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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Finally... nine months after ordering, five months after delivery, and four months after the first mod, I have started my build thread. I hope to be reposting here what I write up over here: http://bobthevan.blogspot.com/

For larger pictures: http://bobthevan.blogspot.com/2015/02/before-beginnings-of-bob.html


Before the Beginnings of BoB

One of my 'hobbies' is to provide rider support in multiday ultracycling races. Its been my summer activity for several years now. For proper rider support in the follow vehicle the standard is to take a minivan, strip all but one seat out, and set up the rest of the space with shelves, storage, and maybe a bed. I've worked in some well-done support vehicles, and some that were a bit wanting.


One of the more organized support vehicles

I had rambling thoughts about buying a new minivan and setting it up for such a use. I could take it out for race support, and for my general use of hauling bikes and car-camping other times. Rather figured it would never happen, but I kept thinking about it. Top of the list was the Honda Odyssey and the Toyota Sienna.

A few years ago one of my friends showed up at a 'short' ultra race with a Sprinter van, self built on the interior. I loved it. Problem was, he had a great setup for 'regular' bikes, storing them under the bed in the back; I ride recumbents, the darn things are much longer, and harder to store. I like the idea of such a van, but ruled it out for space, size, and cost considerations.


Custom Sprinter build, bike garage under the bed


Added crew seat

Around this time my girlfriend was travelling more frequently. We have two Italian Greyhounds that excel at agility competitions and conformation showing. Often she would travel and stay in a hotel, occasionally go with a friend in her older 30' Class A RV.


Teaghan


Tari

I had since revisited my friend's Sprinter build. He had picked up a used first gen T1N Sprinter and put together a clean and simple interior. This got me to the Sprinter Source forums. I started reading everything I could over there. Started getting grand ideas too. We tossed about the idea of buying a Sprinter.

Looked at some of the Class B vans out there; they were nice, nice and pricey. They also didn't fit for our uses. I wanted to be able to carry the bikes inside, she wanted to be putting the dog crates inside. And do either of them while maintaining the usability of the interior. Also, the darn things were a bit too expensive for us; $80k seemed to be the low end starting point, going well over $110k if you wanted to.

By now its around the end of 2014, we both shelved the idea of a van. I had my car to carry stuff OK, and had car-camped in it well enough. She was going to be travelling in our friend's RV more often. Not sure what exactly changed, but we made a rather quick swing in thinking yet again.

Sometime in January we started talking seriously about getting a van and doing the build. I had done some work with 80/20 aluminum framing in building a couple custom dog crates. Had fun with it, and could see the potential. I had also seen many of the 80/20 builds from the Sprinter forums, figured that was something I could manage.


Custom 80/20 framed dog crate

So it was back to 'research' for a van. The default was the Sprinter. But then I wasn't comfortable with all the complaints on the forums regarding the newer NCV3 models. Especially with the diesel emissions issues. So the research changed over to looking at the ProMaster and the upcoming Ford Transit, both available with gasoline engines. It was still early times for the ProMaster, there were plenty of issues with the first year stuff. A browse of the PM forums was a bit scary. Over at the Transit forums, it was all about when they would finally be available. Maybe. Sometime.

With the Sprinter off the list, and the Transit not out yet, we went out to look at the PM. Stopped by the local dealer and (not surprisingly) was immediately offered a test drive. So I took it. First thing I noticed was the touchy throttle, but figured I could get used to it. Also made a quick note that I didn't like the suspension seat. But overall, it was a nice van. Especially liked the width and the walls that are closer to vertical than the Sprinter. I was back a few times to look at the PM again, was liking what I was seeing.

Then for whatever reason I got some interest in the PM diesel. No, I know the reason. It was Adrian at the PM forums, posting about his long distance drives and how well the PM diesel managed the miles. Our forecast usage would be lots of weekend road trip miles, so it sounded good. But I wanted to drive the diesel first. Managed to find a diesel in stock about 30 miles away, headed down for a test drive for the both of us. I liked it, she was okay with it.

Not long after that, back to our local dealership to place an order. Yep, we ordered it. By this time I had been looking at the inventory in all of the Pacific Northwest, and beyond. I could not find a PM that had (or didn't have) the options we wanted. Slider door window, yes. Partition, no. Interior convenience group, yes. Extended mirrors, no. The search went on for awhile, and then we finally placed the order on February 21st, 2015.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
"two Italian Greyhounds"

That's reason enough to get a Fiat!
And it works out that we'll probably end up with an Italian sourced refrigerator and a/c unit. There was something else Italian in the build as well, don't remember right now.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
http://bobthevan.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-origins-of-bob.html



Ok, I'm jumping ahead a bit in the timeline with this post. I feel an explanation is due regarding the name of BoB.

It has been at least a couple months since we took delivery of the van. I had the fan in the roof, most of the insulation in, and the plywood floor down. It had seen a few weekend trips as an iron tent on wheels; just throw in a cot, cooler, and bike for me or dog crates for her.

It was just "the van". Who is taking "the van" this weekend? What's next on the work list for "the van"?

I think it was a night out for burgers where we were talking about names for "the van". I don't remember any of the ideas tossed around, but there were some oddballs, along with some plain names. At one point I tossed out "Bob". Since we had a few names that were acronyms I worked on coming up with something for "Bob".

Not too long later I said "bikes or bitches".

Yes, "bitches". Its not a 'bad word' when you're in the dog world. Simply a female dog. And since all three of our dogs are female, its all bitches. (its also entertaining to listen to a bunch of ladies at a dog event talking about "their bitches")

We laughed about it for awhile, but then realized... it works! But it needed capitalization.

Bikes or Bitches. Just depended on who was using it for the weekend. Bike trips for me, dog agility weekends for her. This was also a driving force in the floorplan and overall layout.

Since then, we have quite casually referred to the van as "BoB".
 

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Zyzzyx, your custom dog crates look great! I have a border collie that I use for search (wilderness trailing) & she got a fancy dog kennel a couple of years ago made of aluminum supports & heavy gauge plastic panels that has an integrated ramp. During our training, the dogs get in & out of the truck MANY times daily, so the ramp helps keep shoulders from breaking down. I use an Expedition for SAR & have spent many nights in the car. I'll be watching your build with interest. If I like this PM as much as I think I'm going to, one might also be in our future for all of our adventures outside of work & it will be much more comfortable to overnight in.
Have fun with thee build!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks! That was a custom-sized crate to fit in the back of our Mini Cooper Clubman. It sets on the wheeled cart, which inverts and sets over top of the crate in the car. Sliding doors front and rear, with a removable divider to make it to separate spaces. Its been thoroughly used and abused for the last year with no problems.

I had lots of fun building it and have considered doing custom 80/20 crates as a weekend business. I'm getting more experience with 80/20 possibilities as I build out BoB. So once I 'finish' BoB, I probably will start building out a few custom crates; we have friends at home that want me to make something for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
For full size pics: http://bobthevan.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-order-wait-and-delivery.html



I'm ordering a new vehicle. A new vehicle. And I'm ordering it.

This took me awhile to fully process.



I knew we would be doing it, we'd talked about it for awhile after the test drives. I had been all over the RAM Trucks website and NADA guides looking at options that we would want, and then spending just as much time looking at the available inventory, mostly in the PNW, but beyond. But still, we were ordering something!



It was an interesting progression from my previous vehicles. I started off years ago with a 1971 Datson 510. Had to rebuild the engine, but it was a fun little car; until I put it in the back end of a Volvo. No more Datsun. Then I acquired a 1971 Dodge Coronet station wagon from my great grandfather. He was original owner. Drove that thing all over, including from California to school in Missouri, three times. I still have it, though it needs some TLC. I hope to have some time and money for it once BoB is 'done'. There was also a 1989 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo for a daily driver. Fun car, and much better mileage than the old Dodge. Sold that and picked up an 1998 Audi A4 Avant. Another wagon. Fun car, great for the open road, and still respectable in the twisties. Its been my daily driver for about 8 years now.

There was a theme though. Two, actually. This would be my third silver vehicle, and its really just an oversized wagon.



Yep, BoB is silver. That was one of the main reasons we ordered instead of buying off the lot. I did NOT want a white van. Anything but a white van. It was hard to figure color details online, and the dealer didn't have any paint samples. We thought for awhile about the granite color, but decided the extra heat load from a dark color was something to avoid for our hot summers. Then it came down to the sandstone and the silver. It was nearly a coin toss, but after looking at Google images forever, it seemed that the sandstone color had a bit more of an 'RV' feel to it, something I wanted to avoid. So... silver it was.



So, one order placed. ProMaster 3500. Diesel. 159" wheelbase. Extended length. And almost completely optioned out.

The only things that come to mind that we did not order was the GPS navigation (our portable Garmin is great, and we're used to it), the extended mirrors (which then disallowed heated mirrors, and I think remote adjustable, and we're not towing a wide trailer, so don't need them), and a partition (definitely not needed, nor wanted).



But the rest of the goodies are there. Interior package. Exterior package. Alloy wheels. Backup camera. Sirius radio. Cruise. Heated seats. Sliding door window. This all made for one pricey van, but its been worth it, having exactly what we wanted, and none of what we didn't.



The dealer's initial comments were it would be an 8-12 week wait. I smirked, and gave the salesman a soft bet that it would be 16 weeks. That's the wait that I had seen from the fleet order status websites.



Now it was time to wait. And wait. And forget about it for awhile. And wait some more.

Time was spent coming up with a floorplan that would work for us. Many revisions and wacky ideas were sketched out and abandoned. For awhile I was playing with Sketchup to do a 3D model of the layout. This helped with the initial ideas, but I got lazy and didn't want to learn the details of using Sketchup to create a fine-tuned model and layout. Instead, I made a few sketches, but it was mostly in my mind.



During the wait we did start buying things for BoB (who wasn't BoB yet, just 'the van'). The first big purchase that I remember was a full roll of Thinsulate from Hein in Hood River, OR. I live a few hours away and was headed his way one weekend, so I picked up the roll directly. This was mid-April. For the next couple months the roll of Thinsulate lived in the corner of the garage, often getting in the way. I think the initial roll was 50 linear feet, 5 feet wide. That was the recommended amount from Hein. Seemed fine, but that would change down the way.


Sometime mid-June I got a call from our salesman. The van had been built and was in transit. It showed up at the dealer on Monday, June 8, 2015. They wanted a day to process it. We wouldn't be able to have free time until later, so we picked it up evening of Thursday, June 11, 2015.

We now had a darn big van to fill up the driveway. And so it has ever since.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Metallic Silver, an interesting paint choice.

In the pictures of the passenger side you can see the areas of paint that aren't quite even with the rest of the panels. I first noticed this a couple days after getting it home. I was pissed. I stewed over it for quite awhile. Pondered whether to take it back for warranty repair. Thing is... I know metallic paint, its not easy. Can't just 'blend in' a spot, you redo most of the area. Then I realized that I was just wasn't noticing it much anymore, and didn't care as much anymore. Nowadays I'm still quite pleased with the silver, and I only notice the odd patches when I look at these early pictures.

I could not imagine going without cruise control. Heck, I see that's its a safety item, I'm rather surprised its not 'standard' on vehicles now. Oh, wait... I don't have to imagine life without cruise. The old Dodge wagon doesn't have cruise, and I managed the 2000 mile drive between CA and MO several times.

Ok... sidenote for "Zyzzyx". Late 90s, at college in Missouri, getting into computer games, especially the online multiplayer ones (MMORPG, really; anyone in for the original EverQuest?). I needed a character name, couldn't come up with anything decent. Then I remembered this oddly named road on the way to Las Vegas. I had done some geology studies in the area a few years earlier. I couldn't remember the exact spelling, but remembered the phonetics. I came up with "Zyzzyx", though the real spelling is "Zzyzx".
 

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:crying:No one has ever asked me the meaning of my screen name. I feel so left out.;)
RD
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Fullsize photos here: http://bobthevan.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-layout.html


Time for the layout. How the heck is this thing going to get built out?

One of the big reasons we went with doing it ourselves was to have some cargo space. The 'factory' conversions just don't provide space inside to store dog crates or recumbent bicycles, and especially to do so while retaining some type of usability. We also have no interest in entertainment systems or TVs, so no need to allot space for such stuff.

The first idea we had was basically a copy of the Travato layout with the rear bed and bath, except no dinette in the front.



We liked it, but just didn't feel right. And not 'custom' enough. Loading the dogs and bikes in the rear wasn't the best, having to open both doors.

Awhile later we changed things around.



I was really pleased with this layout. Place the bed up high enough to put dog crates below it, and I could fold it up to roll in bikes. It would also leave a large space for general cargo usage. We did change the bench seat to side facing, mostly as it would provide a better 'living' space. I put this layout down with tape in the empty shell of BoB so we could see it for awhile.


The versatility of painter's tape.


I hope the finished floor isn't this lumpy


This could work quite well


Timeout for a dog photo. :)


Tari, our older iggie, letting us know that this van will do quite nicely

This layout stayed with us for quite awhile. I partially laid it out again once I got the layer of plywood down on the floor. At this point we had both taken a few solo weekend road trips in BoB. Toss in a cot and a cooler and we were good.

I spent plenty of time sitting in the van visualizing the layout and could see it working quite well. My girlfriend came back from a weekend of camping at a dog agility trial and she was bubbling with excitement on a new layout. It took awhile to settle on it, and then to understand it, but this is what we ended up with:



Not a big difference from the previous one. But we're able to get two beds into the same space. The beds will have the left third as a fixed shelf unit, the right two-thirds will be removable platforms about 4' long. The lower bed will be about 20" high, just enough room to get our dog crates underneath it. When she takes BoB out for an agility trial, she'l be able to sleep on a decent height bed. The upper bunk will be placed to provide equal space for both bunks, so probably around 48" high. This allows two things, 1) use of both bunks to sleep two people, 2) use of just the upper bunk and storage underneath and into the aisle for recumbent bikes. The upper platform will also be able to rest against the edge of the front bench seat (same width as the beds, 30") to provide a second low bed up front if desired. However it would need to be pulled up and stored for 'daytime' usage.

The composting toilet will be in the wet bath, just in front of the wheelwell. Its going to be a tight fit. The setup as a 'wet' bath may or may not happen in the future, its a long term item.

Fridge will be mounted ahead of the bath. Below the fridge will be the 12volt a/c unit and a reserved space for an Espar heater. Should be just enough space ahead of the fridge for some shelving or cabinetry of some kind. Then the bench seat ahead of that.

Galley on the passenger side. Fairly narrow to keep the walkspace clear. Sink roughly in the middle. Microwave underneath somewhere. It will also house the water pump as associated plumbing.

The countertop over the right wheelwell houses the batteries, electronics, and related wiring.

It had a few more weekend runs with the layout like this, and we liked it. We proceeded to do a rough cardboard mockup just to see how the space would work.










But some of this tale has jumped ahead in the build. We'll get back in sequence in the next bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Wow... many moons have passed since I had time to write that all up over our Thanksgiving road trip. I did get significantly further than shown above before we hit the road. And then we got home and all progress stopped. **** winter, not so much fun to work on the van when its freaking cold.

I did get things going again in the last couple months. Progressing with the 80/20 framing, nearly done there. Got the rear cross-way bunk in, working on the upper bunk. Right now I'm working on the ceiling panels and today I played with a quick temporary connection of the 12v a/c unit. Yup, it works.

I'm working on a four-week mini deadline before the next big road trip. I'm heading out on a four week cross country trip as a race official for Race Across America. The van will be far from 'finished' by then, but certainly needs more than it has right now.
 

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Built some cabinets & a bed platform in a Club Wagon during the "**** winter" but mostly avoided the "freaking cold" - Even though van didn't fit inside garage. Parked as close as possible to overhead door to heated cellar & closed in the gaps between truck & building using scraps of plywood.

Worked out very nicely - Even during howling blizzard. Had evicted my car & moved table saw & work bench to that spot. Could put in a few hours after work, regardless of weather & then just closed the garage door. Was best of both worlds, better than if it could've fit through door, b/c that would've taken up all the floor space & was able to get work done in time for trip South in March.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
The First Modifications

It had to start somewhere. I just wish it didn't have to start with drilling holes in a new van.



Oh, wait... it didn't. My first modification, well... addition, was something nice and simple. The universal garage door opener fits nicely at the center of the overhead bin. A bit of 3M velcro holds it in place.


With that done... now it was time to drill holes in the van. One of the first big purchases for BoB was some steps and a roof fan. I had watched much of the discussion on the forum about steps and running boards. I couldn't bring myself to the running boards, just don't like the overall look of them. But the Carr hoop steps will look just fine to me.

The other decision was the Maxxfan. Much of the time in my perusing about RV stuff I had read about the Fantastic fan. It seemed to be the 'default' fan to install. It seemed OK, but I wasn't thrilled with the lid. Then I started reading about the Maxxfan. Yes, the Fantastic fan has a rain sensor and will close on its own, but I really liked that the Maxxfan can stay open in the rain, or even open while driving. So, Maxxfan it was. And we went with the top of the list, including the remote. Yeah, its a small van but I figured it could be rather handy at times to have the remote at hand while in seated in the cab. And I knew that I be needing a rivnut tool throughout the build, so that was an early purchase as well.


Maxxfan Deluxe, Carr Hoops for the front, Carr Super Hoop for the slider, and an Astro Rivnut tool


First up was the steps. We could get in and out OK, but a slightly lower first step would not be turned down. And thus the first holes drilled in BoB. At least they were out of sight.







Set them up about as high as they would go, really didn't want anything dragging or catching, even if it was right behind the front tire. Had a steep learning curve with the Rivnut tool, it really only likes to work when it has a directly straight access to the hole. I didn't have that. Ended up cobbling together a bolt and nut combination tool that I could use to tighten the rivnuts. Put the impact driver on it, worked fine.


Now it was time for the BIG hole. The Maxxfan. Gulp. But hey, it's all good... I got to buy a new tool for the job. Picked up a jigsaw to go with the rest of my Ryobi cordless tools. Worked great for this and many things since then.

So, it was time for lots of measuring, and then more measuring. And taping things off. And measure again. From both sides. And then finally... the holes.
















Now it was time to close it up. Deciding to put the vent at the rear of the van, I didn't have a nice smooth surface for the flange to mount and seal. And this was before Hein had his PM roof adapter available. So... I made my own. I happened to have some scrap ABS plastic from previous projects, and it worked out to be just the right thickness after putting the butyl tape top and bottom. Chamfer the sides to match the roof ridges and it worked great.






With those in place, it was time to mount the flange and seal it all up. I just screwed the mounting flange straight to the roof metal, no wood frame or anything underneath. Having the roof well supported right on both sides, its is quite solid and stable. That, and I didn't think of it at the time. Dicor sealant was used to seal the Maxxfan flange around the edges and over the tops of the mounting screws. That stuff... it sticks to anything. Thankfully I really took my time and ended up with a nice clean bead of Dicor around everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Starting the interior - small steps eventually add up

Nothing much to note here, but at the beginning you have to get started somewhere.

For BoB, the 'somewhere' was with some sound damping material. I'd read many different ideas and options for the stuff. Different brands, thicknesses, styles, and application methods and coverage. Found a commentary from the SprinterForums from someone that used material from Reckhorn. Looked good, sounded good, priced good; so I went with it.


You can see the roll of it there. Easy stuff to work with. Thin aluminum sheet on one side, adhesive butyl-like stuff on the other side. No off-gassing smells either, a definite bonus.

I would be putting enough heavy stuff into the build later on, so I didn't want to be doing full coverage with the stuff. Besides, most things I read said that's not really needed to get your best 'bang for the buck' sound reduction. I started on the wheelwells as they were noticeably the noisiest part of the van while driving along. Filled in the spaces between the stamped areas.




It wasn't silent, and the actual decibel reading would probably be the same, but it certainly changed the tone. Far less 'tinny' now. I went on and did the same thing to the wall panels and ceiling, but with not as much coverage.







Next up was the insulation. My design idea was to use a Thinsulate and Prodex/Low-E combination. Thinsulate directly on the walls, also helping to tone down the sound. And then later in the build have the Prodex attached to the back side of the wall panels, thus providing the bit of air gap it needs to be a effective.

Thinsulate was obtained from Hein; a fairly well known builder that frequents the SprinterForums, but also occasionally seen at the Transit and ProMaster forums as well. He's in Hood River, just a few hours from me, so I picked up a 50' roll of Thinsulate in person. Actually, I picked it up in April 2015; I didn't even take delivery of BoB until June 2015. So yeah... had a big roll of Thinsulate hanging out in the garage for a few months.

Thinsulate was trimmed to fit every area possible, then held in place with 3M 90 spray adhesive. Note that carefully. 3M 90 spray adhesive. Not the 70. The 90. Works great, and stuff is NOT coming off.

Where it couldn't be sprayed in place, it was rolled up and pulled into place. I would fish a solid core copper wire through various structural ribs, use that to pull a string back through. With a bowline knot I would loop around itself and cinch to the end of a strip of Thinsulate and pull that back through. Worked great. Another spot that I did not spray in place was in the front area over the cab where the cab roof lights are located. I wanted to be able to get to those in the future for replacing a lightbulb. So that is just held in place with the factory headliner.










I don't have many great pictures of just the insulation, but you'll see it for quite awhile yet. Its currently end of May 2015 as I write this, and I only recently put up two ceiling panels. Otherwise its still exposed Thinsulate. This is also another way of saying that the black scrim layer on the Thinsulate holds up really well to general wear and tear.

That last picture shows the start of the floor 'system'.

Started off filling the gaps between the ribs with closed cell (aka minicell) foam. It was just a bit taller than the spaces, the idea being that I could float plywood on top of them. That almost worked, they compressed too much. So... I put down a full sheet of minicell over top of that, then the plywood. The plywood is bolted in place at the factory tie down locations. I think there were four pieces used, with seams going across the van. One cut around the wheelwells, one full panel up front, one to fill in, and a narrow one at the back.






Overall I'm not using that much wood in this build. This is probably the biggest single use of it. I had it installed for awhile, then pulled it back out to put on a couple coats of water seal. Used it that way for a couple months before I started in on getting the floor structure built. That's when the purchase of the 80/20 aluminum arrived and the real fun began.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
And now for a break...




By this point BoB had been in the family for a couple months, but he'd already been on a couple road trips. That was the whole reason for the purchase, no need to wait until the build was 'done' to start using it.

I think the first weekend road trip for a dog agility weekend over the hills in Auburn, WA. Don't have any pictures, but I think it only had one wall of insulation done, and no flooring yet. Strap in the toilet, put a cot in the front corner, and pile everything else in the back. It worked, and it was a peek into the future. And it was good.


The next time out I would be taking BoB to the Oregon coast for the weekend of the Recumbent Retreat. By now the wood floor was in and I think most of the Thinsulate insulation completed. So still a rather spartan 'layout', but again, it was great to see the potential.

Again with a cot in the front corner, a 12v cooler, and a bike tied down in the back. Add in a heater and extension cord, since I would be at a campground with power.




Checking in. The Mercedes RV is still relatively 'small', but looks rather large compared to BoB.



Not my tent, I was in the van. Just sharing a campsite. Ft Stevens is a great place. And since August on the Oregon coast usually means sun, fog, and rain, all in the same day... it was nice to have things dry and accessible in BoB.


Yeah, I can deal with a view like this, even in a 'crowded' campground.


I can also deal with this. The display usually reads 0.5-1.0 mpg low, so it was 24+mpg for the trip.



More adventures to come, but now back to the build...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
One awning to cover it all

Next up on the list... the awning.

We went full size on this thing. All thirteen feet of it. Figured the cargo area of the van is 13' long, might as well have the awning go the full length.

I've seen many vans where the awning stops short in the rear by a couple feet. I understand why (at least I think I do... to allow the rear door to fully open with the awning out), but I didn't care. I'd rather have the extra awning coverage than the ability to swing the door 270 degrees open with the awning out.

Anyway, as for the install, it was a family event. Headed over to my parents' place. Not only for the help from dad, but also their wonderfully flat driveway. Setting up the awning on my driveway with a 6 degree slope (10% grade) driveway would have been dangerous, if not simply impossible. I think the full awning and hardware weighed around 90 pounds. It was a challenge to handle.



Setup for the day. Many, many times up and down the ladders.


Mounts... mounted. ;) Quite pleased with the Fiamma setup. Definitely fine tuned from years of Ducato sales in Europe. Mounted quite solidly on the oddball little rack mounts on the roof. Add in a good layer of Sikaflex adhesive per instructions, and they're not going anywhere.


Then it was time to hoist the awning into place. At least that's what it felt like. Would've been easier with an overhead crane.


Yes, that is a dent in the awning. Just another reminder to fully check packages before accepting shipment. Especially big, heavy, expensive stuff. It shipped in one super hefty and reinforced box, and it had some minor tears in it. Looked fine. Even pulled the awning out a bit the same day to look at it. Didn't notice the dent until the day we put it on the van. Ah, well...
​


And the first deployment. This will work quite well.


This... this is big. And its a good thing.







​
Closer inspections, all looks good.


Overall, I really like the awning. The downside is that I haven't used it much in the 8 months since installing it. Not much at all. But we kinda knew that would be the case. Many of our trips we're not in a place to set up the awning. But the ones that we are... it will be nice. Very nice.
 
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