Layout plan.

d_bertko

New member
I'll be curious to hear the 80/20 cost estimates for your project.

I have a design for a couple of 30x80 beds that fold up to chairs and ottomans. My first try at pricing up the 80/20 had material costs of over $1000. Each.

An alternative method using 1.5" sq Al tubing came out at around $250. For both.

The 80/20 is attractive in its quarter rounds and long list of connectors but likely overkill for light duty things like overhead racks.

If I get into the adult voke ed welding course this fall I'll see if I can get the hang of a TIG welder.

Then I'll be dangerous.

Dan
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
My total cost for all the 80/20 used in my conversion was about $1500.00. The trick is to make your own connectors out of aluminum angle and flatbar and buy any fasteners somewhere else. It is not cheap but worth it for the time savings. Whenever you need to attach someting there seems to be a location available on the 80/20.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
I priced 2 five footers about 12" by 12" overhead cabinets with 3 openings each with 80/20 sliders for sliding doors. The are fundamental reasons why I got excited about 80/20:
- I have tools and skills to do it.
- It is reasonably light weight - one 5' overhead cabinet without filling panels is about 26 lbs.
- It is vibration resistance (during tightening the extrusion walls act as springs).
- Filler panels don't carry any load so they could be super light weight.
- Filler panels or doors could be prefinished wood or plastic.
- Modification is easy.
- Shelves, doors, hooks etc are easy to attach.

A the most important is that I am not very good in fine woodworking, did not really tried and the learning curve would much steeper than learning how to use 80/20.

George.
 

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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Check math on cost of extrusions. Sub total for each looks way too low.

Will 80/20 sliders rattle?

FYI the 3" high railings I used with baskets works very well. I would certainly do it the same way again.

Are you located in Northern Ca.?
 
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GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR

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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
FYI I only have two long horizontal members. One on outside at top and one outside at the bottom. Do not have a horizontal member on the wall. If you are interested I can send you an Autocad drawing of what I have if you send me your email address.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
My plan is to get a passenger van so the overhead cabinet frame will be attached via liner to the ribs. I could eliminate one long extrusion but because of difficulties of attaching it through the liner I think the 3 long extrusions would help. I am sending you my e-mail address and appreciate your offer on the CAD file.

George.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
....
Will 80/20 sliders rattle?.....
I don't know yet. Fixed 1/3 panels like yours could be permanently attached and rattle eliminated. I could do light weight doors with spring hinges. 80/20 Co. sells sealing gaskets for fixed panels but they will not work for sliders. I was looking at bamboo 3 ply 1/4" plywood and with 0.025" clearance and some panel's bow the rattling could be eliminated. This is the type of decision I could push down the road. I have seen Airstream with plastic sliding doors but I don't know how they prevent rattling if they did. You have a good point.

George.
 

d_bertko

New member
Doesn't sound too bad for the 80/20 costs.

Here's an atv ramp approach like mine. I cheat since I have L-track above the window line and also in the ceiling at the front edge. So verticals are two simple perforated steel strips.

http://www.tractorsupply.com/vehicle-ramps/reese-reg-farm-ranch-single-tri-fold-aluminum-ramp-45-in-w-x-69-in-l-1035113

This trifold gives you 3 15x69 "shelves" for $99 + shipping. All of these "laddered" ramps can be shortened to the nearest ladder for neatness or just shortened and capped.

My bifold ramps have useful 1/2" lips and weigh 12.5 lbs. Maybe 13.5 lbs with vertical strips and L-track connectors. 15"x72"x1.25" each ramp. Rated for 650lbs each section.

Admittedly simple. Lots of weight/strength optimization and lots of robot TIG welding. Since my laddered 1.25" box beams are rated at 650 lbs it suggests that the smallest, lightest 80/20 would be plenty strong for the less than 100 lb loads you might store.

Or even skip the 80/20 and bend some 1.5" metal strips by 90 degrees at the front lower lip and just hang a 1/4" ply floor. Add a front Al angle if you want the metal look. Could be 3 lbs of metal and be quite adequate.

I did not feel the need to add floors, sides or doors. I find the minimalist open look makes the van brighter, airier and feel less claustrophobic. Certainly not for everyone.

I hang paddles and the like to the underside one of my shelves. I even store a section of my bed ramp by its slip pin, folded neatly back to the underside.

My awning crank and a real broom store from the ends. Some of my kit duffels are more than 3' long and sometimes go up there. Mostly clothing and bed pillows except for the three perforated plastic bins over the kitchen. It is a lot easier to take a breakfast bin out to the picnic table or to the counter space than to pull individual items from drawers or shelves. Particularly before I've had my first cup of coffee. Moral here is minimal verticals gives more storage choice. Your option if you need to hide what's up there with doors or curtains.

I mocked up the inside of my van for hours and hours before I built it.

My overhead shelves are 12' long on the driver side and 6' long on the passenger side. The passenger side does not run all the way to the rear door to not interfere with using that door. No qualms about running the driver's side shelf all the way back since opening both back doors gives such wide access.

My shelves are 15.25 wide at the bottom edge. (1/4" added to attach the 15" ramp to L-track). The inside height is 10.25". Outside height at the front edge is 11.5". Since I'm tall this width should work for nearly everybody. The height is a different matter. While it is important that anyone sitting under the shelf have enough clearance in my case it was useful to be able store a bicycle under there above the wheelwell shelves. This worked well--I do not store bikes there often but sufficient human clearance is psychologically good---better to not go with minimums.

I am probably a good stand in for dimensions needed up to the tallest 4% of Americans. (My wife is 14" shorter and many of our work heights apply to much of the population.)

Hope these data points are useful.

Dan
 

d_bertko

New member
My plan is to get a passenger van ...
George.
George,

Interesting. Some of us feel that passenger vans make great limo/tour buses because they are comfortable on the road with the engine running.

As a camper they have the drawbacks of too much unvented glass area. Too hot and too cold in camp from that, not to mention the lack of sound deadening and thermal insulation. Some folks end up blocking up a couple of windows in order to get more useful wall space for storage.

Obviously some tradeoffs. I think fastening through the liner is not the best way to attach.

It is pretty easy to panel the sides and ceiling compared to the rest of the conversion tasks. My ply supplier had a giant saw table so I paid them a nominal charge to cut the 20 panels to my specs. (Other folks might have fewer panels without so much flanged L-track.)

Dan
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
George,
Interesting. Some of us feel that passenger vans make great limo/tour buses because they are comfortable on the road with the engine running.
As a camper they have the drawbacks of too much unvented glass area. Too hot and too cold in camp from that, not to mention the lack of sound deadening and thermal insulation. Some folks end up blocking up a couple of windows in order to get more useful wall space for storage.
Obviously some tradeoffs. Dan
Our 2 VW Westfalias had windows all around and we liked it a lot. My wife and I like full visibility during driving or camping. In our design all cabinets will be either countertop height or overhead, and yes, we will sacrifice storage but with our 2-3 nights camping pattern we should be OK.
Regarding ventilation my plan is to the replace middle and the rear left and the sliding door windows with openable and screened CLR ones for about $1,500. http://www.trucknvans.com/SearchResults.asp?Search=CRL+FW625R&Submit=Search

Fantastic or Maxxair fan will assure a reasonable air flow. For cold night or hot days I can cover windows with Reflectix or Camco brand SunShield Reflective Window covers.
I think fastening through the liner is not the best way to attach. Dan
I would say it is not the easiest way to attach overhead cabinets. My plan is to remove the headliner; I hope it comes in sections. Mount mounting brackets, most likely fiberglass, reinstall the liner with cut-outs for mounts and mount overhead cabinets. If the headliner comes in one piece then reinstallation could be a challenging job. Folks from Van Specialties said that they did mount overhead cabinets over the headliner and had no difficulties. How they did it is their secret.
It is pretty easy to panel the sides and ceiling compared to the rest of the conversion tasks. My ply supplier had a giant saw table so I paid them a nominal charge to cut the 20 panels to my specs. (Other folks might have fewer panels without so much flanged L-track.)
Dan
Esthetics and simplicity are the key components of my tradeoff exercise in search for the best design. It is rare to find a well-appointed trim work, even “anti-camping“ and opulent Airstream Sprinter had some difficulties matching excellent driver/passenger MB trim work. Esthetics of factory walls, ceiling and windows trim will be very difficult to match in home style conversion. Simplified SafariCondo L series like is what I am aiming for http://www.safaricondo.com/LCsprinter/index-en.php I think they also use some kind of 80/20 system.

Thank you for your comments,

George.
 
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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
For air flow, a hole in the floor with the Maxxair vent open works well. One major reason for selecting the Maxxair over the Fantastic was the two supports instead of one which gives you the ability leave vent open while driving. Also vent can remain open in the rain. I just leave the floor vent and Maxxair open all the time. With our climate I have yet to turn the fan on. Both my house and barn have the same system. Windows open down low in building and openable windows at the peak of the roof.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
For air flow, a hole in the floor with the Maxxair vent open works well. One major reason for selecting the Maxxair over the Fantastic was the two supports instead of one which gives you the ability leave vent open while driving. Also vent can remain open in the rain. I just leave the floor vent and Maxxair open all the time. With our climate I have yet to turn the fan on. Both my house and barn have the same system. Windows open down low in building and openable windows at the peak of the roof.
I used to have 4 Fantastic fans on different RVs all with resistors in series speed control; they work well except the unnerving chattering motion during the lid closing related to the single lifting arm. They could be slightly open in rain but ventilation was obstructed. Today both Maxxair and Fantastic are available with electronic speed control allowing as low as 0.2A current draw which must be very quiet. This time I will pick Maxxair because of 2 lifting arms and rain protection.

I assume your floor opening is screened.

George.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
My view of the upcoming conversion is slowly getting more pixels. This conversion is tuned for 2-3 days camping for two people. I am settling on a very modularized design. All windows will have full clearance. There are going to be 5 lower modules mounted to the factory seat mounts only. My design goal is that by removal of the storage module #3, I will be able to remount the factory middle seat. This option will give me 7-8 seats without removal of the toilet and the galley modules. All lower modules will be removable allowing me to convert the van back to the 12 seat van. The upper three 6’ identical overhead storage modules will be permanent. By allowing reversible conversion (except overhead modules) usefulness and the resale value could be greatly enhanced.

My plan is to place the following components under the floor:
Webasto Dual-Top
Batteries
Fresh and gray water tanks, perhaps insulated.

The floor penetrations will be:
Hot/cold air (cold air could be taken from under the sliding door as Dave suggested)
Hot and cold water
12 VDC and 120 VAC

I will not have any LPG on board; stove will be powered by 120 V and alcohol. I had Origo stove once and was very happy with it.

Any comments are very welcome.
George.
 

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GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
I am getting ready to design the galley and hit a brick wall trying to get the square SMEV/Dometic sink #VA8006. The only store carrying SMEV sinks which I found is http://panther-rvproducts.com/SMEV_c129.htm but their #7307 sink is too deep. I send multiple requests to companies in UK but no one was interested in shipping to US. My possible option is the round and shallow SMEV VA7306 (Airstream #602197) but would prefer the square one. Any help would be appreciated.

George.
 

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GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
Galley progress

Some progress with the galley design. The Seat/bed and the galley are likely most difficult so I am glad they are almost finished. As always any critique is very welcome. Location of the water pump still has to be determined.

George.
 

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d_bertko

New member
I'll point out that our passenger swivel seat is one of the favorite features in our DIY. It is nice to sit across from each other for conversation. Perhaps as important is the ability to work separately from each other when one of us wants to use a laptop or reading light while the other sleeps. We do stay out on the road for months at a time--perhaps the personal space is less critical on long weekends.

I have to express gratitude to my wife for her adoption of the feminine funnel. That made a wagbag system easier because its rarely needed. (But so appreciated when needed.) We average maybe one wagbag use per month. It is awful nice to have no toilet cleaning or maintenance other than a pee bottle rinse.

We all have our own ideas about what constitutes minimum standards and what constitutes luxury. I think luxury for us is probably empty space in the van!

Dan
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
I'll point out that our passenger swivel seat is one of the favorite features in our DIY. It is nice to sit across from each other for conversation. Perhaps as important is the ability to work separately from each other when one of us wants to use a laptop or reading light while the other sleeps. We do stay out on the road for months at a time--perhaps the personal space is less critical on long weekends.

I have to express gratitude to my wife for her adoption of the feminine funnel. That made a wagbag system easier because its rarely needed. (But so appreciated when needed.) We average maybe one wagbag use per month. It is awful nice to have no toilet cleaning or maintenance other than a pee bottle rinse.

We all have our own ideas about what constitutes minimum standards and what constitutes luxury. I think luxury for us is probably empty space in the van!

Dan
Thank you for your comments. My plan is to have 2 swivels on the front seats. I assume that the driver seat will rotate about 120 degree clockwise and still be useful with the galley. I will figure-out a table which can be shared between both seats.

We have being camping in some kind of RV since 1977 which was plenty of time for us to develop habits. The most fun we had with our 77 and 85 Westfalias so we are planning to have a similar design. From the current market offering this van closely relates to our goals. http://www.safaricondo.com/LCsprinter/index-en.php

George.
 

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d_bertko

New member
Glad to hear you will have swivels. I could not tell from the plan whether there was clearance for them.

You have the benefit of long experience. My DIY was our first rv experience---never rode a mile in one---so much, much gratitude to the folks that helped me get the fundamentals right.

The most fun has probably been all those boondocks!

Dan
 

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