Layout plan.

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
You are very welcome to come look at the van. The current version has worked out very well so I will not make any revisions to the layout. Doing my homework in CAD before I cut parts was the correct method. Helped that I had the CAD experience from many years of designing and building conveyors. You are correct about the weight. I am still about 1000 lbs. under the vans capacity but can now see a number of places I can use lighter material. If I build another van, the conversion will probably weigh 400 to 500 lbs less. Helps to build one to learn how to do it right the next time. The 80/20 is definitely overkill as far as strength is concerned. The only change I would make is to use the lighter extrusion that has become available after I bought mine. 80/20 is not expensive compared to alternates. Higher material costs but much lower labor costs. It also happens to fit my fabricating capabilities. The trick is to make most of the connectors out of angle and flatbar and buy hardware from a industrial wholesaler to reduce the material costs. It is not what I would use if I was building a thousand units but is the correct choice for a one off.

I did figure out where to cut the 20' lengths so I did not waste material. That was why they were cut into 8' & 12' pieces instead of in half.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
In the midst of ordering the Van I am designing my modules quick mounts fitting factory female floor seat mounts. There seems to be 4 perpendicular mounting rods. I can see the reason for 2 but why 4. Does anyone have a picture of the male seat mounts?
The bed on the attached picture uses the #1 and #3 rods if I deciphered that picture correctly.
http://www.georgeforge.com/Bed For Dodge Sprinter.htm

George.
 

Attachments

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
This is my list for RFQ. Hopefully in less than 3 months I will have a van. I hope to get the factory swivel seats, time will tell. Any comments are welcome as always.

George.

M2PV144
147 Arctic White or
701 Pebble Gray
VH5 Lima Black fabric
PA1 Premium package
PD1 Multifunction Wheel/Display package
PT1 Trailer Hitch package
PY1 Additional battery package
LB9 Illuminated exits
LD0 Overhead control panel with 2 reading lights
D03 High Roof
D13 Mounting rails for roof rack
ES7 Aux-In Interface
KP2 DEF Tank, small 3.2 gal in engine compartment
FF8 Storage slot at front under roof liner
FJ1 Hinged lid for storage compartment
H04 Heat insulation for front compartment
T12 Sliding door two stages opening
Y10 First aid kit
PF1 Swivel seat package MY10 Code FO7. There are aftermarket swivels available but they are not near the quality of the factory ones.
E46 12V Power Outlet - Driver Seat Base

TBD:

FK3 Chrome trim radiator
H21 Windshield with filter band
R98 Rims painted jet black
RL5 Light-alloy wheels 6.5 J x 16
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
PY1 option. Is that the second battery under the hood? If I understand your plans, I would think you would want more than a 100 AH house battery. Maybe it is because you want to remove all the modules?
My conversion is not going to be the quick overnight one but we would like to use it for simple camping as soon as we can. The development and installation of modules will be done in phases. The first phase will be the seat/bed module with simple 12VDC power for lights and some computing. For this phase the underhood battery should suffice. In long term my plan is to install 2 x 6VDC AGM batteries under the van. The battery under the hood could be use later as the second house battery bank.

My thought is to install the following items under the van:
Batteries,
Fresh water tank fillable through rear door,
Water pump,
Grey water tank,
Webasto Dual Top water and space heater.

George.
 

Peter_C

New member
One thought on the fresh water tank is if you ever camp in cold weather it could freeze under the van. If it is inside you can heat the van to keep it warm and liquid. Same goes for running the lines inside the van. The grey water, and black water tanks can have anti-freeze added to them to keep them from freezing. You are not going to be adding anti-freeze to the drinking water for obvious reasons.

For the second battery under the hood, you could install something simple like a relay to isolate it from the starting battery. That way if you accidentally kill it, the starting battery would still be at 100%.
 

Aqua Puttana

Poly - Thread Finder
One thought on the fresh water tank is if you ever camp in cold weather it could freeze under the van. If it is inside you can heat the van to keep it warm and liquid. Same goes for running the lines inside the van.
...
FWIW. An inside potable water tank may have enough volume and residual heat to extend the time, but depending upon ambient temperatures even water lines inside a conversion will freeze during a not so extended time of non-use or no heating. I wouldn't want anyone to get a false sense of security just because they kept all the lines inside. vic
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
One thought on the fresh water tank is if you ever camp in cold weather it could freeze under the van. If it is inside you can heat the van to keep it warm and liquid. Same goes for running the lines inside the van. The grey water, and black water tanks can have anti-freeze added to them to keep them from freezing. You are not going to be adding anti-freeze to the drinking water for obvious reasons.

For the second battery under the hood, you could install something simple like a relay to isolate it from the starting battery. That way if you accidentally kill it, the starting battery would still be at 100%.
Winter camping is not on my list of conversion objectives. I could insulate the tank and the plumbing under the van with a potential feed of hot air from the Webasto heater but doubt it will happen. Keeping the fresh water tank and the water pump under the van keeps number of water floor penetration to the galley module to 3 - hot/cold/drain water.

The auxiliary battery package (PY1) includes cutout relay (E36) and battery (E28); if I recall correctly from Dave's write ups the relay is under the driver seat.

George.
 

Attachments

Ski_Bike_Camp

New member
I researched the Wabasto cooktop/space heater and went in a different direction.

You should have a look at the Espar/Rixen System. They have a small unit which is ideal for sprinter conversions.

It is diesel, so you are not adding an additional fuel system. Creates very dry, quiet and reliable heat and also on-demand hot water.

As far as a cooktop, I used a mag induction flat surface cooktop that I got off Amazon for less less than $75. I mounted it flush in my counter top surface. It looks great and provides more usable counter space. Mag Induction boils a quart of water for tea in 6mins and the inverter handles it easily.

If I really need a gas based burner, I will use a butane burner like the caterers use.

BTW: We have found we use the microwave, coffee maker and plug-in kettle more than the cook-top.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
I researched the Wabasto cooktop/space heater and went in a different direction.

You should have a look at the Espar/Rixen System. They have a small unit which is ideal for sprinter conversions.

It is diesel, so you are not adding an additional fuel system. Creates very dry, quiet and reliable heat and also on-demand hot water.

As far as a cooktop, I used a mag induction flat surface cooktop that I got off Amazon for less less than $75. I mounted it flush in my counter top surface. It looks great and provides more usable counter space. Mag Induction boils a quart of water for tea in 6mins and the inverter handles it easily.

If I really need a gas based burner, I will use a butane burner like the caterers use.

BTW: We have found we use the microwave, coffee maker and plug-in kettle more than the cook-top.
I believe the Webasto Dual Top (not the Webasto Cooktop) is the simplest system giving you hot air and water heater from one unit to be installed under the van. The Webasto Dual Top is powered by diesel and heats water directly without necessity of the coolant loop which I believe is required with Espar systems. The major disadvantage of the Dual Top is $3K price tag. Webasto Cooktop requires side vent as far as I know.

I/Os to Webasto Dual Top are:

Penetrations through van's floor :
1. Webasto control panel I/O
2. Cold air in
3. Dual hot air out
4. Hot water out
5. 12VDC in.

Connections under the van:
6. Cold water in
7. Diesel and combustion air in
8. Exhaust out


I am seriously considering induction type stove.

George.

http://www.webasto-outdoors.com/uploads/media/2012_Dual_Top_GB.pdf
 

Peter_C

New member
Just throwing another idea out there.

Someone else on this board, I believe it was Dan D., mentioned they never used their stove inside the van, as they always cooked outside. I thought about it and realized with the big RV we rarely used the stove inside as it fogged the windows being propane and imbedded the smells of food into the RV. Usually we cooked outside on a picnic table using a portable propane camp stove. So it got me thinking...why not just have a nice camp stove to use outside and for the few times we would want to cook inside, we could just set the stove up on the counter and cook what we needed, with either the fan on or the door and windows open.
 

d_bertko

New member
Just throwing another idea out there.

Someone else on this board, I believe it was Dan D., mentioned they never used their stove inside the van, as they always cooked outside. I thought about it and realized with the big RV we rarely used the stove inside as it fogged the windows being propane and imbedded the smells of food into the RV. Usually we cooked outside on a picnic table using a portable propane camp stove. So it got me thinking...why not just have a nice camp stove to use outside and for the few times we would want to cook inside, we could just set the stove up on the counter and cook what we needed, with either the fan on or the door and windows open.
If you were thinking of one of my posts, we actually have a very nuanced use of our indoor and outdoor cooking kit.

The double burner camp stove at 30k btus is maybe twice as fast as rv propane burners. So it does the heavy btu lifting like spaghetti for 10 or lobsters or shower water in 5 minutes.

The BabyQ bbq also feels like the epitome of enjoying The Great Outdoors. Just got to remember to bring it inside at night in bear country. Should not be optional equipment!

The mag induction burner is not only instant on/off but cooler than the pot atop it. That is so safe in tight quarters or with kids around. And the simmer ability is better than any other cooking method. And the efficiency is like a microwave for keeping the van interior cool.

And the microwave helps so much in a healthy diet since corn on the cob or yams or broccoli is quick with little clean up. I always seem to forget to bring all those yummy bad things the microwave heats at home.

So for minimalists like us it is a bit embarrassing to admit how often all of the above might get used for a single meal in the woods.

I do have a hard time imagining cooking the messy stuff inside.

Mostly its a lot of tools and you use the best ones for the job.

Dan
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
The order is in process just waiting for FedEx. I decided on this set of options:

M2PV144
701 Pebble Gray
VU9 Black Leatherette trim
PR1 Parktronic package
EZ8 Parktronic system
F68 Heated and electrically adjustable mirrors
PD1 Multifunction Wheel/Display package
CL4 Multifunction steering wheel with trip computer
JK3 Instrument cluster w/pixel-matrix display
PT1 Trailer Hitch package
E40 Trailer Hitch – Wire harness with 7 PIN connector
Q24 Trailer cross member, 5000 lbs capacity
PY1 Additional battery package
E28 Auxiliary battery 100 Amp
E36 Cutoff relay for Auxiliary Battery
MS1 Cruise control
LB9 Illuminated exits
LD0 Overhead control panel with 2 reading lights
LD4 Convenience lighting in load/passenger compartment
SB1 Comfort seat, driver
SB2 Comfort seat, passenger
D03 High Roof
D13 Mounting rails for roof rack
ES7 Aux-In Interface
KP2 DEF Tank, small 3.2 gal in engine compartment
FF8 Storage slot at front under roof liner
FJ1 Hinged lid for storage compartment
H04 Heat insulation for front compartment
T12 Sliding door two stages opening
Y10 First aid kit
E46 12V Power Outlet - Driver Seat Base
H21 Windshield with filter band
RL5 16" X 6.5" Al wheels
W78 Rear wipers
FK3 Chrome trim radiator
L16 Fog lamps

My first van modification will be to upgrade DOT halogen optics with EU headlights. Hopefully the headlamps are replaceable without mechanical modifications. My project has started.

George.
 

papaduc

New member
George,
I am curious which dealer you placed your order with?
I live in the same area and am looking at much the same process.
Thanks.
Michael
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
George,
I am curious which dealer you placed your order with?
I live in the same area and am looking at much the same process.
Thanks.
Michael
I went via Costco program which gave me the best price. One dealer in Bellingham WA was asking for $10K to be deposited in escrow for one year after the purchase, he was afraid that I will ship the van to China or Russia, OK...He claimed that this request was related to Oregon. All folks understood my process of one response to RFQ, no back and force manager's loop. Call them before requesting RFQ. There were a couple of other good quotes in response to my RFQs but not as good either by the price or the distance. All folks, except the weird fellow from the Bellingham dealership, were very courteous. For details send me a PM. Whatever you do make certain you have the set of options fixed to compare apples to apples.
From one of the dealers I got this:
"Hi George
We do not have this Sprinter on the lot.
This sprinter will haft to be build.
Which will hafted to be order.
What price have you gotten ?"
George.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
The back and forth is the fun part. I inherently dislike car dealers so it is fun to trade places with them. Be in charge of the process instead of them. I am very specific about what I want to buy. Exact list of options as you stated. Never visit a dealership in person. No trade ins. Cash purchase. Send out RFQ's as you did to about 10 dealers. You will get replies from 2/3 rds of them. Call the dealer with the second lowest price and ask if he would like to sharpen the pencil because you have a better price. When you get his new lower price then you call the dealer who was lowest initially and do the same routine. Usually you will get prices very close to each other. Sometimes even get a "you can not buy it for that price". That is a good indication that you are close to the lowest price. If a dealer calls be honest with them and give them your best price you have obtained. They may or may not beat it. Everyone is very courteous and realize it is simply a business transaction. No games, just price. If you need to finance address that after the price is fixed.
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
Module #1

I am in the midst of ordering the material for my module #1 - the seat/bed. Splitting the design to the base (43.5" x 40" x 15.5") and the upper folding bed structure allowed me to price the base separately. The steel base would be over 65 lbs (1/16" tubing), 80/20 about 45 lbs and the lightest welded aluminum structure from Al tubes (1/8" tubing) around 40 lbs. Due to the weight I dropped the steel option.

I just got the price for the welded aluminum base - $750.
Precut material for 80/20 - $500 with almost $300 for reinforcement brackets, fasteners and mounts.

I am sending RFQ to 80/20 and to Tslots. It seems as Tslots' list prices are edge higher but the product line is like from the same company, just a different number. You can request the quote with 80/20 part numbers and they will translate. Folks from the Tslots company claimed that their discounted prices are lower than from the 80/20. Time will tell.

George.
 
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Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
Make your own brackets and buy the fasteners from local wholesaler. Another way to save money is ask 80/20 and T-slots if they have anyone in your area that buys 80/20 in volume. You may save some shipping costs by adding your order to theirs.

Repeat: Make most of your own brackets! Easy to do and you do not hve to wait for shipping. Just cut a length of angle or flatbar, drill the holes, debur and install.
 

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