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Not a Wenzelite
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Discussion Starter #1
Conversion project: from French Whore Gothic Rape Shack to Family Adventuremobile

I built my UHaul Toter starting in 2008, swapped in a 7-speed and took it on the 2,600 mile road trip to KOH four times...but mama never loved it. Our family's needs have changed. I don't wheel as much as I used to, and my girls are growing and it's gotten a little cramped all sitting in the cab of the Toter. We do a lot of motorboating and rafting, and the girls are also getting more involved with sports.

The goal is to have a family camper that will be comfortable for the road time as much as in camp. My goal is also to have something she can also feel confident driving (when I press her into river shuttle duties).

I wanted a Class C because they're a little less obtrusive than big Class A's or any kind of RV trailer when we pull up in a parking lot at a sporting event. Not only do we want the road time comfortable, it will be nice to have something we can pull up at a hockey or volleyball game and have a place to take a break, eat a sandwich, take a nap, etc. between games. We also want passenger and sleeping space for more than 4 so the girls can take friends camping or we can haul some of the team.
 

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Not a Wenzelite
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I found this camper on Craigslist. 1992 Four Winns 29ft motorhome. 27,000 miles, rebuilt transmission, new fridge.

1992 Ford E350 Four Winds Motorhome 29ft. $6,500

460hp motor.
Less than 30,000 miles.
Completely rebuilt transmission comes with 3 year, 36k mile warranty.
Good tires, A/C, Furnace (squeals), awning, generator all work.

Everything works and runs.

Call or email with questions. Would consider trade possibilities that include guns or reliable vehicles (post 2001 model year).
 

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Not a Wenzelite
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Discussion Starter #4
I talked the owner down to $6k on the phone and hitched a ride to Bozeman with a buddy.

When I got there, the camper didn't look like that. :laughing: :mad3: :confused: :evil:


Apparently, the owner had tried to sell it previously, the previous "buyer" didn't give him any money for it :confused: and left with the camper. Apparently the "buyer" was a Goth French Whore or was dating a Goth French Whore and said Goth French Whore went to town on the camper with a bucket of black paint and a roller. No, no paintbrush. Cutting in edges was beneath the Goth French Whore. :laughing:
 

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Not a Wenzelite
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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
But what about those delightful marble countertops, MT4Runner?


Oh! Good eye! Those are sponge painted! The Gothic French Whore didn't bother to mask off the stove or sink. Gothic French Whore don't give a shit!
 

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Not a Wenzelite
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
The good news?

The outside is relatively clean, the 460 purrs and runs like a top. I ran down the road at 72mph and it felt like I was driving an old Continental. The new tranny felt great, and it drops into overdrive at about 62mph, so for most roads and hills, it just stayed in OD and ran down the road like a raped ape, and none of that annoying bouncing in and out of OD.

The inside is straight, the paint just looks like shit.

So, the plan is to do relatively little to the exterior or mechanically. This is kind of going to be a "pimp my RV" for the interior. If anyone is expecting another crawler hauler build, I'm sorry to disappoint you. If you have a shitty RV and want to make it look nice for your wifey, I hope this build gives you some ideas. I also realize that while my needs have changed now, my needs will probably change in the future. I want to build this nice enough that my mods also help this vehicle's resale in the future, and as my better half said, "this better not look like a redneck race rig!"

I will replace all the incandescent light fixtures with LED's and add 12v cigarette lighter plugs and USB plugs throughout. Gotta charge the kids' toys on the road, and I have to keep my GoPros charged up! I plan to add a medium sized invertor and a flat screen (20-25") TV so the kids can watch movies or play the Wii on the road.

The lounge chair is going bye-bye along with the Altar of the Iron Cross Candles. My original plan was to find a jackknife sofa (RV sofabed) and put it in place of the lounge chair and Altar. I started looking around and they're not easy to find locally. It would add more seating and a bed, but if you have a bunch of people who want to eat, a 2nd dinette would be easy enough for me to fabricate, and would allow for seating and sleeping, as well as another spot for dining.

New dinette upholstery (back/bolsters):


Seat upholstery:


I will probably go with a 2nd dinette to match the first. It's 36" or 38" wide. With an 8' wide RV body, that would leave a ~2' wide space between the tables/dinettes. Not too big, not too small.
Framing a dinette is stupid easy:


...but I did find some pretty cool alternate dinette ideas:


It would be tempting to build an extendable dinette...especially the front one behind the cab. You really don't sit in the cab when in camp.


Here's a possible pull-out sofabed detail:
DIY RV Sofa Bed Designed by Ian and Mad Mumsie
 

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Not a Wenzelite
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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Did you end up selling the Uhaul?
No, it's still for sale. Interested?


you got some work to do :)
You of all people would recognize that!! :laughing:


It actually looks good in the pictures... On my phone.
Add a front axle :)
:laughing:
The original owner hadn't seen the "mods", either. He said the same.

I told him it looked gross and I'd get murdered by my wife if I brought it home like that.

So I got it for $4,500. Fortunately, the exterior is actually decent.
 

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Not a Wenzelite
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The cab of the van chassis is the nice Ford gray. I plan to color match it with a semi-gloss paint and repaint all the cabinets. They will get new satin or brushed chrome/platinum pulls.

This is a pic I found on the internet...same dash color. My seats are the original taupe color. Color is awful, but DAMN, are the seats comfy!!!


This is kind of the look we're going for in the kitchen:
 

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Not a Wenzelite
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Discussion Starter #13
I will replace all the incandescent light fixtures with LED's and add 12v cigarette lighter plugs and USB plugs throughout. Gotta charge the kids' toys on the road, and I have to keep my GoPros charged up! I plan to add a medium sized invertor and a flat screen (20-25") TV so the kids can watch movies or play the Wii on the road.
I need some suggestions for USB ports. It's a waste of power to run 120V-USB outlets off the invertor or Generator. I would like 12V-USB....but I'm hoping to avoid the cheesiness factor of running all cigarette lighter jacks and Vatozone USB adapters.

Anyone ever hard-wire USB plugs into their vehicles? Should I just go for a large-ish 12V-5V power supply and run 5V cable around the RV? I'll want them at the bed/dinette locations and probably the countertop...6 pairs of jacks, so ~10A max. I really don't like electronics when I'm camping...but part of this is the reality of using it on the road as well as at sporting events.


DC DC 12V to 5V 4 USB Car Charger Power Supply Buck Module for Phone Navigation | eBay

Hmm...12V-5V, 25W...I'd get 5Vx5A. Enough to charge two tablets and a phone.
 

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Maybe something like this:
USB Charger

The waterproofing is a little overkill, but they wire right into 12V, and can express charge smartphones and tablets.
 

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ding ding ding.

otherwise I'd put 12V outlets in where you want them and use flush mount cigarette lighter adapters. This is what I would do.
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0077PM3KG/?tag=thewire06-20

at least that was you could use the 12V jacks for something else, someone with a DC-DC laptop adapter or portable gaming console could pop out USB adapters and use them. That and when the cheap china switch mode regulator dies you can easily replace them.
Just make sure you get flush mount ones and they won't look bad.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Sweet. That's perfect. Has the 12V-5V regulator and a small form factor and is already trimmed out.

ding ding ding.

otherwise I'd put 12V outlets in where you want them and use flush mount cigarette lighter adapters. This is what I would do.
Amazon.com: Scosche USBC202M Dual 10 Watt (2.1A) USB Car Charger works with iPhone 5, 5S and 5C: Cell Phones & Accessories

at least that was you could use the 12V jacks for something else, someone with a DC-DC laptop adapter or portable gaming console could pop out USB adapters and use them. That and when the cheap china switch mode regulator dies you can easily replace them.
Just make sure you get flush mount ones and they won't look bad.
I'll have some 12V jacks...but the mounted ones Deke listed won't get pulled out and lost by my kids!!
 

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the biggest issue I ran into when deciding on Class C vs bigger rv was the bedroom lay out.. with 2 kids I could not find a good way to have beds for them and be able to close them off if the wife and I wanted to stay up later since my kids are young..

but I have since seen a few people that got rid of the queen bed in back of class C and built some cool bunk beds and they worked out great..

I will be following to see what direction you take for sleeping arrangements..

my other thought always was throw in a Cummins and make it a 4x4 and bam ultimate camper/tow rig etc..
Ujoint off road offers 4x4 conversions for these class c also :)
 
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