2010 3500 RV build

pfflyer

Well-known member
Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)

Nice. Are you in the cabinet or sign business? Getting ready to cut panels for side walls making a template out of 1/2 MDF and then using a template router bit on 1/8 thick pvc plastic. I do have a customer that has several CNC routers but I am not in that tight with him yet. The customers that would do this for me are all metal working shops and only a few have the capacity for a 5' x 10 sheet. I am going to do the template in sections because of the 5' width. Hope it all fits when I'm done. If you have any tips that would be great. I am planning on keeping the template from slipping by bolting the template on the pvc then using that hole to fasten to the van. All this while trying to use existing holes that the factory half wall used. If they don't match no big deal just make a new one. Nice build by the way.
 

hein

Van Guru
Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)

Not a cabinet shop or sign business. I'm a CAD/Engineer/tool design guy and like to make stuff and produce some niche products.

I am in the process of digitizing for lower panels. I was planning to reuse the ones that came out but they can be better. -like no screws! I have the data, just need to finalize my CAD models and do the programming. I would be willing make a set for you if they meet your needs.
 
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pfflyer

Well-known member
Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)

Thanks for the offer and if I am ever in your part of the country may take you up on it. I will also see how mine turns out. I'm not a perfectionist but it may look good to someone else but when you know every flaw they jump out at you every time you look at it. Would love to see the final results on the screw less design. Do you have a coordinate measuring machine or a probe on your router to reverse engineer? Don't know if you can probe from the router but you can from some of the metal working machines.
 
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hein

Van Guru
Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)

To make the Isotemp water heater fit under the hood, I'll need to relocate the washer bottle to the passenger side. I designed a sheet metal bracket that supports the OEM reservoir. I purchased another reservoir but the OEM bottle actually fits better.



cardboard test part:


...More progress. Floor plugs modeled and programmed. I can make extras if anyone needs any.
I am measuring the OEM plywood floor at .330" (8.5mm) thick.

 
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hein

Van Guru
Re: 2010 3500 RV build (formerly painted seat pedestals)

I machined plugs and strips to fill the factory floor tie downs. Material is a high quality 8mm 7 layer marine plywood. I am not sure which holes I'll fill so I machined enough to do them all. If I decide to fill a tie down, I'll drill a hole in the plug and use a machine screw and large washer to hold the floor down in that location.

I decided to rabbet a countersink around the D shaped holes along the sides so I could use a flanged plug in those locations.

My floor had a mat glued to it so that's the gooey stuff. It will be covered eventually.

Plug for factory countersunk D shaped hole.


Plug for factory O shaped countersunk hole.


Plug fitted.


Countersink added to factory D thru hole. The OEM holes with no countersink are along the sides of the van.


Strip to fill the slots for cargo tracks.




Note: I can machine floor filler plugs and strips for anyone wanting to rework their factory floor. Please PM me for details.
 
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hein

Van Guru
Floor plugs and strips (decided to fill them all) are glued and sealed. I decided to start designing a frame to support the AC/DC refrigerator. I'm using 1 1/2 thin wall square tubing that I salvaged from a bed the previous owner had mounted in the van. Pretty simple concept but it's nice to work out the dimensions sitting at the computer rather than crouched in the van. The back will sit on the fender liner where it attaches to the wall and the front will be bolted to the where the cargo rail would be. Everything will be enclosed by the cabinets later on.

 
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hein

Van Guru
I might be able to negotiate the price. It's 'old' stock that was nearby. Nice to know that $1/watt is about the going rate. Am I missing out on compelling new technology by using this 'older' panel? I don't know what the 600 volt spec means.
 

mugget

Member
I was thinking - why polycrystalline? My understanding was that monocrystalline is the way to go (unless you're just severely limited by budget), more efficient and there have been lots of improvements in manufacturing... I thought the $1/watt guide applied to mono panels as well?

But for that specific panel you'd be looking for one heck of a discount, especially considering that it's poly.

I wouldn't think that you're "missing out" on any new stuff by using older panels, just that better panels should be much cheaper now compared to a few years ago. The basic technology is still the same AFAIK... maybe just slight improvements in more watts per panel size, etc.? Then again maybe you'd still have to pay a premium for those kind of top tier panels?
 

hein

Van Guru
In preparation for the A/C to go on the roof forever, a good waxing was in order. It's about that time of year anyway.

Collinite 840 Cleaner and 845 Insulator Wax.



Nice pretty beads of water plus a shot of my work platform. Wife and I use a broom to lift and slide it forward and back. We take it on & off from the back with two step ladders.



Now I can finally get the AC up there. Thanks to Laurelhurst Distributors in Portland, OR for getting the just released Airxcel 9200 Btu Mach8 and then helping me get the parts to configure it to work with a wall mounted thermostat (my after thought). I also got parts to add a condensate pump but decided to plumb in a simple gravity drain tube running inside the wall. More on that later.
 
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atulin

New member
I also got parts to add a condensate pump but decided to plumb in a simple gravity drain tube running inside the wall. More on that later.
I looked at doing this on mine and after living with the roof unit for more than a year I don't think it's worth it. Depending the way your parked the water from the roof will drip out in front of the front tires or from behind the plastic side trim just forward of the rear bumper. In either location I don't really see the water traveling to reach those points. I can only think of a handful of times that it has even got some on the windshield when I backed up. Running it through the inside just seems like a greater rise of having a leak inside either from a plugged tube or a leak around another roof penetration.

The thermostat is nice to have. I put the 12v supply for mine on a switch so I can turn it on and off from the driver's seat since the thermostat needs to be in the back.
 

hein

Van Guru
Rain was in the forecast so in true fashion of waiting until the last minute.... up goes the AC to cover up that 14x14 hole in the roof. Wife decided that the edge of the field would provide better traction for the ladders. Good call!

The setup. (You may not want to try this at home.) The extension ladder is screwed to the platform on the van for some added peace of mind.


With help from the paving crew that was repairing and sealing our driveway, we slid the AC up the extension ladder on it's shipping pallet. Once it was on the work platform, My wife and I moved it to the roof and slid it into position. Piece of cake, actually. Then it started raining so I moved the van into my neighbor's shop to finalize the position and compress the seal 50% (per the installation manual).

All finished (not that bad for a bump on the roof, imo)


Some pre-install details...
I made a template (white cardboard at bottom of picture) for the roof ribs (corrugations) to see how they would line up with the AC pan and the pads that support it. Good thing! Some protruding screw heads would have worn a hole in my roof since they happen to line up with the ribs. (screws are circled in the picture). A quick bike ride to Fastenal for some flat head (countersunk) 10-24 screws and all is flush and good. (no picture)

I also made two new support pads for the area where the templates are. (The other two square support pads are shown.) The new pads have a relief to straddle the roof rib. I'll try to sneak a picture of one tomorrow.


(Picture above is of the bottom looking towards the rear of the unit. The AC is bridging two work benches so I can work on it from underneath.)

Edit: Promised picture of custom support block that straddles the roof rib. Picture also shows the edge guard I put around the AC pan. It really snugs up the bottom of the cover which is quite loose otherwise.

 
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atulin

New member
The setup. (You may not want to try this at home.) The extension ladder is screwed to the platform on the van for some added peace of mind.
That seems like a better idea than lifting it from a 20in tall platform inside the sprinter straight onto a blanket on the roof by yourself while standing on a 2x12 running out the side door onto a step ladder... I certainly wouldn't have done that... twice...
 

hein

Van Guru
Prepped the wiring for the air conditioner and hooked up the RF TV antenna. I gutted a roof mounted loop antenna and put it up inside the air conditioner. It's pouring rain outside so I got cozy (Ikea lamp and the TV tuned to a game) and installed some more insulation. I'm using 3M Thinsulate and Refletix. Once installed it really quiets the rain beating down on the roof outside.



Insulation regiment for the upper walls and ceiling: Thinsulate everywhere and held in place with 3M 90 adhesive spray as needed. Then a vapor barrier of Reflectix stuck on with their tape.

 
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hein

Van Guru
So I went to stuff insulation in the area around the rear door and feel some water in there. Either there is a leak in the seal between the rear cap and the body or it's getting in past the brake light or one of the plugs where the OEM backup cam would mount. No worries. I'll track it down and fix it before putting any insulation in there.

So based on the leaks I've found & fixed in my 2010 3500, my guess is there are a lot of wet vans out there.

Edit: Pretty sure water is leaking past the plug where the OEM camera would go.
 
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hein

Van Guru
More Air conditioner notes:

I had already painted my ceiling assembly when I decided to use a wall thermostat. So rather than return it for different one, I removed the electrical guts and put plugs in the holes where the controls went. Instead, there is a control box (lower right in picture) that goes up in the unit. It contains relays controlled by the wall thermostat. It's a little better setup (imo) because all the electrics are up in the unit so the ceiling assembly is just for in/out air control. Plus being able to bump the thermostat up or down while in bed will be nice.



Below is picture of the ceiling opening with wires ready to connect to the control box. Blue spade plugs are from the thermostat, red cord is 110V, white plug goes to the roof unit. Once connected, the control box goes up inside the air box. There is also a freeze sensor (not shown) connected to the control box. It shuts down the compressor if the temperature of the evaporator coils drops to 27 deg F.

 
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atulin

New member
More Air conditioner notes:

I had already painted my ceiling assembly when I decided to use a wall thermostat. So rather than return it for different one, I removed the electrical guts and put plugs in the holes where the controls went. Instead, there is a control box (lower right in picture) that goes up in the unit. It contains relays controlled by the wall thermostat. It's a little better setup (imo) because all the electrics are up in the unit so the ceiling assembly is just for in/out air control. Plus being able to bump the thermostat up or down while in bed will be nice.

Cool digital thermostat. I might need to make that upgrade.

Can you do me a favor and see if it goes back to the same temp if you remove 12v power from it? I use this to remotely turn my rear unit on and off. I wish they still made a remote control version.
 
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