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2018 136 HR
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello - I have appreciated the information on this site and the willingness of everyone to share. I will use this thread to document our build - it will be many months.

A little about us - Recently retired couple living in Eugene Oregon - We have talked about getting some type of a van/truck/mini-RV for the couple of years - We were both pretty big backpackers in our younger days - Colorado, Cascades, Machu Picchu, British Columbia, etc. As the kids came, we went for more comfort in the car with a big brown tent - a full cooler, Coleman stove, real pillows - how luxurious! Over time the ground got less comfortable, the rain more frequent, and the tent too cramped - not to mention bears...

And thus the van - we looked at the usual suspects and landed on the 136 High Roof Promaster as the ideal vehicle - but.... they are tough to find - We were looking for a recent used van with low miles - We lucked out and found a 2018 with 3,000 miles on the Oregon coast - we jumped on it..... now what?

I admire the DIY ethic of many on this forum - ours will be a do some of it ourselves and get help as needed. Fortunately we found a person who is just starting a van conversion business and collaboratively works with us - we will do the design, buy the "stuff", and do whatever we can.

Our plan right now is to put in a couple of things like a fan, some windows and a bed and then use the van camping for a couple of months - using our propane stove and cooler and other car camping equipment. We will likely do mock ups with cardboard and a lot of tape measurements.....

Thanking you all in advance for your input and advice - I will try to document what we learn and do along the way.
 

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2018 136 HR
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Our Van thus far:
Our newly purchased van included - optional wood composite floor and side wall paneling that we like. Other: - Power folding mirrors, cruise control, tow hitch, cargo area LEd lighting, adjustable lumbar seats, upgraded tires, and the Rear park assist "system". It was a catering van....
NewVan2.jpg strip.jpg

Took the lettering off with a hot gun and "goof off"
fan2.JPG fan1.jpg MaxxFanIn.jpg

Installed a MaxxFan 7500K
..

FramMockFront.jpg

Mocking up the bed - want easy access and the ability to sit up and read - may raise it just a bit...
 

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Premium Member
2018 159 High Roof gas, BC, Canada
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1,404 Posts
I like the little foam/rubber "pads" you used to cover the sharp screws on the MaxxAir fan. I punched the screws in similarly and currently they are just pointy things hanging down. It didn't bother me but I was wondered what to do about them.
 

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2018 2500 159-HR
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148 Posts
I like the little foam/rubber "pads" you used to cover the sharp screws on the MaxxAir fan. I punched the screws in similarly and currently they are just pointy things hanging down. It didn't bother me but I was wondered what to do about them.
I ripped wood spacers for the ceiling and used screws long enough to hold them in place. Wood's not ideal in case one or more of the screws leak, but it was lying around my garage.
 

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2018 2500 159-HR
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148 Posts
...living in Eugene Oregon.
During your shopping and building you should be aware there are a few sources here in Oregon. Hein and Kim run diyvan.com near the airport in Hood River. (They sell 100 Ah BattleBorn lithium batteries for $900 which is the cheapest I've seen them). There's also VanUpgrades closer to you, and AdventureWagon (if yer pockets are deep... ;).
 

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The screws should have gone into a wood frame on the inside then there would be a place to attach your ceiling to around the fan.
 

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2017 136” HR
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260 Posts
I would add some self leveling sealant over the fan screws and around the edges of the vent on the roof. Dicor is one of the brands commonly used.
 
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2018 136 HR
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Discussion Starter #8
During your shopping and building you should be aware there are a few sources here in Oregon. Hein and Kim run diyvan.com near the airport in Hood River. (They sell 100 Ah BattleBorn lithium batteries for $900 which is the cheapest I've seen them). There's also VanUpgrades closer to you, and AdventureWagon (if yer pockets are deep... ;).
Thank you!
 

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2018 136 HR
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Discussion Starter #9
UPDATE - It has been a while since I posted. We used the van for the summer/fall camping to get a feel for vanlife - highly recommend that you spend some time in your can before making major design decisions. We put in a temporary bed and shelf with reading light lights. Rockpals 300W portable power station powered the lights, fan, and USB charging/use.

We are now working on bringing the vision to life - working with a "van guy" in Eugene Oregon who is awesome and the van is in his shop -
We put in AMA windows from VanWindows Direct - they were great to deal with - friend at Autobody shop installed for us
Rear Cargo - Back - windows
Solid on passenger sliding door
Screen half-slider behind driver seat
We are using Baltic Birch for the most part and used that for the "temporary" bed and reading light shelf. Ordered a queen size bed with memory foam on the top and cut it to fit - The "small queens" are more expensive and will still need adjustments - Be careful cutting the foam and remove the outer cover before beginning the process
Installed a swivel seat from Scopema - via Nomad Vanz - works great but took a while to arrive as they are popular. We are only doing the passenger side for now and really like having it, We will probably leave the driver side as is.

Boondock1.jpg
BedFoam.jpg BedFrameBat.JPG TempLighting.jpg


More to come - soon!
 

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2019-159 HR in CO
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166 Posts
Looks like really high quality work! Excited for you. We also used our van every step of the way. The first time we took it out we slept on the floor. It gave us a lot of insight. Where will we store trash and recycling, where do we put out water bottles and books so we can reach them from the bed, who sleeps on which side due to night time get ups, where do we put the keys at night, where do we hang our clothes to dry if it rains, how do we get in and out when it rains, etc, etc, etc.
 

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2018 136 HR
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
INSULATION - We went with Havelock wool and are happy with it - I know people on the forum have different opinions about the best insulation but this worked well for us - Really good for stuffing into small areas and more challenging on the ceiling/walls - used string and eventually went with some tape to keep it in
For the ceilings we used Baltic Burch - two 5'x5' sheets fit well, installed some basic pocket lights
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We went back to the siding that came with the fan for the walls - originally we did not think that we would but they are convenient for the shapes to cover and easy to put back - We did not want to go all wood everywhere and think that the black will contrast with the wood visually
 

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All newly registered members MUST make an introductory post in the Introductory Post Forum as per forum rules. "Promasterforum.com Introduction Section " Please be aware until you do make the required introductory post any posts you make may be deleted.
UPDATE - It has been a while since I posted. We used the van for the summer/fall camping to get a feel for vanlife - highly recommend that you spend some time in your can before making major design decisions. We put in a temporary bed and shelf with reading light lights. Rockpals 300W portable power station powered the lights, fan, and USB charging/use.

We are now working on bringing the vision to life - working with a "van guy" in Eugene Oregon who is awesome and the van is in his shop -
We put in AMA windows from VanWindows Direct - they were great to deal with - friend at Autobody shop installed for us
Rear Cargo - Back - windows
Solid on passenger sliding door
Screen half-slider behind driver seat
We are using Baltic Birch for the most part and used that for the "temporary" bed and reading light shelf. Ordered a queen size bed with memory foam on the top and cut it to fit - The "small queens" are more expensive and will still need adjustments - Be careful cutting the foam and remove the outer cover before beginning the process
Installed a swivel seat from Scopema - via Nomad Vanz - works great but took a while to arrive as they are popular. We are only doing the passenger side for now and really like having it, We will probably leave the driver side as is.

View attachment 70472 View attachment 70470 View attachment 70471 View attachment 70473


More to come - soon!
Looks great, could you share who your Van guy is in Eugene please?
 

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Hi there - I am working with Brendon Powell of Foray Concepts - Excellent person to work with - here is your email if you are interested - [email protected]

Are you in Oregon?
Hello, I had forgotten to introduce myself. Did it and can now receive messages.
Yes, I am in Portland. And thank you so much for the information.
Much apprecaition.
deb
 

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2018 136 HR
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13 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
CABINETS - We are in process with the uppers installed and the galley to be worked out - stayed with the Baltic Burch - edge banded exposed pieces and sprayed with Minwax Polycrylic satin finish- doors to be installed above galley and opposite end of bed - the cabinet above the head of the bed is more of a shelf and has two reading lights (with USB ports). We are reusing the wheel covers that we had used our original bed platform - the bed will be a little higher using aluminum rails

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