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Which comes first in a conversion?
#1
Ok, my decision is made.  I am putting my Lance trailer for sale in the next few weeks and looking for a Ford Transit Van.  I have no carpentry skills and know nothing about how to convert a van other than what I see on forums and youtube. This is what I am thinking about doing.  Hiring someone to put a maxair fan in and put windows in the van.  Also I will need to decide on solar and have that installed.  I know I want at least 300 Watts as I have 320 currently.  So here is my first question.   Do I put the fan and windows in before insulating the van or insulate the van then put the windows in?  From what I see people have done it both ways and I don't know what should come first.  Also I am currently going between the Lake Havasu areas, Quarzsite and Phoenix and would appreciate any recommendations for having the fan and windows installed.   My plan is to live in it in an unfinished state for a couple months until I know how I want to layout everything.

Maria
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#2
You need bare walls and ceiling to figure out where to cut the openings. Anything in there would have to be removed anyways so windows and vent go in first.

Plan your solar panel layout before you put the fan in because it's more 'movable' than the larger solar panels are. My only advice about where not to put the roof vent is 'don't put it over the bed'...even with a vent cover you stand a chance of finding yourself, sooner or later, with a wet bed...and it wasn't even any fun... Big Grin
Worry is a misuse of imagination!
 
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#3
Installing the roof fan and windows is a lot easier if you do those without interior wall panels and insulation installed.

As AT stated, plan the roof fan around where the panels will be installed. I really like the way the Promasters (IIRC) have a flat area on the roof for mounting a fan. I wish all the vans had this feature.
Never trust a camp cook with lots of shiny new pans...
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#4
1. At least a plan for solar, details as to mounting hardware and precise locations, ideally actually install mounts and run wires.

2. Install system for fresh air ventilation if that involves penetrating the bodywork.

3. Detailed planning on fixed interior cabinetry: storage, shelves, bed platform, seating/table, sink/kitchen, battery box, toilet etc

Point is to choose / create mount points for safely supporting / securing all this before insulating.

If you have temporary removable units, still need to get fixed mounting hardware in place

4. Wiring runs, including providing for adds / repairs later. Plumbing, heating/cooling if any.

5. Insulation and flooring

IMO cosmetics, surface skinning the interior happens last
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The following 1 user says Thank You to John61CT for this post:
M2Travels (02-14-2018)
#5
(02-14-2018, 12:03 AM)Almost There Wrote: You need bare walls and ceiling to figure out where to cut the openings. Anything in there would have to be removed anyways so windows and vent go in first.

Plan your solar panel layout before you put the fan in because it's more 'movable' than the larger solar panels are. My only advice about where not to put the roof vent is 'don't put it over the bed'...even with a vent cover you stand a chance of finding yourself, sooner or later, with a wet bed...and it wasn't even any fun... Big Grin
Thanks as this is exactly what I needed to find out.  Wonder why people are putting how to videos on the net with windows being cut after insulation.  It left me wondering.


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#6
You know the old saying...just because you read it on the internet doesn't make it true!

The same thing goes for watching You Tube videos...just because some one else did it and made a video doesn't make it the best way to do something!

Since you want to live rough in it for a couple of months, do your roof vent and windows and then insulate. But only insulate between the ribs. That will leave you the ribs bare so once you've figured out where you want to put 'furniture' you will still have the ability to put in cross beams if  needed to secure things to the walls without having to rip out the insulation.
Worry is a misuse of imagination!
 
Build link: http://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/Thre...g-Arabella
Full-timer again as of November 24, 2015 - 14 glorious years on the road before that!



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#7
Im actually having an RV repair place install a fantastic fan in my van in 2 weeks. He said to insulate after because he would have to remove it first anyway.
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#8
I had windows installed first. Then I insulated and paneled the walls, ceiling, and floor. I did the floor first, then the ceiling, then the walls. I installed a MaxxFan after everything was installed, BUT I had previously marked where the ribs were in the cargo trailer, so I didn't need to take anything out to see what I was doing.
“If I could be half the person my dog is, I'd be twice the human I am.” ―Charles Yu
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#9
it also depends on what type of windows you want to install. on some windows the interior trim ring actually mounts on the interior wall paneling. so the interior wall must be in before the windows. this type of window makes it super easy because there is no need to trim it out. highdesertranger
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#10
True, but many of the after-market windows have a reversible interior 'clamp ring' that will work with thin sheet metal OR a one inch (or so) interior depth.
Never trust a camp cook with lots of shiny new pans...
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