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2021, Promaster 159 HR 2500, Silver
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased my van in December 2020 which is about a month earlier than I thought it would arrive. I wasn't quite ready for it and the weather was pretty cold for a few months. So now I am finally getting some things done on it.

Overall I would say I'm doing a fairly simple build. No permanent plumbing. Small electrical needs. No upper cabinets. I will be asking lots of questions as I move forward.

Van will be used for traveling with 3 large dogs, and occasional dog rescue missions/transports. Air conditioning would be nice but as everyone has pointed out, it is tricky. I'm still coming up with ideas. Stay tuned.

I am also doing a solo build so some things are designed in a way that they can be managed by one person. I can get an occasional assistant but I want to be able to do most things whenever I feel like it without having to make arrangements for help. I truly do not enjoy trying to move big heavy sheets of plywood and am very glad the floor is finished!

I'll break out what I have completed into a couple of different posts.

This forum has helped me make better decisions and I have found it invaluable. Please feel free to question any of my decisions, especially before I finalize them.
 

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2021, Promaster 159 HR 2500, Silver
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126 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
FLOOR

Siless sound deadening in floor troughs and on wall panels.
4 awg wire under the floor secured with waterproof flexible flashing membrane, and ran from the house battery location to between the seats. This will be further protected by a platform between the seats and then has easy access to the starter battery.
I put 1x4 cedar planks (waterproofed) under the seams and along doors of the plywood subfloor. They are attached to the higher ribs in the floor with liquid nails. I wanted reinforcement in these spots. I also am doing a solo build and I knew I could not move a monolithic piece of plywood into the van. This allowed me to secure the planks to the floor then secure the 1/2" plywood to the planks.
1/2" plywood subfloor - waterproofed. Holes for floor bolts have been located using the template and drilled. I believe I will only use the 4 floor bolts in the back under the bed. I can actually see where the bolts go through to the van floor but I may need a little more drilling on the subfloor to be able to get proper alignment for the bolts.

Flooring material: Remnant of thick/squishy Tarkett sheet vinyl from Lowe's. It only cost $50 and seems like pretty good quality. I wasn't too picky on color or design since it may have a mat or rug over it.
I ran the edges up the sides of the the walls where possible. This is to keep moisture from going down under the floor where it can't be dealt with. Imagine 3 wet dogs in van. The curved edges will be covered with the wall panels and could also be useful to channel condensation on back of wall panels into the main area of the van where it can be dealt with instead of disappearing under the floor.
Where this wasn't possible, I will probably use some of the waterproof flashing membrane to seal off the edges of the flooring to prevent moisture from moving under the floor. I will be careful not to block the rocker panels as I know those also are channels to remove moisture.
I did not fill in the ribs under the floor so there is still ventilation from front to back. I am not blocking off that airflow.

So far I haven't glued down the vinyl but I probably will do so this weekend. I plan on using 1" aluminum angle bar to cover the edges along the doors.
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2021, Promaster 159 HR 2500, Silver
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
WINDOWS

I ordered custom width bunk sliders from Motion Windows. I wanted windows that opened but only up high. I would have ordered bigger windows but I couldn't not find any that opened at the top instead of the bottom.

Window requirements:
-In doors so they also help with visibility while driving
-Only open at top or up high for security reasons (ok I realize now that I have the front windows that could just as easily be busted in)
-Open for ventilation
-Not require removal or cutting through of any ribs.

I ended up with 4 little windows, and yes, it does look like an armored vehicle, swat team vehicle, or prisoner transport vehicle. I'm going with prisoner transport as mentioned in a prior post. :)

My son was visiting for his birthday so I had an assistant to help hold the windows while I installed from the inside. We managed to install all 4 in less than 3 hours total. I was pleasantly surprised.

I love them!

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2021, Promaster 159 HR 2500, Silver
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
BED

I used a full size bunkie metal platform. It is sitting on angle brackets which were bolted to the walls. In between the bracket and the metal wall, I put a scrap of the vinyl flooring to prevent squeaking. Anywhere in the van that I have contact between metal/metal ; metal/wood; wood/wood I will use some method of reducing noise and squeaks.

Currently I just have the bunkie frame zip tied to the metal brackets so that I can get measurements and make plans. The mattress is an 8" memory foam and it is still in the compressed mode. Hopefully it will reach full floofiness in a few days.

Under the bed is 30" of garage space. I plan on a built in dog crate (for just one of the 3 dogs) and room to place an Oru folding kayak which is 29" tall. The electrical components will also be in the garage.

I have sat on the bed and it feels very secure. However, I was planning on using 2x3 to support the long edges of the bed and to provide framing for the dog crate. Again, anywhere I place components I will put something in between to prevent squeaking.

I drove to work this morning with the mattress and bed platform installed (again only with zipties at this point). I purposely took a couple of bumps fast to see the amount of bounce. The mattress did have some movement and I was wondering if anyone secures their mattress to the bedframe? It didn't bounce out of position so maybe it doesn't matter if it has some play. It would be difficult to keep sheets on a bed if it were strapped down.

Note in the pics there are a few sections of thinsulate not yet secured to walls. This is for the still pending sound deadening material experiment.

For a more permanent install of the bed I will use some straps and the frame through the brackets to something below. Perhaps the floor bolts or something on the wheel boxes. I'm thinking mini ratchet straps would work if there is such a thing.

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2021, Promaster 159 HR 2500, Silver
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
NEXT STEPS

I'll be measuring for wall panels and start making purchases getting ready to move onto that. All uppers and ceiling are planned to be 1/4 painted plywood
Under the bed I was thinking of using 1/2" plywood for wall panels so electrical components can be attached to it.
Wheel boxes will also probably be 1/2" plywood
Ancor 12 awg 100' should arrive today.
NOCO shore power will be installed in rear bumper
Maxxair fan 5100K will be installed on the flat spot up front
Build platform to cover the squishy spot and protect the b2b 4awg wire. This platform will probably open for some tool storage. I have some 1x4 cedar left over. This will also be used to trim off the step to the front.
I need to get my electrical plan drawn out so I can get some advice on that. Hopefully soon.
 

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2021, Promaster 159 HR 2500, Silver
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Not sure how I found this category when I posted. Should I move this thread to this category:
Promaster Builds and Conversions

Or does it really matter?
 

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Van #2 2021 EXT
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Not sure how I found this category when I posted. Should I move this thread to this category:
Promaster Builds and Conversions

Or does it really matter?
You can ask @keeponvaning to move it for you if you want.

It looks like you are moving right along with your build 👍

If you want more ideas / critiques it would be helpful if you could post a floor plan (pencil sketch or otherwise). I think the design phase is most important for “ergonomics” and efficiency.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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NEXT STEPS

...
Wheel boxes will also probably be 1/2" plywood
...
Hi,
Looks like you are moving right along.

I've always wondered why people build boxes around the wheel bumps. Just seems like more work and weight and eliminates some useful storage space?

Gary
 

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2021, Promaster 159 HR 2500, Silver
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi,
Looks like you are moving right along.

I've always wondered why people build boxes around the wheel bumps. Just seems like more work and weight and eliminates some useful storage space?

Gary
Great question! I have considered leaving them as is. They have Siless sound deadening and another layer of foamy sound deadening as well.

I mentioned I am traveling with 3 dogs, one of whom will be in the built in crate under the bed. She is not the best traveler and if I accidentally run over a rumble strip she often poops. Yes I know that is ridiculous and why would anyone travel with a dog like that! She has ridden in the car from Alaska to Arkansas one way. And from Arkansas to Oregon round trip. The Oregon trip is when she learned her rumble strip technique.

I have the option to leave her with my ex-husband on some trips but she is my dog and if I can make her comfortable enough to stay with me that is what I prefer. She is best friends with one of the other dogs that will be in tow.

So the extra plywood around the wheel wells would probably be stuffed with additional insulation. Her built in crate may also end up with extra insulation/sound deadening but will still require adequate ventilation. It is a conundrum.

I mentioned I am putting strips of leftover flooring or other cushioning between all surfaces that can squeak. Any other soundproofing tips are greatly appreciated. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You can ask @keeponvaning to move it for you if you want.

It looks like you are moving right along with your build 👍

If you want more ideas / critiques it would be helpful if you could post a floor plan (pencil sketch or otherwise). I think the design phase is most important for “ergonomics” and efficiency.
Thanks!

I think my floor plan is pretty standard from what I've seen. Full size bed across the back. Kitchen behind drivers side. Nothing permanent on passenger side but some custom built modular cubes on that size will serve as storage for toilet, stuff, and serve as step for bed.

However, I am now on this kick where I want a back porch out the back doors and a twin size (or narrower) bed mounted north-south would allow access out the back. I installed the full size bed but it didn't take much effort so I could redo it at this point. I just have to make up my mind soon. Twin bed would be mounted lower and serve as a sofa during day. Hmmmm......
 

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Thanks!

I think my floor plan is pretty standard from what I've seen. Full size bed across the back. Kitchen behind drivers side. Nothing permanent on passenger side but some custom built modular cubes on that size will serve as storage for toilet, stuff, and serve as step for bed.

However, I am now on this kick where I want a back porch out the back doors and a twin size (or narrower) bed mounted north-south would allow access out the back. I installed the full size bed but it didn't take much effort so I could redo it at this point. I just have to make up my mind soon. Twin bed would be mounted lower and serve as a sofa during day. Hmmmm......
I find the design phase the hardest & the more time I have the more I change my mind. We went with the TF130 & it will swing open into the van door slider entry space (we access our fridge mostly from outside as we cook outside). This configuration utilizes the slider entry space & allows for interior & exterior access.

The nice thing about “custom designs” you can design to your intended use / ergonomics.

73231
 

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2014 Promaster 1500, 118" wheelbase, high roof, 3.6L gas
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BED

I used a full size bunkie metal platform. It is sitting on angle brackets which were bolted to the walls. In between the bracket and the metal wall, I put a scrap of the vinyl flooring to prevent squeaking. Anywhere in the van that I have contact between metal/metal ; metal/wood; wood/wood I will use some method of reducing noise and squeaks.

Currently I just have the bunkie frame zip tied to the metal brackets so that I can get measurements and make plans. The mattress is an 8" memory foam and it is still in the compressed mode. Hopefully it will reach full floofiness in a few days.

Under the bed is 30" of garage space. I plan on a built in dog crate (for just one of the 3 dogs) and room to place an Oru folding kayak which is 29" tall. The electrical components will also be in the garage.

I have sat on the bed and it feels very secure. However, I was planning on using 2x3 to support the long edges of the bed and to provide framing for the dog crate. Again, anywhere I place components I will put something in between to prevent squeaking.

I drove to work this morning with the mattress and bed platform installed (again only with zipties at this point). I purposely took a couple of bumps fast to see the amount of bounce. The mattress did have some movement and I was wondering if anyone secures their mattress to the bedframe? It didn't bounce out of position so maybe it doesn't matter if it has some play. It would be difficult to keep sheets on a bed if it were strapped down.

Note in the pics there are a few sections of thinsulate not yet secured to walls. This is for the still pending sound deadening material experiment.

For a more permanent install of the bed I will use some straps and the frame through the brackets to something below. Perhaps the floor bolts or something on the wheel boxes. I'm thinking mini ratchet straps would work if there is such a thing.

View attachment 73180 View attachment 73181
Looks nice!
 

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I don't think it matters. I check both. It's a mystery why there are 2 subs for conversions.
The original thread is so polluted it's a pita to find builds. So another one was requested just for builds and not random "how do I" questions, didn't work out as expected.
 

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2019 159 High Top - White, of course!
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Hi,
Looks like you are moving right along.

I've always wondered why people build boxes around the wheel bumps. Just seems like more work and weight and eliminates some useful storage space?

Gary
Because things tend to stay put on a flat surface, rather than a curved one?

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Today I finished gluing down the floor. I ran out of adhesive the other day. I have 1.5 inch aluminum angle to cover the edges at the doors.

I got a new mower yesterday and if you think that isn't van related just look at all the wood from the crate! I will be using some of that in the van.

Currently I have a full size bed in the back. However, I am rethinking that layout. I have dreamed up a back porch idea and might want to be access it from in the van. So I may put a twin bed along the port side. I am going to play around with floor plan drawings and actual mock ups and I will ask for opinions.

I was planning on taking the van out for a night with the current bed. Then remove it and put the twin bed in and take it out another night. I will rarely have a guest in the van but I have an idea for a guest bed too.

Wish I could make up my mind! The planning takes much longer than the doing.
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