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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

I'm just finishing my conversion of a 118" 2014 white Promaster. I designed the interior and bought most of the components (except electrical). Craftsman Vans put it all together - plumbing, wiring, insulation, built the bed platform and back cabinet, walls, ceiling and dining table. Rose City Sunroofs put in the skylights and solar vents.

It's compact and simple, fits into all parking spaces and so far seems to hold everything I need for stealthy traveling and camping. Previously, I had a VW Camper and a pop-up Chalet A-frame so have learned something about what works for me, I hope.

It does not have: house AC, holding tanks, propane, generator, solar panels, hot water, Fantastic Fan or stove.

It does have: vessel sink, 14 gallon cold water tank, pump, Kohler faucet, 12-volt frig with Danfoss compressor under the bed, AGM batteries in a tray welded underneath, fixed bed with lift-up front access and full access from rear doors, Hepvo alternative to p-trap, 2 solar vents, 2 operable skylights, driver and passenger louvered window vents, swivel seats, LED lights, dining table for two and movie screen for a Bluetooth projector.

Here it is getting Fatmat for sound deadening, (the skylights and solar vent are already in), under the bed with electrical and frig on the right, water and safe on the left, and the beginnings of the kitchen and platform bed.

I'll post more later.
 

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Some really interesting twists to traditional designs. What are the solar vents? You say no holding tank, but some elaborate water features. How will you manage gray water? No stove? Will u have heat? Pic 2 shows a nice transition curve from ceiling to wall. Looking forward to more. Soon!
 

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Marina,

Great start! many more pictures would be greatly appreciated - you have some nice ideas there...

I'm very interested in the location and look of the battery tray setup under the van. I'm trying to come up with a design for that.

Would like info on the skylight/sunroof(s) too.

Ed
 

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....cut.....

I'm very interested in the location and look of the battery tray setup under the van. I'm trying to come up with a design for that.

....cut.....
As am I. Batteries seem heavy when we pick them up, but considering that a couple of large house batteries probably weigh less than a person, it shouldn't be that hard to hang them under the floor.

Winnebago Travato ProMasters have the generator under the floor behind the rear axle, and those Onan generators are taller and heavier than any battery(ies) I would use. I'm planning to take a look at how these generators are supported from the chassis/body. Generators also vibrate so supporting is even harder. I'm hoping that with batteries that are not too tall they can be located further forward where ground clearance is less.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for your interest - here are some more details and photos:

Insulation - on top of the Fatmat in the walls it is a wool/cotton blend between the structural verticals and stuffed into all the small openings, in the ceiling it is rigid foam insulation over the Fatmat. The floor is 3/4 maple plywood over Fatmat, to preserve as much headroom as possible. The walls and ceiling are finished with slightly less than ¼” wallboard and Formica over.

Skylights, window vents and solar vents - the two skylights are 39" x 21" standard auto pop-up skylights from C.R. Laurence. The driver and passenger window vents are from EuroVanCampers.com. The solar vents have internal batteries for night time operation. They are 4" Nicro brand with ~9" chrome domes that sticks up about 2" above the roof. I bought those at West Marine with extra trim rings so the first could be used to secure the vent to the roof from the inside and the second one for trimming the ceiling cut-out (see photos below). They are wonderfully quiet - I don’t even notice the sound.

Stove – I’ve learned that I don’t like cooking indoors so we have a high output 2-burner propane camp stove that uses 1# propane bottles. Indoors we keep it simple with cold foods, wine and beer.

Heat – winter camping is a rarity so we will do fine with a table top fireplace that is approved for indoor use. It burns pure ethanol and heats the space fine. The one I picked is only 4 x 4 x 8 long” so will store easily and satisfies the need for a real fire.

Plumbing – the PVC sink drain has a threaded connection underneath the van so we can cap it or connect to a sewer if ever needed. Since we use biosafe soap it will usually be open to drain onto the ground or into a bucket, if necessary. The Hepvo sanitary valve runs vertically behind the drawers in the cabinet (a section of the back cabinet wall had to be cut out to make it fit). The company says it offers 1¼ and 1½ versions but they are actually both 1½, one just comes with an 1¼ reducer. The line is so close to the countertop that we have full use of all four drawers under the sink with just a notch out of the back of the top drawer for the pipe (see photos below).

Batteries underneath – on the 118 wheelbase the tray had to be mounted in a tight space. It lowers the ground clearance by about 2”. On the 136 wheelbase model, which the welder did just before mine, the tray was able to be further back and closer to the center. It didn't lower the clearance at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Battery and tray dimensions - mounted underneath

Hi Chance,

The batteries are each 6 1/2" wide x 10 1/4" long. The tray welded under the van (that holds two of them) is 14" wide x 11 1/4" front to back, plus the brackets for the bolts, which adds about another 1 1/2" to each end.

Marina
 

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Hi Chance,

The batteries are each 6 1/2" wide x 10 1/4" long. The tray welded under the van (that holds two of them) is 14" wide x 11 1/4" front to back, plus the brackets for the bolts, which adds about another 1 1/2" to each end.

Marina
Thanks for reply Marina.

How tall are the batteries, and what's the voltage and Amp-hour of each battery?

I finally got to inspect a Winnebago Travato in person this morning and took a look at the generator installation. Nicely done but ground clearance isn't what I'd prefer. The bottom of the generator appeared lower than the bottom of rear axle. It was probably around 6 inches with unloaded van. Not sure I want a generator under those conditions since it mostly serves to run the air conditioner off line (everything else I want can run off batteries). Typical batteries are not as tall as an Onan 2800 watt generator so there should be more ground clearance. Have you measured your ground clearance?
 

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Nice that you use bio soap but when people walk by and see anything dumped on the ground they will call the authorities thereby defeating any stealth you may have achieved. Adding a small tank below the sink that can be inconspicuously dumped in a toilet, bush etc... would be an easy mod. Can't wait to see your final product and look forward to more posts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Drain line as holding tank

Hi StanW909,

Thanks for your interest. I agree that some folks might call the authorities if they see water coming out from under a vehicle. If we are trying to be seriously stealthy we will arrive in the evening with the drain line cap screwed on. That will create an inline holding tank of about 2+ quarts, which should be plenty to wash hands and brush teeth before bed.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Clearance from ground to bottom of battery tray

Hi Chance,

I can't find my battery paperwork right now so will have to get back to you on the details - I requested 200 amps total in my bid documents but can't remember exactly what I received.

I just measured the ground clearance at the back axle at just over 7" and clearance to the bottom of the battery tray at 10 1/2".
 

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Hi StanW909,

Thanks for your interest. I agree that some folks might call the authorities if they see water coming out from under a vehicle. If we are trying to be seriously stealthy we will arrive in the evening with the drain line cap screwed on. That will create an inline holding tank of about 2+ quarts, which should be plenty to wash hands and brush teeth before bed.
Try something like this for a gray water holding tank just make sure you label it as gray water. Folds flat when not in use and expands as you use it.
http://www.target.com/p/reliance-fold-a-carrier-water-container-blue/-/A-10305847?ref=tgt_adv_XSG10001&AFID=google_pla_df&LNM=10305847&CPNG=Sports&kpid=10305847&LID=14pgs&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=10305847&kpid=10305847&gclid=Cj0KEQiA-aujBRDqj772vpGfgooBEiQAzWAZUvscwRk5MJMlqhgh-NG7SGECTvcaytqxmscHQXUGz1QaAmaN8P8HAQ
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Storage area from the rear and scaffolding to hold up the ceiling trim

The storage area beside and under the bed is about finished. Here is how it looks from the rear. The top section is a full width nightstand with storage from the other side.

Storage - rear view.jpg

Holding up trim.jpg

(It didn't look very promising the day before with scaffolding holding up the glued on PVC trim.)
 

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For grey water it's also very easy to install a large heavy-duty plastic container under the sink and routing the water from the sink to container with a flexible hose. That way you can have much more capacity and it's easy to dump in sewer, toilet, or plants if water is clean. The only tricks are to make sure container is secure during travel, and that the hose can flex enough to pull out easily. They are also clear enough to see level inside.

I've been using a blue Aqua-PAK container normally sold to carry portable water. I removed the label so it doesn't get confused and marked it "grey water" permanently. You can now get them up to 7 gallons in size although mine is smaller. I could only find smaller water containers when I built my van nearly 10 years ago, and didn't want to use red gasoline plastic container for fear others would think I was dumping chemicals/waste.

A portable and removable grey-water holdinding tank also has the benefit of being 100 percent washable and sinatizable. After a trip I wash with soap and water and then sanitize with Clorox.
 

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I just use an empty square plastic kitty litter bucket. It holds about 4 gallons and it's easy to carry and dump. I have a regular short piece of garden hose connected to the bottom of the sink drain (no trap needed) that goes thru a ¾" hole in the floor and hangs down about 8". It works perfectly and is good for several days at the rate I use my sink. All I use it for is washing and shaving plus the odd coffe cup or beer glass. We use all paper plates and mostly plastic silverware and only use the microwave to cook (warm up) in the van. I also have a small propane grill that uses a 1# propane cylinder if I want to cook outside but I very rarely do.

I like to keep it simple!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Voltage and amp-hour of each battery

Question from Chance: What are the voltage and amp-hour of each battery?
I have two 12v 110 amp-hour Forest River AGM batteries for a total of 220 amp- hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Under bed storage - view from inside the van

The 'basement' storage under the bed is finished. This view is from inside the van looking under the bed towards the back doors. The electrical is in a separate hatch on the passenger side to the left of the drawer frig; the water pump is on the far right past the water tank that has a safe built in above it. There is another storage compartment over the driver side wheel well.

The satin finish floor is probably too smooth to be practical so I think I'll paint it with some white rubberized paint after our first road trip next month.
 

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