Contact Gary

If you have a comment or question, you can leave a comment on any of the pages with a comment section, or you can contact Gary (BuildAGreenRV@gmail.com)

I’m always looking for good project to put up on the site, so if you’ve done a good project, or are working on a good project, or know of a good project please let me know.

 

Gary

About Gary…

Gary

 

23 Comments

  1. Hi Gary.
    Just wondering how your pro master is holding up. Lots of talk in the forums about them being cheaply built. Looking at what van to convert and am liking the FWD

    • Hi JB,
      We have about 40K miles on our 2014 and its fine – no complaints.

      We took it up to the Yukon last spring and with more than 500 miles on the vehicle eating (all gravel) Dempster Highway. It performed flawlessly on the whole 7300 mile trip.
      http://www.buildagreenrv.com/the-big-yukon-trip/

      There are some posts on the ProMaster forum with people asking about how people like their ProMasters, and the response has been uniformly favorable to the ProMaster from owners.
      One freight expediter recently reported crossing 461,000 miles on his gas PM.

      The only unfavorable posts on the PM I’ve seen are sort trash talk on the Transit Forum 🙂

      Gary

  2. Thank you for the detailed information and the drawings. I’m helping a buddy with his 2015 Transit T250 3.7l. We are following your drawings. I have a question. If the van has Solar, AC/DC battery charger, and Alternator each able to charge the house bank, how do you prevent more than one charging system from charging the battery bank?

    • Hi Ronald,
      Most people just let the various charges fight it out. Does not seem like the most sophisticated method, but it does appear to work without problems.
      Some people with solar put a switch between the van alternator/battery and the house battery and leave it switched off except when solar is not keeping up with charging the house battery — if so, they manually turn the switch on to allow the alternator to charge the house battery. But, this does not appear to be necessary — I don’t have the switch on my van.

      Gary

    • Hi Ronald,
      Most people just let the various charging systems fight it out. Does not seem like a very elegant system, but it does appear to work and does not cause problems.
      Some people put a switch in the line from the van battery/alternator to the house battery and leave it off as long as the solar is keeping up with the charging OK. But, not really necessary — I don’t have one.

      Gary

  3. Thsnk you very much , for all of your ideas posted there good is so sad how big companys take advantage of there prices , i ‘m in the proses of buying my cargo van to do a conversion, i will like then if i can get some ideas from , thank you Hector.

  4. hello, very great topics, im looking foward to have my 2005 chevy 3500 express 1ton converted into a cargo. trasport seafood, not sure on using ice or tom mount unit. whats the best route i can do. would prefer good insualtion with aluminn walls, and also ceiling and floors.

    • Hi — I just don’t know enough about that type of conversion to have an opinion.
      You might try posting the question on the ProMaster, Transit, and Sprinter forums — there should be some experience there.

      Gary

  5. I like many of the ideas you have shown. One question is about venting the batteries. You mention yours (under the bed structure) are to be vented, but didn’t show how that was done. I’m wondering how much and what type of ventilation is needed? Hydrogen rises, so floor vents wouldn’t be adequate? Does it need to be vented outside? Thanks!

    • The hydrogen fumes given off during charging can be explosive and MUST be vented to the outside of the vehicle. It is also quite corrosive to other equipment, so should be in a sealed enclosure.

    • Hi Mike,
      Our battery compartment is vented out through the sidewall of the van with 3/4 inch PVC pipe. The level of the vent is even with the top of the battery compartment.
      I looked around for material on how large the vent should be, but did not find anything really definitive — I went with a size that was toward the larger end of what people were using.

      There is a small air intake at the bottom of the battery compartment to let air in.

      The flooded lead acid batteries like I have don’t actually produce much hydrogen when charged at the recommended rate, but you probably have to figure that there could be a failure of the charging equipment that would result in significant hydrogen production — so, the vent is important.

      AGM batteries don’t normally produce hydrogen and many people use them without vents, even though techincally they should be vented. The downside on AGMs is that they cost about twice as much and don’t last as long.

      Gary

  6. Nice site Gary. Would like to through my conversion into your hopper. It is based on an Chev. Express extended cargo van that we bought new in 2000 for our conversion project. I am afraid the youtube video that I reference here is a little out of date now. Since made we have: gotten rid of ice chest and added a 3.2cf refrig. with 200 watts of solar, upgraded our batteries to two 6v golf cart batteries, replaced our center isle table with a dinette (does not block isle and can be left up all the time). Updating the youtube slide show is one of the ‘get around to it’ projects. Hopefully before 2016 is over. Safe travels…

    https://youtu.be/5Xqk_G6k95M

  7. gary-

    just found your site. it’s amazing. i’ve been working on a van for 2 years now. an old sportsmobile. gutted it and am now TRYING to put it back together. all this stuff is new to me. i’m just now starting to think about the “toxic” aspect of all the different materials.

    i’m trying to move forward on insulation now but never saw under your insulation post any mention of what kind of toxicity the polyio had? perhaps i missed it! any thoughts would be great….it’s all a bit overwhelming!!! thank you

    • Hi John,
      I’ve not really looked into toxcity for the polyiso, but have not heard anything adverse about it.

      I think you might be able to find at least the MSDS sheets on the manufactures sites.

      Gary

  8. Hello Gary, I trying to find a reasonable source for wall panel or foam backed wall covering for my project. Could you lead me in the right direction. I am located in Ontario Canada and not much is available locally.
    Love your new site. Thanks in advance.
    Niko

    • Hi Niko,
      I ordered the paneling I used at the local Kenyon Noble lumber yard. They had a book of available hardboards with with different colors and patterns that you could select from. You might check the local lumber yards and see if anyone can order paneling in a similar way.

      Some conversions use ordinary plywood or hardboard and then cover it with fabric that is contact cemented to it.

      You might try posting a question on one of the forums (ProMaster, Sprinter, or Ford Transit) and ask where people got their paneling.

      Gary

  9. Thank you for your amazing website and detailed step by step descriptions and pictures. I have been looking for this for a long time!

  10. Followed your design application which has made a significant improvement to heat transfer and noise reduction.
    As always, follow Dave and you will never get lost in the process.
    Thanks Dave. your loyalty to helping DIY van converters is appreciated.

  11. Thank you very much Gary for what you do. Please indicate what your favorite charity is so that one can send a donation in appreciation for your efforts.
    jorge

  12. I did the polyiso on the Sprinter. Ceiling worked fine as did the floor. Worked well on the wall window areas and above cab. Very tedious trying to fill the other areas with rigid insulation where you have small openings. Cut many small pieces to fit through the openings.
    Will use the rigid polyiso in the Transit in the ceiling and the large flat window area walls. In the small opening areas I will use Aerocel flexable closed cell foam. Two 1″ layers against the van steel, a layer of Relectix, 2″ of air between the Reflectix and the wall covering. Wall covering is 1/8″ plywood on top of 1/8″ closed cell foam. Wall attachment bolts are PVC.
    For more info visit “orton diy – walls” and “orton diy – floor” etc. on Sprinter site.

    http://sprinter-source.com/forum/showpost.php?p=151926&postcount=1

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