2019 Passenger Van Weekender

slamit

www.cacampervan.com
Known for our modular weekender family builds I decided on this next company build to start with a passenger high roof 4WD passenger van. It could seat up to 11 if needed and sleep 4. Its very well equipped with all the goodies...which also meant a very healthy price tag. Having said that I found a rare bird...one without AC. AC in the newer vans are horrible for up-fits, the rear AC is in the way of everything and takes up 30% of your roof. They put it now in back, the worst place possible for a campervan. So I was glad to snag this weird set up with out rear AC as the passenger van has more speakers, rubberized floor cover, and an interior I don't have to modify thereby reducing costs signficantly over a cargo and the seating is DOT approved set up. Tossed the 4 seat in the back right way. Its too big and in the way of a bed. But first things first...lets cut the wheel wells for larger tires! Gotta get the van looking good as most of the 100+ hours in this van you will have no idea of what was done. You have to open up the wheel wells on the VS30's for larger tires, a real pain. I prefer using the Van Compass kit as it opens up the front and the back fender wells and you keep a "stock" factory look without having to paint anything. Its an inexpensive kit, but takes a bit of elbow grease to install. If you are comfortable cutting up your brand new fenders...its not difficult to install, but give yourself a long afternoon to do so to get completed. Measure twice cut once. I have a few things to try in this van I haven't seen...so hopefully they will work out (or I will spend some serious amount of money figuring it out) I personally like all windows...when I camp. I like to see outside thats why I am camping in the first place right? For privacy I use window shades. Also its actually more stealthy...it can look like a aiport shuttle or a family van. Cargo vans with a fan on top or pill windows are not stealthy, its always strange to me when people think they are more so, I can always tell if someone is sleeping in their van when its a cargo van with a fan, solar, or a small window, total give-a-way In this van we are going to put 4 AMA vented screened windows instead of CRL ones as I need to reduce clearance in the back window.. These windows have a euro look. I am personally not really a big fan, I like awning style like CRL so I can open windows up in the rain, but I am going this direction for a technical reason. I am going to attempt to put a MOAB bed in the back with vented windows. I know the CRL ones won't work as the trim ring gets in the way with the bed brace wall kit, we will see if there will be issues with an AMA or if there is less cutting involved to get it to work. Worst case I will notch the rear brace. I install more of the Adwag stuff in passenger and crew trim vans than anyone on the west coast, so I know the stuff pretty well and the problems you have, especially with passenger vans and beds. I don't think its the best bed...its just the right bed for this application.

Getting ready for larger tires- you can see the photo shows how much material is cut from front and back of the wheel wells. You can't be scared to taking a cutting tool to your new 70k van. Other plans of course include the minimum basics: adjustable height bed, aux battery, solar, insulation and sound deadening, speaker upgrade, Lagun table set up, upgraded rear passenger seats, Aluminess Step Bar, swivel seats, L track for storage bags, Bed, Owl Van Bike/Box Carrier, 12v/usb outlets, interior lighting, and maybe a few other things. Just that list alone puts this van into the six figure range for sure. The parts list ads up very quickly and to be honest when done looks like nothing has been done, but that the style of van I am going for - weekender that is simple and keeps everything open, functional, clean, and modular. Part $ add up quickly as anyone will confirm if they have done a build with good quality parts and materials.


cut pieces.jpgfront wheel opening.jpgrear wheel opening.jpgwheel openings.jpg
 

slamit

www.cacampervan.com
Few more things done on this van...SOP for a nice build. Put on some Aluminess Tread Steps so that it is easier to get in/out of, these vans are high; especially with larger tires. Speaking of tires and rims those have been put on as well. 275's, the largest size with out messing up the electronics on these vans. You can see this is where the fender kit really helps both front and back to get clearance. Its always fun to put on a little eye candy.

New Tires1.jpgnew tires2.jpgaluminess Tread Step2.jpgaluminess Tread Step3.jpg
 
Last edited:

slamit

www.cacampervan.com
Now to the not so cool stuff, but the things that really count in a build. Started adding the sound deadener; I use Raam Mat. Why...its flat out better than most of the stuff out there. Dynamat Extreme is also a nice product as well. Its more expensive no surprise there. Yep that other stuff people use No#$*co and Fa$ M$%^ might be more common and everyone seems to use it, but it's not nearly as good, not even close. You generally pay for what you get. This stuff is 2-3 x more money, but the end result is better. You can see I don't skimp on the coverage either, this is why my vans are very quiet. I will use 3M Thinsulate on top. I have driven vans with other materials used and there is a difference you can hear for sure. I find this is one of the best combinations out there for a nice result. You have to however do your doors...its a huge difference as well. When all said and done the walls, doors, and headliner take me 18 hours...and that is moving very fast, figure to do this correctly most will take 30 hours at least. Its takes time to do the coverage correctly and a kit just isn't going to be the same.

door deadening.jpgfront door.jpgsound deadening.jpg

Also getting the batteries in. I like to keep my interiors fee of clutter for the weekender family vans. Room for gear and stuff. This is no exception being a passenger van. Putting them in the hood keeps the batteries out of the way in the safest possible area, however if you are going to run a large inverter for a blender or microwave this location will not work as its too far of a cable run to inside of the van. To much voltage drop. This van will run, fan, heater, fridge, lights, charge phones and lap tops and this has more than enough power with these batteries and 200w of solar on the roof. This is a weekender passenger van, you don't need to run a microwave or your blender. If you are going to put a high power inverter, you can put the batteries inside the van or I prefer to put them under the van next to the gas tank then run the large cables up into the inside. With all the seats and stuff in this van that is not ideal for this type of build for a family.

left battery.jpgright battery.jpg
 
Few more things done on this van...SOP for a nice build. Put on some Aluminess Tread Steps so that it is easier to get in/out of, these vans are high; especially with larger tires. Speaking of tires and rims those have been put on as well. 275's, the largest size with out messing up the electronics on these vans. You can see this is where the fender kit really helps both front and back to get clearance. Its always fun to put on a little eye candy.

View attachment 142497View attachment 142500View attachment 142506View attachment 142507
Do the nerf bars require drilling?
 

slamit

www.cacampervan.com
The interior is going back together as all of the electrical lines are pre-run now and 12v outlets front and back are put in so lower panel walls can start to go back in. The final insulation on the roof is in as well. This is really important in hot climates, as the roof gets so hot that even a fan won't keep the van cool. Not only will the van be cooler and warmer when needed, the interior noise is reduced as well. It is a must to do and your electrical should be done at the same time unless you want to take your van apart multiple times. Fuse panel, battery isolator, and solar panel lines as well have been run and hooked up. Really doesn't look like much has been done however this represents 25 hours of work later from the previous pics. For the most part almost looks like nothing has been done. Headliner should be going in tomorrow then there will be a pause in this build as windows need to get replaced an an Espar D2 heater needs to arrive before swivels and some more electrical lines can be run at the same time. Decided to put a heater in the van to ad more comfort and extended use for cold weather camping.


interior going back.jpg
 

slamit

www.cacampervan.com
Here the interior is getting back together, fuse panel is under seat for easy access and to keep it hidden. There is room left for a heater and even a small 5 channel amplifier if needed next to the fuse panel. The aux batteries are in the hood all hidden away. This can be different than most builds as a weekender with family the focus is to keep the interior empty/clean/uncluttered with boxes and electronics. This however means a few sacrifices, no cabinets for lots of electronics or electrical work for large inverters and big water tanks. What you do have is room for the family and gear. You can still run a fridge, charge a laptop, and all your phones and such. No microwaves, blenders, or coffee makers however, that requires a large inverter and batteries located under or inside the van close to the inverter. (if you want to run large power items) You don't see family vans that seat up to 8 in 144" with a bunch of stuff, if you look closely at most builds they are 170's that fit a bunch of stuff in them...cabinets, build in fridges, sinks, stoves, microwaves, toilets... Those 170's don't fit in a regular parking space and can't be used easily as a daily driver. Try getting one out of a Target or Home Depot Parking lot and you quickly find out they are pretty big, let alone park downtown when traveling in a big city. This weekender are kinda like a M3- all the work is hidden that makes it different than just a van with a fan and a bed on it. Lots of thought and work in what seems like an interior that had absolutely nothing done to it. The modular concept and elevating it above just a "regular" van requires a lot of work. There will be well over 130+ hours into this van when done, figure normally this would easily be about 200 or more easy if you had to research and figure out how to do the work for a first timer. Top L track for storage bags are mocked up as well as seat fuse panel is getting final wiring done. Everything is hidden. The seating shows the two seater bolt in captains chairs as well as a factory OEM 3 seater as well. All of these can be removed or switched around depending on need. Pics are all works in progress as a bit more work and detail needs to be done before finished.


interior1.jpgbattery tray2.jpgseating.jpgfuse panel.jpg
 

Top Bottom