2016 Crew Camper for Family of 4

IPT

Member
Everyone with roof racks complains about mileage. The ones that don’t complain. Don’t care ( and that’s cool). It really comes down to personal preference and your budget.

I am crunched for space. 4 people and biking gear adds up quick. My main issue is enough room for stuff on longer trips.

I am adding an owl vans Sherpa plus big box to my van for more storage. Less on the roof gets better mileage.
Yeah, I am curious what the hit in mileage would be. I suspect 1-2mpg but that's just a guess. We just averaged 17.2mpg on our last 4 day trip and that's still 5 mpg more than my SRT Jeep so I could probably let go of a MPG or two and be ok with it :). Of course I'm just talking myself into a roof rack because I thin they look bad ass. Though I must refrain, this one is supposed to be about function!

Did you lose MPG with your roof top carrier and side carrier for the water toy?

With another one on the way we will soon be a family of 4 with bikes as well. Already even with 3 I can see the writing on the wall - need usable space inside. I don't plan on being in the van often, because camping to me is still a tent. That said this weekend when it was raining upon our arrival and when it came to cook and eat, being able to slip inside was a total win.

I'll have to check out the rear door boxes. Though the idea of swinging something away all the time seems like a pain, especially when the comes to put the bikes outside. Seems like I am opening those back doors a ton to access gear and stuff.

Lots to think about. Either way is a big expense and I'd like to do it once and get it right. Seems like an awning mount on a roof rack also would be way easier, but of course there are other ways as you (and many others) demonstrated. Any regrets or thoughts on the awning now that you've had it for sometime?
 

sprinterPaul

Active member
Yeah, I am curious what the hit in mileage would be. I suspect 1-2mpg but that's just a guess. We just averaged 17.2mpg on our last 4 day trip and that's still 5 mpg more than my SRT Jeep so I could probably let go of a MPG or two and be ok with it :). Of course I'm just talking myself into a roof rack because I thin they look bad ass. Though I must refrain, this one is supposed to be about function!

Did you lose MPG with your roof top carrier and side carrier for the water toy?

With another one on the way we will soon be a family of 4 with bikes as well. Already even with 3 I can see the writing on the wall - need usable space inside. I don't plan on being in the van often, because camping to me is still a tent. That said this weekend when it was raining upon our arrival and when it came to cook and eat, being able to slip inside was a total win.

I'll have to check out the rear door boxes. Though the idea of swinging something away all the time seems like a pain, especially when the comes to put the bikes outside. Seems like I am opening those back doors a ton to access gear and stuff.

Lots to think about. Either way is a big expense and I'd like to do it once and get it right. Seems like an awning mount on a roof rack also would be way easier, but of course there are other ways as you (and many others) demonstrated. Any regrets or thoughts on the awning now that you've had it for sometime?
i honestly don’t track gas mileage closely. I have the 4 cyl/7speed transmission. The worst I get is 17 mpg pinned uphill into a head wind. I’m usually the low 20s.

I like the owl products because it swings with the door. No lock/unlock.

Regarding the awning I regret not getting the eagle legless one. That is worth the expense.

We hang out in the van a ton. Way more that expected. When it’s cold, dark, etc. kids want to go inside.
 

sprinterPaul

Active member
Hi Paul !
By chance, do you have pictures and explanations on how you fixed the cabinets to the wall/ceiling ?
Thanks a lot !
Seb
I installed L track in the wall behind the bottom of the cabinets. I used rivnuts/plusnuts. The cabinets are bolted to the l track using aluminum angle. Which is bolted to the cabinet bottom.

For the top I just have riv nuts into the ribs.
 

CheckMax

Member
We use both. Initially at the start of 2016 when I purchased the van and installed them my boys were 6.5 and 8 years old. They are very close and like the same things. So watching movies from the head unit made sense and I had usb drive functionality to keep a lot of movies on hand. Headrests are video only and were about $100. At this point I would not do it again. Since age wise they only use it occasionally around town if I don't have tablets on hand.

As they got older they transitioned to tablets more during drives. We use it to keep them entertained when the van is moving only. All electronics are off when we arrive.

I also added a local wifi network for them to join each other in their mine craft world. Usually it goes well until one starts busting up the others creation.
Hi Paul,
Fantastic info here. What equipment did you choose to go with for wifi?
 

warx

Active member
I currently have a single feed for LED lights on the roof powering LED's on the driver side of the van (roof rail).

I really wanted something on the passenger side, but the awning kind of got in the way. After meeting a family on a trip in Utah and seeing how they did their lights with a magnetic mount; that gave me an idea to do the same and split my power feed.

I really like the utility of the lights with out having to drill more holes for wires or mounts, and more importantly: no dropping of the head liner to install.

Yes I have some wires on the roof; but they are attached to rails and mounts and such to keep them in check.

The main feed is on a switch at the dash. Once enabled all the lights can be turned on / off from the remote. I'll probably sticky mount one of the remotes in the van doorway and leave the other somewhere handy.

water proof junction box

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075V73N23/


Magnetic Base Mount. Very strong with rubber protective cover. Takes quite a bit of force to remove.
I just did the same thing as these lights. Trying to find a good cable attachment that is weather and windproof. The lights come with such a short tail (10") so the connections and heat shrink are very visible. For the rails I can drill a small hole for a cable ties or use a slider bolt and nut with a clamp. Perhaps small VHB cable management blocks might work. I could raise it but the magnet base has less hold on the more curved body.
 

Attachments

sprinterPaul

Active member
I just did the same thing as these lights. Trying to find a good cable attachment that is weather and windproof. The lights come with such a short tail (10") so the connections and heat shrink are very visible. For the rails I can drill a small hole for a cable ties or use a slider bolt and nut with a clamp. Perhaps small VHB cable management blocks might work. I could raise it but the magnet base has less hold on the more curved body.
I mount mine higher. On the curve. It does not move.
 

djmroberts

New member


Got my tire carrier installed. Next up I plan to mount a 25 gallon tank under the van using the spare tire carrier mount points but with a custom welded cage.

Plan is to use the big tank as primary water source and then switch to the 10 gallon tank as reserve.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Just added the tire carrier to mine too. Same plan for water tank in spare tire cavity. Do you have a 25-gal tank sized and source to purchase? Also,do you have a design for the custom cage? Would love to leverage your research if possible. Thanks for any advice you may have.
 

sprinterPaul

Active member
Just added the tire carrier to mine too. Same plan for water tank in spare tire cavity. Do you have a 25-gal tank sized and source to purchase? Also,do you have a design for the custom cage? Would love to leverage your research if possible. Thanks for any advice you may have.
97C65A2A-3B5E-4A54-BA11-D4AF867BC938.jpeg
I used this tank. I cut the cross braces and welded in some angle iron/ flat bar to add some support.

if you want drop in no welding agile offers a tank that just works. It’s 21 gallons (?) vs 25. But your done. No extra work.
 

djmroberts

New member
Thanks for the leads on no-mod tank option. I’ll most likely go that direction and forfeit 4 gallons and use the time savings to source a custom size aluminum galley cabinet.
 

H.Mont

Member
Hey Paul -
I am only half way through reading your build and love all you are doing. So my questions will be stepping back in time. By the way, your window covers are fantastic! Had two trips this summer crossing the states and they made camping and rest stop/gas station camping completely stealth, private and safe for me and my family. Fantastic quality!

Like you, my electrical system is completely under the driver seat with my two Fullriver AGM 224ah batteries up under the hood. I would like to add an inverter-charger. I have learned after the fact, that it is best to have an inverter close to your batteries to keep cable size and run length short. I am curious if you'd share what size cable, where yours route to and from, and how you hooked up your inverter-charger to your batteries? Much thanks - Hugh
 

sprinterPaul

Active member
Hey Paul -
I am only half way through reading your build and love all you are doing. So my questions will be stepping back in time. By the way, your window covers are fantastic! Had two trips this summer crossing the states and they made camping and rest stop/gas station camping completely stealth, private and safe for me and my family. Fantastic quality!

Like you, my electrical system is completely under the driver seat with my two Fullriver AGM 224ah batteries up under the hood. I would like to add an inverter-charger. I have learned after the fact, that it is best to have an inverter close to your batteries to keep cable size and run length short. I am curious if you'd share what size cable, where yours route to and from, and how you hooked up your inverter-charger to your batteries? Much thanks - Hugh
Hi Hugh,

great to hear the covers are working out well!

I don’t have an inverter-charger.

I charge from the alternator. I do have an inverter located just on the back side of my driver seat base.

I do have ac to dc battery charger use when plugged in to shower power. But it’s only a 15 amp charger.

I went to 2/0 awg on my cables runs. And kept as short as possible. A hydraulic crimper was super handy to do all the crimps in place.

thanks!
 

H.Mont

Member
Hi Hugh,

great to hear the covers are working out well!

I don’t have an inverter-charger.

I charge from the alternator. I do have an inverter located just on the back side of my driver seat base.

I do have ac to dc battery charger use when plugged in to shower power. But it’s only a 15 amp charger.

I went to 2/0 awg on my cables runs. And kept as short as possible. A hydraulic crimper was super handy to do all the crimps in place.

thanks!
What do you use for your ac-dc shore power set up. I just assumed that it would be from an inverter-charger unit. Sounds like it is separate from your inverter. Any recommendations. I think I saw your plug-in under your hood.

I charge from the alternator and solar with a Kissae DMT-1250 (Dc-Dc battery charger) located under my driver seat. If I were to add an inverter behind the seat similar to you, I was most interested in whether your cables went to both your batteries (under pass seat and under hood) and if so, the size of cable you ran and approximate length. Yes, the crimper is a must have.
 

sprinterPaul

Active member
What do you use for your ac-dc shore power set up. I just assumed that it would be from an inverter-charger unit. Sounds like it is separate from your inverter. Any recommendations. I think I saw your plug-in under your hood.

I charge from the alternator and solar with a Kissae DMT-1250 (Dc-Dc battery charger) located under my driver seat. If I were to add an inverter behind the seat similar to you, I was most interested in whether your cables went to both your batteries (under pass seat and under hood) and if so, the size of cable you ran and approximate length. Yes, the crimper is a must have.
that was my original setup yes. Wires from seat base to both batteries.

i now use two Lithiums that are inside under the passenger bench seat. So i have a short 2/0 run to the inverter.
I have a 10 awg shore plug coming in from under the hood to a blue sea 3 way switch. I can choose to run all of my ac from shore power or the inverter.
When using shore power I can a noco charger that I mounted and hardwired to top off batteries if needed.

i have a separate solar charger from victron. The 100/30.
 

H.Mont

Member
that was my original setup yes. Wires from seat base to both batteries.

i now use two Lithiums that are inside under the passenger bench seat. So i have a short 2/0 run to the inverter.
I have a 10 awg shore plug coming in from under the hood to a blue sea 3 way switch. I can choose to run all of my ac from shore power or the inverter.
When using shore power I can a noco charger that I mounted and hardwired to top off batteries if needed.

i have a separate solar charger from victron. The 100/30.
Sounds like a great way to do it. Thanks for the reply.
 

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