Kinja 2, The Grey White low roof 144" Surf Van

There aren't a ton of posts for the new 2019 Vans so I thought I would start a thread and leave my breadcrumbs for others to find later. Thanks to all that have gone before me as well.

I just took delivery of a 2019 144" low roof cargo van. I wanted a low roof passenger to rip out the seats and modify but they dont make the low roof vans with seats any longer. Luckily I found a super rare custom order cargo van that came with factory windows all the way around and was nearly "fully loaded" forward of the cargo partition. The van came with the 10" MBUX, distronic, and the vast majority of technology options you can get. Frankly it had too many options but I didn't want one without the Mbux backup camera, cruise control and heated power seats. That basically took me to nearly fully loaded. It also has the full power sliding door.

I'm referring to the van as Kinja 2. Kinja (1) was a boat that I put way too many man hours and money into previously. I have a feeling this could be worse than owning a boat.

Behind the cargo partition it is just bare metal so I've got a lot of work to do.

The color is Grey White. When i was researching the color I found that very few of these actually exist and there are really only a couple of pictures on Google or Sprinter Source of this color. I was worried about the color as I'm not a fan of the artic white vans. Its warmer than a cream but not as dark as a beige. For me I didn't want a dark color as they attract the sun so while it wasn't my first choice, the color is growing on me.

OK, this is the starting place. First up is the wheels and tires as it looks pretty boring stock.
 

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First modification is the tires and wheels. The post on this forum about going larger in tire sizes was super helpful. https://sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=38515&highlight=265

I opted to go up to 265 70 17 from the stock size of 245 75 16.

I'm really glad I did. They don't rub at full lock and they fill up the wheel wells. The new shoes are the method 701s in Bronze.

The before and after pics are pretty dramatic. The store that put them on does a lot of sprinter vans in my area (1-2 a week according to the tech) and they have a lot of success with the 265 70 17. He even offered a larger size than that but I opted to not push it.

The tires are a tad louder than the stock tires but my van is also empty with zero insulation right now so everything is loud right now.
 

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Today was the first visit to the Dealer.

1. ordered grab handles. $35 each or so. ordered 3 and plan to wrap them with some kind of bicycle handle bar leather so they aren't slippery.

2. ordered what might resemble the spare tire carrier under the van. Most of the parts were available and it looks like it will set me back about $250 or so. However.... one interesting problem. The unit hinges from the front side. those parts were available. The rear side has some kind of strap and a tensioner bolt to hold the tire up snug. The strap isn't available at all. OK can use some kind of cargo load strap. The tensioner bolt had several different options but the one i needed wasn't available either. We just took a flyer and ordered the only one that I could get and i'll find a way to make it work.

Interesting note for those with oversized tires. There were several "versions" of this rack that included some tires with 17" rims and "aggressive tread". I presume this means a longer bolt but for those of you looking to put bigger tires on the van, it looks like there is an option you dealer can order to give you a little more room. We think I have a 50% chance of making it work as the parts manual wasn't clear.

3. My van came with a cargo partition. The seats are programmed to not go back beyond a certain point so they won't hit the partition. Partition is gone but seats still wont go back. They squeezed me in and the tech played with it for 20 mins but couldn't figure it out. They asked me to make an appointment and drop the van off for the day so they could call MB and ask how to fix it.

And.... he couldn't figure out how to turn the daily oil reminder off either. so still annoying on both fronts.
 
Maxx fan going in. It was SUPER easy to rip a hole in the roof. I used a low grade jig saw metal blade and it went through the roof like butter. I used the adapter from ebay. Much easier and I highly recommend the adapter. I put a wood frame of 1" X 1" underneath the roof to have something for the screws to pull on. I used 1 1/1" flat head deck screws and its nice and tight. As my power sub panel is under the passenger seat, I installed an on/off switch at the base of the passenger seat to turn the fan power on and off. The fan went in the rear hole so I wanted to be able to turn it on and off from the drivers seat easily.

The only thing I've just discovered is that when the maxx fan comes on, it doesn't go to the last position. When I turn it off and then back on, it just goes into standby waiting for me to go back and push the on button. I need to figure out how to override that I think.



 
Flooring time. The van came with no floor. Huge props to the team at RB components who gave me a throw away floor to use as a template. This saved a TON of time. If you are doing this, get a floor no matter how bad of condition it is in. You just trace around it and cut out the lines. super easy. The stock van floors are super flimsy. I used 3/4 sanded plywood from Home Depot. $45 a sheet. 3 sheets.


here is the front left to pickup that odd little spot in front of the flooring.



and the front right



and the floor in. super solid. so glad i opted to pay the extra $10 per sheet of plywood for the 3/4" floor. Yes, its overkill but now that its in, I can't imagine not having the extra stability. It doesn't flex at all. The team at RB talked me into going bigger on the floor as that is what they put in their vans. I'm sold. Its bomb proof.





and then I added some "waterproof" ( or resistant) click in vinyl flooring from home depot. I didn't cut the floor. this is one I hired out a flooring guy to do for me so it would come out good. He suggested a minimum of 65 square feet. Of course they only come in 20 square foot boxes so I got four. We needed the four. I only have a couple of boards left. I would have been short at 3 boxes.

By this point, I have redone the front of the three floor boards to accommodate the two person bench i picked up from SprinterPete so it only has two mounting holes in it.

HUGE BONUS --- While you have the front floorboard out, take a paper template from the front angles so you can use that outside the van cutting out your flooring.





Cost of the floor tiles = $250. Labor = 4 hours of a skill flooring guy.
 

veronatii

Member
one more note, i opted to glue the floor down so it wouldn't move. I used liquid nails on the edge boards.
I have the same flooring in my van and considered gluing it down as well, but my concern was expanding & contracting with heat changes, causing either warping or separation in the panels. Do you have experience with this flooring or are you just going to wait and see what happens?
 
next time buy a trim router

Just put the floor on some saw horses. assemble the floor on it, router the edges, put the whole thing in van
Be aware that with this composite flooring material the bit life will be very short, be sure to have spares. Also note that the dust produced will be much finer than when trimming normal wood, it will be a messy operation unless you have good dust collection on your router or on your lungs
 
right wheel well cover installed. 3/4" plywood with a 1"X1" square post to screw the corners into. covered in the flooring tiles with a wood top on a hinge so I can access it. super simple.

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RB components "renoir tweed" door and ceiling panels going in. Note as my van was the first 2019 they did, the rear door panels don't match in top height exactly. Definitely need to get this corrected. Its a small miss but bugs me.

The door panels from 2018 fit perfectly. The ceiling fits perfectly. the "B" pillars required a custom fit as they didn't have a template but RB did a great job on them (and now they have a template).

 
aluminess nerf bars installed.

super easy to install. it says you need two people to install them. My "other" person was a pair of vice grips that held up the end that I was not at while I drilled at the opposite end. one of the easiest additions so far. very straightforward to install. in my opinion, transforms the van far outside of amazon delivery vehicle and into adventure van. note that the bars in this configuration aren't that easy to actually use and step on. you have to be careful on how you enter and exit the van as they aren't that wide. I put non skid tape from amazon on all key areas you might step on.

 
interior panels installed. Thanks to the team at RB components for great products. Renoir tweed color.



The two person bench seat creates TONS of room inside.



A closeup of my interior surf board racks. These are 27" wide "aero" pads to keep the boards off the ceiling held in place with 1" wide webbing and connected up to the l-track that crosses the van in two places. I can easily put one board on each side and it looks like two on each side would also work.

 
Nearly there.

This weekend the cabinets went in. I had these cabinets built for my metris before the sprinter arrived but they were too long. Funny enough, when i bought the van i measured and I was certain they would fit. Then I realized later that I didn't put the bench seat in the stock position as I put it slightly further back to allow for more legroom in front of the bench. A couple of rounds with the jig saw and now they fit. The bed is three pieces. The front part is one box with a wide full width storage for umbrellas, awnings and beach chairs. The middle section has a box for bed linens on the drivers side and a removable panel on the passenger side so it can convert into a dining area. The insert is the table top and I've mounted a Lagun mount both in this area and on the rear door area. I primarily set it up so I could get some work done at the beach in the van.

The back section has a super deep drawer and an area for plastic rubbermaid tubs. I use the tubs for wet wetsuits.

This design was all made around my desire to keep a "hallway" that would allow me to walk to the rear of the van while keeping a low platform bed that aims to the rear of the van.











behind the first rubbermaid bin is a deep area where I normally put a "rinseaid" pod portable shower. I just realized there is a ton of space in here so i'm going to install a 10 gallon water container and a 12volt water pump and put it back here instead. I'm just rinsing off after surfing so 10 gallons will go a long way.

 
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VanGoSki

Active member
That's gotta be one of the nicest vans on the beach!

What are the details on that bench seat if I may ask? It looks like just what I want.
 
here is the drawer under the bed.

there is now a 10 gallon water tank from amazon behind the plastic tub on the left side which allows for a nice rinse off after surfing.
 

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