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Hello all. I joined this forum after recently making the purchase of a 2014 3500 ProMaster. My intent is to convert it into an RV for my wife and I to travel in. I will be scouring this website for ideas and information that will help us succeed with this project! I could not afford to buy a new RV van already converted, so I found one that has under 3K miles on it with some decent options and some parts already collected for the conversion for $25k. I am hoping to be as close to $40K as possible when I'm done converting it. I am so happy to have found this site. I just hope I don't wear you out with all the questions that I will be asking lol!!!
 

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You should be able to do a complete conversion yourself for about $5k. Mine came in much cheaper than that and I opted for an Espar heater, solar, 100++ amp hour battery, swivel on the driver's side, 3 cu ft refrigerator, etc. Lower your budget to $30K total and don't give in to fad over function.
 

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RD is correct even if you go wild $5000 should be more than enough to convert your van. If you're carefull and handy you could do it for well under $5k as a matter of fact!
 

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I agree that $5,000 is a reasonable ballpark. I used that number as a guide, but not an absolute, and as I reach completion, I'm pretty close. My philosophy, though, is that I'm only doing this once and quality remains after price is forgotten. I am by nature frugal--there's a fair bit of Habitat ReStore recycle in my build--but I didn't skimp on the parts that were important to me, like windows, battery and fridge. By choice, I don't have solar or heater.

If you can afford a $15,000 upfit, and are doing the labor yourself, you will be able to include whatever your heart desires and still have fuel money left for a few cross-country excursions.

We look forward to your build thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the encouragement all. I will be doing some of the work, and other stuff I will have professionals do for me. I will bring the van home next week and start with some serious measurements and layout a footprint for what I'm trying to do. I would love to have a lift type bed if it will still let me stand inside without bending over. The great part is that pretty much all options are on the table at this point! One of the things I am trying for is a separate shower and toilet. I don't see the need for a separate sink for a bathroom area, so the galley sink will do double duty. Thanks again all for your comments and encouragement.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I picked it up today. It starts out looking pretty darn big, but I know that perception will disappear quickly as space gets taken up. I have been married 40 years this month, and I know what it will take for my wife and I both to enjoy this little RV. So, I can see where I will be well above $5000 in costs. I will be able to do electrical work, but I would not be happy with the quality of my cabinetry work lol. And so it begins....I will change over to a build thread when I make some progress. Thanks all. dc.
 

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Welcome and congratulations with your new van, build plans and upcoming adventures in it! To save you a bit of head scratch and perhaps some anxiety, I suggest taking a look at Thinsulate(TM) SM600L for insulating your van. The product is engineered for vehicles and as such passes the FMVSS 302 flammability test. We have helped a lot of DIY van builders complete this crucial step in their builds. Please PM me if you would like to request
a sample. I wish for you much success with your build!

All the best,
Hein
Impact, Inc.
Hood River, OR
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am cutting in the windows, a/c and vent soon, so insulation will be right behind that. Thanks for the info. dc.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hi all. I ended up going a lot over my budget after having someone else do a large portion of the project. I ended up between the $50-$55 k total investment, but I'm pretty happy how it turned out. The conversion is mostly complete and has been used for a few trips. Most recently, over the Christmas-New Years holiday, we took a 2300 mile trip to the northwest to visit family. We encountered some icy conditions in northern Nevada and from Boise to near Pendleton on I-84, then again over the Snoqualmie Pass in Washington. I am very happy with the control I had in the icy and snowy road conditions, which I don't have much experience with. The thinsulate insulation did real well, with van temp settings on max heat with fan on middle to low settings with temps down to 4 degrees. The floor got pretty cold, but not as cold as I would've thought. I'm real happy with my van so far, with the exception of a couple things I designed and need to tweak. It's more of a travel van with a bathroom and sleeping capability rather than an RV, but it fits my wife and I well. Attached is a pic of the "road warrior" at the end of the trip. dc.
 

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Awning windows, hot water, shower, roof AC, and whatever else, you are at least $25K less than buying a big brand B. You did well n got what u want. More pics n other details please.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I will be starting another stage of the project towards the end of the month, and will add pics and info. I want to redo the tank brackets and reinforce the remote propane fill. I need to redo the way the bed comes together to make it easier to make up. I need to redo the bathroom door and lighten it up. I have a list of things to still install. Propane/CO monitor, stereo and speakers, tank level indicators, inverter isolator and house battery, and a control panel for the LED light strips, all of which I bought initially when I started the project. Looking forward to correcting the things I got wrong the first time lol!!!
 

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... I have a list of things to still install. Propane/CO monitor, stereo and speakers, tank level indicators, inverter isolator and house battery, and a control panel for the LED light strips, all of which I bought initially when I started the project. Looking forward to correcting the things I got wrong the first time lol!!!
I would suggest that you put the Propane/CO monitor at the top of the list, hopefully before any more trips!

A trip to the 'Depot and you're done with that one.

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I agree, that is at the top. I have a Safe-T-Alert that I bought in the beginning of the project that I will be installing soon.
 
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