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Discussion Starter #1
I was eating Hot Tamales (the candy) on the road trip home with this van. Not sure if the name will stick, but it works for purposes of this build thread.

My new project. I'll post as I make progress. I suspect I'll be picking and choosing ideas from other build threads. Maybe I'll have one or two original ideas to contribute? We'll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sound deadening added. What can I add that no one else has already said/done.

I'll say this though, I'm vaguely suspicious that the sound deadening is worthwhile at all. I hate the added weight (plus expense). People do it, so I did it. But it occurs to me that people are doing it because other people did it… (Where might this have started — perhaps Noico?)

That the van came from the factory with a handful of sound deadening swatches applied to the ceiling suggests that Ford seems to think it is worth doing — sparingly anyway.

Still, it's one of those frustrating things: if I decide months from now, rolling down the road, that I wish I had added sound deadening material it will then be too late ... bare metal walls will already be covered.

So, the compromise is to just use one box (sparingly like Ford). One box added just 27 pounds of weight to the van, cost $66.

Sound deadening are the shiny patches in the photo (courtesy Noico Sound Deadening Mat).

Where did I use it? When I tapped, where it sounded like a timpani. And after the "squeaky wheels" I just used up the rest here and there.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I'm not a fan of SketchUp for designing my RV build. Why? Two reasons:

1) I find it difficult to visualize how much space the actual dimensions of the design will be — how wide a cabinet will feel, etc.

2) I have attempted to figure out the software on at least three different occasions and found one of us lacking.

I prefer what I call MockUp™. Cheap lumber, foam, cardboard, duct tape, saw horses.

Here is a MockUp™ of a full sized bed and a TruckFridge TB51A.

(Tried rotating the bed to sleep left-to-right and found what others probably already knew, it wasn't going to fly, bed goes longways — but hey, lots of room now for insulation/sideboards.)

From this forum and other sources I had convinced myself I needed a Whynter FM-62DZ fridge, but from a MockUp™ I found it was much larger than I could allow for. So never pulled the trigger on that one — went with the TruckFridge. Good to mock up before you buy?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Beginning on the floor.

Where the cabinetry, bed, water system, etc. are concerned, I plan on building "stand in" items so that I can take the van out and test these features before committing them to final fit-and-finish.

But there are items (windows definitely, floor to a large degree) where I have to get them right the first time.

As a precautionary beginning to the floor install, shown here in green tape is the inverted-L area you do not want to drill into! (See Ford 2019 Transit Body and Equipment Mounting Manual.)

I mention it because I am trying to avoid using adhesives when I can — I would actually prefer to penetrate the steel floor of the van than slather adhesives all over that will never be able to be removed (holes can be plugged or welded over). I will be drilling holes toinstall rivnuts in order to secure battens on the floor every couple of feet or so as anchors or joists as it were. Where a batten does pass through this zone, I may resort to adhesives just in a few spots to secure the batten to the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bottom layer is ½" R-Tech stuff (polystyrene, I think) to fill the valleys in the floor.

I know that the valleys are not ½" deep — somewhat less than that. But the polystyrene feels "compressible" to me and so will, I think, crush down when a layer of poly-iso and plywood are pulled down on top of it.
 

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Bottom layer is ½" R-Tech stuff (polystyrene, I think) to fill the valleys in the floor.

I know that the valleys are not ½" deep — somewhat less than that. But the polystyrene feels "compressible" to me and so will, I think, crush down when a layer of poly-iso and plywood are pulled down on top of it.

I did the same with 1/2 poly-iso between the ribs, once the subfloor was put down everything sat nice and flush.



I also bought one sheet of the polystyrene foam board like the one you used, and made two cuts and it looked like it snowed in my yard. I am still finding styrofoam beads everywhere a month later. My yard looked like it was the site of the great foam massacre of 2019. Did you experience this as well, or was it just because my choice of a chainsaw was not the appropriate tool to trim polystyrene?



Love the red.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, skip the chainsaw, cuts with less debris when you cut it with a hammer. ;-)

Nah, it made some snow, but the box cutter knife with a new blade made very little. A shop vac took care of what fluttered into the van.

Just an addendum: taped the foam down here and there with foil tape — just enough to keep it in place. No adhesives — yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have milled 2x3 lumber down to precisely 1" x 2 1/8" pieces. I am using this as wood battens on the floor so that 1) there is something stronger than the polyisocyanurate supporting the plywood that will go on next and 2) to give the cabinetry something behind the plywood sheathing to grab hold of.

The 1" thickness matches the thickness of the polyisocyanurate insulation.

So far, the trickiest part is the batten for the rear of the van. I wanted to more or less match the contour of the rear lip of the van and so used the plastic trim piece that I took off as a guide.

I also wish to leave not only the round hole for the tool that lowers the spare tire, but I want too to leave access to the entire rectangular surround that the mechanism is a part of.

Here is the rear batten being constructed.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Five holes were drilled both through the rear batten and then into the van floor.

I began by marking on the batten where the ribs on the floor of the van were — where the van floor touched the batten. I then chose five of those locations for holes. After drilling a small pilot hole in the wood I transferred the holes to the van floor itself.

A stepped drill bit took the hole to nearly the proper size for the 1/4"-20 riv-nuts and then a final drill bit got it exact.

Paint touched up around the raw edge of the hole and I allowed it to dry a few hours.

Then installed 5 riv-nuts.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The rear-most batten was bolted down with five 1/4"-20 bolts. The bolts are black-oxide with conical heads. I drilled a countersink for each bolt in the wood batten so it will be flush with the batten.

Additionally, a layer of fairly thick tape was placed beneath the batten where it contacted van. I hope it provides some cushioning and reduced any squeaks.

After another (much simpler) batten was installed a few feet forward of the rear batten, front-to-back battens were pocket-screwed in place. These are placed (17" from the van walls) where I expect the toe-kicks of the floor cabinetry to need to be secured to the floor.

Finally, 1" thick polyisocyanurate was cut to fit the spaces between the battens.

Foil tape holds everything in place until I am ready to lay the plywood sheathing on top.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Another batten is fashioned from the 1" x 2" lumber and placed left-to-right across the van floor. I intend the rear piece of plywood that will go on top of this floor sandwich to end just in the middle of this third batten. The next sheet of plywood will butt up against the rear-most sheet and the two will share this batten for support.

Again, two "runners" of 1" x 2" are pocket-hole screwed between battens to act as backing for the eventual cabinetry that will mount from on top the plywood floor. Also, backing battens are cut and mounted to sit along the wheel wells.

I marked interesting dimensions in Sharpie on the wood and foam so that later I can review these photos when deciding where I can run longer screws.

With enough battens + foam in place I am ready for the first sheet of plywood that will tie everything together. Rather than wrestle with the floor liner that came with the van, I've adapted a technique I've seen kitchen countertop installers use. Using largish pieces of chipboard (cardboard that is not corrugated) I cut and tile these over the foam + battens and use hot glue to glue the chipboard sheets to one another. In this way, with 6 or 7 of the sheets, I am able to easily create a template that is durable enough to get in and out of the van easily and use to trace a pattern on the plywood.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The plywood is ½" Baltic birch. It is a little heavier than your typical construction plywood but because of its strength and stability, only ½" is needed.

I used a roller to apply two coats of General Finishes' High Performance Polyurethane Water Based Topcoat to seal the top surface and edges.

Once dry and laid in place, I drilled (countersunk) holes and ran 1 1/4" wood screws through the plywood and into the battens below.

The finished, installed rear section of the floor is shown here. It feels very solid. And with the 1/4"-20 bolts holding the battens to the van — the floor is not going anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Working on the middle-third of the floor. Again with the ½" polystyrene in the "valleys" and then 1" thick battens and polyisocyanurate.

An extra batten down the center this time — to add additional support in a high traffic area.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Again the ½" Baltic birch plywood tops it off.

The patterns I made from chipboard in order to cut out the plywood keep paying dividends:
Before putting down the plywood over the foam + battens I noted on the chipboard template where the battens were.
Then when I lay the plywood in place, I drop the template on top and use the batten indicators to determine where to put the screws.
And after the plywood is screwed down the template sits on top to protect the surface until I am able to cover the entire floor with vinyl.
I plan on using the templates, joined together, to rough cut out the vinyl.
I will further be able to recall the templates to determine where the battens are when mounting the lower cabinets.

Photos show installing one of the many screws. Don't use drywall screws — too brittle.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The forward third of the floor follows the same pattern: east-west battens bolted to the floor of the van with rivnuts, north-south runners join the battens with pocket screws, 1" poy-iso fills the spaces between the wood…
 

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