WhyDogsFly2 2015 Sprinter 170WB 2500

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly
I guess it's finally time to document my build. (Well long overdue probably having had it for 4 weeks now) For now I'll start with post Number 1 and make edits to Post #1 as I get it all written down.

Plan is to build a Camper Van / RV primarily for travel for my wife and I and our 4 dogs. Extra Seat for Occasional passenger. Travel will be to visit National Parks, friends and family and our passion, Frisbee / Disc Dog events. Travel is primarily Spring-Fall. Why would we want to leave Fallbrook (San Diego) in the winter.

All electric, no propane, no diesel heaters (to start). Porta Potti, No black water tank. No shower. DC only Truck Fridge., AC Microwave, DC Roof Fan, 120 V RV A/C, Counter with sink, 10-15 gal fresh water tank.

400 AH battery bank, 200-300 W Solar, 2800 W Inverter / Charger. Portable Generator.

Wood Cabinets to include: Behind drivers seat 3 stacked dog kennels, 3 full height 22 x 24 cabinets, Counter height cabinet behind passenger sliding door.

Rear side to side bunk beds.

Progress so far... Not much. I have purchased my MB roof rails and some insulating materials are on order. I have visited 3 So Cal up-fitters to see what they can do for me. A little fearful cutting holes for the windows likely to have someone else do those for me.

I greatly appreciate all the answers given her. It's going to be a long process.

Al
 

d_bertko

New member
Might be hard for someone from San Diego to understand why you want a diesel heater.

Many national parks and forests are at elevation and almost all of them are so much nicer to visit in the shoulder seasons. It did snow on us overnight in Glacier in August...

We hardly use our d2 at night when it will be above 40F---a quality down comforter is very nice to sleep under. It is the beginning and ends of the day when a little heat is appreciated. So nice to be dressed in one layer without hat or gloves inside the van. Those of us that can work a little on the road know how nice it is sit still and type in comfy temps.

Nothing empties out dry campgrounds faster than an overnight frost---a terrific help for traveling without reservations made months ahead of time. Plenty of days of the year where the morning temps rise 10F over a leisurely cup of coffee or two.

Heat is the difference between you and the tent campers. Not important in midsummer---or in San Diego anytime!
 

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly
Might be hard for someone from San Diego to understand why you want a diesel heater.

Many national parks and forests are at elevation and almost all of them are so much nicer to visit in the shoulder seasons. It did snow on us overnight in Glacier in August...

We hardly use our d2 at night when it will be above 40F---a quality down comforter is very nice to sleep under. It is the beginning and ends of the day when a little heat is appreciated. So nice to be dressed in one layer without hat or gloves inside the van. Those of us that can work a little on the road know how nice it is sit still and type in comfy temps.

Nothing empties out dry campgrounds faster than an overnight frost---a terrific help for traveling without reservations made months ahead of time. Plenty of days of the year where the morning temps rise 10F over a leisurely cup of coffee or two.

Heat is the difference between you and the tent campers. Not important in midsummer---or in San Diego anytime!
I would not feel comfortable doing it myself and prices I have seen are cost prohibitive. Can always be added later.
 

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly
Started the Fantastic Vent install today. Slow process for me trying to get everything right. All I got done is the 14 inch hole.

Preparation





After I located the center and a locating bolt I marked and drilled the 4 corners. Then I cut out the center so the template could be flush with the top for tracing.



The obligatory head through the hole shots.

 

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly
I finish tomorrow.

 

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly
I will be attaching my walls with furring strips. I know I will give up a little space but more room for insulation. I am using 1/2 inch birch about 4.5 wide.



I don't have a table saw but found this new saw attachment very helpful in cutting my straight strips.

 

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly
I guess what I used was Chinese Birch. Not near the quality of Baltic Birch but probably easier to use than standard Home Depot construction grade. Good enough for my purpose.

A bit of a learning curve installing the Plusnuts. Had to make a drill stop so I would not drill through the outside wall.


I got the first strip up. These will be used to attach the wall panels and in some cases cabinets. I will probably add some backing in places where cabinets are attached. The Plusnuts are probably a bit of overkill where just holding wall panels. Many many more strips to go.

 

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly
Putting up my support rails with the Plusnuts has been a long tedious process. I am sure there better ways. Used 3 different drill bits. Pilot thru the plywood into the sheet metal, then the step drill then the final drill size. Of course still more to do.

 
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d_bertko

New member
I did the same drilling to install my zillion rivnuts for my extensive L-track.

Pilot hole, stepdrill and then final "Q" bit. (A pleasure to reserve a couple of fresh bits for that unusual size---very clean holes that allowed me to pressfit a rivnut in before wrenching it.

I did resort to using three drills to avoid changing bits---worth it for over 200 rivnuts.

Sure you don't want to use flanged L-track now that you've done the hard work of installing plus-nuts? The flanges will hold panels with a generous margin of sizing error. And the track will secure passengers, cargo, fixtures with load-spreading and big safety margin.

For me, the L-track has made it very easy to implement many of the improvements that I could not think of when I thought up the initial layout!

Dan
 

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly
I did the same drilling to install my zillion rivnuts for my extensive L-track.

Pilot hole, stepdrill and then final "Q" bit. (A pleasure to reserve a couple of fresh bits for that unusual size---very clean holes that allowed me to pressfit a rivnut in before wrenching it.

I did resort to using three drills to avoid changing bits---worth it for over 200 rivnuts.

Sure you don't want to use flanged L-track now that you've done the hard work of installing plus-nuts? The flanges will hold panels with a generous margin of sizing error. And the track will secure passengers, cargo, fixtures with load-spreading and big safety margin.

For me, the L-track has made it very easy to implement many of the improvements that I could not think of when I thought up the initial layout!

Dan
My hole locations would not line up. I only have 1 cordless drill and my corded is huge.
 

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly
Nice work! I am uploading photos showing my approach. I avoided drilling holes through metal by gluing 2x2's to the side of the metal ribs.
Wow. Are you a boat builder? :lol:
 

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly
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lukedog

Why Dogs Fly
Had my 3rd and last window installed last week. I found a metal fabricator who seems easy to work with. I dropped off some Al Square tubing and sketch for bed frame. He should have in a few days.

 

lukedog

Why Dogs Fly
I have had the stock floor out for a long time while I have been drilling holes and getting metal shaving everywhere. Making a short frisbee dog contest trip this weekend so time to put the floor back in so I have the tie downs available. Good opportunity to start putting in some floor insulation. It will come back out at some point.

First layer is 1/4 inch closed cell foam. 5' wide roll so not too much splicing.



Next is a layer of automotive carpet padding. Using the floor as a template to cut. 6' wide roll.. no splicing.



Putting the floor back in was not that easy. I did not even try to put in the joiner strip this time. My plan was to put a layer of MLV in between. Due to weight concerns I am not so sure. I will be putting a foil radiant barrier on top of the closed cell foam next go around.

 
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lukedog

Why Dogs Fly
I picked up my Aluminum frame from the fabricator today. I supplied the 1" x 1/8 Square Tube. The cost was about $50 for material and $100 labor. It is attached to Approx 1/2 Baltic Birch.



The top of the platform is 47" from the floor. A bit of a sag when my wife gets on. I hope it will improve when I add some additional fasteners between the Al and wood. If still too much I can add additional bar. When happy I will work on the lower bed. There will also be wall panels installed under the support bar.

 

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