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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Beginning another personal build. Miss the old weekender and the ease of driving a PM compared to my 4wd Sprinter. Going to make it look really cool like the last one. I miss that old van a lot and going to replace it with another build. The PM is so easy to drive around and I like that you don't see a million of them tricked out very often.

Sleep 4 and haul up to 8. Flexible layout for future re configurations. Used mostly as a family car and occasional camping or hang out at the beach or the soccer game. My goal is to keep the floor clear and open. Have seating that can adjust. (up to 6 seats in rear) It will be really similar to 2.0, but again making more improvements. It will look the same but under the skin be a lot different and certainly more complicated to build. These weekenders I built for myself look super simple but really they are a full build minus a few cabinets so in reality the van is a complicated as a build can be minus cabinets and a sink.

CCV Pop Top
200W Solar
Seat 5, with ability to seat 8 with more seats
Sleep 4 full size adults
Fully Insulated/sound proofed
Minor Audio upgrade
Propex Heat
224 AH Aux Battery
Maxx Air Fan
CRL windows for ventilation
Window Coverings
Rear 3 panel bed with mini cubbies
BFG All Terrains
Color Monotone
Custom Light Bar
Custom Nerf Bars
Lagun Table
Seat Swivels
??? I am sure I am going to think of other things to do as I go, maybe even a lift kit that I did not get around to on the last build


I am making improvements over my last van for sure...not so much in the eye candy department, but they will be significant technical improvements.

Starting off with a sliding adjustable seating system. Reinforced floor and sliding tracks. Very custom work. 96 welds just to mount the floor.


Added custom nerf (welded) and light bar



Custom battery tray. 225ah and does not sacrifice ground clearance. 2nd gen tray. Very custom. Over 12 hours in fab time just for the tray. mm of clearance! This is no bolt in. No one does anything like this. I wanted however to get more power and free up interior This looks easy, but it's one of the most challenging custom built things on this ban. The fit is crazy tight. However one person can load up the 100 lbs batteries in/out of the tray. This is much harder than it sounds. Brake lines had to be moved a little to fit batteries up there. Super tight clearance to axle and floor...did this before, this tray now is super dialed. It has to be welded in and custom fitted. Not even close to a bolt on. I am putting the batteries outside the van not only to get more AH but also to free up the space under the front seats, I want to get lower seat bases and swivels so batteries are not going to fit. Also because of the seat configuration keeping the floor free and open is a challenge so the heater as well will be below deck-again with clearance. Post more on this later.

Wiring will be brought up through the floor in the side channels. (that was really fun fishing that through yesterday) and tagged under the drivers seat where all the connection points will be.


Prepping floor




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Looks great so far. Can't wait to see the rest of the build!
 

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I guess its the angle of the picture, but it looks like the axle would hit the battery tray under full compression of the suspension. The distance from battery tray to axle appears to be less than the distance from the leaf spring to the suspension bumper.
 

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I guess its the angle of the picture, but it looks like the axle would hit the battery tray under full compression of the suspension. The distance from battery tray to axle appears to be less than the distance from the leaf spring to the suspension bumper.
I think it is the angle of the photo as the pic below it shows the battery box hinged down past the point where it would hit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nope...you forget that the spring shackle pulls the axle back as it compresses. So it does clear. As I said mm of clearance...guy who I design this with builds baja trophy racing trucks...he is always thinking about clearance and travel. (he is not just a welder) This is also why this is not a "build it with angle iron type of job"...nor is it something you build once and get it right likely...it took a lot of work to get it all to figure out and this is the 2nd one we have done...so really this is a huge improvement over that one. Same with Nerf and Light bar...not so straight forward if you don't build this type of stuff. Point is it can be done...but you can't really make it work with straight bolt on solution. A lot went into the design that you don't see.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)

You can run the battery cables through here then along side the van to your terminal blocks. You can come up under the van and run the cable inside to the cavity below the floor on the side.

Then pass this through the wall with another plastic cable gland to hide the cables to under the front seat where I will have the terminal block I will tie the rest of the electrical into and out of the aux batteries.




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Discussion Starter #9
Tires
Been asked this a million times
Yes you need to cut to fit. Tire size in the pics. Yes this size does fit in the spare spot...tight fit but it fits.

IMG_2751.jpg



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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
So been doing a bit of work to get the van ready before it gets sent off to CCV for the top.

Rear fuse panel hidden in rear corner. Its a lot more work to put it here, but I like that its totally hidden and out of the way.


Pre-wire for isolator and battery connections. Right now I had to just get the electrical mocked up before sending it off. I am likely going to maybe do a different mounting board...but this at least gets all the wiring in place for the aux battery/isolator, fuse panel power, and fuses connected to the alternator. Solar will be tagged into the same place. Since I don't have batteries under the seats this time it's nice to have the space, but the wiring was way more work to run it all nice and hidden. Super hard to keep things "empty/open floor plan with seats" in these vans since they are so much smaller than the sprinters. My goal is to have the floor plan open as much as possible like the last build. This van is much harder because the seating tracks interfere with the floor space that I would normal need to run some things.

MLV on floor, insulation,sound dampening, panel mock up before I send it off to CCV for the top. Will be going the extra mile on sound dampening in this van. MLV, Raam Mat, 3M Thinsulate. The best products in my opinion to use for insulation and sound proofing. When I drive the van back I wanted it at least to be a little less noise on the 16 hour drive back after the top is on.




I also put the propane tank, remote fill, and propex heater under the van all tucked up in the van to keep ground clearance. Its super trick set up, but did not have time to take pics. More on that later when I have the van back. Did however dip the wheels to give the van a better look. Gotta keep the van looking good during this build.


Doing thins a bit different in this build, really however adding a lot on the build time and costs but it’s going to turn out really nice in the end. So far well over 60 hours of build time and it seems like nothing is done yet! In the end their will be about 250 hours in this build.


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This thread is great! Nice to see so many details and ideas for those of us that have the time and tools... and space... and money.... to do this :)

Just one question.... where did you go?
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Work in Progress.

Heater is installed with propane tank tucked into van. Still have lots of small things to deal with...trim, insulation on duct work, ad an powered sub, wire ducting...its designed so that two rows of captains chairs can be installed. Custom Lagun table mount for eating/seating area.




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Discussion Starter #16
Added a powered subwoofer today to complete the audio system. I posted a short write up in electronics section with feedback for those considering adding some base to your stock U Connect Radio.



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Awesome! I want to do the same but I have to have the rear seats. Can you tell me more about how you accomplished that? Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
This van is now up for sale to the right motivated buyer...PM for more details, links, video, photos. Time to get rid of the demo van. Have to see in person, it is very nice looking and by far the best weekender out there. Easy to convert to full camper since propane system and electrical is in van, just add a kitchentte and the seats can just slide or be removed out of the way. Yet to see a weekender build that looks this nice and functions this well. Still like new...no scratches, dents, smells new. 9,000 freeway miles; only two trips done in it. I added a front lift kit as well to level out this van. Build a 4WD sprinter that had similar miles that sold for 108k, so this PM around 80k is a very reasonable price given what was done to it and compared to the Sprinter it is way less $.



Photo Link


https://photos.app.goo.gl/sgqrJdpy86xuP2QX6


Video

https://youtu.be/GPbZCmI1Wyw
 
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