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Old 12-13-2012, 02:00 PM   #1
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2005 V!0 homebuilt.

Years past owned two VW campers. Loved the concept but disliked the fragile mechanics. Losing clutch while boarding ferry in Canada the most memorable. Drooled over new Sportsmobiles and serious looked at used but my bank had apoplexy over financing out of state private buy. So decided to build myself.
Three years ago, after long search found 2005 V10 commercial E350 listed on Craigslist 130 miles away. Taken as trade in by Mercedes dealer . I don't think they knew what to do with it. Pristine condition with the factory tow package still a virgin. I drove from Oregon to Sportsmobile Fresno and in one day they installed poptop and two sliding windows.The cost at Sportsmobile exceeded the price of the van but well worth it. Great folks to do business with. I installed Michelins/rear sway bar/gas shocks. I built the interior. Sofa bed is IKEA item $299. Interior built with birch plywood. City water and drain. 110V side plug in with plugs and lighting in interior. Silver foil bubble insulation with fiberglass for the odd spots. We mostly cook outside but use portable single burner for inside. Extra deep bar sink. Wife made insulated blackout curtains for all window the snap on. Very warm and great for sleeping late. We drive to remote areas so next project will be to install aux. battery. Just in case.
Van is mechanically bullet proof with no problems. Mileage surprisingly good as V10 is loafing along most times. Total cost $17900. A great machine. Pics on gallery SilverV10.
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:40 PM   #2
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Re: 2005 V!0 homebuilt.

Nice build! Looks really great inside.

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:40 PM   #3
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Re: 2005 V!0 homebuilt.

Love the color!
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Old 12-14-2012, 12:33 AM   #4
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Re: 2005 V!0 homebuilt.

Looks great! I really like how your interior turned out. Do you have a freshwater tank, or only city hookups? That sink works really nicely with your counter space.
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Old 12-14-2012, 11:47 AM   #5
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Re: 2005 V!0 homebuilt.

The birch plywood looks fantastic, so does the build quality!

The birch finish reminds me of my very first VW camper, a '64 Easy Camper conversion that I purchased from career National Park rangers husband and wife, back in 1986.
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Old 12-14-2012, 01:42 PM   #6
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Re: 2005 V!0 homebuilt.

nice ride and I uhgree with everyone else, the inside looks great!

i keep telling myself that i dont want an awning, but all these pix of everyone with them...just looks so dang handy.
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Old 12-14-2012, 03:49 PM   #7
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Re: 2005 V!0 homebuilt.

Thanks for the comments. Interestingly our first VW camper van was a used 1972 Sportsmobile conversion.

The cabinet width was determined by the full double bed wide IKEA sofa bed. As a result cabinets below bed level are narrower than factory so fresh water tank would have been a bit of a squeeze. Also KISS, When remote camping we have a three gallon round insulated water container with bottom spout that sits on triangle piece of wood on the front driver side corner of the roof corner when the top is up. We carry standard 1 gal. jugs of water for refills in the strapped down chrome wire racks behind the sofa. After years of camping we pretty much know how much water we use per day so we load water accordingly. Also we can just stop at any small town grocery store and buy more jugs for $1.00 or so apiece.

If I did again I would bite the bullet and buy higher end birch Ply. It has a thicker birch final veneer. I used econobox birch ply which is OK but birch veneer so thin its more difficult to saw and sand and come out with a good finish.
We also spend time camping on the Oregon Coast so the awning is for us mainly for the drizzle. Its an extremely lightweight model that is made aftermarket for VW campers mostly. I special ordered longer supports as Ford higher off the ground than VW.
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Old 12-14-2012, 04:11 PM   #8
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Re: 2005 V!0 homebuilt.

What an incredible job. I can see the Westy influence in the interior and are to be commended.

Is the Sofa bolted down and if so, may I ask what brackets you used or did you have to create
them special?
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Old 12-14-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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Re: 2005 V!0 homebuilt.

The lightweight IKEA sofabed has square metal legs that come down at slight angles from vertical. It took me a while to think up a 'clean' installation. I used heavy duty home door hinges. I bolted one side of the hinge using all three holes in the hinge to the insulated 3/4" linuleum covered plywood floor. The other hinge piece can now fold up to exactly match the angle of the legs. I drilled a hole through the leg of the sofa and then through bolted to the middle hole of the upright hinge piece. Each leg has the hinge face in front of the leg as extra shear strength in case of a frontal fender bender. A bonus is if i ever need to remove the sofa to haul something the hinges fold flat to the floor.

I'm sure its not up to federal specifications but it is very strong and its just the two of us and we don't carry passengers in the back. (I did order custom seat belts for the sofa seat and they are bolted through the floor, just in case.)I hope the above description is understandable.
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Old 12-15-2012, 01:46 PM   #10
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Re: 2005 V!0 homebuilt.

LYCKSELE LÖVÅS
Sofa bed, Ransta white

For those asking, the above is the sofa bed from IKEA used in the conversion. Its listed in sofa bed in the online catalog. It has a removable cover. We dyed the white cover grey. It turns into bed by pulling forward. A corner of it slides under the overhang of the sink counter. They also make a super single in the same unit.Two reasons I used it.
1. We sleep on King at home. I use upper bed when by myself but together we need more space.
2. I found on internet a made for it convert bed like a Westfalia but the supplier never returned phone calls. A Sportsmobile unit was big $$ installed and shorter/ narrower.
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