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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
First, thanks to everyone on the forum for taking the time to post and share. Y'all were a massive help and inspiration in my build.

The Van
2015 XLT LWB, medium length, high roof, Wagon
3.5 Ecobost
LSD
upfitter switches

Goal
mobile office that I can work remotely from during kiteboarding season and take the family on adventures during the off-season. This is also my daily driver/kid hauler so it had to have a spot for at least 2 car seats. much of my inspiration came from https://saraandalexjames.com/ first van build. I wanted to have windows all around so we can see the scenery when camping/eating/sleeping and a soft water resistant floor that would feel good underfoot and not get ruined by many wetsuit changes.

After much searching on https://www.cargurus.com/ I bought the van used last winter in Colorado and drove it back to California. Car Gurus was one of the only used car sites I found with filter options for the transit that let me narrow my search to the exact options I wanted.

1st step was to take all the seats, factory floor and ceiling. I then covered the entire cargo floor space with Butyl Automotive Sound Deadener. I found the easiest way was to stand on a wooden dowl or metal pipe to roll the product out. The little hand roller would have taken forever.

(Product i used https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00URUIKAK/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

using 3m 90 spray adhesive (save yourself some trips and buy an entire case at home depot/lowes) I put a layer of thinsulate (bought from hein's web site) between all of the roof ribs.

then I put closed cell wood floor underlayerment layer ontop of the Butyl Automotive Sound Deadener (home depot). This was meant to decouple the first floor layer with the next layer, mass loaded vinyl. I put the mass loaded vinyl on next making sure to cut holes for all of the factory seat rail bolts.

I used the factory floor as a template to trace the floor patern onto plywood and then marked, drilled, and countersunk the holes for the factory seat rails. I used the factory seat rail bolts to hold the first layer of plywood down. I put another layer of plywood down so I could use more robuts screws attaching items to the floor and because 2 layers of plywood, soft foam gym floor tiles, and a vinyl floor would end up being the perfect height for the factory trim pieces. I also installed a Swivelsrus Seat Swivel on the passenger seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
next i installed about 100 1/4 20 plus nuts into the pefect sized holes in the van walls. These will be used to attach the walls of my build. i then started adding my radiant heat barrier. I went with this really cool product that we used in our house that we bought from Atticfoil.com. we had leftover from insulating our attic (made a huge differnce in the summer time) It's supposed to perform better than reflectix and was much more affordable. like all radiant barriers they are supposed to have an air gap. I used 3m90 and the same closed cell foam underlayment as a first layer against the van walls. The hope is the closed cell foam will reduce conductive heating of the foil. Sprayed 3m 90 on the walls, attached the foam, then 3m 90 again, and attached the foil. For interior trim pieces that I kept I sprayed 3m 90 on the inside of these and cut atticfoil to match them. These all have excellent air gaps because the trim pieces don't touch the metal body except where the clips are.

Next I attached my plywood walls with 1/4 20 bolts and the previously installed plus nuts. I installed the supporting 80/20 rails for the back of my bench seat/bed before attaching the walls to the van. I snapped a center line down the van and built out the rest of my bench seats, and then test fit the foam floor tiles.

I drilled holes in the B pillar for the larger plus nuts (10mm i think?) and installed a Lagun table leg using them. It was the thread size of the bolts that came with the lagun table system. I then installed the table top I made. This serves as a desk for my passenger seat workstation and an outdoor cooking counter.

next I insulated the upper walls of the van using the same technique, and installed the upper plywood walls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
after insulating and installing the upper walls I added another layer of thinsulate to the roof, running the entire length of the van, covering the ceiling ribs. This was held in place with 3m 90 and furring strips screwed into the ceiling ribs with self tapping sheet metal screws.

I then began installing my upper storage shelf locker. This is about 6 feet long and can fit my kites and boards. I chose to put this up high, instead of a pull out drawer under the floor, because I wanted to be able to look out the windows while eating / lying in bed. A raised floor would have almost entirely covered my windows with the bench seats.

I installed my dometic fridge on a slide out mount and bolted down my East Marine - 3-STAGE Table Pedestal. The dinner table sits on top of this pedestal and lowers onto cleats on the front of the bench seats to form the platform for my bed. The table pedestal has a gas strut in it like an office chair such that when the clamps are released the table rises to maximum height. The table can be adjusted up and down and swiveled 360 degrees.

I installed a medium sized laptop safe under one of my bench seats by drilling holes through the floor and bolting it in place. the tops of my bench seats are on hinges and open to reveal additional storage underneath.

I also installed a Big Kahuna Portable Shower with heating element in the rear for my outdoor shower.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I used a large eye bolt in the D pillar to secure one side of my ratchet strap and a 1/4 20 eye bolt in the old jack bracket bolt hole to secure the other side of the strap.

I cut all the foam gym floor tiles to fit and then began gluing them down. once the foam floor was done, I used the factory floor to trace a template on the vinyl floor i purchased. I glued it to the foam tiles using...yup...3m 90.

I made sure to cut out holes in the floor for the 2 row bench seats in each step of the floor making process. I kept the 2 person and 3 person bench seat from the original 12 seats that came with the van. Normally I keep the 2 person seat in the van to give me more room, but put the 3 person in if we bring grandma with us on an adventure.

I bought an electric carving knife and ordered two organic latex matress toppers (because wife hates chemicals), 2 inch firmer one and 3 inch softer one. Wish we could have done 6 inches on the matress but then our feet wouldn't touch the ground when in table mode.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Next I bought some outdoor sunbrella fabric and took the dimensions to my local alterations shop and had them make the cushion covers.

I installed two 64"x80" magnetic screens, one on the back door and one on the sliding door. they come with adhesive velcro tape and required just a little creative folding in the top corners. If you follow the installation instructions they self close and the magnets snap them back together. They work great and were $35 bucks each. keep the bugs out but not the racoons. Ask me how I know :-(
(https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CLGC3V7/ref=oh_aui_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1)

Using another piece of 80/20 and some U bolts I made a bar to hold the doors open in high winds. Can also be used as a shower curtain rod. push into door latches to insert. Open door handle to release.

I also started working on some additional fold out counters for my outdoor kitchen. I used plus nuts in existing holes for most of the supports.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here's some more shots of the shelves and the sport where I relocated my jack.

I also did a modified version of this post that explains how to group all your Customer Connenction Points (CCPs) together to make a 150 amp tap (technically 180 amps). I added some bus bars to mine and installed a 1,000 watt inverter to power the water heater in my shower. The gidget van build blog is great if you haven't seen it.
https://moreysintransit.com/ford-transit-customer-connection-points/

I used VHB tape to stick the plywood to the van wall for the inveter, and then used wood screws to attached the inverter to the board. The cables are run inside protective tubing through an existing hole in the wall.

I then ran a hardwired 110 volt AC outlet to the back of the van near the shower and also ran a hard wired 12 volt DC lighter plug from the bus bar to the back of the van where I was plugging my refrigerator in. This way it won't shut off after 30 minutes when the van kills the accessrory power.

you can also see the Apline sub i installed with the custom mounting bracket I bought from Hein.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Here are some pictures of my upper gear shelf. Everything is just roughed in at the moment to see how it works. Planning to make it look nice later once I'm sure I won't be changing anything. I made the shelf itself in two sections. each is a rectangle made out of 80/20. I then attached very thin plywood (maybe 1/8th inch?) to the top and bottom and used 3M 90 to attach speaker box carpet to the top and bottom. the shelf is open at the back allowing me to pull smaller items out when the back doors are open. It is 64 inches long and easily holds 4 kites and two boards.

I upgraded the speakers, installed an amplifier, and slapped on some steel craft running boards (not pictured)

Then lastly, I installed a Titan Pistol Vault and fabricated a fake garbage can (cardboard and speaker fabric) to hide it from sight. This is drilled through the floor and bolted from under the van as well as from inside the vault.

Excluding the cost of the van of course, I'm all in at just over $9,000 on this conversion. Some of that was spent on tools I bought to do the conversion and some on mistakes I made (like the $300 butcher block counter i was going to use as the dinning table that was way to heavy. I replaced it with an ikea coffee table top instead)

I think the plan is to use it for a year and evaluate next steps. Would love to do solar/house batteries but the cost and technical challenge are a bit daunting at the moment. Hope my build story inspires someone else.
 

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Love it, inspires me to get moving on my MR LWB 12 passenger. The warmer weather in the NE will help it along also.

I may have missed something, but are you concerned about killing your battery if you don't turn off the fridge?

I have 3 kids 7,11,12 yrs, so my van is in 5 passenger mode, using the 3rd row (2+1). It gives a ton (too much?) of leg room and living space up front, but feeling I'm sacraficing too much storage room in the back. I'll run like this a while and let the answer come to me. You probably considered the same, would be interested to hear you rationale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Love it, inspires me to get moving on my MR LWB 12 passenger. The warmer weather in the NE will help it along also.

I may have missed something, but are you concerned about killing your battery if you don't turn off the fridge?

I have 3 kids 7,11,12 yrs, so my van is in 5 passenger mode, using the 3rd row (2+1). It gives a ton (too much?) of leg room and living space up front, but feeling I'm sacraficing too much storage room in the back. I'll run like this a while and let the answer come to me. You probably considered the same, would be interested to hear you rationale.
The fridge can be set to three different battery saver modes to shutoff if the incoming voltage dips below a certain level. I also have the HD alternator and double battery. I've run it for almost 3 days without killing the battery.

I'm too tall to sleep east/west in the van so the north/south bed was my only choice. that dictated most of the decisions and is the main reason I kept the 2nd row seats. I needed as much room behind them as possible.

wish I could have gotten the longer version but it won't make it up my driveway :-(
 

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Looks fantastic! I'm also curious about the trim over the airbags as well as did you reinstall the duct work for the rear air and reuse the headliner or any other factory interior trim pieces from the back?
 

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Very nice, thanks for sharing.

A few questions:
1) How many rolls/boxes of the sound deadener did you use to cover the floor?
2) How did you secure the plywood to the floor? From what I've seen, people usually fill in the "non-ribbed" floor space with wood that is glued to floor and then screw plywood to that. Doesn't appear you did it this way.

Thanks!
Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Looks great! How did you deal with the airbags and your ceiling trim?
wife insisted we leave the airbags in. since they blow downwards and not outwards (
) I'm building over them. I removed all the ceiling trim to get some extra room. Once I finish any solar panel/roof rack/light plans I'll use the same thin plywood and speaker fabric from the gear shelf to make a finished ceiling. It will be screwed into the furring strips i installed on the ceiling already.

I still have the factory ceiling trim if anyone wants it. Have to come to the california bay area to pick it up though. free to a good home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Looks fantastic! I'm also curious about the trim over the airbags as well as did you reinstall the duct work for the rear air and reuse the headliner or any other factory interior trim pieces from the back?
I removed all the rear AC duct work except for first piece that runs up from the blower. I cut it to stop a few inches below my gear shelf. this way cold air blows up into the table/bed area. I left the very front piece of the headliner in place but removed all the other pieces. Free to a good home if you want it. Factory floor too. PM me if interested. I'm planning to reuse all of the factory trim pieces in any spot not covered by the build. As you can see I've put several back in place already. I line them with radiant heat barrier first and then cut them to fit. So far it's been working really well. Soo many cup holders ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Very nice, thanks for sharing.

A few questions:
1) How many rolls/boxes of the sound deadener did you use to cover the floor?
2) How did you secure the plywood to the floor? From what I've seen, people usually fill in the "non-ribbed" floor space with wood that is glued to floor and then screw plywood to that. Doesn't appear you did it this way.

Thanks!
Jeff
1) I bought 1 roll from this site: https://www.soundproofcow.com/product/quiet-barrier­-md-soundproofing-material-roll/
I think I got the 30 ft roll. I have a bunch left over. If you live near the california bay area I'd sell the left over to you very cheap. I have a lot of left over thinsulate as well.
2) I didn't bother to fill in the "non-ribbed" space. I put the noico (dynamat) down first, then the closed cell foam underlayment, then the Mass loaded vinyl, then place the plywood directly on top of all that. The first layer of plywood is bolted into the unused threaded holes that the passenger seat rails were bolted into. I used the monster bolts that were holding the seat rails down. I counter sunk them in the first layer of plywood. The first few floor pictures show me about half way through this process. I then put another layer of plywood down on top of the first, and used a big box of 1" wood screws to attach the two layers together.
 

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