Ram Promaster Forum banner
361 - 380 of 385 Posts

·
Registered
Van #2 2021 EXT
Joined
·
3,406 Posts
Good choice, 5mm. In-between 1/8" and 1/4" just right.
We like Forest Green but it will be a tad lighter Forest Green in vinyl for bed area since it has no windows by design.

Agree the ACE folks are super helpful. Best part is that they are a small business and need our support.
I used 3/16” or 5mm Prefinishes Birch Plywood for my panels. It took the wall & ceiling curves very well. I purchased this panel plywood from a company called “Windsor Plywoods” they are in the USA also.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Oh and also a video of the RV Labs latches in action:

Very nice work AaronMcD! Lots of inspiration here!
I found your build thread as I'm coincidentally working on my PM build with a very similar design and after fininshing my core electrical I'm diving into cabinets phase. My Dometic fridge will be on slide-outs from under a bench seat. I have a couple questions regarding your fridge.
How did you handle power cord management to prevent pinching/tangling?
I don't see a way to order just one slide with the lock-out feature. Did you have to call and special order?
My fridge is 21 inches wide with the top door open. Do you think 22 inch slides will work? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
2017 - 2500 159
Joined
·
1,446 Posts
Discussion Starter · #363 ·
Very nice work AaronMcD! Lots of inspiration here!
I found your build thread as I'm coincidentally working on my PM build with a very similar design and after fininshing my core electrical I'm diving into cabinets phase. My Dometic fridge will be on slide-outs from under a bench seat. I have a couple questions regarding your fridge.
How did you handle power cord management to prevent pinching/tangling?
I don't see a way to order just one slide with the lock-out feature. Did you have to call and special order?
My fridge is 21 inches wide with the top door open. Do you think 22 inch slides will work? Thanks!
Power cord:
I just plugged it in and left it. I open the fridge all the time to grab drinks while working and haven't had a problem. In fact, I still haven't hardwired it - it's just plugged into a socket which is just hanging on the pillar. Maybe I'll get around to cleaning that up, or maybe I'll just leave it because it seems to be working fine and is accessible in case I ever need to do it better.

Slides are Accuride from McMaster Carr. Very nice slides, better than the cheaper ones I got for my garage gear/bike drawers.

Slide length:
This was a tough one. On the one hand, I didn't want the fridge to slide out more than needed, but on the other hand I wanted to be able to open the fridge all the way. I carefully planned it out, accounting for the space in front of the fridge to grab the lid, and the lip of the counter... and ended up forgetting about the drawer directly above the fridge, which blocks it from fully opening. The plan was to open it to the counter lip and install a magnet under the lip of the counter to hold it open, but the drawer keeps it from opening that far. Still, I don't think I'd want it to slide out any farther.

Other notes:
- With the lock on only one side, the other end has a bit of play and can stick out a tad when parked at an angle (side of the road). It's not very noticeable to me once everything was finished and I prefer not having another lever sticking out in the middle of the cabinet.
- Make sure to factor in access to the fridge controls. My controls are on the side right behind the seats near the floor, where I wanted a footrest box, so I ended up having to make the front of the footrest be able to open with space to stick my head down there and see. It all worked out, but something to keep in mind.
- The heavy duty slides do not come apart. This means that in order to get the final screws in you have to go behind the cabinet and crawl in, unless you do ALL the cabinet screws first. Also it means that if your drawer is deeper than the slide length, you cant access the very front screws to the cabinet once the drawer is screwed on. So make sure to get all cabinet screws you want within (drawer depth minus slide length) of the front screwed in before the drawer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
Power cord:
I just plugged it in and left it. I open the fridge all the time to grab drinks while working and haven't had a problem. In fact, I still haven't hardwired it - it's just plugged into a socket which is just hanging on the pillar. Maybe I'll get around to cleaning that up, or maybe I'll just leave it because it seems to be working fine and is accessible in case I ever need to do it better.

Slides are Accuride from McMaster Carr. Very nice slides, better than the cheaper ones I got for my garage gear/bike drawers.

Slide length:
This was a tough one. On the one hand, I didn't want the fridge to slide out more than needed, but on the other hand I wanted to be able to open the fridge all the way. I carefully planned it out, accounting for the space in front of the fridge to grab the lid, and the lip of the counter... and ended up forgetting about the drawer directly above the fridge, which blocks it from fully opening. The plan was to open it to the counter lip and install a magnet under the lip of the counter to hold it open, but the drawer keeps it from opening that far. Still, I don't think I'd want it to slide out any farther.

Other notes:
  • With the lock on only one side, the other end has a bit of play and can stick out a tad when parked at an angle (side of the road). It's not very noticeable to me once everything was finished and I prefer not having another lever sticking out in the middle of the cabinet.
  • Make sure to factor in access to the fridge controls. My controls are on the side right behind the seats near the floor, where I wanted a footrest box, so I ended up having to make the front of the footrest be able to open with space to stick my head down there and see. It all worked out, but something to keep in mind.
  • The heavy duty slides do not come apart. This means that in order to get the final screws in you have to go behind the cabinet and crawl in, unless you do ALL the cabinet screws first. Also it means that if your drawer is deeper than the slide length, you cant access the very front screws to the cabinet once the drawer is screwed on. So make sure to get all cabinet screws you want within (drawer depth minus slide length) of the front screwed in before the drawer.
Thanks - I found the slides you refer to - I'll give them a go and will probably go with the 22 inch. I as well installed a bike drawer as one of my first projects and this was my intro to drawer slides. I encountered the same frustrations regarding lack of full access to screw holes and floor brackets, but it is still holding up well.
My fridge has a Bluetooth app which I believe has all the same options as the controls - but not sure. I just hardwired my cooler to DC today and it works great!! I will still do cutaways for controls and handles for sure. I was actually considering very minimal side walls for the drawer - like the bike drawer - although that may present a challenge when it comes to building a solid face frame.
I will also reverse my hinges as the OEM venting is on the wrong side for my install (towards aft), but Dometic makes the reversal real slick.
 

·
Registered
2017 - 2500 159
Joined
·
1,446 Posts
Discussion Starter · #365 ·
Thanks - I found the slides you refer to - I'll give them a go and will probably go with the 22 inch. I as well installed a bike drawer as one of my first projects and this was my intro to drawer slides. I encountered the same frustrations regarding lack of full access to screw holes and floor brackets, but it is still holding up well.
My fridge has a Bluetooth app which I believe has all the same options as the controls - but not sure. I just hardwired my cooler to DC today and it works great!! I will still do cutaways for controls and handles for sure. I was actually considering very minimal side walls for the drawer - like the bike drawer - although that may present a challenge when it comes to building a solid face frame.
I will also reverse my hinges as the OEM venting is on the wrong side for my install (towards aft), but Dometic makes the reversal real slick.
I also considered shorter sides and rear for the drawer. But shorter is no easier to build except for cutting out a few holes for venting, handles, and controls, and I felt full height would be sturdier. I'd need full height at the front anyway to support the drawer face. Perhaps a shorter back would allow you to push the fridge all the way back and still have vent area around the fridge, but also the slide lock is easier to reach if the slides are more toward the middle or top, and I like knowing the back is braced where the slides attach.
 

·
Registered
2017 - 2500 159
Joined
·
1,446 Posts
Discussion Starter · #366 ·
Update time!

I already posted about upgrading the cab sound and adding subwoofers, now time for the "house" sound system.

I have a huge counter, so instead of putting the sound stuff in an upper cabinet as I originally planned, I decided to add a box to the front edge of the counter.

Here is the mostly finished box. I still need to open it up once more to replace the remote bass knob with an RCA bass knob. The JBL sub amp has unidentified yet common problems with the bass knob function. Since I will be listening inside and out, and low frequencies don't travel well, it will be nice to be able to turn up the bass easily.
Table Wood Television set Audio equipment Gadget


I built the box to be closed up similar to the C pillar boxes - face held on by aluminum angles bolted into T nuts. I routed out slots for the top shelf and electrical shelf. The gap behind the countertop came in real handy for running 4 gauge wire to the box for distribution, and running speaker and LED wire back to the rear speakers. The box has a strip of wood along the back bottom to secure it in place. This is a preliminary test fit:
Wood Rectangle Packing materials Hardwood Flooring


Packed the shelf full of electrical stuff. Put in a T nut for grounding the mains amp, receiver, sub amp, and a single ground wire from the source selector, line out converter, and a new RGB LED controller. Used a leftover bus bar for positives and used inline fuses and fuses supplied by crutchfield with their amp wiring kits. Takes up a bit of space but it all fits. The Morel amp doesn't have much space around it and hard to access tuning controls, so I removed all the electrical stuff and made some big cutouts in the shelf for better access and more air flow. The receiver is Fusion RA210.
Electronic instrument Audio equipment Gadget Electronic engineering Electrical wiring


I ordered Memphis ATV speaker pods, (1) so I didn't have to build more boxes, (2) so I got the cool RGB LED rings in the speakers, and (3) so I can swivel the speakers to aim out the side and rear doors. Ordered a music controlled LED controller from Amazon and wired it in the footrest box, with input split from the subwoofers so the LEDs can flash to the bass. The main speakers don't play very low, so I set the crossover for 120 Hz which probably also helps get a better light show.
Automotive lighting Automotive design Car Motor vehicle Mode of transport


Bolted the rear speakers to angle brackets I struggled to screw into my birch shelves without drill access. Had to tap a brad a bit at each hole, then start with a self drilling wood screw, and finish with my desired 3/4" screw. Front speakers are through bolted below upper cabinets.
Car Automotive lighting Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive design


Tire Wheel Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle


Had some big messes of wire connections from 6 wires to each speaker.
Product Insect Bag Door Steering wheel


Hid this in a white surface mount electrical box, and mounted the LED remote next to it:
Hood Product Automotive tire Computer Motor vehicle
 

·
Registered
2017 - 2500 159
Joined
·
1,446 Posts
Discussion Starter · #367 ·
Other stuff:

I made a "stuff" container for the back of the counter from aluminum bolted together:
Wood Floor Flooring Hardwood Watercraft


Wood Floor Flooring Wood stain Hardwood


Wood Wood stain Gas Hardwood Flooring


I plan to put some rubber or something in the bottom. Also mounted various items.

Propane monitor on the inside of the under sink door:
Wood Electrical wiring Hardwood Wood stain Gas


Smoke/CO alarm inconspicuous on an upper cabinet:
Electrical wiring Automotive tire Audio equipment Automotive design Gas


Propane alarm as low as possible under the sink:
Wood Fixture Floor Flooring Gas


Fire extinguisher under the sink, on the third try trying to find the right size mounting bracket:
Fluid Liquid Fire extinguisher Cylinder Plastic bottle


Screwed some metal to the gear drawer in case we want to bungee stuff:
Tire Circuit component Wheel Electrical wiring Wood


Got some expensive but really cool tool boxes to stash tools on the road, tire chains, jumper cables, and other stuff:
Wheel Bicycle Tire Bicycle frame Vehicle


Tire Wheel Automotive tire Motor vehicle Tread
 

·
Registered
2017 - 2500 159
Joined
·
1,446 Posts
Discussion Starter · #368 ·
And can't forget the back door hot water hose off shower!
Electrical wiring Gas Electrical supply Cable Engineering


It's coming together!
Table Couch Lighting Interior design Floor


Plant Vehicle Interior design Wood Building


Meanwhile, we've been hard at work piling stuff on the curb to give away, selling stuff here and there, packing up stuff, getting used to Sal's Suds and Dr Bronners, getting the car ready to sell, and many other small things. I still have a long list of stuff to get done in the next 6 weeks.

Oh and I got a full set of Van Made Gear window covers, ordered bug screens for 5 week delivery, and have an awning on backorder.
 

·
Registered
2020 159" high roof, northern IL
Joined
·
268 Posts
Enjoyed following your build. Your stereo is the icing on the cake! Nothing tops off a good conversion like an awesome sound system.
 

·
Registered
2017 - 2500 159
Joined
·
1,446 Posts
Discussion Starter · #374 ·
Now I get into the insurance part. Called Geico, dropped the Corolla, asked about the van, and they said they could only insure it if I sent them a work order from a professional company. Sounds very vague, considering I could easily setup a legal company, design a letterhead and write myself a work order. They did say they are fine insuring the van, just nothing inside. Rental department couldn't help either since I won't be at an address.
 

·
Registered
2017 - 2500 159
Joined
·
1,446 Posts
Discussion Starter · #375 ·
Over the hump for sure. Will still be a few k I think.
-Wheel well tank
-Isotemp
-Sink and stove
-Pump and accumulator
-Heavy duty bike slides
-Copper tubing and flaring tool
-Lots more lumber
-Expensive hardware for upper cabinets
-Also might end up buying window covers since I can't imagine any way to make them without sewing.
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

12k wasn't even the half of it.
 

·
Registered
2017 - 2500 159
Joined
·
1,446 Posts
Discussion Starter · #376 ·
Built lower panels for the rear doors with cubby holes for ... Something. Finally framed the bunk windows. And got a bungee to hold a curtain to block off the garage from the interior. Curtains to be ordered.

Furniture Table Street furniture Road surface Outdoor table


For the lower panels I used existing holes for rivnuts. So much easier to just measure and use existing holes. 10-24 fit perfectly, but the mandrel broke in the very last hole. Drilled it out with my smallest bit and managed to save the threads. Will try and find a bungee net that fits this spot.
Automotive tire Bumper Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Asphalt


Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Asphalt Automotive lighting


I felt the easiest way to trim the bunk windows would be aluminum angle. I've been using a lot of aluminum angle and liking it more and more. Almost a fanboi now. Cut 4 pieces for each window, sanded them nice and smooth, lined them up and taped them together to fit, and taped them in place with VHB.
Road surface Wood Asphalt Automotive tire Floor


Rectangle Grille Floor Flooring Wood


Window covers are vanmadegear. They are ok. Bunk windows come with several little magnetic strips to stick on so look a bit hack when covers are off but they work.

Screwed aluminum angle (yeah super useful stuff) to the bed frame, and notched each end. Stretched a bungee across. Ordered curtains to go on the bungee.
Textile Wood Vehicle door Tints and shades Bag
 

·
Registered
2017 - 2500 159
Joined
·
1,446 Posts
Discussion Starter · #377 ·
We spent a day at the container store.
Terrible place. Got some baskets and bins to keep stuff organized. Organization seems to eat significantly into precious volume.

Rectangle Bumper Automotive exterior Automotive tire Wood


Liquid Fluid Solution Gas Plastic bottle


Rectangle Stairs Automotive design Kitchen appliance Gas


Making headway on getting rid of stuff in the apartment. We seem to be on track to have a relatively stress free move. Been moving some stuff out to the van, packing stuff for storage, putting an endless supply of free items on the corner, getting used to using less dishes, less water, less everything.

Optimizing pretty much everything we have left. We got some cheap easy to clean unbreakable dishes for $0.50 each (plus a few bucks shipping) from target. Spending a lot of time staring at random little junk drawer stuff - do we really need 5 pens and this 3 ft long USB cable? Will I really ever use my leftover paint? How much is each square foot of self storage really worth? Sad to see the houseplants off to new homes, but apparently houseplants are one thing people are willing to spend money on.
 

·
Registered
2017 - 2500 159
Joined
·
1,446 Posts
Discussion Starter · #379 ·
Oh look it all fits easily in the storage unit!
Wood Flooring Gas Fixture House


Screwed an angle to the bed frame and stretched a bungee across for a curtain:
Brown Wood Fluid Flooring Floor


Green Blue Textile Wood Interior design


Also put a bungee across the cab area, and a magnet with eye hook each end. Currently have an old shower curtain stretched across, but wanna get a nicer curtain:
Hood Automotive tire Trunk Automotive design Bumper


Tire Motor vehicle Hood Automotive tire Vehicle


Automotive tire Automotive design Rim Fixture Automotive exterior


Nomadic 180 awning arrived in the mail, including the drop shipping price. Retail is $750, I paid $600, price to capsaver is $450. Looks like the ideal awning and half the price of the fancy brands. Will update once I get it installed.
 

·
Registered
2017 - 2500 159
Joined
·
1,446 Posts
Discussion Starter · #380 ·
Also, some logistics stuff:

Geico won't insure self built campervans, but State farm local agent was happy to. It's a lot more than just the cargo van, but worth it I think for under $100 per month for $90k coverage.

Already have 100GB TMobile hotspot. No IMEI questions asked. But Verizon said they don't have consumer plans for the pepwave router. So, since I have a side business, I asked about business plans, and got 300GB at 25 Mbps for $99 / month. Good deal if you have a schedule C and need to work on the road.
 
361 - 380 of 385 Posts
Top