New Adventure Rig build!

Discussion in 'Functional Gear & Equipment' started by Ura-Ki, Feb 4, 2020.


  1. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    The Wife and I have been talking about seeing more of the North Americas and have been talking and planning for some time, Our full size pickup is great for the two of us, but not practical for a combo utility rig with lots of capabilities and more room So, what to do?.................................
    The Answer..........
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    We just purchased a 3500 ( 1 ton/144) series standard wheel base Mercedes Benz Sprinter Diesel!
    I got a sweet deal on it, has average millage on it, but it's in exceptional condition and it has the ultra rare double sliding doors ( One on each side) and no windows. also has a tow hitch and will pull the boat and other needs just fine! So far it seems to get really good fuel millage, we drove it from north of Seattle to Salem and averaged 23 MPG, which is substantially better then the Dodge Cummins @17 MPG! No, this isn't a 4X4, but we have plenty of those, this is to replace the Dodge with something far more useful and more utility/space and be more secure while doing it! Bonus is it is the same foot print as a Full Size extra cab pickup, but has 10 feet of floor length inside the rear doors to the cargo guard behind the seats and is a full 6 feet high the whole length!
    It's a stripped cargo van, so no insulation of any of the interior in the cargo area, ( Which is absolutely perfect) so we are going to get started on insulating the snot out of is and also building a very strong floor with hidden storage under the floor! No, we're not building it as an R.V. but as a good all purpose rig that we can also camp in comfortably! Build photos to follow as we go! !

    The Journey begins!
     
  2. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Been thinking about that for awhile myself. Thought about getting walls and ceilings done with that blown in foam insulation. Might be a thought for ya. Every time I think I’m getting close to taking off for a “walkabout”,,, someone or something comes around and screws up my plans. Good luck with the build.
     
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  3. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    And, were off to the races, heading to the lumber yard for some top quality marine grade plywood for the floor and up the sides!
    Got a case worth of the spray foam ( other projects as well) and letting it set up now. Picked up a roll of the R-30 rated roofing felt and several sheets of the 2" R-20 rated foam board! And one big roll of floor underlayment felt! Also going to get a couple gallons of floor epoxy to seal the wood and provide some protection. Found a company that can spray non skid/non textured rubberized floor covering, so that should complete the first stages!
    Next up is to install wood paneling up the sides and ceiling, but first, need to decide on overhead LED lighting and get that mounted first!
    Road trip a little south for a diesel performance tuner and some exhaust mods, should pick up some power and fuel economy!
     
  4. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    I would suggest fiberglas rather than foam. Easier to get out in the event of panel damage for bumping back to where it should be. Also, you need to figure out where the wiring for the radios is to go. (You ARE getting your ham license, no?)
     
  5. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Got the wiring tucked outta the way, and conduit installed for what ever lighting ( and other electrical) I end up with! The spray foam is just for the inner structure parts, areas conventional materials would be impossible to insulate any other way! The rest could be removed pretty easy! As far as coms go, yes, HAM is on the menu, but I gotta get the rest figured out first!
    I am looking at doing some portable roll on/roll off cabinet's for things, including a mini kitchen with stove and fridge built in, and adding water storage under the body some place, but haven't gotten far enough to make plans there! Also loking for a small portable wood burning stove for those off grid adventures!
     
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  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

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  7. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    Drove one of these for a while as a service tech. 20+ mpg, comfortable enough to drive all day, big enough to walk around in. I'm jealous!
     
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  8. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Found a shop that will do a full Turbo back Exhaust for me in stainless steel and remove all the emissions stuff for a very reasonable price! Also found a local shop to change the rear end gearing ( Has 4,10 want to change to 3.55) and add a traction lock diff to this rig! Should make a pretty good improvement in fuel millage and traction while still having good pulling power!
     
  9. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Suggest working in some hidden compartments to stash valuables and things that would otherwise complicate trips through certain liberal states.

    You can show us - we promise not to tell anybody...;)
     
  10. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    OPSEC! the Skunkywirks hanger is off limits! LOL
    Plans are in the works for smugglers holds and storage tanks, the welder has a fresh tank of mix and the tungsten rods are sharp with plenty of welding rod and sheet steel on hand!
    Looking for flush fit locks and a reliable way to seal lids and such! As much as I hate traveling through the southern part of our southern neighbor, I do like and look forward to travel to the northern part. I'm also looking for an light weight alloy trailer to load and tow the plane around with! Only real issue there is, the plane is over size ( landing gear is way too wide) so I need to figure out how to clear that hurdle with NO mods to the plane!
     
  11. BenP

    BenP Monkey++ Site Supporter+

    Keep it light! Carrying around several sheet of plywood 100% of the time adds up.
     
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  12. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Kudos on going with Diesel. Just discovering the wonder fuel myself.
     
  13. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    Ha!
    Looking for some high output LED lighting for the cargo area, want some flush fit corner type strip lights to light up the whole inside nice and Brite!
     
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  14. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Are you thinking about sleeping in this? Might want to plumb in for some external cams and open the cargo area up to the cab, even if it's just to turn the window into a hatch you can climb through. I'd also think about mounting some external LED lighting of the blind you and give you a serious sunburn type in case you need to exit with a surprise factor for things what go bump in the night (just before they start screaming).

    Hey, I gotta cool paint scheme for you. Urban camo for the left coast states.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    What i'm hoping to do is keep this rig generic looking for OPSEC, so we can blend in as much as possible! If it looks like it's valuable, or has valuables inside, it's a target, if it looks like a nice work van, it tends to be seen and forgotten just as quickly! Lots of exterior lighting makes it look like it's an off road adventure rig ( which it kind of is) so I need to be careful with how I set it up and how it looks to the Public! What i'm thinking is to have powerful LED lights hidden inside the doors, so that they can only be seen whith the doors open, and until then, no one is the wiser! The rear will be getting high and low mounted back up lights with dash controls so I can use them independently from the stock back up lights, think of them as very effective asshole lights when needed for those tailgaters and light flasher road rage'ers! I did order a Ambulance high output alternator to provide lots of output, and will be installing a pair of Deep Cycle cranking batteries, or ganged 6 volt lift gate batteries to get the maximum power storage capacity in a small foot print!
     
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  16. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I dig the swinging door lights - maybe use a limit switch so they don't turn on until they are part way open so you don't wind up blinding yourself, too? Never thought about ambulances having more powerful alternators, that's a great idea!
     
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  17. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki Grudge Monkey

    250 amp output vs a standard high output automotive 160 amp! Need battery storage to make it all work, but that's not a bad thing!

    Side note, starting to look at high efficiency solar panels for the roof! Too much brain effort for right now, but it's on the list of must haves!
     
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  18. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

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  19. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Yeppers. Think thin paneling to hold the insulation on the walls, 1/8 inch will do it, and can be bent to fit. Depending a bit on what you intend, half inch will do for the floors. 3/4 on top of the steel floor is overkill, methinks.
     
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  20. Godzilla

    Godzilla Monkey++

    Any picture updates? Also are you planning on incorporating any hold downs in the floors or side walls just in case you want to bring a cycle or haul something in the future?

    I think about doing this to be able to bring a bike and the dog along for a weekend ride.
     
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