PNW Overland Build

Shower/Bathroom: This unit is now complete and fully operational. After completing the unit with rivets I used silicone to seal all joints inside. The shower pan has been finished with a teak floor for comfort and warmth. I'm using the Laveo dry-flush toilet and it's been great so far.
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Shower mixing valve and wand are from KES. It is intended to have both an overhead rain shower and movable wand, but I'm only using the wand. This serves 2 purposes - 1) lower water flow through the wand alone 2) mixing valve has both a controller for hot vs. cold and a diversion switch where you control flow from rain to wand - now I can use that diversion switch to turn shower off/on without changing the hot/cold mix. Having a 4-gallon water heater only allows for quick showers, but I can turn it off quickly and soap up without wasting time when turning it back on trying to find the right temp mix. All I had to do was block the diversion valve on the back with an end-cap.

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Mounting the shower head and mixing valve in this unit proved challenging because the aluminum walls could not support the weight on their own. I used my upper cabinet in the rear as a quasi stud wall to ensure mounts were strong.
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Kitchen: Crucial element that took many revisions and drawings to get it right. Needed to house the refrigerator, water heater, sink, light switches, 2 electrical outlets, and some cabinet space. I chose to run it inline with the water system on passenger side of van, but overall length meant water tank would also have to protrude into the cabinet as seen in the toe-kick notch below:

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Once the cabinet was dry-fit in place with electrical/plumbing lines run it was time to fit the fridge, switches, countertop, and sink. I used the Ruvati 15" sink with integrated colander and cutting board. Ruvati provided drain attachment was too deep with the water heater below so I used a different setup that allowed for a 45-degree turn. Refrigerator is Isotherm drawer so access is easy from above, but also inside or outside the van. Countertop is from Ikea - its meant for a bathroom - but the laminate finish was very nice and it fit perfectly without modification - for $75 I don't think anything better exists.

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owenfi

Sprinter MY 2020 2500 170 4x4
Shower build looks great!

Is the toilet permanently affixed or removable during showering?

Earlier, for the floor post, you said:
(R5 is low, but the deeper channels below them actually provide for airflow which is key to better performance.
Could you clarify that? I'm thinking of doing a similar-ish floor (but no airflow) so wondering why that would improve insulation performance.
 
Shower build looks great!

Is the toilet permanently affixed or removable during showering?

Earlier, for the floor post, you said:


Could you clarify that? I'm thinking of doing a similar-ish floor (but no airflow) so wondering why that would improve insulation performance.
Insulation is meant to slow heat transfer not block airflow, both are important to heating/cooling a space. Without proper airflow, things like condensation and mold can develop. I did not do a formal vapor barrier on the floor and felt having airflow was beneficial.

Toilet is not permanently affixed, can be removed and does not weigh too much.
 

owenfi

Sprinter MY 2020 2500 170 4x4
Without proper airflow, things like condensation and mold can develop. I did not do a formal vapor barrier on the floor and felt having airflow was beneficial.
Gotcha, yes that makes sense -- in my case I'm considering marine expanding foam under/in-place of the xps board, which since it's closed cell, if properly installed (reaches everywhere) will act as a vapor barrier and should prevent condensation.

Thanks for the updates, build looks like it's really coming together!
 

hdaniels

Member
Shower looks really good, thanks for the photos! How did you run your water over to the shower from the water tank and heater?
 
Shower looks really good, thanks for the photos! How did you run your water over to the shower from the water tank and heater?
Main lines for shower run from passenger side up the rear wall over the doors and above the flare on driver side until they terminate in the mixing valve. Was able to use a constant run with no connections to avoid potential leaks.
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hdaniels

Member
wow. did not think of that way of routing the water. I will have to look into when I get there. It makes sense, since I will have an outdoor shower off the back, maybe continue the run, up and over. Thanks
 
Bed System: Perhaps the most controversial piece of the build was deciding on bed style. Fixed, murphy, convertible couch, bench to bed, happijack, wood, steel, height, etc....but we ultimately settled on a "fixed" 60" wide bed sitting on 3 removable aluminum panels. Overland Sprinters was super helpful, significantly better priced than competition, and they sent me one of their first 12" aluminum sections so my total frame was 24+12+24 =60".

Kit: https://overlandsprinters.com/colle...144-sprinter-van-three-panel-platform-bed-kit

Install: To attach the L/U channels which hold the aluminum frames I opted to weld them in place. You could use a variety of other options, but this ensured optimal structural integrity. Height was decided b/c of various factors, 1) water tank provided minimum value, 2) flarespace trim ring provided maximum value, 3) height of aluminum frame + wood base + froli + mattress in relation to height of finished trim ring.

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If you have not seen the Froli bed system, i highly recommend. Basically mini-box springs that you connect together and match your mattress size. Provides comfort, but perhaps more importantly in a van, lets the mattress breathe. https://nickleatlantic.com/products/froli-travel-modular-bed-system
 

hilld

Active member
The Froli system looks interesting. On their FAQ's they state a recommended min mattress thickness of 4-6", they also say you can use a full latex mattress (very heavy). Can you tell me what mattress you are using? Trying to see if I can learn from others in this area.
 
Electrical & Water Cabinets: Originally was going to let the cabinet shop who built the Kitchen module also build these units. Unfortunately (or not) for a fairly simple 2/3 sided box their price was $2k/box.... Needless to say, I opted to DIY these and if it didn't work I could always go and buy something else. Materials include 1x2" boards, 1/2" plywood, Kreg drill jig, coin flooring, door hinges, and screws.

Water - This cabinet was simplest in my build b/c it was just a rectangular box with 1 side access door. The only items inside this box are my wheel-well water tank, water pump, piping connections, and an open end which connects to the kitchen unit because the water tank is too long. Built the box, test fit in the van, and then applied the coin flooring for exterior finish.
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Electrical - This cabinet is complex because I needed to incorporate so many more items. The battery section is larger and includes a shelf that rests above the wheel-well. I use it to house the 2-100Ah lithium ion battleborn batteries. The rest of the cabinet is essentially a cover for the fuse box, inverter, solar charger, battery-to-battery charger, and various connections which are all mounted directly to the sidewall. I mounted a kill switch, 120v fuse panel, and shore power fuse to the exterior for easy access.
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Completed - Here you can see the nearly completed units in the garage area without the bed installed. These cost about $500 total and will serve the necessary function. I may mess around with aluminum structures eventually, but overall this was a great project and kept $1,500 in my pocket.

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