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Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions

 > Converting a conversion van to a class B

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cargovanconversion

Florida, USA

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Posted: 02/17/12 05:51pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Sorry about the images. Hopefully this works.






My website describes the conversion of my Dodge B-250 van into a small RV. I deal with a lot of woodworking, but hope to be quite specific on solar as well.

cargovanconversion.com


bashmaki

Washington State

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Posted: 02/17/12 05:59pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have no idea how it would work but I was planning on making insulated curtains to draw across the front behind the seats and over the back & side doors. I have an extremely heavy sewing machine that will handle thickness to 3/4" material of any kind even pine. The needles are nearly the size of tooth picks. It is an old Singer 33-7. This thing is a tank! So it will sew anything I might decide to use to make insulation panels.
I may just make panels that snap into place for real cold weather.

NewsW

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Posted: 02/17/12 06:54pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Technical issues with insulating curtains is how to prevent heat loss at the very top, where it is at maximum leakage.

I considered zippers, velcro, and other ideas.

Even if heat loss is limited, moisture will still form ice on windows and that has to be scraped when it gets cold enough.

NewsW

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Posted: 02/17/12 06:57pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cargovanconversion wrote:

Insulation in a RV is a relative proposition. What do you do with the single pane windows and door jambs? I recently opened up the walls of my conversion van. Lots of batting that served me well, but also a lot of uninsulated areas.


With regard to the floor, I just installed a ½" rigid insulation board with a ½" plywood on top. More than sufficient for flooring. I would pull electric thru the walls and ceiling; those panels are easily removable if necessary.




Have very few windows in extreme cold.

Jambs and that can take 1 layer of foil bubble wrap

Alternative is to fill inside of jambs with injected closed cell foam.

The key is to nail down the biggest heat loss areas (roof, sides, high up), and gradually work your way to other areas.

bashmaki

Washington State

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Posted: 02/17/12 08:00pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

NewsW wrote:

The key is to nail down the biggest heat loss areas (roof, sides, high up), and gradually work your way to other areas.


I think you've hit on something important here. Trying to hit everything in one fell swoop is going to be hard. However, starting with all major exterior walls and what ever can be realized through common sense searching is a good place to start. One will always find those little nooks and crannies along the way that need a squirt or two of closed cell foam to complete the process.

NewsW

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Posted: 02/18/12 07:22am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

cargovanconversion wrote:

bashmaki,
I've been working on the design options for a long time and little things like those corners just make the difference. I did not want to end up with a couple of boards and a few 2x4's.
Great to hear someone has a use for it.

Van.



At some point, I am going to do 2.0 of my van, and one of the major design changes is a fold away bed on the side that comes out as a double bed but fold into a single / couch.

Several design issues I can see in yours:

Too many windows --- it was built as a cruiser, not a camper.

Consider blocking off a few of the windows with a rigid foam and / or foil insert / plug.

Heat loss from there is terrific.


The use of fiberglass with only vapor barrier on one side is not adequate for a live in camper.

Moisture ingress happens from both sides, and both sides can alternately be hot or cold side.

Therefore, insulation need to be wrapped on both sides.

You probably overkilled on floor insulation.

In my design, a large 4 X 1/2 was fastened to both side walls for the length of the vehicle.

It was extremely well secured, with bolts to structural members inside.

This mounting rail became the basis for securing most loads to the side.

The roof is where the hardest decision has to be made. the 1" or so of space from the factory metal suppport just do not provide enough room for good insulation.

I ended up adding a 1/2" strip on top of the metal to give a total of about a little less than 1 1/2" of space for insulation.

But that is a straight hit on headroom.

The strips meant the roof panels can be readily screwed into the wood strip, easing installation.

Additional space "upside" also meant wiring etc can be threaded.

As before, insulation had vapor barriers on both sides.

MAU MAU

New Hampshire and Maine

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Posted: 02/18/12 05:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Very interesting project and I give you much credit for taking it on.

I am sure you have checked out Dave's work on his van, but in case you missed it, here is a link.

http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseaction/thread/tid/22965583.cfm

Please keep the pictures coming!


Roadtrek 170 Popular

bashmaki

Washington State

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Posted: 02/17/12 08:20pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cargovanconversion,
I was finally able to take some time to look at your website on your conversion. It is a very extensive site and I've only looked at part of it; more later.

First off, the bed corners are a wonderful idea. Maybe not the easiest to accomplish but you'll thank yourself many times over for taking the time to do them that way. You will save yourself many a sore knew over the conventional square cornered bed frame.

Thanks for the link to the site; it will prove to be invaluable for me as time goes on.

Thanks for that

bashmaki

Washington State

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Posted: 02/17/12 08:22pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Cargovanconversion,
I was finally able to take some time to look at your website on your conversion. It is a very extensive site and I've only looked at part of it; more later.

First off, the bed corners are a wonderful idea. Maybe not the easiest to accomplish but you'll thank yourself many times over for taking the time to do them that way. You will save yourself many a sore knew over the conventional square cornered bed frame.

Thanks for the link to the site; it will prove to be invaluable for me as time goes on.

Thanks for that

cargovanconversion

Florida, USA

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Joined: 02/16/2012

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Posted: 02/17/12 08:33pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bashmaki,
I've been working on the design options for a long time and little things like those corners just make the difference. I did not want to end up with a couple of boards and a few 2x4's.
Great to hear someone has a use for it.

Van.

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