We did - just got back from a 2-1/2 week trip to the southwest. Everything worked great except for the dreaded "Service DEF System" message along with the 200 mile speed limit warning at Bryce Canyon. It was more than 200 miles to the nearest dealer in Provo so there was some anxiety with the freeway speed limit at 80 MPH. It turned out that the speed limit is not invoked until the first restart after 200 miles so the trip to Provo was uneventful. The problem was quickly fixed by updating the engine control software at Larry H. Miller Chrysler in Provo. They were great and we were on our way in 1-1/2 hours.What a great job! ... Now go enjoy that Promaster!
Great to hear stories of good dealer service, and on the road no less!We did - just got back from a 2-1/2 week trip to the southwest. Everything worked great except for the dreaded "Service DEF System" message along with the 200 mile speed limit warning at Bryce Canyon. It was more than 200 miles to the nearest dealer in Provo so there was some anxiety with the freeway speed limit at 80 MPH. It turned out that the speed limit is not invoked until the first restart after 200 miles so the trip to Provo was uneventful. The problem was quickly fixed by updating the engine control software at Larry H. Miller Chrysler in Provo. They were great and we were on our way in 1-1/2 hours.
Oops, that phrase wasn't quite right, however that speed may have been appropriate to avoid the impending storm. The forecast called for 12 - 24 inches of snow, below freezing temperatures, and 55 mph wind gusts. There were a fair number of tent campers at Bryce that may be in the market for a camper van soon.I've been to Bryce Canyon. It's hard to take in all the beauty at anything over 120mph, so that's a valid warning... >
Thanks! This project would not have been possible without the wealth of information shared by other talented builders on this forum.Your build sir is demoralizing to some of us just starting out. Kidding of course. How can any one person have so much talent in so many areas? Impressive build! I'd never thought you could fit so much in a 136" and still have it look so roomy and clean.
Hi Eric thanks for allowing me to ask a few general build questions on your original (2015) build thread.This spring my wife and I decided to sell our travel trailer and try a camper van instead. This would allow me to handle the "let's stop here" request without anxiety over an exit strategy with the trailer. I hate disconnecting to get out of a jam.
Using the 136" wb has resulted in compromises that has worked well for us. We don't necessarily like making the bed every night and there is no room for any large items on the inside, like a bike. However van is a joy to drive and can be parked anywhere. With the diesel I am always worried about the availability of service when on a trip. We had the "Service DEF system" warning while at Bryce and nearly didn't make it to Provo before the speed was limited to 5 mph. I would like to drive to Alaska but probably will not because of this issue.Hi Eric thanks for allowing me to ask a few general build questions on your original (2015) build thread.
Funny how you and I gravitated to van travel after having had it with travel trailers.
Aside from earlier VW camper van build in another life and an assortment of cab over and class A, I ended up towing trailers while kids were small.
Like you with your fiberglass Big Foot, I had a 21ft Escape travel trailer we waited 14 months for the BC Canadian company to build for us.
It was great but for reasons you mentioned, it slowed us down and that's no way to tour quickly.
Didn't take long to figure out we needed a camper van to tour all North America for months at a time for many many years.
While I don't agree with some of the concepts you implement in your build, I have to tell you, I admire your excellent component designs and overall workmanship.
What you did with 136" wb is mind blowing. I will have 159" wb to work with.
Below is assortment of questions, since I was not around while you were building years ago, and comments:
1. Now that you have had it for a while, how has it been working out? If starting over, anything you would change?
The Lite Ply is very soft so the cabinets needed to be painted inside and out. It was much easier to spray them outside the van. There was also so much cutting and fitting involved that I was always moving the cabinets in and out. Once the wiring and plumbing was installed they were no longer easily removable.2. What was the driving force behind your decision to make everything easily removable? It's a good concept. I would do that for ease of maintenance and expanding or changing later.
Lite Ply is probably half the weight of Baltic Birch and a joy to work with. The inside plys are clear and void free. Cuts are nearly glass smooth using a fine tooth carbide blade. The downside is the it does not take stain well, is soft, and is very expensive (about $70/sheet).3. I agree with making good use of poplar. I use it to build nice window casings and yes its wonderful, easy to machine and shape. What you introduced me to was Lite Ply. Will look and try out instead of Baltic.
I used a pump to allow fast draining through a short garden hose. With my trailer I hated looking for a dump station, dragging out the drain hose, and walking in other people's sewage to drain the tank. Now each morning I pull out the toilet cassette, pump the gray water into the remaining space in the cassette, and walk to the nearest rest room to dump the contents.4. Your grey drain, did you implement an exit pump because the elevations would not permit gravity drain or you wanted to pump grey to a receiving drain such as a nearby bathroom or sewer dump using a garden hose? I might end up having pumping as an option should that be necessary depending on campground or site location, gravity drain for sure.
The shower has been great with problems or leaks. The panels without fiberglass are holding up fine. We do put a mat on the shower floor when not in use to protect the finish from grit.5. How is the shower stall holding up with regards to moisture or leakage. Today, would you glass the wood panels instead of just resin coating ?
It works great as long as you don't forget it is deployed and shut the door.6. Love your drop down water tank fill arm. Doing same except it will be longer as my tank will be inside and a bit further forward. Still, seeing it in action as you did was a joy to see.
The level sensor has worked well for the most part. Sometimes it plugs up and I clear it by blowing out the pressure line. I settled on this system because the level sensor in my Bigfoot trailer never worked.7. Your grey water level method, truly is unique. Not sure I will follow as it requires a small air pump and while I own and am familiar with using a manometer I rather install Horton sensors.
Thanks. The stainless was necessary because the back stove burner was close. If I was doing it again I would choose an RV stove with a fold down cover for more counter space.8. Your galley is beautiful, the stainless back is wow.
You are right that the propane tank is overkill, and it would have been easier to have used a smaller tank. I liked the diesel heater because I had a source of fuel and it did not require punching a hole in the side of the van.9. With a hefty LPG tank what made you decide to space heat using van fuel ? There are quite a few LPG space heaters ?
The fridge has been reliable but unlike the two door model the thermostat only regulates the freezer section. This may be OK for a marine application where the ambient temperature is somewhat constant. The inside temperature of the van varies widely, from 50 degrees in the morning to over a 100 degrees if the van is parked in the sun. Consequently the temperature of the fridge also varied a lot, sometimes freezing the contents and other times being too warm. To solve this problem I added a second thermostat to measure the fridge temperature and used it to control fans that circulated cold air from the freezer compartment to the fridge compartment. This also involved thermally isolating the freezer compartment from the fridge with additional insulation. The temperature in the fridge is now really well regulated at 40 degrees independent of the van inside temperature.10. Like your Nova Kool marine fridge. I installed their 6800 two door model in my trailer and loved how it performed. Good choice.
Thanks. The do get dinged up a little more that cabinets built of a harder material but hey, this is a CAMPER van.11. Your cabinet work is terrific.
Thanks a lot for sharing your excellent build, I know I and others will benefit from your work.
My idea with the Home Slicker was to keep wet, saturated insulation away from the body wall to prevent rust. It would also allow some air circulation next to the skin to eventually dry out any condensation. I probably didn't need it because the Thinsulate insulation I used is hydrophobic unlike fiberglass. I also wished I had used the 6mm Home Slicker as it was difficult to get all three layers to fit in some places.Another important question that you can help with.
Your use of 11 mm thick Home Slicker 10 stay dry mesh.
What exactly is it's role attached to the van wall. I can see it on a house wall as that is normally permeable to the outside and the mesh allows any condensation to run down to weep openings.
What would it do when next to a solid van wall ? How does it prevent/reduce condensation, by allowing air circulation at wall boundary lowering moisture concentration? Allow any condensation that took place to run down to weep hole, dry out ?
The top reflective layer, without a gap on either side, how would that help? Is that layer taped as to reduce moisture travel to inner wall assembly as you show in post #8 ?
Hi MsNomer, sound advice from someone that was there and did that ! Thank you.Santiago, I added solar late in the game. Please learn from my mistake. At least run your wires now. It's a royal PITA to undo what you've installed to run the wires later.
Hi Eric,My insulation design was not based on any testing or analysis. I just wanted to avoid the rusted out panels that I read about when fiberglass insulation is used right next to the skin. Time will tell if it was worth it.