2010 3500 RV build

hein

Van Guru
Ceiling is done. It appears I'm working from the top down. I guess that works. The floor gets dirty, strewn with debris and I"m always dropping tools and screws. The Rhino liner is great for that. We haven't even decided what we want for the final floor cover.



I cannot take credit for panels themselves. They were done by Van Specialties and were in the van when we bought it. I removed them to add speakers, the air conditioner, run wiring, and upgrade the insulation. I moved a few of the LED lights, added individual switches and put connectors in the leads running back to the panel. As mentioned previously, we also sealed the wood on the back of each panel with polyurethane.

The panels were easy to remove and replace so I like/approve the way they were done originally. I did get some new flat black trim screws and went up a size where the backing strips attached to the body. That snugged everything up nicely.

I finished insulating the top portion of the side walls and now moving to the areas where the windows would be in a passenger van. The build up in these large areas will be:

van sheet metal / air space / EZcool / Thinsulate / Reflectix / upholstered 1/8" ply interior panel

Insulation stash. EZCool (top left), Reflectix (bottom left), 3M Thinsulate and sheets of minicell foam.



EZCool is similar to Reflectix. I'm sure there are differences but they are about the same thickness. I'm using both





Due to the rain I've started accessing the van from the rear door and not using the sliding door. It's so much easier/quieter going in and out:

"swing-click" instead of "rooooooooooooolllll-SLAM"

Our living space will be in the front so it will be nice to enter the van from the rear and not lose as much conditioned air out through the slider.
 
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hein

Van Guru
Picture below shows a couple of things. There are 3M VHB strips around the perimeter and down the sides of the ribs to hold the EZcool piece. Also shown are some blocks I mounted to the center of the ribs. These will support the center of the interior panel otherwise they would have a large unsupported span which could bow out over time. I held a straight edge across the window horizontally and marked the thickness of the blocks. The thickness of the walls tapers slightly going towards the rear so each of the 4 blocks (2 per window area) is a little shorter: 1 3/4, 1 5/8, 1 3/8, 1 1/4. They are made of some scrap Azek (expanded PVC lumber) and stuck on with 3M VHB tape.



Next picture shows the insulation layers in process. On the right, an EZcool piece stuck onto the VHB strips (shown above) and sealed up with foil tape. On the left, 3M Thinsulate is glued to the EZcool with 3M 90 spray. Final insulating layer over the Thinsulate will be Reflectix.

For the horizontal and vertical bulkheads between the upper wall and the window areas I'm poking & pulling doubled over strips of Thinsulate in through the slots. Then sealing the holes with foil tape. In some areas I just poke scraps of Thinsulate in with a flexible plastic stick. None of it goes to waste.



I'll be happy when all the walls are back in even though the van will look pretty much like it did when we got it. ha ha. I remember looking at the interior and asking myself if I really wanted to remove it. Then one panel came out, then another, and another...
 
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hein

Van Guru
I could have gone for an end-of-season kiteboarding session this afternoon but stayed home and finished some insulation. What is wrong with me? Must be Sprinter fever. ha ha.

One trick: I put insulation into the vertical bulkheads by dropping a string, looping it around the end of a strip of Thinsulate and pulling/feeding it up into the space.





 
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hein

Van Guru
We had a mild frost last night and I turned on a little space heater (1000watt) inside the van this morning. I took the picture below about 15 minutes later. Definitely shows which areas I have insulated. The swirls along the top must be caused by the wax I applied down the sides when I waxed the roof. Interesting. Photo was taken with a flash.

 
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hein

Van Guru
Picked up the washer bottle bracket today. Can't wait to get it installed so I can put the fender liner back on.





I can make more of these brackets if anyone wants to do this mod. Please PM me for details.
 
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jackfish

Active member
FYI EZ Cool is Harbour Supply's name for Low-E brand automotive insulation which I have recommended in other threads. Great job hein!
 

hein

Van Guru
Relocated washer bottle. See post 55 for the reason this was needed. I extended the pump and sensor wires and ran them with the hose along the top of the firewall next to the main engine compartment harness.



From the underneath before the front fender liner went back in.



The cantilevered support hooks over the top of the frame rail and carries most of the load. See previous pictures. I can make more brackets if anyone wants to do this. Please PM me.
 
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Campahope

aspirant liveaboard
Hi - newbie here.

I would be interested to hear your comment on the choices of tank construction, location and fixing.
 

hein

Van Guru
Hi - newbie here.

I would be interested to hear your comment on the choices of tank construction, location and fixing.
Welcome and thank you for asking questions.

Construction:
The tank I bought is designed for water so I'm confident that the construction will be sufficient. I believe it's 1/4 wall. It feels plenty sturdy.

Location:
The black and grey water tanks will be behind the rear axle. I removed the spare tire/carrier and built a custom hitch to maximize the space. My battery trays are going just ahead of the rear wheels where they will be close to the inverter which is directly above inside the van. I have the large DEF tank on the right side. So this spot is really the only sizable area remaining. I measured the area and was willing to have a custom tank made. I was searching for a possible fabricator and came across Custom Roto. I browsed their tanks and found one that was pretty close to what I would have specified. They are currently quoting my rear tanks but they do rotational molding so there will be a tooling charge. It's likely that I end up fabricating the rear tanks myself.

Fixing:
I assume you are asking how I will mount the tank. I have some concepts in mind. Stay tuned.



Van had to work today: Hauling 2200 lbs of cement wall caps for a little landscaping project.



Glide-rite suspension took it in stride. Same fender gap loaded (below) as it is unloaded (see earlier picture).

 
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hein

Van Guru
This evening, we heaved the refrigerator into the back and up onto a mockup platform over the left fender well. It's a Norcold DE0061 7 cubic ft AC/DC unit with a Danfoss compressor. The compressor and condenser coils are mounted to a frame on the back and pose somewhat of a clearance challenge.

The fridge is positioned so these components are 'recessed' into the van wall. The edge of the condenser coils clears the outside sheet metal by 1/4 inch. To get it as close to the wall as possible, I moved compressor/condenser on the back of the fridge horizontally about 3 inches so it would clear the van's vertical ribs. The second picture shows the insulation tapering to just one layer of EZcool for clearance and to maintain decent airflow (hopefully).

I'll be reversing the doors so they open from the front. They will swing 1 inch clear of the counter top that will be on the opposite side.



 
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hein

Van Guru
Finalizing the refrigerator location has allowed me to adjust the CAD model and gain a little more floor space. A rendering of the current design model is show below. I do Design/CAD/CNC work for hire.



Few notes about the image/CAD model:
The angled cabinet next to the fridge will get doors at some point. Plan is to have the Espar D2 in the bottom of it. The wet bathroom is in the left/rear corner. The couch/bed shown is a design in progress. I currently have a futon that opens into a bed that we'll lash down to the floor.
 
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hein

Van Guru
Back to more tangible work. Gluing an extension onto the OEM floor to cover some of the step and add 1.82 sq ft of usable floor space. I'll need to make some vertical structure to support it.



The piece on top is the plywood stock that the panel was cut from.

Note: I can machine this part for anyone needing it. It features a 3/8 overlap with the factory floor so you would need one of these to prep the floor. Please PM me for details
 
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hein

Van Guru
More work on the floor. I glued down the hard foam filler strips (machined earlier) an some rectangular pucks for areas where tie downs would otherwise go. I used a bead of 3M window weld to hold them down.

Next step is to fill the shallow corrugations and other voids with minicell soft foam. Then a full layer of 1/4 inch thick minicell followed by the reworked OEM floor. ...If it all works out as planned.



 
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hein

Van Guru
Front floor in place showing filler strips and full layer of 1/4" minicell under the OEM plywood. We used contact cement to glue the minicell foam strips to the Rhinolined floor. Not particularly enjoyable work and we still have the back to do. In the background, a fire extinguisher under the drivers seat pedestal. -Held in place by (you guessed it) blocks of minicell foam. The minicell foam comes from North Shore Inc. (NSI)



Floor extension that still needs some support. Thinking I'll be able to find a tool box that fits under there.

 
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chromisdesigns

New member
Floor extension that still needs some support. Thinking I'll be able to find a tool box that fits under there.

If you go that way, get a front-opener and bolt it in place. Otherwise, dollars to donuts one day you will have the box out, get distracted, and you or someone else will try to step there. Crunch and maybe a bad fall, as well.:yell:
 

hein

Van Guru
If you go that way, get a front-opener and bolt it in place. Otherwise, dollars to donuts one day you will have the box out, get distracted, and you or someone else will try to step there. Crunch and maybe a bad fall, as well.:yell:
True and thanks for the heads up! Definitely a NO STEP area the way it is right now. To be clear; I'll add a support AND hopefully maintain some room for a tool box. The spot is 5 5/8" tall, 7 3/4 deep and 28 long.

Also considering boxing it in with some openings that are the same as what is on the side of the passenger seat pedestal. Then getting some extra OEM covers for a factory look.

Something like this:



and then use this cover:

 
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d_bertko

New member
I happen to use my passenger seat storage for a few tools and Sprinter supplies. Definitely no benefit to having that reduced-area plastic door as an opening.

If it were me I would instead build/buy a simple bin with a suitable full-size cover panel attached to it. No great precision, no hinges needed. Tool boxes are nice for transport to the worksite but an open-top bin is more useful for nearby work.

Dan
 

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