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2021 136HT
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been working on this van since March 2021 and gaining an incredible amount of info from this forum so I thought I should provide something back. Even if it is an example of what not to do, haha. Well it is either that or actually keep working on the van after dark in 15 degree weather.🥶 Here goes!

Purchase Feb 2021 in Boise. Had floor, rear windows, silver. Drove home empty (a little noisy) and over a couple mountain passes and it went well.
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Installed Maxair 6200. First cut in my first ever new vehicle. Yikes!
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Installed 2 bunk windows and one in the slider. Lots of measuring and remeasuring and asking my engineering friends to verify. Happy with the install.


Factory floor out by removing the bolts and sliding a 2x4 in from the back. Slightly annoying but I did remove all the glue blobs. Laid down XPS and a couple 2x2s that are glued to the metal floor and will be used to help further secure the cabinets, etc. Measured wall to center of 2x2 and wrote on walls. Reinstalled the floor using the tie downs and longer bolts from the hardware store.
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Insulated walls and ceiling with Thinsulate from Hein. Spray adhesive works great!


Installed both swivels from leisurelinesUK.
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Used existing tie downs and some scrap wood to make a bed platform. 2x6s bolted to each side with two 2x4s and one 2x6 laying flat spanning the van. ½ plywood on top is good enough for some test trips. Later added a 6” foam mattress from HD. Wife wanted queen sized since we are coming from an old Scamp that was not even a true full sized. Should be a big upgrade with the two of us and a dog.
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Added a bench/cooler holder in front of the door that will also serve as a step into the bed. The bed is hopefully high enough for 2 mtn bikes mounted with front wheels removed. Also added rough “table” along the drivers side wall to get a feel for the space.
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Covered the garage walls with ½” and boxed the wheel wells. Materials are not easy to find. ½” plywood is approximately $70 a sheet. Found some birch (not baltic) for $43, bought all 3. Now I have to plan every cut very carefully!


Mounted battery and 2 rails for the bike tray. One rail and the battery all are secured by tie downs and to the strips glued under the floor.


½” plywood on 48” heavy duty drawer slides installed for the bike trays. One regular quick release mount and one homemade thru-axle mount. The drawer needed extra support once the bikes were mounted. There is a lot of leverage with the height of the bikes if they sway back and forth (like every dirt road). I discovered (at the reuse store) that slotted shelving bracket is quite strong and has a ½” opening!
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2021 136HT
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The counter size was pretty good so it is being rebuilt much sturdier. Probably overkill. The right side will hold the water jugs and the left is perfect for a couple bins. One for tools and one for our “camping” kitchen.


Installed 1x3 strips to roof ribs using rivnuts. Mounted ¼” t&g cedar to ceiling. Very thin and not rated for anything structural but quite good looking. No holes or lights planned in ceiling, I am going to try the strip light method.


Made a custom trim piece for above the back doors. Something that would finish the ceiling, cover the metal, and provide a small shelf for me to keep my glasses, phone, headlamp when sleeping. Also tried making an upper shelf above the kitchen area to place things when at camp. Will require upgrading but good to test out the size. Bought some wire baskets to hang on the wall above the counter. Again, usually empty when on the road.
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After some hesitation about whether to get a fridge or just use a regular cooler, I decided to buy a cheaper fridge. Aspenora was the brand and it was much cheaper than the big brands so we will see how well it lasts. Energy usage is low. I have a 100Ah AGM battery that is being charged from the alternator through a Kisae 1230. We usually have to drive to trails so most days will see at least a little driving.


The kitchen got a serious upgrade! Bought some teak “project panels” from one of the big box stores. Only 2’x2’ so I needed to clamp and glue two together. One thing I learned is that they are not the exact same thickness, you can notice a difference. I made sure the tops were even at least. Cut a hole for the undermount sink and applied multiple coats of butcher block oil. Nicest part of the van! The water is supplied from a 7gal jug under the sink through a battery powered pump meant for the top of a culligan bottle. Found the perfect size PVC pipe to mount it above the sink and painted the PVC silver to match the sink. Now to winterize I just dump the jug and carry the pump inside. It is supposed to last 20-25gal and recharges by usb.
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Slowly closed in the kitchen cabinet, added a door, and 3 drawers on the other side. One just holds the 2 burner stove, one all the kitchen supplies, and the deepest one is still in testing. Adding more wood panels to the walls, framing the windows, adding an open shelf at the foot of the bed, and cargo net at the head. Had some help from my mother-in-law who made us insulated and magnetic window covers for all the windows behind the cab. The cab now has a blackout curtain that velcros to the pizza oven shelf when needed.
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Obviously still a lot to do but really looking forward to more trips next spring summer!
 

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2014-159 HR in CT
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One of your ideas that others may find useful is to build/use/build/use. Using cheap 2x4's (well they used to be) to box in areas gives you an idea of space and can later be boxed or replaced once you decide that a cabinet works well. Yep, lots to do but that let's you spread the fun of building over a while!

I like the water pump idea!
 
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