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-   -   2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan (https://www.sportsmobileforum.com/forums/f24/2010-express-awd-build-the-gnarvan-15242.html)

86Scotty 08-13-2015 05:50 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Nice progress and great info! Thanks for sharing some upgrade options on the newer Chevys. There aren't nearly as many here on the board but there should be. The build is looking great.

Without knowing how you want to lay out your interior it's hard to offer any advice placement. Can you post a pic, drawing or whatever or describe your desired layout?

:b5:

TeleSteve 08-13-2015 07:34 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 86Scotty
Nice progress and great info! Thanks for sharing some upgrade options on the newer Chevys. There aren't nearly as many here on the board but there should be. The build is looking great.

Without knowing how you want to lay out your interior it's hard to offer any advice placement. Can you post a pic, drawing or whatever or describe your desired layout?

:b5:

I am doing pretty much a standard RB-50 floor plan. I am trying to keep the area below and behind the rear seat as open as possible for storing skis.

TeleSteve 08-24-2015 07:54 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
I finally made a decision as to the location for the MaxxFan. I wanted it near the rear of the van since I don't have any windows except the front. I chose to offset it to the driver side so there would be more room on the passenger side roof for a cargo box or just general rack storage. If the vent was centered it either had to go all the way too the front (less air movement in the back) or the roof box would need to be far forward on the roof (harder to get to and limits available space if I get solar panels.) Right now I only have a Yakima cross bars a and Thule roof box, but I plan to build a full roof rack down the road with a passenger side mounted ladder.
So I carefully marked out the vent location so the edges would hit a high rib of the roof and clear the cross members and drilled four holes at each corner, then I taped around the cutout to prevent scratching the roof. I then painted the cut edges to limit corrosion and ran butyl tap around the opening doubling it up in the low ribs of the roof. To stiffen the opening and provide a solid backing for the vent screws and the headliner on the bottom I welded a metal frame using 1"x1" tube. The was removed and painted then attached with screws to the roof support and the back roof lip. Then I placed the roof flange in place and drilled all the holes for the mounting screws, and marked the edges for roof sealant. Then then black sealant was applied to the roof and the mounting flange was screwed down and then the vent assembly was attached.



TeleSteve 08-24-2015 07:56 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
I put my Yakima cross bars on and the vent sits about 1/8" higher than the bars. It also only gives me about 1/4" of clearance to the garage door opening if backed in and about 1" when pulled in forward. The approach to the shop is pretty steep:




TeleSteve 08-24-2015 08:00 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
With the fan in I could move onto finishing the insulation. I already had CLC tiles attached to the walls for sound deadening so the first layer of insulation on the floor and walls is Frost King Foil and foam duct insulation from Home Depot. This is a foil backed closed cell foam with a self stick adhesive, it is 1/8" thick with a R value of 3. This stuff also works really well as sound deadner (maybe better than the CLC tiles, had I known I would have skipped those.) I also used this on the wheel wells and gas filler bubble it conformed nicely to the round shapes.



TeleSteve 08-24-2015 08:06 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
The next layer of insulation was Ridged foam, 1" on the walls and 5/8" on the ceiling. I used foil duct tape around all the panel edges to limit squeaking and seal the foam to limit loose foam balls. The foam was cut tight to fit between the wall and roof supports so it just squeezes in place for a nice snug fit.



TeleSteve 08-24-2015 08:10 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
The front headliner was too close to the roof and the ridged foam would interfere with the side curtain airbags. So the front section got foil and foam followed by 1" foil backed denim duct insulation, then reflectix. A little 3M spray adhesive was used to help hold the denim insulation and reflectix in place:



TeleSteve 08-24-2015 08:15 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
I plan to add a layer of Reflectix insulation to the back of the wall and ceiling panels when they go in, this should provide a air gap between the ridged foam and reflectix for a better radiant barrier.
With the ceiling insulation done except for the reflectix layer I started on the headliner. I am using 3/16" Sintra (Foam core PVC board) for the backer and will use standard automotive foam backed headliner to match (as closely as possible) to the factory headliner over the front seats. (Update, I would not use the Sintra for a headliner again, it deforms with the heat of a roof and no longer sits flat. I will be redoing this with Luan plywood at some point)I wanted the headliner to be have hidden fasteners so I am using Au-Ve-Co #12134 Trim panel clips. These require a ~3/8" hole in the Sintra and 5/16" hole in the roof braces to snap into. Because of the clip design the wholes need to be offset by ~1/2". To do this I placed the Sintra board on the ceiling shifted back about 1/2", temporally braced it and located and drilled 5/16" holes through the Sintra and into the roof supports. To secure the board I stuck the clips just through the holes to hold each location in place. I then took the Sintra panel down and enlarged those holes to 3/8" and installed the fasteners to the panel. I then reinstalled the panel to test the fit. These fastners sit flush on the finish side and won't telegraph through the headliner fabric, they are also easy to snap in and out, and much more durable than the plastic X-mas tree fasteners.

Here is how they attach the Sintra:


TeleSteve 08-24-2015 08:16 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
1 Attachment(s)
Here is the middle section of the panel test fitted in place, I used 5 panel fasteners at each roof support. I couldn't find Sintra larger than 4'x8' so it will be two panels split at the rear most roof support. the sides are a bit wavy now, but they will be supported by the wall/ceiling trim panels.

I still have to make the rear most panel. I haven't picked up the headliner fabric yet, but when I do the Sintra panel will be sanded and both the headliner fabric and Sintra will be sprayed with high temp contact adhesive and stuck together. I will glue a layer of reflectix on the top side before installing the completed headliner.

86Scotty 08-25-2015 06:42 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Man, I didn't even know Au-ve-co was still around. I bought some of their epoxy a few years ago and it was the best around. It was about $25 for a small amount but worked amazingly well.

Lookin' good!

:b5:

boywonder 08-25-2015 08:08 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Excellent write up on the steering column swap. For me, cruise is a must-have item.

JWA 08-27-2015 05:05 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by 86Scotty
Man, I didn't even know Au-ve-co was still around. I bought some of their epoxy a few years ago and it was the best around. It was about $25 for a small amount but worked amazingly well.

Lookin' good!

:b5:

Au-Ve-Co is pretty much the "gold standard" when it comes to aftermarket automotive fasteners such as clips, retainers, trim washers & screws---their catalog is extensive and impressive.

The site Clipsandfasteners.com uses the on-line version of Au-Ve-Co's catalog so they're my go-to guys for so much these days. A Ford F-Series clip I replace frequently costs me >$10 for a box of 15---dealer cost EACH is over $5! :a7:

TeleSteve 08-27-2015 10:54 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by boywonder
Excellent write up on the steering column swap. For me, cruise is a must-have item.

If I don't use it on long trips I always tend to drive way over the speed limit. If it keeps me from getting one speeding ticket the cost and effort will be well worth it.

TeleSteve 09-02-2015 10:19 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
A little more progress on the interior. I finished the headliner and installed and partially wired the interior lights:



I painted the trim ring for the MaxxFan black. I wired the lights to turn on in pairs. I am thinking I will put three switches on the pillar behind the side doors, one for the front lights, one for the middle, and a three way for the back lights. I will have another 3-way near the rear cargo doors for the rear lights.

TeleSteve 09-02-2015 10:28 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
I went with these lights from Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OD ... UTF8&psc=1
They are 110 lumen 2.75" round lights. They can be snapped into a 2 1/8" hole in panels around 1/4" thick, but also have 3 holes for screw attachment hidden under the covers. They put out plenty of light and I like that they put out a warm white light not too white.
Here are the lights on in the dark.

This is what the lights look like.


TeleSteve 09-02-2015 10:43 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
With the headliner in I started on the wall furring strips and cut and fitted the plywood floor. I used 1/2" baltic birch for the floor and wall furring strips.

I then carpeted the wheel wells and hump for the fuel filler. I am using a VanTred rubber mat under the plywood. I was originally just going to just use the VanTred with some added insulation, but it didn't extend all the way to the walls and didn't stay in place well. It does flatten the floor nicely and has some r-value.

The plywood was reinstalled and I covered it with a OEM rubber mat after removing the insulation backing. The mat was little wrinkled in the picture after being folded up for a while, but flattened out after sitting for a day. I will eventually glue it to the plywood.

JWA 09-03-2015 05:01 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
If you do glue the OEM mat to the plywood use one of the pressure-sensitive adhesives, that like used for "carpet tiles" in commercial buildings, over concrete floors.

I really like your overhead LED lighting too---very efficient, enough light for most tasks---well done! :d5:

86Scotty 09-03-2015 05:57 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Thanks for the link on the lights. Those are nice! Added to my ever growing Amazon wish list.

:b5:

TeleSteve 10-11-2015 09:02 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
I made some progress on the van.
Got the wall panels cut and fitted. I am using 1/4" alder plywood.


This took some thought and tinkering but came up with a way to transition the walls to the headliner. I used 1/2" Baltic birch on the bottom and 1/4" on the side. The corner is rounded at about a 1" radius. The bottom sits flat and screws into the bottom of the sheet medal wall/roof transition. The side sits at a 60* angle and attaches to a piece of 1x2 with a 60 * bevel on the side. This part has machine screws with a nut on the backside. The 1x2 has holes that they push into., the screw heads will be covered with the tan vinyl that covers the whole piece. The vinyl will match the factory plastic trim pieces at the front. The 4 bottom screws will get tan plastic caps.

TeleSteve 10-11-2015 09:07 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
I started work on the cabinets. Here is the beginning of the face frame. All 1x Alder.

Here are the three dividing panels for the front cabinet out 1/2" Alder ply. The piece with the bend in it is for behind the driver seat.


TeleSteve 10-11-2015 09:21 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
Here is the front cabinet assembled and in the van.

With the Engel refrigerator, 600w microwave and portapotti in there places. Still need to make a drawer and door and add some ventilation for the fridge.

Do you think the free space behind the microwave is a good place for the 1000w inverter/charger? If I put it there it will get some added venting holes added. It has a remote so is this something I will need quick access to? To access it the microwave will have to be unmounted (a few screws from the bottom). This same space will also be part of the fridge and microwave venting think there will be any heat issues? The fridge coils will be 3-4" away through a vent hole.

Next question, I want to put the Airtop heater on the floor between this cabinet and the wheel well. To fit there the intake vent will have to poke into the portpotti closet, is that a bad idea. It will be in the bottom of a 12" deep cabinet.

hogasm 10-12-2015 05:21 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
If the possibility of a spark in the same compartment as a gassing battery exists, it might not be a good idea to have them share the same air space. This is an example of how my buddies house burnt down.
Having the air intake from your heater sharing the porta potti air space could spread the smells associated with the potti chemicals in your van while running.

86Scotty 10-12-2015 08:02 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
I think your inverter would be fine behind the microwave, as long as it's vented decently. Microwaves aren't running very often or for very long, so I doubt it would be a problem.

The cabinet looks nice!

:b5:

TeleSteve 10-12-2015 08:36 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by hogasm
If the possibility of a spark in the same compartment as a gassing battery exists, it might not be a good idea to have them share the same air space. This is an example of how my buddies house burnt down.
Having the air intake from your heater sharing the porta potti air space could spread the smells associated with the potti chemicals in your van while running.

Battery will be under the van.

Scalf77 10-12-2015 02:35 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
It is hard to tell from your picture, but the minimum requirement is 2” of airspace on all sides, and that is dependent on adequate airflow .

If was going to use that space, I would think about turning it around so that your intake vent would be open to the coolest air possible. I think getting the input air from the back of the refrigerator would not be a good idea. Thermal spec are between 32° F (0° C) and 104° F (40° C); and the inverter’s output specifications are rated at 77° F (25° C).

While I agree the microwave won’t run much, I expect that you will run the inverter to power the microwave , this would be when you do not want to see any additional heat feeding the input of the inverter. It does look like you would have some head room as your inverter appears to be 1000 watts while the microwave takes 600 watts.
The inverter will require some large DC power cables, so you also need to account for getting them to the inverter and access

And last while the remote is going to perform most of the daily function the input and output circuit breaker are on top (DC cable side). Easy access to those would be a concern for myself.

-greg

TeleSteve 10-16-2015 07:48 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Scalf77
It is hard to tell from your picture, but the minimum requirement is 2” of airspace on all sides, and that is dependent on adequate airflow .

If was going to use that space, I would think about turning it around so that your intake vent would be open to the coolest air possible. I think getting the input air from the back of the refrigerator would not be a good idea. Thermal spec are between 32° F (0° C) and 104° F (40° C); and the inverter’s output specifications are rated at 77° F (25° C).

While I agree the microwave won’t run much, I expect that you will run the inverter to power the microwave , this would be when you do not want to see any additional heat feeding the input of the inverter. It does look like you would have some head room as your inverter appears to be 1000 watts while the microwave takes 600 watts.
The inverter will require some large DC power cables, so you also need to account for getting them to the inverter and access

And last while the remote is going to perform most of the daily function the input and output circuit breaker are on top (DC cable side). Easy access to those would be a concern for myself.

-greg

Thanks for the input, It looks like the 2" clearance is doable, and I think I could make enough venting to avoid any heat issues, but the accessibility is the kicker. This was not my planned location for the inverter/charger but when I set the microwave in there and saw the empty space this seemed like a option worth considering. I was originally thinking in the back behind one of the wheel wells.
I haven't picked up a house battery(s) yet, but I am thinking of using a single 210 ah AGM battery. It looks like this could be mounted on the frame rail directly below this location so the cables would be relatively short. Although I am not sure if the one battery will be enough. I would like to have enough battery to run the 12v fridge and keep the Webasto heater working through a night in 0-30* F temperatures thermostat will likely be set pretty low maybe 50-60* over night. The heater will likely be set to the minimum when not in the van when temps are below freezing And low room temperatures for up to 2-3 hours a day. Other energy draws will be limited to basic lighting (led) and keeping a phone, and laptop charged. I plan to add solar but during storms they will do very little especially if covered in snow. If the single battery won't be enough the batteries will need to go in the back between the frame rails. I will likely be spending 2-3 days at a time with out a long enough drive to really charge the house batteries up.
One more question, when running separate starting and house battry(s) connected by a ACR can the house batteries be grounded to the frame or does a large ground need to be ran to the starting battery?

Viva 10-16-2015 09:40 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by TeleSteve
One more question, when running separate starting and house battry(s) connected by a ACR can the house batteries be grounded to the frame or does a large ground need to be ran to the starting battery?

In the RV's I have seen (including my SMB) a chassis ground is used for the negative path between the battery banks. (Although there is nothing wrong with running a negative wire, and that's how it is typically done on boats which don't have a steel chassis to work with.) Since I started with boats and then got into RV's, at first I was like... where are all the negative wires?

TeleSteve 11-09-2015 08:56 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
I finally had a productive weekend working on the van. I finished building the back closet, doors and drawers, and built and covered the water tank enclosure. Even started on some plumbing.



TeleSteve 11-09-2015 08:59 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
Building drawers and doors:



TeleSteve 11-09-2015 09:02 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
Covering the lower closet with Nautalux marine vinyl flooring and all the cabinets fitted.


TeleSteve 11-09-2015 09:07 AM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
2 Attachment(s)


rockbender 11-09-2015 12:55 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Fantastic work! I really like the way everything is coming together. Nice use of space just in front of the wheel well on the passenger side. I've been thinking about doing something similar there.

rockbender 11-11-2015 12:12 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Did you get your Webasto Airtop fired up yet? Looking forward to hearing how it performs and what is involved with tapping into the fuel line/tank. I went Propex since I installed propane but I really like the single fuel aspect of the petrol fired furnace.

SixCardCharlie 11-11-2015 01:52 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
That is EPIC!!!

TeleSteve 11-11-2015 02:00 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by rockbender
Did you get your Webasto Airtop fired up yet? Looking forward to hearing how it performs and what is involved with tapping into the fuel line/tank. I went Propex since I installed propane but I really like the single fuel aspect of the petrol fired furnace.

Not yet, I hope to get it in the next couple weeks.

boywonder 11-11-2015 08:03 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
Nice work! keep the pics coming......

TeleSteve 11-25-2015 07:06 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
More progress.
Back platform in and foam cut to size.

Cabinets stained, Urethaned, and going back together for install. Interior shelves carpeted.


TeleSteve 11-25-2015 07:10 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
Started on wiring.


Refrigerator opening insulated.

TeleSteve 11-25-2015 07:14 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
Cut hole in the floor for Webasto heater.

More wiring.


TeleSteve 11-25-2015 07:24 PM

Re: 2010 Express AWD build,The Gnarvan
 
3 Attachment(s)
More wiring and added trim around refrigerator vent holes.




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