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Building Camper Vans

28560 Views 288 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  Dennis CampMaker
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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Discussion Starter · #221 · (Edited)
Yeah I don't feel bad about dumping a few gallons of biodegradable dishwater in the middle of nowhere. Anyone camping without an RV would do the same. Also rest stops and city parks tend to have public restrooms. Campgrounds sometimes have restrooms.
It is very simple to dump both my urine jug (2 gallon photo attached) and the 4 gallon grey water tank in a public restroom.
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Yeah, in desperation (in the middle of the night), we had to spend one night at a large state campground last year. I watched the previous night's visitor (in a Transit conversion) dump all their grey water on the parking pad before they pulled out. :( Swearing off those larger parks once again. :confused:
At the trailhead to Borah Peak in ID, there are a few designated camping areas and a lot of undesignated "sleeping" areas, and a pit toilet. I saw several vans stop by the toilets for a few minutes. I think most van travelers won't dump where other people will be walking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #223 · (Edited)
I've ponded having an awning versus a tarp and I usually settle with the tarp. I mounted these clip on anchors with 3M - VHB tape. My best guess is they have about 75 lbs. of holding power for each anchor (I learned this when I needed to take one off). We don’t want to drill more holes then necessary. I used S hook carabiners to attach the tarp. I added the extra rope anchors so I could disconnect the tarp when we needed to leave the campsite for a few hours. It takes about 5 minutes to set up.

Here are the links for the products:
"S" Carabiners: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08BNR8MQ4?
Tarp: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08GC4ZK27?
Anchors: FYTRONDY Screws Mount Stainless Steel Ceiling Hook Hanger (4 in Pack) - - Amazon.com
Poles: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DFFK33K?

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You will get a lot of rain in between the van and the tarp. You will also have to close your door during a rain. My first tarp (see my build) covered the gap and allowed me to leave the door open during a rain. But, I didn't want to take 5 minutes or more to put it out and stake it. We sleep with the slider open 99% of the time. It almost always starts to rain in the middle of the night. A main advantage of an awning, especially one with a motor is that I can extend it a few feet in seconds and go back to bed, door still open. The awning and motor is the one place where I splurged and spent some money. I also go to windy, sunny places and parking lots. No ability to stake. Just food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #225 ·
You will get a lot of rain in between the van and the tarp. You will also have to close your door during a rain.
Thank you for your note. One missing item that wasn't installed yet for this trip was a rain gutter just above the fly anchor points. I have done this on a number of van builds and I haven't had a problem with the small amount of rain drops that come between the fly gap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #226 ·
I finished the propane vault this week by adding a upper vent through the van wall. The standards for building RV's requires a propane vault to have two vents, one flush with the floor and the other near the top of the vault.
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Discussion Starter · #229 ·
I agree with @83Grumman Nice Work !

I am curious about your post;

The standards for building RV's requires a propane vault to have two vents, one flush with the floor and the other near the top of the vault.

Could you post where you found these “Standards” please ? I would like to research that a little more.
I just found out that anyone can have free access to the standards for 14 days. You sign up at this website. Recreational Vehicle Standards: NFPA 1192: Standard on Recreational Vehicles
 

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Discussion Starter · #233 ·
Last Friday I was doing a project under the vehicle and I asked my 3 year old grand daughter to give me a hand. It was a perfect example of when someone is in their element and they enjoy being helpful. Since I was lying on my back upside down, I would ask her for wire cutters, zip ties, double stick tape or other needed parts and she would get them for me - for 3 hours!
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Last Friday I was doing a project under the vehicle and I asked my 3 year old grand daughter to give me a hand. It was a perfect example of when someone is in their element and they enjoy being helpful. Since I was lying on my back upside down, I would ask her for wire cutters, zip ties, double stick tape or other needed parts and she would get them for me - for 3 hours! View attachment 89247
Isn't there a law in Oregon on minimum wage for 3 yr olds?

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #235 · (Edited)
Isn't there a law in Oregon on minimum wage for 3 yr olds?

Gary
Yes - but you can hire family members and pay them with skittles. ;-) I'm a firm believer in teaching the next generation trade skills.
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Discussion Starter · #236 ·
This week I worked on seat cushions. In general they aren't too difficult, but one challenging aspect is to make sure your measurements fit the area.
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Discussion Starter · #237 ·
This week I worked on seat cushions. In general they aren't too difficult, but one challenging aspect is to make sure your measurements fit the area.
I wonder what it is that triggers the "Sensitive Content for those under 18" warning in this recent post? That is strange.
 

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A picture I posted using my finger to point at something got flagged. I presume it thought the fleshy protuberance was something else.

I think the machine learning to detect lewd images needs more training. Mostly it is just hilarious what gets flagged in this forum

Perhaps it moderators can review the flagged content and clear then? There are not that many.
 
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