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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Finally got my Promaster last Tuesday and have put 1000 happy miles into it already! The dealer was excellent and I believe I got an amazing deal on it so I'm happy as well. I've debated between the Promaster and the Sprinter for months. I chose the Promaster mainly due to its price and well the looks actually grew on me. Love that Euro style.




I also had the dealer tint the front windows for me. They call it a medium, its about a 30 to 40 blackout. Living in southern California I found this as a necessity for every car I've had so far. Hopefully it can reduce chances for skin cancer. Also as a plus with the front sunblocker in, it gets pretty dark inside.



Also had a trip to Ikea to pick up a mattress and the bed rails.



Then later in the week started going crazy on Amazon.
200W Renogy Solar Panels
Maxxair Fan with Hein adapter (ebay)
Engel MT45F-U1 fridge (Engel)
Fat Mat Rattletrap
Thetford 320P toilet
Mr Heater lil Buddy
Stansport Outfitter 50,000 BTU propane stove

Ryobi Circular One+ circular saw and Jigsaw
Astro pneumatic rivnut tool
misc glues and adhesives

Phew! I can't wait to get started. I believe Amazon asked me if I would like everything on a pallet when I went to checkout.
Regarding insulation I'm leaning towards Thinsulate (Hein) due to its ease of tacking on the wall and moisture resistant qualities.

First major project will be flooring. A little nervous here. The plan so far is a 1 inch of ply frame forming something like a lattice. This will be held onto the van by where the floor D rings used to be. I'll be placing 1 inch polyisocyanurate board in between, not sure whether I'll need to use great stuff to adhere it into the van or if a tight fit will suffice. I want the floor to be replaceable if need be. Then 3/4 ply pieces screwed onto the lattice that will act as a subfloor. Thinking of using coin mat but wow is that expensive. (need something water and beach sand resistant)
 

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Congratulations. Off to a great start. I'm hoping to find time this summer to start on my PM. Already purchased thinsulate for first stage.
 

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For flooring I did this...

Underlament, two types from Home Depot. The foam one and the one that looks like it's made from chopped scraps.

Then 3 sheets of thick (can't recall, but think I used 3/4") premium hardwood plywood. Premium because it's the only stuff Home Depot sells that is perfectly flat.

I let the underlayment wrap the edges of the plywood, so each sheet dropped in place with a tight fit. Trimmed underlayment that stuck up afterwards.

I covered plywood with vinyl flooring. That was a bad idea. Sun hits vinyl flooring when doors are open and it expands a lot.

A thin rubber mat over the ply might be better.

I've got 45,000 squeak free miles on it.
 

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Congrats! Looking forward to seeing the build process. Keep this post updated.
 

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For flooring I did this...

Underlament, two types from Home Depot. The foam one and the one that looks like it's made from chopped scraps.

Then 3 sheets of thick (can't recall, but think I used 3/4") premium hardwood plywood. Premium because it's the only stuff Home Depot sells that is perfectly flat.

I let the underlayment wrap the edges of the plywood, so each sheet dropped in place with a tight fit. Trimmed underlayment that stuck up afterwards.

I covered plywood with vinyl flooring. That was a bad idea. Sun hits vinyl flooring when doors are open and it expands a lot.

A thin rubber mat over the ply might be better.

I've got 45,000 squeak free miles on it.
Hmm your comment about the vinyl intrigues me. I just ordered vinyl planks to put down. Would gluing them down help?

Sent from my SM-P900 using Tapatalk
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hmm your comment about the vinyl intrigues me. I just ordered vinyl planks to put down. Would gluing them down help?

Sent from my SM-P900 using Tapatalk
Hi,
We have vinyl over plywood with no glue. I was going to glue it down, but the flooring store recommended against it in that they have seen several cases of glued down Vinyl in RVs cracking due to the combination of cold temperature over the winter and using glue. The glue might not be an issue in warmer climates (we are in MT).

Ours has been fine. There are some small areas where the Vinyl is not quite sitting flat on the plywood (ie its bubbled up just a bit), but you have to get down on your hands and knees to see them.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yes! The first round of packages from Amazon came in today! Still missing half the items that I need to begin.



Right now the important one is the roof top adapter from Hein which is scheduled to come next Saturday. That will be the first part as I dig the jigsaw into the roof. Followed by flooring.

While I was unpacking in the van I wanted to test out some VHB tape so I stuck a handle on the inside of the sliding door. Hopefully it will in closing the door without slamming. Now closing the door would be more of a slide and pull in motion. Looks sweet.



BTW it was dark outside and the shade was on the front windshield when I took this picture. All the light is from a strip of LED lights with a mini solar panel I found in Ikea ($12) intended for use outside. Only issue is that I need to turn the panel upside down so it'll turn on. I'll need to find a way to cover this sensor and attach a more convenient on/off switch.
 

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I used the stick on fake wood vinyl flooring over my plywood. That's what gets hot in the sun. Glue goes soft. Vinyl expands and planks near door opening shift over edge of plywood. No buckling, just slow shifting.
 

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one suggestion, when you install your maxx fan. put a light as close to it as you can, because at night before you go to bed pop the screen out and leave just that light on and within 20 mins all the bugs that got in throughout the day will be sucked out and you can sleep bug free.
 

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on suggestion when you install your maxx fan. put a light as close to it as you can, because at night before you go to bed pop the screen out and leave just that light on and within 20 mins all the bugs that got in throughout the day will be sucked out and you can sleep bug free.
Charger, you are hereby awarded today's Brilliant Simplicity prize! A free overnight at Walmart.:D No BS, that is truly brilliant!
 

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Charger, you are hereby awarded today's Brilliant Simplicity prize! A free overnight at Walmart.:D No BS, that is truly brilliant!
LOL Thanks Stevess! It truly does works like a charm! They should have a light built into them.
 

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Charger,

My MaxxAir fan is on order. Your bug-free idea is GREAT! Might even fit my light into the lower trim bezel.. should be enough room for a small led strip and a switch! My fan will be at the back of the van in the bathroom area, so it can serve as a night light too!

I'll throw in another nite at Walmart! :D
 

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one suggestion, when you install your maxx fan. put a light as close to it as you can, because at night before you go to bed pop the screen out and leave just that light on and within 20 mins all the bugs that got in throughout the day will be sucked out and you can sleep bug free.
Our max air fan has a light on it that is on when it is in automatic mode. I needed to put tape over it at night so it was dark enough to sleep.
 

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Our max air fan has a light on it that is on when it is in automatic mode. I needed to put tape over it at night so it was dark enough to sleep.
Yeah mine has that green light to but not bright enough to attract the bugs
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Charger, you are a genius! I'll have to try incorporating that somehow into the build.

So last week I had planned on Friday evening to start cutting the hole in the roof for the Maxxair since I had a half work day. When leaving work I had a hunch to check my coolant level and low and behold it went down about halfway since I last filled it.

So when I first picked up the van I noticed the coolant was near its minimum. A week or so after I checked again and it has since dipped below the minimum. At this point I bought the special labeled Mopar coolant and filled it to near max (cold engine). That was about 2 or 3 weeks in. So it came as a surprise that it has went down that much with less than 2000 miles on the van.

So that Friday I brought the van in to have them do pressure testing that evening and Saturday. Sunday they are closed. Monday I get a call that nothing was found that can account for the loss in coolant. They assumed it may be air in the lines that have worked themselves out. I'm going to keep a close eye on my coolant until then.

Picked up the van today and didn't waste anytime cutting her open! So set up the Thetford toilet and put 'er in the corner until its needed. I'll need to pick up some toilet paper at West Marine later. I matched up the roof adapter from Hein and the adapter from the Maxxair and did some pre drilling holes for the heck of it. The material is so soft I dont even think it was even necessary.



Also went to home depot to get some angle aluminum for the solar panels. This gave me some practice with the Jigsaw and after seeing how easily it cut through the metal I felt way more confident with the new tool. Decided to have about a foot of 3M per each corner. I think that should be plenty. I was deliberating hard whether to drill through the roof or not. In the end I felt the 3M VHB will be plenty strong with that much area to hold onto. Would you guys recommend putting self leveling Caulk around the pads after?



Had a spare sheet and some blue mat to act as a tarp for metal shavings. As always wear eye and ear protection. Maybe should have had a face mask too.



As with the aluminum angle I used lubrication as to reduce heat buildup and extend the life of my blades and bits. There is no turning back now!



I should have left small bits of the roof attached at each corner. Then free the loose piece once the long cuts are made. That last cut had the whole loose piece shaking quite violently. Learn from my actions.



Oopsy I think I made a sunroof by accident ;) After cutting I filed it down so no sharp burrs.

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Next I cleaned the surface according to Heins instructions. Isopropyl and tape 1/4 inch perimeter around his adapter. I put three beads of Window weld the bottom of the adapter. I should have put the outer bead closer to the edge.



I pressed the plate down to push some out but only a bit did. I did another ring on window weld around the edge of the adapter. I then used a GLOVED hand to smooth it out a bit. Did a bit of a ring inside as well. This stuff is insanely messy to work with. Did not enjoy it at all. Overall I think my attempt came out looking pretty good. Some fingerprints on the side but I'm not worried about that since it'll be covered by insulation further down the road.




Now to let it sit overnight. I'll install the maxxair unit tomorrow. I'll try to get the bed rails in as well. Possibly start a bit on the solar. I'm considering placing the solar panels adjacent to the maxxair fan so they are side by side. I'm going to do some more accurate measurements tomorrow. My idea is to place a window on top of the van since I won't have any on the sides to increase stealth. I'd really like some natural light inside.
 

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Good job with cuttings. The metal debris shows up when damp ... little rust stains all over. A pro just blows/vacs some of it up , leaves a bunch in the corners to rust. That's why it's best to Do It Yourself !
Now run some touch up paint on the raw steel edges .
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
So needed to find a way to wire the solar panels into the vehicle. So why make holes in the van when an entrance is available already at the reverse camera housing? So the 90 degree bend I found at a home improvement store per BuildAGreenRV. Once I have my solar panels on top I'll fill it with self leveling sealant. So I drew a circle and some masking tape around it. I think the offset in color keeps my focus on my cutting area.




Then applied self leveling sealant on the fan mount. I applied tons. Probably too much. Didn't like how goopy it made it made the fan base look but hey I'm not 9 feet tall so I'm not staring at it all day.



Yes! Finally done with the fan. I did some measurements for the placement of the solar panels and have figured out where I'd like it. So plan for tomorrow is apply sound deadening to wheel wells, drill mounts for solar panels, possibly mount solar panels. As I was admiring the van roof I noticed this black thing on the roof at the front drivers side. Any ideas what this is?
 
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