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2000 Ford E350 15 Passenger Van Build
Well, here is my attempt to document my build that is underway on the above van.  It is taking me more time to build it than I thought it would when I started it. The amount of work that I could do in one day 25 years ago now takes me three or four days to do today, and I might need to rest and recuperate for a few days after that!

Mid October I bought a solar system package from Wholesale Solar up in Mt Shasta, CA. It has four 160 watt panels, a Morningstar TriStar Charge Controller, TS-MPPT-45, a Magnum Energy MS2012, 2000 watt Sinewave Inverter, two Crown AGM 220 Ah batteries and all the other cool goodies to go with. I hope to get two more of those batteries to add to the bank real soon.

Anyway, I figured out that this would maybe all fit in my van so I made a preliminary sketch:

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Gutting all the plastic out of the back of the van was not to much work, but I got my neighbors son who can carry around 1/2 a telephone pole by himself to come over and remove all of the bench seat brackets and rear seat belt stuff. The box of that stuff must have weighed over 150 lbs.

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[-] The following 4 users say Thank You to S Cello for this post:
  • Justacarsofar (01-06-2018), American Nomad Patriot (06-06-2018), Blanch (10-02-2018), Texjbird (10-11-2018)
The same guy helped me remove the rear a/c and heating system, then I removed the rear headliner and carpet.

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The next day I got a bucket of soapy water, brushes, rags and towels and cleaned the inside.

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That's Iced Tea.

I probably rested for a few days after that.
[-] The following 3 users say Thank You to S Cello for this post:
  • Justacarsofar (01-06-2018), Cammalu (01-06-2018), American Nomad Patriot (06-06-2018)
While I rested, I thought about what wiring I'd need in the floor, so when I went back out there to work on it, I started taping down wire in the low spots of the bed. I am not much used to working on automotive stuff and 12 volt systems, but I watched videos (not much help) and read what Sternwake and others had written here and there. I found some voltage drop calculators and used them.

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That's a friend there above.

I laid down some 1x4 for floor joists, and installed some water line across the van.

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[-] The following 2 users say Thank You to S Cello for this post:
  • Justacarsofar (01-06-2018), American Nomad Patriot (06-06-2018)
I placed 3/4" styrofoam insulation between the joists, but didn't bother sealing the joints for vapor barrier on the floor, as I was planning multiple coats of polyurethane atop the floor. I cut out underlayment material to fit for my flooring.
It will be my finished floor once the polyurethane is applied.

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I will admit that the flooring came up once before the polyurethane went on as I added a 1/2" gas line and some #6 wire for a compressor fridge that will go where the passenger seat is now.

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[-] The following 3 users say Thank You to S Cello for this post:
  • Justacarsofar (01-06-2018), Ballenxj (01-06-2018), American Nomad Patriot (06-06-2018)
Looking good!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Baloo for this post:
  • S Cello (01-05-2018)
I moved on to the ceiling. I put 1 1/2" of that cheap styrofoam insulation up there. The same 1x4, this time at the existing roof beams. I framed out and wired for a fantastic fan at the rear, by my desk to remove cigar smoke, and framed for a front vent as well.

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I chose some cheap thin (1/4") tongue and groove white pine for the ceiling.

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Next day I installed the Fantastic Fan and front vent.

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[-] The following 4 users say Thank You to S Cello for this post:
  • Justacarsofar (01-06-2018), Ballenxj (01-06-2018), TWIH (01-06-2018), American Nomad Patriot (06-06-2018)
Then on to the walls. There was no way I was going to try and insulate behind all that two layered painted sheet metal. I decided to:  1. fur the walls out 1".  2. Use scrap 3/4" foam board over the windows, silver side facing out and painted flat black to give the ole limo tint effect. 3. Overlay the walls between the fur strips with 1" styrofoam insulation, foil side facing inward.  4. seal everything for a vapor seal.  5. Call it good.
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See that square cut out with the two holes above? It caused the photo below!

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Pea grinders sure do spin fast!

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[-] The following 4 users say Thank You to S Cello for this post:
  • Justacarsofar (01-06-2018), Ballenxj (01-06-2018), TWIH (01-06-2018), American Nomad Patriot (06-06-2018)
looking good,well except the hand
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Blacktank for this post:
  • S Cello (01-06-2018)
wow wow wow!  Impressive, man!  Big Grin
title~ "Deliberate Discharge" 3 "Stinkin Badges" 1 "Flying manure spreader" 1 "Pink Elephant"  Tongue
[-] The following 1 user says Thank You to Justacarsofar for this post:
  • S Cello (01-06-2018)
On to the wall paneling. I had some apparent paneling laying in the garage. It was smooth on both sides. I had bought the stuff to put on the inside of a chicken coupe some time back. I got the chicken coupe pretty far along when it dawned on me that if I actually finished building the chicken coupe, then I would get chickens. It also dawned on me that there was nobody around to take care of said chickens but me. This would really tie me down. I immediately stopped building the chicken coupe.
So I had this paneling, but the sticker on it said "underlayment". more underlayment going in the van. I went cheap on everything.... except the solar! oh, and the compressor refrigerator. and the tiny RV heater. Hey, I have a black and white blue eyed great dane, Spottie. He has thin, sparse hair. He doesn't like cold, rain, cats and a few other things. He does love to be in the van, and he loves to be with me. He's not a chicken, he's coming with me. Gotta keep the guy warm.
OK, paneling photos.

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After installing this, I stepped out of the van to look in at it.... and I really dislike this color. I ache way to bad to be taking this out. My new revised floor plan (which I have not sketched yet) has floor to ceiling cabinets at front and back with a six foot bed in between. This color is perfect for inside of cabinets. when the furniture is installed, it will only show above the bed. If it still looks disgusting there, I will overlay it with the other side showing.
I placed the other side facing out on the opposite wall.

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Well, there won't be much of this showing either after the furniture is built. The wheel well is 3 feet long. The new un-drawn floorplan shows a floor to ceiling pantry above the wheel well, with the batteries at the bottom just next to the wheel well. This should help balance the weight as I plan a 40 gallon water tank under the bed just next to that wheel well. (great danes drink alot). The kitchen counter is much shorter, but it was too long anyhow.

Ok, just lately I started building said furniture. I might mention, I've never built cabinets before. I am slightly afeared of it.

Oh, I have 3 coats of polyurethane on the floor in this first photo, I'm kinda liking it. I will sand it a bit to knock off the bumps and then put 3 more coats, I think.

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Above, Wardrobe with furnace below. Shoe storage on the unstained flat plywood next to the furnace.

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Desk for laptop and speakers, room for dinner plate at the same time. Also room for pipes and cigar ashtray.
I haven't been able to come up with where to store my 17 prescription medications that I take daily. Beats me.
oh, that pantry beyond the desk looks like it sure ought to hold alot of food, although I might put a cut-out for a small microwave.

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Okay, that's it, up to today.
[-] The following 3 users say Thank You to S Cello for this post:
  • Justacarsofar (01-06-2018), TWIH (01-06-2018), American Nomad Patriot (06-06-2018)

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