Free 7 Day Trial RV GPS App RV Trip Planner Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Free 7 Day Trial ×
 


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-22-2012, 06:30 PM   #51
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The Sunny Southwest, USA
Posts: 426
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

this post marks the end of the second official camping season with the Chevy Van.

The latest addition was an Engel Deep Blue 80qt ice chest. We will utilize the 70 qt YETI ice chest for dry food storage. We have been getting 4 to 5 days of regular use (ice chest temps remaining below 38) and believe the Engel will stretch that to 5 to 7 days...meaning our entire week long adventures (our typical stay is 5 days) will be covered with one 20lb bag of ice.

I was willing to spend the $380 on the Engel as i'm still not sold on the idea of putting in a house battery with the added weight and expense. We've been fine utilizing the simple LED lanterns and reading lights, Butane stove, and gravity/pressure-sprayer from/to jerry can style water set up. This non-electric set up is actually quite fun for us on these outings.

We have all the comforts dialed in at this point. We can sleep, cook, eat, relax, shower/potty etc...all inside the comfort of this regular body van. It took some getting used to the shuffling needed to change modes, but it works for my wife and i just fine.

Our next stage is to begin the process of acquiring an fiberglass utility trailer from Fiber Tech Services and make an additional living space for our adventures.

Happy Trails!
Thom
__________________

__________________
Greetings from the Sunny Southwest, USA
2017 RAM Promaster Conversion. SOLD: 2010 Chevy Express AWD
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-05-2012, 04:29 PM   #52
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The Sunny Southwest, USA
Posts: 426
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

An update on the Froli Sleep System...

Today saw the order of another Queen Froli Star sleep system...this time to replace the Sealy Queen pillow top in our fifth wheel. I know i probably sound like a broken record on the FSS...but it really is the most comfortable sleep system i've experienced.

Happy Trails,
Thom
__________________

__________________
Greetings from the Sunny Southwest, USA
2017 RAM Promaster Conversion. SOLD: 2010 Chevy Express AWD
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 02:02 PM   #53
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The Sunny Southwest, USA
Posts: 426
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

January 2013 update:

Got some new _shine_ on the van. Fuel 17" wheels and tires. The change from the P rated stock 4 belt w/ 2 ply sidewall tires to 10 belt w/ 3 ply sidewall makes a nice difference in handling and helps with maintaining ride height once we pack in ~600 lbs of camping gear under the bed platform.

The van is currently getting some custom cabinetry and i'll post interior shots in a couple weeks.

As shown below (compared to the OP with stock rims)...the new wheels take a van to a new level of looks!

__________________
Greetings from the Sunny Southwest, USA
2017 RAM Promaster Conversion. SOLD: 2010 Chevy Express AWD
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2013, 07:07 PM   #54
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 8
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Accrete, thank you so much for sharing your build project. You are building the same kind of rig I plan on building. I decided I didn't want a kitchen or plumbing. I want a hi top, insulation and roof vent and wired to allow me to plug in and use a laptop periodically. I think I will have a bathroom installed but use a porta potty and bio bags. I want a very simple van with room for backpacking and camping gear.

What model Chevy Express did you go with, the 2500? Sorry if I missed it in your post. Are you able to drive this to most trailheads?

I am in Portland and plan to use Van Specialties as well.

Thanks!

-helen
HJG0989 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2013, 09:16 PM   #55
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The Sunny Southwest, USA
Posts: 426
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Hi Helen, thx for the hello and comments. Best wishes on your build : )
Our van is the 1500 AWD version of the full size chevy. We wanted the AWD due to our wet conditions here in Oregon. Yes we can drive to "trailheads" though think of it as a VW Syncro Westy rather than a Quadvan or 4x4 for rugged off road use. It does all we hoped it would do.

You idea of the pottie is perfect for extended use dry camping...it is the route we went also. We do not have a kitchen but rather simply boil water if needed for tea/coffee/or a bag-meal. We utilize the same style butane stove sportsmobile and other van conversion companies use. . . inside and out.

And we forgo the plumbing also. Nothing to freeze or winterize, yet we still have water and even a shower when we want inside or out.

The van specialties crew should do you good.
Tell Rob that Thom & Cari from the coast said hello : )
__________________
Greetings from the Sunny Southwest, USA
2017 RAM Promaster Conversion. SOLD: 2010 Chevy Express AWD
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-10-2013, 10:14 PM   #56
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 66
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Accrete, I too have been closely reading your thread. I'm getting a build through SMB using a Chevy 2500. You have been giving really good info about the Chevy which is great. I was just re reading some of it and I had missed your post about the new rims and tires. May I ask what the original size of the stock tires were and what the new tire size is? I see you went up to 17 inch rims but did the outside dimensions of the tire increase as well? I've been searching around and trying to find what the largest tires are that can fit on a stock Chevy and can't seem to find good information.

Thanks,
Mike
skijunkie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 08:33 AM   #57
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The Sunny Southwest, USA
Posts: 426
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Hi Mike and thanks for the greetings,
Our 2010 1500 came stock with 245/70/17. We kept that size so no change for us. The big difference in ride was our upping the side wall by 1 ply and the tread ply from 4 to 10. Overkill, but the ride is noticeably nicer and tires are nearly round even fully loaded.

Best wishes on the 2500 build : )
Thom
__________________
Greetings from the Sunny Southwest, USA
2017 RAM Promaster Conversion. SOLD: 2010 Chevy Express AWD
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 02:33 PM   #58
Site Team
 
BroncoHauler's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 9,802
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Thom,

Regarding the Froli, how flexible is it when it's all connected together? I'm debating adding a memory foam topper to the matress in our teardrop, but I might go another route ike the Froli. The reason for my question is that I have two storage compartments underneath the mattress, and I won't give up easy access to them. The mattress is easy to fold out of the way of the storage compartments, but unless the Froli ius very flexible as well, it's a non-starter for me.


thanks,
Herb
__________________
SMB-less as of 02/04/2012. Our savings account is richer, but our adventures are poorer.
BroncoHauler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2013, 03:08 PM   #59
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The Sunny Southwest, USA
Posts: 426
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Greetings Herb,
Below is a picture of the Froli from our Van folded in half on top of the center island in our 5th wheel. It is currently out of the van while Van Specialties revamps the interior. I took the picture to prove a point over at the FiberglassRV forum on the Froli's flexibility. As you can see it can bend in ways other bed supports can't even dream of.



So with your under bed/bench storage all you need to so is tack down the outer edge with a screw maybe in the two corners and one on the middle-edge. This is also what i did for the Froli we have on our Queen bed in the 5th wheel (our full time rig). My wife and i get into the under-bed-storage on a near daily basis. No issues with the Froli just adjusting as the _hatch_ is opened.

Best wishes on your build. IMO, the Froli is unbeatable for comfort in RV or at Home.
: ) Thom
__________________
Greetings from the Sunny Southwest, USA
2017 RAM Promaster Conversion. SOLD: 2010 Chevy Express AWD
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2013, 07:04 PM   #60
Senior Member
 
accrete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: The Sunny Southwest, USA
Posts: 426
Re: Accrete's 2010 Chevy Express AWD project

Just home from Van Specialties in Portland Oregon. They did some interior work on the van and we really like what they've done. We had them install a new headliner (our DIY was temporary and put up during the fall of 2010). Swap our DIY plywood bed platform for a powdercoated steel/wood/fabric frame that we will reinstall our Froli Sleep System on. Then build/install some nice marine ply/formica cabinets on the street side. Our Chevy-WESTY is complete : )

Happy Trails!
Thom

__________________

__________________
Greetings from the Sunny Southwest, USA
2017 RAM Promaster Conversion. SOLD: 2010 Chevy Express AWD
Van Build Thread @ SMBForums
accrete is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
aluminess, awd, promaster

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
Disclaimer:

This website is not affiliated with or endorsed by Sportsmobile SIP or any of its affiliates. This is an independent, unofficial site.


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:31 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×