2013 Chevy Express 3500 10' Cutaway Build

MStudt

Adventurer
Today I had the solar panel mounts cut, bent, and powder coated. I had about 20 minutes of free time, and was able to get one panel mounted. I like the way the panels fit, and how they can slide to allow for easier bolting. But, the bottom bolt did suck when it came to tightening them up. I think on the next panel I might use carriage bolts to help ease things along.




 

MStudt

Adventurer
Small progress, but still some progress. I was able to get to the entry housing installed, panel wires run, and the last solar panel mounted. I was also able to caulk the side door, but I doubt anyone wants to see that.





 

MStudt

Adventurer
Looks great, we need to see some details and pics of the bed.
Now that I have the solar panel wiring run I'll be able to focus that area. I have some drawings ready to be cut for some of the bed support components, but still need to plan for a couple other items before I'll ready to cut. Should be pretty soon though.

Mike
 

MStudt

Adventurer
I still have a couple things to tie up on the exterior of the van before I can completely close up the inside. That would include mounting the propane tank, and building/mounting the ladder. Tonight I finished up one of those, and that's mounting the propane tank. I had a couple brackets laser cut, and used some 1/4" aluminum spacer between the bracket and the mount. There's also an additional bracket on the inside of the van with weld nuts on it to allow me to sandwich the body between the two brackets. I used stainless BHCS with stainless sealed bonding washers, and a little 3M adhesive to help seal everything up. Oh, I had them powder coated white as well.








 
Last edited:

RVflyfish

What comes next?
Wow, what a cool build. So many questions...

How well has the Havelock wool cooled the box this summer?​
What program are you using to design your parts? How did you learn it? Are you an engineer? Industrial designer?​
Are you doing the CNC and laser cutting yourself or are you having a shop do it? If a shop, how did you find them?​
Where did you source the laminated plywoods?​
I would love to pull something like this off but as you can probably tell, I'm beyond a noob in the CAD/CAM world.
 

MStudt

Adventurer
Wow, what a cool build. So many questions...

How well has the Havelock wool cooled the box this summer?​
What program are you using to design your parts? How did you learn it? Are you an engineer? Industrial designer?​
Are you doing the CNC and laser cutting yourself or are you having a shop do it? If a shop, how did you find them?​
Where did you source the laminated plywoods?​
I would love to pull something like this off but as you can probably tell, I'm beyond a noob in the CAD/CAM world.
The Havelock seems to have cooled the box quite a bit, but I also can't speak for how it would have been without the insulation. Just from working on it for a month without any insulation, I did notice the difference once it was in.

I use a program called Fusion 360 which is a 3D CAD/CAM/CAE design software, and I'm not an engineer or designer by trade. This is a software that I bought around a year ago and taught myself how to use it. I bought an instructional book and watched a lot of walkthrough videos on Youtube. The software was a bit challenging since you have to get used to the terminology, but it is one of the easier software programs to learn.

Lastly, and this is the biggest thing that I have going in my favor during this build. I'm a purchasing manager for a company that builds restaurant furniture for some of the largest restaurant chains in the country. That being said, I have access to a lot of different machinery there, and materials. All the metal I have cut, bent, and powder-coated in house for next to nothing. I also have access to an HPL machine, multiple CNC routers, edgebander, and much more. The laminate comes from either Wilsonart or Formica, and the plywood comes from our hardwood supplier.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Mike
 

MStudt

Adventurer
Well, the smoke has finally cleared, and I've started working on the van again. The ladder is finished, installed, and sealed up. I also ran the propane hose into the van, connected the lines to the regulator, and sealed it up. Since the electrical/solar project will be coming up very soon I decided to add my shore power connection before the inside moved any further. I just used a NOCO plug, and placed it behind the ladder. The windows have also been sealed, and so far we have no leaks.




 

MStudt

Adventurer
Yesterday I was able to get the remaining pieces for the bed platform laminated, routered, and brought home. This included a divider wall to section off the front living area from the rear storage area. The divider is 19mm ply with black laminate on both faces. I also had some 7 ga steel bent and powder-coated matte black to help secure the divider panel in place. The beams for the bed are also 19mm raw ply that are doubled up for additional strength. Lastly, the cross slats are 19mm raw ply that are 2-1/2" wide, and two of them being 3". The reason for those sizes is simple, I had them leftover from the walls and needed to use some material that I've been collecting.











 

RVflyfish

What comes next?
The Havelock seems to have cooled the box quite a bit, but I also can't speak for how it would have been without the insulation. Just from working on it for a month without any insulation, I did notice the difference once it was in.

I use a program called Fusion 360 which is a 3D CAD/CAM/CAE design software, and I'm not an engineer or designer by trade. This is a software that I bought around a year ago and taught myself how to use it. I bought an instructional book and watched a lot of walkthrough videos on Youtube. The software was a bit challenging since you have to get used to the terminology, but it is one of the easier software programs to learn.

Lastly, and this is the biggest thing that I have going in my favor during this build. I'm a purchasing manager for a company that builds restaurant furniture for some of the largest restaurant chains in the country. That being said, I have access to a lot of different machinery there, and materials. All the metal I have cut, bent, and powder-coated in house for next to nothing. I also have access to an HPL machine, multiple CNC routers, edgebander, and much more. The laminate comes from either Wilsonart or Formica, and the plywood comes from our hardwood supplier.

Let me know if you have any other questions.

Mike
Thanks for all the info. I have to admit CAD/CAM is kind of intimidating...

That bed platform is sweet!

Your tolerances to the side walls seem very tight. Did you hand measure everything in the box, or did you have access to CAD files?
 
Last edited:

MStudt

Adventurer
Thanks for all the info. I have to admit CAD/CAM is kind of intimidating...

That bed platform is sweet!

Your tolerances to the side walls seem very tight. Did you hand measure everything in the box, or did you have access to CAD files?
Trust me, it's not nearly as bad as it looks. I first bought a book, and thought I'd never be able to figure this out. But, Youtube videos made me a believer, and are far better than the book I have. Which has collected a nice amount a dust since my purchase.

Everything I've drawn for the van has been hand measured, and multiple times. I wish some of the clearances could be been a little tighter, but I was concerned about squeaking.

Mike
 
Top