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Discussion Starter #1
Going with the logical attachment on the support 'beam' would lead to a bed tilting forward, agreed?
So memory tells me on some installs the bed platform support (mostly angle iron) is countered to offset this.
But I've also read that some have leveled by adding a lift kit to the front, where some have leveled by removing a leaf spring on the rear.

When I looked at the payload capacity of the 1500 model we have I think we'll never come close to that besides we are taking a superlightweight approach to our build (avoiding wood and fancy accouterments)...nothing against those mind you (MsNomer we love all your beautiful cabinetry) but we think every ounce saved in the build saves at the pump.

So I'm thinking the quick, easy method to approach level is the leaf spring removal.
Thoughts please.
 

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Going with the logical attachment on the support 'beam' would lead to a bed tilting forward, agreed?
So memory tells me on some installs the bed platform support (mostly angle iron) is countered to offset this.
But I've also read that some have leveled by adding a lift kit to the front, where some have leveled by removing a leaf spring on the rear.

When I looked at the payload capacity of the 1500 model we have I think we'll never come close to that besides we are taking a superlightweight approach to our build (avoiding wood and fancy accouterments)...nothing against those mind you (MsNomer we love all your beautiful cabinetry) but we think every ounce saved in the build saves at the pump.

So I'm thinking the quick, easy method to approach level is the leaf spring removal.
Thoughts please.

I admire a light approach and aspire to it in many ways -- not just in the van but in life.

That said, the van doesn't notice the weight, give or take several hundred pounds. I kept pretty close track as I converted last summer, and each week the weight added up and the mileage stayed static. The only real hit my mileage took was when I made the decision to run my tires at ~54psi for comfort. I lost 2-3mpg, depending, dropping them from the 70's.

And, looking at it from a different angle, it's easy to level the van when you camp. Don't need to stress too much about making the bed level to the van when every campsite is different.
 

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I ‘d take mikesee’s advice at least until you have used it a year or so. That’s what my spring shop said too. I may pull the second leaf this summer but I plan to keep everything to revert it if I am not happy. I usually can find a parking situation that nearly levels the van. I do carry three 2X8s that are about 14 inches long to use if I cant. No biggie.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,

On the weight front, I'm an old airplane engineer, so "weight is critical" has been beaten into my brain for 30+ years.
This is a ref that has some data on weight reduction vs mpg gain for vehicles: http://www.drivealuminum.org/wp-con...Economy-for-Various-Vehicle-Architectures.pdf

One takeaway for me was that each 100 lbs of weight decrease from the base vechicles they looked at gained about 0.5% in mpg. So, if you were able to get 1000 lb reduction (a very tall order), you would gain about 5% in mpg -- about 1 mpg.
The study might or might not represent the PM well, but the gain is a bit underwhelming.

This is a breakdown on our weight for the conversion: http://www.buildagreenrv.com/our-conversion/our-promaster-conversion-weight-of-conversion/

I guess if it were me (and it was :), I'd try to consider weight in decisions, but not go overboard on it.

As has been mentioned, tires are important, and what you put on the roof will increase drag, and effect mpg.

On the beds, our beds run fore and aft, and while it was not done that way for bed leveling, it does work out well for leveling. Most of the parking spaces may have some tilt in the forward aft direction, but less in the side to side direction. If the tilt is noticable, we park so that the back of the van (and head of the beds) is uphill as most people don't mind some tilt while sleeping if the tilt is head up. If we have to park with the back of van lower, we just sleep in the van the other way (heads toward front).
We have never had to put stuff under the wheels and don't even carry anyway to do that.

Gary
 

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I'm not sure I've ever seen a perfectly flat parking/camping area except maybe in Florida??

Stackable drive on wedge planks for leveling an RV sound like a simple solution to cover any camp site. Choose the parking appropriately? I haven't noticed a bad angle in my empty 3500.

A few years ago when the BMW rally was at the Appalachian Fair Grounds in Grey ( you should know how hilly that place is) lots of riders bitched because there wasn't enough flat ground to camp on. My friends and I shrugged our shoulders, we always simply sleep with our feet downhill.
 

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Fore/aft tilt is aesthetic for some so make that how you want. For sleeping; Making your van sit level is helpful if all your parking spots are level. I expect to seldom have a perfectly level spot and use all the recommendations above: mikesee=don't worry; RD=carry some blocks; GaryBIS=switch sleeping orientation.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Excellent comments and good real world experience from me to draw on.

Ironically, being a backpacker for years and the last 15 years sleeping in a hammock, we position the head
1-2 inches below level when setting up the hammock--easy to do with a line level on the ridgeline in the hammock.
This allows lots of lymph fluid to more easily return to circulation via gravity/valves in the lymph system while sleeping.

Hey, I just remembered air-bags. I have them on a full size Montero for when I used to carry a Kawasaki 250 enduro on it-push a button and hold, easy leveling within a couple of inches. I can already tell this wouldn't be a consideration by many here.

Ok, thanks as always. For the moment we'll just not worry about it and move on.

T-9 days until windows ship.
Coleman a/c shipped.
Maxxair air bought.
In-dash radio/navi rear speakers here.
Bed-rug in, second floor decided.
First layer of insulation (Promasteraccessories pink stuff here), second layer (thinsulate) decided on
and in ceiling will be additional layer of solid foam board.

Still unraveling all parts of the electrical system but spending lots of time at Gary's site looking at
the diagrams; but we have drawn our rough laying of lights and plug-ins.

Are not USB ports DC ?
 

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...
First layer of insulation (Promasteraccessories pink stuff here), second layer (thinsulate) decided on
and in ceiling will be additional layer of solid foam board.
Hi,
Not sure what "Promasteraccessories pink stuff here)" means, but I would avoid using any of the polystyrene insulation boards (EPS, XPS, pink foam, blue foam, and white foam) next to the van skin as it has a max service temp of 160F, and this is really too low for a van (I think).
Polyiso is good.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Gary here is the link:
http://promasteraccessories.com/insulation.php
As to why, well we can cut the thinsulate to match the pink linked above and then spray adhesive together inside, then apply the now pink+thinsulate in the van at any temp. We wrote promasteraccessories and they promised the 'pink' will adhere at any temp.
We'll still run the space heater inside first as best as we can.
The pink stuff as I hold a piece in my hand is 3 layers. The other two are actually pink in color and they are spongy air bubble containing material reminiscent of what a DVD would come in. In between the two pink spongy layers is a silver material. Looking at a cross section three layers are clearly visible.
On one pink outer is the adhesive and it covers the complete piece.
Each piece is pre-cut. The one I'm holding is labeled '32 Driver side rear door.
So all the plug-n-play pieces will have this and then the thinsulate, except on the roof where another layer of insulation facing the inside will be. I think this is the closest to the polystyrene boards you just mentioned.
Write or wrong that is our game plan on insulation.
 

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Gary here is the link:
http://promasteraccessories.com/insulation.php
As to why, well we can cut the thinsulate to match the pink linked above and then spray adhesive together inside, then apply the now pink+thinsulate in the van at any temp. We wrote promasteraccessories and they promised the 'pink' will adhere at any temp.
We'll still run the space heater inside first as best as we can.
The pink stuff as I hold a piece in my hand is 3 layers. The other two are actually pink in color and they are spongy air bubble containing material reminiscent of what a DVD would come in. In between the two pink spongy layers is a silver material. Looking at a cross section three layers are clearly visible.
On one pink outer is the adhesive and it covers the complete piece.
Each piece is pre-cut. The one I'm holding is labeled '32 Driver side rear door.
So all the plug-n-play pieces will have this and then the thinsulate, except on the roof where another layer of insulation facing the inside will be. I think this is the closest to the polystyrene boards you just mentioned.
Write or wrong that is our game plan on insulation.
Hi,
Nice that its precut to size.

A bit discouraging that they don't give any detail on what the insulating materials are (as far as I can tell), and that they lie about the R value by at least a factor of 10!

Please keep us posted on how the insulation install goes.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter #13
' R-value rating of 38-R' Haha! Almost like they're creating their own insulation rating system.
All I can tell you is that it is occlusive and will prevent condensation where it is applied. Also there
exists millions of little bitty air gaps in the guise of the air bubbles throughout. The metallic membrane
will do it's thing reflecting and since its in the middle is doesn't contact the van skin for conduction but it
can reflect in both directions. Looks easy to apply------but in the end is just an easy precut transport mechanish
for the thinslate. Something else about the material. This will sounds strange, but it is heavier that is should be
and I think this is the adhesive layer.
Is what is :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Gary forgot to mention.
Condensation is a bane to us.
We live it when in the woods with out tarps/tents/hammocks.
When your down quilt/sleeping bag gets wet it can be bad news=hypothermia.
So we will be dogged in our pursuit of covering every square millimeter of metal
in the van.
Your method of using the spray foam is fantastic in 'getting everywhere', for us the
challenge will be inside the ribs. We will use Great Stuff there with the more industrail
applicator and attempt to coat the van skin that way, and then after curing pushing
thinsulate into the ribs.
 

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Be careful inside those ribs. I found there are many places the polyiso could be fit inside through the larger holes, sometimes cut into short sections and sometimes split lengthwise. Use the pro gun and foam to hold everything in there but to fill them is not going to work and if you did you would use a fortune of it and bow the sheetmetal of the van I fear. Same inside the side door and back doors. I slid polyiso up beside the windows and used the openings above and below to attach sheets of 1”. This is very low skill and a bit tedious but a couple of hours fitting smaller blocks means that when it is done, it's for the life of the van. Pull the Thinsulate in by snaking a wire, pull a string tied to a strip of Thinsulate. You do not want to stuff it or push it as compacting it decreases its insulating value. Light and fluffy but enough to stay in place is the happy place. It’s a Zen thing.
 

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Based on our past experiences in RVs, we tend to like them level, for both sleep and soup. I'll be leveling the platform bed relative to the floor so I can lay my phone on the floor and use a leveling app. Truma makes one that tells you how many inches each wheel is out.
 

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Adjustable bed

Since I haul my motorcycles around a lot and also want to be able to camp comfortably I went with e-track and a removable sleeping platform. Easy to setup or remove, I simply cut the cross supports different widths to account for the rake of the PM when stealth camping. I also cut a few spacers 1/2" to 2" that allow we to compensate for various angles I end up parked at that simply fit under the cross supports in the brackets. When I'm at a track or camped at a riding spot I use some ramps to level out, but when stealth camping I don't want to draw the attention and it seems to work well to get a level sleeping platform. I also like previously mentioned use an iPhone app from Stanley(Fat max)that makes it easy to get the platform level.
 

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I used the great stuff in the ribs on my promaster this fall. Would not do again. On the sides of the van
it dried at the openings but dried later in the centers. End result was it bulged the skin of the van out a little where the ribs are. Most people would not notice but I see it when I look at my side mirrors.
 

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Based on our past experiences in RVs, we tend to like them level, for both sleep and soup. I'll be leveling the platform bed relative to the floor so I can lay my phone on the floor and use a leveling app. Truma makes one that tells you how many inches each wheel is out.




Have fun with your phone, I'ma just pull over and hit the hay in my pre-leveled bed;)
 
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