2020 RWD Crew Build

AndyMAC

Active member
Follow along as we build the third installment of a beautifully crafted custom Sprinter.

144 Crew Van (well optioned) that will seat five/sleep five. Convertible u shaped bench in the rear and removable panel bed. Bamboo table on Lagun mount.

Lion Energy Lithium battery electrical system charged by 315W panel and option to charge via shore power. Victron solar charge controller, BMV 712 battery monitor. Cotek 1000W inverter with wall mounted remote. All interior lights on dimmers and plenty of USB charging ports.

13Gal fresh water tank in bench with rear shower outlet. Kitchen cabinet with Isotherm Cruise 65 fridge and Dometic sink. Bamboo countertop.

Espar S2D2 diesel heater mounted under passenger seat. MaxxAir Deluxe fan w/remote.

Cedar ceiling and custom cabinetry throughout.

The build is underway and should be wrapped up by the end of April. I will post more pics and write ups shortly...just taking advantage of the nice weather and spending as much time possible building.
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mtncrawler

Active member
Nice build. Did you use a water based stain on the cedar ceiling? Do the individual planks run the full ceiling length?
 

AndyMAC

Active member
Looking good so far, I assume that trim piece above the sliding door with the light came with your crew van?
Yes, that is the headliner (modified) and I extend the main door light (which is located in the center of the headliner from the factory) so that is reaches over to the door and then cut an opening into the headliner.
 

AndyMAC

Active member
Nice build. Did you use a water based stain on the cedar ceiling? Do the individual planks run the full ceiling length?
The stain is water based. The individual planks do not run the full length. The cedar boards work really well with the temperature changes that occur in vanlife. I have used the same boards in my two previous builds with great success.
 

AndyMAC

Active member
Here are a few more build pics including an “in progress” ceiling pic. Cotek remote is for a 1000W inverter.
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mtncrawler

Active member
The stain is water based. The individual planks do not run the full length. The cedar boards work really well with the temperature changes that occur in vanlife. I have used the same boards in my two previous builds with great success.
Thanks for the reply. I need to redo my ceiling - I knew it was going to be a risk, but I tried vinyl flooring planks. Although it still looks ok - and is functional - the delta between thermal coefficients of expansion of the planks and van body didn't work out so well.:LOL: Separating and buckling in some places. It may have helped to leave some more clearance in my screw holes for movement - but probably not enough.

Did you use wood furring strips or directly attach the cedar to the ceiling ribs?
 

AndyMAC

Active member
I used Celtec as furring material. The Celtec is held up with VHB tape and stainless steel self tapping screws. The Celtec holds the screws very well and I’ve never had a problem with it holding up the ceiling. The Celtec is the perfect thermal break from the van skin. I also use the Celtec to fur out the walls before attaching the wall material. The cedar planks are very lightweight also. I try and keep any material installed higher in the van as low weight as possible.
 

AndyMAC

Active member
Some “in progress” cabinetry pictures. The kitchen cabinet is removable by using l track to fastening it to the wall (last pic). It’s removable due to the new Mercedes factory bench seat removal process. Two of the three factory bench seats recline like normal. The seat against the wall only reclines one notch. No way around that.
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Attachments

AndyMAC

Active member
Dry fitting the fridge before priming and painting. the space above the drawer will have a venting material attached. The cabinet will have plenty of air flow via access vent holes drilled throughout the back. 8ABEBB90-415A-4940-BCD9-577461AC826F.jpeg
 
Yes! This will all be primed and painted with cabinet grade Benjamin Moore paint. Poplar does very well with this application. The counter top and dinette table will be bamboo.
Nice I'm using Poplar for my trim too I like the greenish hue some of the pieces have and it's nice and solid.
 

AndyMAC

Active member
Nice I'm using Poplar for my trim too I like the greenish hue some of the pieces have and it's nice and solid.
True, plus is more durable (and better quality) than pine, but doesn’t have the weight of using a heavier wood. It also sands down real nice and takes paint like a champ.
 
True, plus is more durable (and better quality) than pine, but doesn’t have the weight of using a heavier wood. It also sands down real nice and takes paint like a champ.
Did you have the factory trim for the rear pillars? I did not, trying to find something malleable to trim those out is troublesome.
 

AndyMAC

Active member
Did you have the factory trim for the rear pillars? I did not, trying to find something malleable to trim those out is troublesome.
The trim for the pillars came with the van but we don’t use it. It impedes the bench tops when opening. I wrap the pillars in headliner fabric repurposed from the center pieces of the factory headliner. Here is pic from my last build (I haven’t wrapped my current build yet)

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AndyMAC

Active member
First coat of Waterlox on the bamboo table and countertop. It takes 5 coats on each side with 24 hour dry time between coats. The coats are quick to apply but it’s time consuming waiting between coats. The end result is absolutely amazing and makes the surface bomb proof.
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AndyMAC

Active member
Still needs a little bit of tidying up...
This is the driver side power block that powers everything on the drivers side. The main power is on the passenger side. Sure beats having to run a new wire if you want to add something in the future. F86C3D5D-E9DB-4E56-BCCE-96528ADF38C5.jpeg168C529A-CF0D-4461-B63E-091A23613042.jpeg
 

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