PAV Adventure 4x4 Build

ddunaway

Member
Well. Here goes. I am starting in on building the Powder Assault Vehicle (PAV for short) for general outdoor adventures, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, mountaineering, and at some point maybe some crazy world travel. The primary motivation was to enable more winter backcounty ski trips for several days to a week out of the van in exotic locales with incredible powder largely in British Columbia but wherever really.

I just got my new Sprinter about a month ago. The first few weekends I hit the mountains, slept in the van, and skied every day. The weather has deteriorated a bit now and I have started full steam ahead into the conversion.
Thx for all the answers in the ordering process, it was a long wait so too much time for pondering options.

Here are the particulars…….

4x4 High Roof 144 WB Crew
701 Pebble Gray
VU9 Leatherette black
***** OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES *****
AR2 Axle Ratio 3.92
C02 C02 Driver Efficiency Package: Becker ma
MS1 : Cruise Control
L16 : Fog Lamps
F66 : Glove Box Lockable
FR8 : Rear View Camera
E1N : Becker Map Pilot
D03 Roof - High
D13 Roof Rails
ED4 AGM Battery 12V 95 Ah
EN7 Audio 15 (Standard)
ES2 12V Power Outlet Rear Compartment
E46 12V Power Outlet- Driver Seat Base
FJ1 I/P Hinged Lid-Center Stack Bin
FZ9 Keys - Two Additional Masters
F01 F01 Swivel Seat Package (Fleet Only): Ha
S88 : Passenger's Seat Base
S87 : Driver's Seat Frame
SR9 : Seat - Swivel Base - Passenger
SR8 : Seat - Swivel Base - Driver
SD2 : Seat Belt Mount deletion
SB2 : Comfort Passenger's Seat
SB1 : Comfort Driver's Seat
BE2 : Parkingbrake lever,swivel seat
F68 Exterior Mirror - Power/Heated
H00 Warm/cool air duct to rear compartment
H15 Heated Co-Driver Seat
H16 Heated Driver Seat
H20 Heat-Insulating Glass (Standard)
LD0 Overhead Cntrl Panel w/2 Lamps
RF1 Continental Tires
R98 Rims painted Jet Black
SZ7 Seatback Map Pocket - driver
W73 Rear Door Step - Bumper, Gray
X04 X04 Multi-function Wheel/Display Package
JK3 : I/P Cluster Pixel Matrix
CL4 : Multifunction Steering Wheel
X27 X27 Additional Battery Package: Addition
E36 : Cutoff Relay for Auxiliary Battery
E28 : Auxiliary Battery 100 Amp
X30 X30 Low & High Range 4x4
ZG3 : 4x4 High Range w/Low Range Transfer Case
T75 : Door mounted assist handles, driver & pa
KB7 : 24.5 gallon fuel tank
6CE 6CE 6-Cylinder/5-Speed Transmission $985
M46 : Alternator 14 V/220 A
MV6 : V6 Badge on Right Rear Cargo Door
MG5 : Engine-3.0 Turbo Diesel BlueTEC
G40 : Transmission - 5 Speed Auto
 

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ddunaway

Member
I do not really have a firm layout plan yet just basic requirements and constraints. I generally like open plans and modularity.

Must haves
• Bed or surface to sleep on for at least 2
• Heat
• Insulation
• Lights
• Working surface inside the vehicle to cook or do whatever on
• Swivel seats
• Roof fan

Nice to haves
• Place for others to sit aside from the driver and passenger
• Kitchen area
• Storage
• Solar
• 12V frig
• Ability to walk all the way to the back
• A bed that deconstructs

Don’t want
• Complicated plumbing or systems to worry about freezing.

My general strategy is to build in all the infrastructure and needed systems without using any of the interior space. This would include fan, heater, electrical, insulation, lighting. This basic stuff would be permanent.

Espar would go under the passenger seat. I got the aux battery but will likely add more batteries underneath later to get more Ah. The batteries would all be outside, not so great for Ah capacity in the cold but better from a space optimization standpoint and keeping the CG low. I can also grow the bank as needed with the space underneath.

I am pretty sure that whatever interior fixtures/surfaces, furniture, cabinets etc that I built I would want to change, so I plan to start with a completely modular approach regarding interior. These things might be kind of rough to start with just to figure out what I want and to test the functionality over a period of time. This will also let us kind of use the van faster.

I got a crew van so that I could carry more people when needed. One idea is a removable kitchen that would swap with the crew seat. I plan on just using camp stove for cooking, which will likely happen outside a lot of the time.
 

ddunaway

Member

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ddunaway

Member
Day 2 - hole in van roof and fan bracket install

Its not new any more after this. Funny how the how to video lasts 3 minutes but it takes me all day. Some filing on the bracket is key to avoid roof humps. Use plywood for backer. I started with normal wood but is split, then I had to cut up my workbench at the last minute to get some plywood for a backer.

A useful link..

http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15278&highlight=fan+install+george
 

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Onefin

Well-known member
Looking forward to see what you do with your van.
Are you planning on insulating or sound deadening under the factory floor at all?
We have a 2014 crew and I am unsure what to do as far as that goes.
 

UltraMark

New member
PAV and GR8 White are gonna be very similar. Our thoughts and wants are almost identical. Backcountry skiing for me as well. Going modular where I can. Doing swivel seats and more vibration dampening this weekend.
 

ddunaway

Member
Insulation and sound deadening

For sound deadening, I have been doing Second Skin (~20% coverage) on the obviously loud spots on the van walls. I am tempted to go back and do a full coat of this Reckhorn stuff that UltraMark is using given the price and the interior silver lining, which is black on Second Skin.

For insulation, I am going with Thinsulate, not the highest R-factor but hydrophobic and sound deadening. I know it does not hold water because I use it outside in the most extreme wet conditions. There are so many options for insulation and no real clear answer. I was temped by spray foam with such a high R factor but the permanency, distortion of walls, and complexity turned me off. In the end, the composite nature of the van walls, windows, floor, doors argues against going to extremes for one of these elements, ie. the weakest link will dominate.

Looking forward to see what you do with your van.
Are you planning on insulating or sound deadening under the factory floor at all?
We have a 2014 crew and I am unsure what to do as far as that goes.
I have not yet decided on the floor yet. With my modular approach I could wait and do it later. One of the best things about the Sprinter is the head room. I am about 6"1", so there is some room to play with but I am loathe to give it up......and giving it up is the only way to get R.

Not sure how much noise comes through the floor. This could be a deciding factor.

Perhaps use Reckhorn over the whole floor, foam strips in the channels, factory floor next. I have always wanted to use a cork floor somewhere, maybe glue a layer done to the to of the OEM floor. If the cork ultimately gets too screwed up put some thing else on top.

For winter, one can always add a rug or something but the espar can likely keep up and we are used to much rougher conditions.

Still pondering the floor.......
 

pfflyer

Well-known member
Sounds like you will make use of the 4x4 so a floor easy to clean and rugged might be a good choice. Others here have said horse stall mats deaden the sound and could be easily cleaned.
 

pfflyer

Well-known member
For your modular components look at Gladiator garage cabinets. Click on the link in my signature for what I did for a sink. Easy to move in and out of the van when needed.
 

UltraMark

New member
Ddunaway... just from what I've read, and personal experience, a lot of the noise while driving comes through the floor. I noticed a difference just by putting a rug down. I also noticed a difference after I Reckhorned the entire rear wheel wells.

I just ordered 1lb MLV for under the stock floor. I'm going to sandwich it with some type of 1/4" closed cell foam. Will probably Reckhorn the floor as well. Not sure home much vibration I have to kill on the floor but I like that stuff. :D:

I do like the idea of the horse stall matts as I'm sure they are less $.
 

Inertiaman

Active member
Some filing on the bracket is key to avoid roof humps.
ddunaway,

I'm installing the same fan in the same location. And in the same city fwiw! :)

How much filing did you have to do on the flange? Especially the center of the fore/aft edges?

I haven't cut the hole(s) yet, but in preparation I discovered the flange is 16.5"x16.5" but the fore/aft distance between the center rib "tips" on the roof is only 15.75" and the left/right distance between ribs on the roof is 16.25".

I thought I may have to file almost all the way to the mounting hole to clear the rib tips, and then add new holes offset an inch or so from the original. But it looks like you were able to use the original center hole?
 

ddunaway

Member
Inertiaman,
It is centered between from and back bump tips and left and right bumps. I took off about 3/16 at 45 degrees off both left and right sides. On front and back near the tips I took off more into the hole. I did all this with a file. I used a rounded file on the area around tips. The metal strips on top take most of the load so if more of the material is missing around that front and back hole no big deal.

***Note: I highly recommend the metal strips above and the plywood backing below. it really snugs it all together, and prevents cracking of the known to be weak plastic roof flange. I painted the 1/8 in aluminum strips white, so they are not so obvious. See post below.

http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15278&highlight=fan+install+george

It will work! Push forward.
 

Inertiaman

Active member
Sounds like you took off about as much material as I was planning. I'm not afraid to push forward; I was just fishing for different options and/or confirmation that my default plan was reasonable. Your work basically confirms my thoughts. Always helpful when someone else goes first!

I'll be using aluminum strips on top and have read through the GeorgeRa and GraphiteDave install threads. I will likely replace the center hole on fore/aft edges with a pair of holes offset an inch or so to where I get full flange width. And my internal backing plate will be nylon rather than wood. But other than those details, same install as yours.

Out of curiosity, did you remove the resonance tiles on the internal roof at the fan location? I removed them so I would have a clean/smooth surface for the internal backing plate. Those tiles don't come off easy!

Since we're both in Seattle and in similar stage of conversion, perhaps we should connect sometime and share ideas/plans. Cross-pollination always seems productive.
 

Inertiaman

Active member
One other question: did you use machine screws through the plywood to washers/nuts? Or did you use sheet metal screws into the plywood?
 

ddunaway

Member
Inertiaman,
When I cut through the roof most of the resonance tile was gone. I did remove the rest with a chisel. I just used wood screws....1/4 in longer than what came with it.
 

ddunaway

Member
Component Speaker install with Audio 15

I just finished installing new component speakers (Hertz DSK 165.3) in the door and dash. They sound awesome…better than I had hoped. I was debating whether to do a conversion to low level inputs then an amp but I thought I would start simple and keep the power footprint small….

I learned a lot about what was there that I thought I would share.

Here is a wiring diagram for what is there and the speakers. 95% sure of this but I did not trace all wires behind the dash.
 

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ddunaway

Member
Here is how to remove the door speakers. Go down to the video.

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=26898&highlight=door+speaker

Here is how to remove the dash speakers. They pop out really easily once you get the dash panel out, which is not hard. No need to destroy the speakers or opening.

https://sprinter-source.com/forums/showthread.php?t=29308&highlight=replace+dash+speakers

While you are here, its only 4 screws to remove the head. At least take a look to familiarize yourself!
 

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ddunaway

Member
For my install, I disconnected the tweeters and voice coil. I connected the crossover to the door wires then ran a wire back to the tweeter in the dash. See diagram and picture.
 

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