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Custom camping interior ideas.
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canasync
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:41 pm    Post subject: Custom camping interior ideas. Reply with quote

Since the RVTec thread is turning into a custom interior thread I thought that I'd make one just for custom camping interiors.

I too will be revamping the interior of my van soon and love getting new ideas.
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RadioRental
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll get my finger out and create a Google sketchup template. I recently saw a link in a thread to a scan of all the different van types with dimensions, anyone got a quick link before I go digging through search?

Also, for reference, my initial brainfart

RadioRental wrote:
I was inspired by one shot in the Nacho build gallery to do a full length kitchen surface and use a modular removable luggage system such as the kelty camp hauler http://www.bobwards.com/prodimages/52322-DEFAULT-m.jpg

I'd like to keep the rear full width and make modular with a removable tool chest for when I'm biking, or extra bed-cushion to make a full width bed.

I've been noodling on a few table designs. Initially I was working on a dual purpose door/table in front of the refer. Door swung out, frame swung up. Too complicated. Now I'm settling in on a section of the kitchen surface that will swing out. When locked in it will cover the westy stove & sink. It's folded in half and can open up when either locked to the counter top or when swung out in table 'mode'. I haven't measured things up yet but I think it can also swing all the way round in between the front seats.

Finally, behind the driver I'm aiming for a design that will have room for a Phillips half pint microwave and double as a ladder to the top bunk.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The sketch is not to scale or sized correctly, it's more back of a napkin at this stage. I think the mechanics of the swing out table will work as I'm using 1" tublar steel for the build, it should be enough to support the table without too much flex.

I'd love to hear ideas on concepts people have been noodling on to see if I can incorporate them. I plan to start this build once the weather warms up.

Cheers!

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chojinchef
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have some cocktail napkin drawings at home, but I have seen some clever people around here so I am really looking forward to seeing some of the ideas.
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kuleinc
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This should be an interesting thread...
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

only for the interior?

if for camping in general, then outfit the thing with some of the onboard jacks that race cars use to jack up during a pit stop -- use them for auto-leveling at the camp site
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canasync
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

randywebb wrote:
only for the interior?

if for camping in general, then outfit the thing with some of the onboard jacks that race cars use to jack up during a pit stop -- use them for auto-leveling at the camp site


Yup, interior only, but I like your idea. I'll make another thread for that.

Here you go: http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=494339

Very Happy
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1987 Syncro
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why must all of this excellent engineering and innovation occur while I have my interior removed Razz
It is making it hard to fall asleep at night seeing all of these incredible interiors. Keep up the incredible work people!



Build Threads Rock!
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I am Wildcat
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Topic bookmarked! I look forward to seeing all the good ideas!

I've noticed that there are some great interiors in some world expedition vehicles like custom Unicats, Unimogs, Land Cruisers, etc.. I think this may also be a good idea to take some inspiration from as well. Here are a few examples.

I think these slide out cabinets in a Unimog are pretty nifty.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I think this slide out cabinet to hold an Engel style fridge is totally awesome. Great way to keep it out of the way, if you have the room to pull it off. This one is inside a very custom old school Land Cruiser.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

this one i did for my vanagon panel in the UK

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this was the finished job

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and mrs rubbachicken, sleeping in it

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all done by me, even the stitching



i miss that bus Sad
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 7:46 am    Post subject: Interiors Reply with quote

Eventhough I am not in the market to replace my Westy interior, I have been wondering why someone has not come up with something that weight less. It seems that in today's green environmental world that we are only looking at wood as a base product is a little strange to me. To save weight I think it would be cool to have the cabinets made from fiberglass or some other composit material. With today's CAD systems it seems that their would be alot of options for some light weight space saving designs. As we all know the biggest problems with our vans is that they are fat pigs when fitted for camping.
Just my two cents.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:12 am    Post subject: Re: Interiors Reply with quote

Scubavw wrote:
Eventhough I am not in the market to replace my Westy interior, I have been wondering why someone has not come up with something that weight less. It seems that in today's green environmental world that we are only looking at wood as a base product is a little strange to me. To save weight I think it would be cool to have the cabinets made from fiberglass or some other composit material. With today's CAD systems it seems that their would be alot of options for some light weight space saving designs. As we all know the biggest problems with our vans is that they are fat pigs when fitted for camping.
Just my two cents.
Marshall


i think cost would be a big factor in that one, i think by the time you have added strength you'd not save a lot of weight
if you look at the plywood that westy's are made off, it's pretty light weight
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:47 am    Post subject: Re: Interiors Reply with quote

[quote="rubbachicken"]
Scubavw wrote:
Eif you look at the plywood that westy's are made off, it's pretty light weight


Yeah, I was very surprised how light the peice was that I removed from the bottom cabinet beneath the stove. Probably a 1/4 of the weight of a similarly sized peice of "regular" plywood.

Come to think of it, doesn't wood generally have the best strength to weight ratio out of a vast number of materials?
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RadioRental
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:54 am    Post subject: Re: Interiors Reply with quote

Scubavw wrote:
.... It seems that in today's green environmental world that we are only looking at wood as a base product is a little strange to me. To save weight I think it would be cool to have the cabinets made from fiberglass
Marshall


Fiberglass is an environmental bad boy. Not sure why you're giving wood a bad rap. Sure, certain woods are take from non renewable sources. But others, like Bamboo, are great materials.

My gut feeling is that in the grand scheme of things, what the shelves are made out of is only going to make a marginal difference in the weight of the van. Sure, every little bit helps but going from plywood to an aluminium/fibreglass setup is going to be a fractional improvement. I'd be surprised if you even noticed it in mpg and handling terms.
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Themasterof42
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what I'm considering for my transporter. With this setup, I could keep the stock back seats/bed. The square piece closest to the rear seat would be removable and would double as a foot rest or stool. The green thing would be an ice chest. I'm still working on this. I'd love to put in a rear cabinet on the drivers side but I have the massive AC system to deal with.


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These were made with google sketchup which I HIGHLY recommend. Great design program and very easy to use.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not really environmentally friendly, but there are foam core woods used for boat interiors that are very light. Basically two thin plywood sheets with foam bonded between them. Very stiff and still light. Would make stiff and light cabinets. My problem is what can you do with the off-cuts? Confused Can't burn them like regular wood.

Of course, an enviromentally friendly camper is taking a tent and using a small efficient car, ...errr, scratch that, a bicycle.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just putting this here for reference, thanks to; http://www.members.shaw.ca/bilbo/van%20diagrams.html

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really don't get the weight concern.

If you put a few adults in a 7 passenger vanagon, you've tipped the scales over what a modestly loaded-for-camping Westy weighs.

As an example, one adult weighs well more than the Westy kitchen unit.. which is by FAR the heaviest of the cabinets.

Having done the light-wieght racing yacht thing, I'd just warn that its an expensive rabbit hole.. with extremely diminshing returns on the dollar.

That said.. I am happiest thus far with this mod.. it added weight BTW.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The kids ride in comfort and we arrive rested. I'd like to lower the seats about 2-4".. but that will require some more premanent mods to the Westy setup.

I am trending towards modular.. Using the Westy layout as a place to start.

The next cabinet to be replaced will be the Westy water cabinet. It will be 4" shorter in length, which allows me to move the kitchen cabinet aft.. Allowing the driver to recline his seat all the way (YAY!). And providing a a slot to store table tops.

A shorter water cabinet will also allow me to slide the middle bench all the way in when the kitchen unit is out.. which will be most of the time. Middle bench 3-point belts lurk behind the cabinet.

(more pics in the gallery of the seat mod.. Westy bed is still functional, and its takes only a minute or two more to "make the bed")


Great thread.. Looking forward to seeing more interior ideas.
Fun stuff.
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Much like my garden..
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those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:26 am    Post subject: Re: Interiors Reply with quote

RadioRental wrote:
what the shelves are made out of is only going to make a marginal difference in the weight of the van. Sure, every little bit helps but going from plywood to an aluminium/fibreglass setup is going to be a fractional improvement. I'd be surprised if you even noticed it in mpg and handling terms.


in a Westy, the entire plywood cabinet setup adds about 160 lbs. to the vehicle wt. -- that is a significant amount & it is there no matter how many or how few passengers there are

of course, on a Westy the LR window is occluded and useless because the cabinet blocks it - the glass is heavy, and that is more useless wt. with e closet installed; a smaller glass window could be fitted to lower the wt. some more when a closet is present

I would not use FG tho to save wt. - instead I would get my hands on some hexcell material; it gets cheaper all the time, or you can go dumpster diving behind Boeing...


the very worst & heaviest material would probably be chipboard - ugly too
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd be amazed if you could shed even 50 lbs by going to a hollow core material for the cabinet skins. More like 30lbs.. from my "guesstimate"

Where is the real "extra" weight in a Westy camper?
The fridge and stove.. unless you go fridgeless.. but an icebox will only buy you 30lbs weight savings.. and many of use/carry both anyway.

The propane.. unless you go to bottles, pretty well stuck with that weight too.
Water tank.. can't lose that either.

Then there is the Westy bed.. not going without that.

So.. hollow core for the cabinet skins... MAYBE 50lbs, total?


The real weight impact is when we load up. Its the STUFF that weighs the most. A 2 week camping load will almost entirely diminsh the 50lbs - diminishing returns (maybe 100lbs total? = one teenager?, if you find lighter plumbing fridge and propane)
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danfromsyr wrote:
those are straight line runs with light weight race cars for only 1/4mile at a time..
not pushing a loaded brick up a mountain pass with a family of 4+ inside expecting to have an event free vacation..
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05, 2012 11:52 am    Post subject: Re: Interiors Reply with quote

randywebb wrote:

in a Westy, the entire plywood cabinet setup adds about 160 lbs.


And if you replace it with entirely something else you need to subtract that from the figure you came up with.

Lets say at the very best you shave 50lb... that's half your tank of water or 5 gallons of fuel in the tank. Do you notice any difference when they're full/empty?

Weight shaving is a dumb game.
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