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Long time lurker, even longer a dreamer about the project, and as of yesterday I am now an owner of a brand new 2018 Promaster 2500 159 High Roof.

Sorry for the following disjointed stream of conscious writing. I'm scattered with where to begin but I have to start somewhere...and that somewhere is this thread.

I have watched every YouTube build from "On the Trail with Bart" and "Restoration couple" and hours and hours of other videos. Read through Ms. Nomers entire sure, dissected this forum and read ever post including by NH about insulation (polyiso and low expanding foam it is). Thank you all for that. But I still have a million questions. Or at least a couple dozen.

Here's the deal if you care to keep reading:

The family and I:
We live in North San Diego County (Carlsbad/Encinitas). There is three of us for now. My wife and I and a 6 month old baby. Like many of you, I am blessed that my wife loves the outdoors, rock climbing, hiking, national parks, etc and we want to make sure to expose our little one to travel, adventure, and the great outdoors from the get go. That possess problem number #1 . Need seating for 4, Sleeping for 3 if possible.

I am a low voltage contractor by trade. So the wiring side, fishing wires, connections, etc will be my strong suit. That said, I'll make it clear that I do low voltage. Home theaters, speakers, 8 ohm, 70v, networking, etc. NOT high voltage. I may call in a favor on electrical.


About the Van:
I had been shopping around the last year. Mostly at the former Enterprise Vans. Was seeing prices around $27,000 for 2017 with 20k. As everyone knows these are the ones with a few dents, rear windows, but otherwise pretty bare.

Thanks to advice here, I checked with Huntington Beach Dodge. They certainly had the best price but after 2 trips up there and 3 clueless salesmen, I decided to take my business somewhere other than this boiler room sales floor. I ended up getting an even better deal with one call and one visit at Carl Burger Dodge in San Diego. Jeff Turner was awesome. I was in and out in an hour. No BS and great deal. $29,500 (with $1000 qualified incentive). 2018, 2500 high roof, 159 wheelbase, 20 miles, Granite color, backup cam, u Connect. No rear windows but we added it to the deal to have it done locally. Might have same company do all windows and fan because that scares me, but all, I want to say I did it all.


The Floor plan: Needs/Wants

Need:
Belted seating for 4
Solar
Kitchenette
Electric pump for running water
Place to eat
Sleeping for 2-4
Garage storage
LED lighting
Shore power plug
Portable toilet
Decent music system (in ceiling speakers)
Flexibility to use as work van as well.


FLOOR PLAN:
This is the hardest for me. Getting started.
I was thinking the rear seats behind the driver seat with the captain's chairs rotating to a fold out table for 4. Ideally this setup could convert to sleeping area for little ones somehow. Too ambitious?

Kitchenette from the bed edge to to overlapping the door. However, I'm literally sitting in the van with it tapped out and there is no walkway with seats down. Hmmmm....

Bed sleeping width wise with garage area underneath. Ideally bed would convert somehow for increased space for work tools, product, ladders, etc when needed. Or maybe just creative use of trap door between garage main area.


SEATS:
Transit 36" seats with floor adapters is what I'm thinking. Probably not on platform as that looks complicated and maybe unsafe with my skills.


INSULATION:
Floor. Maybe use strips maybe not. Poly board 1" With 3/4" plywood. Flooring on top of that.
I do have questions here but mostly clear on what I want to do.

Walls and ceilings. Either poly board or thinsulate. Reflextech around wheel well and other difficult areas?



WINDOWS:
To window or not to window. Im positive I want a window behind driver door and maybe a small one at the bed. How about rear windows? Windows seem to add a lot of work building around.

SOLAR:
Probably just call Renogy and ask what I need. I like the cable entry housing discussed here.

KITCHENETTE:
Sink with cover. Electric pump. Probably refillable tanks. Maybe connection for city water.
Propane two burner stove. Dometic 12v fridge.

FACILITIES:
I won't be living in it so I don't need a shower but it would be nice for trips longer than weekends. Otherwise just a Dometic portable toilet.

STORAGE:
As much as possible.

No clue on cabinets, colors, styles, or really any details yet but I'm ready to get started.

As I sit in the van a few things come to mind:

Is it recommended to use, remove, or just bury the existing anchors?

Doors have paneling on them. Do you keep this or remove/replace? I do want a fairly polished look if I can achieve it.

What about doors? Do you finish/wood trim doors or just recessed areas? What about transitions around doors. Leave it exposed grey metal? No...right?


Suddenly I realize I'm the new DIY that's in over his head that I chuckle about when it's A/V. Ug...


Anyways, any thoughts on order of operations to get me started?

Seats. Rear and captain
Windows
Ceiling fan
Rattle trap
Floors
Wiring/plumbing if needed
Insulation
Solar
Ceiling
Walls
Cabinets (or cabinets before walls)


Thanks all in advance.
 

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MMXVI - L2H2 in IN
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IMO you need to figure out the seats first.
 

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If you insulate with the polyiso or Thinsulate very little sound deadening will need to be added except for the wheel wells. Save that step.
Welcome, I agree on the seating first but having a plan that it fits into is important. If you don’t need a bath with shower it should fit. I like that you are in the van with the tape and know what you need. The answer will reveal itself to you.
 

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The only issue I see with the transit seat is that it is single purpose and doesn't do anything else. One option would be to look at seats with captive seatbelts that recline like the sienna leather second row seats. If you could get a seat like this in there, it would be both a seat and I would also think that reclined a child could easily sleep on it - heck, it looks like it would even work well for an adult. You still have the attachment issues to the van floor, but you will have this with any additional seating. After that, I think the layout will kind of fall into place. If you make the bead platform removable, then that could give you work van flexibility.
 

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Sorry to be the bearer of bad news here but if you really wanted the safe rear seats you should have started with a ford transit wagon (passenger van with rear seats).

The promaster was not designed for humans to sit in the rear. It is not sold as a passenger van in the US. It is no simple matter to install seats to todays safety standards in the PM. Read this thread for options for installing rear seats:
http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36081

From your research you will learn that none of the safe options are easy. First decide if you want seats to be safe or to "look safe". If you just want them to look safe just bolt some seats with integrated seatbelts to the floor with large washers underneath. If you want them to actually be safe your options for seats and installation will be few and they are covered in the thread.

Regarding layouts with rear seats, this is the layout I am using with transit seats: https://safaricondo.com/en/motorises-serie-promaster-xl21-xl-flex/
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news here but if you really wanted the safe rear seats you should have started with a ford transit wagon (passenger van with rear seats).

The promaster was not designed for humans to sit in the rear. It is not sold as a passenger van in the US. It is no simple matter to install seats to todays safety standards in the PM. Read this thread for options for installing rear seats:
http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36081

From your research you will learn that none of the safe options are easy. First decide if you want seats to be safe or to "look safe". If you just want them to look safe just bolt some seats with integrated seatbelts to the floor with large washers underneath. If you want them to actually be safe your options for seats and installation will be few and they are covered in the thread.

Regarding layouts with rear seats, this is the layout I am using with transit seats: https://safaricondo.com/en/motorises-serie-promaster-xl21-xl-flex/
Thank you. I may turn seats over to a professional. I need to consider a lot regarding the seats.

The Safari Condo you linked to is EXACTLY what I want to build layout wise but on a relative budget.
 

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What's the consensus on rear windows? The dealership is paying a 3rd party to install rear Windows for me. At first I definitely wanted rear windows but now I'm wondering if I should use that money for side windows behind driver door and at bed instead. Or do all 4?
 

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Bolting seats to the floor is not rocket science. Buy some with integrated belts to simplify. Of course add a big plate underneath the floor, and use good hardware. That’s how Factory seats are mounted. Easy
 

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Do side windows, it totally transforms the experience of driving not to mention for rear passengers. And safety, you will struggle turning left at times not being able to see what’s coming from the right. You won’t need rear windows especially if its built out with beds storage etc. get side windows that vent if you plan on sleeping in the van. Pluss it makes the van look way less creepy. I live in Carlsbad if you want to check out mine.
 

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Of all the windows you could add, I'd say one in the slider would be my first pick-- it's a real blind spot. Since you have a backup cam, I'd do that first. I don't have one behind the driver and I don't miss it at all. (Edit: to clarify, I have windows everywhere else)

I have one of those Enterprise vans with rear windows that don't open, but I've driven vans without them and I'm not sure they are essential. Maybe if they opened or I didn't have a backup camera, but I'd definitely do the slider if you don't have one.
 

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Windows are very individual--an integral part of the look and feel you want to achieve. Some of us want them all around. Others prefer the cave. There's hot debate as to whether "stealth" is even real. There's general consensus that the window in the slider is a safety issue.

Just make sure you've got your cabinetry/layout figured first. It would be depressing to need to put a tall cabinet where you just the window.
 

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I couldn’t drive without rear windows and the one in the slider and I have the factory rear cam.
 

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Bolting seats to the floor is not rocket science. Buy some with integrated belts to simplify. Of course add a big plate underneath the floor, and use good hardware. That’s how Factory seats are mounted. Easy
Adding a big plate under the floor is not sufficient for the PM. You must tie into the vans framing in some way. There are multiple ways to do that but noone who has actually done this would say its "easy", at least its not easy to do right. Easy would be buying a transit van with the rear seats already in it and taking out the ones you dont need.
 

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Bolting seats to the floor is not rocket science. Buy some with integrated belts to simplify. Of course add a big plate underneath the floor, and use good hardware. That’s how Factory seats are mounted. Easy
Adding a big plate under the floor is not sufficient for the PM. You must tie into the vans framing in some way. There are multiple ways to do that but noone who has actually done this would say its "easy", at least its not easy to do right. Easy would be buying a transit van with the rear seats already in it and taking out the ones you dont need.
I disagree, there is no “frame” it’s a unibody chassie just like all modern vehicles. Yes there are sections that are more substantial than just single layer sheet metal. But even single layer sheet metal is fine to mount a seat if it’s done properly. And yes I do this kind of stuff for a living. But don’t try and die and blame me lol.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi,
Agree with Ziggy that a window in the slider is the most important for safety. We started with the rear door windows that came with the van, and rear side windows on each side plus a window on the drivers side just behind the driver seat. Added the window in the sliding door after a couple trips as its unsafe to drive the van without it.

I like the rear windows, but the center area blocked by the door pillars cuts out the most important part of the view (directly behind you). I could see getting along without them for driving as the mirrors are good, but they are nice for views and light.
Our windows:
http://www.buildagreenrv.com/our-conversion/promaster-diy-camper-van-conversion-adding-windows/






Gary


Gary
 
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