Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 12-22-2010, 10:44 AM   #1
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
Posts: 336
Accrete's AWD Chevy Van project

Please keep a few things in mind as you read through this build thread:

1) I'm just a regular guy...my day job has nothing to do with RV repair or maintenance so anything you see or read in this build thread posted by myself is from a non-professional POV.

2) Please always follow common sense and manufacturer's suggestions.

3) Please leave comments and suggestions!


I will use this initial post to place the latest image of van and subsequent posts as project progresses.

Also, I do keep a blog that includes the most recent adventures and van-goodies over at my domain: accrete.com

Here is a picture of our rig:

Fall of 2010 brand new and a blank canvas:


And as it is Spring of 2016:


I want to thank the gang at the SMB, ExpeditionPortal, & Wander The West forums for all the posts on their projects that have given my wife and i ideas and direction through all the many hours of reading (actually since about 2008?).

We began with a 2010 stock cargo Chevy Express AWD Van purchased new in late October 2010. We wanted AWD for our wet roads on the Oregon Coast, and also knew we did not need 4x4 capability for the trails and camps we visit. Over 30 years of off roading in various rigs we found ourselves _needing_ 4x4 only to _play_. For daily driving we had grown fond of the AWD setup in Mitsubishi and Volvo, and with a local friend with the same Chevy AWD we believed it would be a winner for us.

Some basic add-ons on the outside:
Shown with 24" Fiberine fiberglass top, Fiamma F45 Awning installed by Van Specialties in Portland Oregon. My wife & I applied the 3m Di-noc vinyl wrap on hood & emblem...we really should have asked for help on that one! LED Truck-Lite head lights ROCK!!! A friend helped install the Boulder Off Road 2" lift (actually ~2.5"~).

Here is one shot of the interior...


PS update: Winter of 2015/2016: The rig continues to amaze us in its _ability_ and comfort + convenience. To be able to take spontaneous trips to where ever knowing the van has full provisions and capability for a comfortable week away from home and power is wonderful. Rig is now just past 5 years old and has ~33K miles on the it and we enjoy it more each trip. And of course the wife luvs it for her Daily Driver!

As of spring 2016 we have the Aluminess installed on both front & rear bumpers with a galley box and jerry can box. This will allow us to get the galley outside the van with easy set up on curbside, and put 3 x 5gallon water jugs out from under the bed platform and in an outside locker. This will keep the wife happy : )
...and you know... > > A Happy Wife is a Happy Life < <

As always, your constructive critique and thoughts are appreciated !
Thom ( & Cari )
__________________

__________________
Greetings from the WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
2010 Chevy Express AWD Light Overland Vehicle
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
Parkliner Trailer Build Thread @ FGRVForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2010, 11:15 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
Posts: 336
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Below are some pictures of stock van in our backyard on the Oregon Coast. Took delivery in late October of a stock cargo 2010 Chevy Express AWD Van. This one (one of two i was able to locate at year end on the west coast) has the locking rear differential that we were looking for. No bells and whistles other than locking doors and stock AM/FM radio. Haven't had roll up windows in forever, but it's only the two in the cab so no biggie. GM had several year end offers at the time. They were offering a $1K rebate if you had at least that much in "Commercial Upfit" so we had van specialties put on the top and awning. When the papers were signed the rig came in at ~$27K, well under our _Van_ budget for the project.

Also, within the first week we had the van we had our local Les Schwab install a set of Wild Country XTX traction tires. It ought to be illegal to sell vehicles with the throw away tires most have upon delivery! Within three weeks we had snow and ice on the roads and were glad we had the new shoes on the van.

The van at-scales weighed 5300 lbs with full tank. Once the top/awning were on it was up to 5500. The GVWR is 7300 so i figure we have about 800 to 900lbs build-target and still have good wiggle room. We are going to build in the WESTY fashion and go as light/simple as possible with our home-build skill-set. This is my second Van-build, and third RV interior build/mod. My wife is a master McGirlver and comes up with some really out-of-the-box ideas. She is also good on the sewing machine and will be doing the headling, fabric trims, seat cover mods, etc.

Here is the van in stock form home from local dealership in late October 2010:





nothing quite like a blank canvas to get an artist excited...
a sample of my digital artwork i doodle with on rainy oregon coast days:



and other digital doodles : )
accrete's artwork at his face book page
__________________

__________________
Greetings from the WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
2010 Chevy Express AWD Light Overland Vehicle
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
Parkliner Trailer Build Thread @ FGRVForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2010, 11:31 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
Posts: 336
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Since this would be a daily driver and we wanted to have a rig that allowed more spontaneity than our previous set up (Tacoma + Off-Road-Capable Trailer) we knew we wanted a few things. One was full-time standing head room without a pop up. Our trailer was an Aliner EASE with pop up solid aluminum sides. While it kept the weather out, it turned out to be a hinderence to our style.

We chose the Fiberine 24" bubble top. There is a measured 72" from the cabin floor (with stock jute/rubber pad) to the screen on the fantastic fan (this is ~2" lower than ceiling, and a good area for insulation). This will allow for reasonable insulation on the floor and ceiling for my 5'8" height (wife is 5'3"). Here is a shot of the top in the Van Specialtie's yard before install:



The fit/finish is high quality marine grade exterior gell coat. The interior we ordered stock/rough-finish as we will complete the interior ourselves. Right now we are still experiencing the smell of silicone due to cold days and unable to let the rig really air out much.

The reverse flange is very nice. There are no exterior attachments. All bolts are inside and we are very pleased with the outside look.

and a picture after install :



: )
__________________
Greetings from the WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
2010 Chevy Express AWD Light Overland Vehicle
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
Parkliner Trailer Build Thread @ FGRVForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2010, 11:32 AM   #4
Site Team
 
WVvan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 1,292
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Welcome aboard Thom & Cari,
Look forward to following your progress. Especially the possible "McGirlver" ideas. I have no such counterpart on my own build team.
Dave
__________________
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
http://larry.wvnet.edu/~van/pics/lic...late-small.jpg
WWW.WVBIKE.ORG
WVvan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2010, 11:55 AM   #5
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
Posts: 336
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Hi Dave and thank you for the warm welcome.

The first McGirlver input on the van was the interior theme. I really can't believe she came up with what she did, but it's cool so i didn't hesitate to give her Kudos for picking...

Army Combat Uniform Green!



...and she quickly ordered a pair of these totally cool Smitybuilt seat covers for the high back seats:



We spent some time at Mill End Fabrics in Portland looking for some complementary fabric for the center line of the seat covers. She wanted to have ultraswade and quilt-backing in the area of contact/seating. They are coming along nicely and i'll upload the finished product when in the rig.

The seat backs are set up so you can attach the supplied pouches/packs in any configuation that suits your needs. There are enough places for just about all our individual personal needs all in an easily organized fashion.

We have several yards of the ACU fabric on the way for trim/facings etc : )
__________________
Greetings from the WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
2010 Chevy Express AWD Light Overland Vehicle
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
Parkliner Trailer Build Thread @ FGRVForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2010, 12:19 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
Posts: 336
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Items currenlty on had waiting for a nice work day to install:

WeatherTech Side Window deflectors (Yippie! the rain stopped for about 30 minutes... installed 12/22/2010. Now we can crack the windows and get some airflow to remove that silocone smell from the new roof instal.)

Vortec Mud Flaps Installed on 12/30/2010

FlexiFlair 1965 fender flairs Installed on 12/30/2010 (WARNING: We have the 1.75" flares and these are the absolute largest size able to squeeeeeze by the open slider-door)

Carbon Fiber Vinyl 3M Di-noc wrap for hood. Installed on 12/30/2010

that was our holiday shopping list : )
__________________
Greetings from the WET! Coast of Oregon, USA
2010 Chevy Express AWD Light Overland Vehicle
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
Parkliner Trailer Build Thread @ FGRVForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2010, 01:37 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: France, Europe
Posts: 617
Send a message via MSN to saabman
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Hi Congrats for that nice Chevy of yours
I would be interested to see some pics of the flares when you have them fitted... I have been thinking about some... and I too have a sliding door...
Cheers
__________________
New ride: 2000 Chevy Suburban 1500 4WD
1998 Chevy Express 2500 past project
+ 1990 Mitsubishi Pajero V6 3.0l
+ 2001 Saab 9-5 Aero Hirsch
+ 1972 Saab 96 V4 (not running)
+ fixed house (Argh)
saabman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2010, 09:59 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
bettyford's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Jackson Hole Wy
Posts: 1,017
Send a message via MSN to bettyford
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Our Chevy's are Multiplying..
Ron
__________________
Going where most dont
"one day at a time"
bettyford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-24-2010, 02:31 PM   #9
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: PNW
Posts: 315
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Looking good.
My previous van was a GMC 2wd. Great van, enjoy yours!

IMO I would continue to work with Van Specialties. The are finishing up on my current Ford.
They do good work.

Here is the interior of my GMC (not done by Van Specialties - Van Factory out of Tacome Wa did it - out of biz now)

Your imagination is the limit!

__________________
Two wheels or four, its all good. :-)
'10 E-350 EB V-10 QuadVan 4x4, SMB penthouse top, Van Specialties interior
maxacceleration is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-28-2010, 11:37 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
jage's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Franktown, CO
Posts: 7,504
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Quote:
Originally Posted by bettyford
Our Chevy's are Multiplying..
Ron
Like a virus...
__________________

__________________
and then
everything changed
jage is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
aluminess, awd

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.