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Discussion Starter #1
RD in another thread got me thinking about this.
If you've completed your build or close to it and have 'lived' out
of your camperconversion please list 3 things you'd do different--be it
longer shorter chassis, different color, totally different lay-out, bigger
inverter, smaller air conditioner, different wire runs, just as some examples.
Maybe three things that bug you the most, cause any consternation. Maybe even in
the minutia of what you did first (running boards first thing if I do this again) e.g. the
overall order of construction.
 

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In no order...

  • Layout change - instead of beds across the back, fold down bunks along one side
  • Layout change - put the composting toilet on a pullout or something, instead of dedicating a 'bathroom' area for it (was going to be a wet bath, but decided against it)
  • Electrical - larger lithium battery capacity for the reason of running a better small A/C unit
 

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Good thread idea, MM- thanks.
1. Factory swivels for sure. When I ordered I couldn’t option them. The lowered bases and available swivels are a poor solution and more expensive. I saw CES’s swivels and I have serious seat envy.
2. Perhaps low-high bunks across the back instead of a 54X74 bed. I could still do this. We love our pull out convertible but bunks would have made the van more open and no crawl-over the lover- inconsistent benefits.
3. Less rush on rough wiring and neater, better protected wiring runs. Hidden now but I know that rat’s nest of wires is back there.
 

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There's nothing I would change in the layout, though the small area between bed and slider is still a work in progress. Every so often, I see someone else with something I'd like to have, but then I remember why I don't have it--the trade off for something that's better for us.

Yes, factory swivels are a whole nother league from aftermarket. I'm glad I didn't wait three years for them, but if I ever find them…

We'd make a template of the bumps in the floor so we could locate what's under the floor in relation to what's above.

Wiring runs would be on the floor, not in the ceiling. As I learned with the Webasto, wires under cabinets are safe and easy to access.

I wouldn't use the factory rubber floor as an an exact template for the final floor. It's about an inch shy of where it could be in the doorways.

I would use Baltic Birch for all cabinetry and probably leave the rear surfaces natural. That area takes a lot of abuse.

Solar and side step would have gone on at the beginning.

We wouldn't use the slotted angle for the fridge cabinet. Too much wasted space.
 

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2015 diesel 2500
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Use the proper 3M spray adhesive. I used the stuff not designed for high heat. Not a problem when I finished everything in Autumn... but the first hot day in Spring and POOF.... every upholstered panel sagged. Now I'm halfway through pulling off upholstery and scraping glue off my panels. Live and learn.
 

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So far I would have rather gotten two Maxair instead of a Maxair and a Fantastic fan. To me it's like the difference between a Porsche and a VW.
I'm far from finished. I'm letting you guys make the mistakes.
 

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Y'all Have Been Spared

From our longest ever Forum post. We started our lengthy response to this topic last night and literally fell asleep while composing. As the sun rose higher (it really never sets up here), we continued to completion. Went to post and:

"Your submission could not be processed because you have logged in since the previous page was loaded.

Please push the back button and reload the previous window."

Back button did nothing (helpful). Alas! Great topic though.
 

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2014 3500ext Gas - VA
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1. Modular build
2. Window AC installed in cabinet instead of rooftop AC
3. Cassette potty instead of installed potty
 

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1.Run wiring in chases not in ribs.
2. Use correct non-expanding foam for insulating ribs.
3. 1" rigid foam on ceiling rather than 3/4".
 
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You have nothing better to do than recompose it, do you?
After some reflection, we liked your response . . . "there's nothing I would change". And that's why No. 1 in our now deceased wanna-be post was . . . we're gonna put in MsNomer's drawers under our bed . . .
 

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Great thread MM!!

Overall, we are very happy with vehicle and build. I do change things as I go, but here are a few things that I would have done differently.

  • We should have purchased a 159” WB instead of the 136”. Space is always at a premium and the extra inches would have helped in a few areas.
  • We should have gone with 2 bucket seats instead of the bench seat. We did get a good deal on the vehicle, but we could have saved the pain of swapping out the bench seat for a bucket, not to mention the airbag issue.
  • I would have done a better job of rodent proofing the vehicle prior to build—it would have been easier then verses now.
  • I did a good job on the wiring, but I could have been neater—this I can clean up. And by the way many thanks to the folks on this forum for your help along the way.
  • I would have incorporated the use of rivet nuts in many areas—if I only knew!
 

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1. I wouldn't of installed the lower base and swivel in the drivers side - the play is annoying and the swivel doesn't really give you much. Plus the lower base and swivel from sportcraft are kind of crappy..

2. I would of held back and used a less complicated wiring setup. I wanted more lights (circuits) and such based on experience with my previous build, but went a bit too far and have wires hanging out all over that I don't even know if I want.

3. I would have lowered my bed platform 1.5" to still fit bikes underneath but be able to sit up better in bed. It's currently 39" to the bottom and 40.5 from the mattress base to the floor.
 

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Reply to rodent proofing

Melmike -- can you elaborate on rodent proofing ideas please - I'm just starting my build.

Hi all,

Thanks for asking!

I didn’t realize that I had a mouse problem until after I had some finished surfaces such as bed platform and inverter platform (above the driver’s seat). I started to notice droppings on both these areas during the winter months while the van was parked for long periods. My immediate reaction was to use moth balls—not sure if they work but they do smell up the inside of the van, not nice. I also used sticky traps which have a small amount of bait and are placed where they travel, these worked to kill around a dozen but as we all know where there is one there are many.

So, when the weather broke I decided to try to find the mouse entry point(s). These can be detected by the use of a strong black light, I have one which is a left-over from an old rock collection—another story. The black light illuminates their scent trail which is urine, and I detected that they were coming in through the back section of the frame—see picture.

The first thing that I did was to remove the plastic plugs (2), of which the driver’s side is shown in picture, and if you have mice, droppings (lots) will fall to the ground once removed—hopefully your face is not in the way like mine was. The entry was a rectangular hole in the frame about 6 inches in front of the plugs, also shown in picture. I loaded these with foam insulation, the expanding type.

From the inside, I had to remove panels on the lower part of the van interior. I then removed the insulation that I had installed, this step would have been easier prior to build. I shot in lots of foam insulation as low as possible and especially in the back corners as a back-up to the blockage I placed in the frame.

To date it looks like my efforts have paid off, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. By the way if you look in the engine compartment and notice that the black furry covering over the insulation on the fire wall (see picture) is partially missing—then you have a rodent problem. I saw somewhere that this material is soy based and rodents love to eat it.

Mike
 

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The Airstream trailer crowd swears by stainless steel mesh pot-scrubber chunks/layers glued/sealed in place with spray foam... learned by 5, 10, 20 years of wintering over in mouse havens, deserts, farm barns & sheds...
 

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The mice will not go through the great stuff gaps and cracks. Stone house in VT, not the easiest to mouse proof but me got it done!

BTW if you haven’t done my mouse-proof air cleaner mod you might consider it.
http://www.promasterforum.com/forum/showpost.php?p=273777&postcount=92

I’ll go out and look for those holes. I hate mice where I live. None in the house ever here or in AZ, diligence.
 

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2014, 138WB, High Roof, Gas, SW MT
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Hi MM,
Good topic.

I would not do much differently, but a couple of things:

- I'd put more material and effort into noise treatment. We find the van just a bit noisy, and while I'm not sure more treatment would help much, I think its worth a try. It would sure be nice if we had some real and careful before and after noise measurements. I'd be happy to lend my noise meter to anyone converting now who wants to take before and after measurements.

- I'd spend a little (maybe more than a little) time on better detailing of the ceiling and walls. While our ceiling and walls do the job just fine, some of the gaps and joints that don't fit just right are bugging me. The nice thing about the DIY conversion is that it easy to rip the ceiling out and start over. You want to get the conversion done so you can start using it, and sometimes that can lead to details you won't like later.

- I'd probably do with less solar (maybe RD's 200 watts) which would leave some more available roof at the back of the van. But this depends a lot on what you have that uses power and how you use the van.


Gary
 
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