Need Help Starting NV3 144 Adventure Van Conversion

Adventure Guy

New member
Hello All,

I just purchased a 144 cargo sprinter and I am planing to convert it into an adventure vehicle for skiing mountain biking and all kinds of other outdoors adventures in the wilderness. I'm looking for help and advice on what are the best options for many different things I will need for the van, any thing to avoid, any things that are a necessity.

First, I am wondering if anyone has any connections or knows where I can get an accurate 3D model of the interior of a van. I do a lot of design work on Solidworks and would like to make whole layout in there first. With this my hope is that I can design and build the interior once (or fewer times than I would without designing it in CAD first) and have it all fit.

Also I own a engineering/ prototyping company, so if any one has some good ideas for products/parts they would like to have designed or made I may be interested in helping you out. Also if I like the idea enough and you would be wiling to let me use it I will share the design with you guys. Let me know I always like exciting projects and helping out people.... if I have the time.

Second, I will be lining the interior walls with some sort of wood paneling and will need to insulate as well. Any advice on a particular insulation or how to attach the wood paneling to the walls would be helpful or places I can even start looking. From all the research I have done so far it seams as though most people use sound dreading material as well as insulation. Is this a necessity? it seams as though the insulation would do the sound deadening?

Third, auxiliary heating. So far it looks like diesel fueled heaters are the best and most efficient and the van I am getting has an auxiliary diesel fuel line from the tank already. Any other suggestions that may be better for any reason? The two I have looked at briefly are planar and espar diesel heaters.

Forth, auxiliary power. I am thinking some sort of battery bank and maybe a solar panel or two. I will need to be able to run a laptop computer, a tv screen/ monitor for work, and then some lights, all the small electronics ( phone, Ipad, etc), some sort of internet, and speakers. Any recommendation for some type of internet system cellular or other? It would mostly be used to email CAD files and the rare skipe meeting if I absolutely can't avoid it and can't get to some wifi, but that is not a necessity. Any recommendations here would be greatly appreciated, electronics really are not my thing and I have no idea where to start haha. My hope is to be able to travel and work from anywhere.

Finally, maybe a basic water system like a sink and outdoor hose/ shower.

Right now I am really just looking for ideas and seeing what my options are because I am doing this on a very tight budget and will be doing all the modifications in my limited free time.

Any and all help is greatly appreciated!! Hope to see some or all of you out and about on my adventures!

cheers

PS. I can't spell to save my life so bare with me there will be many spelling mistakes hahah
 

downunder

Member
Consider looking at these two builds-
stealthsprinter.com Great write up and photos even though it is on a 170. Basic water system may be of value to you.

deepredmotorhome.com This one is based on a Fiat but is still relevant for good write ups, photos etc.

Hours of reading and planning, so many more in the Conversion and write up section to give you multiple ideas.
 

BikeJozz

New member
Your first step should actually be reading the countless thread in this sub-forum and the write-ups. I have read hundreds of pages in the last 6 months and I am still learning new stuff everyday.

Build a spreadsheet, narrow down your choices.

Doing a conversion is hard work, so is preparing for it.

Most important, have fun doing it!
 

scooter12

New member
Yup, I can't comment on any kind of finished build, but I have definitely spent several months reading up on my options.
I think the research and planning of a conversion outweighs the actual physical action. By a lot.

The write up section here is great. Expedition portal has some great builds also. Plenty of places.
Prepare for some serious internet time...
 

pfflyer

Well-known member
Your first step should actually be reading the countless thread in this sub-forum and the write-ups. I have read hundreds of pages in the last 6 months and I am still learning new stuff everyday.

Build a spreadsheet, narrow down your choices.

Doing a conversion is hard work, so is preparing for it.

Most important, have fun doing it!
Agree. Looking at others work you can see what works for others and what should work for you. Combine what will work for your goals and then start designing and building yours.
 

Graphite Dave

Dave Orton
One 144" WB conversion that might be of interest that is documented here is my first conversion. Info is in multiple posts: Search orton in the blue ribbon above. I do have 2D CAD drawings.

My second in progress conversion is documented here:

http://www.ortontransit.info/

Many changes/improvements for the second conversion.
 

smcphc

New member
We went through three different interior designs before we hit on the one that we love. It took a trip or two in each design to figure out what needed to be changed. I used 8020 because it's very easy to take apart and put back together.

I have a relatively simple floor plan. In my 144 I can carry 4 bikes inside under a raised rear platform. Jack knife sofa along the driver side wall. Aux battery under the passenger seat charged by either the alternator, shore power, or solar. I did all the work myself, but could not have done it without the sprinter source RV conversion write-ups. By going through the various threads, you'll eventually find design elements that fit your needs, and then it's just a matter of execution.
 

Adventure Guy

New member
Thank you all for the input. I will continue to look through the threads and try to finalize all my choices.

I have been looking through many of these and many other threads and websites for about 6 months now, so I have a pretty good idea of what I want, except for electronics. The reason I started this thread was more to get input of experiences you all have had with different products or your vehicles that you think would be helpful.... things that you have found to be a necessity or very handy and things to definitely avoid or things you included that you never find yourself using.

Cheers and I will all keep you updated on the choices I make and the progress on the vehicle.
 

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