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 )