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Discussion Starter · #203 ·
Regarding 1st impressions on the Factory Swivels;

Compared to the 2018 vinyl bucket non-swivel seats, we find the 2021 factory cloth swivels more comfortable. I do not know the difference, but it “feels like” memory foam or gel type product. So for long hauls I think they will be better.

The opperations of the seats are not intuitive & we had to read the manual & still have not learned it totally. The process to swivel the seats is a bit clumsy at first, but we are getting better at it with muscle memory. Usually the seat back tilt needs to be straightened of even forward tilted before “swiveling” the seat.

I thought I would prefer vinyl as it is easier to keep clean (for a 10lb dog “Rocket” can shed some fur). They seem to wipe down pretty good. Not sure how they would perform with say a coffee spill. Thought about seat covers, but things like that tend to irritate me and bulk up, etc & that coupled with the more complicated swivel seats and airbags - No. I suppose if we wreck the cloth seats the “cloths” can be replaced 🤔. I might look into buying a new set of cloths. The sun gives us life & takes life away - at least with fading seats long term.

As far as I know the seats have 2 positions “Driving” & 180 degree locked. They will free swivel in any position between.

Feeling Like a Seated Midget @ 180 degrees; I have been interested in the 180 degree position in regards to making the feet comfortable. I have looked at many designs for this & a few stick out, but off the top of my head are @SteveSS & @MsNomer and without actually having the van the ergonomics can not be figured “exactly” for us. The last floorplan part of our build will be the driver’s side cabinets forward of our Nature’s Head toilet & this aft swivel seat platform/foot rest. The proximity of the lower & upper cabinets, hight of the foot rests, and the utility of those spaces will be considered before solidifying the design. I have thought of house batteries under the driver’s foot rest is a possibility. At this time for a for a foot rest on the passenger side we are considering a collapsible foot stool or a “swing up” application, or something along that direction. We want to keep the area near the slider door relatively clear at the floor level. All that & throw in an “eating table”. It is all about “custom ergonomics”.

Waiting almost a year for the van allowed me to think & plan many things. How the swivels work & feel & how to incorporate that into the design “for me” is a very spacial & tactile process. I simply could not finalize without having the van. Now I can head scratch & ponder while performing the other parts of the van & collaborate with Mrs. RV8R.
 

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Congrats, finally!! You picked a great day to bring it over! The swivels do take a little getting used to. When ours were new, the swivel release was very stiff, but it's fine now. However, the recline release will still fold you up like a taco if you're not careful. A shorepower connection was one of the first things I did, too. It really helps to have permanent power for heat and tools. Have you figured out why it has no spare? I see the tool kit, but can't tell if you have the winch/hoist for the spare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #207 ·
Congrats, finally!! You picked a great day to bring it over! The swivels do take a little getting used to. When ours were new, the swivel release was very stiff, but it's fine now. However, the recline release will still fold you up like a taco if you're not careful. A shorepower connection was one of the first things I did, too. It really helps to have permanent power for heat and tools. Have you figured out why it has no spare? I see the tool kit, but can't tell if you have the winch/hoist for the spare.
Thanks @SteveSS

The dealer said “I guess someone borrowed it”. They have a spare on order for me now. I did not look to closely, but I will let them install the spare underneath & the winch if that is missing too.

I totally get the taco folding recline release, I was looking at a “toothed” belt under the seats briefly today & concluded it was a spring mechanism for that recliner “launcher”. I do like the seats though & glad we ordered them. It really brings another dimension to the van.

I’m looking forward to a bit warmer weather coming up & hopefully getting rid of this snow for 2022.
 

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Discussion Starter · #208 · (Edited)
Ceiling Pinch Bars

So I do not know why, other than in my mind polished aluminum ceiling pinch bars that will have a similar look like chrome has a “Olde Skool” trailer look. And I like that nostalgia retro (not that our van is all retro - that would be very expensive & take me forever to build).

Regardless, I punish myself with expense & labour intensive work to fabricate pinch bars & install 1/4 20 rivnuts into the ceiling ribs. It is more than 1 days but less than 2 days labour. 6 pinch bars in total, the one over the pizza oven being the most difficult.

Hand Automotive design Vehicle Air travel Gas


My constant worry with rivnuts is having them “spin”. So I do not even like them, but if I want “the look” IMO they are a necessity evil. However I had many many rivnuts in my 2018 build & will be attempting many many less in my 2021 build. For the record, I had 1 rivnut spin on me in the 2018 build.

I am now all complete with the ceiling rivnuts & pinchbar fab other than installing rivnuts into the ceiling rib above the pizza oven - I need a better tool for the tight space.

Here are some photos;

Vehicle Hood Motor vehicle Car Building


Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design Architecture Automotive exterior


Rectangle Wood Line Fixture Composite material


Font Transparency Monochrome photography Electronics accessory Event


So incase you were wondering the material used;

Aluminum Bars; 2” x 3/16” & 57” long (1 was 58” long & I had to cut down one bar over the pizza oven)

Rivnuts; 1/4” - 20 threads per inch & a grip of 0.027” to 0.1?? (I can nit remember the large grip limit, but our van metal is 0.030”)

Machine Screws; SS 1/4” - 20 Oval Head “counter sink”. “Late night shopping @ Lowes” Over $7 for a bag of 5 😳.

This is where KOV is spot on. If a DIYer knows where to go (I do) & gets their S%#@ together (I did not) then the build budget will be cost effective vs expensive. You may ask why I did not pre-order these from a reasonable supplier & the answer is I am not 100% on the length. Even now it is a gamble as my 1” polyiso ceiling insulation may have to be increased to 1.5” due to supply chain issues. So I took a gamble. This is building a van during Covid Season. The machine screws in the ceiling will cost me north of $80. A DIYer could just use self-drilling screws to anchor the ceiling & save money and a whole lotta time !!

My Ride, My Time, My Dime; My Choice “did I get that right @RobPromaster ?”
 

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2019 Promaster 3500 Silver high top 159"
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Have you ever considered 10-32 PEM nuts? I've had good success clinching them using a grade 10 socket head bolt and a small steel backing plate. (Normally an arbor press would be used) Definite no spinning.

I've been slowly replacing my rivet nuts as I work on various parts doing upgrades or maintenance. Obviously one needs access to the backside to place the nuts. Difficult on the ribs but not impossible with some double sided tape and a flexible stick or wire.

My dime/time: I (gorilla) glued quarter inch plywood strips to the ribs and then used countersink wood screws to attach the ceiling panels for that flush look. Sort of a reverse of the pinch strips. It's not that maintainable and risks stripping the screws so I probably won't take that approach again.

Your scheme looks good and allows for rough cut panels that are easy to replace if needed and maximizes head space. I like it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #210 ·
Jan 9th Wall Panels & Ceiling Panels (5.5hrs for 2 guys)

So today my Buddy @CDN_PM came over to help me fabricate & install the wall panels & the ceiling panels. This went way way quicker than my 1st build. We were 5.5 hrs working on this today and tge panels are basically done. I still have to remove them & coat the back side of these panels with Kilz or Bullseye123 or similar mould killing paint / sealer.

Here are a couple of photos;

Vehicle Automotive design Motor vehicle Symmetry Engineering


Motor vehicle Hood Automotive exterior Automotive design Automotive tire
 

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Discussion Starter · #211 ·
Have you ever considered 10-32 PEM nuts? I've had good success clinching them using a grade 10 socket head bolt and a small steel backing plate. (Normally an arbor press would be used) Definite no spinning.

I've been slowly replacing my rivet nuts as I work on various parts doing upgrades or maintenance. Obviously one needs access to the backside to place the nuts. Difficult on the ribs but not impossible with some double sided tape and a flexible stick or wire.

My dime/time: I (gorilla) glued quarter inch plywood strips to the ribs and then used countersink wood screws to attach the ceiling panels for that flush look. Sort of a reverse of the pinch strips. It's not that maintainable and risks stripping the screws so I probably won't take that approach again.

Your scheme looks good and allows for rough cut panels that are easy to replace if needed and maximizes head space. I like it!
Thanks @larry barello

I will look into them 👍


I have found some of the “stuff” I build in van#1 way overkill. The ceiling rivnuts are about it for me for the 1/4 - 20s & I’m basically done now with rivnuts. If I did not like the look on the ceiling I would not go to all that effort of pinch bars.

Today while building ceiling & wall panels I was thinking of how easy the PM van is to build on. 1st van, I did a lot of things “a hard way”. This time around I think it will be easier & more enjoyable.

Thanks for your input 😁
 

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Ordered 2022 Promaster 2500 159" WB High Roof
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You're making good progress already. I like your pinch bar approach for the ceiling, both from an aesthetic and functional standpoint. I have been considering something like that for my build, but maybe with 1/4 inch wood painted for a more nautical look.
 

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Thanks @larry barello

I will look into them 👍


I have found some of the “stuff” I build in van#1 way overkill. The ceiling rivnuts are about it for me for the 1/4 - 20s & I’m basically done now with rivnuts. If I did not like the look on the ceiling I would not go to all that effort of pinch bars.

Today while building ceiling & wall panels I was thinking of how easy the PM van is to build on. 1st van, I did a lot of things “a hard way”. This time around I think it will be easier & more enjoyable.

Thanks for your input 😁
IMO, DIY stands for "do it three or more times before you figure it out".

oh, for the luxury of doing it again... I fantasize stripping it and starting over. Being outta commission for a few months is a big inhibition.
 

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Discussion Starter · #214 ·
You're making good progress already. I like your pinch bar approach for the ceiling, both from an aesthetic and functional standpoint. I have been considering something like that for my build, but maybe with 1/4 inch wood painted for a more nautical look.
Thanks @BEF081056

I like that nautical look also, especially with contrasting colours (light / dark). The trick is to get “the right”thickness. In aluminum 3/16” is the right thickness as it is stiff, but conforms to the curve of the ceiling. For wood I think that the different type of wood species will require different thicknesses. Wood is a better insulator than aluminum, thus it will nit promote the thermal bridging from ceiling rib, to the machine screws, to the aluminum bar. If I wanted to place a rivnut in the aluminum bar to hold my upper shelves it would be stronger than wood (I think).
 

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Discussion Starter · #215 ·
Jan 10th

So we finally got our van home 3 days ago (the morning of Jan 7).

Design is everything for me & although I have had almost 1 year of planning while waiting for the delivery of our van, the fine measurements & how the floorplan will fit into the van properly will be evaluated with “field measurements” or in other words the interior of the van. So while I am building out the van, I am also looking back @ my preliminary design & attempting to refine the design to a higher resolution.

So during the build there will be CCCCC-Changes “turn & face the strange”


Some parts of the design are solidified, where others are still fluid. My big concern is painting myself into a corner. This time around I have the advantage of my 1st van build & the self diagnosed errors I made building it. 2nd build, there is still head scratching & alone time inside the van pondering spacial ergonomics & trying to keep an open mind of an ever changing & refining design. Trying to see the pitfalls before they are upon me.

On My Radar (Step up for bed / Feet Support for Swivel Seats);

Rectangle Font Parallel Wood Pattern


The blue “box” is the current designed bed step up. In consideration is a pull out heavy duty “shelf” with heavy duty slides (yellow dash lines).

One of the last items to be built will be the foot rests for the swivel seats. Driver’s side will be fixed and larger & will define the end of the lower cabinet (possibly the upper cabinet for seat access). This will be physically sorted out with ergonomics and staged with cardboard or plywood to simulate the final structure. The passenger side we like to keep as clear as possible for accessing the in/out of the sliding door. So for the passenger side we are considering a “flip up” foot rest or portable collapsible foot stool or some similar fitment. I think I understand @MsNomer @SteveSS & @Jing (recent example below) design for this;

Motor vehicle Cabinetry Vehicle Automotive exterior Window


Any design ideas or comments are welcomed here !!
 

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In post #215 I see counter top with board with 2 handles at top.....i went back thru to post #1...
Do not see what's behind that and what are the hand holds for????
Lost in wonder!

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