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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I built a 2018 Ram Promaster Campervan during the last 18 months. I'm 99% done but will eventually fix a few nagging items that I don't like. Starting this thread with a few pictures I took today of my campervan. I will add some build pictures next. During the last 18 months I learned a lot about making campervans and hope to start a new project in the next two years. I'm thinking the next will be a Ford F-450 4x4 with a single wheel conversion, custom aluminum flatbed with a FRP / PU Foam camper shell. Until then I will use this camper every day and get away camping as much as possible.
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Discussion Starter #2
The van started out in late spring of 2018. A lot of items from Amazon, CampervanHQ, Lowes and a few other specialty vendors.

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The van came with a bulkhead which I sold. Guy drove from Ohio to North Carolina to get it.
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All great ideas start with a measuring tape, CAD or drafting tools and a cup of coffee.
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Rattletrap sound insulation everywhere and 3/4" foam for the floor
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A layer of 3/4" plywood for the sub floor which is screwed down to the metal floor.
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Added a tow hitch.
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Thank god I had a van to move all the stuff for my van from my house to the shop I would live and work in for 3 months.
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Home for 3 months. 25' x 45' with nice high ceilings. In eastern North Carolina during the summer it was a little warm.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Next
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Testing out the Fiamma Awning
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Testing out the Fiamma Awning
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The Thetford cassette toilet with matching shower pan. Took 2 tries to get the right shower pan. The US and Euro models did not match the first time.
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Added some solid reinforcement to the shower pan
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Edge of the shower pan
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Shower Pan is ready to mount on the floor
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I ordered smooth FRP from Lowes for the shower walls. Used FRP adhesive on the interior side of the cabinet plywood.
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Trimmed up the overlapping edge with a flush trim bit.
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Made a storyboard to cut the side panels of the shower enclosure. In retrospect the back wall should have been 1/4" cabinet plywood with the FRP. I used a layer of 1/2" plywood and could not bend the back panel. Lesson learned.
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Needs some caulk, a front side and a door
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Solar Panels, fans, rough wiring, rough plumbing and insulation
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400 watts solar panels, wifi extender, Fan-Tastic fan and air conditioning unit
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Rough plumbing and wire conduit. I would keep the wiring the same way but would not run the plumbing this way again. After adding all the cabinets it would have been much better to keep all the plumbing accessible. I'm not too worried because it's all PEX and I'm careful to drain the system if it gets too cold.
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More wiring and plumbing
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Ready for spray foam. It's 95 degrees outside, so about 110 inside the van. I'm wearing a full tyvek suit, no fans beacuse it blows the foam in my face while spraying. I lost a few pounds that day.
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Almost Done
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More Foam. I used regular insulation in the bottom areas.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wood, Gas and Electrical
I used maple plywood for the cabinets and trim. The countertop is maple butcher block. The cabinet latches suck and I hate them.
Propex LP water heater, Propex LP furnace, 500 amp hours of 12 volt battery storage, 2500 watt inverter, SMEV LP stove with sink, convection microwave oven, 3 way refrierator/freezer, 30 amp and 20 amp electrical inlets. The 30 amp is for everything except the air conditioner. Keeping the AC off this part of the electrical allows everything else to be run off the inverter. 25 gallons a fresh water inside, 25 gallons of grey water underneath, 10 gallon propane underneath where the spare tire was located. The battery bank can be charged by solar, sore power or off the engine.
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LP Tank
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Batteries and Solar Charge Controllers
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Hinged access to the electrical ares
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Furnace and water pump
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Had to use a Jeep spare tire mount and relocate the lugs to match the Promaster lug pattern.
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Kitchen and Bedroom
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Added a window
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Gotta have at least one shop picture.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Things to think about
1) I would have bought a van without rear windows. This would allow me to add a generator to run the AC off grid.
  • Installed a aftermarket rear window on the passenger side with a screened opening
  • Installed the ladder on the passenger side
  • Installed the spare tire on the driver side where the license plate is currently.
  • Installed a generator box for a Honda EU2200 generator with a propane conversion kit
  • Installed a flexible propane line into the door and then into the generator box.
2) Used a 3500 watt inverter instead of a 2500 watt
3) Different Cabinet Latches
4) Carpet on the walls and bed platform
5) 2 Maxx-Air Fans instead of 1 Fan-Tastic Fan (1 in front and 1 above bed)
6) Extended Version of the van for the extra 18" inches

Things to complete
1) Finish the plumbing supply and drain heating system
2) Add a flip down table with access behind to the kitchen sink plumbing
3)
 

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Ambitious. Robust. Frig details?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
3 way Norcold compact refrigerator. Runs on propane mostly or off the engine battery while driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The 3 way hate is weird. I wanted it for off grid use so having propane as an option is important. Cant run the engine or have 100% sunny days all the time.
 

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You are one of a few who have created a true Class B RV as most of us have a campervan. I believe if I were to do another van I would use that toilet with the removable cassette accessible from the outside. Our experience would suggest the 12 volt version of the refrigerator would never stress the battery use. I have had a bunch of 3 ways and they all had to be on propane as their heater for 12 volt drew almost 30 amps! My 3 cu ft Norcold draws <3.6 Amps.
If you don’t mind it would be great to have a summary of costs and thus how your result compares to manufacturer’s.
Thanks!
 

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Class A job on making a Class B. Just a couple quick questions. I was planning on the same latches. Do they open while driving? Have you found another? When you say carpet on the walls. Are you talking about the wall beside the bed or walls under bed? Keep an eye on the semi-flex solar panels, especially if in hot weather during the summer. I'm on my third set on my sailboat. the ETFE coatings are much better and they do like air flow.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The latches get stuck if the catch isnt perfect. A 64th of an inch in any direction ruins the closure quickly. Better option below


Carpet on the walls of the bed area

Class A job on making a Class B. Just a couple quick questions. I was planning on the same latches. Do they open while driving? Have you found another? When you say carpet on the walls. Are you talking about the wall beside the bed or walls under bed? Keep an eye on the semi-flex solar panels, especially if in hot weather during the summer. I'm on my third set on my sailboat. the ETFE coatings are much better and they do like air flow.
 

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Class A job on making a Class B. Just a couple quick questions. I was planning on the same latches. Do they open while driving?
I have the same latches as show in his pictures and they do not open on even on the roughest roads. They do require precise placement, but more like 1/32nd, haha. I have only used them for drawers, a hinge lid may be more of a challenge. The hardest part is remembering to latch them (pushing the button flush).
 

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Strong work.

You mentioned that you screwed the floor to the, um, floor. Those screws must have pierced the metal floor -- how did you seal them?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Strong work.

You mentioned that you screwed the floor to the, um, floor. Those screws must have pierced the metal floor -- how did you seal them?
Stainless Steel self taping screws. I didn't seal them.
 

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Things to think about
1) I would have bought a van without rear windows. This would allow me to add a generator to run the AC off grid.
  • Installed a aftermarket rear window on the passenger side with a screened opening
  • Installed the ladder on the passenger side
  • Installed the spare tire on the driver side where the license plate is currently.
  • Installed a generator box for a Honda EU2200 generator with a propane conversion kit
  • Installed a flexible propane line into the door and then into the generator box.
2) Used a 3500 watt inverter instead of a 2500 watt
3) Different Cabinet Latches
4) Carpet on the walls and bed platform
5) 2 Maxx-Air Fans instead of 1 Fan-Tastic Fan (1 in front and 1 above bed)
6) Extended Version of the van for the extra 18" inches

Things to complete
1) Finish the plumbing supply and drain heating system
2) Add a flip down table with access behind to the kitchen sink plumbing
3)
Congrats on your build. Well Done!!

I like your post here, but if you have time there is a very helpful thread called “Build Regrets”. I posted a long list on it as I think it can help others (especially if they can read & save money by not making the same mistakes as I did).

I tend to learn from my mistakes rather than my successes ?
 

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Why do you wish the tire was on the other side? Can you provide any details on how you mounted the jeep one on the door? any other tips on that would be greatly appreciated!
 
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