Retiree in Action: Part 2: Work on the Cargo Van Begins!

My new Ram Dodge Promaster cargo van is an empty shell! What should I work on first, that is the question! Since this van has wall liners already installed and it will become my “glorified tent”, I am not going to insulate the van. If I am cold, I have my winter sleeping bag. If I am hot, I can sleep on the ground under the stars or in my tent, which I will always carry on my travels … I was a backpacker!

For starters, I removed a few plastic rivets from the side wall to eventually bolt the bed frame to the van, or so I hope! (I did not want to drill any holes into the van, but instead to use existing holes.) Never knew anything about rivets, but a local person suggested I use a plastic tool to remove the rivets and thus not damage the van’s wall liners. Worked perfectly!

With the lower wall liners off, I installed noise deadening material and also did some of the roof to finish the one box of Klimat I had purchased. The noise deadening material was not a necessity. The wall liners were good enough, but with them off why not add the noise deadening layer.

Halfway through the noise deadening installation and not appreciating the upper body workout, I took a break to shop for wood needed for next steps in this construction. My ACE neighborhood store did not have all the lumber I would need, so to the big box store I went! (Apparently with building materials supply chain issues, larger stores get building materials before our neighborhood stores.) Other items I ordered online.

I am taking this project in sections; steep learning curve ahead for me. I wanted to build a bed frame with appropriate support and high enough to fit my bicycle underneath. Can I get my fingers into the holes to bolt the frame to the van ? Can I figure a way to have the bicycle slide out enough for me to unlock the fork from the tray and then lift the bicycle off? How does one install drawer ball-bearing slides? With my reading of various material, You Tube videos, and brain I hope to determine all that is needed. And then to put it all into action to complete what I need!

This is a low roof van, thus I need the bed frame and bicycle work to be accurate. While I can stand in this low roof van, when it comes to me eventually sleeping on the bed there is little room for me to sit-up. Inches are important in the construction of the framing for the bed and bicycle. This van barely makes it in height into our garage; 3 inches to be exact. The 118 inch wheelbase is okay for the garage too and I can fit into parking spaces just as passenger cars. The width of the van is huge…80 inches…75 inches within inside walls… allowing one to sleep from side to side in the van …. Nice!

3 thoughts on “Retiree in Action: Part 2: Work on the Cargo Van Begins!

  1. I can’t wait to see pictures of your progress! I love the flexibility the van will give you for new adventures.

  2. I don’t know how much more I can take! I just returned from a six week mission to Hawaii. “Mission?”, you ask.
    My son is in the process of remodeling his kitchen, or shall I say, has been in a slump remodeling his kitchen. I’ve heard nothing but plywood and jig attachment conversations for a year, so I went out to perform my own personal pep rally.
    Now my dear friend has begun an extensive, intensive project of turning a cargo van into her personal Airbnb!
    God Bless! I’ll be behind you all the way, as long as you promise to eventually roll this way!

    1. My saws and plywood will be a distant memory as I hope to roll through your neighborhood a day in mid-April! I wish I had a pep rally at times!

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