rubber). I'm thinking that without studding these I'd have to go to my winter tires earlier, which means they'd be burned up much quicker driving down low where the temp is too warm (the winter rubber wants sub 45 degree temps).

The studs are cheap ($15) and you can only stud a tire when it is new so Voila! My summer tires are studded :rad:

Luckily here in Colorado we are allowed to run studs year round.

In reality, all of this is fruitless because I'm never getting up my driveway once the snow flies :cry:


p..s. The winter tire will be a Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT2 (also studded). I haven't purchased them yet as I'm going to hold off and see just how good (or bad) these tires turn out to be :popcorn:


New member
Nu Shooz.

Luckily here in Colorado we are allowed to run studs year round.

p..s. The winter tire will be a Nokian Hakkapeliitta LT2 (also studded). I haven't purchased them yet as I'm going to hold off and see just how good (or bad) these tires turn out to be :popcorn:
A-ha! That's why you can run studs all year. :clapping:

I run studded Hakkas on all four. I'm going to try running lower pressures this year. The traction of the Sprinter in frozen conditions isn't great, I have found.

Your Goodyears look great. How is the road noise from them?


Out for a spin in the neighborhood this morning I stopped and snapped a couple of photos:

Thanks so much for posting. I was nervous about the plastidip due to seeing so many "chalky", flat looking jobs in photos of other cars. Yours looks very smooth and more satin than I expected. Let us know how the repairs look after the inevitable rock chips. I assume you purchased a few rattle cans of the camo color..


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I have always felt that B & W photography was more dramatic than color. Your photos reinforce this for me.


New member
57,000 miles. Exhaust Fluid heater failure.

Apparently there has been a design improvement - they've seen many failures. They are putting the new design in now.

They gave me this to play with for a few days

The adaptive headlights are INCREDIBLE. I had a hoot running down the canyon in the dark this morning.


Super cool and very awesome, dude!

Whoa mama!!! :drool:

Just catching up on this thread now... did not expect to come back and see your entire van dipped!! Well done! So so much prep, but it looks amazing. :D:

I saw a bit of discussion about rust, I just want to make sure I understand this correctly - you didn't do any kind of rust removal work so far, it was just paint prep for the Plastidip? So basically just cleaning, including cleaning the rust spots? And do I understand right that they won't be able to rust further if more water & oxygen can't get to the rust spot?

Just wanted to get that whole concept right in my head, because I had always thought that rust would keep going (albeit slower) even if you touch it up? I had a few sections on mine where the polyurethane sealant in the panel joints on the outside had hardened up and let water in, started rusting out the joints (I was also told that the sealant is acidic or something and actually eats into the paint as well, so that's not much of a help...) so there were entire sections I sanded right back, treated the rust and primed, resprayed decent size areas of the exterior as well as the entire floor!

If Plastidip will help to stop rust spots in their tracks then I will have to seriously consider it... having a giant green van would probably be a better advert for my business than the signage I have now as well. I got a quote for a full respray and it would be $7K (AUD)!

Also do you plan on dipping the roof later on? Or is there a particular reason you want to leave it? Wondering about that because my roof is getting to be fairly well oxidised, and some rust spots showing up along with cracking, peeling paint. I suspect that some bat droppings (or rather bat "slop"!) might have been sitting on the roof for a while. It doesn't look so bad after I was, polish and wax it, but if I can just dip it and stop worrying so much then it will be worth the effort...

I know you haven't had the dip completed for all that long, but have you encountered any bug splatter or bird poo yet? People say that it just washes off if you get it right away, but others say that if you leave it for even a little bit it will just eat through the dip? Interested to hear your experience with this because that is probably the one thing that makes me wary of it.

Sorry for the long post, thanks for any info! :thumbup:

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