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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Been lurking for awhile, so onto my build. I have some pictures of my stumbling process. Only having a couple of hours a night surely slows this process. Also a lot of the time is just spent staring at the van trying to figure things out. Can I say that the van is kind of a mindf***! Anyway my goal is to stay all 12v generally we don't stay anyplace long since our main focus is Mountain Biking. So I don't feel the need for a lot of power Since driving keeps the battery pretty charged, plus we only use power at night generally speaking. With that said I will be adding 200w solar panels to the roof in the future. We have a 100w portable one we use from my (sold) expedition trailer.

Major (if you'd like to call it that) power consumption would be my ARB 50qt fridge. We've gone 3 days on a Walmart Johnson Controls 120AH in my trailer with no issues, I never monitored volt readings though.Could have been close to 11.7v who knows. Going to try the Universal Power Group 45978 AGM for the van though. Good reviews and under $200, kinda hard to go wrong IMO.

Other power needs would be 4 to 6 LED puck lights current draw is 150mA at 2 watts, charging cell phones and probably some sort of 12v 17" TV DVD combo eventually

Cooking we just use a Jetboil burner and a Camp Chef stove all outside.

Insulation is Thinsulate glued directly to the van wall with 3m 90 and then ezcool glued to the back of my corrugated plastic wall panels covered in Interweave. I figured this would give the best air gap. The only disadvantage I could see going this route is not being able to tape the seams. We'll see when it's finished I guess. Also the van came with the plywood floor, I took that out flipped it over and screwed 2x4's around the edges and routed around the outside. I then added blue board and reflectix between the 2x4's. The floor is held down with the tie down caps and longer bolts.

Okay so some pictures:

The beginning:


Fan hole and rattle trap:


So until I add my solar I needed a way to charge the house battery, so I added this connected to a charger:


Comes up through here running through liquid tight from the big orange:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Built a drawer for the MTB's, note and pictured DO NOT USE 3M 77 in the van! Against my best judgement I listened to an employee at the big orange, didn't stick worth a d4mn.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Bed

For the sake of weight I experimented with the 80/20 quick connect, it actually worked out pretty well, and I wanted to get the van going just enough for summer activities. The 80/20 calculator showed a 1/2 deflection in a 6' span. After it was installed it seemed to work out okay. However summer is over and snow is creeping down the slope I have taken everything out of the van and kind of started over. I'll keep posting pics throughout my process with my mistakes and huge learning curve. Still a curve.......



 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I originally had the battery under the drivers seat, but in all honesty the seat is kind of a pain to get on and off. Plus I may feel the need to expand so I just moved it to behind the drivers seat. I built a cabinet that I am not going to use anymore. After using the van for the summer in "throw together" mode I learned what works for us and what doesn't.

Some electric:



This stuff will probably stay in this spot but in a new cabinet

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well the build process continues, and I come to find out after the walls are up with insulation etc, the bed simply won't fit width wise at the height I need it for the bicycles. I also just put weight considerations aside. I figured unless I'm going to completely geek out on weight, a couple hundred pounds extra in a cargo van isn't really gonna matter THAT much. So with that said the design had to change, so onto steel we went. I already had purchased the Ikea bed so we just stayed with that and I welded the frame around that.

 

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thks for photo routing wires around driver seat to behind it. we were trying to figure that out.

electric socket next to gas fill is very risky - any spark with the gas vapors and boom! And then neighbors might go boom too!. Gas tank fires and explosions are highly dangerous, if you have ever seen one or watch one on youtube, it's more understandable. Would suggest moving the outlet a couple of feet and go thru the shell - not that big a deal (that's what we are going to do shortly).
 

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Bike Garage

For the sake of weight I experimented with the 80/20 quick connect, it actually worked out pretty well, and I wanted to get the van going just enough for summer activities. The 80/20 calculator showed a 1/2 deflection in a 6' span. After it was installed it seemed to work out okay. However summer is over and snow is creeping down the slope I have taken everything out of the van and kind of started over. I'll keep posting pics throughout my process with my mistakes and huge learning curve. Still a curve.......



curmudgeon,

Thank you for sharing and great pics!

Are you removing the seat posts to fit the bikes in under the bed?

Can you please give us the measurement from the top surface of the slide tray to the underside of the bed frame.

Did you build the slide tray or did you buy it. Can you please share source/link.

What van do you have, 159 ext?

Cheers,

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thks for photo routing wires around driver seat to behind it. we were trying to figure that out.

electric socket next to gas fill is very risky - any spark with the gas vapors and boom! And then neighbors might go boom too!. Gas tank fires and explosions are highly dangerous, if you have ever seen one or watch one on youtube, it's more understandable. Would suggest moving the outlet a couple of feet and go thru the shell - not that big a deal (that's what we are going to do shortly).
Hmmmm,maybe I'll move it. I dunno,I thought about the placement a lot.A general rule of thumb, I plug in the van then then to the wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
curmudgeon,

Thank you for sharing and great pics!

Are you removing the seat posts to fit the bikes in under the bed?

Can you please give us the measurement from the top surface of the slide tray to the underside of the bed frame.

Did you build the slide tray or did you buy it. Can you please share source/link.

What van do you have, 159 ext?

Cheers,

Dave
159 ext. The downhill bike is the height culprit. The triple clamp with the fork up makes it tall. If I lay the fork up down it makes it long. With that said my happy medium is 37" from floor to bottom bed rail. That leaves enough room to sit up in bed. I'm short though, 5'-7". The other bike I just drop the seat post. Wife's bikes all fit fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Oh and the tray. No I built it. 5' drawer slides. Needs a redesign. Probably weld that and use expanded metal for the top.
 

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159 ext. The downhill bike is the height culprit. The triple clamp with the fork up makes it tall. If I lay the fork up down it makes it long. With that said my happy medium is 37" from floor to bottom bed rail. That leaves enough room to sit up in bed. I'm short though, 5'-7". The other bike I just drop the seat post. Wife's bikes all fit fine.
Oh and the tray. No I built it. 5' drawer slides. Needs a redesign. Probably weld that and use expanded metal for the top.
Curmudgeon,

Thank you for the detailed information.

Cheers,

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Quick update

My approach to making the wall panels. Different from others, but I think it will be pretty effective nonetheless. My method as mentioned previously was 3M 90 Thinsulate to the van wall with the EZ-Cool proceeding that. I went this way because I wanted to have future access to the walls (i.e. electric etc) without distuburing the EZ-Cool that would otherwise be taped to the van ribs. Last picture is the Interweave about to be cut and applied to the corrugated plastic. I got the 10 pack from Home Depot.





 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got the rear walls up and bed rails attached.

The bed frame weighs in at 60 pounds on the nose. I honestly don't think that's all that bad considering.



 
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