Ram Promaster Forum banner

81 - 99 of 99 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #82
If ac is window unit it must tilt down to work properly......before tearing things apart raise front end up .....
Thank you for the idea. I will try it. However, as far as I remember from a year ago, I think I tried AC (it was working) when it was already installed in its frame.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #83 (Edited)
Garage: bikes and storage.

N.B. The way to insert images has changed and the old way to insert images as links seems does not exist. I could not figure out yet how to do it properly, so first 10 images show up, to see others, you need to click on link.

We have two bicycles (regular mountain and electric fat tire) and inflatable drop stitch kayak, which we want to carry in our trips. With the bed in the middle position, the van has the garage with the ample space, which should be enough for those items. The question was how to put bikes in the garage, safely attach them and have the room for kayak or other stuff.

First idea was to build a sliding tray with holders for bikes using the heavy duty long cabinet slides, like I have seen in many conversions. However, entertaining for a while this version I realized that there are issues with the idea:
  • the e-bike is heavy (60lbs) and it is not easy to raise it up and put on the tray;
  • the heavy duty long (50") slides are quite expensive;
  • the tray and slides will have some thickness (at least 2-3") which will reduce the useful height of the garage.
Experimenting with putting ebike in the van, I figured out that it is quite easy to raise the rear wheel on the floor and then just to roll thebike inside the van. I decided to use this method and made two very simple holders for the front fork by using pair of quick release skewers ($7 at Amazon, short for the mountain bike and long for the ebike, which has quite wider fork):
57971


57972


57973


Since the ebike's disk break mechanism was extending quit out from the fork, I also made a rectangular hole in the black plastic panel and insulation of the door to hide it. In winter, I do not use bikes, so it will be filled with small block of rigid foam insulation.

57974


The pictures below show bikes before and after loading in the van. The front wheel of course has to be removed and be tied to the bike by bungee cord.

57975


57976


57977




57978


57979


57980


This arrangement happened to be easy to use and quite space efficient, leaving plenty of room in the middle between bikes and on the left and right banks for additional stuff like for example boxes:



That was proved in the first trip to Ontario, Canada that we made with full load: two bikes, kayak in the bag, two paddles, three camping chairs, a tent, 25 gal of water, full fridge, 25lbs of tools (just in case something goes wrong) and all other trip items.







Of course, with the bed so high we needed a ladder to get into:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #85
Unfortunately no. AC unit definetely is not working. Will be shopping and trying to find exactly the same - not easy since this model is not in production any more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #86
Winter Van Living - Window Insulation

Our van has windows all around (we put four CRLs). We like the streamlined exterior look of it and airy feel inside. However, for winter ski trips this many windows brings serious issues: cold and a lot of condensation. Below is how I deal with this, maybe the approach could be useful for others.

For the cabin windows, I bought thermal screens from leisurelines.net (INTERNAL CAB THERMAL SCREEN DUCATO 250-BOXER-RELAY inc NEW ). They work, but not as good as I expected. Not easy to attach the suction cups in cold and they tend to fall off. Nevertheless, the condensation significantly reduced. I also use them in summer.

For all other windows, I bought 1” R5 rigid foam insulation and cut it in pieces to snug fit every window to achieve the hold without the fasteners. Then I glued the black floor underlayment to the window side:
60861


To the van interior side I glued the vinyl material (similar to wallpaper) that was used earlier for ceiling and bath:
60862


Thus I got seven light insulation boards visually matching the van interior. Four of them are permanently inserted for winter, while slider door and passenger side rear door I keep on the cabin overhead shelf for visibility when driving, and insert them when staying at a place. The results are very good – quite warmer and cozy now, and (even more important) zero condensation inside the van even when cooking, since all other metal surfaces are also covered with warm liner.

60863


60864


60865


60866


60867
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,581 Posts
Your AC idea was very clever, labor-intensive and the finished product was very clean for a DIY job.
Unfortunately, a window unit probably won't function or function for very long in that setup.
The condenser has to be exposed and have the surrounding temp be low enough that it can give up it's heat. That's why condensers are always outside and window units always hang out of a window.
Being enclosed like that, even with the vents, that space is getting too hot and the condenser and compressor can't she'd enough heat.
It will cost you a little more electricity, but for the sake of having to rip that all out, I would try mounting a fan in the middle, blowing out, to help draw air in from the sides and remove some of the heat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #88
Thanks for the comment. I understand what you say. I also have certain doubts about how it will work. However, the idea is not exactly mine. Many older Roadtreks use it: they have the window AC completely inside the van. I owned many years ago 1994 Roadtrek and it worked OK (not sure about how efficiently, never bothered to test). They had put AC in the middle above the rear doors and the AC box was somewhat bigger because the old van doors were much shorter. PM doors go almost to the roof, so I had to design how to connect AC intake and exhaust to the door that opens, and since I could use only one door, the box had to be smaller.
I still do not know how well it would work because the used AC that I got has failed. Will be replacing and testing it in summer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,553 Posts
If you wind up replacing the A/C you could get a baseline measurement by bench testing it, measure ambient air temp and the condenser output air temp, then remeasure when you install it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,976 Posts
Nice build all around... lots of good ideas! I thought about a back AC unit and was thinking about replacing one of the back windows with a metal plate, then mounting an AC unit on the plate. In our travels, we have discovered that a good vent fan with decent air intake (in our case, screened metal louvers that insert in the front door windows) has been comfortable, and we don't realy feel like AC is a necessity, even with our dark, graphite van. Of course we're in New England, but have traveled south comfortably (so far)! In an absolutely unbearable situation, I'd just idle the van to cool things down to a reasonable temperature...hasn't happened yet!

One brief comment (not to be taken as a criticism, please)... in a few pictures you show a few electrical outlets with no wall plate, carpeted up to the edges. In home installations, that is not allowed. The outlets must be in boxes (which you probably have behind the carpet) and a suitable cover plate is used. This creates an enclosure so in the case of a spark or overheating, the fire is contained inside the covered electrical box. In your case, carpet up to the outside edge of the electrical box, and a cover plate would be better... just a thought for your consideration!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Your project is amazing and very inspirational! Thank you for so detailed description. I have read all pages, but I didn't find how do you deploy the second bed for 2 people (goal #2 from your list). Did I miss something? Thanks again. Anatoliy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #92 (Edited)
Phil:
[If you wind up replacing the A/C you could get a baseline measurement by bench testing it, measure ambient air temp and the condenser output air temp, then remeasure when you install it.]

Sure. I definitely will be doing this. Actually I did the AC temperature and amperage testing for the failed unit when I had it bare-bones inside the van and was going to repeat it after making full enclosure and to report results to this esteemed community
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #94
Proeddie:

Thanks for the comment. Regarding outlets: I understand what you say ant appreciate your advice. I have four 120V outlets (under dinette table, in the kitchen and two in the bedroom). All are in standard boxes. For two I have the wall plates, but those by the bed, are in quite tight place and there was no simple way to put a wall plate. I will need to make a special custom plate to cover those two.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #95
Your project is amazing and very inspirational! Thank you for so detailed description. I have read all pages, but I didn't find how do you deploy the second bed for 2 people (goal #2 from your list). Did I miss something? Thanks again. Anatoliy
Anatoliy,
Thank you for nice words about my van. Glad you find the description useful.
Second bed for two person I make by removing the dinette table, lowering the backs of the front seats to horizontal position an putting a queen air mattress on top. It works, not near as convenient as the rear bed, of course: takes time to set up and not easy to get in and out. So far I did not have a need to do it in a real trip. I think it can be used, but mostly as a last resort, since four adult extended travel in this van would be tough. What I tried for real though, is the front bed for one person: slide the front seats to the rearmost position and put a single air bed just on seats, without removing the table and lowering the back. I slept this way couple times during the skiing trip. Not my first choice of a bed, but still much better than outside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Second Row Seats


We wanted to have a second row permanent seating with belts for two people, so I bought the Ford Transit two-seater from craigslist for $200. I planned to mount the seats on a raised platform so that they are on the same level as front seats. This design with rotating front seats would allow to have a nice dinette for four.


These seats are good, but have two issues for my purpose: they are quite narrow and one leg is in the middle, which makes it impossible to have a large space under the seat for batteries. The solution was to build a special platform and modify the seat mounting.






The platform pieces were cut from steel angles and screwed together and to the vans floor. Then assembled platform was removed from floor and welded. Despite it was welded in fully assembled state, some thermal deformation happened, which posed some problems when screwing it back to original floor holes. The frame is attached by 16 stainless steel bolts: 10 to the floor with large washers, 4 long to the frame across the van and 2 to the vertical wall in front. The rear compartment is for batteries and electrical, the front - for storage box. The dimensions are 45"x31"x6" and are determined by needed seat position and seat mounting system.

Each of the seat legs was originally attached to the seat by 3 large bolts. Legs were removed, put on the rails that come with the seat and screwed to the sides of the platform. Then I drilled the original bolt holes to larger diameter and put through them three steel 9/16" rods (one side was threaded and screwed to the leg while another was hold on place by a pin).












After that the whole legs assembly was taken off the platform, one leg removed and the seat, where I drilled wholes to 9/16", was slid on the rods and the second leg put back in place. Now the seat with legs can be easily clicked into the original rails.







This construction resolved all issues I had originally with the seat:1) I got a large tall usable volume under the seat; 2) the seat could be moved on the rods left and right: when at left provided more room for passage, when at right - more room for seating as there was about 6 more inches between the seat and the left wall; 3) the OEM rails provided an easy way to release the rear hold and rotate the seat forward to allow the space for working under the seat, which was absolutely necessary for future electrical compartment installation.

How did you navigate the muffler under the driver's side?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
85 Posts
Discussion Starter #97
How did you navigate the muffler under the driver's side?
There were only two or three (out of 16) attaching points for the seat platform above the muffler and I used the rivnuts. Those points are in the very front, so the potential load there is minimal, besides, in the front, the base is also screwed to the vertical wall threshold, that separates the cabin from the van.
 
81 - 99 of 99 Posts
Top