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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all. You may recognize my username from posts in the conversion section. In mid September, I purchased a 2018 159" Granite Crystal 2500 PM.

I'm building out the van as an outdoor basecamp. Previously I traveled around the US for 5 months in a Four Wheel Camper Flatbed model. It was a great rig, but I was ready for a change; something hard-sided and with a real shower.

The van will be used for rock climbing, ski, mountain bike, and surf trips. It will be a complete buildout, including:

Dry shower stall
Fixed queen bed
Garage storage for mtn bikes, surfboards
Aluminess rack
360watts solar, 300aH AGM batteries
Oven, 85L fridge
Propane hot water heater
Propex air furnace
30 gallon fresh water
20 gallon grey

The forum has proved immensely helpful, and I hope to document my build so others can reference and I can pass on any knowledge I learn during the build. I'm also going to use the thread as a place to keep track of the progress.

My first picture unfortunately is after I already installed CRL T-vent windows on the sliding door and across from the slider, and have a 10x33 CRL mocked up with cardboard. More images to follow-3 or 4 posts and I should be caught up!

 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Windows!

I debated long and hard about what windows to go with. I was close to pulling the trigger on a set of Seitz windows-actually the identical sizes to the ones on the Hymer Aktiv. I was working with Sven from Koberger-Germany. Look them up if you decide to go this direction. The set of 6 windows was going to cost around $3k USD delivered to my door. Price aside, I decided I wasn't sold on acrylic windows.

I ended up going with CRL T-vent windows for my slider and across from my slider, and a single CRL 10x33 on the foot-end of my bed. The windows were okay to install-I was pretty nervous, and made many templates from cardboard. In the end, I think I could have just cut along the stamping and not worried about the templates (need a template of course for the 10x33), but the windows installed well.

I notice a bit of a 'squeak' when cornering at low speeds from the T-vent installed on the slider-any ideas?


 

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You are planning a lot of solar and battery. What is the plan for using it? I have 200 watts and 215 A-H and it feels like a lot extra. I like any non-white PM they all look great and distinctive.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Plasti Dipped Wheels and Front Emblem

Post title says it all. Had some fun with plasti dip. I ended up removing each wheel to not coat the lugs, and thus when I tighten them/get service work done I can protect the plasti dip finish to a certain extent.

I actually really like the stock rims. I might powder coat them later on if I want a more durable finish, going to see how the dip holds up. I'm also going to do BFG AT's, but going to wait a couple months until the build is wrapping up.





 

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Discussion Starter #5
Flooring

I used 1/2" rigid insulation board from Lowes, and 3/4" birch 'finish' plywood from HD. I made a template from builders paper, cut the insulation using the template, and cut the plywood using the insulation as a template.

I coated the plywood in Minwax oil modified semi-gloss polyurethane as a protectant. I will cover the plywood in the living areas with some sort of vinyl or boards towards the end of the build.

I don't have specific 'finished floor' photos, but you can see the floor as it looked when I finished this step in many other photos.

A 1/3-1/2" gap was left around the insulation/floor stack and filled with backer rod (foam dowel) as I saw in one of @MsNomers' posts.

The floor was bolted down using the strategy of drilling up with a small bit in an available space from below, and then drilling down to create the correct hole/countersink for the bolt and washer assembly on the floor.







 

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Discussion Starter #6
Fantastic Vent!

I installed a Fantastic 7350 using Hein's adapter. This was all pretty smooth sailing. I followed Hein's instructions to a T-window weld adhesive, butyl tape, dicor self leveling sealant (ordered in black). I don't have an image with the dicor on the roof, but it came out pretty well-I was surprised because everyone said it is so messy to work with. I simply put an extra amount right up to the inside edge of the flange and let it ooze over the edge. It's a bit organic, but I wouldn't call it messy.

The interior screw receiver frame was built out of 1x2 extruded PVC supplied by Hein in his roof vent kit. I highly recommend Hein's complete kit-makes the install smooth and includes clear instructions.

When climbing on the roof, I laid out several thick packing blankets and then used a 4 foot piece of 3/4" ply to distribute my weight. This worked nicely (I'm 180lbs).







 

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Discussion Starter #7
You are planning a lot of solar and battery. What is the plan for using it? I have 200 watts and 215 A-H and it feels like a lot extra. I like any non-white PM they all look great and distinctive.
What I learned when traveling is that the more solar the better when you don't like to move the rig everyday. When I go on climbing trips, sometimes I'll leave the van in one place for 5 days, and would rather park in a partly shaded/treed area. When the sun hits the panels for a small amount of time, I have to maximize my intake.

As far as batteries, we're liberal users of power. I allocated 50aH per day, and wanted to get through 3-4 days of no charging-think a winter whiteout storm.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Wow, it's been a minute! Everything took longer than expected-I'm sure you all can relate!

I failed pretty badly at maintaining a build thread. Here are some photos. Happy to help if anyone has questions on anything they see-the forum has been welcoming and super helpful to me throughout the process!

Bed platform, garage area, electrical etc.


Bedroom, Propex control, reading lights


Another bed platform


Electrical Early On


Ceiling going up


Joshua Tree, added Aluminess Rack


Lots of plumbing action


Shower wall going up


Rough in toilet/propex/hot h20 cabinet


Overhead control panel


Galley coming along


From slider


Shower pan welding


Shower walls & control/storage box
 

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Neat build, I like the "man in black" (or gray) look, thanks for sharing. One question...when you say "dry shower," do you mean a shower stall without running water, so a place to have a sponge bath without worrying about splashing? And does that mean you don't have a drain and gray water tank, or do you? Thanks, Matthew
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Neat build, I like the "man in black" (or gray) look, thanks for sharing. One question...when you say "dry shower," do you mean a shower stall without running water, so a place to have a sponge bath without worrying about splashing? And does that mean you don't have a drain and gray water tank, or do you? Thanks, Matthew
I’ll post a completed shower image this weekend. It’s a full shower with running hot water. Dry refers to not being a wet bath where there is a toilet inside the space-almost every non extended class B has a wet bath, thus why I distinguished. The drain has a threaded 4” pipe stub welded into the pan, thus eliminating any chance of leaking inside the vehicle.

I have a 20 gallon grey tank under the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Very cool. Which Propex model and where is your propane tank going?
HS2800. See attached image-apologies for the quality. It’s a 5.9 gallon tank from GoWesty. Adapters plumbed to add an external bbq tank for extended range, as well as to connect an external accessory pre regulator (camping stove, large lantern, bbq).
 

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