Author Topic: cargo van conversions  (Read 1343 times)

Polish_Hammer

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cargo van conversions
« on: December 02, 2016, 08:44:07 AM »
I am an avid bowler who will turn 50 in a year. Kids not out of the house but all 18 or older. I am planning on bowling in the PBA50 (professional bowling circuit for old guys that are held on weekends).  Hotels are  a big added expense and an RV is well, lets face it, not very Mustachian.  So I thought it would be a great idea to convert a cargo van into a camper.  If rock climbers can "dirt bag" for months I could handle two nights in a van.  I have seen a few articles and photos of van conversions but not sure if anyone is aware of any more detailed "how-to's" out there.  Probably not looking to buy a used van at auction until April or so but wanted to start research now

lthenderson

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2016, 09:46:56 AM »
Why spend all your time and effort buying a cargo van and converting it? Why not just buy a conversion van in the first place? They are a dime a dozen on ebay these days. I think it would be way cheaper to go this route especially for only a night or two at a time.

HipGnosis

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2016, 01:17:44 PM »
I googled 'van camper conversion diy' and got 500K hits
The first two pages all seemed like what you're asking for - from $1000 to "the ultimate DIY camper van".

Irishtache

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2016, 05:35:14 PM »
This guy offers a video course on van conversion - Ross Lukeman. Similar stuff on YouTube. Look also at www.sbmcc.co.uk for tips.

Russ

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2016, 08:54:50 PM »
Are you looking for a project or are you looking for something to sleep in?
I live in my van and spent a good amount of time building it out, but I also stay in it for months and months at a time. For two nights in a row what do you need aside from a soft place to sleep and a place to store your bowling gear? Probably not much.
The more simple flexible you can keep your setup, the better. Vans are not a big space and are easily crowded.
Also, have you thought about where you're going to park at night? The more conspicuous your van, the harder you'll have to work to find a place to sleep.
Honestly I'd probably just recommend a minivan with the seats folded down and an air mattress in the back. Maybe make some magnetic curtains. Easy, flexible, and you can park literally anywhere with street parking.

Cottonswab

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2016, 02:44:29 AM »
Following

Polish_Hammer

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2016, 11:29:39 AM »
Are you looking for a project or are you looking for something to sleep in?
I live in my van and spent a good amount of time building it out, but I also stay in it for months and months at a time. For two nights in a row what do you need aside from a soft place to sleep and a place to store your bowling gear? Probably not much.
The more simple flexible you can keep your setup, the better. Vans are not a big space and are easily crowded.
Also, have you thought about where you're going to park at night? The more conspicuous your van, the harder you'll have to work to find a place to sleep.
Honestly I'd probably just recommend a minivan with the seats folded down and an air mattress in the back. Maybe make some magnetic curtains. Easy, flexible, and you can park literally anywhere with street parking.
I really only need a few things. A bed, some storage, heating, fridge.  I would park in the bowling alley parking lot with the other rv's.   mostly 1-2 nights mostly but ocassionally a week

Cottonswab

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2016, 01:03:30 AM »
Has anyone found any good tools / references for estimating ongoing maintenance and depreciation?

I am currently trying to decide between buying a Mercedes Sprinter Van 4x4, Ford Transit Van, or Toyota Tacoma Truck with a Slide-In Camper.  While the initial cost is relatively easy to quantify, I am having trouble accurately estimating the maintenance costs and depreciation.

Russ

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2016, 08:07:55 AM »
I really only need a few things. A bed, some storage, heating, fridge.  I would park in the bowling alley parking lot with the other rv's.   mostly 1-2 nights mostly but ocassionally a week

Bed
simple: mat on the floor
complicated: raised bed. plenty of storage space underneath. leave it open for easy access or close it up for a cleaner loor

storage
simple: front passenger seat, milk crates in the back
complicated: raised bed again, or if you need even more than that some kind of shelving unit

heat
simple: sleeping bags and lofty blankets
complicated: propane. There are heaters designed for small boats, and different heaters designed for rv's. both require exhaust, i.e. drilling holes in the van. also recommended: outside propane storage compartment, fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector

fridge
simple: don't. the only thing you won't be able to keep is raw meat
complicated: propane fridge if you're already plumbing for heat. electric fridge otherwise, but then also you'll need an extra battery and provisions for charging. I also assume that if you wnat a fridge, you also want a stove to cook with?

think about it and figure out what you need. I personally have the raised bed and a small cabinet/table, but that's it. Started with a propane stove and portable toilet, but ditched them both due to lack of use. draw up a few "floor plans"... vans are so small they don't take long, and there aren't many arrangements that work anyway,  but by doing it you'll get a feel for what you might want. How much you want to spend might also be good to think about.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/fire-in-a-sprinter-van/
here's a thread with lots of people wishing and some people doing. plenty of links to other resources in there if you poke around

Polish_Hammer

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #9 on: December 12, 2016, 12:49:26 PM »
I really only need a few things. A bed, some storage, heating, fridge.  I would park in the bowling alley parking lot with the other rv's.   mostly 1-2 nights mostly but ocassionally a week

Bed
simple: mat on the floor
complicated: raised bed. plenty of storage space underneath. leave it open for easy access or close it up for a cleaner loor
Thanks Russ. Most helpful
storage
simple: front passenger seat, milk crates in the back
complicated: raised bed again, or if you need even more than that some kind of shelving unit

heat
simple: sleeping bags and lofty blankets
complicated: propane. There are heaters designed for small boats, and different heaters designed for rv's. both require exhaust, i.e. drilling holes in the van. also recommended: outside propane storage compartment, fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector

fridge
simple: don't. the only thing you won't be able to keep is raw meat
complicated: propane fridge if you're already plumbing for heat. electric fridge otherwise, but then also you'll need an extra battery and provisions for charging. I also assume that if you wnat a fridge, you also want a stove to cook with?

think about it and figure out what you need. I personally have the raised bed and a small cabinet/table, but that's it. Started with a propane stove and portable toilet, but ditched them both due to lack of use. draw up a few "floor plans"... vans are so small they don't take long, and there aren't many arrangements that work anyway,  but by doing it you'll get a feel for what you might want. How much you want to spend might also be good to think about.

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/fire-in-a-sprinter-van/
here's a thread with lots of people wishing and some people doing. plenty of links to other resources in there if you poke around

Irishtache

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2017, 08:37:23 AM »
Hi Polish_Hammer: Did you move forward with your plans? Can you update us?

Aegishjalmur

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2017, 09:13:52 AM »
Easy bed frame- 2 inch schedule 80 PVC conduit w/ 1/2 inch Plywood top. On a Dodge ram promaster a fullsize mattress will fit widthwise if you build the frame.

To reinforce the top to avoid creaking, 1 1/2 in schedule 80 pvc w/ application of w d40 and rubber mallet will fit inside the 2 inch so you can get a very solid structure.

you can get 36 inch lenth 250 lb tensile strength zipties to secure shelves ect to walls if you want to make it easy to customize/remove/reorg things

 
Plans are useless. Planning is indispensable.

Nately

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2017, 10:24:21 AM »
What you're looking for is a Class B RV. Just search RVTrader; there will be plenty of used ones.

Aegishjalmur

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2017, 10:40:52 AM »
If you go onto the sportsmobile website design your own page you can printout a blank floor plan for various vehicles w/ a grid marked out to help w/ designing your layout
 http://sportsmobiledyo.com/dyo/
Plans are useless. Planning is indispensable.

Drifterrider

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Re: cargo van conversions
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2017, 07:44:28 AM »
Google   Cheaprvliving.com

Youtube.  Cheaprvliving  Bob Wells has been living in a van for years and has a whole series of DIY.  Worth the time to watch.