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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, now that I have my baby, it is time to convert!
I want to keep things super simple. I am a value-based individual. I want to start out with just basic gear, go on a short trip and see what we really feel is missing and readdress.

Step 1 insulation: noico sound deadening f/b ?aerogel on ceiling and leftover regular styrofoam in the big side cavities.
?There is some black plastic stuffed with something at the bottom of all of the panel cavities, did the prior owner do this? Why?
?Before insulating, I would like to find some vent hole within these panel areas or elsewhere on the floor to push through a plug that I can use for a shore power/friends driveway while visiting plug in the fused powerstrip spot.

Step 2 Windows: I will be having Tourig doing all of the major work for me, in $steps. They seem to be more expensive, but so far very nice, capable and most likely the closest quality shop to me. Also, I get to visit a friend that lives in the area. I will have a crlaurence t window on the drivers side and a full panel window on the passenger side. I'll try to find someone in town to add limo tint to these windows, along with the back windows. I was also thinking about having them put in the front swivel seat adapters but it is so expensive. I'm not sure yet whether they are worth it.


Gear for Camper to date:
Inergy Kodiak lithium generator 1kw
Lasko 200w heater
Luminoodle led cord light
Led solar charged lantern
Collapsible storage ottomans
3 gallon water container and bowl (I will build a kitchen box for this)

Temporary gear:
foldout small futon bed
Old Kampkold cooler 1/2w/ styrofoam insert for cold, 1/2 for dry food storage

Gear to purchase:
Thetford 320p toilet (I will build a 3 sided box to sit on for it)
Bicycle fork floor mounts
?carpet/other flooring vs a carpet sitting in garage
?Maybe Dometic CF025dc frig
Snap curtain system and fleece fabric for curtain
?seat covers? Maybe the neoprene ones that Costco occasionally stock?
?fan
Road Atlas
Roadpro 12v portable oven
Magnetic holding insulated window covers and some shield system for front
(I will most likely have to make something myself, it will be hideous!)

I think that this should cover the basics? Whew:nerd:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have had an awful time trying to find local southwest companies to do the work. There is no registered MB upfitter. When I was looking at the Nissan nv200, they had a window guy, that they would never give me info on so that I could look at his work, and seat installation was a no go after they worked through their contacts to find someone.

Perhaps, what I really need is advice on how to find good van conversion people here.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I want to try traveling without a pop top first. When I had the westfalia, I never used it.
 

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So what are the things you want the conversion company to do? vs things you can do yourself.

You don't need a conversion company for the windows. Are you replacing glass or cutting the holes and adding glass? If you are handy you can do it yourself.

What seat installation do you want? Rear seats? Bench? The swivels are expansive, but if you are traveling with more than yourself it can add space when hanging out in the van. If you only did passenger it still gives you an option to have a seat in the van with easy access to step out or relax. When not seated its another place to set a bag or push stuff out of the way.

Are you just one person? I guess I am curious because there is no way I could be able to fit my kid, wife and stuff in the van and not want a popup to sleep above all that stuff. If you never used yours before you are lucky to not want a 10k option. Being able to stand up in the van sounds pretty good to me.

Ever sleep in a hammock? I think an interesting option is to rig a hammock in the van. I've seen some in Sprinters, but they are longer. I have flat sleeping hammocks I use camping from Jacks R Better. They are called Bear Mountain Bridge hammocks. I've been wondering if you can get one mounted above a van full of crates and bikes and such for a low tech and low clutter option. Due to their design they might fit in a Metris and maybe two where they would be hard with standard hammocks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I do have others. I will need to have the folding bus seat that imants has installed eventually. Until then, I'll keep it to myself and spouse. We are not hammock people. We are short though and might get away with an elevated platform bed that would allow for bikes underneath. I suspect that I will want the pop top eventually, just don't want to spend the money until I know.

I have a cargo van with rear windows only now. Panels will need to be cut. I will consider self installing but hand holding would be necessary. Pounce, you are correct about the Windows. I've just had such a hard time finding what I need here. I've also heard folks on here talking about how the Windows available don't fit the curve of the Metris well. I therefore thought that I might be better off with someone that has installed those windows on this van a few times already.
 

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I don't think the windows would be hard. I've worked on a lot of cars though. It doesn't take more than the right tool to make the cuts. I also don't think it would take long or cost a great deal to have it done at an upfitter so if you are going by one on vacation it would make sense to schedule it. That seat might be more effort since I thought I saw you might need to drop the tank to mount it. If not it looks like a bolt in job with some drilling. Not sure about liability with passengers in a cargo van. I'm sure you know better than I.

I like the idea of a platform. Seems like something you can easily remove from the van when you needed it for another purpose. You also then get your choice of padding. There are many times I wish I was shorter. Airplanes and mini vans. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Pounce you have inspired me! I'll be watching all of the you tube videos and get back to you.

I will definitely have the seat professionally installed. I want all the laws followed etc. Safety first!
 

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There is some black plastic stuffed with something at the bottom of all of the panel cavities, did the prior owner do this? Why?
Factory
 
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You mention heater and portable oven. Insulation choices are important to prevent future mold, smell and rust/corrosion issues. whatever you wish for your conversion, I say do it RIGHT the first time...forget about 'readdress' later due to cost and more importantly time. I talk to a van converter who did a wood panel roof... that ended up giving him problems. Not only does he have added cost for a new style ceiling...the time taking out old and putting in new, but he has lest mounting options due to the fasteners he used for the wood panel ceiling.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
MOWO: I definitely want to do the insulation right the first time. I'll certainly take any advice on this. I like the Wayfarer Vans method of magnetized insulating panels that can come right off. I would have purchased a conversion kit from them, if they would have had one for the Metris.

My plan to readdress the conversion has more to do with layout for sitting and sleeping.

The Roadpro 12v oven is more of a lunch box warmer
 

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Where does Wayfarer use magnetized panels?

You just need to consider making sure you create thermal breaks as much as possible. Not covering metal leads to heat loss. I wouldn't overthink it though. I'd actually suggest using the van for your target locations without doing anything and see just how much of a problem you would really have. If you want simple (I am in this camp) then doing nothing is the most simple. I actually don't see the point of spending a lot of money on cabinets and such. I'm quite content with the flexibility of crates. I can put them outside when I don't need them or want them next to the picnic table etc. I do not need a small van to look like a scale model of an RV where I can stand at a counter at the same height of my home.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Pounce: I won't do Wayfarer Vans justice, you might want to google them and check out the images. They pretty much cover all of the exposed metal, and yet it will come all off in minutes! Love it! I've got to find the right magnets. I'm with you in that I just want to enjoy the world. Instead of crates, I'm using those cheap storage cube ottomans, something to put my feet up on while sitting on my small futon love seat/bed. Simple and fun!
 

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You can find a wide range of rare earth magnets that would work. I get small ones and fold a piece of tape over there and sew them in light blocking curtains.
 

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MOWO: I definitely want to do the insulation right the first time. I'll certainly take any advice on this.
I went Nioco Sound deadening mats, 3M Thinsulate, and GAF Energyguard polyiso/Thinsulate mix for the roof. HUGE! improvements in thermal and sound isolation performance.
 

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I just ordered a new 2018 Metris Cargo yesterday. Can't wait for it to show up, but the dealer estimate is 3 months until delivery. This thread caught my eye because my plan is camping, bicycling, hauling the occasional motorcycle as well as daily driver and general utility vehicle. So I'm in the minimalist tribe on converting it camping utility. Basically a cot, a cooler, a sleeping bag, and some milk crates. I don't want to hardscape the interior into a miniature RV. There are some great ideas in this thread, though, so I'll be keeping an eye on it. Thanks!
 

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I went Nioco Sound deadening mats, 3M Thinsulate, and GAF Energyguard polyiso/Thinsulate mix for the roof. HUGE! improvements in thermal and sound isolation performance.
In my opinion this is a very smart combo. The 3M thinsulate is hydrophobic and so much better than fiberglass etc that people seem to stuff in the walls. You obviously did your homework.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Update

I just installed the shore power. 15amp input connected to 4 outlet box with 15amp breaker, $40 total. Inlet is black Marinco attached to drivers side black plastic behind wheel well. Cord snaked through hole in lower panel space behind wheel well.

Gear for Camper to date:
Inergy Kodiak lithium generator 1kw, with 12v connector to Van (~4 hrs driving to recharge)
Lasko 200w heater
Luminoodle led cord light
Led solar charged lantern
Collapsible storage ottomans
3 gallon water container and bowl
Road Atlas
Roadpro 12v portable oven (really just a heating lunch box)
Thetford 320p toilet (I covered it with black knit top flap sewn to xl black mini skirt). I am light enough that I can use it as a seat.
12v fan x 2
Floor tiles from dollar store. I'll duct tape them together underneath once I have everything else put together.

Temporary gear:
foldout small futon bed
Old Kampkold cooler 1/2w/ styrofoam insert for cold, 1/2 for dry food storage

Gear to purchase:
travois passenger swivel
?Maybe Dometic CF025dc fridge
Appointment in June for drivers side rear crlaurence t-vent window
?light weight folding solar panel

To do:
Finish insulation (noico, spacers, reflectix, foam, thinsulate, corrugated plastic panels cut by me and fastened into place with mb fasteners). Not using aerogel because too expensive and not using polyisocyanurate because can't find 1/2" here.

Attach Angle iron with 8m bolts to rear sides to allow for bed frame or other nonsense.

Finish window covers and tint.

I'll post photos when I have accomplished more. It currently looks unimpressive.
 

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lala did you see my answer to your question about the ladder that you asked me? Did you get the poptop? I am waiting to see the photos of your work, it's always interesting to see fellow Metris camper :) work, just don't get of the pavement, I got stuck in the sand near Joshua tree national park, I will do an album soon and place on rajce.cz I did finished the three sided box for my lady chamber pot :) she is making a cushion for the box to finish it as ottoman.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Baron, this process is very exciting and I apologize for being so all around slow. I do have a lot done and yet so much more to do. I think that I've found a reasonable conversion for shorties that is low cost. I do want to give a step by step account with costs, but that will have to wait. Right now the photo that I have is of the bed (the three boards suspended by angle irons) that also easily converts into a table or comes all the way apart.

Oops, I'm going to have to find a spot for images. Argh!

I also have my chamber pot as an ottoman:)
 
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