Van Build


My van build.

001 – This is my van, a basic work/cargo van. A 2019 RAM Promaster High Top, affords me the ability to stand erect. Plenty of overhead room.

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002 – First thing built was the floor.

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003 – Floor in, now begin framing of walls for insulation and paneling.

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004 – Put my son to work with the framing.

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005 – Hole cut in roof for MaxxAir Fan. This was a bit scary to cut a hole in the roof of a brand new van. I hired a professional to cut the hole and install the fan. Out of my comfort zone.

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006 – Cut hole in sidedoor (slider) for a window. Again, scary but I had a pro cut the hole and install the window.
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007 – Interior almost finished. The box in the foreground holds my House Battery; an AGM, Sealed deep cycle RV/Boat battery. When driving, my van alternator keeps it charged. When off grid, my solar panels keep it charged. So, when off grid, my house battery keeps my refrigerator (seen on floor by cabinet) powered as well as providing power for my fan, laptop, charging cell phone and camera batteries and lights at night.

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008 – Another shot of interior. Inside the 2 doors on the vanity are 2 – 5-gallon containers. The light blue on the right contains clean water for cooking, washing dishes, etc. The darker one is for gray water drained from sink.

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You can see the hand pump on the sink, top of cabinet that pumps clean water into sink. It can also be operated electrically if I choose. Works great. And there’s quite a bit of storage in vanity beside the containers that I can store paper products, etc. The drawers hold quite a bit of gear as well. I have a one burner butane/propane stove. Seen on sink counter, however, most of my cooking is done outdoors except in inclement weather.

009 – The rattan or woven piece of furniture you see holds my pots and pans and some canned food. Also doubles as a seat.

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I also have a swivel on my passenger seat that allows me to sit in it and face the back for more room. All that fru-fru floral bedding was a gift. I’m not crazy about it but it does keep me warm during cold nights.

010 – This shot shows the finished ceiling. That was the hardest part of the whole build.

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011 – Finished… This was June of last year. When I was just getting ready to leave for a trip to Colorado. I really enjoy this van. Since I’m basically a solo traveler, it’s plenty big for me and I love that I can stand in it. A person over 6’ tall can easily stand erect in it.

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Background story: I began my van journeys several years ago in a minivan (soccer mom van). Loved the van, but hardly any room. I sold it and bought a big motor home. Huge mistake. I thought I needed more space and more amenities. It was more difficult to drive, especially in cities. Had a lot of challenges trying to find a parking place if I wanted to go exploring a city, etc. Additionally, gas mileage was brutal, about 9 MPG. After about 7-8 months of that, I decided to sell it and get a RAM Promaster City. That’s RAM’s small cargo van. It was a little 4-cylinder but ran really great with its 9-speed transmission and fun to drive. It got me like 28 MPG. Loved that, but, just too small. I had it built out professionally, so it was very comfortable, but after a year, decided it was just too small. I sold it to a lady here locally and recouped my money and bought this van. This van is really fun to drive, I can navigate big cities easily and park in a regular car parking space. The only problem I have with parking is underground parking and parking decks. Too tall. Also, I can’t navigate drive-thru restaurants as again, too tall. With my fan on the roof, the total height is pushing 10’. Fully loaded down with all my camping gear, water, etc., I’m getting around 19 MPG on the road which I’m very happy with.

Source: Photos in this blog are Property of author.

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Until next time…


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