Still have a small piece of window, next to the storage closet that needs to be finished. I’ll install a window frame/sill made from Hard Maple and add a plywood cover around it. Later I will use an automotive tweed to finish it. The corners of the frame are made differently than those of the window at the Murphy Bed , but give a similar result.Continue reading Window Sill & Cover
It was time to make the final fit of the wall panel, that sits behind the Murphy Bed and that forms the background of a closet and side of the rear kitchen.
The length of the 8′ x 4′ (244cm x 122cm) plywood panel, is just shy of what’s needed to cover the rear window, but that is solved by extending the window support. The cut-outs for the ceiling cross beams fit tightly and the top corner, behind the driver’s seat, fits snuggly around the side airbag location. Continue reading Wall Panel Issues
After a lot of measuring and making a template for the window frame behind the Murphy bed, the actual work started on the frame. I chose hard maple as the whitish color of the wood, complements the white Formica on the walls. The frame has no 90 degree corners and is hand-made according to the template. Ultimately, it will be firmly attached to the van’s metal wall and will support the large wall panel around it.
Adding a bed to the van is the second, larger interior project that I’m working on and probably the most important addition to the RV.
While the van conversion process should follow a specific order, so-far I’ve deviated from that, to create a (very) basic setup, that will sustain me on short trips, until the conversion has completed. Access to 12V, privacy, flooring, vents and a bed are all I need for the moment to be reasonably comfortable on short road trips.
The bed has a simple design, with many complicated requirements added to the construction. I decided a long time ago, that living space is crucial for a well-designed recreational vehicle. Continue reading Murphy Bed Design
While these cooling tips are valid for all RV’s, I’ll be focusing on off-grid camping and boondocking. Those of us that frequent regular campgrounds with all their amenities have it much easier.
It is always difficult to stay cool in the Heat of Summer or warm when the temperature drops. The best we can strive for is a comfortable experience anytime we’re in our RV. But what do you do in a small van or Class B RV?
Before we talk about lifestyle changes, we have to discuss the structural composition of the vehicle. Unfortunately, many factory-built RV’s are still manufactured with little insulation, but with a custom van conversion we can add as much as we feel is necessary. The transfer of heat is a major concern, yet can be addressed with a variety of thermal insulation products. Continue reading 10 Cool Ideas To Lower Temperatures In Your RV
Buying a new cargo van brings with it a complete new design of the interior of the van. During the last few months, I have been working on some ideas that make it stand out from the standard van conversions. One such idea is incorporating a Murphy bed, that creates more living space during the daytime, while avoiding the fold of a sleeper sofa.
In addition to the bed, I have been playing around with a rear storage area and a desk design with a built-in wall picture. The rear kitchen fascinates me and the bathroom still poses problems to the design. Continue reading How To Design Your Conversion Van Layout
I HAVEN’T WORKED ON THE VAN MUCH LATELY. HAD TO FOCUS ON MY JOB, BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE 1992 DODGE B-250 VAN HAS STARTED TO FAIL.
Its age and the increasing number of repairs have redirected my focus on the purchase of a new cargo van and restart the van conversion from the beginning.
Fortunately, the new cargo van models available on the market today have many improvements over the old models and manufacturer support is guaranteed for many years to come. Knowledge and experience gained with the current conversion can be applied to the new cargo van and improvements in materials, such as solar panels, may lead to a better end result.
Continue reading Cargo Van Conversion v2.0
Between the window and the side doors is a narrow strip of wall available to house a small console. It is the future location of the battery monitor and a reading light.
With a narrow piece of wood, the length of the console, placed against the inside wall, the curve of the wall is transferred to the wood. Back in the workshop the form is cut and adjusted to get a perfect fit.
In the meantime, some wood is planed to a 1/2” thickness and the form is temporarily attached to it. With a straight-edge bit, the form is exactly copied to the wood. This and another copy are the two sides of the console.
Before continuing with the other side of the van interior, it’s time to put the wall and window above the bed, back together again.
Two issues remain: the battery cables and the solar controller cable need to be installed. The other is the decision I have to make, whether to go ahead with batting as insulation or choose a foam product.
Despite some negative comments about the batting material, it has served me well over the years. On the other hand, spray foam would do a better job in filling all the little air pockets in the walls. Some people, however, have mentioned a squeaking noise while driving. Have you any thoughts about it?
The original wall panel is still around. The covering is removed and the plywood base is what we have to work with. I could copy it to a new, one-piece sheet of plywood, but it is in a condition to be reused.
For weeks I could not figure out how the ceiling panels were attached to the ceiling. After a lot of prying around, I succeeded in removing one long, narrow side panel, but only after removing the cabin ceiling panel first. It was friction fit and capped by the cabin panel.
I wonder how the interior held it out for 20 years; most of the work I’ve seen sofar is minimal at least. This panel is held up by 3 open clips and 2 screws. In the left rear, you can see the other long, narrow side ceiling panel.