VanDweller Community Forums

Full Version: Van build
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2
Next step? Van is gutted, now what? What comes next? I will be putting in a 
Ceiling fan
Insulation, sides doors floor roof
Thank you!
First thing I did was stick on dynamat sound insulation. Doing that doesn't change any next step you take.
Ok floor is next thank you
Hey Chez, I have a ?. Since I took out the carpet, when I drive the van there is quite a bit of heat on my excelerator foot from the floor and the console. Any ideas? Elle
Dynamat is the ticket for you. They have several different products for sound and heat. I put dynamat extreme in the cargo area (in patches, not 100% cover) and it really makes the van sound solid rather than like an echoing sheet metal duct. They also have stuff for insulating (heat and sound) the "doghouse" and can area you are talking about. They have a good insulating mat, too, and I think I'll get that for my Toyota van because you sit right on the engine in that model.
1995 Dodge van? Passenger, cargo, already (partially) converted? Engine in a real doghouse or partial doghouse? I once had an older Dodge van and the engine was "exactly" between the driver and passenger seats.
Passenger, was a conversion until I ripped everything out of it. Filled with wood for walls. It was insulated partially. I took it all out. The dog house is sticking out at least a foot into the van. It’s not completely in the middle of the seats. I just purchased Reflectix to line the dog house and 3M 90 to stick it on with. I also bought 3M UL181A-P foil tape 3340. I purchased the epoxy for the holes in the floor where I removed all the passenger seats. So, how is it out there. I am in S.C. and it is 90’ and 90’ humidity. Thank you for answering me! I am new and have never done a blog before so I don’t really inderstand threads yet. Elle
Aha, with my old Dodge van with the engine directly between the front seats, it was always very warm inside. I'm a bit surprised that with, such a small doghouse, it's getting so warm. Maybe that's just how it is, but I was wondering if maybe the insulation hasn't fallen off the inside of the doghouse after 23-years. Maybe good to talk to a dealer about this, or at least pull the doghouse out and take a look. Also, the seals around the edges maybe worn or not seated properly.

Where I live it's still in the low to mid-90s, so waiting for September to cool down so I can work more on my van too. I have one of those regular white GMC cargo vans, but it looks like the dimensions of yours are similar, eg 79" across. It's nice to have all those windows.

What I would recommend is "initially" try not to build things too permanently. Rather, toss in things temporarilly, take a trip or two, and see how you like it. I made an initial arrangement in my van with the bed longitudinally front-to-back, and after 6-weeks on the road decided it was just too cramped inside. I've also watched many videos of van conversions, and many people spend a lot of time and many money on their conversions, and end up putting so many cabinets and whatnot inside that their floor space goes to nothing. Floor space disappears fast. I had 3'x3' before and 3'x6' now, which is room to put a folding chair, move around, &etc.

My major suggestion is to check whether you can put the mattress across the back rather than front-to-back. I found that with the std cargo lashing boards removed, it is 76" across just above the wheel wells in my van, so I could put a nice 8" foam mattress across. If I put in a lot of insulation and paneling like most people do, then it's only 68" across and too short for the bed. You can cut/shape these foam mattresses with a carving knife.
Thanks for the good info. I am trying not to spend too much but also doing my van build while I am working. I decided not to put cupboards. Just a plastic drawer from Walmart. I am going to put in a leisure battery and would like to do a solar panel. I want enough power to make coffee and a hot plate and blender. When I took out the side walls of the van it greatly increased the size and I too was thinking of putting the bed across with storage underneath. I went and looked at XP’s board today and it is very thick. My concern was it said combustable on the outside. One big boom and it’s over!!! I went to Sunnitracing . Com to check out their dynamite, aka, dynoliner. They have different thickness and size. I am having fun with the project with all that said. I have read a lot that you need a fan on the roof to pull hot air out? I do have windows all around the van. Hope you are having a nice day. Elle
If those windows open, I'd not worry too much about a fan in the roof. You could certainly rig a fan inside one of those windows. With my van I was terrified to cut a hole in the roof, so I just use the following inside when it's hot.

As a longtime camper, I went very minimalist with the van. Mattress as indicated, small cabinet that holds solar and electrics, and a nice folding computer table. Most storage is in boxes rather than in cabinets.

I have a 100W solar panel which I simply put out in the daytime, so not on the roof, and it provides enough power for an inverter (pure sinewave), dimmable Led, and to run my laptop. Costs about $400 already. You will likely need a bit more power if running electrical appliances. Check the sections on solar power, plus Bob Wells has several youtubes on this. If you buy the std recommended battery, UB121000, then you can start with one or two and expand as desired.

This guy jamie has a yearly van build party in november if you're in the area then. You can start minimal and add as you go. Put something in, take a trip, and see how you like it.

I don't know about those XP boards, which sound very heavy, or the dynaliner. I went minimalist for several reasons: cost, amount of work involved, and light weight. Cabinet weights add up.
Pages: 1 2