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Premium Member
2021 Silver ProMaster 159
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292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have appreciated all the good advice and careful input from this forum. I have started a van conversion company in the Portland Oregon area. My website is campmaker.com.

My personal van project followed a lot of the principles on Gary Reysa's Build A Green RV.

If you or someone you know is interested in my services, please have them contact me.

Dennis Littlefield (Dennis CampMaker)
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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2,954 Posts
Hi Dennis,
Having exchanged quite a few emails with Dennis and seen some of his work, I can vouch for the quality of his work and his inovativeness.

Gary
 

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Hi Dennis,
Looking at your website, my initial reaction is you need a more "professional" tone. Reading your intro "My primary position is working at a camp and conference center..." as well as the other bits (" a gift from my relatives..."), it's clear that you are a "mom and pop", just a guy doing some side stuff as a hobby. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. If that is your goal, to just be a small, single man operation that does this on the side/hobby, that is fine. But if you are trying to make this a "business" then I would say go with a professional tone. The saying goes, "fake it until you make it." No one needs to know this isn't your "real" job or your relatives gave you a van. Spin it. When a random person visits your site they want to be impressed and confident. And confidence (for better or worse) often comes from perception that the "company" is established, large, has done many projects, etc. If you look at sites of builders like wayfarer or glampervan the impression is, this is a "real" business. They do have a "our story" section that goes into how they got started, but it is secondary. So in summary, I think if you want to convey your business as a "real" business and not a side hustle then I would avoid "I" and treat it as a company entity. I would also feature your builds and work first and foremost. Save the personal story as secondary. You want a visitor to leave thinking, "this company does good work, they seem legit and I might use them." Not, "hmm, can I trust some random guy..." I hope that helps. Just my POV. All the best and good luck!
 

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Premium Member
2021 Silver ProMaster 159
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292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Dennis,
Looking at your website, my initial reaction is you need a more "professional" tone. Reading your intro "My primary position is working at a camp and conference center..." as well as the other bits (" a gift from my relatives..."), it's clear that you are a "mom and pop", just a guy doing some side stuff as a hobby. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. If that is your goal, to just be a small, single man operation that does this on the side/hobby, that is fine. But if you are trying to make this a "business" then I would say go with a professional tone. The saying goes, "fake it until you make it." No one needs to know this isn't your "real" job or your relatives gave you a van. Spin it. When a random person visits your site they want to be impressed and confident. And confidence (for better or worse) often comes from perception that the "company" is established, large, has done many projects, etc. If you look at sites of builders like wayfarer or glampervan the impression is, this is a "real" business. They do have a "our story" section that goes into how they got started, but it is secondary. So in summary, I think if you want to convey your business as a "real" business and not a side hustle then I would avoid "I" and treat it as a company entity. I would also feature your builds and work first and foremost. Save the personal story as secondary. You want a visitor to leave thinking, "this company does good work, they seem legit and I might use them." Not, "hmm, can I trust some random guy..." I hope that helps. Just my POV. All the best and good luck!
I appreciate your thoughtful note and recommendation. I understand the importance of a professional presentation. My situation is somewhat unique. I basically am a small operation and I want to be truthful about that. I don't have plans to grow the operation, but I am excited to help a small number of clients in the next few years.
 

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Premium Member
2021 Silver ProMaster 159
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292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
After building a few urine diverting toilets, I think I'm becoming a toilet evangelist. ;-) These type of toilets are so much better than any of the other types. It doesn't have all the "bells and whistles" of a Natures Head toilet, but costs about $300 instead of $1,000. I purchase the inside parts from this company. Urine-diverting dry toilets | kildwick.com
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Registered
None yet. Still looking for van.
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14 Posts
Hi Dennis, I'm very new here and still looking for a van but when we find one will look you up, were definitely gonna need help putting it together.
joe
 

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Premium Member
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435 Posts
Congratulations with your new business adventure. We would be honored to supply you with materials and components for your builds. We offer special pricing for upfitters and you can pick up at our warehouse to save shipping. In return we will send you customers.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan
Hood River, OR
 

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2021 Silver ProMaster 159
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292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Congratulations with your new business adventure. We would be honored to supply you with materials and components for your builds. We offer special pricing for upfitters and you can pick up at our warehouse to save shipping. In return we will send you customers.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan
Hood River, OR
Thanks Hein! We were at Hood River a couple months ago and I wish we had come by for a visit. You definitely have a number of products we could use.
 

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Registered
2021, Promaster 159 HR 2500, Silver
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317 Posts
Congratulations with your new business adventure. We would be honored to supply you with materials and components for your builds. We offer special pricing for upfitters and you can pick up at our warehouse to save shipping. In return we will send you customers.

All the best,
Hein
DIYvan
Hood River, OR
@Hein . Please provide a link where to purchase your products. I am in need of maxxair fan adapter and roof rack adapters. What else you got? Thanks!
 

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2017 136” HR
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719 Posts

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Premium Member
2021 Silver ProMaster 159
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292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I think most van projects are an issue of form versus function. For the last year or so I’ve pondered adding a water jug holder to the back of my van. With a 24 gallon gas tank, I don’t really need a mounted gas can, but I could use an extra 5 gallons of fresh water. I certainly could find room inside for the water, but I also like the look of mounted cans.

After some research, I found this one. The four mounting holes are close together and down low. This allows it to mount to the lower section of the back door without interfering with the door mechanism. Amazon reviews say the latch design doesn’t keep the gas cans in the holder when they are bouncing on a dirt road. The latch design also doesn’t work with a wide range of Jerry Cans available, so I rebuilt the latch to go through the handle. I think this design should be adapted by the manufacture.

Jerry Can Holder

Jerry 5 Gallon Water Can
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2017 136” HR
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719 Posts
I don’t want to be all “doom and gloom”, but I for one wouldn’t be comfortable with my freshwater in the open like that for anybody to mess with. That’s why RVs have lockable freshwater fills.
 

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Premium Member
2021 Silver ProMaster 159
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292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have a client with a Suburban RV Heater NT-16 SEQ. I’m looking for advice because the repair shop I'm working with isn’t able to fix it so far. The heater will run fine with a nice blue flame for about 15 minutes and then it makes a soft pop sound and the flame turns to orange. I’m testing it while connected to shore power so low voltage isn't an issue. I have a new igniter and a new two stage regulator.

Do you have any suggestions as to why it is behaving this way?
 

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Premium Member
2021 Silver ProMaster 159
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292 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I enjoyed this electrical project from my latest clients. They wanted to charge their batteries from shore power and from the alternator. We used two SOK 100 AH batteries wired in parallel and a Victron Blue Smart IP65 AC charger with the Victron Orion DC-DC 30 amp Smart Charger. Even though it was a simple set up, it had a large number of cables and a lot of ring terminals.
73157
 

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2019 159 High Top - White, of course!
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458 Posts
I have a client with a Suburban RV Heater NT-16 SEQ. I’m looking for advice because the repair shop I'm working with isn’t able to fix it so far. The heater will run fine with a nice blue flame for about 15 minutes and then it makes a soft pop sound and the flame turns to orange. I’m testing it while connected to shore power so low voltage isn't an issue. I have a new igniter and a new two stage regulator.

Do you have any suggestions as to why it is behaving this way?
Thermocouple?
 
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