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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, my name is Rob. I am a teacher in Southern Vermont and I have recently purchased a Promaster that I am planning to convert with a group of students. If this goes well, I'd like this to be a regular part of our curriculum. I am excited to tackle this project and expect I will have a number of questions as we go along. I'm looking forward to being a part of this community as I have enjoyed reading about your conversions. Thanks for being so willing to share your experiences, what a generous and valuable resource this seems to be.
 

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Welcome Rob we have another educator here from VT I’m sure he will have lots of advice for you soon;)
 

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2014-159 HR in CT
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As a former shop teacher in CT, I wish we had the opportunity for a class project like a campervan. Living in CT, I bought my van in Brattleboro... only place I could find a Graphite 159.

Lots of good floorplan ideas here: http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=53962

Welcome!
 

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What a great project for young people-design, material choices, electrics, plumbing, energy considerations, proper use of tools, the list goes on. We are all learning here, welcome, I look forward to seeing your project. Lucky kids.
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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So what I see, conflict of interest.

Teacher buys a van,
Gets free labor?
Shop fee pays for material?
Tool usage?
Indoor build?
Sell van for a profit?
Will the van provide for future builds?

Nobody see a problem? what's next? a house?

OP should define better so their not taking advantage of the students.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the warm welcome, I'm currently in class and we are exploring the floorplan thread that proeddie recommended. Last week we had a local solar installer come in and talk to the class about options and considerations; we are preparing an email for him with a list of things we'd like to power so we can get a parts list. A couple of weeks back I called Jim Rixen and talked about heating systems. They sell a kit that will preheat the engine, provide hot water and space heating; everything we would like to accomplish but at a price of $5000. What kind of heat have people here installed? or recommend? Currently the discussion we are throwing around is bed in the front or the back? I have students advocating for both, any input? I'm a little taken aback by phil's post. I'm financing this on my own, using my own tools and any profit we make through a sale will go toward building this program. I don't see how I might be taking advantage of our students but if I am I am open to constructive ways to avoid it.
 

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I must have missed something. Looking forward to seeing the results of your students' learning opportunity, here to help if I can.
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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rjg,

Sorry, I guess I could have worded that post better.

You did clear up a few concerns, but how profits are determined and returned to the program could be an issue for you. There are upfitters selling very basic vans from $60 to $80k. I'm assuming you and the school have an agreement of some sort.

Anyway it should be a good experience for the students.

What model did you get? and start a build thread.

Is this a public, private, trade school, after school thing?
 

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2014-159 HR in CT
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So what I see, conflict of interest.

Teacher buys a van,
Gets free labor?
Shop fee pays for material?
Tool usage?
Indoor build?
Sell van for a profit?
Will the van provide for future builds?

Nobody see a problem? what's next? a house?

OP should define better so their not taking advantage of the students.
I see no problem.... The local trade school builds a house each year and sells that... money is plowed back into the program... win/win !

When I was in high school, we all helped the wood shop teacher build a sailboat. His money, his boat, free labor..... Those were the good 'ol days!
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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You missed the part where the teacher says "he bought a van" and plans on having students convert it. If he's using his money to jump start an initiative and has an agreement to recoup his cost and use the profits to fund the program I agree win win.
 

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A couple of weeks back I called Jim Rixen and talked about heating systems. They sell a kit that will preheat the engine, provide hot water and space heating; everything we would like to accomplish but at a price of $5000. What kind of heat have people here installed? or recommend?
$5K yikes! Espar and Webasto systems are the most common. You don’t say if you have a Diesel or Gasser, that has bearing on your choice. Propane is also an option, but not as popular as you might expect. Marine engine heat exchangers like Isotherm are a common choice for water heaters.

Currently the discussion we are throwing around is bed in the front or the back? I have students advocating for both, any input?
Front beds aren’t common, transverse in the back is very popular as the Promaster is wide enough to sleep sideways and tends to make floor plans flow well. Study the floor plan thread and I’d also suggest studying commercial class B floor plans and forum members’ build threads for ideas.

Please update your profile to reflect your location and your van model. It makes it much easier to give advice and keep track of who’s who on a busy forum. Consider starting a build thread, and get familiar with the forum’s search tools. Many questions have been asked and answered multiple times and there’s plenty of gold on the forum that’s just a search or two away.

Best of luck to you and your class, and welcome!
 

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I taught in Vermont’s schools for 30 years. If rjg is in public school there is financial oversight, trust me. If it’s a private school it’s none of our business. This sort of student involvement has been all but driven out of education by those insinuating types of questions. I appreciate how rjg responded. Class act sir!

Investigate an Espar Hydronic heaters. They can heat the engine and the cabin via a heat exchanger.
https://www.eberspaecher-na.com/pro...eaters/product-selection/coolant-heaters.html

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Eberspache...ash=item35cfe4e613:g:NvYAAOxyVLNSt3Bs&vxp=mtr
 

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Sorry to have to do it but someone has to. I often gush crap I regret and you folks keep me honest too. It’s not personal unless you take it that way.>:D Lets move on and help this guy anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
So, the weather is preparing to get nicer here in Southern Vermont and we are turning our attention toward getting this build going! We are currently mocking things up with cardboard and the like so we can stand in the space and see how things feel. But I am focused on insulating and there are so many competing opinions on line that it is overwhelming! I had been going back and forth between having it sprayed with foam or using foil faced polyisocyanurate and piecing it in with spray foam as an adhesive and filler. Having it sprayed professionally has some appeal but the cost is unattractive and it would mean less hands on experience for the class. So I had decided to go the polyiso route but I was talking to a guy from a local vanning group this weekend and he said that I shouldn't let spray foam touch the metal skin of the van because it reacts in bad ways and promotes rust. Anyone here had negative experiences with spray foam in their build?
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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Glad to see you're back, I was thinking I had trolled you off.

You should start a build thread and end this thread.
 

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rjg,
Mine is polyisocyanurate 1” with great stuff progun vertical glued to let condensate flow down. No problem with the interaction with the interior paint as far as I can see three years out. This would be a great kids project, high precision is not needed the polyiso can be cut with straight edge and knife so they might survive it. Brace it in place. It is super cheap to do as well. I really like the stuff and pieced it into many of the ribs which is a bit hard and unnecessary.
The progun:
Get a can of cleaner and use "Gaps N Cracks” Small bead of foam and hold for a few hours, move on.
Phil is OK
 
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