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Old 06-05-2013, 06:10 PM   #1
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My do over project

I orginally converted my 12 pass window van to a simple floor plan with a stock center bench seat with a platform bed behind it at window level with storage beneath it and a small cabinet behind the drivers seat with my refer/freezer on top. We didn't use the penthouse bed. After 5 years my wife and I realized how inconvenient our set up was so I removed everything and built steel shelving along the driver side from the driver seat to the rear door and a bench style seat with storage and a water tank underneath on the passenger side from the side door opening to the rear door. I also added underfloor storage. Now everything is accessable from inside and kept in clear plastic storage bins.
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Van redo 001 (Medium).jpg   Van redo 002 (Medium).jpg   Van redo 006 (Medium).jpg  
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Old 06-05-2013, 06:28 PM   #2
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Re: My do over project

Maybe not the prettiest setup, but just as functional (or for you, more functional) and a LOT cheaper than an SMB interior build. Nice work.


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Old 06-05-2013, 07:10 PM   #3
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Re: My do over project

Thanks for the kind words. I think I spent about $300. I reused most of the 1" square tube I had used to build the old framework. I'm probably lighter too. The stock bench seat had to have weighed 75#
Why we never slept up top until now is a mystery. It's actually quite comfy........if we ever get time to GO CAMPING!
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Old 06-06-2013, 12:56 AM   #4
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Re: My do over project

For me an SMB is function over form, so finding a setup that works for you is one of the best things about an SMB. Looks great.

We've got a transformer style; we've had it about 1.5 years, and after a lot of thinking, tinkering, and work, we're transforming it into our vehicle. Like you, I'd like to access most things from the inside, so I'm building slide out shelves into the platform.

Kudos for making it your one-of-a-kind vehicle. Remodeling every five years ain't so bad! I take it you fab'd the angle-iron and square tubing structure yourself? I've always wanted an excuse to get a welder and learn...
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:32 AM   #5
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Re: My do over project

To me it amazing that during the planning stage everything thing in your layout seems to work out perfectly. When you finish the build out you notice the things that can be done better/differently. I am also thinking of some changes for better overall function. Is you gaucho SMB or is it something you made in the past? It looks like it pulls out from the pic. Seat belts?
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:44 AM   #6
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Re: My do over project

YES...get a welder. I learned to weld in high school but then didn't do it much the past 45 years. Buy a good hand held grinder to.... actually buy a couple and set one up with a cutting wheel. My welds are sometimes beautiful but then.....get the grinder!

As for the goucho, it is a simple box 20"x16"x56" permanently bolted through the floor with a hinged top 22"x60" for access to storage and the water tank. There are no seat belts since we seemed to never have traveling companions. I could install lap belts but I doubt they would be legal.
Thanks for the comments.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:47 AM   #7
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Re: My do over project

Unrelated question: I see a Reliance water carrier in the back of your van. I was about to buy a couple of those, but they get pretty bad reviews on Amazon. How has yours held up?
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:05 AM   #8
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Re: My do over project

Arghhh. My last two Reliance jusgs, each a different style.... sprung leaks the first trip out. I never had one that didn't leak, but they used to last more than once. At least I bought them at REI....
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:14 AM   #9
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Re: My do over project

Quote:
Originally Posted by carringb
Arghhh. My last two Reliance jusgs, each a different style.... sprung leaks the first trip out. I never had one that didn't leak, but they used to last more than once. At least I bought them at REI....
Thanks. Sounds like the reviews are correct! Bummer, as they are a nice form factor and alternative to NATO-style jerry cans. (Which, by the way, the German Army developed in WWII, hence the name "jerry can.")

I still have a 5-gallon Coleman carrier from 1994 that we use, but I'm figuring that it's probably better to go with a modern, BPA-free carrier.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:26 AM   #10
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Re: My do over project

The spigots eventually leak. Had to buy a couple of spares. Otherwise they are fine.
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