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2021 136” HR
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'll be updating this thread in real time. The point of this is to get help along the way as everyone will know where I am in the build process.

2021 136" WB HR Granite.

What my van will have:
  • Platform Bed
  • Maxxair fan
  • Factory Swivel Seats
  • Truck Fridge TF130
  • 22 Gallon Curious Campervan Water Tank
  • Isotherm slim 4 gallon Hot Water Tank
  • DIY Electrical w/lithium batteries (size TBD)
  • Solar (maybe)
  • Alternator Charging
  • Thinsulate Insulation walls/ceiling
  • XPS 1" plus 3/4" BB Ply plus Marmoleum Floor
  • Roof Rack
  • Laguna Table
  • Upper Cabinets over galley and over feet area of bed

Just took delivery of the van 4 Days ago.

71649

71650
 

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Registered
2021 136” HR
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Maxxfan Deluxe 7500K Installation:

Time to cut the hole. Luckily I have practiced this before on my friends Promaster, so I took what I learned from that into this instal.

Mark the hole with tape 14"x14"
63561995226__969735B4-2444-4682-BECA-1C803D46FF5F.jpeg

I haven't seen this done before, but it worked like a charm.
63561996341__F321B3DB-7A43-49E0-B222-7FE6DFBF63ED.jpeg

Hole is cut
IMG_4638.jpeg

I filed the sides down, and the file got away from me once and scratched the top. Whoops
IMG_4640.jpeg

I got primer, clear coat and matching granite paint from O'Rileys Auto
63562446488__3AA03CC3-88B4-4B51-ACC0-2E8ECA2C72E1.jpeg

Did I mention my buddy came over with his 118" shorty sprinter to install his fan at the same time?
IMG_4652.jpeg
We used painters tape and a cardboard shield to not make a mess. My special granite paint gave me 4 sprays before it clogged up and I had to use my friends generic black paint. It's okay though because it's all covered by the fan flange. I also painted over my scratch I made with the file.
IMG_4645.jpeg
IMG_4649.jpeg

Done with no leaks. (It rained last night)
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Next up is windows and flooring...
 

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Premium Member
2021 3500 Extended
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255 Posts
Dang, cutting holes right out of the chute....congrats! I have the same fan sitting in it's box patiently waiting,,,,,,,
 

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Registered
2021 Dodge Promaster 2500 - 159
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49 Posts
Hi thanks for sharing! Is there a reason to do more than just primer? We are about to do the fan in our build, and only have primer right now.... Any insights you can share on why to use clear coat and topcoat?

Looks good!
 

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2021 136” HR
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Hi thanks for sharing! Is there a reason to do more than just primer? We are about to do the fan in our build, and only have primer right now.... Any insights you can share on why to use clear coat and topcoat?

Looks good!
I used primer and paint and clear coat out of pure ignorance. I know nothing about painting. Maybe someone wiser can chime in and explain what is really necessary.
 

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2014 136" HR PM
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14 Posts
Maxxfan Deluxe 7500K Installation:

Time to cut the hole. Luckily I have practiced this before on my friends Promaster, so I took what I learned from that into this instal.

Mark the hole with tape 14"x14"
View attachment 71651

I haven't seen this done before, but it worked like a charm.
View attachment 71652

Hole is cut
View attachment 71653

I filed the sides down, and the file got away from me once and scratched the top. Whoops
View attachment 71654

I got primer, clear coat and matching granite paint from O'Rileys Auto
View attachment 71655

Did I mention my buddy came over with his 118" shorty sprinter to install his fan at the same time?
View attachment 71656
We used painters tape and a cardboard shield to not make a mess. My special granite paint gave me 4 sprays before it clogged up and I had to use my friends generic black paint. It's okay though because it's all covered by the fan flange. I also painted over my scratch I made with the file.
View attachment 71657
View attachment 71658

Done with no leaks. (It rained last night)
View attachment 71659

Next up is windows and flooring...
Looks good.. I put Fan in same location. Roof Rack attachment foot is in the direct line with fan otter edge. May need to get a little creative with the cross member. I threaded in an extra foot and shifted cross member slightly forward..
71688
71689
 

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2017 Promaster 2500 conversion
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15 Posts
I have a video of my process if you have an email address I will send you a link to it in my drop box.
From the empty shell - to side windows roof fan- insulation- floor frame panels ikea cabinets to our 1st trip out West from Florida.
 

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2021 136” HR
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I have a video of my process if you have an email address I will send you a link to it in my drop box.
From the empty shell - to side windows roof fan- insulation- floor frame panels ikea cabinets to our 1st trip out West from Florida.
PM sent
 

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2021 136” HR
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Looks good.. I put Fan in same location. Roof Rack attachment foot is in the direct line with fan otter edge. May need to get a little creative with the cross member. I threaded in an extra foot and shifted cross member slightly forward.. View attachment 71688 View attachment 71689
Oh boy! What an amateur move I made. I didn't even notice that. I still don't know what rack I'll be getting. There are a few out there. I do want one similar to Aluminess, but I don't want to spend that much, let alone pay to have it shipped from Cali to Tennessee. There is a guy in Florida who has built a nice one for a Promaster. I'd be willing to road trip down there to have one made. I definitely want one with metal grating so I can put a chair up there and watch the sunset. I'll be hauling two Hobie kayaks on the roof. I'm not sold on solar yet, as I get antsy and drive everyday. I don't stay in the same place very long and I can charge the batteries quickly with the van running.
 

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Registered
2014 136" HR PM
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14 Posts
Oh boy! What an amateur move I made. I didn't even notice that. I still don't know what rack I'll be getting. There are a few out there. I do want one similar to Aluminess, but I don't want to spend that much, let alone pay to have it shipped from Cali to Tennessee. There is a guy in Florida who has built a nice one for a Promaster. I'd be willing to road trip down there to have one made. I definitely want one with metal grating so I can put a chair up there and watch the sunset. I'll be hauling two Hobie kayaks on the roof. I'm not sold on solar yet, as I get antsy and drive everyday. I don't stay in the same place very long and I can charge the batteries quickly with the van running.
I used "Kargo Master" was middle of the road priced. Am adding additional cross members and tack welding down a diamond mes
71715
h. Rack has a rear over hanging "Roller" which has been a big help pushing and pulling up ladder , kayak etc..
 

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Premium Member
2021 3500 Extended
Joined
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255 Posts
I used "Kargo Master" was middle of the road priced. Am adding additional cross members and tack welding down a diamond mesh. Rack has a rear over hanging "Roller" which has been a big help pushing and pulling up ladder , kayak etc..
I like the look. Did it affect fuel mileage much since is sticks up so high? You are right on that rear bar for loading yaks.....make life easier.
 

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2021 136” HR
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Window Install

As if cutting one hole wasn't enough. I decided to cut two more into the sides yesterday. They are Van Windows Direct Solid glass and look just like the stock windows. $140 each and you just glue them in. So let's start the project.

I used a cut off disk and an angle grinder to pry off the stiffener strut.
IMG_4679.jpeg

first hole and jigsaw tracks
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I put three layers of blue tape around the window edges as I noticed only one layer of tape the jigsaw would wear though and start to scratch the paint. I also got this trick for the corners from some youtube channel. It worked perfectly. Highly recommend using hole saws. The drivers side window takes different sizes then the passenger side window.
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This is my hack job before I tried the hole saw method. Kind of scary!
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After the hole saw method.
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The slider side corners are not as sharp so I skipped the hole saw and was able to make the turn with only using the jig saw.
IMG_4697.jpeg

My friend came over to hold the metal as I made the final cut. There was surprisingly little to file. I am glad I started with the drivers side first as that side less people will notice imperfections. My cuts around the passengers side turned out smoother. I applied primer to the bare metal edges. Waited 10 minutes to dry and then with a rubber mallet put the window trim on. Some parts of the van was thicker then other parts, just inconsistencies. I had to squeeze the two pieces of metal together with my fingers, but I managed to get the trim all around. The corners were the hardest part. The trim does show off how flat or not flat you made you cuts.
IMG_4700.jpeg

After the trim, apply primer around the window where you will put the adhesive. Let it dry for 10 minutes.
IMG_4701.jpeg

Next you apply the Urethane with a caulk gun. Man this stuff is thick. Now I know what people use the battery powered caulk guns. Cameron and I took turns applying the Urethane. You cut a V in the end of the Urethane tube so you get a nice thick bead.
IMG_4707.jpeg

Next I cleaned off the window with alcohol and microfiber to get a perfect bond. Two of us set the window in by placing the bottom first and just slowly putting it in. You can make micro adjustments to get it perfect, but we didn't really have to move it much at all. Once you have it where you want, One guy holds the window as I press in around all the sides to get a good seal. Then you tape it so it can't move.
IMG_4703.jpeg

Wrap up:

So the project took 6 hours. Next time it would take 2 hours. I had to get a longer 5" jigsaw blade because my 3 3/8" metal blade was not long enough and kept popping out, scratching and making dents. I could only find a wood/metal blade in a longer length and that worked OK, but I would have rather gotten a longer metal blade. Maybe one can find that on amazon. It would have made the cuts smoother. Also, the battery caulk gun would be nice. All in all, I'm stoked how it turned out. Van Windows Direct are super behind right now. These windows took 2 1/2 months to come in, and my CLR 10" X 33" awning window for over the bed still hasn't arrived. (It shipped yesterday.) So I still have one more window to put in. Then I'm done making big holes.

I still have to cut in the van for the Isotherm Hot water tank and the Wabasco heater.
 

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2017 - 2500 159
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633 Posts
"V Bead"
So I didn't know what this was on my first window and did a round bead. No leaks, but then I found out "V bead" means cut a V notch in the side of the nozzle after cutting the end, hold the gun perpendicular to the surface and apply with the V notch facing backwards so the urethane only comes out the notch. It forms a tall skinny pointy bead that apparently squishes down really even and less likely to have gaps that leak.
 

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2014 136" HR PM
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14 Posts
I like the look. Did it affect fuel mileage much since is sticks up so high? You are right on that rear bar for loading yaks.....make life easier.
Milage... I'm a bad one to ask that question.. My previous long term Ride was an F450 Dually with a 460 gasser... I think I could drag a small car behind the Van and still feel like I was doing great :whistle:
 

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2021 136” HR
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Leaks!!!

So it rained and I checked the windows for leaks. I have two leaks on the drivers side window. It looks like my caulk bead wasn't thick enough. The trim piece I put around the cut edge of the window at a few places stuck out pretty far and my caulk bead apparently wasn't thick enough. My helper was in a hurry and had to leave and it was tiring to squeeze the caulk out. So we were tired and in a hurry. In hindsight, I should have made sure I have enough time for the job, and also bought an electric caulk gun to ensure I laid a thick enough bead. This was a few days ago and my head was hanging low enough not to post an update until I had a solution...I was embarrassed and told no one for 5 days. I purchased some black dicor self-leveling sealant and added a good bead along the top of the window. It dried, and now there are no leaks. So i salvaged the project. You can notice the repair now if you look for it, but no one besides me and who ever reads this will ever notice. Lesson learned and I hope others who read this don't make my same mistake.
 

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2021 136” HR
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28 Posts
Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Bunk Awning Window Install.

Final Window project. The CRL Awning bunk window arrived after ordering it 3 months ago. It's crazy how long of waits there is currently for the major van components. This window is simply a clamp on, so I can't make a caulking mistake, just a clamping mistake. :). The first two bonded windows I installed you don't have to decide where they go, but with this one you do, so I just centered the window between the rear slider and where the van wall stops being flat about 6 inches from the rear door. As for height, I went with the same height of the interior slider window for a sleek consistent look. This project took about 3 hours and went pretty well straight forward. I covered the cutting area with 3 layers of blue tape, I sealed the slider track with tape and covered the inside of the van with tarps to keep most of the metal shavings from finding a home inside all the nooks and crannies.

The window can with no instructions, so I went to youtube. I made a cardboard template out of the box the window came with, measured where I wanted the window on the inside and temporarily taped it in place. I drilled two 1/8" holes in random locations and left the bits in the van. Now I took the cardboard off and placed it on the outside of the van. This I now trace and cut from the outside of the van. Now I had a friend on the inside of the van follow my jigsaw blade with a shop vac completely covering my blade. This kept most of the metal shavings at bay. I can't take credit for either of these ideas. I found them all online and they both worked wonderfully.

A quick file to the cut edges, then primer, and the window was set in place. On the inside you simply use the provided screws to attack the trim piece to the window sandwiching the van wan in between. No caulk, just the gasket on the outside of the van.

Try to keep it clean
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Template
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Measuring where I want it
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Drill and leave bit to hold the template on the outside of van for marking.
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Marked and ready to cut out
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With the last window in place, it was time to take the van on its first adventure. A 5 hour drive to snowboard at Beech Mountain with my friend Nick.

We grew up snowboarding together in high school, and have skied Europe back in college, but it's been 7 years since we last skied together. Looks like the old dogs still have it???

Me:
72193


Nick:
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We slept in the van at a food city parking lot. I was nice to have the swivel seats and be able to look outside, but black out window coverings are a must so I should get on that pretty soon. I love this van!

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