Thaden DIY Camper (HR Long) - Ford Transit USA Forum
 83Likes
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-16-2015, 09:41:PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Thaden DIY Camper (HR Long)

Thought I would create a thread for notes on my DIY camper conversion. Base van is Cargo High Roof Long Silver 3.7L with all around windows. I will be posting pictures on my Flickr site as I go along. Each album with this Flickr collection will be by date and subject so there is both a temporal and subject reference. There will be some simple comments out there, but more text will probably end up here with a few smaller pictures.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jethad...7649849405957/

I am working on van every day at a friends house (20 miles from my boat/residence) so I am generally burnt out by time I get home. I will try to post items of interest here, but, honestly, who knows. I live in central Florida so at least I have good weather to work in during the Winter. I hope to get everything done before next summer (or at least a major functional part of work).
bobojay, Longboard, JP4 and 13 others like this.

2015 Transit Van Silver 3.7L 148 HR. DIY Camper.
jethaden is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 12:47:PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Milan, Illinois
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Thanks for taking to time to post. This is exactly the van I am contemplating - color, windows and all.

Just a quick question……I have been wondering how the windows function on a "windows all around" van. Please describe to what extent they open, and how - swing out / slide or whatever. (No window vans at local dealers and salespeople have not found out for me.)

Looking forward to following your project.

KeithW
Milan, IL
KeithW is offline  
post #3 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 01:42:PM
JP4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Hood River, OR
Posts: 646
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 192 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithW View Post
Thanks for taking to time to post. This is exactly the van I am contemplating - color, windows and all.

Just a quick question……I have been wondering how the windows function on a "windows all around" van. Please describe to what extent they open, and how - swing out / slide or whatever. (No window vans at local dealers and salespeople have not found out for me.)

Looking forward to following your project.

KeithW
Milan, IL
I have basically the same van in Sterling Grey with 4 flip out windows. The windows all hinge on the forward edge and open at the back probably 1 1/2 to 2 inches. The latch is fairly stout and takes two hands to operate but closes the window very securely. No rattles or air leaks. They are pretty good size and allow for a good cross flow of air. For my purpose of camping in a mild climate, I think I will have no problem skipping the roof vent that I had in my old van. Might have to come up with some bug screens and deal with a little water if it rains, but overall I'm very happy with the flip out's.
JP
JP4 is offline  
 
post #4 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 01:54:PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Occidental, Ca.
Posts: 2,848
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1016 Post(s)
Couple of questions:

1. Looks like you bolted the centerline of the 80/20 to the D-ring bolt holes. Did you add spacers between 80/20 and floor in the center somewhere?
2. Noticed you drilled your angle connectors with holes centered which causes ends of bolts to be close to each other and difficult to put on nuts. On my Sprinter build I used 2" angles to get holes 1" from apex. I was not smart enough to use 1 1/2" angles with the holes offset. 1" from apex and 1/2" from edge of angle. Transit will have 1 1/2" angles with holes offset.
3. I need to move the Transit wireway higher up the wall to get it behind my overhead cabinets. The high roof has the wireway in the same location as the medium roof. The high roof just has a longer vertical section at the rear doors. I will make a vertical behind the drivers seat and shorten the vertical at the rear doors. Same wire lengths.
4. Did you cut off the top flange of the plastic threshold in the slider door foot box?

2015 high roof 148" WB 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS rear cargo.
orton is online now  
post #5 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 06:48:PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithW View Post
Just a quick question……I have been wondering how the windows function on a "windows all around" van. Please describe to what extent they open, and how - swing out / slide or whatever.
Agree with all JP4 said. Will add, that I am not so confident that the 2 windows will provide sufficient ventilation to skip the roof fan. However, I am confident that they will serve the same purpose as Orton's hole in the floor, except that air will not be as cool and will not help refrigerator compressor cooling. They do not open much (the 2 inches at back side), but that is much better than not having them. Also note, that around the opening part is a black plastic frame which blocks the rest of the window in that section of the window, so you loose some glass area. Not really an issue, just a detail. The window frames are all on the window glass and to not have attachment to the window frame or metal. The latches are strong and I do not sense any wind noise from them. There is also very little wind noise with them open while heading down the interstate (as I recall from my trip from MI to FL when I accidentally left one open).

2015 Transit Van Silver 3.7L 148 HR. DIY Camper.
jethaden is online now  
post #6 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 07:09:PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by orton View Post
Couple of questions:

1. Looks like you bolted the centerline of the 80/20 to the D-ring bolt holes. Did you add spacers between 80/20 and floor in the center somewhere?
One item at a time so I can provide sufficient detail and expand comments (what I might have gotten around to writing later). The floor was Dynamat (about 1/16" or so) plus 1/2" Dow Blue in the Channels with EZCool on top of everything (about 5/16"). The 80/20 1515 rests on that (so could be within 3/8" for steel in parts). I found that the 11 foot long fore-aft piece bent significantly under any weight, enough to touch floor. So I added the 12mm ply piece in lieu of foam to left side of slider door. One on port side might have been good idea also but I did not do that. This stabilized the floor. Also, it turns out that the tie downs are not a consistent distance from the floor (why Ford could not do that I have no idea and I did not think to check). Specifically, the front holes are 1/4" lower than the back and middle sides. As a result, I only bolted into to tie downs in the front, back and the middle (in front of wheel well). I could not get the forward port tie down to work, probably due to front being too low. As it was, I had to get the front bolts in with much pressure to get the 1515 low enough) and then did back and then sides (which have enough cantilever to bend into place). The back beam is separated from steel in back with 1/2" starboard spacer and nylon washer on bolt. The front with 1/4" spacer. The sides are about 5/8" from steel, but I intended 1/2".

The plywood floor is supported with custom angles made from 1x1 inch EL. They took a long time to make since I had to miter cut out a section of each top to get a spot to put the nut on. This is like the panel brackets you suggested over at Sprinter forum (not what you did, but what you thought of later?).

At this point, I can jump on floor and van rocks but I can sense no movement in floor.

2015 Transit Van Silver 3.7L 148 HR. DIY Camper.
jethaden is online now  
post #7 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 07:24:PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by orton View Post
Couple of questions:

2. Noticed you drilled your angle connectors with holes centered which causes ends of bolts to be close to each other and difficult to put on nuts. On my Sprinter build I used 2" angles to get holes 1" from apex. I was not smart enough to use 1 1/2" angles with the holes offset. 1" from apex and 1/2" from edge of angle. Transit will have 1 1/2" angles with holes offset.
The angle connectors are 2x2 inch 3/6" thick. I drilled them 1" from end (i.e. centered). This allowed me to setup one jig and do all holes on drill press (until jig stop started shifting and I screwed a bunch up with 7/8" and 1 1/8" from end offsets). The pictures may have been from the beginning when I was using 5/16 x 1 inch carriage bolts. I found I did have to put the nuts on and then tighten down to be able to get the nuts on. In the end I ordered 5/16" x 3/4" long carriage bolts which worked fine and did not have the nut problem. I used nylon lock nuts (per your suggestion). I also learned not to over tighten the nuts or you can actually tear up the 80/20 channel and get a spinning bolt (happened once). I use 304 (18-8) SS for everything, though that might be over kill for a van. Comes from my boating background (where I would generally buy 316 SS).

I get my channel from OnlineMetals.com . Subscribe to their specials and wait for 20%, 25%, or even 30% off for over $100 purchase. Unless, or course, you live near a big city where you can just buy everything locally. I get my bolts etc from https://www.boltdepot.com/ . They have everything I need (and can not find locally). They are on east coast, as am I.
vnehess, Arizonaheat and bshred like this.

2015 Transit Van Silver 3.7L 148 HR. DIY Camper.
jethaden is online now  
post #8 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 07:44:PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by orton View Post
Couple of questions:

3. I need to move the Transit wireway higher up the wall to get it behind my overhead cabinets. The high roof has the wireway in the same location as the medium roof. The high roof just has a longer vertical section at the rear doors. I will make a vertical behind the drivers seat and shorten the vertical at the rear doors. Same wire lengths.
4. Did you cut off the top flange of the plastic threshold in the slider door foot box?
3. I was hoping to keep the wireway where it was until I started putting tape on walls to simulate furniture location, particularly the top cabinet. I concluded it had to be higher or I would bang my head and I would have issues seeing kitchen counter (which is port/driver's side between B and C pillar). So, as you can see, I removed the conduit to raise the wire bundle. The one issue with moving it to roof corner line is in the very aft corner there is a wire T heading straight down for left tail lights. I do not think that there will be enough extra vertical wire to allow you to raise the bundle all the way to the roof corner. I expect that I will end up setting the wire bundle on the floor of the upper cabinets, maybe in a Panduit or equivalent, i.e. raising it up only 3 inches or so.

To remove conduit it appears easiest to pull free end away from wall a bit and slide whole assembly forward or aft off the brackets. Then, to remove brackets, you simply break every one (I could not get them out of wall with breaking them, so I gave up). The curved brackets in stern simple pull out perpendicular from wall. I have put Plusnuts in the bottom square holes where the conduit brackets were, still using SS backing washers for reinforcement. Forward of the C pillar there is no access to the back, so we will have to see if the Plusnuts are tight enough in the square holes to stay. I am also adding some Stikaflex 291 to each plusnut to help stabilize them and avoid future corrosion presuming I am breaking the painted metal surface. I am thinking that the upper cabinets will be bolted to angles which are bolted to these plusnuts (exact relative height TBD).

4. The door step is courtesy for Ford. Since I ordered front carpet and they stole all of the back vinyl floor, they provided the abbreviated side step (which is a plus for me) and no back of van plastic facade/cover (which is a negative).

2015 Transit Van Silver 3.7L 148 HR. DIY Camper.
jethaden is online now  
post #9 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 09:09:PM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Occidental, Ca.
Posts: 2,848
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1016 Post(s)
Thanks for all the information.

I may buy the other sliding door step plastic if I destroy the one that comes with the vinyl floor. Did not know there were two designs. Maybe someone who did not get the vinyl floor and wants one can have mine and the step plastic in trade for your style step plastic.
Thanks for the hint on the wireway cover. I tried pulling on mine but did not know you need to slide it front to back (or back to front) to remove it.
I will use 1 1/2" angle brackets with the offset holes and 3/4" 304 SS carriage bolts. Do recommend ESN. I had some serrated flange nuts loosen on the Sprinter. I just measured the holes and drilled them. No jig. Enough slop in the slots to compensate if holes not drilled exact. Angles will also be 1 1/4" long instead of 1 1/2". That allows some adjustment.
Thanks for the comment on the D-ring bolt locations. I will pay attention.
A hint on upper cabinet location: Put bed platform at whatever height you want. Run a rope front to back that represents the lower inside edge of the cabinets. That way you can move the rope until you get the head clearance that you want. Design cabinets to match the rope location.
I think I will use the upper line of tapped bolt holes to anchor the bottom of the upper cabinets to the wall. Bolt a piece of 1/2" plywood to the wall using the line of tapped bolt holes and extend plywood up so I can bolt the bottom of the cabinets to the plywood with an angle bracket.
I will have to figure something out with that tail light wire. I want wireway higher. Maybe I can remove the taillight and add a short section of wire between taillight and loom to extend the wire.
Appreciate your detailed reply's.

2015 high roof 148" WB 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS rear cargo.
orton is online now  
post #10 of 115 (permalink) Old 01-17-2015, 09:27:PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 315
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 85 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by orton View Post
I think I will use the upper line of tapped bolt holes to anchor the bottom of the upper cabinets to the wall. Bolt a piece of 1/2" plywood to the wall using the line of tapped bolt holes and extend plywood up so I can bolt the bottom of the cabinets to the plywood with an angle bracket.
I originally planned to use the tapped bolt holes (by the by, mine are not yet tapped except above slider) as angle bracket support for base of upper cabinet fore-aft 80/20 piece. That would place the bottom of upper cabinet a bit above window, which would maximize size of cabinet. Then thinking that would be too low. I like the idea of using lower bolt points (or also upper in my case now) as ply bolt point and use that as bracket support at any arbitrary height. Will have to think on that.

2015 Transit Van Silver 3.7L 148 HR. DIY Camper.
jethaden is online now  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



  Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
orton DIY orton Camper Vans and Conversions 537 Yesterday 05:41:PM
Diy interior side wall covers Chad Interior 16 01-17-2016 03:52:PM
Need help order'g transit diy rv rascorp Dealers, Purchases and Orders 4 11-09-2014 07:37:AM
Tax, registration and insurance on DIY conversion greybeard Camper Vans and Conversions 0 09-13-2014 01:44:PM
Long-arm mirrors - adjustable from short to long? Zyzzyx Exterior 4 09-12-2014 10:02:AM

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off