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Old 02-11-2011, 01:21 AM   #26 (permalink)
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more cabinetry

Spent a lot of time back at my shop fitting the cabinets. The cabinets have all been stained, but I asked them to leave the cabinet doors bare because I want to burn some artwork into them before they're finished. Those are really only mock-up doors anyway (plywood).

Had to cut the bottom of this cabinet at an angle so I could stand it up inside the box. It's hidden by the cabinet next to it though, so it doesn't show.



Bought a nice Bosch jigsaw and have been using the shit out of it.



Pretty happy with the final fit of all the cabinets. The sheetmetal is really inconsistent, so it was almost impossible to get anything to fit perfectly.



All the full-length drawers came out really nice. This is something that I guess most motorhomes don't do (have full-length pull-out drawers), but apparently they drawer slides are a lot more expensive. That's a whole lot of lost storage space.



The cabinet door has been cut shorter to allow this pullout shelf to be opened without having to open the cabinet door. It will serve as a tabletop surface across from the couch. Somewhere to set food, drinks, etc. Also works as a sort of TV-dinner tray when the bed is pulled out.



This is my workspace, with a cabinet where I'll mount a pullout printer, scanner, and stuff like that. There will be a large flatscreen computer monitor mounted to the face of that triangular cabinet, which I'll be able to plug into my laptop and use while I'm working, and will also be able to swing open and watch TV/movies from the couch/bed.





This is the showerpan that I got from Kinro. It's only 24x36" and I'm going to mount a toilet in there too. Will have an outdoor shower that I expect to use most of the time, but wanted to have the option to shower inside if I'm camped in an urban/populated area. Plus I figured that will be a great place to dry wet gear, put muddy boots, etc.

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Old 02-11-2011, 01:30 AM   #27 (permalink)
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overhead cabinets

This is the kind of stuff I just didn't have to tools or the know-how to do myself. Was really impressed with all the work the guys at Davis Cabinets did.



Overhead cabinets run along the whole length of the driver's-side of the box, with one big triangular overhead cabinet down at the end (front of the box).



This is one of my favorite things about this whole project. It's just so stupid-simple. I asked Shaun if he could recommend any struts that would hold the overhead cabinet doors open, and he told me that the gas struts tend to tweak the cabinet doors because of the way they put uneven pressure on them. So he showed me how I could install these common springs that would snap into position when I opened the cabinet doors all the way, and to close the cabinet doors you just brush your finger against them and the bend/fold out of the way.

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Old 02-11-2011, 01:36 AM   #28 (permalink)
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cabinet latches

Spent a lot of time looking for the perfect cabinet door latches and I found them, but couldn't afford them. Really nice flush locking stainless steel slam-latches for boats. Would have cost me several thousand dollars for as many as I needed (lots of cabinets). Luckily I found these, which I think are a decent alternative. Not ideal, and a little bit clunky/cumbersome to use, but they were the right price (a local sheetmetal shop had a bunch of them left over from another project). They were meant to be installed in sheetmetal boxes, so I had to cut the backing brackets down, but they worked out pretty well in the end.









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Old 02-11-2011, 06:22 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Subscribed. Keep the pics coming.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:40 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Quote:
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There's nothing particularly unusual about traveling/living in a motorhome, but the imposing nature of mah deuce tends to give people the wrong idea. A lot of people see a military vehicle and assume that I must be preparing for the apocalypse, and a surprising number of people try to relate to me like that nutjob in the military surplus store in the movie Falling Down. They want to tell me all about their bunkers and their stockpile of weapons and food and whatever. Like we're brothers in arms or something. Creeps me out.
Repaint it with a pink and purple camo scheme. That will get them off your back...
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:52 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Repaint it with a pink and purple camo scheme. That will get them off your back...
I actually did! After Graeme and I built this custom cabover rack at his shop, I needed to put something on the bare metal. So I went down to ACE and bought some custom-tinted paint that they had messed-up for 1/2-price. It's not pink it's salmon! haha. Whatever, the whole truck is going to get sand-blasted an re-painted eventually. Was having a beer at Graeme's house afterwards and he came walking outside with an armload of mostly empty cans of spraypaint. "Here you go." So I threw-down this psychedelic hippy-killer paintjob on the spot. The cab and all the related sheetmetal parts have already been sandblasted and primed. Only waiting to reinstall that stuff until after I've finished the engine-swap.

When I re-paint the truck it's going to get an OD base-coat and it will be painted camo, but more playful than militant. Monkeys swinging through the jungle and that sort of thing, and stuff like this. Planning on repainting it fairly often actually, probably seasonally. Will have a trailer full of tools and paint guns and an air compressor with me, so why not have fun with it?







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Old 02-11-2011, 04:14 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Ah, you had me liking this build up until you decided on some bastard paint job.
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:21 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Sorry to disappoint. Don't take it so seriously? It's just paint...
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:14 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Sorry, I take everything seriously because I'm a nutjob like the guy who ran the surplus store in Falling Down. I'll spare you the details of my bunker and food and weapons stores.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:34 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Came over from ADV & had to sign up just to follow this build through.

Not that I mind a site like this. I could learn some stuff here too.
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Old 02-11-2011, 07:56 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Welcome aboard!
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:11 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I had a long conversation with myself and decided that I ought to make use of the resources I had available to do the best job possible. So I took a step back and reconsidered what it was that I was attempting to build and why.
Had this same conversation with myself many times.

I like your build and think the idea of living in an RV entertaining; unfortunately it only takes a few days in my class C RV to appreciate "home".

Living vicariously through you.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:15 PM   #38 (permalink)
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uhaul trailer

A trailer was always part of the plan. Wanted to build something small enough that it wouldn't limit where I could go, but large enough to haul all my tools and toys. The trailer would be outfitted as a sort of a mobile workshop, and would store extra fuel, water, propane, etc. With all these things onboard, it would also be able to function as a self-contained basecamp. I asked some questions on SS and decided to build on an M353 trailer chassis. Ended up buying one through govliquidation.com for about $300. Had to wait for my EUC to clear and then drive up to Ft. Lewis to retrieve it, but for $300 I wasn't complaining.




The next purchase I made was a uhaul truck with a 12ft box that I scored for $600. Had to drive to Idaho to pick that up. Pulled the box off as soon as I got back and listed the truck for sale. The plan was to set this relatively lightweight box on top of the heavy-duty trailer chassis. Total trailer weight would be about 4,000lbs (empty).



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Old 02-11-2011, 09:16 PM   #39 (permalink)
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uhaul trailer

Started by removing some of the old generator boxes and diamondplate, then made a bolt-on subframe to support the uhaul box.

















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Old 02-11-2011, 09:28 PM   #40 (permalink)
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Next I had to cut out the wheelwells, and then it was time to transfer the box onto the trailer chassis. Went smooooooooothly. Had to use a use a port-a-power to tweak the trailer fenders into the right shape, but everything fit nice and tight when I was done.

















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Old 02-11-2011, 09:33 PM   #41 (permalink)
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Had this same conversation with myself many times.

I like your build and think the idea of living in an RV entertaining; unfortunately it only takes a few days in my class C RV to appreciate "home".

Living vicariously through you.
You and a lot of other people! Once I get past the initial skepticism/fear, people are really enthusiastic about this project. They think it's great that I am doing something like this. I can tell that more of them think I'm crazy, but they're nice about it - patting me on the head and tell me, 'good job'.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:46 PM   #42 (permalink)
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I think you are doing a great job and a much more thorough one than most M109 conversions, I just don't like the paint plans.

One word of caution, you are going to have to be really careful with that trailer overhang or it's going to eat the back of the van body. I would consider trimming the overhang or lengthening the tongue.
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Old 02-11-2011, 09:48 PM   #43 (permalink)
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Had to extend the trailer tongue about 3ft so that the cab-over part of the uhaul box wouldn't smack into the back of the mah deuce.









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Old 02-11-2011, 09:52 PM   #44 (permalink)
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I think you are doing a great job and a much more thorough one than most M109 conversions, I just don't like the paint plans.

One word of caution, you are going to have to be really careful with that trailer overhang or it's going to eat the back of the van body. I would consider trimming the overhang or lengthening the tongue.
Thanks, and you know the nice thing about paint? It's easy to re-paint. Not everybody is going to like every paintjob, but you'll probably like the 1st one (solid OD green).

As far as the trailer tongue goes, you're absolutely right. Still posting. Trailer tongue was extended, and broken, and repaired, and broken, and repaired, and then I scrapped the whole trailer and started over - but I haven't gotten that far yet.
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:07 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Maybe I missed it but what are the plans for a motor swap?
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:18 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Was intending to add gussets to the trailer tongue, but wasn't in any hurry. Luckily I caught this just in time. Actually posted about it here on Pirate, and fixed it with some beefy gussets.















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Old 02-11-2011, 10:27 PM   #47 (permalink)
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...and THEN I really fawked things up. Was camping down by the river and got myself into a tight spot (not where these pics were taken). Got the trailer just a little bit bound-up, and did this:








Dammit. I was just about to box-in the tongue on that trailer. At least I was able to straighten it to within about an 1/8" just by binding it up the other direction though.

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Old 02-11-2011, 10:29 PM   #48 (permalink)
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But that experience made me reconsider this trailer altogether. If it was too big to take off-road, then what's what's the point? Decided to scrap it and start over. Build something a little bit smaller and more maneuverable. The 'bigger is better' mentality is just so seductive. I got sucked into it, and wasted a bunch of time and money (well, not too much money).
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Old 02-11-2011, 10:38 PM   #49 (permalink)
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So now the only thing I've got left from that uhaul is the 10ft boarding ramp. But it fits between the framerails below the box perfectly. Seriously, could not have been made to fit any better. I've also found that I can pull it out just a few feet and use it like a small cantilevered patio. Well, not much of a patio, but it'll do for now. Would eventually like to get a hydraulic lift-gate.















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Old 02-11-2011, 10:47 PM   #50 (permalink)
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Maybe I missed it but what are the plans for a motor swap?
No you didn't miss anything. Just hadn't got to that part of the project yet, but I guess now is as good a time as any other.

One of the coolest things about the M35A2 is that they have multi-fuel engines, so they can run on just about anything flammable. Literally ANYTHING. Diesel, gasoline, kerosene, white gas, used motor oil/automatic transmission fluid/hydraulic oil, veggie-oil, bio-diesel, etc. In the first year that I owned it, I put about 4,000 trouble-free miles on Mah Deuce and it's averaged about 8-10mpg, depending on the speed, load, and terrain. Not bad considering it weighs 16,000lbs empty, it's full-time six-wheel-drive, stands over 11ft tall, and is rolling on 43" tall off-road tires. But when you look at the Miles-Per-Dollar, it's fantastic!

So I had mixed feelings about replacing the engine, but these old engines don't make much power for their size and weight. Made the decision to yank it when I managed to find a brand new (factory-fresh rebuild) 5-ton multifuel engine. It's designated as an LDS465 (2.5-ton engine is called an LDT465). It's basically the same engine, but it's got a different cam profile, and oil-cooled pistons, and makes just a bit more power (about 200hp vs. 130hp). Honestly though, something like a Cummins 12-valve 6BT (the diesel engines that came in the older Dodge Ram trucks) would be a lot better choice for a vehicle like this. But I didn't want to give up the multifuel.





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