Moose Van Build - Ford Transit USA Forum
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post #1 of 200 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 01:04:AM Thread Starter
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Moose Van Build

Hi, I have been researching for the past six months and have slowly started the build process. I'm not working at the moment, so I have a bunch of free time. I want to build a four-season camper van and travel the country, visiting all the national parks along the way. Feel free to critique any design decisions. I am a computer guy, so most of this is new to me. I try to keep everything as low toxic as I can, which might explain some things.

Layout:
Bed - Raised E-W in the window indents. 38" height.
Driver side - shower/toilet, fridge, hot water undermount
Passenger side - batteries, electrical, sink, stove, grey water undermount
Garage - bikes, freshwater tank, air heater, A/C

Framing:
Will try to use 10 series and 15 series aluminum extrusions with 1/4" plywood panels.

Insulation:
Thinsulate SM400L/SM600L, AtticFoil.
Ceiling - Thinsulate, foil.
Walls - Thinsulate, foil.
Exposed metal - SM400L or cork spray or polyethlyene foam or cork sheet with PU
Window flares fiberglass - Thinsulate, foil
Floor - 1/2" and 1" cork board, polyester fabric or other to hold in loose granules

Roof:
Aluminess rack - Perforated floor. Originally installed a Frontrunner but I didn't like the amount of unusable space, so it was removed and for sale.
*Vent Fan - Maxxair front middle.
Rear skylight - Bomar rectangle hatch in rear - 18" 7/16 x 13 5/16" - N2029-10AX
Shade/screen - Bomar SeaBreeze
Bathroom fan - ?
Bomar SeaBreeze - shade/screen for hatch
Sporttube 3
Kayak mount

Walls & ceiling
1/8" or 1/4" plywood.
Painted and/or decorative cork wall tiles.
Windows - CRL T-vent driver/passenger, window flares

Floor:
1/2" PureBond plywood
Expanded cork insulation board underneath plywood. 1" on floor and 1/2" on ridges
1/4" Cork parquet tiles on top

Electrical:
12v LiFePO4 battery bank - Battle Born 100Ah x 4 in parallel
Nation's dual alternator 280XP w/ Balmar Regulator MC614
Morningstar Tristar 30A - TS-MPPT-30 - Not sure on amps yet.
Magnum MS2012 2000w inverter/charger
Magnum Remote Control ME-ARC50
Magnum Battery Monitor Kit ME-BMK and/or Balmer Spartguage Battery Monitor
15A-20A hookup for shore power
Wiring - Across van via floor of garage wall.
Solar panels - flexible attached to roof rack floor

Climate control:
Heater - Gas Espar Airtronic B4. Mounted next to driver's rear wheel well. Ducting exits into aisle and also into top of shower.
*Roof vent - Maxxair Deluxe
Floor vent - Vertical slider door indent under batteries/electrical and behind fridge.
DC A/C undermount split - Cruise N Comfort 8k or 12k.

Galley:
Stove - electric hotplate 1500w. Also some portable fuel burning stove to cook outside.
7.5cf refrigerator/freezer - Nova Kool RFS7501ACDC
Countertop passenger side - Butcher block
Countertop driver side - Kirei board, stainless, or solid wood.
Sink - needs to be big enough to wash veggies and clean instant pot.

Water:
Freshwater - 25gal - Inside on top of driver's rear wheel well.
Greywater - 15gal - Outside, insulated, electric heater pad
Water heater - 4-6gal - Isotemp Slim 15-25L mounted under van
Espar Hydronic B4WS with engine loop. Possible backup heat source?
Hot water recirculation

Bathroom:
Portapotti - PP Qube 365
Shower - full stall enclosed. 27 x 24? Need to test size. Maybe expandable into aisle. Walls and ceiling white aluminum with deep stainless pan or just FRP/ABS. Low priority.
Fan - ?

Traction / Mods:
*Detroit TrueTrac LSD
4x4 - Waiting on Expovans - 2018?
*Tow hitch
*Lowered e-brake
*Swivel seats

*Ladder - Prime Designs - driver side rear door

Audio/Video: Much later, not important.

Offline GPS - Old Note 5 for now. Double din Android unit in future
Speakers - mini bookshelf speakers up high, sub under passenger seat?

Rear camera - Rearview Safety HD
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_20171018_163619-2.jpg (235.0 KB, 787 views)
File Type: jpg van_design4.jpg (212.2 KB, 730 views)
File Type: jpg van_design3.jpg (148.6 KB, 661 views)
File Type: jpg van_design2.JPG (156.8 KB, 642 views)
File Type: jpg van_design1.jpg (189.2 KB, 629 views)
File Type: jpg van_design5.JPG (243.9 KB, 576 views)
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Last edited by moose; 12-02-2017 at 01:39:AM.
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post #2 of 200 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 03:53:AM
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Wow, that's quite a list!

What is the hatch over the bed?

Enjoy the build, I look forward to more pics.
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post #3 of 200 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 05:08:AM
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it almost boggles the mind that you can fit that much stuff into a LWB not extended!

(being tall i am forced to use a north/south bed.)

2016, 250 cargo van, LWB, MR, 3.5, 3.31
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post #4 of 200 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 08:02:AM
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Solid plan!


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post #5 of 200 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 09:24:AM
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Nice Planning!

Where did you get the "pop out" sides? Could you post interior photo's? Decent option to get a few more inches on a east/west bed.

Noticed the 400 Ah Lithium Iron battery pack. Talk to the guys (two retired brothers) who run electric car parts. They seem to be straight shooters when it comes to LiFe batteries, State of Charge, and Life Cycles. Batteries are not cheap, but they seem much more honest about life cycle and what chargers to use. http://www.electriccarpartscompany.c...2V-400Ah-800Ah

Shower -- I'm still working on ideas/thoughts of a 24x 30, interior is 24 x 24-- part of the wall pushes out when needed for bathroom/shower. It would be a 12" deep cabinet for clothes, but then moves out over the bed when you want to shower. Portapotties doesn't need much room, Double drip edge, but allows a clothes closet portion to slide out over the bed. Same idea would work as you need more room around the torso compared to your legs. Expanded PVC or google "extruded hollow core PVC plastic" for all the trade names. I've seen a "mildew resistant" version. Lots of space, so needs to double to storage in some fashion. Oh, bottom of shower pan could be the bottom of a dog crate.

Shower -- don't overlook simple. A 25 gallon plastic bin is 27 x 18.75 x 16.88 -- add a drain, put up a temporary shower curtain, and you could shower in the open space of the van. I told my wife I could scrub her back, but she didn't go for that one! When done, you still have a nifty box to store stuff. I'm fine with showering every other day when on the road, so shower is needed for 15 minutes (rinse, lather, rinse) every 48 hours. Huge amount of room that is only needed less than 1% of the time. I'd rather have a jump seat, and "hideaway" porta-pottie.

Looking forward to seeing your build!
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post #6 of 200 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 10:40:AM
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I have a very similar layout that is almost completed. Have spent 35-40 nights in it so far. My sold Sprinter had the same layout that worked very well so Transit is almost the same.

A few comments:

1. The 15 series 80/20 makes it easy to install 1/4" plywood panels. I inset the panel face 1/8" because it looks better inset.

2. Consider making your own 80/20 connectors. Save money and no wait for parts to be delivered. A list and PDF drawings of the connectors I made and the stock connectors purchased:
http://www.ortontransit.info/testeighty4.php

3. Purchase fasteners from a industrial supply company to save money.

4. I tried to use 1/8" plywood panels to save weight. They bowed between the bolts so went back to using 1/4". Even some of the 1/4" panels required a wood strong back to stiffen the panel.

5. The above link also has drawings for two methods of installing panels. One where I want access and one where access is not required.

6. I put 1/2" closed cell foam strips between the floor corrugations under the plywood floor.

7. Be sure to thermally isolate the 80/20 from the van steel. Did not do that on the Sprinter build and the 80/20 aluminum extrusions were close to the exterior temperature. Just goes around the wall insulation. Transit frame is only bolted to the van steel in one location to provide a ground.

8. Consider not installing the cabinet above the sink. I like to stand at the sink with a clear view out the slider door opening. When cooking on the sink top the fumes and smells exit up and out the open slider door instead of inside the van.

9. Consider extending the sink top out toward the slider door 3". Makes a huge difference in usable counter space. The counter is notched around the rear slider door post.

10. Consider a drop down hinged table off sink cabinet that goes out the open slider door. Like to cook outside the van in good weather.

11. My sink is further to the right than your drawing. I can put the rather large Camp Chef Ranger II two burner stove to the left of the sink. Portable stove can be used on sink top, on drop down table out slider or on a picnic table. Try to avoid cooking inside the van. I use refillable 1 # propane bottles. Carry bottles in a gasketed plastic ammo box.

Since I am on my second (and last) build I have been able to make a lot (100+) improvements on what I did in the Sprinter. Same layout but many improvements.

2015 high roof 148" WB 3.5 Ecoboost 3.31 LS rear cargo.

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post #7 of 200 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 12:00:PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klp View Post
Wow, that's quite a list!

What is the hatch over the bed?

Enjoy the build, I look forward to more pics.
That's just a skylight and I guess an escape hatch if I can fit through it. I'll get it in a week or two and see if it even fits.
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post #8 of 200 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 12:21:PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomW View Post
Nice Planning!

Where did you get the "pop out" sides? Could you post interior photo's? Decent option to get a few more inches on a east/west bed.

Noticed the 400 Ah Lithium Iron battery pack. Talk to the guys (two retired brothers) who run electric car parts. They seem to be straight shooters when it comes to LiFe batteries, State of Charge, and Life Cycles. Batteries are not cheap, but they seem much more honest about life cycle and what chargers to use. http://www.electriccarpartscompany.c...2V-400Ah-800Ah

Shower -- I'm still working on ideas/thoughts of a 24x 30, interior is 24 x 24-- part of the wall pushes out when needed for bathroom/shower. It would be a 12" deep cabinet for clothes, but then moves out over the bed when you want to shower. Portapotties doesn't need much room, Double drip edge, but allows a clothes closet portion to slide out over the bed. Same idea would work as you need more room around the torso compared to your legs. Expanded PVC or google "extruded hollow core PVC plastic" for all the trade names. I've seen a "mildew resistant" version. Lots of space, so needs to double to storage in some fashion. Oh, bottom of shower pan could be the bottom of a dog crate.

Shower -- don't overlook simple. A 25 gallon plastic bin is 27 x 18.75 x 16.88 -- add a drain, put up a temporary shower curtain, and you could shower in the open space of the van. I told my wife I could scrub her back, but she didn't go for that one! When done, you still have a nifty box to store stuff. I'm fine with showering every other day when on the road, so shower is needed for 15 minutes (rinse, lather, rinse) every 48 hours. Huge amount of room that is only needed less than 1% of the time. I'd rather have a jump seat, and "hideaway" porta-pottie.

Looking forward to seeing your build!
The fiberglass popout in the window indents are Flarespace flares. The size gradually increases towards the rear. I'll attach some pics. This is after I painted it and there is still some tape to be removed around the windows.

I like the cabinet in the shower. I haven't seen that before. The idea for an enclosed shower was to use it as a wet/dirty gear location and dryer. I'll have a duct from the Espar going into the top. I want to keep all the moisture from entering into the living space. There will probably be a lot of engineering going into the shower, so I'll save it for last.
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File Type: jpg IMG_20171127_105848(1).jpg (273.0 KB, 580 views)
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Last edited by moose; 12-02-2017 at 12:42:PM.
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post #9 of 200 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 04:00:PM Thread Starter
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Working on the floor today. I have 1" insulation between the ribs and 1/2" insulation on the ribs. I'm planning to add another sheet of 1/2" over everything. I should have did it backwards and had 1/2" between the ribs and 1" on top as it would have saved tons of time cutting. Most of it is glued down already so no going back now.

Looking at the plywood, it is still bowing in certain areas and needs to be screwed down to be level. I can either add more bolts through the floor, add small 1" strips of plywood glued to the ribs as screw down points, or use sheet metal screws I already have about eight elevator bolts going through the floor that will be counterbored and will also be utilizing the tie-down bolt points with aluminum angle. I guess a few more holes is no big deal, just need to drop the gas tank to get to some. Which needs to be done for the Espar install anyway.
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post #10 of 200 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 04:02:PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orton View Post
Since I am on my second (and last) build I have been able to make a lot (100+) improvements on what I did in the Sprinter. Same layout but many improvements.
All good information Orton, thanks!
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