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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks to everyone who has posted info on this forum so far. I have relied on it quite a bit while doing research. Figured it's time to post my experiences in case they help.

After 2+ years of shopping, got a 2016 model off a dealer lot with 9k on it, had been one of 2 used by a now out of business hvac company. Quick note on insurance in Colorado: after a long search, Shelter Insurance out of Boulder has been great. ~70 a month. Ask for Rebecca.

Plans are to do an adventure build w/ open feel, platform bed with storage underneath, simple galley and some sort of heat. We had a pickup/slide in camper previously and wanted something with more stealth capability, access from cab, and it is my daily driver on a real short commute (when I don't bike or bus to work).

So far, I've installed a CURT hitch, blacked out the wheels and front grill, removed the promaster1500 ram logos on the side doors.

200 board feet of Tiger spray Foam insulation and a Maxxair vent fan are en route from Amazon.

Next decisions are walls and carpet/floor insulation.
Thinking beetle kill 1x8' slats on the walls. For floor, right now the plan is to remove the black particle board laminate stuff it came with and layer closed cell foam and carpet padding directly on the metal floor, and some cheap berber carpet on top.

Anyone install carpeting like this? We want to be able to replace it easily, and have to watch out on floor insulation height because I'm 6'3'' and barely can stand up as is.
 

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I did my floor with 1/2 inch polyisocyanurate ridgid board laid down under 1/2 inch plywood, and cheap loop carpet from H-D stapled a bit on top to keep it from moving. Carpet can be changed out each year for $10 each time. Total loos in height is 1" only as I used 1" polyiso on the ceiling to fill the areas between the ribs and covered it with headliner from Joanns fabric, thus no loss on the ceiling and I am only 5'7"!
 

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Spray foam is great, a tip from Airstream trailer rehab: use the 'window safe' no-heave canned foam w/ applicator gun to fill any metal pinch points that the tiger foam might get leverage against the exterior sheet metal from that would warp the exterior smooth panels. Example, a 1/8" wide ledge that runs for four feet is actually six square inches and if the tiger foam exerts more than a few ounces of 'heave' per square inch you've got instant ripple visible on the exterior smooth panels. Inside the stamped reinforcing columns and ribs are strictly off-limits unless it is the 'window safe' flavor, meaning insulating a house window opening won't have the foam expansion lock the windows movement by flexing anything. Maybe you knew all this so it's just for other future readers...

I'd maybe think twice about trashing ALL the factory wood floor, leaving the last X feet as an equipment storage locker floor or using it as base sheet for built-ins and only cut out the aisle(s) to get the extra padding treatment. Often the floors are glued in and it is shatter the wood to remove it. My floor? I put a sheet of EPDM Rubber Roofing down to eat noise and eliminate floor squeaks and laid 1/2" plywood on top, so I'd have a load capable floor, pallets & equipment hauling - then put Iso foam sheets loose on top and covered with rubber workstation mats and carpets for RV use.
 

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Digging the wheels! Was thinking about taking on that project this weekend. Did you just use auto-grade rattle cans?
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
@RDinNHandAZ - I have definitely read through your build and looked at this, and your ceiling solution is what I'm planning to do. We are thinking that the give of the padding under the carpet instead of plywood would feel nice though. Maybe could use your method, but add a more expensive, thicker carpet?
@Zoomyn - thanks for that... maybe we will just stick with canned stuff for the columns/ribs? I was thinking of running some conduit in there for future unknown wiring projects too. Luckily, I have a good friend here that just is finishing up a sprinter conversion so he is willing to help with the spray. Sounds like 200 board feet can go fast if you are not careful. As for the floor, that's a good idea to leave the back 1/3 with the wood. We are also looking waterproofing the cargo area, using a larger version of a trunk tray. We like to toss our river gear in there are well, and would want to keep mud/water contained in the back.
@Andrew Crane .. for the wheels, just used the tried and true black plasti-dip. Super easy, cheap, and removable. If we decide we really like them, we'll go back and do it in a more permanent way. The grille is textured black high heat resistant stuff I found at the local ACE. I can't remember the brand.

Thanks all! Off to the desert for memorial day for some biking in our garage tent on wheels. Enjoy your holiday weekend travels!
 

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BedRug for your floor-precut, fits your ribs, automatic sound dampening and insulation, zero work and economical if you take in consideration time/labor/materials to do the same custom. ...oh yeh its washable...its made to go into truck beds and stuff doesn't slide all over the place on top of it. Get some cheap mat runners to use when things are messy. I used this on current build...best floor ever considering it takes little to no effort to put in and very cushy and sound dampening to boot.
 

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Also interested in what you used to black-out the wheels.

I am also 6'3".

Here is my floor stack: Sound deadener, filled the valleys with 1/4" ply, 1/2" Poly Iso foam board glued down with great stuff, 1/4" ply floating, 1/8" Mass Loaded Vinyl floating, 1/8" Vinyl Plank Floor floating.

I used 3/4" PolyIso on the ceiling. With the full floor stack and ceiling insulation, I will be maxed out height-wise once we add 1/8" ceiling panels.. also considering a fabric headliner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Back at it

Probably should have mentioned that this summer also involved getting married and taking a quick honeymoon road trip. So, haven't been able to get much work done, but an empty PM serves pretty well as a flower/decoration transporter. And in the meantime, we've done amazing mountain bike and stand up paddle trips to Idaho, Utah, and all over CO.

Just got back in town and time to get to work.

Used plastic sheeting to cover up some areas that will get great stuff'd later and also be used for wire runs/framing.

Then, spray foam!

Watching a few youtube videos and talking to friends made the process a lot less intimidating. Once you get a few seconds in, you get the hang of it. Saw that the wheel wells were sprayed over on Build it Solar RV's page, so went for it. Managed to get my new wife involved too, she loved it.

Next step, vent fan cutting and vinyl flooring! Decided on a foam panel/ 1/4 inch plywood/ vinyl approach for the floor. Will cut a nice carpet rug later on.

Also reached out to vanworks in Fort Collins for advice on bench seats. Right now, leaning towards buying something cheap off craigslist and have a local welder install the rails in the floor and attached to the frame underneath.

Build is back on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Back at it after getting married, going on a honeymoon road trip in the PM to Idaho, and time to get started.

Did the spray foaming and installed floors this weekend. On floors, zoomyn was right, the factory floor is glued down... hard. So we ended up with a eco cork sound deadening product that also has a vapor barrier and claims an R7. And it's only 1/4 inch thick. Added vinyl adhesive faux tiles on top of that for a thin floor that hopefully has enough insulation to keep us warm. Will probably add a rug on top of the front part.

Spray foaming is fun! The new wife got involved. She also started an instagram account: @pepithepromaster.

Next steps, vent fan, bed, and swivels from eurocampers that should arrive Thurs.

(I tried to post this a few days ago but got the message that it was awaiting moderation. So here's another try.
 

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Tell us more about the foam, your experience, and how happy you are with the results. Some have warped the sheet metal surface of the van trying.
Oh and the sideways pictures can be avoided if you put the phone pictures in an editing program and save them before posting. I soon ran out of thumbnail space on the forum so I began linking them to a photo site for the purpose. I use tinypic.com then insert them by pasting a link.... simple.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the photo hint, I will the tinypic.com strategy next time.

The foam application went smoothly. I have a close friend in town who recently did his sprinter, so I had a few hints and reassurance from him that it wasn't as intimidating as it seems.

Definitely do not skimp on PPE. Looking back, I should have used a respirator mask. Only $15 difference for a cheap one. We had the windows and back doors open, and there was a breeze, but the chemicals are strong. Once the van had 2 days to fully dry though, I have not smelled anything.

I did not spray the foam in any small enclosed spaces. This was both to prevent warping and also to leave some space for wire runs. We have a bunch of cans of great stuff to go back and fill in cracks before we throw the wall and door panels on.

Just got notice that the eurocamper swivels arrive tomorrow. Should have them and the MAxxair vent fan in by the weekend. Quick turnaround for a Sunday order, I'm impressed!!

Also ordered Kuat Dirtbag bike axle stands for the interior bike mount. http://kuatracks.com/products/accessories/the-dirtbag/
 

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I use mine daily for mtn biking.

I used porch paint on my plywood floor.
Easy to sweep.
Lots of sand and gravel will get tracked in.
When it gets scuffed up really bad I just add a coat of paint.
Easy and cheap.

I put aluminum angle on the exposed edges of the plywood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Installed the swivels after work today. The eurocamper swivels went in 99% correctly, but have one issue and two hints.

Hints: make sure to remove the orange and yellow wire harnesses from their attachements before separating. This took pliers.
Make sure your T40 ratchet is one piece, and not a adaptor series, spacing gets tight in the front two bolts on removing the seat.

Issue. One of the bolt holes on the new swivel frame had weld drip or some other obstruction. So only could get in 5/6 bolts on driver side. Going to store tomorrow to get a tap and hope that works. otherwise, might have to drill it out and try to rethread it. I've read about this issue in a review as well. None of the bolts went in as easily as expected. Would be interested to hear if the swivelsrus ones have the same issue.

Nevertheless, both seats are swiveling nicely, a buddy stopped by to lend a hand and have a beer to test out the new seats.

Onwards to the vent fan....






(edit, sorry tinypic still won't correct the rotation, even though I changed it on my hard drive. arg.)
 

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Now we know what friends are for! Odd about the pictures sideways it shows mine OK in tinypic. My Eurocamper base fit perfectly, YMMY I guess. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Built rails and built and installed the bed, did wall and door paneling, cut/installed the maxxair vent, and bolted in the bike axle mounts.

Used a 2x4 mount and self tapping screws for a bed frame. Took a close up because I couldn't find many other pictures on how people attached the bed to the frame.

Built a 2 piece bed, both platforms are 28" by 72". Adds up to just under a full size sleeping sideways. Used all weather fabric and stapled it to the bed platforms.

Still making final decisions on ceiling and electrical set up.

Fan was easy! Glad out patio backs up to the roof height pretty exactly. A 3/4 inch drill bit and a jigsaw made quick work of the cutting.

It's campable now!
 

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Hey Brian,
I did some experimenting with the pictures and found I needed to open my phone pictures with any simple photo editing program and then save them. Mostly I didn’t need to rotate them as the photo program had them right and once saved I sent them to tinypic.com and copied the url here. My mac used Preview and Photos. Windows users here can suggest if you wonder. I am going crazy turning my computer sideways to see your great pictures! Thanks for posting.
 

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You should always resize and save your iPhone or tablet images as "web ready" before posting anywhere so you don't include any info you may not want made public. As RD stated this will also insure they show up properly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Figured I'd post an update, we are sitting pretty for the winter ski camping season after a long mountain bike season with many trips to the mountains and deserts of Utah, Colorado, Idaho, and Arizona.

We finished up the ceiling with 6" beetle kill pine slats, added a 100w renogy panel, charge controller, and 100 amp/hr battery. Some fun additions were a house battery supplied marine gauge radio and dual all weather speakers swivel mounted inside the sliding door, a heat blanket hard wired into the dc panel, a deer bumper grill guard that looks great, and a bunch of lights including some custom made ones out of old wooden skis and bright rear facing LED's for camping fun (you can play washers all night if you want!)

Bought a '13 suburban leather reclining 2 wide bench seat that I am currently working on a plan to permanently install and modify to include lap belts. Other project is finalizing the kitchen area and ading more shelving, and getting a rear ladder and safari rack up top.

I've been tracking total build cost in a google spreadsheet, it's around $3800 and counting. Compared to friends who have spent more than double that, we are pretty happy with our little low ish budget van so far. If anyone has questions on this, happy to share.

It started snowing hard out here in early December, so we traded in our stock Continental Vanco 4 seasons for some General Grabber AT2's from wal mart. Went from not being able to get up the hill to our house to being able to plow through pretty much anything! The tires have been a huge difference living where snowpack is permanent from Dec-Apr.

We continue to post pictures here: https://www.instagram.com/pepithepromaster/

Cheers,
 
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