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2000 Chevy Express project
#1
Ok then. Been reading the site for quite a while, and just obtained a one owner 2000 Express cargo van with 79,000 miles with an Onan generator and standard 110v electric installed. It came with a spreadsheet with all maintenance and repairs done to the vehicle since day one, complete with costs.
I will be building out the cargo area with bed, underbed storage, water tank, sink, portable toilet. I want to finish out the walls and ceiling with stained luan plywood. I will need to add house batteries to the system to be able to have juice without constantly running the generator.
Comments welcome.
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The interior was previously finished with thin plywood covered in FRP. I removed the bulkhead and pulled up the old floor, which had rotted away in a spot.
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That air conditioner is quite heavy and overkill for this size vehicle. it has even caused the roof to start buckling, as you can see. I will be replacing it with a Fantastic Fan.
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Off you come, heavy AC!
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I now have it for sale, if anybody in central Texas is interested. I was just serviced in May.
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That front end is looking dated; I would really like to freshen up the look. I'm going to paint it black to resemble the newer Express models.
I'll post an updated pic tomorrow of the grill reinstalled.

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#2
Welcome, dvdchris

Great pics and a fine start. Keep the pics coming. We love them.

Bob
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#3
Nice van!

I want to see that grille installed! Big Grin

Good luck!
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#4
Finished and installed. Replaced all bulbs in the sockets while I was at it.
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#5
That is going to be a nice set up when you're done. Much of the work was already done. Leaving you time and money to some of the finer things to your ride. Nice job on the grill.
Gus
Take a look at my Bus conversion thread!
"Beyond the idea of right & wrong there is a field; I will meet you there."
Rumi
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#6
That is a nice grille! Big Grin
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#7
Looking good! I'm dreading getting to the exterior pieces on mine at the moment. They're in pretty rough shape. I'm thinking of using bed-lining on the bottom to disguise some of the body dings.
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Behind each door waits further myriad treasures. The bounty is as diverse as the stars within the heavens. But the gilded goal I seek is the most precious of all. Further enlightenment.
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#8
Sanded and primed the edge of the hole over the last few days. Got the Fantastic Fan installed today.
Sold the air conditioner on Craigslist for $200.

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#9
After finally removing the previous floor in the cargo area, I decided to peek under the rubber mat in the cab area. Gross! Moisture had gotten in and rotted some spots of the underpadding and created rust spots.
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I removed the whole rubber mat and underpad. Buffed out the rust spots and primed the area. You can see a partially buffed out section in the pic below.
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I'm going to coat the entire floor with Rustoleum truck bed liner to match the wheel wells and border areas where this was already done. I think it will help with plugging the numerous smaller screw holes the original installer used to screw down the floor panels.

The weather has not been very cooperative in giving me comfortable days to work in. Some days have been wet and bitterly cold for Texas. I was also immobile for two weeks in early January due to an arthritic immune reaction. No fun at all!
Ive been putting together my battery system to complement the AC only electrical system already installed in the van.
For now it will be a pretty simple one. Two group 24 73ah MK gel batteries I got free from friends. Got them hooked together in parallel with my Cobra 800 watt inverter. Got them in battery boxes now, waiting to be placed in the van. I ran my 24" LED TV for 4.5 hours the other day testing it out. I will hook them up to a charge controller so that the bank charges whenever the van engine is on. I could also charge them from the generator or shore power by plugging in my conventional battery charger to the van AC.
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This TV places the power supply on a wall plug and feeds 12v3A to the actual panel. Has anyone found a 12V plug that outputs 3amps? I could gain the efficiency of not even having to run the inverter and wall plug and just plug the TV into the 12v power.
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#10
Wow....you're off and running!!!!

My van was originally used for repairing fiber optic lines, and it too had a monsterous on-board Onan generator and a roof-top air conditioner unit, but I ripped 'em out and patched over the genny's huge grille hole.


Looks like you're doing a very through job to your repairs and installations...and that grille turned out great!!

Welcome to the forum! You should find yourself right at home on here.

btw...what do you do?? retired? kids? hobbies??

Keep those photos coming!! (we like our pichers here!!) Big Grin

Patrick in Oregon
"Good Times & Good Friends Make Life Better!" Big Grin
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