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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I don't know why I put off starting my build thread but I've gotten a few things done and wanted to officially start to document what we've done and plan to do. We are excited to begin this next phase of our lives and will be full-time RV living and trying to chase 70 f degrees but know that we'll get caught time to time in cold climates.

Purchased "OTIS" (Others Think It's Stupid) April 2018 Flew to Winston-Salem to pick it up and drove it home to St. Louis
2018 3500 159"WB Extended Silver -Factory Rear Glass

We've started our YouTube channel (Corndog Caravan) to document different installs in an attempt to help those starting on this journey. I'm a DIY'er and am not trying to make money via YouTube but if some coins roll my way, I'll pick them up.

We've been selling everything and still have a few things left to do on the house before we list it and we are behind our initial schedule but we don't have a deadline but want to get on the road ASAP.

Items we've installed so far-
MOPAR Factory Hitch and wiring harness

CTA Swivels Driver and Passenger

Fiamma F65s 13' awning Install Thread- https://www.promasterforum.com/threads/fiamma-awning-installation-f65s.89344/

Thule Ducato V16 700mm powerstep

Tern Overland 450mm x 900mm window in our slider
2 Maxxair Fans
Porch Lights on passenger side.

Our floor plan as been finalized. We will have a full size bed in the back sleeping East to West and have a our garage/storage underneath. I'm planning on installing a Pragmatic Adjustable Full-Size Bed as we have slept on an adjustable bed for the last 10 years and will continue this. The driver's side will have upper cabinets from front to back. We'll have a floor to ceiling cabinet 28" wide in front of the bed and then a cabinet that will house our Dometic CFX75DZ with some storage below it and a countertop on top of it that hinges up. Behind the driver seat will be our composting toilet. I purchased a urine separator from www.urineseparator.com and will be building it and trying out some designs that I've seen others do to make it easier. The top of the toilet will have a lid and padded top that can be used as a seat or just something to rest my feet on when I swivel my driver's seat around. The passenger side will have no upper cabinets and will have a cabinet that will house our Induction cooktop, sink and possibly our freshwater tank and grey water tank.

I'll be using Havelock insulation in the walls and ceiling and 1/2" polyiso or XPS in the floor. 1/2" marine grade plywood on the floor topped by sheet vinyl flooring unless I change my mind.

I'll be building a roof rack to support our solar panels, front light bar, side and rear lights. I'm going with 2 60 cell panels and will be between 600-700w total of solar. I've got room between my two roof fans to fit these. I've done my analysis on power needs but want to have more than we currently calculate so that we either boondock longer without running out of juice. The plan is to use an all-in-one MPP unit to for my MPPT/Inverter/Charger needs. I'll be using 24v of LiFePO battery and will either get multiple 12v's or 24v (haven't finalized decision). My house batteries and entire electrical will be separate from the starter system.

I've got more that I'll be adding to my thread but wanted to go ahead and get it started. Thanks to the forum moderators for input they provide and the patience they have with some of the repeated questions that come up all the time.
 

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Hi,
Best wishes on your full time RV adventure.

I like your urine separator -- I might have to upgrade from our plastic one.

Here is another DIY composting toilet to add to the ones you look at.
It has worked out well for us and also gets lots of use as an extra seat.

Looking forward to seeing what kind of composting toilet design you come up with.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Here's a pic with both porch lights on. Ignore the wiring in this pic as this was just run temporarily to test the porch lights. This gives me more light than I was expecting and may try a dimmer to test it and give myself the option for later when we are on the road. I also worked on my floor template so I can get working on my floor next.
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Discussion Starter #5
While I wait for my unistrut channels to arrive I worked on making some adapters that will allow me to use the Fiamma Awning brackets. I followed the lead that I saw another forum member "z120pi" make. I picked up some 1/4" 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" angle aluminum and ripped it to match the same angle as the bracket. I predrilled the brackets before I mounted the awning but wished I had done the bracket adapter at the same time. Here's some pics to help anyone tackling the same idea.
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Discussion Starter #6
I installed my subfloor today. I made a paper template as most folks do and used it to trace my lines for my 1/2" polyiso and my 1/2" marine grade plywood. The plywood looks to be cabinet grade and am very happy with it. I used 3 1/2" wide pvc trim boards along all my seams which required me to trim my polyiso back. I used 2" square blocks of the pvc material at all of my factory tiedown points so that my floor would be secure and to help reinforce my 1/2" ply as I drilled a taper in the ply so the heads would be recessed. A little overkill but I also used some #20 biscuits at my short seams towards the area where my cabinets on the drivers side will be. I staggered my joints which made some careful planning when laying out my 3 sheets of 4x8.

I secured the 10 factory floor lugs with 8mm x 45mm 1.25 stainless steel bolts.
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I don't know why I put off starting my build thread but I've gotten a few things done and wanted to officially start to document what we've done and plan to do. We are excited to begin this next phase of our lives and will be full-time RV living and trying to chase 70 f degrees but know that we'll get caught time to time in cold climates.

Purchased "OTIS" (Others Think It's Stupid) April 2018 Flew to Winston-Salem to pick it up and drove it home to St. Louis
2018 3500 159"WB Extended Silver -Factory Rear Glass


I'll be using Havelock insulation in the walls and ceiling and 1/2" polyiso or XPS in the floor. 1/2" marine grade plywood on the floor topped by sheet vinyl flooring unless I change my mind.
OTIS - that made me laugh. :)
 

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A 24 volt LiFe pack is a great decision. We use 24 or 48 volt battery packs in the systems that we build as well. So much better than a 12 volt setup. It is easier to buy 24 volt components than 48, so it is a good path. Feel free to look at what we build if you want any inspiration. Home | WirlNet, Inc
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Fiamma Awning Light Install-

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Two steps forward and one step back. I installed my Fiamma Awning LED light strip in preparation for my roof rack build and planning out my location for my Weboost antenna, rear camera. Nothing's ever easy and regret buying the light but I paid for it and was determined to install it. Time will tell if the wire stays tucked away and tried to protect it the best I could.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The next step for roof rack prep was to go ahead and install the Fiamma 1" square foam which I forgot to install when I did it last summer. I had to remove the awning to also do my final bracket adapter I fabricated. When I started marking my unistrut for the Fiamma bracket integration I realized that the bolts that secure the awning to the brackets were going to be in the way. I ended up drilling a hole in the side of the strut to allow me to get to the bolts. Wow this really presented a hurdle but had to find a solution.

I was racing the coming darkness and cold temps and almost finished my trial assembly. Hope to complete soon but have snow and ice coming.
My rack is 1 5/8" unistrut and runs the length of the roof and mounts to the Fiamma brackets on the passenger side and vantech mounts on the driver side. I had to raise the driver side 1" using pvc trim board so that the rack would be level. I'm using double channel unistrut to raise my solar panel mounting to bot get shadowing from my 2 maxxair fans. All the struts are aluminum and am using stainless steel hardware but my some of the brackets are only made via galvanized coating. My plan is to paint all the rack black to match my solar panel trim and to go with the overall look.

Like every step, it takes more time and money than expected.
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Discussion Starter #12
Even in the bitter cold today of 21°f, I was able to get my exterior lights installed and remaining solar rack framing. I'm going to be running all the wires up to the front and using Ancor Mast Wire 5 conductor in via 1/2" glands and weatherproof box. The awning light, rear camera and WeBoost coax wire will be routed thru my upper camera factory housing.
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Discussion Starter #13
It's hard to see the angle but I'm also considering using these unistrut 7.5° brackets to mount a wind fairing from behind my front light bar back to the front cross brace on my rack. I've read that folks have actually had worse gas mileage but will test mine and report back once we hit the road in a few months.
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Nice work on the framing.

It might be possible to mount the panels cross wise so that they are connected to the original frame that goes front to back. I like to mount (RV size) panels that way because it reduces the framing effort.

I am not strong enough to lift those full size panels on to the roof without risking the wind catching them.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Nice work on the framing.

It might be possible to mount the panels cross wise so that they are connected to the original frame that goes front to back. I like to mount (RV size) panels that way because it reduces the framing effort.

I am not strong enough to lift those full size panels on to the roof without risking the wind catching them.
My panels are 65" x 40". I'll have to run them crosswise which forced me to have my rack high enough to clear the height of my Fiamma awning.
 

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Thanks - makes perfect sense on that approach. I had not thought through the awning aspect.

Are you happy with the vantech mounts? They look very useful.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks - makes perfect sense on that approach. I had not thought through the awning aspect.

Are you happy with the vantech mounts? They look very useful.
Yes they are very simple but seem a little pricey for what you get. I used 4 out of the 5 lugs on my driver's side.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I removed my roof rack so I could prime and paint the strut material and brackets. I soaked the EG coated brackets that will be visable in vinegar to remove the coating. I did a quick reassemble inside the house so that I could test fit my solar panels and am glad I did this on the ground because I quickly realized my span needed some reinforcement. I ran to my metal supplier and picked up some 1" x 3" aluminum that I'll use to brace the mid section. It's still below freezing so I had to start spraying inside the garage. I used a quart of SEM self etching primer and will coat the rack with a satin black.
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