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Old 06-20-2022, 05:07 AM   #1
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Default newbie here, nice site!

was referred here by rvforum.net - this is a pretty nice site! I look forward to browsing through the forums.

I've got a 1987 Grumman Kabmaster (on a Ford E350 1 ton chassis) w/ a diesel Cummins that I'm converting into an RV/tinyhome - its a slow process as I have little experience with tools, learning things as I go.

Thus far I have ripped out all of the factory insulation & original walls, insulated the floor and wheel wells and covered them with plywood (screwed into furring strips that are glued to the metal floor with construction adhesive), fixed up the cab (new drivers seat, new seatbelt, new door lock assembly, sound deadening material on/around the doghouse, stripped and repainted the instrument panel, applied adhesive backed carpet to the aluminum dash & doghouse, and laid down a rubber/plastic composite on the floor of the cab), and built a bulkhead wall between the cab and the space I intend to live in. repurposed some of the aluminum sheeting that was originally on the walls to cover the cab side of the bulkhead wall, attached with rivets and screws.

here's some pics - https://imgur.com/a/gsAXHqw
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Old 06-20-2022, 11:41 AM   #2
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was referred here by rvforum.net - this is a pretty nice site! I look forward to browsing through the forums.

I've got a 1987 Grumman Kabmaster (on a Ford E350 1 ton chassis) w/ a diesel Cummins that I'm converting into an RV/tinyhome - its a slow process as I have little experience with tools, learning things as I go.

Thus far I have ripped out all of the factory insulation & original walls, insulated the floor and wheel wells and covered them with plywood (screwed into furring strips that are glued to the metal floor with construction adhesive), fixed up the cab (new drivers seat, new seatbelt, new door lock assembly, sound deadening material on/around the doghouse, stripped and repainted the instrument panel, applied adhesive backed carpet to the aluminum dash & doghouse, and laid down a rubber/plastic composite on the floor of the cab), and built a bulkhead wall between the cab and the space I intend to live in. repurposed some of the aluminum sheeting that was originally on the walls to cover the cab side of the bulkhead wall, attached with rivets and screws.

here's some pics - https://imgur.com/a/gsAXHqw
Welcome. Looks like you have your work cut out for you. It seems you have gotten off to a very good start. Best of luck. Nice photos!
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Old 06-20-2022, 03:20 PM   #3
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Hello and Welcome


You have more space available than most of us. Very common that we use swivel seats so that the cab is part of the living space when parked rather than left unused



Please share some pics as you go


Cheers, Mike
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Old 06-20-2022, 03:59 PM   #4
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Hello and Welcome


You have more space available than most of us. Very common that we use swivel seats so that the cab is part of the living space when parked rather than left unused



Please share some pics as you go


Cheers, Mike

yeah, I chose this model of vehicle because I wanted to be able to stand up inside of it, but I wanted a high level of security for my stuff - the tradeoff in building the bulkhead wall is just as you've said, the cab space is sort of unused. I'll be using part of it (ceiling above the windshield area) for storage though so its not all bad.
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Old 06-20-2022, 04:03 PM   #5
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Welcome. Looks like you have your work cut out for you. It seems you have gotten off to a very good start. Best of luck. Nice photos!
thanks! yeah, still a bunch of work before I can move to the interior. I'll post more pics as I go through the build - next project is going to be removing the rear roll up door and then putting something else there - either a wall w/ residential door or maybe something else, have a few ideas but not sure which is most feasible. have to work through them & see. after that, I need to design a propane system for the kitchen/shower area.
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Old 06-20-2022, 05:04 PM   #6
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I need to design a propane system for the kitchen/shower area.

while I do have a propane water heater ( suburban)... it is rarely used.
( some of the newer diesel units use diesel fired water heater and furnace)



for those chores I often use a camping shower bag warmed in the sun to shower or wash dishes- a couple of hours in the sun makes hot water and the energy cost is $0


managing energy use becomes a brand new hobby with these things



while designing, consider an outdoors shower wand- great for cleaning a muddy dog, boots, cleaning fish or for a shower



we all have different styles and wants in camping- we kinda plan on 5~7 days at a time self contained.
At that interval we need groceries, water or laundry.


mike
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Old 06-21-2022, 12:37 AM   #7
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managing energy use becomes a brand new hobby with these things
yeah, that's a good point - I dont know how often I'd use a shower, but I'm certainly not going to take a sponge bath or use wetwipes - I guess I'd rather have the shower option than not.

maybe I'll change my mind
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Old 08-15-2022, 03:10 AM   #8
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got an update on the build - picked up a telescoping ladder and started cleaning the roof for what seemed like the first time in a few years, maybe a few decades...

https://imgur.com/a/Q6apeZU

nice and shiny white now - the paint is a latex, waterproofing kind - figured I'd make sure any potential leaks that might be developing that I'm not aware of are blocked... stepvan's body is 100% aluminum so it wont rust - but I want to prevent leaking all the same.
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Old 10-30-2022, 09:24 PM   #9
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Default update on my build

update and sad news - got the Stepvan into the shop to check on the engine (Cummins 4bt diesel), it had been really lagging and was hard to get above 40mph. the shop says it's shot - imminent catastrophic failure. a rebuild would cost twice what the vehicle is worth so diesel is out (diesel prices are upwards of $6/gal in my area now as it is).

LS swapping it out now, also replacing the transmission (auto instead of standard), converting to gas, and replacing the exhaust system.

might be out of the shop in a month or so.
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