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65 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well I didn’t plan on creating a build thread but given the circumstances what the ****….
This is Wedginald Vanderlust’s (aka Wedgy’s) journey so far…..
Thanks so much to the folks that run and contribute to this site... It has been an amazing source of info!

My wife and I have been looking at options for adventure vehicles to venture a little further from home on weekends and short getaways over the summer. After a year of hummin’ and hawin’ between small trailers and the like we ended up deciding to go the van route. We have a few years of van life experience under our belts as we lived in 3 vans over the course of 2 years travelling Canada, New Zealand and Australia during the 2008 financial meltdown. We knew the layout we liked and what we actually used in previous vans so we had a bit of a base knowledge to pull from.
The Van
Based on a bit of googlin’, we ended up deciding the PM was the route to go. The 2 main factors contributing to our decision were access to mechanics in the event of a engine issues, and the ability to sleep width wise across the vehicle (I’m 6’1”).
We ended up getting a pretty good deal on a used 2018 159” 3500 here locally at the end of September and we were off to the races.
The Plan
Much like the rest of you, we spent hundreds of hours reading forums like this one and watching more drone shot, millennial van tours than any person should have to endure…. Although there were some gems to be gleaned from said videos…. The torture of having to watch some was a lot to handle haha.
As mentioned above, we already knew the layout and features we liked, or wished we had, in our previous homes on wheels... these included:
  • A fixed bed. We had enough bed set up and break downs for a few lifetimes over the 2 year trip.
  • Large cooler style fridge/freezer
  • Dual Burner Stove
  • Deep sink that is actually usable (most rv sinks are too small to actually wash pans and larger items).
  • Adjustable bed height to facilitate indoor bike storage if required.
  • Air flow! Vents and fans are a must.
  • Swivel seats…. Installed them on one of our old vans and man they are a game changer in regards to usable space.
To throw a wrench into the equation, I wanted to start and finish the build over the winter so we were good to go for spring 2020, only problem being we live in Canada and I don’t have a indoor space large enough to work on the van. The solution, along with freezing my balls off, was to convince my neighbour to “rent” me a space right next to her garage to park the van. While still outside it was only 10 feet from my garage and I could pull up the van in front of my garage door for real quick access to saws and all that. This turned out to be a godsend as I otherwise had no place to park the van while I plugged away at it at night.
So with a convenient spot to store and work on the van, I did just that. Slowly I have been progressing through the build solo over the course of some frigid weekday evenings and less than sober weekends.
General list of some of the parts and pieces I’ve used to date…. All pretty standard
  • Dometic CFX75DZ Fridge
  • Dometic Dual Burner Cooktop
  • Ruvati Sink
  • Havelok Wool Insulation
  • All wood is Baltic Birch except cedar t&g for the roof
  • Blue Sea electrical components (switches, plugs, cbs, fuse block, etc)
  • Renogy 40 amp DC to DC charger
  • Renogy 200W Premium Solar Kit
  • Shurflo Pump and strainer
  • Tyger Auto Running Boards
  • 100 ah Battleborn Lithium battery
  • Xantrex 600w SW Prowatt Inverter
  • Victron 712 Battery Monitor
  • Ancor Marine grade cable
  • Killmat
  • Maxxair 7500L MaxxFan
  • CRL t-vent Slider Windows and small cabin window
  • CTA seat swivels
  • Fiamma 80s Awning
  • Fiamma Roof Rack
  • Made my own magnetic insulated black out curtains.
What’s Left…
As the interior is nearly done I am just patiently waiting for things to warm up here to melt the snow so I can complete some temp sensitive ….
  • DONE - Install roof rack, awning, and solar panels
  • DONE - Apply Danish oil to interior ceiling
  • DONE - Install Side steps
  • DONE - Complete plumbing and gas
  • DONE - Raptor line the bottom third of the vehicle black
  • DONE - Plastidip emblems black
  • DONE - Blackout rims
  • DONE - Skeeter netting for door ways
The Build So Far
Some random pics from start to today….




65 Posts
Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Rack, panels, and awning up! Tidied up the electrical cabinet/step ... I have reclaimed a huge chunk of garage real estate... note to those planning a build without a lot of storage... awnings can be a pain in the ass to store in the interim.



32 Posts
Looks great!!
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Reactions: Doobiesnax

Premium Member
2016 3500 ext-ht
456 Posts
I like how you put the electrical stuff up front and not under the bed...
I hear that. Just finished installing supplemental cooling fans for all the electrical and battery bank that was just getting to warm. Never thought we would be in 105°f temps with no shade. I will be moving inverter, bb charger and battery bank towards the front to take advantage of the front mounted a/c vent. Just too hot for all that stuff below the Murphy beds. Easy to add supplemental heat for the lithiums if need be. Besides, I would rather have all that stuff at eye level for ease of installation and maintenance.
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