2018 1500 136 HR build up - HOT TUB SERVICE - Ram Promaster Forum
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post #1 of 27 Old 01-26-2019, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
bananavanman
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2018 1500 136 HR build up - HOT TUB SERVICE

Hey all - glad to join in and learn as well as school some too... Just scored my new 136" from nowcar.com for $28K B4 tax - killed my local dealer by $6K! I'm in upstate NY (Ithaca) and this will be my year round rig for servicing all spa brands. First plans are to insulate, mount interior lights, add inverter, and front lift (more on lift later). I'm insulating for hot/cold, but for sound deadening as well. There will be a fold down (JEEP sourced) rear seat with belts, a workbench with vise, and many many parts bins. This build will be mainly FUNCTION not FORM so I am not too concerned with the small aesthetic details as I won't be camping in it.

fleet.jpg

I've very successfully used foil faced bubble wrap (TEKFOIL, REFLECTIX) in the past so given it's super R value per thickness and ease of installation this is my choice for quick long lasting effective insulation. (WAY cheaper than Dynamat) Also you can die-cut pieces to roll up and insert inside bulkheads instead of expanding foam = easy access later. Gorilla Tape will be holding it in most places, and this will last for years; if it fails there will be paneling to back it up.

MOD1.jpg

Also sealing around rear breather vents to keep 'dead air' space closed off from inside van. I used camper top foam tape to bring vent surface out to paneling depth, and closed off panel vents except those directly in front of vent, and added some xtra holes:

MOD2.jpg

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post #2 of 27 Old 02-22-2019, 10:52 PM Thread Starter
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Got the first wall panel up - went with 1/2 inch CDX so I can randomly screw stuff to it and have it be solid. It was easier to line up the two threaded pull ring holes first, pull the panel tight to check alignment. When I was satisfied with fitment I pre-drilled all the perimeter and other fastening points 1/8"deep with a 1/2" spade bit to act as a counter sink for my flat head 'lathe' screws. These are "self drilling self tapping" screws so NO HOLES TO LINE UP! once panel was back on with two large bolts - BAM - just banged in all the rest threading right into all the bulk heads = super solid! Guess what? opposite panel is identical - template = MUCH time saved!
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post #3 of 27 Old 02-23-2019, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Starting to box in wheel wells...was just going to slap something on there to quiet down & insulate but then fig'd I might as well square them off to be able to mount stuff to them in the future. I did have to trim the factory floor mat to have the plywood touch down, I'll silicone em ( or maybe lexel) to floor to keep it solid, and top piece press fits tight under wall panel to hold the 3 sides down tight -After gluing & ring shank finish nailing them together I'll add two small 'L' brackets to lock the top to the wall panel so it can't get knocked loose. I just scored some nice "speaker cabinet carpet" to cover these with so they look factory...so DON'T go for the "airplane carpet" folks - this is identical and 1/5 the price! Notice 'reflectix' wrapped on fenderwells here too for sound deadening & insulation. Also notice mock-up propane tank for camco? heater and possible hot water too - and also I guess my tiny salamander heater for when I have to tough it out under a deck in January in my jumpsuit playing with electricity & water.
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post #4 of 27 Old 02-24-2019, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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Insulating 101..

OK, so talking about the 'foil faced bubble wrap' again... this pic shows how and why this stuff is so cool; I measured it to fit tight and you just roll it up, cram it in there, and it springs back to push against the sides. This bulkhead cavity is 53 X 8-1/2" so I cut the first one, installed it, and cut next one at 53 X 8 and laid it right on top of the first. It presses in concave against outside wall. If you needed to yank it out of there, no problem - there's actually still room to push some conduit or wires in that space, I'm only doing 2 layers (1/2"=R6 with airspace).
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post #5 of 27 Old 02-25-2019, 08:44 AM
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Two problems I see:

One, you’ve put the reflective side toward the metal (assuming the photo accurately presents the exposed side as white). This makes your R-value minuscule.

Two, you have two vapor barriers (metal and foil) with a gap that warm air can access. Thus, potential for bad things to happen on an often-damp metal surface.

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post #6 of 27 Old 02-25-2019, 09:32 PM Thread Starter
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Hi MsNomer - yes, I did ponder that and my thoughts were: This van will be heated/cooled only temporarily inside for a few hours here and there throughout the day as I work in there - only really getting the airspace warmed up/cooled down; I'm technically trying to keep the hot or cold from getting IN the van... If I was residing in there for longer periods moisture from habitation would create sweat on inner walls/ceilings and may be a problem. Secondly, I do plan to eventually close off all 'dead air' space in bulkheads and wall panels for air movement, but not 100% (this would be impossible anyway and would def lead to sweat) I plan to affix (glue) the thin black interior carpeting on the upper and middle bulkhead ribs to dress it up, but still letting it breathe through all the tiny factory holes to stymie condensation. Thanks for pointing this out as people who plan to live in their vans this would not be ideal!

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post #7 of 27 Old 02-26-2019, 09:43 AM
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I’m happy to see your work van conversion as we have very few of them posted here. Your logic and needs will be different than the camper conversions. For us I doubt the insulating value of the reflective bubble would be sufficient to prevent heat gain/loss for hours in the cold night or hot Sun. Most service vans get driven a few times a day so getting it heated or cooled relies on the engine. There is lots of capacity built in to the van for that. I used to work as a builder out of an uninsulated enclosed trailer and it got hot and it got cold but I seldom had to spend much time in it.

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post #8 of 27 Old 03-09-2019, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Tackling back corner panels this weekend - the black plastic vented grates aren't flat! weird... guess that's how the math ended up in this valence panel when curved walls meet straight back. After some head scratching I'm going to use two layers of 1/4" ply screwed through each other to allow for flex, yet still leave me enough thickness to screw into there. This has also allowed me to extend the outer panel a few inches up and down to cover more area. I'll use the factory screw mounts to keep it simple & serviceable should I need to get at wiring. I'm trying to utilize a pre-formed design plan, but want to leave all my wall panels 'modular' in the sense that fixtures/hooks/shelves/bins can be moved in the future by having a 'blank slate' of wood surrounding me.
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post #9 of 27 Old 03-10-2019, 09:32 AM
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"the black plastic vented grates aren't flat! weird..."

Thanks for my morning chuckle.

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2014 White 136" HT 1500 Gas
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post #10 of 27 Old 03-11-2019, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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So here's the two 1/4" layers laid up over each other (clamped there for display). The outer one will span an extra 6" up & down over where plastic was, allowing most of the area to be screwed into - and now I'm liking the look of the scrap wood paneling I'm digging out and might even stain it... Yes, this is only a 'work van' but have thought more long term to it's retirement (8-10 years?) for possible shaggin wagon for my son who is soon to be of driving age, or possibly for my own camper use too? who knows... On another note, I DID reverse my tekfoil insulation after more reflektion (get it?) on MsNomer's knowledge - I am facing ONE layer foil OUT to van exterior wall, and two inner layers foil face will be IN facing the interior. I know each layer is a vapor barrier too, but double foil in will help conserve my heat or cool - thinking to long term if I do convert this to my personal snowboard tour rig with my cronies. dream on pops...
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