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I've been posting here and there, but thought it was finally time to start my own thread here. I'm in the process of converting a 2017 gas-powered 159" Promaster 2500 window van.

I'm out in my van now, camping by the Rio Chama in Abiquiu. It's going great -- the main purpose is to avoid mold and give my body a chance to recover from recent exposures, and indeed, my body has been doing great for the almost two weeks I've been out here. Yay!

Because I really, really needed to head for the hills pronto, my initial mode with my van was to do a fairly quick and simple conversion that would work for the time being -- while being very careful to make sure that the van was very resistant to mold and mycotoxins and anything else that bothers me. So we're using no wood products and going for impermeability. I insulated it and put in a floor, solar, a bed platform made of sheet metal over steel drawers, a storage rack behind the driver's seat, a fridge, a cell phone booster, and a fan. That's also giving us time to think through what we want in a longer-term way, and we're starting to get a fairly clear image.

The current thought is that we'll get rid of the rack (which we saw as temporary anyway) and replace it with a kitchenette. In particular, we'll have the 4.2 cf Truckfridge on one side, and this base cabinet next to it: http://www.homedepot.com/p/NewAge-P...l-2-Door-Base-Cabinet-in-Gray-50002/206827751. Right now, we have steel drawers that are similar to the under the bed, and they're working out great -- we can lock them closed when driving, and nothing rattles or shakes. We screwed them down to the subfloor using the holes intended for wheels.

My husband wants some space to hang clothes, so next to the cabinet, we're going to put this: https://www.wayfair.com/NewAge-Products-Bold-3.0-Series-15-Sports-Locker-NOD1260.html. He'll be able to hang his shirts up top, and the bottom will provide kitchen storage.

So when you walk in the van through the sliding door, you'll be looking at the kitchenette, with the fridge just behind the driver's seat, then the two-door cabinet, then the sports locker. Above that will be a custom-made cabinet that will go above window height. Turn to your left, and you'll see the bed platform, with two sets of drawers underneath it. The space works out pretty much precisely, with just enough room across the van to have the two drawers and then the sports locker.

We'll change the bed platform so that it will fold up into a sofa. It'll be high for a sofa -- your feet won't touch the floor when sitting on it -- but we can just use little one-foot-high folding steps to make that comfortable. Eventually, we'll figure out how to have a table we can eat at while sitting on the sofa. Maybe something that folds up and lies against the wall there -- not sure. And maybe a couple of folding stools, so that we can have guests. But that's down the line a bit.

Other things we want to add are a heater, a stove, a sink and a water heater. The water heater isn't important now, in the warm weather, but in the wintertime, it'll make life easier. My health needs require lots of showers, and right now, I'm content with a solar shower and this foldable puppy-wash tub: https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B01N5V9EJ8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1. But our plan is to be in the van for about a week a month throughout the year, and it's really critical that I be able to take a shower whenever I need one, even if it's the middle of the night. My thought at the moment is that we could just have a shower head that attaches to the kitchen faucet, and I could create an instant shower stall with the puppy-wash tub, a hula hoop and a couple of shower curtains. Then I could shower in the open area of the van.

Here are some questions I'm pondering at the moment, which I'd love input on:

-- What heater to get, and where to put it.

-- What water heater to get, and where to put it

-- Where to store a hot water tank, if I use one -- or will an instant water heater work?

-- How much water to carry, and where to store it, and how to fill it

-- Which water pump to get

-- How to build and mount a cabinet above the kitchenette without using wood. The surface will be metal ceiling tiles, but I've done so little with metal that I'm not sure what the framework should be. And also not sure what the best way to attach it to the van is.

-- What two-burner stove to get

-- Generally, what fuel to carry. I know there's a heater can run on gas, but presumably not the stove or the water heater. Propane? Butane? What makes sense?

-- Best way to create the fold-up sofa back. I framed the bed platform out of steel studs, which was a poor choice because they take up so much space. I'm thinking that will probably have to be redone. What's the best material? What hardware should I use?

-- There will be an 18" by 18" corner that's very hard to access, with a drawer on one side, the sports locker on a second side, the side of the van on the third side, and the wheel well on the fourth. I can have the bed platform fold up there. What's best to put in that space?

-- How to make really really really really sure that I'm not going to have problems with water leaks, including when the van is in freezing temperatures.

Super Moderator
10,493 Posts
Julie it does show up on my browser on the right side of the page under "Recent Discussions" It may be too old now to show up under "Active Topics" although I don't know why.

If it is a problem for you just copy your original post and repost it. and I'll delete this one. Just send me a PM after you post the new one and I'll take care of it.
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