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Discussion Starter #1
2019 high-roof, 136" wheelbase, deep cherry red Promaster delivered to Oregon from Chicago. This is our second build after an accident in our first van. We lived for a while in the last one, primarily as a snowboarding and mountain biking platform. We camped surprisingly little in the summer so as a general rule building the van for winter use is of primary importance. In the transit we camped down to about -10º. That was tough and we had some water freezing issues, but we learned how to fix that (and I won't run a water line along an area of the floor where the heat doesn't penetrate). Anything down to 5º or 10º was no problem with good insulation and an Espar.

First step, remove factory floor to insulate and then replace the floor. I read through this whole thread and know there is a difference of opinion on removing the floor, but insulating the floor is no-brainer for me. Even though removing the floor went poorly for us, it is still well worth it. It is around freezing here now and prying up the floor was a mess. At times it was okay and the glue released, but in other places the glue held and splintered the plywood on the bottom. In a number of places I also scratched the floor using some tool (long t-square, machete, claw hammer) so after cleaning up the floor I painted the scratches with a spray can.

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I also smashed things so hard I apparently cracked one of the ribs. I don't know if I did this with wood or the machete. (Fixed with J-B Weld.)

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So the bottom line on removing the floor is decide how much it is worth to you!

Insulating the floor.

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It is a cold time to start gluing anything so we were lucky to find a friend with a heated garage with 10' doors. We used a combination of foam and thinsulate in our last van and decided to do the same in this one. Putting in the thinsulate is just so easy and we were able to stop by Hein's shop to get everything we needed. Yesterday we put in most of the insulation. After tracing the floor onto 1" polyiso (R-max) I randomly decided to glue the extra pieces on the larger wall panels. (I needed three panels for the floor and there was plenty left over.) I just used 3m 90 as that was what we had on hand and it seemed to make sense. I was a little worried about oil-canning, but I think it came out fine without significant warping any of the panels. (I'll need to look at this again in better light. Today it looked like it might have affected it a bit. Perhaps I should have just done the edges, but I didn't want to leave an air pocket.) Thinsulate will go over the panels and literally everywhere else we can access (e.g. we pulled own the headliner above the shelf and stuffed that full of thinsulate).

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Pulling the floor and the plastic wall paneling led to some interesting discoveries. First, there were quite a few metal shavings under the floor so I'm glad we pulled it to be able to clean that up. Next, we learned that the rear paneling (at least) either does not use the factory holes or something went wrong with this van. The holes for the trim plugs that hold on the panels are unbelievable ****. They are rough, with nasty burrs, unpainted, and some are even drilled half over welds or on other holes. It's crazy how poor the quality is in that regard. I'm going to try to debur them and paint them before I put up any walls.

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Discussion Starter #2
Ceiling insulation.

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Speaking of the ceiling, the LED cargo light was held on with these clips. I've seen them in a couple other places as well. Anyone know what they are and whether they could be used intsead of rivnuts or plusnuts?

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Speaking of the ceiling, the LED cargo light was held on with these clips. I've seen them in a couple other places as well. Anyone know what they are and whether they could be used intsead of rivnuts or plusnuts?
Could be these, check the measurement, this a good site for these things.
 

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Discussion Starter #4

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Discussion Starter #6
Hey Powderhunds

Wishing you all my best for you on Van#2. I would assume the 2nd time around will go faster for your build. Sorry to hear of the loss of your family pet.
Thanks. We have been laughing about the second go 'round being like a second child. (We don't even have kids, but we listen to our friends.) "Does this look straight?" "Who cares, we will never see it." Boom, done. Our first van we measured everything and it had to all be perfect. We've been working on the van for one day and we are already like, "just throw it in there, it will be fine."

Plus, just the experience makes us a ton faster because we don't agonize over exactly how something works. Cut, spray, install, it worked last time.
 

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Thanks. We have been laughing about the second go 'round being like a second child. (We don't even have kids, but we listen to our friends.) "Does this look straight?" "Who cares, we will never see it." Boom, done. Our first van we measured everything and it had to all be perfect. We've been working on the van for one day and we are already like, "just throw it in there, it will be fine."

Plus, just the experience makes us a ton faster because we don't agonize over exactly how something works. Cut, spray, install, it worked last time.
We first used ours in March 2019, before it was complete (are they ever really?). We are new to RVing & very happy with our design/build, but when we mile out our 2018 PM & it is time to do Van #2 I think we will be able to build van #2 in 30% to 40% of the time the first one took. I found the research took a huge amount of time. That and sorting out the design.

Have Fun 👍
 

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My van has the factory plastic wall protection covers. I ended up keeping them but pulled them off to put in Noico sound absorbing mat. I noticed that the factory guys must drill the holes into the van as they install the plastic panels. I don't think the holes are pre-punched prior. I too, vacuumed metal shavings. Made in Mexico. I guess it is what it is. Still love the van. Look forward to driving it every day of my 4 vehicles :)
 

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I believe the lower panel holes are punched when the stamping is done but the uppers are drilled for that option.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I believe the lower panel holes are punched when the stamping is done but the uppers are drilled for that option.
Actually, as I look closer it is just the upper back on both sides that are not pre-drilled, except for a single hole on the upper front they also drilled.
 

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Did you order the van with the factory flooring? Or is that just an thing that is automatically in the van?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Did you order the van with the factory flooring? Or is that just an thing that is automatically in the van?
It was just what the dealer had. Having a factory floor (wood or rubber) is incredibly helpful as a guide so I wouldn’t avoid one with the factory floor, it’s just a pain to get up. The amount of time it took to get the floor up we more than saved in making a plywood floor and cutting the insulation to fit the curves of the van.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Our holiday work window is at an end. We didn’t get as much done as I wanted, in large part because multiple vendors sent us the wrong part or shipping was delayed, but we made decent progress.

We are mostly done with the insulation. Each space we found led to yet another space. For example, when I ran the trailer wiring we discovered how much space was open in the B pillar so a bunch more thinsulate was stuffed in there.

We are just going to use 2x4s for bed rails initially and those are all cut and drilled. Furring strips for the ceiling are done and a header for the back wall. All of those are just waiting for our order of foam because I’m going to put thin, closed-cell foam between all of these pieces and the bare metal.

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Two more 80/20 pieces for our bed cross pieces are ordered. We can reuse pieces from our old bed for the rest. Our plan is to make a sliding bed that slides back part way and folds up in the middle. In the area the bed slides back will be seats I’m not great about making mock-ups, but it’s a good thing we did here because I initially overlooked how much the van narrows at the top so we need to make sure the rear of the bed is narrower than the front. A table will slide out from under the bed
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I’m planning a slat ceiling and we’ve cut, prepped, and painted 1/8” Baltic birch plywood panels for the ceiling backing.
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I also made a mock up of our electrical cabinet to see how it might fit just in front of the passenger wheel well. I’m putting it there largely because I’m concerned about having all the weight on the driver side. I embedded a 3/4” PVC pipe in the foam of the floor so I can run some wiring under the floor. The rest, if more is needed, will go over the top.
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Looking awesome!
I'm so jealous of building the second time around. I really feel how long the front end of the first build was. Looks like you guys took two weeks to get where I was in two months haha.
Read the post on the transit forum, really glad to hear you guys are alright.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Just wondering... are you going to put an isolator wired from the van battery to the electrical cabinet? If so, the 3/4" conduit seems a bit small.

I wanted to put my 2 batteries on the passenger side to balance the weight to that side, but the wire runs became very long.
My plan is yes (I have a 60A Sterling-Power B2B charger) but I am concerned about wire size as well. The 3/4” conduit was really just planned as one way to run things to that side. In testing what fits I got Ancor marine 12 ga. wire and both Espar wires in there easily (I think they are about 12 ga. as well. The 12 will be enough to feed a secondary distribution box over there for fridge, water, charging stuff, and then the heater wires would come directly from a distribution box in the electrical box. I could probably also fit one line of 8 in there and run everything on that side off the secondary box.

The floor isn’t secured down yet and I figured I might need a direct line straightish forward to the van battery for the B2B. A quick look at the Blue Sea Circuit Wizard suggests I should still be able to use 4 ga. wire, which isn’t bad.

The problem with what I’ve designed in my head is that if I don’t put the electrical on that side there will be essentially no weight over there at all. I want to avoid such a huge imbalance if possible. The B2B is really the only run that is getting long.
 
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