Home > Uncategorized > Van Conversion – take 2

Van Conversion – take 2

May 6, 2019

It took 12 months to realize that our van conversion just didn’t work. Main complaints being that there was too little space between the shelves for 2 folks to sleep comfortably, and that accessing whatever was on the shelves was a PITA, requiring scrambling around on knees, finding the correct container, and so on. Plus, we found that if we happened to have a 120 VAC connection nearby, there was no easy way to bring that connection into the van, and shut the door at the same time.

We also wanted to keep to the idea that we could turn it back into a plain van. So, no permanent structures that would impede full access.

So, we got rid of the shelves. Sold them on Craigslist.

The issue of the 120 VAC connection was easy to solve. We got San Diego Trailer Supply to install an external socket….

and a 20 amp breaker and 4 way socket….

So now we can hook up our Indel B fridge/freezer and a 400 watt battery charger for our ‘house’ battery (plus charge up or power anything that needs 120 VAC).

To solve the storage issue, we got a MorRyde Slide out tray and had San Diego Trailer Supply install it…

That thing is just fantastic! It’ll support 400 pounds and slide out 80% of its length.

To remedy the sleeping problem, I used rivet nuts and lengths of 1.5 inch aluminum right angle bolted to those rivet nuts along each side of the van, to support half inch birch ply, itself braced with aluminum C-channel, to create a bed platform above the slide out tray…

 This turned out to be pretty darn rigid, but we have some ‘legs’ that we can brace it with, if needed.

This now means that we have plenty of space for the inflatable mattress…

We haven’t yet actually slept up there, but we’ve tried bouncing around as though we might have been, and it seems solid. My pals were concerned that the stresses on the rivet nuts might be too much for the inner side walls. This does not seem to be the case.

More to follow….

Categories: Uncategorized
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