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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I have always wanted a class B motorhome unfortunately my wife got hurt a year and a half ago and she's recovering from a spinal cord injury. She will walk again someday it's just a very long process so for the immediate future I needed a wheelchair van. I purchased a used Econoline van but I wanted something nicer and more reliable, So I purchased a pro master 159 extended 2500 model van that is being outfitted with a lift and nice interior which includes a folding bench seat bed in the back I also asked them to put a trailer hitch on it and put an electrical connection in for ground power.

I was very interested in purchasing a road trek Zion with some sort of wheelchair lift but I was never able to find somebody who could do that easily, anyway long story short I've gone ahead and purchased the pro master from a mobility company here in Tucson and I would like to find RV-like accessories that I could outfit with while still retaining its utility as a wheelchair van. In other words maybe I could take off for the weekend camping trip and have some sort of removable modular set up that I could pull it or out of the van I don't know... I'm just thinking aloud.

Ultimately when my wife recovers I will want to convert it more into an RV I'm just kind of looking for accessories are things that I might be able to buy in the meantime that I can install in the van to make it more RV like yet still retain its utility as a wheelchair van anyway I'm glad I found this group!
Jim


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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
If anyone has suggestions for possible modular enhancement things that I could put in and then take out during the period of using it as a wheelchair van I'd appreciate a point in the right direction.


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Have a look at the modular units I posted a link to yesterday in the "floor plans" thread. They are from France, so you can't just go buy them, and they aren't even for Promaster, but the photos and video might help you design your own and either make them yourself or have them made by a cabinet shop for much less cost than a Zion.
 

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First off, sorry to hear about your wife’s injury and needed recovery. My van conversion is made of simple 1/2” hardwood plywood that any woodworker could assemble once you had a design. It has no internal or external frame, no add on doors or unusual hardware. It is modular and quickly removable. My design wont work for you but the system may. I am close enough to you to show you my van and have you take pictures or meet with a woodworker of you want to arrange that. PM me soon if interested as I will be traveling mid-Jan to mid-Feb.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks very much for the feedback the van that I got for my wife is a wheelchair van has a very nicely appointed interior I didn't really ask for it all but it came with the van so it's got everything from a somewhat large TV screen to speakers to power folding bed I'm just looking for some kind of modules that I could kind of put in and take out as needed to take a weekend camping somewhere as I said I'm not even sure if such a thing exists but I do appreciate all the input.

When I was in the airline business in Hawaii years ago we used to have special aircraft called quick change aircraft. in the day they did duty as passenger planes it at night they could be converted into 737 freighters I guess I'm kind of thinking along those lines though less dramatic than that


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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
Youtube "from van to camper in 5 minutes"

Some others...

http://www.doityourselfrv.com/european-camper-in-a-box-conversions/

http://newatlas.com/modular-buddy-box-van-furniture/36278/

If you google "modular furniture for campervans" more stuff comes up.

Seems like it could work. Be sure to think about anchoring these modules down once you get them in the van.

I think a place like Moorehead would work with you to do the conversion if you don't want to do it yourself: http://www.moreheaddesignlab.com/index.html

Gary
 

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Looking at modular concepts, nothing beats the Airlines for ingenuity since those designs earn money back 24/7/365 and they put a lot of dollars into the process up front...

There are a couple of 'weekender' conversions here that have bolt-in designs, maybe a new post calling for 'modular ideas' would make it easier for comments from those who are out having fun already?

I've looked seriously into repurposing IKEA pieces but there is some serious weight in their particle board furniture & cabinets. I have a buddy who built a mini-trailer RV and lived in it a year in Wisconsin - his whole concept was homemade SIP's, structural insulated panels using 1/2 & 3/4" foam cores with thin plywood/paneling glued on one or both sides. The result is a very stiff and lightweight board that takes stress off heating/cooling loads by reducing thermal mass and should make it easier to break down & remove the RV galley/bed/lockers after a week or ten days of touring than if made using 3/4" plywood or similar. Splicing things together would be with splines or connector pieces glued to the edge of a panel and received by glue/screw to a matching wood connector on a bordering panel, even doing epoxy or resin cloth to stiffen the hidden corners and joints, etc. Fine, I don't have all the details worked out but tossing a six-foot long galley counter into the Van would be easier if it was half foam board...
 

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I used to build Strip Cedar Canoes which had a core of very light weight 3/16 inch eastern white cedar and were fiberglassed inside and out. Their SIP-like construction and curved surfaces made them VERY strong. My personal 17.5 foot Mi'kmaq weighs 55 lbs. and has carried 970 lbs. through the North Maine woods, down the Penobscot and Allagash. One scrape through the exterior in many rough years of use. The SIP could be 1/2” styrofoam, skins of 1/8” veneer glued up with a compatible contact cement and the 4X8 panels cut like plywood and fiberglassed when assembled. Holding fasteners would be the trick. Just think’n here!
 

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Since you already have the bed, all you need more are a kitchen unit, fridge, storage, and maybe potty. I assume the lift stays put, so your units would have to work around that.

I envision a sink unit with fresh and grey water containers underneath, a storage unit that is effectively dresser drawers, and a storage unit that a portable chest fridge could slide under. Have a single removable counter that spans the storage units.
 

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I envision a sink unit with fresh and grey water containers underneath, a storage unit that is effectively dresser drawers, and a storage unit that a portable chest fridge could slide under. Have a single removable counter that spans the storage units.
My kitchen might work as an all-in-one unit. I made it to allow me to easily remove it - that would give me a 4' x 6' space inside the slider door.



A chest fridge on sliders could be put in the bottom opening, and storage or a microwave on top.

Water situation as Ms described.... (2) 3.5 gallon Waterbricks, one for fresh water, one for drain.



It's not too difficult a build... could be simplified a bit.

Welcome,
Ed
 

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Mine has been in and out about 4 times to use the van for moving stuff. Same deal, 2- 5 gal “water tanks, pump, sink w/drainboard from IKEA and Refrigerator, no microwave, storage for food, silverware etc, and the butane stove. Notice the 1/2” hardwood plywood construction which is very light but very strong. It’s just a box with drawers really. Any decent woodworker can build it!



Here is the galley in my garage. One person can lift and move it once the refrigerator is out or two people with it in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Very cool thanks again everybody thanks Gary for the YouTube video that was pretty inspirational too!


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