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Colby C

my 2016 connect LWB cargo mini camper build

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been working on my transit connect for about a month, lots has been done, lots left to do.

run down, 

-10GA power wire from battery junction plate to right rear corner of the van

-Bluesea 6 circuit fuse box with ground buss

-3 gang switch panel, 12v CLA, and dual USB ports installed in passenger side rear plastic trim

-bed/storage platform, converts into seating, and sleeping as needed, held into the 10mm threaded holes in the floor, all done in 3/4" baltic birch with 3 coats of poly

-sheet vinyl flooring

-4" firm foam cushions wrapped in grey tweed

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Posted (edited)

IMG_2385

IMG_2502

this is the electrical area at the rear. trailer wiring boxes, fuse box etc. i also added a terminal block and a ground buss 

IMG_2505

IMG_2507

Edited by Colby C

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Posted (edited)
Going to give a quick rundown of the process, ill skip the paint drying, just the basics. The whole camper module sits on a 3/4" sheet of baltic birch plywood, 4'x7' ish, i forget the exact length. its held in with 4 m10x1.5 bolts, with a washer. i can remove in 20 minutes or less with the help of a friend.
 
sheet in.
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sheet out and framing of the walls begin.
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Edited by Colby C

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Posted (edited)
coating the floor with poly, 2 coats
 
i-k27jtpH-L.jpg 
 
rough cut flooring
 
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glue, not pictured, and roll out the floor and cut it closer.
 
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a lot of this, sand and poly, sand and poly, flip, and more of the same.
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eventually they start lookin nice!
 
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Edited by Colby C

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assemble the platform base
 
i-FzJCw59-L.jpg 
 
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Cut the deck boards, poly, and have wrapped with carpet
 
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and now we assemble the platform
 
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into the van it goes
 
i-kF6wQjq-L.jpg
 
sitting mode with the boards
 
i-8qj5Spt-L.jpg
 
sleep mode in the boards
 
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haul mode with the boards
 
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shoot!!! the doors didnt close, did this all in my head, and never installed anything into the van before the final installation, this was the only goof up.
 
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cut an inch off the corners in the back, like a glove
 
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add some aluminum trim, just some 3/4 angle aluminum, 1/16" thick, had to drill my own holes for the button head twist nails.
 
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now, time for "fancy" as my buddies call it
 
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bed cushions in!!!
 
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thats all (for now) folks!!!

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ok, so this is my only car, its my daily driver, my business vehicle, my camper etc etc

i have a regular job, as a mechanic, and i have my own business, https://foldaflame.com where we make portable flat packing fire pits and grills, for camping, overlanding, or just plain having fun.

i use this thing to go to events, carry product, pick parts up from manufacturer, etc, so it had to be a pretty versatile lay out for me, and this is the best i could come up with in regard to sleeping and storage, and also convertible storage for big hauls.

theres going to be more to come, hope you enjoy.

 

sunday we leave on a 2 week trip to the pacific northwest, from so cal, destination bainbridge island, by way of yellowstone and then some. 

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Very nice convertible option. 

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Nice job!

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great job with the woodwork! 

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thanks guys, 

its all just simple and straight cuts with the table saw, some with the router, and sand sand sand and then polyurethane and repeat. 

Build took basically 5 weekend days working about 5 hours a day to do the wood/floor/platform build.

Took another whole day to run the power wire from the battery, under the floor, taped to the harness the entire way to the right rear corner, install the fuse panel, make the ground wire etc. I also had a wet floor underneath the floor mat caused by the AC drain fitting not fitting the "tunnel" of the car well, dealer had it 2 whole weeks and "couldn't duplicate the problem"........ jerks.  i got it back, pulled the false rear floor up, pulled the passenger seat, and peeled the flooring up, dried it all with a fan over the weekend while i was working inside, and then found the loose fitting. pulled the fitting out and 2 of the little tabs were broken, so i gooped it up with permatex ultra grey and shoved it back in the hole, its not moving now, and no more leak. stinking dealer jerks couldn't even do that. shoulda investigated it myself first, but with being only 2 months old, and 5000 miles on it, figured i shouldn't have to. wrong.

the trailer wiring took a whole evening, like 3 hours, from getting off work at 5, and i was home by 8. evidently they make the converter kit to go in on the left rear. well, i wanted my electrical in the right rear, so i had to extend the left side harness about 9 feet, to go up and around the rear opening, and to the left side, and then shorten my right side harness the same 9 feet. 

the next night i installed and harnessed the switches into the panel, and sorted out the power and ground distribution/buss bars, and buttoned up the interior panels so i could slip the camper module in. it will come out, but i don't plan on removing it often, if at all. 

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Looking good!

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Posted (edited)

Just got back yesterday from the "big trip" went thru CA, NV, AZ (just the corner between NV/UT), UT, WY, MT, ID, WA, OR, and all of CA top to bottom. 

3906.7 miles
152.984 gallons of fuel
25.537 MPG
$441.29 total fuel cost
$2.88 avg price per gallon.
 
not bad, pretty stoked with that actually.
 
now, incidental costs.....
 
parking ticket in seattle, stopped at the rei flagship store, totally worth checking out if you haven't been there before, just make sure you get a parking stub if you're street parking, cuz the pay station was broke where i parked, so i figured it was like LA, broken meter = no pay..... wrong  $44
 
Broken windshield, picked up a rock at 90mph from a gravel truck, took a nice chunk right about the line of sight for my left eye, bummer, might have it "fixed" but i don't know yet, i have a 3 week trip coming in september, so ill wait to have the windshield replaced til after that. 
 
van needs an oil change, I'm 100 miles past my service interval, it'll cost $30, i already have 5 cases of mobil 1 (costco ran a sale), and i have a few filters (factory filter about $4 wholesale)
 
IMG_2612-L.jpg
 
IMG_2671-L.jpg
 
 
Edited by Colby C

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25+ mpg is very good, especially if you were doing much of that at 90 mph!!

Don

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1 hour ago, Beta Don said:

25+ mpg is very good, especially if you were doing much of that at 90 mph!!

Don

I expect that was overall average. I got about 20-21mpg on my 2014 SWB at 90mph on my trip a couple years ago. however. Maybe they mildly improved the TC. I'll be monitoring and logging my MPG vs. MPH on my upcoming cross country trip with the 2017 LWB.

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I also got a rock in my face from an oncoming gravel truck, saw it coming, the whole thing took 0.3 seconds. Exactly the same spot,HUGE bang, almost got a heart attack.

Just a tiny chip in the glass.

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Most insurance companies will pay full for a chip repair to avoid the higher windshield replacement cost later.

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22 hours ago, Beta Don said:

25+ mpg is very good, especially if you were doing much of that at 90 mph!!

Don

interstate work going thru Utah where the speed limit is 80mph, everyone runs 10 over, its nuttier than squirrel doodoo.

a lot of the trip was 2 lane back roads, at 60 ish, i did no per tank calculations, just a big overall average at the end.

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21 hours ago, Boomerweps said:

I expect that was overall average. I got about 20-21mpg on my 2014 SWB at 90mph on my trip a couple years ago. however. Maybe they mildly improved the TC. I'll be monitoring and logging my MPG vs. MPH on my upcoming cross country trip with the 2017 LWB.

yup, just a single calculation. did not reset the trip meter the whole trip, though it auto resets after 2000 miles. my last van, 200 e150, 4 inch lift an 33's, was lucky to get 14, so anything 20+ and I'm stoked. 

15 hours ago, mrtn said:

I also got a rock in my face from an oncoming gravel truck, saw it coming, the whole thing took 0.3 seconds. Exactly the same spot,HUGE bang, almost got a heart attack.

Just a tiny chip in the glass.

yeah, i didnt see this coming, just WHACK. little chunk out of the glass, wouldn't care, but its right in my sightline. 

7 hours ago, Boomerweps said:

Most insurance companies will pay full for a chip repair to avoid the higher windshield replacement cost later.

yeah, my glass guy at work will likely fix it for nothin, seems as he does 2-3 windshields a month for us. 

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8 hours ago, Boomerweps said:

Most insurance companies will pay full for a chip repair to avoid the higher windshield replacement cost later.

That used to be true  -  I had it done a couple times many years ago, but when we got a chip in the TC, I checked with our insurance company (State Farm) and they said they quit that policy several years ago  -  Now they pay nothing for any repair

Don

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Great story telling through photography Colby :woot:You have very good writing skills as well.  It's a good read :hat_tip:   Nice job, thanks:clapping:

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4 hours ago, Loafer said:

Great story telling through photography Colby :woot:You have very good writing skills as well.  It's a good read :hat_tip:   Nice job, thanks:clapping:

 

thanks for the kind words.

im not a wordy kinda guy, I'm short and to the point in real life, so its hard to convey in words, pics work great though.

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That's a kickass trip! Sucks about the windshield. I'm on windshield #5 in less than a year and I just took another rock on the way home from work 2 weeks back. Happens, I suppose...

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Just now, chong said:

That's a kickass trip! Sucks about the windshield. I'm on windshield #5 in less than a year and I just took another rock on the way home from work 2 weeks back. Happens, I suppose...

yeah, told the wife "if this is the worst thing that happens, its all good."

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