Stealth Climber Van Conversion (OT) lots of pix


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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Mar 24, 2008 - 09:49pm 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
Mar 24, 2008 - 09:50pm 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.

Trad climber
Mar 24, 2008 - 10:05pm 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!

Mar 24, 2008 - 11:32pm PT
Super job, E!

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

Armchair climber
Sneaking up behind you
Mar 24, 2008 - 11:56pm 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??" :)


Trad climber
Northern, Ca.
Mar 25, 2008 - 12:27am PT
You are craftsman!!!

Trad climber
the south
Mar 25, 2008 - 12:27am PT
Excellent and wonderful.
J. Werlin

Mar 25, 2008 - 12:38am 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.

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Mar 25, 2008 - 01:04am PT
"Exceptional work Mr. E. "

Social climber
The West
Mar 25, 2008 - 01:07am PT
Nice work (understatement) Mr E

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

Mar 25, 2008 - 02:16am 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."


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 was full of tools and construction equip. Stealth, indeed.

Love your rig, E!

Trad climber
Lanham MD
Mar 25, 2008 - 08:58am PT
Excellent work!!

Social climber
My Inner Nut
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 25, 2008 - 09:29am 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

Trad climber
Mar 25, 2008 - 10:44am PT
Awesome job, Mister E
Looks like you had a good time doing it.
Double D

Mar 25, 2008 - 10:51am 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???

Trad climber
Mar 25, 2008 - 11:03am 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?



Sport climber
Mar 25, 2008 - 01:00pm 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.

Where you want to be
Mar 25, 2008 - 01:28pm 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,


With the first leeters of the words in bold.
So funny

Trad climber
Denver, CO
Mar 25, 2008 - 01:37pm 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.

Chalkless climber
the Gunks end of the country
Mar 25, 2008 - 01:45pm 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.
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