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Old 08-16-2008, 01:43 AM   #1
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Default '97 Chevy Van Project

Here are some pics of what I've been up to and why I started posting around here. Please critique away, I have no idea what I'm doing.

The blank slate.

Insulated under the front seats.

New seats and sub floor.

Floor and wall insulation. Ceiling installed with lights and Fantastic Vent fan.

Bed platform frame.

Interior progress.


View from the living room...or is that the driving area?

Some of the rat's nest that is the coach power plant.

Propane tank installed (couldn't seem to rotate the photo)

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Old 08-16-2008, 04:03 AM   #2
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It looks good to me.

Are you leaving the area under the bed open? If so, you'll have lots of storage space.

My Roadtrek didn't have insulation around the wheel wells. You're doing a better job!

Two bikes on sliding cargo box: & 1997 GMC Savana 6.5L Turbo Diesel Custom Camper Van Specifications:
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:26 PM   #3
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Thanks. Its comming along, slowly but surely.

The area under the platform is going to be storage. I've got the battery, inverter, wiring mess under the front left side. Just behind that will be a 15 Gallon freshwater tank. The rest storage. The platform is built to hold a matress and still be able to lift up the lids on the left side. Storage and sleeping comfort were key points to the design as we are going to be full timing for a little while.

I'll post more pics as the project wraps up and we hit the road.
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:53 AM   #4
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That insulation under the beds is a good idea. I have a partial roll of that reflectivix stuff. We used it to make window covers to keep the heat out on sunny days and warm in on cold fall evenings. I think I'll insulate around our wheel wells too. Just a little bit of insulation goes a long way in making the van more comfortable!
A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving. ~ Lao Tzu
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Old 09-04-2008, 02:26 AM   #5
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More pics of the proj. This past

The kitchen

15 Gallon tank and Shurflo 12v pump

Running water...looks like I need to fix that drain!

Under the sink

The quick solution for a gray water tank
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:03 AM   #6
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Looks very nice! I like your countertop...what is it?
Is your drain slow because there's no vent on that gray water tank? (Which is perfect idea, by the way! )My van only has 2.5 gallons of fresh water so I use a 2.5 gallon spring water bottle as the gray tank. The inlet hose (sink drain) fit so tightly that there was no way for air to escapse as the water drained into clue was a slow draining sink that was gluggling while trying to drain. I solved the problem with a small hole. but think it would have been better to add a T in the line just as it goes into the tank and run a length of tubing for a vent.
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Old 09-04-2008, 05:58 PM   #7
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Very clean, good shadetree engeneering with an eye on quality.
I love to see stuff like this, thank you for sharing it in pictures, too.
Boondock traveler, Frugal, but never "cheap".
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Old 09-05-2008, 03:14 AM   #8
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The countertop is formica. Bought a 4' x 8' piece (waaaay too much) at Lowe's and cut what I needed with a jig saw. You've got to be careful cutting that stuff, it can crack and splinter.

My drain is slow because the vinyl tube is bent at too extreme an angle. I've got to redo the PVC coming off the sink drain to so that the vinyl tube going into the tank isn't pinched. The tank is a 5 gallon Barker Tote-a-Long that I bought at an RV store. There is a screw on lid with a 3/4" MIP inlit and vent hole (you can't see the vent in the picture, its hidden behind the vinyl drain tube).
This tank was a great quick fix. I got a 7 gallon grey water tank but couldn't fit it under the van without some minor van modification, not to mention rigging a cage of sorts to hold the tank in place. At this point we want to get on the road so the Barker tank was the next best thing (Luckily it fit under the sink. I hadn't planned on going this route.) So I can always get a custom tank made to fit under the van if the Barker doesn't work out. I was going to have a 7 gallon tank...I only lost 2 gallons. Now all my H2O tanks, lines, etc are inside reducing the risk of freezing. Sure I've got to muscle the tank out to empty it, but call that training!

Thanks Cornbread Red! The real test comes this weekend when I get that propane tank filled and check my gas plumbing. Now do you do that with a match? Just kidding people don't freak out.
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Old 05-22-2013, 01:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: '97 Chevy Van Project

K-mann, I'm new to the forum and am also planning to do a cargo van conversion... in your picture labeled "interior progress" I see a fan above the rear cargo doors. I haven't seen this in any other camper conversions and was wondering what is the function? Are you using is as ventilation or just the fantastic fan in the roof?
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Old 05-22-2013, 04:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: '97 Chevy Van Project

Looks like top notch work, K-mann.

Thanks for sharing.


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