I designed the base for lateral strength in case of a front collision so there are some beefy braces for example the brace plate for 15x30 to 15x30 extrusions has 12 holes. I am still working on the final design and am thinking to place long braces like on welded frame in lieu of plates.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.
Could you elaborate on this point? Thank you.Just use the lightest 1 1/2" square 80/20. The only need for rectangular sections would be places where there would be a large unsupported load which might be the bed support. Using 1" on the overheads may make the panels more difficult to install so not worth the weight savings. More important than the weight of the 80/20 is the weight of the panels. I used 1/2" plywood panel thickness but next time would use some sort of sandwich panel with thin skins and rigid foam core. Advantage would be insulation and much lighter weight. I do like the wood finish on my panels but would that would have to go.
The most important thing in using 80/20 is to isolate the 80/20 from the Sprinter body with wood insulators.
This is not rocket science so no need to spend too much effort with calculations. You will find the stuff to be very rigid when it is installed. Just cut, make connectors, bolt it up and proceed to the next phase of the conversion.
I do have a question on having all the cabinets removable. Will you have quick disconnects on all the electrical and plumbing? It is going to be a lot of work to remove seats and install the cabinets and the reverse if you will need to change back and forth very often. If it is one change each year for a vacation then it is not a problem. Maybe only some of the cabinets should be removable instead of all of them? The best part of our conversion is to have everything we need to camp ready to go at all times. Add food,water and clothes and go.
Good question. I took strips of 1” 3 core plywood (bending along the grain for 2 plies) and The Board. Under the same force the plywood bend about 1/16” and The Board about 7/8” so plywood is way over tenfold stronger in bending applications.That's an interesting material.
Any idea of the load bearing properties?
Would it be similar to 1/4" plywood in that regard?
There is a certain elegance in re-using the seat mounts to attach your removable cabinetry.Designing the modules with my dealer of choice being 200 miles away is not easy. I am finalizing the design of locks to OEM seat floor mount and need these 3 dimensions. I would really appreciate some help, thank you, George.
Thank you Dave, very convincing feedback,First I think you are being too conservative. Looking at your drawing it appears to have a lot more corner strength than you need. You have very large plates and 45 degree diagonals. I would suggest you get some 80/20 to play with and make some corner joints. You will be surprised how rigid it is with simple angles in the corners. A rectangular box with 4 corners is very rigid with angles. The large 1/4" plates in the corners could be 1 1/2" x 3/16" aluminum flatbar. Two holes on one piece of 80/20 and one hole on the other. I suspect 80/20 or a distributor would give you some short lengths to try. I have all my cabinets connected with 3/16" angle and 3/16" flatbar. It is very rigid and overkill. One connector that I did not use on a tee connection but should have is part # 3380. I used diecast inside corner connectors part # 3368 where I had panels. I would limit the use of the # 3368 because they use small set screws to lock in place. Not the same as a 5/16" carriage bolt deforming the 80/20 slot legs.
While the 1" would work for the overheads, why have two different sizes, connectors and hardware? The weight savings would be minor. I can drop in tee bolts anywhere to tie down cargo. Same bolt and female eyebolt works everywhere. I have strapped cargo to the bottom of the overhead cabinets. If you are using the slot for panels, then two different thickness panels would be required. My 1 1/2" upper cabinets have a piece of 1/4" plywood in the slot with the cabinet floor sitting on top of the 80/20. The space between the two panels have the wiring for the LED lights that are mounted under the cabinets. 1" may not allow hiding the wiring. Also could use up scrap 80/20 for the short pieces of the overhead cabinets. Just more cost for a little weight savings.
Adding more mounting points for cabinets will always be my fallback possibility. There are 9 OEM seat mounts so there is a good chance that they will suffice. Most of the cabinet modules will not need the type of mount strength as seats with the exception of the heavy galley module. Adding one long L-truck along the driver wall is a good option but I would need to dig into the floor modification to attach it directly to the metal floor or at least to a solid substrate. Time will tell.There is a certain elegance in re-using the seat mounts to attach your removable cabinetry.
I'll just offer the suggestion to ignore the existing seat mounts. Instead have separate mounting points located where they are ideal for the cabinet.
My worry is that reusing the seat mounts might be awkward for the second use.
My used van came with a removable bucket seat for the cargo area. It had its own quick-release floor plate. The floor plate used four 5/8" through bolts into thick spreader bars on the underside. (The semipermanent flattish floor plate captured the bucket seat with rear hooks and front quick-release bolts.)
Or use the equivalent of short runs of L-track or even individual L-track-boltdowns.
Through-bolts into spreaders for the nuts are simplest.
A step up might be welded nut plates on the underside to eliminate having to use a wrench underneath.
Not too hard to make nice filler plugs when you want seats instead.
The other alternative of routing some flush L-track or 1/2" 80/20 into the floor gives you some versatile cargo tie-downs when you aren't using them for cabinets.
Just some ideas---no advocacy here if you can engineer up the more complex seat mounts.
Thank you George for the observation.Good question. I took strips of 1” 3 core plywood (bending along the grain for 2 plies) and The Board. Under the same force the plywood bend about 1/16” and The Board about 7/8” so plywood is way over tenfold stronger in bending applications.
The plywood strip weigh 25g and The Board strip 16g so The Board is 36% lighter.
In my application I could use about 45SF for the invisible back/side panels which would bring 14lb of overall weight savings. A prefinished ¼’ 4’x8’ plywood sheet is about $25 so for my application The Board would cost $200 over prefinished plywood for 14lbs less weight. I can do better if go on a diet by myself.
Thank you for looking into it. Batteries – I wish to get a single 8D but these are other possible options. I am still shooting partly in the dark without being able to get under the van with a tape measure.144" WB? Just looked under my 144" and do not see space for 8D battery. I am sure you have it figured out but where? Spare tire relocated to door?
Where is the bed located? My bed is across the back and I have found having the fan above the bed is easy to open & close it while in bed. Reverse location of fan and solar panel? Fan should be above bed to get airflow at night.