CNC Customize Parts Professional Solution & Processing Provider

custom sprinter van rv conversion

by:QY Precision      2019-09-13
For many years, it has been our dream to create such a truck. it takes a lot of sacrifice to realize this dream.
Sprinter is not particularly cheap and not easy to find, so getting the right sprinter means cashing most of our savings and going to the east coast to buy one.
On the west coast, sprinter is much more expensive, especially in the Portland area, because there are so many like-minded people competing for the same model.
We want this special model of sprinter very much. \'06)
Because it is the old body style, get a better gas mileage than the new body style.
We also want the 140 wheel seat version, which is basically medium size.
This is as big as possible when you are still in a standard parking space.
It is important for us to be able to stay flexible and not to be limited to living in RV parks and large camps.
The conversion process took about 6 months, a little less than the initial cost of the bare bone van, less than $10 k.
It hasn\'t finished 100% yet as we still have some finishing touches here and there, but we are very happy with how it has been so far!
Designing a van in CAD is the key to our successful construction.
It allows us to go through several design iterations and each one gets more detailed/fleshed out before we buy any material.
When we were satisfied with the design, I was able to basically \"explode\" all the cabinets into separate parts and calculate the yield of the material precisely.
My brothers cut most of the plywood elements in oregontrail r (thanks guys! )
This saved me a lot of time.
I also cut out some details on my own homemade CNC at the last minute/afterwards.
After all the parts were cut and the cabinets were assembled, the real moment came when I had to see if they were all confused together and installed well on the van. They did!
Without the 1/4 spare parts, everything fits like a glove, as if it was carefully designed and designed in this way. . . .
These CAD files are now available at my Etsy store.
Save countless hours of elaborate design and engineering!
After a lot of research, I have determined that the best, easiest and most economical way to keep the van insulated is to pay the professionals to spray the foam throughout the cargo area.
I found a local professional and spent $200.
The problem is that this does not include any preparation or finishing work.
I started by masking the floor and the cab with painter plastic.
Then I covered up all the cracks and areas I planned to connect with paneling with blue painter tape.
It turned out to be a very good decision.
Last but not least, I was masked in the back door area, allowing foam men to enter without overspraying on the door, which was also a good decision.
The people who sprayed the foam were great and finished the whole job in about 15 minutes.
To my surprise, the foam is almost immediately tried to touch, much more dense and heavier than the \"good things\" you can buy in the jar in the hardware store.
He was able to fully fill the cavity and keep the lows and highs to a minimum, and I can see that it requires some expertise.
He praised me for my vision in covering up everything, which was the key to the whole operation, as it was a chaotic process involving a lot of excessive spraying.
This stuff is really sticky too, so if I don\'t get them covered, it would be a nightmare to try and carve all the foam out of the cracks.
Luckily I did so I was basically able to break/peel off the foam on all the ribs relatively easily.
The harder part is to trim the highs in the foam to make sure my paneling doesn\'t swell everywhere.
I decided to take the time to grind the foam with a very flexible tool knife instead of a sander or angle mill, causing a huge mess/toxic hazard (Tajima)
And cut them down a little bit.
It takes a while, but I don\'t need to wear a respirator in the heat of midsummer.
When I finished, I filled out the ribbing as much as I could with \"great stuff\" and called it \"good stuff \".
An important step to note is that I run all the main lines before any bubble business.
As for the paneling, I decided to make it with 1/8 thick Baltic birch plywood.
I found this to be the best option as it is flexible enough to bend all the gradient curves, its profile is thin and does not eat at all what is in the living area, its pre-processed surface looks great, dirt and moisture can be repelled.
It also has a 5\'x5 \'panel, which is ideal for the shape of a sprinter.
Luckily, our van came with some plastic paneling that was still intact, so I could use them as a template to cut exactly in the wheel holes.
It helps a lot, but after that it just works a lot.
Fortunately, I do have forsight gluing some wood blocks in some key areas of some larger span to help keep everything solid and aligned.
I decided not to try to sew the plywood into a tight top corner, instead, screw some 3/4 full length Baltic birch plywood along the Van legs in the corner as an anchor point for later cabinets.
Then I trimmed that runner with more 1/8 \"premade layers.
This is part of the building I was most looking forward.
Until I realized how many parts I had to sort out and store in my medium size garage woodworking shop.
When I had all the parts sorted out, I didn\'t have the space to actually assemble.
During this step of stacking and restacking, I may spend the same amount of time
Pile up a pile of wood like I actually put together cabinets.
It was very frustrating, but it became easier and easier when I finished each cabinet and loaded them into the van.
I started with the cabinets above and installed them as I finished each one.
I hung them with a combination of building adhesive and pocket screws.
Most of the power comes from the pocket, screwing each vertical part onto the 3/4 \"stringer mentioned earlier, and I am mounted along the full length of the van on the inner corner of the ribbing.
The cabinets are easy to assemble together, thanks to the fact that the parts are precision CNC made from 1/2 \"Baltic birch trees, which are prefabricated on both sides.
This eliminates the situation where each cabinet must be completed after assembly, and in any case, the factory finish is more durable and beautiful.
All I have to do is wipe a little Watco oil on any exposed terminal.
From the beginning of the design process, we attach great importance to the cooking situation.
We know we will live in the van for a long time and we want to eat well every day and not have too many difficulties.
That means we have to have an oven, a stove, a hood and a sink with running water.
To make this design challenge more complex, I decided to put propane and water tanks in the van like below.
The decision is based on several factors.
For propane, I never liked the idea of installing it below because they always hang a little low on sprinter and we plan to hit some heavier terrain.
I don\'t want to worry about stepping on or piercing a propane tank in this case, in addition to all the other issues.
I would also like to be able to swap and fill propane tanks easily without having to walk around the bottom of the van.
Another concern for me is that the propane tank has to be checked and re-certified frequently, and a smaller 20 pound tank is always easier to handle.
My solution is to create a \"propane locker\" under the oven with two vents outside the oven.
A vent goes out from the side of the van and one goes out from the floor.
The idea is that propane is heavier than air, so if there is a leak, it will always sink from the lower vents and breathe in fresh air through the higher vents.
The locker has a padded door that basically separates the tank from the internal airspace.
As for the tanks, I also want to put them in for a variety of reasons.
First of all, they are not easy to freeze in winter and get too hot in summer.
Ideally, we will keep the living space at a gentle temperature, which in turn will keep the water at a more manageable temperature.
I also don\'t like the idea that we have to find the right faucet/fill the water station and take out the hose every time we want to refill the water, so I chose 4 5 gallons of jerry cans that were placed under the sink.
3 fresh water ,(
Black for solar shower)
Ash water 1.
In this way, if a jar is empty, we just need to connect to the next one by quickly disconnecting, and we can fill this empty jar anywhere, including any water dispenser, or through the stream near our Sawyer water filter.
We chose a hand pump faucet plus an electric pump with foot switch.
When we are camping in stealth, we can simply use the hand pump to avoid unnecessary noise from the electric pump.
When the noise is not an issue, the foot pedal makes it easier for us to save water by running the sink only after the dishes are wet, and there is no need to open and close the water by hand frequently.
We know that we need some kind of roof pod situation to accommodate our large zero gravity camp chairs, foldable picnic tables and extra blankets and so on-
2 large solar panels of 100 watts.
The top of the sprinter is only so much real estate, so I decided to maximize the space and usable flat area of solar panels by creating our own custom form to install roof pods.
Working all day in a signboard shop and making crazy shapes with flat cardboard and plastic seems like an achievable task.
I decided to use a material called Choroplast which is basically the same as cardboard and is made only from lightweight waterproof/UV resistant plastic.
This material can be easily cut and creases to create the shapes of various origami inspirations.
I created Dielines in Cad, laughed at it on plain old computer paper and decided to give it a try.
The idea is that the next two parts are large containers with solar panels installed and the top is flat.
Both containers can be opened/hinged from both sides of the van so that we can target the solar panels in either direction in order to better capture the sun when necessary, and allow better access to their content.
The front of the pod is just a suitable guide plate that helps to control the wind resistance and gas mileage.
In order to adapt to the Magic fan we installed before, the shape must be quite complicated.
These shapes are proven to be surprisingly rigid and sturdy as it is made of 4mm thick mainly hollow plastic.
Since Choroplast is relatively soft and can be punctured by low hanging branches, I put each
1/8 thick multi-metal surface used as armor plating.
This material is also quite lightweight as it consists of a high density polyethylene plastic core with a thin aluminum surface.
These \"armor plates\" also help to make the whole system harder than before.
Since we originally wrote this instruction, we traveled in the van for almost a year and then moved to a new town and sold it to pay for our new house!
I sold the van to make money, bought a new house with the money and started a woodworking company.
Check out my website and my Etsy store! !
Also check out my other instructures write and see some of my furniture work!
If anyone is interested in hiring me to buy a van building or would like to purchase a CAD file for this building, please contact me!
Custom message
Chat Online
Chat Online
Chat Online inputting...
Sign in with: