2010 3500 RV build

mugget

New member
You'd doing an epic amount of work on that floor, no holding you back is there? Respect!

Also I can't remember if you already mentioned this or not - but is this your first fitout/build like this? From the way you've been going so far I wouldn't have thought so.
 

hein

Van Guru
Thanks for the compliments, Mugget. The floor has been a bit of work. I cut some more strips for the back half last night so maybe I can ask my helper (and lovely wife) to glue them down today.

I've customized about every vehicle I've owned and also just designed and built A LOT of stuff. Check out the Shaggin' Saturn wagon from a few years ago. (warning picture heavy) Sadly, this car was wrecked shortly after it was sold. The new owner wasn't interested in the 'shaggin' part so all the custom parts are in the basement.

The Sprinter is definitely the most comprehensive vehicle project I've undertaken. We had a HR Vacationer until the gas prices doubled so I learned about RV systems on that.
 
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hein

Van Guru
The refrigerator will sit on a welded stand over the left rear fender. Below is a CAD view from the back of the cabinet. (as if looking through the van wall) The thick panels on the sides of the opening are 2" EPS which will further insulate the fridge.



I had a little time this afternoon to cut pieces and weld up the top of the support. Materials are 1 1/2 angle iron and 1 1/2 square tube. The front legs will be added after I can measure the final distance from the floor to the top of the fender well.

Below: Back of the frame (similar to perspective above).


Below: Front of the frame with the refrigerator tilted back. There are two rectangular sheet metal rails on the bottom of the fridge that fit snug between the angles. I'll run some screws through the angle and into the rails.
 
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hein

Van Guru
During some of the recent heavy rains, I had a small amount of water coming in around the aftermarket window on the drivers side. It looked like the window had slipped down in the opening which compromised the seal somewhere along the top. The previous owner lived on a rough road so that might have been a factor.

When removing the window yesterday, I noticed another problem. The outside panel had been cut a little too big. I should have taken pictures but didn't so now I'll have to write about it...

The top edges of the cutout were even but along the bottom towards the front the outside was bigger by almost 3/16". The curved corners were a bit generous as well. I inspected the seal on the window after it was out and it was apparent that the window had shifted down and was barely sealing at the top rear corner. At least the cut edges had been rust proofed so thankfully there was none of that to deal with.

So first I whipped out my trusty tube of 3M Window Weld and filled the void between the inner and outer sheet metal all around the opening. Filling this area keeps the inner and outer panels from moving when the trim ring squeezes them together. The result is more even pressure on the seal. I let that cure for 24 hours.

Instead of using a replacement seal (which would have been too narrow for the over-sized cutout) I decided to use .090" thick x 1/2 wide 3M VHB tape. I applied the tape around the window flange and pulled the backing off just along the bottom sill. I left a tail on the remainder of the backing so I could pull it off later.

I cleaned the outside surface of the van around perimeter of the window with alcohol. VHB likes clean surfaces. Then I masked that off and waxed the painted surfaces that would be hidden forever by the window.

We placed the window in the opening and while my wife held the window from the outside, I used shims to move the window up (~1/16") and then shifted it fore and aft to get maximum overlap with the body all around.

We had a little trouble when the VHB wanted to grab along the bottom but we could pop it loose easily enough and then continue to move the window around to get it "just" right. When it was all good, we pressed down the bottom edge, pulled the top of the window away from the van a little and pulled off the rest of the VHB backing. Then we pressed the window against the van. I put the flange back on and tightened the screws gradually in a crisscross pattern. I used the flange head screws from the previous post since they don't distort the trim flange near as much as the pan heads that were there.

Totally stoked when I went outside to look at how the VHB tape had responded. It's the grey stuff between the flange and the body. The slider door window doesn't leak but I may reset it with VHB also. I think this is going to be bomber -- but time will tell.

 
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GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
During some of the recent heavy rains, I had a small amount of water coming in around the aftermarket window on the drivers side. It looked like the window had slipped down in the opening which compromised the seal somewhere along the top. The previous owner lived on a rough road so that might have been a factor.

When removing the window yesterday, I noticed another problem. The outside panel had been cut a little too big. I should have taken pictures but didn't so now I'll have to write about it...

The top edges of the cutout were even but along the bottom towards the front the outside was bigger by almost 3/16". The curved corners were a bit generous as well. I inspected the seal on the window after it was out and it was apparent that the window had shifted down and was barely sealing at the top rear corner. At least the cut edges had been rust proofed so thankfully there was none of that to deal with.

So first I whipped out my trusty tube of 3M Window Weld and filled the void between the inner and outer sheet metal all around the opening. Filling this area keeps the inner and outer panels from moving when the trim ring squeezes them together. The result is more even pressure on the seal. I let that cure for 24 hours.

Instead of using a replacement seal (which would have been too narrow for the over-sized cutout) I decided to use .090" thick x 1/2 wide 3M VHB tape. I applied the tape around the window flange and pulled the backing off just along the bottom sill. I left a tail on the remainder of the backing so I could pull it off later.

I cleaned the outside surface of the van around perimeter of the window with alcohol. VHB likes clean surfaces. Then I masked that off and waxed the painted surfaces that would be hidden forever by the window.

We placed the window in the opening and while my wife held the window from the outside, I used shims to move the window up (~1/16") and then shifted it fore and aft to get maximum overlap with the body all around.

We had a little trouble when the VHB wanted to grab along the bottom but we could pop it loose easily enough and then continue to move the window around to get it "just" right. When it was all good, we pressed down the bottom edge, pulled the top of the window away from the van a little and pulled off the rest of the VHB backing. Then we pressed the window against the van. I put the flange back on and tightened the screws gradually in a crisscross pattern. I used the flange head screws from the previous post since they don't distort the trim flange near as much as the pan heads that were there.

Totally stoked when I went outside to look at how the VHB tape had responded. It's the grey stuff between the flange and the body. The slider door window doesn't leak but I may reset it with VHB also. I think this is going to be bomber -- but time will tell.

Sorry to read about your window leak, I am sure you fixed it permanently. I just read your posts and like to congratulate you on progress. One of these days I need to learn 3D CAD, it is so much more potent then my old fashion 2D views CAD but even 2D CAD I am finding indispensable in my projects.

Is your 3M Window-Weld polyurethane?

George.
 

hein

Van Guru
It's 3M 08609 Window-Weld Super Fast Urethane. I've used 8 tubes on various van stuff plus fixing a gutter on the house. Don't get it on your skin. 3M adhesive remover will take it off before it cures.
 

hein

Van Guru
Reworked OEM Floor is down (finally). See this post for the layup underneath. I need to order some M8 flat head screws to fasten it to the factory locations. I found some bolts in the junkyard to hold it temporarily. To locate the holes, I ran a straight edge back to a reference mark on the wall and measured the distance out. Then duplicated those dimensions when the floor was in and drilled small pilot holes. (There are tanks underneath so just through the floor.) Then removed the floor and drilled to the final diameter. Still haven't decided on a floor covering.



(tire mark is from when the floor was laying in the garage and I parked the car on it.)



Added one more extension (1") to overlap the lip on the cab floor cover.

 
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hein

Van Guru
This afternoon's progress

Cut parts and welded the legs on the refrigerator support; sanded, painted and installed it. 1/4-20 rivet nuts for the wall connections. OEM cargo track threaded holes for the floor plate. Bolts: M8x1.25x60 HHCS



Note: I can have more of these made. It fits a the Norcold DE-0061. Please pm me for details.




Wife went to our local Fastenal to pick up flat head cap screws for the floor:

Cargo track locations
M8-1.25 x 50mm DIN 7991 Class 10.9 Black Oxide Flat Head Socket Cap Screw



Tie down pocket locations (below)
M8-1.25 x 40mm DIN 7991 Class 10.9 Black Oxide Flat Head Socket Cap Screw

 
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hein

Van Guru
some after dinner brackets, ho hum.



Nice when a seemingly randomly placed outlet reveals its purpose.



I didn't model the electrical outlets in CAD but I referred to the layout model when I chose the locations. Yes, that's the 12VDC exiting out of the corner of the 120VAC outlet box. It comes in at the back inside a plastic conduit that runs along the bottom well away from the AC load wires. I guess I could reroute it if someone calls foul. -or add an insulated baffle?
 
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hein

Van Guru
The brackets in the previous post were to tie the top of the refrigerator to the wall. The intent was to to screw them to the side of the fridge but there wasn't any metal. So I made some large metal corners (material came from the scrap heap) and used VHB tape to secure them to the fridge. Then I screwed the brackets to the plates. Went for a drive and everything is hell-a-stout. I'm tying the fridge to the van because I'm using it as structure to hold my cabinet plus there is minimal clearance for the condenser coils so I can't have any motion relative to the van wall. Pictures:
Right side

Left side

Clearance:


After the drive (fall colors are awesome, BTW), I checked some of my under-hood components. Everything is looking good. I can't wait to get my fresh water tank mounted and plumbed to the water heater. It was warm to the touch so it shouldn't take a lot of engine coolant to get the water hot. Question: Does anyone know where to plumb it into the engine coolant lines? Maybe a solenoid operated heater control valve would be good.

Like this?: http://www.amazon.com/Mercedes-Heater-Control-solenoid-GENUINE/dp/B00AK4XHT2

The Isotemp heater:
 
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Beantsingh

New member
Hein,

Great conversion and write up! Would you mind providing a link or exact name of the thinsulate insulation you used? The website does not seem clear as to what product is ideal.

Thanks!
 

hein

Van Guru
Hein,

Great conversion and write up! Would you mind providing a link or exact name of the thinsulate insulation you used? The website does not seem clear as to what product is ideal.

Thanks!
Thank you for asking.

I was lucky to get GeorgeRA's leftover MA6700 which he purchased for his van. It wasn't quite enough so I got some SM600L through a contact at 3M. SM600L is from the Automotive group and MA6700 is from Marine. They are the same material except SM600L has black scrim on both sides.

I am currently working with 3M to acquire a number of master rolls of SM600L. It takes about a 1/4 of a 60" wide roll (45feet) to insulate a typical Sprinter. I will sell Thinsulate to DIY Sprinter enthusiasts via this forum. Prices will be competitive and you will be able to order a smaller quantity based on your needs. Lead time at this point appears to be at least 7 weeks.

-Hein
 
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hein

Van Guru
Picked up some angle and flat bar. I was going to wing it on the fresh water tank support but doing a bit of CAD led to some significant changes. The model is missing fittings/hardware and may need some dimensional adjustments but the general concept is defined. This post shows the location for the tank.



Edit: I'm not sure the pump will fit there. Might have to move it around the corner and onto the end of the tank... I also read that a loop in the suction line is recommended.

update:
 
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hein

Van Guru
I love this installation of the water heater. If I would not order the auxiliary battery from MB your installation would be my choice.

George.
I found about the Isotemp by reading your build thread. I was impressed by how you had it mounted so that got the wheels turning. Thank you!

I did a little test fit of my fresh water tank hangers just now. 1 1/2 flat bar bent into an L shape that will go into a slot and hook over a floor cross member. The bottom the hanger will be bolted to the frame that goes around the bottom of the tank. See above. Pump will probably have to move again. It's going to be tight.

 

hein

Van Guru
Thanks for doing the math, George. Some supports will see a little more or less because they are not equally spaced. And I am planning to weld an HDPE plate to the tank wall to hold the pump. The bar is 1 1/2 by 1/8 thick so no problem there.

Somewhat concerned about tearing out the corners of the cross member. I'll likely run a bolt w/fender washer into the short leg of the angle through the large hole in the cross member. More pictures to come.

I think a gravity fill through the side of the van might work. The fill will be right below the trim panel. And I plan to vent each corner. Once again, I hadn't really thought about it too much until I had read your posts. I have these items in my cart ATM.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002N5W7SS

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0078RYU6S

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004A30UQM
(probably only need a foot)
 
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Oldfartt

Member
First, I must compliment you on your clever workmanship and design techniques. (I wish I had a CNC Router when I was building mine).

A little tip... The fresh water tank appears to be made of white Polypropylene. However the action of daylight can cause an algal growth within the tank. Even when mounted under the van. Here in NZ it is a requirement to comply for Certified Containment Certificate to ensure that all fresh water pipes and fixed tanks are opaque to light.
Sooo... We either make the tank out of black polypropylene or paint the tank and any clear plastic hoses under the van with black paint. Problem solved!

Cheers

Ross
 

GeorgeRa

2013 Sprinter DIY 144WB, Portland OR
.............................

Somewhat concerned about tearing out the corners of the cross member. I'll likely run a bolt w/fender washer into the short leg of the angle through the large hole in the cross member. More pictures to come.
You could consider adding steel angles with bolts going through the cross member to distribute the weight. I did it for my fresh water tank.

George.
 

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