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Open Roads Forum  >  Class B - Camping Van Conversions  >  DIY

 > My Chevrolet Express van Class B- camper

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Black'95

South Dakota

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Posted: 01/22/16 11:24am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The latest modification to the van camper is for cleaning up when no campground showers are available. Usually we just take a quick washcloth sponge bath and wipe over with a wet clear water washcloth, but now we should be able to rinse off like a real shower. We got the following soda bottle shower assembly and will use it while kneeling in a small 8" x 32" pet pool which will fit in the open floor space of our van camper. The pet pool can by dried easily and folds up to a cube of about 8"x8"x8". Not nearly as good as a real shower but we will be able to get clean while out in the boonies.
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* This post was last edited 06/06/16 08:11pm by Black'95 *   View edit history

Black'95

South Dakota

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Posted: 05/20/16 10:06am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The latest addition to my van camper is an idea I got from LenS in the Sportsmobile forum at: http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/forums/f24/one-in-a-blue-moon-a-c-4872.html

I made a wood frame to mount a small window air conditioner in the driver's side window opening. We use it at night to sleep during hot summer nights while camping at campsites with electricity. I picked up a new small window AC unit for under $100 and can store it and the wood window frame in the rear "basement" area under the bed of my camper. I am looking forward to using this when we travel south on vacations.

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Outside view. I install the wood frame first, then install the AC unit which is held in place by three screws at the top. I added a support rod too, but the AC unit is so small I think the support rod in over-kill and not really needed.

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Inside view. It is easily installed and removed with a few screws at the top.

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Storage in rear "basement" under bed with wood frame behind AC unit while traveling.

* This post was last edited 06/11/16 08:07am by Black'95 *   View edit history

Black'95

South Dakota

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Posted: 06/06/16 08:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We had been using a blue tarp for an awning and I was unhappy with it because it sagged in the middle, often catching on the door when we opened it. I found a better one at Gander Mountain that arched in the center with tent-like fiberglass poles that worked much better. Now we do not have any clearance problems when trying to open the door. I used wood clamps similar to C-clamps to attach it to the roof drip edge. It is much easier to set up than the old blue tarp. My wife sewed some extra black loops in between the corners so I could attach more ropes to tie it down better. In a very brisk wind this last weekend, the awning didn't hardly wiggle. For non-windy, calm condition we do not need to use the extra tie-downs.
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I modified the clamps so the awning would extend beyond the roof drip edge and, therefore, not drip water on us under the awning.
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The little 1" clamps in the center section are smaller but still modified in a similar fashion.
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As an update to this post: I am sorry to say that Gander Mountain doesn't carry this canopy any longer, but I have found something fairly close to it at this site:
https://www.campmor.com/c/economy-canopy-11-ft-6-in-x-11-ft-6-in-20015
It is larger than mine and has a center pole which is not as convenient as the one I have which has two flexible umbrella type rods that run from corner to corner to hold it up.

* This post was last edited 02/15/18 10:54am by Black'95 *   View edit history

stan909

San Bernardino,Ca

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Posted: 06/06/16 11:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Just wondering why you didn't mount the AC permanently in one of the rear windows.Not pretty, but effective and saves storage space.

Black'95

South Dakota

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Posted: 06/07/16 06:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

stan909 wrote:

Just wondering why you didn't mount the AC permanently in one of the rear windows.Not pretty, but effective and saves storage space.


Like you said, "Not pretty." But there is another reason. Living and traveling here in South Dakota for most of our camping, we do not need the AC, so most of the time I do not carry it. I only pack it and the wood window adapter when I plan on camping during the hot months or when we vacation south where it is much hotter. Therefore most of the time when we are camping we still have the extra space available.

Black'95

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Posted: 06/10/16 09:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I made another modification to my center console porta-potty box. When I built it, I added the map pocket on the front so that part is not new. The new modification in the addition of a 12volt to 110 volt inverter held in place with Velcro straps and a fold-up style cup holder. I keep my extra 70-210 zoom lens there so it is very handy to grab when I want to switch from my 18-55 zoom.

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This center console normally sits between our front bucket seats. It is only in this position for a better view for the picture. See my previous post on this topic:
http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseac........d/28113784/gotomsg/28116135.cfm#28116135

Link to modification for top opening post:
http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseac........d/28113784/gotomsg/28505253.cfm#28505253

* This post was last edited 08/27/16 08:39pm by an administrator/moderator *   View edit history

Black'95

South Dakota

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Posted: 06/25/16 10:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My latest addition to my van camper is a portable ice maker. We often camp in locations where we have electrical hookups but are 30 miles from stores where we can obtain ice for our cooler. We fill it with water, turn it on, and this little machine puts out plenty of ice to keep us in ice for extended stays at these locations.
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drsolo

Milwaukee

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Posted: 06/25/16 12:45pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Black'95 wrote:

My latest addition to my van camper is a portable ice maker.


I've been thinking about getting one. How small is it?


Ingrid- Retired teacher from Milwaukee, WI
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1992 GMC Vandura conversion


Black'95

South Dakota

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Posted: 06/25/16 03:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

It is approximately 10" x 13" x 13" and I found a nice little corner in my van for it to travel in. When we are camping using it, I put it outside in the shade. It makes little finger-tip ice cubes which you have to remove often to your cooler or freezer (at home) because the storage container is really not refrigerated. It makes cubes in about 8-10 minutes and the longer you run it the bigger the ice gets. We like it and think it works out great for us even though some people don't give it good reviews.

* This post was edited 06/27/16 06:57am by Black'95 *

Black'95

South Dakota

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Posted: 07/09/16 06:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I was not completely happy with the clamps I used to secure my awning to the drip edge of my van. They were modified clamps that would swivel too easily in the wind. (See previous post:http://www.rv.net/forum/index.cfm/fuseac........d/28113784/gotomsg/28907433.cfm#28907433) I searched the internet for various clamp styles and made some new ones out of 1/8 inch aluminum sheeting, a metal piece from a farm sprayer parts store, a carriage bolt and a large plastic wing nut. I made three of them, one for each end and one to secure the middle.
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I made them flat and 3 inches wide to fit in the drip edge, covered the parts that would touch the van's paint with sticky-backed step/running board rubber. With the large wing nuts, they are easy to tighten by hand -- no wrenches needed. I used a file to file the round hole square for the head of the carriage bolt. The large nut is a spacer because my carriage bolt was too long. I plan to replace it with a shorter one soon.

* This post was edited 08/27/16 08:38pm by an administrator/moderator *

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