Next camper #2

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Next camper #2

Postby Philip » Wed Aug 07, 2019 10:50 am

I a couple of days I'll be starting build of the next camper. This one is a short WB early model Sprinter. Low milage with little to no rust which is a problem in my area for these.

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Here is the inside in its current form.

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The second row of seats are being pulled out. With just the wife and me. They take up extra room. This being a SWB van you need all you can get.

The bed will be placed along the driver side running length ways in the van. Theses van is only 65" wall to wall inside to intside. With me being 6' that is a little tight.
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Re: Next camper #2

Postby Philip » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:00 am

Now I have a question?

Today I made up the outside patch cord for the electric panel. Tested the 110 outlets and 12 volt outputs. I was lucky and all the electric in both voltages works and everything was grounded properly. That saved me a lot of work.

I know nothing about this control panel. I couldn't find a model number or much about it doing online search. What can you guys tell me about it?

The van is wired for a house battery which I need to pickup before the build is done. Will this charge a AGM battery properly?

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I should have the foldup bed by Friday. Then Tuesday the van goes out for a roof top A/C install. The fantastic fan already there works as it should.
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Re: Next camper #2

Postby Philip » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:02 pm

Well time for a update.

Last week the sprinter was at a RV dealership getting a roof vibrator installed.

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Its a little 9k coleman with no heat. Couldn't get heat on that little one.

Then today I worked on the bed. I got all the parts for it last week while is was at the dealer for the A/C install.

This pic shows one mounting wall installed and the bed laying on the floor with the turn tables attached.

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This pic shows the bed installed.

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This is the bed raised. View from rear doors.

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View from sliding door.

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Now to figure out cabinets is the next step and start building them..
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Re: Next camper #2

Postby Philip » Wed Sep 18, 2019 10:57 am

I figured it was time to drop in and update this thread.

I have been working on framing the kitchen cabinets.

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In this pic above. The lower left open area will be for a small microwave. Above that is a self for the 2 burner coleman camp stove. The upper area that is not finished yet. It will be a drawer not full width of the area that is open. Door opening only allows a drawer 14" wide. The rest of that area will be blocked off. The right side lower opening will be for camping chair and extension cord storage. The area above that will be for a storage area for a 12 pack of soft drinks and water bottles. It can hold a half flat of water plus the 12 pack.


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Now for the center section. The lower two sections will have pull out drawers that hold two of the plastic tubs in the pic. The upper section will be a regular closed type drawer.

Won't be doing much for the next week or so. Its going into the shop for rear axle work.
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Re: Next camper #2

Postby Philip » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:52 am

Thought it was time to update a little. The van was in the shop for rear axle till the middle of Dec. That job turned into a big can of worms.

Right now its in a body shop for a few minors repairs. Should have it back later this week or early next week. Nothing in those repairs to jump up and bite me. :lol:
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Re: Next camper #2

Postby Philip » Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:36 am

Time f some pic's.

I did a little redesign of the kitchen area. The upper area to the far right I had planed on storage for drinks. I changed that to a pull out drawer. I haven't made the drawer yet. I'll do that when I do the drawers for inside the van. The two lower center drawers will be for the plastic totts in the pic above.

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I have installed some sound dead control matting on the bottom side of the bed. The thin alumin was making noise driving. Now it doesn't.

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In this pic I have started framing for the cabinets inside the van. The area above the counter top will be closed in with doors. Its just a closet.
The area in-front of it. The upper open area will be a couple of drawers. The bottom area I am going to close it off with plywood. That is going to be a tool storage area. If I need a tool just pop a drawer out.

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Re: Next camper #2

Postby Philip » Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:59 am

Next place to attack is under the bed. I will have two or three drawers under the bed. In the area where the wheel well would interfere with drawers. That will have access door for storing drinks in.


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Re: Next camper #2

Postby aggie79 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:02 pm

Looks great! :applause: :thumbsup: :applause:
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Re: Next camper #2

Postby Philip » Sun Apr 12, 2020 8:05 am

Tim for another update.

I finished the cabinets on the driver side. I lined the front cabinet in ply. The outside cabinet the wife wanted pegboard in it for a lining. All that's left in that area is doors and two drawers to build.

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This pic is the outside view of the driver side cabinets.

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These two pic's are the start of the passenger side cabinets.

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If you noticed in the first pic the bed is out of the van. I am in the process of doing a redesign of it. I decided that design wan't going to work.
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Re: Next camper #2

Postby Philip » Fri Apr 24, 2020 1:39 pm

Time for another update.

This fist pic is the passenger side rear cabinets. These are ready for ply inside, then shelfs and doors. The lower are in front is about done.

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The fab shop got the new bed mounts done. I installed the slides and did a mock up. I changed to a sofa/sleeper bed setup. This first pic is the mount installed with a mockup of the bed frame setting on top of it. The first pic is in stored position. The second pic is extended position.

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These next to pic's show the be retracted and extended view of it.

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Those are 500 lb drawer slides non-locking. I plan on using a couple of linear actuators to move the bed in and out.

With the bed retracted into sofa mode. There is 16" of travel room to the passenger side cabinets I haven't built yet. Those cabinets will be notched for bed travel in extended position.
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Re: Next camper #2

Postby Philip » Tue May 26, 2020 11:09 am

Thought I better get back in here and do a update.

The cabinets are all framed on the passenger side. I have the doors made and painted. Those will not be installed till the frames are painted. This pic is mainly of the upper cabinets.

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This pic shows the lower cabinets better. The pic above kind of chopped out some of them. I have not made the doors for them yet. Its just going to be plywood for doors. Nothing special.

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This pic is showing the new bed installed in sofa mode.

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This pic is showing it down in bed mode.

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I don't have the linear actuator yet due to the supposed virus running around. It is on order. That's why your seeing a clamp holding the bed in sofa mode. I do have one of the mattress for it. The other should be in later this week.

I should start sanding and getting ready for paint on all those cabinets tomorrow. Until the actuator shows up. There isn't much I can do around the front of the bed. I need the actuator installed to see what I can do for drawers under the bed.
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Re: Next camper #2

Postby Philip » Fri Aug 07, 2020 8:15 am

Wow didn't see it had been a while cense I had updated. So this might be a long post.

The linear actuator for the bed came it. After about a dozen cycles it died. After dealing with the customer run around dept twice. I reordered it from another company. That actuator works like it should. So the bed is fully operational.

I finished all the cabinet build out. I painted all the cabinets. I made all the doors and painted and installed them. Finished and installed the doors into the lower cabinet.

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This is the current view of the kitchen area. I have drawer fronts and drawer boxes being made for the empty holes. They should be done this week. I hope.

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I also started lining the inside of the cabinets with the light carpet used in the rear of SUV's. I ran out of material when the wife added a couple of more areas. That material should be in soon.

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So at that point stuck on waiting for material to show up. I decided to make some window blinds for the front window and the front doors. We made a trip the first weekend of June to Iowa. I had installed a curtain between the seats and the bed. Well we found we didn't like the curtain in that position. So I dug the sewing machine out of the storage area and set it up.

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I made a cover for the exhaust fan as a practice piece.

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After that was a success I moved onto the front windshield. After making the pattern of the windshield I found I didn't want a full width blind like most companies make. It was bad enough taking the pattern out. I decided that a full width blind would be a pain to install and take out. So I am making a two piece blind.

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I should finish off the driver side blind today. If you look at the pic of the sewing machine the blank panel for the drive side is laying on the table and the pattern is on top of it. All it needs it cut out and some basting applied to the cut edge.


So close to being done and no place to go.

:cry:
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Re: Next camper #2

Postby bdosborn » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:34 am

How have I missed these posts, its so nice to see a real van build! I'm subscribed to Vandwellers on Facebook and Reddit and most of those builds are just a 2X4 bed thrown in a van along with some plastic storage bins. I've been mulling over doing one myself so good luck and I look forward to watching your progress. :thumbsup:
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Re: Next camper #2

Postby bdosborn » Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:41 am

Philip wrote: I know nothing about this control panel. I couldn't find a model number or much about it doing online search. What can you guys tell me about it?


A little late, you've probably figured this out already but that's a pretty standard RV charger, and a nice one to boot. It will charge your AGM battery nicely.

https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/acdc-distribution-panels/pd5000-series-acdc-power-distribution-panel-30-amp-120-vac/

https://www.progressivedyn.com/rv/power-converters/pd9100-series-rv-power-converters/

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Re: Next camper #2

Postby Philip » Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:14 am

Thanks for the kind words Bruce.

I know what you mean about the home depot build outs. I wanted a light build. That's why there isn't one 2x4 anywhere in this build. #1 lumber isn't cheap but the build goes a lot better when your not cutting around knots and warping. Before I started this build the wife and I sat down and had a long talk about what we wanted. We knew our travel style. So water/ propane/ restroom wasn't a big issue. We look at this as a tent on wheels. Just a place to rest our heads at night. Most of the time those rests are separated by about 500 to 700 miles. We don't stay in one place unless the area has a lot of interesting places to see. We don't run out 10 miles past the end of the road and stay for weeks at a time.

Thanks for the links. I actually found those same links about 2 months ago. Right now I don't plan on using the battery charger. When I was going threw the electrical system. I found the house battery was setup to charge off the vehicle charging system. So I am going to run with that. I installed a 95 amp hour AGM a while back. I also found the body builder had wired the power feed to the PD panel wrong. The drop for the panel was straight from the starting battery. The house battery was only supplying power when the engine was running. So that got rewired. Now the starting battery is for vehicle only.

If your thinking about a van. Do some research into problems with the model your looking at. Sprinters have issues. The biggest one is lack of sprinter mechanic's. Finding a shop that has sprinter experience is about impossible. Some of the repairs need an experienced mechanic even the dealers are spotty on good work. If your looking at a high roof model. That narrows down the field you have to look at. If your looking at older model to save money on purchase. That narrows the field down even more. In the 2006 year range like mine. You have a very narrow range on high tops. Its sprinters or Nisson NV series. There are a few conversion high tops floating around of varies MFG's mostly configured as handicap vans. The NV series will cost you more than a clean low milage sprinter. The NV has less problems and parts are easyer to get. The NV's are built on the truck chassis. Sprinters in the year range were badged as freightliner or Dodge. Mine is the freightshaker model. I can get parts at any Dodge dealer. Getting repair at Dodge is hit and miss. It depends on the dealer your talking to.
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