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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Almost a year in the making but finally pulled the trigger.

Introducing Augustina la Van

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She was a passenger van so still fully loaded with 13 seats in the back on a small platform. The bulkhead overhang space has A/C hookup that I'm sure will be a pain to pull out. The driver side and rear passenger have slider windows, fixed glass on rears and slider. Pilot seats up front.

On a real tight timeline to get something functional - I'm down in mexico right now and plan to drive up to NY in May. So just 3 months to strip it down and at least get a bed and some seating in. Will make do with some battery operated fans and open windows for the trip up, then will do ventilator and electric up there over the summer. That's the plan at least, sure it'll change a couple dozen times.

Not much else to post tonight, but did want to thank everyone here. Have already learned a ton from the archives and I'm sure will be leaning on y'all for more advice as I get into this.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Was able to remove the rear passenger seats and start taking a peak at all of the horrors hidden underneath the platform and side panels. Think it's time for new tools and new skills but looking for advice.

The seats were on a raised platform. Looks like they welded a metal (some type of steel I guess?) frame directly to the floor. Then screwed and glued plywood to the metal, glued vinyl to the plywood, and bolted seats through it all to the metal frame.

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Given that, I think the plan is:
  • peel off vinyl so we can find and unscrew all the spots the plywood was screwed onto the frame
  • pop the ply off the frame. Its pegged on there pretty good, I'm guessing a heat gun might help?
  • Then my biggest concern is removing the metal frame without damaging the van body. Seems like an angle grinder would be tool of choice but not sure. Also wondering if this would this better be left to a professional?

I've got a busy week at work this week so mostly aiming to have a plan and any neccesary tools so next weekend can hopefully get this platform out of there.
 

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Van #2 2021 EXT
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Hi @cdmxbuild

Your post;
  • Then my biggest concern is removing the metal frame without damaging the van body. Seems like an angle grinder would be tool of choice but not sure. Also wondering if this would this better be left to a professional?

It looks to me if you cut the tops of those HSS posts so they were free of the platform near that top weld, you might be able to 鈥渨ork the post鈥 back & forth to break those minor welds (the bottom of the posts do not look welded all the way around @ the bottom of post to the floor).

If you can remove all that vinyl & plywood you will be able to get at the top of the HES posts easier to grind off the welds.

Using an angle grinder = safety glasses 馃憤
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
You might consider incorporating the platform in your layout.

When we were trying to work out our layout, we actually mocked up an arrangement that had a similar platform in the back half of the van to be used for storage.
We ended up choosing another layout, but we liked the mockup of the platform one quite a bit.
Some pictures of it here: Our ProMaster Camper Van Conversion 鈥 Interior Layout 鈥 Build A Green RV

Its the section titled "aft beds on raised platform"

Gary
 

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2018 136 HR Ont.
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Then my biggest concern is removing the metal frame without damaging the van body. Seems like an angle grinder would be tool of choice but not sure. Also wondering if this would this better be left to a professional?
If you are planning a plywood over foam insulation floor then you do not need the post to be perfectly level with the floor surface around it. This makes things a lot easier.

Try @RV8R method, if it works you are good.
It looks to me if you cut the tops of those HSS posts so they were free of the platform near that top weld, you might be able to 鈥渨ork the post鈥 back & forth to break those minor welds (the bottom of the posts do not look welded all the way around @ the bottom of post to the floor).

Angle grinders make a dirty mess and leave filings everywhere, and they will create little rust spots. If you use a sawzal with the correct blade it won't take long to cut the uprights (you will need to flex the blade). You can leave the uprights 1/8" - 1/4" tall. Use cardboard, plastic or masonite to protect the floor from a long blade tip (10 wraps of masking tape around the tip can work). You don't need to grind them down flush to the sheet metal. Just put the foam on top of the stubs, they will just press into the foam and you won't see them again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the suggestions everyone. Plan is to try the @RV8R method, and decided to get a sawzall on @83Grumman's advice. We did consider using some or all of platform but ultimately wanted the big garage for bikes.

Took a few days to get my hands on some blades and turns out they don't really fit well in the Ryobi saw I bought. In theory it shouldn't matter but theory rarely seem to work out. Given that, any blade recommendations that you've used with Ryobi? Or is there some way I can tighten the fit of the blade a bit?

Anyway plan is to go to home depot saturday to look for whatever we'll need to finally get that platform out and things cleaned this weekend. we'll see.

Starting to look ahead to electrical, mostly because there are some sales happening on batteries and such. I'm hoping to keep it simple: 200ah AGM charged off the alternator with a stinger isolater/relay. That'll power lights, maxxair, and have a few 12v sockets and usb sockets. Then I'm going to supplement the house system with a portable battery/energy station and briefcase type solar. Renogy has 25% off packages with a few solar panels and I'm leaning toward getting one. (Yes I've seen the toolbox energy stations, yes they are cool, no i don't have the time or ability to do that just yet)
 

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Van #2 2021 EXT
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Good Luck with your demo @cdmxbuild !!

If you are starting to look at electrical, the first design item is a 鈥渓oad chart鈥. That is electrical is designed by the loads back. I bought a 鈥渟tinger鈥, it was a POS & I stripped the cheap threads on the main lugs - YMMV. The 鈥淎chilles Heal鈥 to the 鈥淧ortables鈥 is many are slow to charge. Battery selection should become apparent from your load chart & intended environment ,,, same as the solar decision. So many DIYers, get electrical design backwards & buy batteries or 鈥減ortables鈥 first & then design their system to the battery ,,, tail wagging the dog.

If you do go AGMs, a 鈥渟mart isolater鈥 like a Victron Cyrix is not too expensive. Or if you are going to add solar, a Kisae 1250 is a 50 amp DC2DC & MPPT solar charger all in one & is (most important) user programmable.

Here is @GaryBIS 鈥渟imple electrical鈥 system (with the Kisae 1250);



Circuit component Automotive lighting Passive circuit component Font Electronic component
 

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Very curious to see if the added floor frame has been tied into the van frame cross spars, seen from pavement looking up - the post nearest the slider opening looks like provided galley cabinet anchor to me.. .

Also - having a third passenger seated and buckled in comes in real handy, any provided seat a single that could be a new dinette table lounge on the drivers side?
 
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