Stealth Climber Van Conversion (OT) lots of pix

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MisterE

Social climber
My Inner Nut
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 24, 2008 - 02:46pm PT
I haven't posted this on the Taco, so I thought I would share the process.

I started with a 2001 GMC Savana cargo Van, the intent was to make a "stealth" climber's van. I had some maple from a tree on my property I had milled up and had been carrying around for a couple of years. Put about 200 hours into the conversion. The rest is pictures.


















































































Stealth additions:

wildone

climber
Where you want to be
Mar 24, 2008 - 02:50pm PT
Hell yeah, boyee!
tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Mar 24, 2008 - 02:56pm PT
Nice!

Where's the mirror on the ceiling?
orange crush

Boulder climber
ca
Mar 24, 2008 - 02:58pm PT
niccccce what was the total cost on the restoration
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Mar 24, 2008 - 02:58pm PT
van conversion skills get you chix!

Blinny

Trad climber
NWMontana
Mar 24, 2008 - 03:03pm PT
MysteryMan. . . I can't believe how TOTALLY BITCHEN YOUR VAN IS!

WHOA!

There's just something so cool about havin' your very own home on wheels!

BEAUTIFUL!

YouRock!

Wait til theReal sees it. . . he's gonna love your woodworking.

YAY!

YAY!

Seein' these pix is just the STOKE I need to finish packin' up the Roadtrek. . . I'm leavin' in the AofM. . . gonna be a long haul to SFSF. . . via Patrick's Point, Shasta, Burney Falls, Kirkwood, Mammoth, DessWolly, Zion then PapaJoto's. . . see you there, my friend!

I LOVE HOW CREATIVE YOU ARE!

Today, YOU are the magic!

eKat

P.S. Your hanging bananas are KILLIN' ME!
MisterE

Social climber
My Inner Nut
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 24, 2008 - 03:07pm PT
I paid about 9K for the van and put another 2.5K into it, plus the time.

Can't wait to see your rig too, Kat!
the Fet

Knackered climber
A bivy sack in the secret campground
Mar 24, 2008 - 03:07pm PT
Very cool.

That must heat up like a sauna.

Any roof vent/fan?

The mattress should be a bouldering pad.
TKingsbury

Trad climber
MT
Mar 24, 2008 - 03:08pm PT
NICE VAN!

That is just RAD!
divad

Trad climber
wmass
Mar 24, 2008 - 03:13pm PT
That's sweet. Nice job.
graniteclimber

Trad climber
Nowhere
Mar 24, 2008 - 03:26pm PT
The sticker in the last pic is a nice touch!
Moof

Big Wall climber
A cube at my soul sucking job in Oregon
Mar 24, 2008 - 03:28pm PT
Kick ass!

Have you had any troubles with running ground through the chassis? I got told to avoid that due to galvanics when I wired up my truck.
Laddie

Trad climber
Reno, NV
Mar 24, 2008 - 03:32pm PT
Nice van, what a way to travel in comfort.
valygrl

climber
Boulder, CO
Mar 24, 2008 - 03:41pm PT
Finally, a reason to use Clicker bindings.

That is beautiful.
susan peplow

climber
www.joshuatreevacationhomes.com
Mar 24, 2008 - 03:53pm PT
Erik's got a nice ride, not doubt about it. With slick finishing touches like the bar that keeps his guidebooks from skating across the carpet and the pull out futon.

That said, nothing beats a Skamper™

Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Mar 24, 2008 - 06:04pm PT
Two opportunities I've had to check out the inside of that van, and I didn't; too ordinary- d'oh!
WBraun

climber
Mar 24, 2008 - 06:07pm PT
Pretty nice Mr. E
TradIsGood

Chalkless climber
the Gunks end of the country
Mar 24, 2008 - 06:28pm PT
That is some really masterful craftsmanship!

Looks like a lot of good planning and outstanding execution. Details like the bookshelf, insulation, etc. make it seem like this might not have been your first go at this kind of project.

Nice detail with the decal. :-)

About the only thing that would make it any stealthier looking would be a rack on top the usual trade stuff that does not fit inside, and a business logo and phone number on the outside.
WBraun

climber
Mar 24, 2008 - 06:30pm PT
I forgot.

You need to install a periscope.
TradIsGood

Chalkless climber
the Gunks end of the country
Mar 24, 2008 - 06:33pm PT
For when he wants to come up for air?
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 24, 2008 - 06:49pm PT
very nice, I'm really jonesing for 510OW... whaaaaaa!

what I didn't see was the high gain wireless antenna so you can post TR's from the van!

ron gomez

Trad climber
fallbrook,ca
Mar 24, 2008 - 06:50pm PT
Jeeeezzz, I can't believe no one has said a word about the Makers Mark...if the rest of the conversion was a failure at least ya had the right drink! I'll be knockin on yer door with my glass if I see yer van at the local crags! Maple looks really cool.
Peace
adventurewagen

Trad climber
Seattle
Mar 24, 2008 - 07:05pm PT
Thats some nice work man. I've done a similar bit of work to my VW. Insulation, spray foam, vapor barier and new wood, etc... Yours is really top notch though, a step above for sure. I like he inverter batter setup. You should toss in a vent for the batteries but it's probably ok.

All in all, I'd most definitely stay in that rig. It's not a VW but you can't beat quality!
khanom

Trad climber
in between
Mar 24, 2008 - 07:07pm PT
Holy crap dude. That is some seriously nice work. Didn't we see a preview of this some time ago? Fuzzy memory...



Ummm, sooo... wanna work on my van? Will belay for van conversions...


I brought my tools to Arkansas with the intention of stripping out my van interior, but just wasn't that motivated. Your pics are very inspiring. No way I could equal that though.
Mike.

climber
Mar 24, 2008 - 08:32pm PT
Super job, E!

Money and time well spent.
The user formerly known as stzzo

Armchair climber
Sneaking up behind you
Mar 24, 2008 - 08:56pm PT
Very nice!

I like the pic of the futon where you can see the washer / dryer in the background. At first, I was going "WTF? Does he have a washer dryer in his van??" :)

 K
Gobie

Trad climber
Northern, Ca.
Mar 24, 2008 - 09:27pm PT
You are craftsman!!!
dirtineye

Trad climber
the south
Mar 24, 2008 - 09:27pm PT
Excellent and wonderful.
J. Werlin

climber
Cedaredge
Mar 24, 2008 - 09:38pm PT
Holy shizzle! A dirtbag with motivation.

Exceptional work Mr. E.

Is the reflectex on the rear windows part of the stealth system?
I like your insulation on your H2O res. as well.

Did you pirate the floor plan or??? I like your layout in there--
not to crowded like most U.S. van conversions.

When in the valley I used to have red lenses I put on my little
halogen lights as part of my stealth deal.

I've always wanted to start with a blank slate like that
(a Sprinter would be sweet, except for the $$$) and
make a custom road rig in the style of nice sailboats.

You beat me to it. Again, very well done.

I don't think your thread is OT at all.
Raydog

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Mar 24, 2008 - 10:04pm PT
RE:
"Exceptional work Mr. E. "
ditto.
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Mar 24, 2008 - 10:07pm PT
Nice work (understatement) Mr E



Ed, what's the word? 510 OW to the batholith?
Sherri

climber
WA
Mar 24, 2008 - 11:16pm PT
TradIsGood said: "Nice detail with the decal. :-)

About the only thing that would make it any stealthier looking would be a rack on top the usual trade stuff that does not fit inside, and a business logo and phone number on the outside."

Werd.

I once passed by a van with "MOM'S HOMEBAKED COOKIES" innocently advertised on the side. On the way home, I saw it again but with its doors open this time...it was full of tools and construction equip. Stealth, indeed.

Love your rig, E!
WanderlustMD

Trad climber
Lanham MD
Mar 25, 2008 - 05:58am PT
Excellent work!!
MisterE

Social climber
My Inner Nut
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 25, 2008 - 06:29am PT
Thanks for the props!

OK, to answer some questions:

The battery box IS vented

I blew an inverter because of grounding issues. It was during start-up, though, and I have not had any trouble as long as I turn off the inverter before start-up.

The walls are insulated with R-19, so I don't get quite the oven effect I would if it weren't insulated.

The Maker's Mark ran out, eventually.

The futon is much more comfortable than a crash pad. I have storage for crash-pad in the back. It doubles as back-rest for reading in bed.

Next time I would do an inverter/converter set-up, as the batteries do not get fully charged without generator/solar to top them off.

Wish I could stand up - next time it's the Sprinter, for sure.

I have secret storage for stereo/laptop under drawer of clothing closet (d'oh! Not secret any more!)

Cheers, Erik
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Mar 25, 2008 - 07:44am PT
Awesome job, Mister E
Looks like you had a good time doing it.
Zander
Double D

climber
Mar 25, 2008 - 07:51am PT
MisterE: That's just way too cool! I remember many such conversions but none as techie as yours.

Speaking of which, Dale Bard took some serious time off from climbing and lived in Oakland while he converted his truck/camper. If I remember right he lived out by the Buttermilks for a while in this rig. I never got to see the end product but I know he poured his heart and soul into the thing.

Anyone out there in tacoland have pictures???
Blinny

Trad climber
NWMontana
Mar 25, 2008 - 08:03am PT
I've got pictures of DaleBoy's rig, DD. . . on the emulsion of my mind!

HellFire. . . who had enough money for FILM and developing back then?

:-)

eKat
TitaniumTendons

Sport climber
LA, CA
Mar 25, 2008 - 10:00am PT
Awesome van!!! I have a Toyota Previa that I love but damn you got one sweet rig there. I wish I had the know how to customize something like that. Very nice work and thanks for all the pics.
wildone

climber
Where you want to be
Mar 25, 2008 - 10:28am PT
As for a logo on the side to make it look like a working van, I keep remembering from some spoof movie, an fbi van doing surveillance, and the side said, in big letters,

Flowers
By
Irene

With the first leeters of the words in bold.
So funny
poop*ghost

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Mar 25, 2008 - 10:37am PT
I'm in love w/ that van. Awesome craftsmanship.

Are you a carpenter by trade? Was this your first conversion?

I'd love to try something like this, but know that I'd end up a pile of wood in the backyard for about 2 years.
TradIsGood

Chalkless climber
the Gunks end of the country
Mar 25, 2008 - 10:45am PT
If you want to raise the roof a bit, try finding a local hot-rod club. They usually chop tops to lower the roof, but the same skill could probably take a roof out of your local junkyard in some desirable size and raise yours with some nice welding, bondo, and paint and glass or fiberglass as desired.

Or auto-body shop...

Bus conversions often increase the ceiling height as well.
scuffy b

climber
up the coast from Woodson
Mar 25, 2008 - 11:58am PT
It's great to see all the insulation in this conversion.
Without that, your obviously beautiful, wonderful and
creative work would have something of a Potemkin Village effect
on me.
I have a question, though: how do you get a figure of R-19
for your walls?
Fletcher

Trad climber
Varied locales along the time and space continuum
Mar 25, 2008 - 12:06pm PT
Yes, nice touch with the Maker's Mark. It definitely stood out on my first viewing. Good stuff. I found a giant bottle of it at my mother-in-law's recently that my wife said has been there since she was a kid. Very smooth!

Fletch
Ricardo Cabeza

climber
Meyers,CA
Mar 25, 2008 - 12:08pm PT
Was just at South Shore Motors today. MSRP on a new E-2(3?)50 4wd is 39,600. Steep! That said, I would love to be able to trick out a van as you did, E. Very nice craftmanship in there!
Strong work, B-
'Pass the Pitons' Pete

Big Wall climber
like Oakville, Ontario, Canada, eh?
Mar 25, 2008 - 03:57pm PT
Sweet rig! One assumes the Marker's Mark has a hidden velcro base, otherwise it's gonna be gone on your first sharp left turn.

Love the carpet, or as Charles de Gaulle said,

"Vive le Quebec libre!"
nature

climber
Santa Fe, NM
Mar 25, 2008 - 04:09pm PT
Shameless plug.

Come to Santa Fe SushiFest IV:XX and you can get a personal tour of the Mystery Van.
k-man

Gym climber
SCruz
Mar 25, 2008 - 04:17pm PT
Flowers
By
Irene



Along those lines, Mista E could have a logo that reads:

Credit Bureau

Popular in these times, fer sure.


Props to MisterE!
artmusicsouth

climber
VA
Mar 25, 2008 - 05:37pm PT
ABSOLUTELY ROCKIN'!
Wes Allen

Boulder climber
KY
Mar 26, 2008 - 08:34am PT
Very nice and well thought out! Hope to build something like this in the next year or so. Thanks much for the ideas and inspiration!

Jason Kehl has a pretty sweet setup as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4u0_FVGQQg&feature=related
L

climber
You can't get there from here
Mar 26, 2008 - 09:22am PT
No Way! Erik, you need to post your van on the "Art" thread. That thing is the ultimate in fashion and function!
JerryGarcia

Trad climber
South Lake Tahoe
Mar 26, 2008 - 09:42am PT
How much gas mileage did you lose?
Moof

Big Wall climber
A cube at my soul sucking job in Oregon
Mar 26, 2008 - 11:16am PT
All hail the sound proofed pedophile van!

My favorite story was someone who put a life sized doll of a kid screaming in the back window of their generic white panel van. Classic.
PaulR

Trad climber
Bishop, CA
Apr 3, 2008 - 04:02pm PT
I just bought a 2006 stelth express van(AWD). I havn't had the time to trick it out yet, but I have found that an Aerobed of the full size fits perfectly between the rear wheel wells. With the included 12v air pump you can go from cargo space to a comfy bed in about 2 min. You need a foam pad between you and the air mattress to keep your bottom side warm. There is plenty of room for two people. Just got back from field testing it at the Creek.

Your's is a lot cooler than mine on the inside. The number 3 was a good touch!
Condorman

Trad climber
Lake Forest, CA
Apr 7, 2008 - 03:06pm PT
I like the bonsai in the door myself! Nice touch for the road trip! A couple questions if I may: 1) With all the niceties and solid materials of the cabinets, I'd imagine you added a good amount of weight to that van. How did the handling and gas mileage get effected? 2) Joshua Tree trip? (the rock looks too familiar). VERY nice job. Nice cascading jin too!
Hawkeye

climber
State of Mine
Apr 7, 2008 - 03:47pm PT
very nice.

mirror on the ceiling and new paint job and it would be like pimp my ride brah.

course it may not be invisible then...
MisterE

Social climber
My Inner Nut
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 7, 2008 - 05:32pm PT
More questions to answer:

R-19: R-13 insulation + plastic + panelling for walls. Ceiling has ~R-10, floor R-6. Thinking of spra-foaming undercarriage before next winter trip...

Gas mileage: it is a 1-ton, made for heavy loads, maybe lost 2-3 mpg. Gets 14 freeway, 10 city.

Erik



Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Apr 7, 2008 - 08:28pm PT
Bravo!!!

All y'all are making me have camper envy.
rich sims

Trad climber
co
Apr 7, 2008 - 08:30pm PT
Werner
How about some pictures of your wood burner
BLD

climber
excramento,CA
Apr 7, 2008 - 11:33pm PT
MisterE The batteries are they in a sealed/vented area separate from the sleeping space? I think they can give off toxic fumes of some sort. You may want to check it out.


Great work! I wish I had that kind of time.


Blair
jiimmy

Boulder climber
san diego
Apr 8, 2008 - 12:50am PT
Nothing beats a Skamper! Except for a custom conversion, a Yugo, or a bicycle.
Dr. Rock

Ice climber
Castle Rock
Apr 8, 2008 - 01:17am PT
Not one grip glued on the wall.
I thought the van was being outfited with overhang grips, what a dis a point ment.
Rock On,
Iai'nt talkin Doctor Spock, I am Doctor Rock!
It's a free concert from now on.
That does not measn, that aything goes, it just means that your welfare is a lot more important than the al mighty dollar, dig?
Larry Love = Hank Williams
It;s not poison, it's just bad acid.
Mine are:
1. Climb it from the bottom
2. Place no bolts
3. Pound no pins
4. Chip no holds
5. Leave no trace, no trash
6. If you can't climb it in style..leave it for someone else
losives! Explosives! Explosives!
MisterE

Social climber
My Inner Nut
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 8, 2008 - 06:45am PT
Posting drunk is never a good idea. See above ^^

Battery box is sealed and vented.

Erik
khanom

Trad climber
in between
Apr 11, 2008 - 08:40am PT
MisterE, your work provides a good point of reference. No doubt I'll see it in person some time this year, eh?

I have discovered several horrors working on my Stupid Van™ this past week. One is that there is no insulation in the floor whatsoever. That explains the cold feet. There is a plywood floor, but it's directly on the metal, and then the carpet directly on top of that. Also discovered that the water tubing is run inside the van after all, but it's on the wrong side of the insulation in the wall -- ie directly against the metal, hence the freezing problem.

Word to the wise for those considering buying vs. building a climber van: If you want it done right, do it yourself. Or hire MisterE.
toejahm

Trad climber
Chatsworth, CA
Apr 11, 2008 - 09:16am PT
When I read the subject, I half expected some exterior landscape painted on the van, or shrubs attached to it. Much perfer your choice of stealthy!

Like everything about it,
especially the Bansai.

KR
Miwok

climber
Apr 11, 2008 - 12:19pm PT
Bad ass van man! Nice job on the attention to detail.
JLP

Social climber
The internet
Apr 11, 2008 - 12:58pm PT
How is that Olympian heater working for you? I'm thinking about getting one for my rig.

MisterE

Social climber
My Inner Nut
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 12, 2008 - 07:26am PT
The Olympian is a great catalytic heater - no off-gasses, quite efficient. Get a small dc fan to help with air circulation. This improves heating and insures proper ventilation since the heater burns oxygen.

Eric #1: consider foaming undercarriage? low voltage (dc) pipe wrap should take care of freezing pipe problem
khanom

Trad climber
in between
Apr 12, 2008 - 05:57pm PT
Funny, I just removed the propane furnace from my van. It stopped working long ago, and then I found I could live without it so never bothered to fix it. Your unit looks way better.

I just put regular pipe insulation on the bits of the pipe I could get to without ripping the whole van apart. I figure that will hold me until the next overhaul. I plan to replace all the cabinets to get rid of the MDF... perhaps next winter. At that point I'll gut the interior and finally purge all the Sport$mobile stupidity... and insulate the floor.

You can be sure, MisterE, that I will be shamelessly ripping off ideas from you :)

The main thing this time around was to fix some leaks and move the batteries outside (also shift them to the passenger side for better weight distribution). And fix all the crap that's broken in the last year.

A lot of work.
pud

climber
Sportbikeville
Apr 12, 2008 - 10:47pm PT
Great Job !
Thanks for some cool ideas.
Justo

Gym climber
Providence RI
May 4, 2008 - 12:23pm PT
MisterE,

This van is a masterpiece. I'm blown away. Congratulations. What kind of wood did you use for the walls?

Wow. I'm still in shock after seeing this thing.

JC
Beagle

Trad climber
CO
Jun 23, 2008 - 09:01pm PT
God Damn, not one cynical reply... yet. I love being first. I bet you get great MPG's. How much does it weigh? And how come nobody noticed the frikin' framed pictures, bonsai and flowers. I mean come on, it's not like you'll ever catch a lady in there, maybe a Boulderite or two. I have an 88' honda civic (40+ MPG) and the best part about it is that nobody ever tries to cram in it when it's raining...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 23, 2008 - 09:05pm PT
Beagle, you haven't posting around here long enough to post cynical...
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Jun 23, 2008 - 09:15pm PT
here's a URL with some ideas on heat insulating and noise reduction...

http://www.type2.com/library/heat/index.html


khanom

Trad climber
eestsyde
Jun 23, 2008 - 09:37pm PT
I added a bunch of "Dynamat" type noise dampening material to my van. I had a good part of a roll of "Brown Bread" from StereoTypes (a Canadian company). It's just as good as Dynamat if not better, but considerably cheaper (and lighter). I'd used it on two other vehicles to good effect.

In the van I added it to the "dog house" engine cover, where it cut the engine noise probably by half or more -- the difference is huge. I also added it to the front doors to cut road noise.

My primary motivation was to increase the effectiveness of the stereo -- by reducing interior noise you need less power to get adequate tuneage. But I think it's also true that less noise means less mental fatigue over long drives. Anyway, it's made driving more pleasant for me.

Edit: Found a comparison of sound deadening materials:

http://www.sounddeadenershowdown.com/
Mike.

climber
Jul 24, 2008 - 06:48am PT
Heyya, Eric, the guys at sportsmobileforum are envious of your work (and amused by us):

http://www.sportsmobileforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1016
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
Jul 24, 2008 - 09:27am PT
Words of wisdom...

It's not the falling, it's the impact.
It's not the bullet, it's the hole.
Wes Allen

Boulder climber
KY
Jul 24, 2008 - 09:50am PT
Not nearly as stealth, but, in preparation to take a few month road trip, and have something that we can use to camp with all four dogs, Tania and I bought a little scamp tailer. 1978, thus making it older then her! It is a little bit bigger the a VW bus, weighs around 1200 pounds and is mostly fiberglass....





It came with a stove, refrigerator, sink and furnace, though only the stove was working for sure. It also had a bed/table thing on one side, and a bench on the other. And, one cabinet thing on the other side...





Since we needed space more then those things, out they came!







Since then, we added plywood across the back and a full size futon mattress. Still have to replace a little bit of rotten wood on the floor and add something to insulate the vents were the stove and furnace were. And, maybe add some shelves. Oh, and dog beds as well! Once we are finished, we should have around a double sized bed, a bench in the front for the dogs, and a pretty good amount of storage. Add a window unit AC while we are in the red this summer, an electric heater for Heuco over the winter, and I think we will just about be set.
L

climber
Far off places where I left lipstick traces...
Jul 24, 2008 - 10:05am PT
Sweet Scamp, Wes!

Can't wait to see the photos when the refurb's complete.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jul 24, 2008 - 10:26am PT
post up a thread on the finished product and your production steps, I'm still looking at customizing out my truck bed a bit.
FeelioBabar

climber
Sneaking up behind you...
Jul 24, 2008 - 10:40am PT
One hell of a van!

Proud work.
Standing Strong

Trad climber
sunlight on the surf
Jul 24, 2008 - 11:15am PT
"What do he do when there is only one banana?"

 jage
Metabaron

Social climber
NYC, NY
May 3, 2009 - 09:17pm PT
Great job, it looks awesome. I'm planning on doing something similar in the very near future, I've just started looking for a van myself.

I wish he'd have some text explaining some of the pictures though.

I'm particularly puzzled about the extra batteries setup - how is he planning to charge them up, is the regular alternator in the van strong enough? And what exactly is that third one attached to the outside of the batteries box for, anybody know?
Batrock

Trad climber
Burbank
May 3, 2009 - 09:26pm PT
Wow!!!! nice work on the van. You would love this website www.expeditionportal.com look in the forum section for other really cool van and truck builds.
Largo

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
May 3, 2009 - 09:44pm PT
I can't build sh#t so I'm astonished what you did there. Love the whisky bottle on the sink.

JL
rich sims

Trad climber
co
Oct 12, 2010 - 06:18pm PT
(WBraun
I forgot.

You need to install a periscope.)
What ever happened to the van in the Valley with the wood burning stove?
bubble boy

Big Wall climber
topanga, CA
Dec 9, 2010 - 08:34pm PT
Credit: bubble boy
Credit: bubble boy
Credit: bubble boy

Another van project! I'm about halfway done. Insulation, bed and table, wood panel and of course zebra fabric. Still to do: electric, propane, shelving and a good three month road trip to make sure she works.
MB of the Central Valley

climber
kingsburg, CA
Dec 9, 2010 - 08:46pm PT
Bubble Boy:

The potted-plant-holder-in-the-door detail in the OP is a Must Do. Too cool.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Dec 10, 2010 - 12:27am PT
MisterE, do you still have the van?
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
Dec 10, 2010 - 07:48am PT
Very cool. Just doing the first few steps would allow for a great platform to camp haul gear around and would still be useful for other duties.
justthemaid

climber
Jim Henson's Basement
Dec 10, 2010 - 08:07am PT
Mr.E sold the van a couple of years ago before moving to Cali. We did one last trip down to Cochise in it. The tiny propane wall heater is also a must-have in any good stealth van.
MisterE

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 10, 2010 - 12:41pm PT
Nice work, Bubble Boy!

Note: hard to put the bonsai holder in with the sliding door...
Aleister Crowley

Trad climber
Dec 10, 2010 - 12:45pm PT
You're pretty handy it seems Eric...

Where is that van?

(Nevermind, just saw Skips post above)
MisterE

Social climber
Bouncy Tiggerville
Topic Author's Reply - Dec 10, 2010 - 12:48pm PT
I sold it to a college kid in Flagstaff who was doing a lot of travelling between time at school.

He was super psyched about it, and I was looking to down-size.

Hey bubble boy, I see you are in Topanga. I live in Canoga Park. Hit me up if you want some feedback on the conversion.

Erik
bergbryce

Mountain climber
Oakland -> SLT
May 13, 2011 - 01:05pm PT
bump for a sweet van thread
Climbnrok

Trad climber
LA
Jan 23, 2014 - 05:27pm PT
Your van just got linked to by hackaday. Welcome to all the nerds :)

http://hackaday.com/2014/01/23/stealth-camper-van/
Ney Grant

Trad climber
Pollock Pines
Feb 5, 2014 - 10:58am PT
Ok, so here is about as non-stealthy as you can get. This is our van, which is waiting for the interior to be converted by Sportsmobile in March. So no, not as creative or resourceful as MisterE.

But it has been fun to work on the outside of it (painted a bunch of stuff black, climbing rope graphics, lights, etc.). Can't wait for it to be built out...

Credit: Ney Grant
Credit: Ney Grant
Credit: Ney Grant
Credit: Ney Grant

khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Feb 5, 2014 - 11:49am PT
Wow, that van has "steal my sh1t" written all over it. And/or "tool me now".


But I'm sure it'll be swell. Don't mean to offend.
Ney Grant

Trad climber
Pollock Pines
Feb 5, 2014 - 12:12pm PT
Wow, that van has "steal my sh1t" written all over it. And/or "tool me now".

Well, that is a depressing response. There are a lot of conversion vans out there, especially 4x4s, with lights and lots of crap on them. I didn't think that made them a target. Granted, more of a target than a stealth van.

Well, you certainly took the edge off the fun I had working on the graphics.



Walter

Trad climber
Bolinas, CA
Feb 5, 2014 - 12:14pm PT
Go Climbing!!!
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Feb 5, 2014 - 12:14pm PT
I remember being super-inspired by this conversion project, didn't remember that it was MisterE! My lady has Westfalia on the brain for when her car dies, but I'm going to try to convince her to go this route (but in something with either all-wheel drive or better gas mileage).
happiegrrrl

Trad climber
www.climbaddictdesigns.com
Feb 5, 2014 - 12:18pm PT
I like the Celtic Clove Hitch graphic.

I'd LOVE to have a Sprinter.
nfejohn

Trad climber
Los Angeles
Feb 5, 2014 - 12:23pm PT
Ney Grant. Love the graphics!
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
Feb 5, 2014 - 12:35pm PT
Great graphics on the Sprinter, it won't make you any more of a target then anyone else! Everytime I just step into our van it brings a smile to my face! Enjoy and Mr. E great work, awesome job.
Ney Grant

Trad climber
Pollock Pines
Feb 5, 2014 - 12:46pm PT
Charlie - Do you have a Sprinter that says "Rock" something on the license plate?
the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
Feb 5, 2014 - 02:22pm PT
Yeah, great clove hith graphics!



I keep debating on my next ride. I thought I had found it, a 2004 Chevy Express AWD conversion van for cheap. But I climbed under it to inspect and it wasn't AWD :-(. I don't think the guy selling it knew he was mistaken, but I'm not sure why he tought it was AWD in the first place. I need AWD or 4WD for skiing; I'm not putting on chains. It's next to impossible to find the express AWD used in California at a reasonable price. I need to sit at least 4, preferably more, and want to camp too. Will probably up end with a diesel crew cab pickup and camper.
Dingus McGee

Social climber
Laramie
Feb 5, 2014 - 05:33pm PT
Supporter Washington State Troopers Association

He fell for this? A group in WY tried to get me to donate & I immediately called the local sheriff to find out they only see about 10% of the "donation" at the state level and the donatee gets to pocket the rest. It is all legal under the Federal Rules of non-profits. The sheriff told me they would see a lot more, 100%, if I would just mail the check to them.

NO decal and it doesn't mean sh#t to the patrolmen anyway the sheriff said. They know the decal sales peoples pitch," If an officer sees ones of these it is likely he will let you go. So Simple!!
MisterE

climber
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 5, 2014 - 05:50pm PT
Nice to see this bumped!

Dingus - the sticker was already on the van when I bought it...

I really wanted to do a Sprinter! That one looks sweet - be sure and post up after Sportsmobile does the conversion!

Erik
khanom

Trad climber
Greeley Hill
Feb 6, 2014 - 07:48am PT
Ah shoot, I really do sound negative, eh? I didn't mean it like that and I'm sorry for harshin on yer buzz. I think it's cool... I just have a psychological block concerning flaunting the climber identity.

But hey, that's just me. If it's yer thing and stealthiness isn't important, more power to you. And please do post pics of the interior when it's done.
Ney Grant

Trad climber
Pollock Pines
Feb 6, 2014 - 10:24am PT
I just have a psychological block concerning flaunting the climber identity.

I obviously pushed that button, but its not actually a "climber's van" as we equally ski, bike, hike, climb, kayak, etc. Its a big plain white van and I wanted some graphics so people wouldn't say, "hey, nice FedEx van". (which they still do) My wife found the knot online in vector format, and I was able to play with it to get a pattern that would work. We played with other graphics with paddles, etc., and it was too complicated.

But you are right, some will see that van parked at a climbing spot and expect some hot climbers with attitude but what they will find is a middle-age couple of moderate climbing ability.
FortMentäl

Social climber
Albuquerque, NM
Feb 6, 2014 - 10:30am PT
I wouldn't park those things at climbers area without one of these...



If nothing else, you'll get to see how ugly the tweaker is that just maxed out your deductible.
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
Feb 6, 2014 - 10:35am PT
Sick!
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